Jordan Weisman - Warning startups maybe dangerous to your health (and ego)

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  • What do these words have in common. There both French. But they also have the same dictionary definition. There is a link here – after all think of all the French military victories. I know your thinking Napoleon, but he was from Corsica. How about the French Foreign Legion you say? Clever I say. The French Foreign Legion is populated by the dregs of society, murderers, cut-throats and thieves – which takes us back to Entrepreneurs.
  • Someone stupid enough to throw themselves off a cliff on the BELIEF that they can invent wings before they hit the ground. Let’s call this poor soul Icuras.
  • So lets say Icuras beats the odds and invents wings in time
  • But that’s only the start of his journey – in his HUBRIS he flies to high (burns cash to fast) and his wings melt – plummeting him to the ground.
  • It doesn’t often happen, but sometimes you fail at failing and you SOAR, and that is a high that is highly addictive.
  • What do we call someone who sees things or people that don’t exist . . . we call them CRAZY.
  • Confidence men, originally meant that thief would gain the confidence of the mark in order to steal their money. In this context we mean someone that is so supremely confident in their vision and their ability to create that vision that others invest their money or throw away perfectly good careers in order to help bring this thing into the world.
  • Confidence men, originally meant that thief would gain the confidence of the mark in order to steal their money. In this context we mean someone that is so supremely confident in their vision and their ability to create that vision that others invest their money or throw away perfectly good careers in order to help bring this thing into the world.
  • Confidence men, originally meant that thief would gain the confidence of the mark in order to steal their money. In this context we mean someone that is so supremely confident in their vision and their ability to create that vision that others invest their money or throw away perfectly good careers in order to help bring this thing into the world.
  • Creating games and game companies requires you to be TOTALLY in LOVE with what you are creating and the team that you are creating it with. It also requires complete support from you family as it will become a totally absorbing activity and they are going to suffer some because of it. Without support on the home-front your doomed
  • Cautionary Tales
  • What do we call someone who sees things or people that don’t exist . . . we call them CRAZY.
  • Worlds first networked games Worlds first publicly available 3D environment Built cheap and designed to be operated by as few as one employee
  • We kept reinventing the wheel – never satisfied with what we had created.
  • Worlds first networked games Worlds first publicly available 3D environment Built cheap and designed to be operated by as few as one employee
  • Worlds first networked games Worlds first publicly available 3D environment Built cheap and designed to be operated by as few as one employee
  • Nolan Bushnell pottery example

