RAW transcript of my interview with Henk Rogers, the entrepreneur behind Tetris

Henk Rogers - Tetris Entrepreneur.mov
quick and dirty transcript

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The RAW transcript

Andrew: Before we go before Tetris, let me ask you this. What are you most proud of with your success with Tetris?

Interviewee: With Tetris? As a game designer — it’s kind of a silly thing but I did some of the inventions that are around Tetris, in terms of how the game changed. For example, I invented single, double, triple Tetris. In other words, if you go back in time before I got it, the game was just about surviving. And I invented the concept of earning more points by simultaneously clearing lines. So it’s not about the money. It’s about the game design, I guess. So, yeah, and the T-spin, the rotation. There’s a bunch of things I’ve added to Tetris as a game designer, which is sort of what I do in the background, that I’m proud of because I created something.

Andrew: Do you still work on Tetris?

Interviewee: Oh yeah. I do. I specifically think of ways to turn Tetris into a virtual sport. So I’m very…how can I say? I’m very focused on trying to make Tetris into a spectator sport. Which means that it should look interesting from the viewpoint of somebody watching the game. So the games can’t get like one pattern. If all those top layers in the world look exactly the same that would be no good. If you look at tennis, there’s all these different personalities and there’s different ways of playing. Close to the net, far from the net, attack style, defense style. All these different kind of things. I want to be able to get those kind of things to come out in the game.

Andrew: I hadn’t thought of that. That it should be interesting to somebody watching Tetris in addition to being fun for the person playing it. You know, so you’re the guy who is responsible for that. I would come home and watch my Dad or my brother play Tetris and I would somehow get captivated by it and say, ‘This is just blocks falling on a screen. Why am I sitting here?’ And it’s because of you.

Interviewee: Part of it… I don’t know, if somebody else got it if they would have taken it down the same path. But the other thing, on the business level, people kind of credit me for the longevity of Tetris. I got a hold of it in 1989 or 1988 and Alexi, the author or Tetris, kind of put it in my hands in 1993 and asked me to help him out. And I’ve been on that job ever since and Tetris is still alive. In fact, Tetris is more alive today than it’s ever been before. In that there are… each year we sell more Tetris than the year before. This is a recession year; maybe we’ll be flat this year compared to last year. But, for example, last year was the biggest year for Tetris in history.

Andrew: Do you know how many copies have been sold overall throughout time?

Interviewee: Yeah, it’s kind of a complicated calculation because, for example, on certain online or mobile situations, people subscribe to a service. And that service contains Tetris. And they’re really going there for Tetris, the other ones are just fluff. But whether we get points for that or not, that’s a question. Let’s do the calculation based on…we did around 70 million as a box product. 70 million as a box product and then we did another 70 million at downloads and mobile phones.

Andrew: Wow. And it’s available at…

Interviewee: And when we get to online, how do you calculate that because we do probably a couple hundred thousand daily unique and…
Interviewee: And it gets, I don’t know how you calculate, how you even calculate that.

Andrew: It’s available on calculators too and all other kinds of devices that you never would expect to play games on.

Interviewee: (inaudible). So I ordered and I have a giant spreadsheet with all screens in the world, you know. All I want to know is LCD screens, whatever the screens are, I want to know where in the world they are and I want to know how many tetras’, what is our penetration on that particular screen. So how many screens are we on and basically I told him go and get us on our expected penetration rate on that device.

Andrew: So if you see that there are new flat screen TVs out there, you’re sitting there thinking how do we get tetras in those devices?

Interviewee: Yes.

Andrew: Wow. When I get my new…

Interviewee: (inaudible)…

Andrew: When I get my new iPhone, you’re wondering how can we get more penetration into Andrew’s iPhone so that he can play even there?

Interviewee: Yeah, and it’s very interesting. You know, you talk about an iPhone and that’s a very interesting one because we worked on the interface, the iPhone interface, and now bunches, so one of these guys is out there and they have touch screens but they don’t work nearly as well as the iPhone’s touch screen. So you do click (static) the whole iPhone interface doesn’t work on the other devices. So we have to reinvent the device. It’s goofy, but it’s interesting. It keeps it interesting.

Andrew: All right. So let’s go back in time to before you were the guy behind Tetras to when you were living in Japan at the time I understand. What were you doing in Japan?

Interviewee: I played Dungeon and Dragons in college. You wanted to know about Japan, right?

Andrew: Yep.

Interviewee: So we had an organization in college called ARRGH, A-R-R-G-H which is the sound of I guess a monster or any way ARRGH stands for the Alternative Recreational Reality Group of Hawaii.

Andrew: Okay.

Interviewee: Okay. And what we did do is we played board games, we played Dungeon and Dragons, that kind of stuff and my major in university was computer science. So six years later I’m in Japan, I’ve already chased a girl to Japan, we’re married, I have three kids and personal computers happen. So here I get access to a personal computer and I say, you know, I could build a game for this thing not knowing anything about anything. So (inaudible) got myself a personal computer and I started working, and I started to make a role playing game because that’s what I liked to do in college. And we are talking about cassette tapes based. It’s 1983 now and we’re talking about a country where nobody knows what a role playing game is so those are two little, I would say interesting problems. So I had to make an introductory role playing game for people that have never played role playing games before, and I had to fit it into something like 56k because the system took some space. Can you imagine? So, I mean, gosh it must be some of your listeners must be from that age. There was a couple of games back then on the Apple 2E and one was Ultima and one was Wizardry and so Ultima was sort of a top down kind of game or a top scroll, and then Wizardry had a little (inaudible) 3D that you could walk through and like turn corners and so it was a little 3D. Of course, I mean we had no real compute power back then. So but anyway that game was the No. 1 game in Japan in 1984 so I struck it rich so to speak, and I had gone to Soft Bank (spelling) to ask them for advice on choosing a publisher and Soft Bank said to me back then, and back then Soft Bank was 50 people doing their (inaudible). What they do is they go to other trick shops and they change the little boxes on the shelves or add boxes to shelves, and now of course they’re a huge, huge venture capital firm whatever. But anyway back then they were tiny and they said, you know what, just do it yourself, you don’t actually need a publisher, your wife will answer the phone and all you’ve got to do is (inaudible) programming and we’ll send you the money. And I said oh, no…
Interviewee: Okay. Of course that was, that was so far from the truth it’s ridiculous. But I don’t think I would have started this business without, without not knowing what I was getting into. So…

Andrew: So when you say you struck it rich, that you, that you had a hit with that first game, you just wrote it yourself, and you… Well how did you make it into such a big success?

