Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Evaluator / Game Indstry Jobs

I've talked shop with dozens of startups in Israel, and researched thousands of companies, and I've begun to see myself as a bit of an evaluator.

Everyone thinks they're idea is the next cool thing. The next Monopoly. The next Youtube. Business plans now begin with the ultimate goal of selling the company for $1.5 billion dollars to Google.

In truth, the overwhelming majority of what I see is incremental. Good products, but only layers in the groundwork necessary for someone else to make it big. That doesn't mean that a good product can't have a successful story. It just means that a lot of people are bound to be disappointed when they don't turn into Youtube.

If you're only willing to talk to people who "drink the Kool-Aid", you're never going to find this our. You have to hear and accept critical impressions.

Better products don't spiral into public consciousness. Social paradigm breakers do. If your product isn't a social paradigm breaker which can spread without any involvement from you, it's not going viral.

I think you need a business plan that doesn't involve "being bought out for lots of money". How about one about making good products or providing a service that people need, being easy to deal with, being adaptable, and providing income for your employees. Gold-rush mentality is for suckers.

As far as my own abilities to evaluate, I'm still not 100% sure that they're entirely accurate, so I'm not about to start selling myself this way.

Game Industry Jobs

Working full time for a company has slowed down my personal Web 2.0 research, so I'm late in my next post of Web 2.0 jobs. In the meantime, I just posted 3500+ Game Industry jobs for your pleasure, instead.


1 comment:

Gavin Schmitt said...

I definitely don't think this short sightedness is new. The dream of selling your great idea for big money has been around for at least as long as investors...

I remember the first company I worked for having this battle constantly. They had a great idea (a level of connective addver-gaming still not fully realized even today), and they had many of the tools to put together a prototype and run the beginning of the project, but the 'dreamers' wanted to build the foundation only as much as was needed to sell it to investment capitol. The doers and realists wanted to make the product with what they had, run it even if it were small, and if someone wanted to buy it if/when it got successful all the better.

I don't even think this is an issue of leadership refusing criticism. In 4Play's case, the group was very willing to refine the ideas over time with consumer and industry feed back. The issue was patience (the lack of it), and the willingness to make the thing, for the thing itself, and not just for the dream of dollars and cents.