Chabudai Gaeshi

Sebastiaan de With:

I learned countless things at Apple, but the most important skill I acquired was the ability to simply take a set of extremely polished designs—sometimes designs I’d easily consider to be the best I’d made in my life—and throw them away, trash them entirely, and start over. It’s where truly great design is born. Since my time at Apple I’ve done this many, many times, and it has always resulted in incredible progress. You have to learn to kill your babies, mercilessly. They’re just pixels. You can do better.

It’s interesting that Nintendo does the same thing. At Nintendo, it even has a name; it’s called «Chabudai Gaeshi» («Upending The Tea Table»).

Nintendo is known for delaying the release of its games. This is largely due to the perfectionist tendency of Miyamoto who would go as far as scrapping the entire development if he did not find a game up to his standard.

For example:

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time was supposed to be released immediately after the release of the Nintendo 64. Instead, Miyamoto, who was the producer, repeatedly ordered the game to be redone, resulting in numerous announcements of delays by Nintendo until the game’s eventual release on 11/21/1998.

It’s painful, hard, and often time-consuming to restart when you’re already done, but you can’t argue with the results. Both Apple and Nintendo create some of the best, most inspired design out there.

Completely redoing Ocarina of Time again and again and again may have been tough. But today, that game is widely considered to be one of the best and most influential videogames ever created.

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