Interviewee: Well first of all, what can I say? You know I, I love programming, so I think I, I think I did an amazing… looking back on it, I really think I did an amazing job of fitting a huge object into a tiny little box, and keeping it interesting. And you know I, I had planned to do you know this big of a game but I could only fit that much into that 56K. But I divided that 56K into little bits and pieces fairly effectively so that I didn’t give any part of the game more attention than it deserved. I listened to my test players, you know as they played, to whether it was too easy or too hard or you know interesting here or “what’s going on?” and I adjusted the game. So you know we had an intense test play period before we released the product.

And then Christmas came and Softbank had promised they would buy three thousand copies, and then they came and they, they ordered six hundred. So I thought “Oh my God we’ve completely failed”. And I’d blown my miniscule advertising budget because I, the amount of money we had to start the whole company with was fifty thousand dollars, which is kind of cute. And I’d blown, I don’t know, some significant amount of that on my first ads which were (content?) of the magazines. But nobody knew what the hell a role playing game was! So the first month we got one phone call, and said “Oh you’ve got to put screen shots of this thing!”. And so I put some screen shots in there. And then the next month we get three phone calls, so we were, we were dead meat. Anyway come January I said we, okay we got to make it you know. And this is the, this is the entrepreneur coming through… Oh my gosh… yeah that’s okay. This is my entrepreneur coming through I said we’ve got to make this work somehow, and so I decided to go to every computer game magazine at the time and, and show them how to play my game. And so I, you know I went to every magazine, created them characters, got them started on the game and, and so on. You know because I could understand, they didn’t know what the hell this game was, and so, so why should they be interested, and if they didn’t know how to play, and so on and so forth. Well every magazine came out in March with rave reviews about the game. This is about the time I was running out of money. And, and so in May we had, sorry in April we had like ten thousand orders. It was, it just went crazy, and we were, you know, we were consistently the number one game after that.

Andrew: So you just walked into their offices and you said “I’ve got this game. Can I teach it to you?”

Interviewee: Yeah. Well, I didn’t just walk in, you know I, I make appointments. I didn’t just walk in. Because you walk in and you don’t know whether the guy you want to talk to is going to be there or not.

Andrew: And they were willing to listen because you had something novel.

Interviewee: But you know like, it’s really weird for a (???) to come and talk to you about a game that (???). And that’s already like, you know, a troll coming to visit your office or something so “Woah! What the hell, what the hell!” you know. And in general these people would have to go out to get stories, and here I’m, here I’m bringing them a story, so yeah, they were nice to me.

Andrew: Right and around the same time, there was a kid in the Soviet Union named Alexei Pagito? Pagitnov? Am I… how do you pronounce his name?

Interviewee: Alexei Pagitnov

Andrew: Pagitnov

Interviewee: He was not a kid, he was my age.

Andrew: Oh he was? About how old were you guys at the time?

Interviewee: Yeah, he, and he still is my age! What’s that? Sorry?

Andrew: How old were you guys at the time?

Interviewee: Okay, so I was 29 in, when I wrote Black Onyx, so when he invented Tetris, which is 1984, which is when I had my big hit in Japan, I was thirty and he was thirty. So we weren’t kids.

Andrew: Oh wow I didn’t know that. You know you always assume that it’s guys in their teens or early twenties who are building companies. Single, working on their own, eating nothing but ramen, but as I do these interview I see over and over it’s all age, it’s all walks of life, it’s all, it’s all over the place as far as married, kids, no, not necessarily people that live alone.

Interviewee: I had to have personal computers. I had to wait for the personal computers to appear before…
Andrew: So he was working on this back in the old Soviet Union and he just invented this, can you tell people the circumstances where he was building it and who owned it?

Interviewee: Yeah, the Soviet Union is kind of a crazy place at that point in time. The Soviet Union system itself doesn’t recognize intellectual property so if you create something basically it belongs to everybody. OK so, so where were we?

Andrew: That’s a good question, we were talking about.. let me go back into my notes here. We were talking about how at the time you and Alexi were 30 years old and what he was doing while you were creating your software. What was the name of your software you were building?

Interviewee: It was called the ‘Black Onyx’. The first hundred people that made it to the end of the game, I sent them actual Onyx.

Andrew: Oh wow there is marketing right there. So we are talking about how you went out and you sought reporters and you sat down and you showed them how to play your game and and you created accounts for them and now you are talking about how you sent a gem to the top players. While you were doing all that, what was Alexi doing?

Interviewee: Alexi was working for the Computer Center for the USSR at the time. He was a programmer basically doing Artificial Intelligence for them. He did Tetris in his spare time. Of course he used company computers because everything was owned by the company, at this point in time we didn’t even have the word personal computer because there was no personal property, there was just a computer. He was programming and he was changing from one piece of hardware to another piece of hardware and he needed to write a test program just to see if he understood the new language and what he was programming for was a machine called the ‘Electronic F60′ which is a copy of the ‘PDP11′ and if you go back far enough I actually worked on the PDP11 myself in the 70s so it’s a real dinosaur machine and it didn’t have any graphics, it barely had a monitor so the original version of Tetris was all text graphics. The block were made out of little square brackets.. like the square brackets instead of the round brackets on your keyboard, two those that made a block and so the whole thing was text. We had little dots on the screen to mark where the grid was. It was really really primitive. So that’s what he was doing in 1984.

Andrew: So his games spread throughout Russia as I understand it, right?

Interviewee: It spread throughout the etire.. what do you say, behind the iron curtain. There is a pretty interesting storing behind that because it kills productivity. Everywhere people were playing Tetris instead of working. It’s not like you are going to get fired. The country would have to pay you no matter what you did or what you didn’t do. So they kind of depended on the goodness of your heart to get work done. So you got a serious distraction like Tetris going on and it spreads and in those days the ways things spread was you would hand things through floppy disk. From floppy disk to floppy disk to floppy disk. So what happened was you would install Tetris. The Government decided that this was a threat to national security and they created a program to kill Tetris. The way that worked was you inoculated.. it’s like virus protection.. you inoculated your computer against Tetris and if it found Tetris on your computer it would erase Tetris and it would attempt to erase Tetris from any disk that is attached to that computer so that was the whole idea. It was funny how they treated it like.. maybe you know, there are a lot of people who play Tetris obsessively.
Andrew: So how did it go from being behind the Iron Curtain to getting in front of it? To getting out into the free world?

