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Disrupting the Game summary

Reggie Fils-Aimé

From the Bronx to the Top of Nintendo

4.4 (183 ratings)
19 mins

What is Disrupting the Game about?

Disrupting the Game (2022) tells the inspiring story of Reggie Fils-Aimé’s unlikely rise to the top of the video game industry – charting his journey from growing up as a kid in the Bronx to becoming president and COO of Nintendo of America. Along the way, it shares the lessons he learned about leadership and charting a career path.

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    Disrupting the Game
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    Unlikely Beginnings.

    Some executives are born with silver spoons in their mouths. Reggie Fils-Aimé wasn’t one of them.

    His parents were Haitian immigrants, and he spent the first eight years of his life in the early 1960s growing up in a rough neighborhood in the Bronx. His family lived in a one-bedroom, fifth-floor walk-up apartment in a roach-infested tenement building. It was the kind of building where, one time, a man was stabbed on the top of the roof and smeared a trail of blood down the stairs as he stumbled to the street. Another time, Reggie and his brother got robbed by some teenagers on their way to buy candy at a nearby bodega.

    His family was eager to get out – so his father worked two jobs, six days a week. By the late 1960s, when Reggie was eight, the family had saved up enough money to move out of the Bronx into a small house in Brentwood – a much safer town on Long Island. For Reggie, it was an early lesson in working hard and making the most of available opportunities to get ahead in life.

    Moving to Brentwood was a huge step up for the family, but they were still a lower-middle-class household. And now, they were also the only black family in the surrounding neighborhood. At the time, the town was mostly white. Some of his classmates picked on Reggie because of his race.

    But Reggie was used to standing up for himself. Meanwhile, he applied himself to his studies and did well at school – well enough to eventually get accepted to Cornell University, an Ivy League institution in Ithaca, New York.

    With a combination of hard work, academic merit, and taking advantage of the opportunities as they came up, Reggie was able to attend the university’s undergraduate business programs. He financed his education with academic scholarships, including an air force ROTC scholarship, student loans, and part-time jobs.

    And, by the end of his studies, he discovered he enjoyed the analytical side of finance. This led him to pursue a career in the banking industry. He did an internship at a bank and had a whole plan worked out: graduate from Cornell, get a couple of years of work experience, earn an MBA, and then aim for the industry’s stratosphere.

    But then something unexpected happened in his final year of university – something that would radically change Reggie’s career trajectory.

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    About the Author

    Reggie Fils-Aimé is the former president and COO of Nintendo of America. Before his ascent to the top of the video game giant, he had a multi-decade career in sales and marketing, working with companies like Proctor & Gamble, Pizza Hut, and VH1.

    Who should read Disrupting the Game?

    • Leaders and professionals feeling stuck in the wrong roles
    • Business students and recent graduates
    • Anyone wanting inspiration to level up their career

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