Transcript

  • 1. SURGEON GENERAL’S WARNING: The following speech contains;gross oversimplifications, unverified correlations, nonsensicalassumptions, illogical conclusions, and downright stupid stuff.Historical performance not indicative of future performance – youractual mileage will vary. None of the claims made in this speechhave been verified by the Federal Food and Drug Administration.Produced in a facility that hires and retains nuts. Jordan WeismanWARNING: STARTUPS MAY BE DANGEROUS TO YOUR 1
  • 2. Entrepreneur Restaurateur Dictionary Definition: Likely to FAIL.WARNING: STARTUPS MAY BE DANGEROUS TO YOUR 2
  • 3. EntrepreneurWARNING: STARTUPS MAY BE DANGEROUS TO YOUR 3
  • 4. Entrepreneur ( Icarus )WARNING: STARTUPS MAY BE DANGEROUS TO YOUR 4
  • 5. WARNING: STARTUPS MAY BE DANGEROUS TO YOUR 5
  • 6. WARNING: STARTUPS MAY BE DANGEROUS TO YOUR 6
  • 7. WARNING: STARTUPS MAY BE DANGEROUS TO YOUR 7
  • 8. WARNING: STARTUPS MAY BE DANGEROUS TO YOUR 8
  • 9. WARNING: STARTUPS MAY BE DANGEROUS TO YOUR 9
  • 10. ICARUS’ JOURNEY 1. Vision 2. Leadership 3. Funding 4. Creation 5. Hubris 6. FailureWARNING: STARTUPS MAY BE DANGEROUS TO YOUR 10
  • 11. VISION • Perceiving something via the eyes • Seeing something that doesn’t exist • Seeing something that doesn’t exist BUT should existWARNING: STARTUPS MAY BE DANGEROUS TO YOUR 11
  • 12. LEADERSHIP You must convince others to BELIEVE in something that doesn’t exist. CON MENWARNING: STARTUPS MAY BE DANGEROUS TO YOUR 12
  • 13. FUNDING • The Rumpelstiltskin equation  Straw + Labor = Gold  Alchemy • The transformation of common materials into precious metals (i.e. weaving straw into gold) • Sources of Funding – Friends & Family – Angel – Venture – Crowd FundingWARNING: STARTUPS MAY BE DANGEROUS TO YOUR 13
  • 14. CROWDFUNDING INSPIRE them with your vision. ILLUSTRATE that vision for them. PROVE that you can realize that vision. MARKET the KS Campaign. People will only “invest” in your idea AFTER YOU have invested in it.WARNING: STARTUPS MAY BE DANGEROUS TO YOUR 14
  • 15. COSTS of CROWDFUNDING• Website’s share & credit card processing – Figure on a combined 10% off the top• COGs AND Picking, Packing, & Shipping – Figure on 15% to 20% – On the higher side for smaller campaigns• Community management – During the funding campaign AND Throughout the development period!• Early adopter audience has already “bought” – Your best costumers will produce 0 revenue at launchWARNING: STARTUPS MAY BE DANGEROUS TO YOUR 15
  • 16. CREATION To create games and game companies requires:  Talent  Time  Money  Human SacrificeGiving BIRTH to something is:MESSY and PAINFUL Just ask your MotherWARNING: STARTUPS MAY BE DANGEROUS TO YOUR 16
  • 17. HUBRIS • Hubris – Excessive pride or self confidence THE MECH & THE MOUSEWARNING: STARTUPS MAY BE DANGEROUS TO YOUR 17
  • 18. THE MECH & THE MOUSE  1980 Founded FASA Corporation  1987 Founded Virtual World Entertainment  1989 Opened BattleTech Center in Chicago 1978 U.S. Merchant  1992 Tim Disney Marine Academy buys a majority of VWEWARNING: STARTUPS MAY BE DANGEROUS TO YOUR 18
  • 19. THE MECH & THE MOUSE Cheap to buildCheap to operateWARNING: STARTUPS MAY BE DANGEROUS TO YOUR 19
  • 20. THE MECH & THE MOUSEWARNING: STARTUPS MAY BE DANGEROUS TO YOUR 20
  • 21. THE MECH & THE MOUSE Expensive to build Expensive to operateWARNING: STARTUPS MAY BE DANGEROUS TO YOUR 21
  • 22. THE MECH & THE MOUSE Morale of the Story: 1.Don’t let early success go to your head 2.Don’t believe your own hype 3.Track data and rely on it - not on your “gut” or emotionsWARNING: STARTUPS MAY BE DANGEROUS TO YOUR 22
  • 23. FAILURE It Sucks !WARNING: STARTUPS MAY BE DANGEROUS TO YOUR 23
  • 24. A team’s ability to FAIL is thebest predictor of it’s eventual SUCCESS.WARNING: STARTUPS MAY BE DANGEROUS TO YOUR 24
  • 25. SUCCESS & FEAR A Tale of Turkey and ClixWARNING: STARTUPS MAY BE DANGEROUS TO YOUR 25
  • 26. Turkey & ClixWARNING: STARTUPS MAY BE DANGEROUS TO YOUR 26
  • 27. Turkey & Clix What Kids Want: Barriers to Entry: • For Kids• Cheap cool looking figures • Having to Superglue and paint• Big armies • Figures are expensive• Figures don’t break easily • Games take forever to play• Fast playing • Figures break easily• Rules they can understand • Rulebooks are huge • For Retailers • Takes up too much space • Low marginsWARNING: STARTUPS MAY BE DANGEROUS TO YOUR 27
  • 28. Turkey & Clix Low cost, Prepainted, Preassembed figures Gameplay: Retailers: Fast playing Small footprint Short Rules High margins No in-game Organizedtables or charts play Tooling usage and amortizationWARNING: STARTUPS MAY BE DANGEROUS TO YOUR 28
  • 29. Turkey & Clix  FASA Passed – too risky  Started Wizkids  Wizkids grows quickly  Wizkids buys FASA  Topps Inc buys WizkidsWARNING: STARTUPS MAY BE DANGEROUS TO YOUR 29
  • 30. Turkey & Clix2 years later . . .New productconceptWizkids team hadbecome riskadverseWARNING: STARTUPS MAY BE DANGEROUS TO YOUR 30
  • 31. Turkey & Clix WHY ?  No personal financial risk  Low corporate financial risk  No distribution risk Fear of Failure !  3 Hit lines in a row  Wizkids was “Golden Boy”  Any Failure would be Very PublicWARNING: STARTUPS MAY BE DANGEROUS TO YOUR 31
  • 32. Who would you rather be? 23% 77% Source: World Renowned statistician Jerry SeinfeldWARNING: STARTUPS MAY BE DANGEROUS TO YOUR 32
  • 33. 5 years Length of Development3 years1 year6 months We now develop products3 months LIVE & IN PUBLIC WARNING: STARTUPS MAY BE DANGEROUS TO YOUR 33
  • 34. WHY do I LOVE Start-Ups? • Start-Ups have Less of everything: – Less resources – Less access to talent – Less access to capital – Less bureaucracy – Less competing agendas • Start-Up’s Superpower are that . . . –They are expected to FAIL!WARNING: STARTUPS MAY BE DANGEROUS TO YOUR 34
  • 35. Thank You Jordan WeismanWARNING: STARTUPS MAY BE DANGEROUS TO YOUR 35