Interviewee: Well, okay. So originally, there’s a guy named Robert Stein who has a software company in Hungary, in Budapest. In fact, it’s right next door to Erno Rubric, his company. You know, the Rubic’s Cube? And he is doing development work for other companies in Budapest. And all of a sudden he noticed all of his programmers are playing Tetris. And he asked, ‘Well, so what is this thing?’ They said, ‘Well It’s this game, it came from Moscow. It’s Tetris.’ He noticed everybody was hooked to it and he decided this would be something. And so he…well, sort of living behind the Iron Curtain part way, living in Budapest which was still back behind the Iron Curtain back then, he decided that he would be able to take that program and license it around the world. Well, he licensed it to one company called Mirror Soft. Small detail about that is that he did it before he actually got the license himself. He figured, ‘Ah, those dumb Russians. They won’t be able to figure it out. They’re not going to sue me. They’re not going to come after me. It’s not going to be a big deal.’ I mean, I guess everybody who was there at that time, maybe except me, thought that Tetris wasn’t a big deal and it wasn’t going to last and by the time anybody cared about it it would be over. And so he licensed Tetris to Mirror Soft and Mirror Soft licensed Tetris to Spectrum Hollabide and Spectrum Hollabide licensed Tetris to me.

Andrew: And when did you first see Tetris?

Interviewee: Okay, so now there’s two competing stories. I got an email from somebody recently. One story is I was at — and I know this is true — I was at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Andrew: And this was 1988, right?

Interviewee: In 1988, January. And I was at the Spectrum Hollabide booth and there was Tetris. So I played and I went away and came back and played it again. I went away and came back and played it again. I was hooked. And I was, at that point, following my own gut feeling about what I liked and didn’t like. I was looking for games to bring back to Japan. And Tetris turned out to be one of those games. I guess the other story is that it was a Commodore 64 product. And a friend of mine was in the business. He was working for, I think, Actavision at the time. He was bringing Actavision games into Japan. He got the game but his Commodore 64 was broken for some reason so he gave me a bunch of games that included Tetris and said, ‘You go look at it.’ So I did.

Andrew: Yesterday when we talked, you told me about how you discovered Tetris for the first time. And then you started to tell me what your ideas were for it. That you were going to license it. And I think…Where were you going to bring it first? Was it just Japan or did you already have images of taking it all over the world?

Interviewee: No, back then I was a publisher in Japan. As I told you before, I started my own publishing company after creating a role playing game. And I switched from making games myself to traveling around the world, licensing games from various countries to bring to Japan. Because I thought that would be easier. And Tetris was one of those games. So my original intention was to publish Tetris on every hardware that I could get my hands on in Japan.

Andrew: So you already had images of taking it to every hardware out there but you were focusing just on Japan?

Interviewee: Right. That’s what my reach was back then.

Andrew: And what I read about Tetris was that there was, and you started talking about it yesterday, some fight over who owned it and where it was going to go. And it seemed like, in the early days, everyone who was interested n Tetris was thinking just computers. But you already were thinking things beyond the computer and maybe you didn’t imagine handheld devices being what they are today but you had an image of something beyond the desktop.

Interviewee: Sure. You know at the time, Gameboy was a new device. And so getting on Gameboy and being the most popular game on Gameboy back then and the game that appealed to everybody, not just little boys, that was a huge…I would say ‘win’ for me back then. And we were looking at PDA’s, like Apple Newton. There were that kind of devices that were appearing in Japan so I had those. I xxxxed Tetris for those machines as well.

Andrew: Okay. So how did you get the license from the Soviets, people who aren’t used to doing these kind of deals, to bring it back to Japan?

Interviewee: I got on a plane, basically. It was kind of goofy. I had an agent. I had hired the guy who ran Andromeda in Budapest to be my agent, and he basically put me off and put me off. It was like months. He said he was going to go to Moscow. I paid him a bunch of money and he was supposed to go and represent me and get those rights.

It was taking so long that I thought that something fishy was going on, and something fishy was going on. I didn’t know about the fishiness that was going on was that he hadn’t actually gotten any of the rights that he said he had gotten so far, and that’s what he was trying to sort out with the Russians.

Then, he was having a tough time because they didn’t actually like him. He went there and said, “You know what? I’m doing this. I can pay you a little bit of share or not. Come and sue me”. That kind of thing.

He had already figured out that they would never be able to reach outside the Soviet Union and come after him or something like that. They don’t recognize their legal system. So, he was trying to sort that out. Of course, he didn’t tell me that. I don’t know if he could or couldn’t. He didn’t tell me that.

Andrew: So, after months went by…

Interviewee: Something, I heard something that somebody else was dealing Tetris for Gameboy and that kind of freaked me out. I said, “Oh my God. He’s double dealing. That’s what’s going on. He’s been bullshitting with other people”. That’s what I thought. And I don’t know whether he was or whether he wasn’t.

But, anyway. I said, “I’m going to Moscow and sort this thing out myself”. Basically, I got a tourist visa and two days later I was on a plane to Moscow.

Andrew: And you went straight to the school where this was created?

Interviewee: Well, no, no. It’s very difficult to find at this point in time in Moscow. I got on a plane, landed there. I didn’t have any information on anybody and I don’t speak [inaudible] or anything Russian. So, I needed a friend. I thought I could find a friend at the Russian Go Association. There must be such a thing. There must be Go players. Go is a Japanese board game. I play it.

So, I tracked him down. It took me, gosh, a day and a half to track them down. I played Go with the third strongest Go player in the Soviet Union. That was pretty interesting. But, the sucker didn’t speak any English. So, I had a friend. But, he couldn’t be of no help.

But, I hired an interpreter. I figured that one out. I hired an interpreter, and she immediately found all – I mean, nobody at the hotel could help me. Nobody had any information on what I was looking for. I was looking for a [inaudible], or electronic Tetris which was at that time the ministry of exported and imported software.

It’s a funny thing because she wouldn’t go into the building with me because I was not invited. I was breaking all kinds of rules and walking through barriers and walls that people really perceive over there. But, you don’t just show up at a ministry and expect to talk to somebody. You have to be invited. And I don’t know how you get invited. But, you know what I’m saying. It’s sort of a cart before the horse kind of thing.

So, I walk in the door of this ministry and I said, “Look. I want to talk to somebody about Tetris”. This guy comes walking down the stairs and says, “Who are you?” I said, “My name is Frank Rogers. I’m the publisher of Tetris in Japan” and I showed him the box. He said, “For which machine is this?”, he asked me. I said, “It’s for the Nintendo. It’s a console”. He said, “We never licensed Tetris for console to anybody”.

