Ilkka Paananen, CEO of Supercell, a Finnish gaming company, aims to be the world’s least powerful CEO by giving more power to the developers. Supercell’s unique approach involves small independent teams, or ‘cells’, that have complete autonomy over their projects. This method, Paananen believes, fosters creativity and innovation, and is the driving force behind the company’s success.

Supercell, known for creating some of the most successful mobile games, including Clash of Clans and Hay Day, operates on a ‘fail fast’ principle. The company is not afraid to kill off projects that aren’t working, enabling them to learn quickly from their mistakes and move forward. Paananen claims that this approach has contributed to the company’s rapid growth and profitability.

In 2013, Supercell sold a 51% stake to Japan’s SoftBank and GungHo, valuing the company at $3 billion. Despite this, Paananen insists that the company will continue to operate independently, maintaining its unique culture and approach. He also emphasises the importance of hiring the right people, stating that Supercell seeks out passionate individuals who are better than themselves in their field.

Paananen’s ultimate goal is to make Supercell an enduring global institution that continues to create games people will play for decades. He believes that the key to achieving this is to keep the focus on the people, the culture, and the games, rather than on the company’s financial success.

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