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GDC2011 10 lessons from 20 years as an entreprenuer

10 lessons from 20 years as an entrepreneur: a post-mortem
Don Daglow

Start with money stuff
Next strategy
How in the practicing of our craft we combine heart head courage and hope

Preparing to manage cash
When starting a team, when recruiting, when trying to get critical mass
Cash is king
Keep the nut small
Be nimble like Guerrillas in the hills, not in fortresses
No personal guarantees or second mortgages
Always be thinking - we are about to run out of cash, is this a good buy
Your life partner is more important than your company

Item 1
if it seems stupid but everyone else is spending that much...it may still be stupid

Thinking through the issues
The publishing equation
-Publishing equals the sum of:
-Financing, development, test, distribution, marketing

Item 2
It's better to have 10% of something than 90% of nothing
A partner at 10% is better than a wholesaler at 20%

Item 3
Decide, don't accept
Who's in charge? How will things be resolved?
Cubes or doors?
Exit strategy?  What are the victory conditions?
Who owns how much?
Salary or equity?

item 4
Culture matters
1st 10 will define the first 100, then 1000
"warm bodies" strategy leads to a cold grave - they just help a failing project fail faster

Item 5
If you think you need to change course within a year, change in 6 months
If you think you can't change, the truth is: you can't not change
Change hurts, radical change hurts more, but is sometimes necessary

Building great games

Item 6
You can build something you'll love and treasure as a player
You can build something some one else will love
20 years later on a street in Philadelphia...what can you do every day so that 20 years from now someone will say to you: you made that game, I loved it and....

Item 7
Strategies:
Show off technology
Pursue an audience
Don't chase opportunities

item 8
My friend was going to leave e&g to come work on the game but...
I couldn't get funding
No one will want to hear a pitch from someone like me
---translation---
I'm afraid of failing so I didn't start the game and blamed it on my friend
I'm afraid to ask for money
I'm afraid I'll be humiliated by publishers so I didn't pitch anything

Item 9
The legend of the dog that chased the car
And caught it
Be careful of what you're doing when you fully and totally commit

Dog chases car, car stops at stop sign, dog just barks, doesn't know what to do with it
Be careful what you want because you might just get it
Think about the 1 thing you are committed to? What would your team say?

Item 10
Do what you love

If you can't right now, think about what actions can I take to move me toward doing what I love?
Not necessarily doing it every minute of every day, but a single mindedness of what you love and pursuing that

--Tom Ogburn

posted on Sunday, March 06, 2011 11:41 AM by TOgburn

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