And I, “Woah”. That’s a huge deal for me right there. I said, “Well, I’d like to talk to somebody about that, the whole thing because I’d like to do the proper business and I’d like to meet with somebody tomorrow”. I said tomorrow because I figured they needed to get the guys, the right guys, in the room and they probably wouldn’t be at the ministry when I showed up.

So, I was given that meeting the next day and that’s the meeting at which I met Alexi. They called in Alexi, probably a bunch of KGB guys in the room and they grilled me. I wasn’t supposed to be there. In fact, he got in trouble.

Andrew: Alexi did?

Interviewee: No, no, no. The old guy. That’s Mr. [inaudible]. Actually, he wasn’t old. He was my age. But, Soviet life wears you down a little bit more than
Interviewee: Then I guess Asian (inaudible), I don’t know. So Mr. Bellicoff (spelling) is the one who met me at the bottom of the stairs, and he took a lot of hit. I don’t know, how dare you invite somebody without asking us first. That was the KGB. I found out later that they recorded his conversations and so they investigated him as a result of all of this. You know, your report is inconsistent, you, ba, ba, ba, (inaudible). Hell, it’s just a little negotiation of a computer game for Christ’s sake. Get a life. So KGB was pretty hyper about all of this and we got through. That’s kind of how I did that.

Andrew: And so you were able to bring back the license to Japan?

Interviewee: To, well, at that time I was dealing, I was trying to a deal for Tetras for Gameboy for the world.

Andrew: I see. How much did it help you…

Interviewee: (inaudible).

Andrew: …you had Nintendo behind you?

Interviewee: Oh, it was huge. I mean it was the reason I got on the plane. If I didn’t have Nintendo behind me, you know, I’d be out there and I could say a bunch of things but, you know, they wouldn’t have the weight that they did when I said well, Nintendo’s behind me. Actually, did I mention, I’m not sure if I mentioned that I Nintendo, I might have mentioned, just said that I had a big company behind me or something like that. Could be.

Andrew: How did you get Nintendo to work with you?

Interviewee: That’s another story (tape skipped). So I’m (tape skipped) in Japan with a bunch of other companies and, you know, these are the who’s who of the big computer game companies today, Square, Enex (spelling), the top two companies. And we show up with Nintendo, five of us, five presidents and five companies show up at Nintendo and basically we said to them, we’d like to become a Nintendo publishers. And at that time Nintendo controlled who did what. You had to buy cartridges from them. They set the terms and conditions between us and distributor. I mean it’s something that you can’t do in this country. It’s totally monopolistic, but they controlled the whole food chain of Nintendo games and they said, No. 2 came out, Mr. Yamochi (spelling), you guys don’t know anything about how to make console games so the answer is no. That’s so ridiculous. It was so ridiculous. I mean, it’s like we collected, we probably made them way more money than anybody else at the end of the day and they were just blowing us off, you know. So we were kind of going back to our respective, you know, a bunch of us lived in Tokyo so we were in the chain, kind of thinking what, you know, the hell, blah, blah, blah. And my wife read in a magazine article that Mr. Yamochi (spelling) plays Go, a Japanese board game and I had at that time got my hands on a Go game, a 9 by 9 which is like a baby Go. It’s like chess on a 5 by 5 or something like for the Commodore 64 and that. Anybody know Commodore 64? That’s an old machine from the old days. While the CPU on the Commodore 64 is a 6502 which is the same CPU as the Nintendo 8 bit, and so I knew that the algorithm would translate bit for bit from the Commodore to the Nintendo machine. We would just have to change the IO, everything to do with button presses, everything to do with graphics or music and so I had a, you know, a little team of programmers that could do that. So I sent Mr. Yamochi a fax. This is Tuesday. I sent him a fax, Mr. Yamochi, my name is Hank Rogers, I can make a Go game for your Nintendo machine. I’m leaving for the US on Saturday. I would like to see you and talk about it. Would you see me” And the next day I got a fax back. I mean it’s like man, you know. It takes people years to get to see Mr. Yamochi, but the fax said Mr. Yamochi will see you tomorrow.

Andrew: Just because of his passion for Go?

Interviewee: Well, I don’t know what his, or his curiosity about a (inaudible) or what, I don’t know. It might have been a combination of things. So any way, this is my first in Japanese. I decided not to bring an interpreter ’cause interpreters have failed me up till then. I want to make sure nothing got lost in the translation even though my Japanese is crap, I’m still going to do this in Japanese. Any way, so there I am in the room with Mr. Yamochi and he looks at me and he says, well, I can’t give you any programmers and I said, well, I don’t need any programmers, I have programmers. What I need is money. I need money and so then he looked at me and said, well, how much money…
Interviewee: …thinking of the biggest number I could possibly think of. And I said, ‘$300,000.’ And he looked at me and he said, ‘Deal.’ And he reached across the table and shook my hand. I said, ‘Oh my God! I should have asked for more money.’ That was way too easy. I found out later Yamochi makes all his decisions like that. Bam! Decide! Decide! Decide! He knows what’s going on. But nine months later, I go home, it’s like, ‘Yeah!’ I contact the program. I don’t know him at all. I contact him, he’s in England, I said, ‘You’ve got to come to Japan. I got a deal for you. We could put your game on the Nintendo machine, you could make some money.’ So I convinced him to come to Japan. And I teamed him up with a couple little hotshots that could do the graphics and all that and we made a game. It was cute. It had flying xxxxstones and little ninjas running around, little helpers and so on. It was a cute game. So nine months later, having done the whole thing, I’m back in Mr. Yamochi’s office. And Mr. Yamochi is now going to test this game and he takes the controller. And it’s obvious that he’s never held a controller in his hand before. Ever. You know what I’m saying? He doesn’t know which button does what. He’s trying to control it. And finally he got a little frustrated and he handed the controller to the guy next to him, one of his underlings, and he pointed, ‘I want to go there. I want to go there.’ How he played the game, right? So he plays one game; he kicks the computer’s ass. I mean, he’s a six degree black belt in Go. This guy is as good as amateurs get and after beating the computer he says, ‘It’s not strong enough for Nintendo.’ And I’m going, ‘What does that mean? What does that mean? Does that mean you want your money back? Or what does it mean?’ Mr. Yamochi, ‘This is the strongest Go programming that will ever appear on your machine. The machine is only 8-bit machine. It’s not very strong machine and Go is a very complicated problem. It’s the most complicated problem in artificial…blah, blah, blah. I went through this little sales pitch. He said again, ‘It’s not strong enough.’ Like I didn’t hear him the first time. ‘It’s not strong enough for Nintendo.’ Then I did some quick thinking. I said, ‘It’s strong enough for my company.’ At the time my company was Bulletproof Software. And… hold on. Somebody’s at the door. Who can it be?

