Make mistakes and innovate: How entrepreneurs can change the world


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The world needs more entrepreneurs! This presentation aims to encourage, inspire and assist young entrepreneurs in transforming their passions into businesses and changing the world in the process. It includes 6 tips to launch your own startup, illustrated by lessons learned from launching Playfish and other ventures. These slides accompanied a talk given at the Founder Institute and later at the Betagroup.

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Make mistakes and innovate: How entrepreneurs can change the world

  1. Make mistakes and innovate! Sebastien de Halleux – Playfish Co-Founder - VP of BD, EA interactive 1
  2. Belgian Civil Engineer Tech Entrepreneur Glu Mobile: nasdaq IPO ($337m) Playfish: sold to EA ($400m) 2
  3. Entrepreneurship journey Startup launch sequence Illustrated Playfish examples
  4. 2.5 years post launch 4
  5. Why launching matters World in crisis Create needs value innovation and jobs Make meaning Getting and live longer started is toughest Watch: Read: “The Art of the Start” – G Kawasaki 5
  6. startup launch sequence 6
  7. 6 Start with people: team and attitude Sami, our ninja CTO Meet: Betagroup  Connect: online interest groups (Ruby, Flash, J2EE, deviantArt) 7
  8. 5 Define your passion, choose a problem Act: team + pen & paper + lots of <your favourite drink> Outcome: state your selected problem as a vision
  9. People spend $50bn on video games today Why?
  10. Games generate emotions Joy Fear Wonder Achievement Frustration Greed Suspense Horror
  11. But what about social emotions? Love Friendship Pride Envy Anger
  12. Movies make people cry – Could games? 12
  13. What about people who matter to you? 13
  14. Change how the world plays games 14
  15. 4 Brainstorm transformative solutions aim to change the world, not just your town or your country Act: team + pen & paper + lots of <your favourite drink> Outcome: a series of potential solutions 15
  16. You + your friends = strong emotions 16
  17. Your friends are now accessible 17
  18. Games as social experiences with friends and family Cooperation Communication Friendship Competition Expression 18 Photo credit: jay1441
  19. 3 Filter your solutions down to ONE BIG IDEA Are you solving the problem you initially selected? Does anyone care (enough to use or to pay) ? Can it be built (by you or by someone else)? Would it scale (success x 1 billion) ? Why now? Any tectonic shifts? Outcome: one liner description of your idea 19
  20. Fun games for friends 20
  21. Using social design 21
  22. to reach 1 billion users access barriers Lower cost PS3 More social Xbox More immediate 360 More real Wii iPhone / mobile Free-to-play / online / social 0 10m 50m 100m 500m 1Bn audience
  23. monetizing via micro-transactions 23
  24. Scale is the new challenge game game social client server graph canvas Fast Secure Rest page CDN protocol API
  25. 25
  26. the cloud
  27. Blue Ocean check: Playfish Create Eliminate a new utility distribution costs Fun from playing with friends Design for viral distribution Reduce Raise development costs monetization ceiling Release early, run as service Micro-transactions & advertising 27
  28. “No battle plan ever survives contact with the ennemy” – von Moltke 2 Build don’t plan Forecasts are usually (dramatically) wrong Keep your plan short Prototyping is key to test your ideas Timebox your development Help others visualise your solution Planning: Building: must be able to hand prototype over to a test user 28
  29. Self-expression Collaboration Competition
  30. redder = smarter* 1 31 * Source: 500,000 datapoints from Playfish’s hit social game ‘Who Has The Biggest Brain?’ The game is available at
  31. 1 Make mistakes, and iterate Measure Nurture Evolve Think: what will your feedback loop consist of? Build: an offering capable of adapting quickly to feedback
  32. Product success = create hits +$$ time -$$ Success = F (P, Q) price quantity
  33. Service success = nurture hits +$$ time -$$ Success = F(α, β, γ) virality, engagement, monetization
  34. Monthly active users (millions) 50 40 30 12 months 20m 20 10 0 Dec-07 Jan-08 Feb-08 Mar-08 Apr-08 May-08 Jun-08 Jul-08 Aug-08 Sep-08 Oct-08 Nov-08 Dec-08
  35. 55m 20 months 50m Monthly active users (millions) 50 40 30 20 10 0 36
  36. 0 When traction, think BIG, think FAST Ensure cash is not a limiting factor Go global early – new growth model Hire the very best people you can afford Create constant feedback loops Change the world 37
  37. Playfish story Oct 2007 2008 Nov 2009 Playfish starts in UK Opened offices Acquired by EA $3m seed in US, China, Arctic for $400m 4 founders Raised $18m Created great games Dec 2007 Oct 2009 2010 Who Has the Biggest Brain? 12 live games FIFA & MADDEN 1st game released 200 million games distributed First billion $ franchises Sent to 100 friends 60 million monthly active users on Facebook High growth, high margin
  38. The global startup Tromsø London San Francisco Beijing 39
  39. Getting ready to launch 6 Start with a team and an attitude 5 Define your passion, chose your problem 4 Brainstorm transformative solutions 3 Filter your solutions down to ONE BIG IDEA 2 Build don’t plan 1 Make mistakes and iterate 0 When traction, think BIG, think FAST
  40. Thank you!