Andrew: Where are we today, by the way?

Interviewee: We’re in my apartment in Honolulu. In fact, I can walk out here and you can see…

Andrew: Yeah, this is great. Through Skype we’re getting to see your life. So he was telling you that it’s not strong enough.

Interviewee: So I did some quick thinking and I said, ‘Well, you know what, it’s strong enough for my company, Bulletproof Software. So why don’t you let me publish it?’ And he looked at me and said, ‘Well what about the money?’ I mean can you imagine? I mean, $300,000 is such a small drop in his bucket. But he thought about that and I said, ‘I will pay you’ — and again, I did some fast negotiating — ‘I will pay you a dollar’. I mean all these are dollar equivalents. ‘I will pay you a dollar for every copy that I sell until I’ve paid you back your $300,000.’ And he reached across the table and he said, ‘Deal.’ So I’m going, ‘Oh yeah! I just became a Nintendo publisher!’ This is after Nintendo blew all of us off, I had just found a way into the door. Because when Mr. Yamochi says something, that’s what happens. So the rest of it all’s formality. His underlings are in the room and he’s just told me that I could publish this game which means that I’m a Nintendo publisher, right? Cool.

Andrew: And a great deal for you too, right? He’s paying for your software and you only have to pay him back if you make money on it. Only a dollar per. Or the equivalent of a dollar per. That’s a great deal for you, isn’t it?

Interviewee: Yeah. It’s a great deal. In fact, I only sold 150,000 units so he never quite got his money back.

Andrew: So he paid for your software and he made profit on it but it started a relationship.

Interviewee: That’s right, that started that relationship. I have great relationship with Nintendo all the way. You know, we would…I was the only one in the entire industry that plays Go for Christ’s sake. Can you imagine that? The game industry, nobody plays Go.
Interviewee: the most amazing game ever, blah, blah, blah.

Andrew: Why don’t they play Go if they’re all in the gaming industry? Did it seem too basic and old-fashioned?

Interviewee: Well, yeah. That’s one way of looking at it. It’s kind of [inaudible] in culture. And so, when you play Go, they don’t think of it as playing. It’s much more serious than that. You know what I’m saying? Games, you play games, and you have fun and it’s something that you do to waste time. But, there’s nothing wasting time about Go. It is a very serious thing.

So, I would say a little too serious and that’s the problem why young people don’t play Go. That’s the reason. Go players come from an age where there were no video games. But, if you had video games, why would you play Go? Go actually, you have to study and you have to sit, and you have to do all kinds of things and you have to behave.

And these are all kinds of things that kids are not very good at. So Go is just not in my generation. It’s just not very popular, the video game generation. So, nobody plays Go.

So, I would set up my meetings with Mr. Yamouchi for a day when he is open in the afternoon. I would have my meeting and we would play Go afterwards. And then, when we play Go, all of his underlings disappear. It’s just the two of us in this big conference room with the Go board. So, we’d play Go and he gets to find out what’s really going on out there because he can ask me and I’ll just tell him straight. I’m not there to, how can I say, bow down to the Emperor or that kind of thing.

You know, there’s ways of talking in Japan. You talk up to a person or you talk equal, or talk down depending on your status and your relative static status. So, I didn’t know the difference about how to speak, up or down. I could just barely speak. So, my speak was a mismatch of up, and down and across. But, it was basically across. I never felt that I needed to talk up to him, and that was another thing that I think was unnerving for everyone else around there and I got away with it. So, by me getting away with it, I guess, meant something to everybody, including to him, I guess.

Andrew: So, you had this one game with him. You go into CES, you discovered Tetris and you decide you’re going to take it back to Nintendo and say, “I’ve got the next game that we’ll work together on”.

Interviewee: Not exactly. I go to CES, and I find Tetris and I’m the one who’s going to publish Tetris everywhere. That’s the mode I was in. I wasn’t going to give something to Nintendo for them to publish.

But, the Gameboy thing. That was a different thing because they’re talking about huge numbers, more than I could possibly sell worldwide. If I could get them to publish Tetris for Gameboy. It’s always the maker who can sell the most of any game on any platform. I mean the maker of the hardware because they have the distribution.

Andrew: I see. I was trying to see, then. I was trying to find a question there to figure out what the next step was. So, maybe I could leave it like that. What was the next step, then, in the progress. How do you go from seeing it to going in with that box that you took into the Soviet Union?

Interviewee: This is a long story. There’s a lot of different hoops. This is the day of the faxes. I tracked down all of the people in the copyright notice on the box. I’m faxing them saying [inaudible] licensing, and I’m getting some reply. Finally, six months into it somebody comes to Japan and we talk with him.

Andrew: I see. You know what I’m seeing here in my notes? I keep taking notes as we talk here. It’s just endless persistence. You create a game. People aren’t crazy for it. You go into the magazines and you show them the game one-on-one. You decide that you’re going to make the game. You can’t get in to see Nintendo. You find a way through the back door.

Through persistence, you decide that you’re going to fax in. You’re going to go in and talk to them one-on-one. Just over and over, this endless persistence and it’s really encouraging to see that. I don’t see that in a lot of my interviews. I think people afraid to show their determination or to show their ambition.

Interviewee: Yeah, behind every entrepreneur, there’s somebody who has some crazy persistence because, you know, if I look back at my career and I look at all of the chances I had to bail and say, you know what, it’s not working out, I’ll think I’ll go back and teach English. I mean there is like, those opportunities are everywhere. Society is telling you, you know what, you really shouldn’t be doing this. You should be, you should have a job with an income, you know, blah, blah, blah. And somebody out there says no, that’s not the way it works for me, you know, I’m not having a job and buying life insurance and providing my family by dying some day. That’s not how it’s working. I’m going to, you know, do whatever it is that I do and it’s gonna make me a pile of money and then I’ll go out and make another pile of money if I have to. But persistence, yeah, I guess, I don’t know whether that, I just hate losing, you know. That’s, I just can’t stand losing and the feeling of losing is a lot worse than failing in my word so I work. You know, I’m not saying I never failed but, you know, when you fail you say, oh, well I learned that from that and you go on, get up and do it again, you know. That’s how it goes. But that’s the way entrepreneurs are I would say. You’re saying other entrepreneurs are not like that?

Andrew: I think…

Interviewee: That got to all be like that.

Andrew: I think that they are like that, but they are afraid to talk about it. They’re afraid to say that I wanted it. Instead they say, they give the PR story sometimes.

Interviewee: Oh, I see.

Andrew: Yeah. You know, there’s something else that I was thinking. Earlier today I talked to a young entrepreneur who suffered a setback in business, and he was, he was saying that he’s afraid to exude confidence now because he doesn’t want to come off like a fraud. That in his head he’s feeling like he hasn’t achieved anything and where does he, or he suffered a big setback, where does he get off telling people that they should keep on working with him. Where does he get off motivating his people and telling people that his product is great. And that made me think of your experience with Black Onick (spelling) where people weren’t buying any, but you still were able to be confident about it and walk into those magazines and say, I’ve got this great game, you should see it, let me set you up. How with such a big setback do you overcome that feeling of failure enough to sell with confidence?

Interviewee: Well, I didn’t think I’d failed. That’s part of it. You know, I, maybe my advertising had failed, but I knew I had a great game. I’d seen people play it and I’d seen people react to it so I knew in my heart of hearts that I had created something that people wanted, and that it was just a matter of time.

Andrew: But doesn’t everyone…

Interviewee: (inaudible)…

Andrew: …think that what they created is great? You know, every little thing that we write, every little thing that we, I once had a drum and I would just keep banging. I can tell that I’m banging out of tune, but I loved the way that it sounded and I couldn’t stop myself from banging. I couldn’t stop myself even though it was out of rhythm. Don’t you look back and say in those moments when things aren’t going well, you say maybe I’m just like everyone else with things that thinks that what they created is great. Maybe the world is telling me that I’m wrong.

Interviewee: Well, you’ve got to, you have to find a way to, how can I say, do a sort of independent test. You know, you can’t just delude yourself…

Andrew: I see.

Interviewee: …in thinking that you’re great. You’ve got to have a way of finding out that you are in fact are in good, and it’s not that people that are just trying to brown smoke or whatever. I am in, that’s the thing that gets hard and that’s what I think about Mr. Yamochi (spelling), you know, the emperor. He’s up there in the top of his castle and basically everybody tells him what he wants to hear. I mean, you would like get fired if you told him something he didn’t want to hear and I met people like that, too. So under those conditions how the hell do you know whether your idea is working or not, I mean everybody says sure, it’s working boss, you know, whatever, right, great, you know. But you got to be smart enough to be able to see the world through other people’s eyes…

Andrew: So how did you know that that first game worked? What was your test with Black Onick (spelling)? You talked a little bit about it yesterday when you said that you played it for people or you let people play it and you got feedback. Was that it?

Interviewee: It’s hard for me to remember. I thought I created the greatest game and I tested it and I balanced it and, you know, the different people. I put it right in between the…
Interviewee: The crowd of people I had playing it to make sure it wasn’t too easy or too hard. I plowed through the entire game and balancing it. It was probably the best balance games I’ve ever created. Well, I haven’t created that many games, but it was a gargantuan effort to squeeze into a very short time and I was extremely confident. Nobody was going to tell me that, Ha, Ha, my game wasn’t as good or better than any of those other Japanese games. You know what I mean?

Andrew: I have one more philosophical question and then we’ll get back into the story. If you could have a great game or a great confidence, which do you think is better?

Interviewee: Wow. You know it’s a great game, absolutely because you could have all the confidence in the… And that’s the problem. You’ve got people with crappy games and they have a lot of confidence in them and they throw a gazillion dollars of advertising money at that game.

A game, if it’s, it’s what killed Atari. Atari bought the rights to do ET and they made a crap game, but because they were Atari, they owned blah-blah-blah, they were going to sell six million units. We can’t sell six million units of this crap game, it doesn’t work. And, so as a result, they flooded the market with all this inventory and a bunch of advertising and the game flopped and the market had to sort of absorb five million copies of this stupid game that nobody wanted to play. And it tanked, not only their own “not that game” but every other game because every other game had to compete with the game that was being dumped at a quarter of its retail price or whatever. It just tanked the entire market and that whole entire platform died as a result.

And it’s the reason that Nintendo always played such close attention to how many units there are on the market. I mean they control the market to make sure that doesn’t happen to their market.

Andrew: OK, yesterday you told me that you talked about the longevity of Tetris. How does one game, a very basic game, survive for as long as it has, especially with so many advanced games with advanced graphics coming out?

Interviewee: Yes, so how does golf survive? How does baseball survive? They’re fairly rudimentary games. If you look at them, they were obviously invented over one hundred years ago by people who had nothing better to do and yet they survived even in today’s world. So makes them survive? Is it new technology? Maybe some. New clubs make me want to play more golf. You know I hit the ball farther and straighter and so on and so forth.

So what we do for Tetris, we have what we call a guideline and what we do is we set the bar and all of our licensees has to meet or beat the bar in order to get approved. And then each year, we raise the bar a little bit. So we add new… By looking at all the licensees and all of the things that we thought about that we’ve tested, we add little things that are… that we think are improvements to Tetris. And it’s equivalent to power windows and automatic transmissions and braking and that kind of stuff.

These are things that show up not only in our games but show up in other people’s games and we say, “You know what, that’s got to be included in everyone of our games going forward.” And so by raising the bar, we are not in danger of ever becoming a classic game. People sometimes say, “It’s a classic game.” What’s the definition of a classic game? Well, it’s a game that people used to play in the old days, but don’t play anymore. Well, Tetris is not a classic game because Tetris is played more today than any time in history. You could say baseball is a classic game, but you don’t think of it as a classic game. You think about it like it’s a game that ‘s being played right now, or golf, whatever. So by making sure that it never becomes a classic, we keep it in the middle of the market. That’s one way of doing it.

Andrew: But just improving the game every year. So if you would’ve had PacMan, for instance, how would you have kept PacMan current? That’s a game that is considered a classic.

Interviewee: Oh, gosh, yeah. You’re putting me on the spot here. The behavior of the little PacMan, for example, it could become more interesting. The behavior of those little Pac guys, those little ghosts and so on, they have no personality. They have… I should say, their personality is frozen in time since 1982, whenever the game was invented. It could’ve gotten a little bit more interesting. They could’ve said…
Interviewee: something when they died, or they could become comical, they could have four different top personalities. You’re having me thinking on the spot here. But, that’s the kind of thing that you have to think about.

If you leave it out there if you have a dozen licensees and they’re all trying different things, those kinds of things come out naturally because, game designers, that’s what they do. We have licensees, they always come up, “Can I try this? Can I try that?” Sure, you can try that. Try it and then we’ll see, and if it’s really good, then it becomes part of the standard.

Andrew: I see. So, you allow them to come up with their own ideas and experiment in their versions. Then, whatever works you bring back home to the mother ship.

Interviewee: Yeah.

Andrew: What ideas have come out of that? What’s new.

Interview: Out of that, the hold piece. When you don’t like the piece that’s [inaudible] to the place, you have no place to put it, you can push a button and it’ll hold it for you in a little box off the side of the screen. Then, when you push that button again, it’ll switch the falling piece with the one that’s in the hold piece.

So, if you get, for example, the long piece and you want to make a Tetris. But, you’re not set up, put it in the hold and then continue building. Then, when you’ve got the thing set up, then you pull that long piece back. So, that was something that was invented by a licensee.

Andrew: One more question about Tetris and then I want to move on to life now, and be fair with your time and not take up much more. 1996, I think, the rights to the game reverted back to the Russian state. No, from the state to Alexi, right?

Interviewee: To Alexi, yeah.

Andrew: Then, from what I see, that’s when the Tetris Company, LLC. Are you an owner of that, and Tetris LLC owns Tetris?

Interviewee: Yes. So, what happened is at that time, we were sort of the [inaudible] and I had our hands at each others throats saying, “Tetris is mine. I got it now”. They’re saying that Alexi never had any rights because he was a Soviet citizen, blah, blah, blah.

And I’m saying, “This is a human being. He has all the rights. He created the damn game”. So, I was ready to give them 20, they were ready to give me 20%. That was sort of where we were.

But finally, we came through. We negotiated and it became a 50/50 deal. So, I created the Tetris Company. My company, which is based in Hawaii, called Blue Planet Software, is a 50% owner and the other owner, at that time, was ELORG which was the survivor of the ministry. In other words, the ministry goes private. How the hell does that happen? I don’t know. But, that’s what happened. A bunch of guys said, “We own it”. It’s no longer a ministry. OK. Right.

So, that worked for, I don’t know, I couple of years. Seven years, something like that. Then, it fell apart. They got greedy and we’re back in court, or preparing to go to court again about who really has the rights. I then found a bunch of people who leant me the money to buy them out and I bought them out.

So, I found a new company called Tetris Holding, put the money in that company and Alexi put his rights that he had in that company. So, Tetris Holding is the place where all of the rights to Tetris live. That, Tetris Holding, bought ELORG.

Andrew: I see.

Interviewee: So, we bought ELORG. So, within that company now, we have all the rights to Tetris. ELORG never had any rights, but they had the registration in like 60 different countries which would’ve taken us forever to litigate our way through. A much, much cheaper way was just to buy them out.

Andrew: OK. So, the owners now are, is it you and Alexi own a few shares and then your investors own also?

Interviewee: No, no, no.

Andrew: They leant you the money?

Interviewee: I paid them back. They leant them the money. I paid them intentionally.

Andrew: So, what’s life like for you now? We saw a little about your two places in Hawaii.

Interviewee: Right now, I spend four days in Honolulu and three days on the big island. My four days in Honolulu, three days in the office. So, I limited myself to three days in the office. I have four companies that I’m intimately involved with. Blue Planet which is the company that takes care of Tetris. Tetris Online which is a company that does casual games in the online space. Right now, we’re only doing Tetris because that’s where the money is.
Interviewee: Mr. Arakauwa (spelling) who used to run Nintendo USA runs that company. He came out of retirement, he was retired on Maui playing golf, and I convinced him to come out of retirement. He loves being in the driver’s seat so he runs that company. And then No. 3 is Blue Lava Technology and we make a little application. It was personally something I needed myself, something that I could use to tag my photos because I got a gazillion pictures, and I need a way to get them back in my life. What it does is it makes the tagging bit into a little game and it’s still, tagging even without facial recognition, is still better than the, we have facial detection, without facial recognition, it’s still faster than the eye photo with facial recognition. Ultimately, you know, the eye photo is not sure whether that person is that person. You have to click on that person and in that instant where you’re looking at, you just recognize that person. So we are like the master at facial recognitions, I mean humans are and we do it so much better than computers do, it’s just ridiculous. So why take pleasure center away. So anyway that, and it makes slide shows and intended or, I shouldn’t say slide shows. The word is photo feed or, yeah, it’s a photo feed. It’s like what we do with Twitter except we’re doing with pictures so you end up getting not only your pictures, but other people’s pictures that are relevant to you into a photo feed and you can have one of those digital picture frames or you can have your mobile phone or you can have your TV set turn on any channel that you want and, you know, your kids channel or whatever it is. Then the last one is, the fourth company is called Avatar Reality. Avatar Reality is a virtual world. It’s something like Second Life, but done right. And that group is mostly the leftovers of Square. Square was in Hawaii and they made a movie and a couple of games here. And so they had the great technology, the breakthrough technology to make that movie. Well, we’re using that breakthrough technology real-time now because computers can do this and so we’re at an order of magnitude polygons and people and everything. And then we sort of protect people’s IP. That’s the other big difference. So people create an object in our world until it’s somebody else, there’s only ones who can do that or they are the ones who have that copyright, and so that means brands can come into our world and not worry about everybody ripping them off.

Andrew: And what do you do with the other four days of the week?

Interviewee: Yeah, so then Saturday I play golf with my buddies at (inaudible) Life Country Club and then at the ranch, I have horses. When I was 7 years old somebody asked me what are you going to be when you grow up, and I said cowboy. So now I’m learning how to ride horses because it’s one of the things that I said I was going to do when I was a kid. But I’m almost completed my workshop there, and it’s a workshop considerably like a Mick Buster’s kind of workshop and so we’re going to be building things there. What we’re, we’re not about, busting myths but what we want to do is validate people who have some technology that can help us store solar or wind energy. Why (unsure of) has a lot of intermittent renewable energy, but the problem is storage so that is the thing that we have to, I just want to try them all and see what, you know, what the deal is. Apples to apples. You know, figure out how much energy it takes to store energy in disk format. How much, you know, what percentage you get back at the end of the day.

Andrew: I see.

Interviewee: And keep track and our first project for example is comparing solar panels so we have a better bank of all these different companies’ solar panels. We put them side by side under the exact same conditions and we test them on a second by second basis to see what’s going on, and then we monitor things like clouds going over and see what effect it has, can you believe that nobody’s done this?

Andrew: No.

Interviewee: This data doesn’t even exist. I can’t believe it. I mean this is a multi-billion dollar industry and the simplest thing of putting them side by side and seeing what’s what, nobody’s done that.

Andrew: Where are you going to report this stuff? Are you gonna share the information?

Interviewee: Yeah. I mean it’s basically, the information is not for me. It’s to make those guys better, you know what I’m saying. If somebody comes out and say, okay, well this guy is giving you 22 percent and this one is giving you 25 percent, it’s like miles per gallon. When you report that stuff…
Interviewee: Öall of the sudden the engineers that need to ______ oh crap, we have to do better on that test until they start improving their technology.

Andrew: Kind that like JD Power or Consumer Reports.

Interviewee: Yes something like that, something like that. So, the other thing that I haven’t told you about is that I have a foundation to end the use of carbon based fuel. It is called Blue Planet Foundation and our first stop is Hawaii to end the use of carbon based fuel in Hawaii you rather get people out of gas powered cars and into electric cars. You got — we import $6 billion of oil every year. And this is like 1.2 million people?! That’s crazy, that’s insane. How about like instead of sending $6 billion let’s send $5 billion out there and keep it billion here and use it to built infrastructure for, you know, smart grid or whatever? It is that kind of stuff that it seems so obvious and so simple and yet it is like pulling teeth getting it done? So we work with the politicians, with legislature, with public utilities commission, with Hawaiian Electric Company and all these differentÖand we educate people, so hopefully we can get this island or these islands off the grid.

Andrew: And onto what, what you replace them with.

Interviewee: Renewable indigenous forms of energy.

Andrew: Like what?

Interviewee: We have all the geothermal you could possible need. There is enough of it on the big island to feed all of Hawaii. Native resistant to tapping into Pelle is what prevents us from building a cable and connecting that to O’ahu. That is kind of crazy right? It is kind of crazy. Then, there is ocean thermal energy conversion, that is you drop a pipe down to the cold part of the ocean and you use the difference in the warm part and the cold part like a reverse refrigerator. So you pump a liquid through the warm and it becomes a gas and it runs a turbine and then you pump it back down to the cold and it becomes a liquid, so you have a little cycle and it is called rankine cycle

Andrew: And that is the kind of thing you want to test. You are going to see how much electricity comes from that kind of process.

Interviewee: Well, that has been tested and that is multi-million dollar process. That is just politics at that point. But then for the other one, the one’s I’ve just mentioned is our base loads, which means that they produce energy 24/7. In other words they do not on and off. The solar energy goes on and off. If the sun is there, then it’s not and wind energy goes on and off , ëcause the wind’s there and then it is not. So, for those kinds of energy, you have to store it so that it can be, you know you can tap the storage when the wind dies down or when it is night time. And so that is the other side of the equation that needs to be explored a little bit more.

Andrew: And again relentless persistence. Now you are going up against politics, against indigenous beliefs and you are going up against a lot here.

Interviewee: Yeah.

Andrew: What is yourÖ.

Interviewee: And I am not going to stop until I am done.

Andrew: What is your advice to entrepreneurs? People who are looking at you, who are looking your accomplishments, who are saying I am just as hungry??

Interviewee: Never give up,

Andrew: Yeah.

Interviewee: That is the whole way of doing it, you know. It is like what good is life if you can’t do the things you really want to do? And the worst thing, here is the worst thing, is you started something and you started working one and somehow the idea leaks out and somebody else does it. Oh. When that happens to you, you’ll be burned. And so, to prevent that from happening, you gotta get some mark with your product quicker than somebody else who happens to find it, you know. There are a lot of people out there, there are a lot of jackals that will come and have your lunch for you and you know, so if you look at the way Apple innovates, and they keep everything is secret. You talk to them, you can’t wear your company shirt when you go to visit them because they don’t want to know that you are in conversation with them because somebody else Up North is going to take that idea and act on it, so their only advantage is that they are a couple of years ahead, so that we can know that everything else is going to get copied.

Andrew: I see! Alright well, thank you for spending all this time with me. We have now spent at lease two hours on the phone and I am really grateful to you and I am grateful to everyone who has been watching us live here. Thank you.

Interviewee: Alright.

Andrew: Thank you. It is great meeting you and I hope to meet you in person some time.

Interviewee: Alright , take care.

Andrew: Thanks.

Interviewee: Bye now.

Interviewee: Aloha.

Andrew: Aloha. Bye everyone.

Interviewee: Bye bye.
16.mp3

Andrew: And there it is. What a great interview, what a great guy for me to get to know. At
some point I would love to fly to Hawaii and get to know him in person. In fact, I would love
to fly around the country, and maybe even around the world, and talk to every entrepreneur that
I’ve ever done an interview with, in person. I wish I had that kind of time. I’d love to do it.
Maybe this is the kind of thing that some body who’s leaving college will be inspired to go and
do. Go travel the world and talk to every entrepreneur that I’ve ever interviewed here on Mixergy
and just get to know them in person. I think that you can learn a lot from getting to know them
in person. It sounds like a really fun trip too. If I was just leaving college right now, I would be
doing that.

All right. So, as always, give me your feedback. What did you think? How did we piece this
thing together? This was a monster to piece together. Lots of individual pieces. What did you
think of the way that it sounded? What did you think of the way that it looked, if you saw it on
video? Give me feedback, also, on the ideas. Did I get to the point? Did I get to the ideas that
you can actually use? Did I get to the ideas that will resonate with you, that will come back to
you?

When I said in the beginning of the interview, that the thing that I really admire about Hank is that
attitude of, we have to find a way to make it work somehow. I keep looking back at my notes,
where I wrote that quote down during the interview. Is that something that will really resonate
with you? Can you picture yourself in a moment where things aren’t working out, saying to
yourself, no way, I have to find a way to make this work somehow. I remember Hank going
into the Soviet Union, I remember him doing all this other stuff. I can make it work also.

All right. Second thing is, I’ll link you over to Hank. I’d like for you to at least, if you’re not going
to fly around the world, and get to know the entrepreneurs that I’m interviewing here, I’d like you
to at least get to know their web sites. And I’ll link you over to his site. Finally, what else is there?
Lots of other interviews on mixergy.com with entrepreneurs like Hank, who take time out of their
day to teach you, so that you can go out there and leave your mark on the world.

All right. So. There it is. Thank you for watching. I am Andrew and I’ll see you in the comments.