by Kenny Huang, CEO, BlueBat Games
· Summary: Be able to take on any role, take on projects to bring in cash, and remain persistent.
· Wear lots of hats. You have to be an engineer, designer, producer, and even the janitor.
· The first three people to hire are the CEO, CTO, and UX (someone who does art, UI, and usability testing).
· Pick your evil dictator at the start because dictatorship moves things a lot faster.
· Need to hire slow and fire fast. It’s important to build a really good team at the start.
· Need to bring in cash. If you’re really passionate about something and you’re not making money, then it’s a hobby, not a business.
o Do work-for-hire and take some contracts.
o Pitch and get fundraising, though this is a full-time job in itself. It’s especially tough in the games industry since it’s a hit-driven industry. Investors aren’t looking for a good project, they’re looking for a good company. You need to instill confidence in your investory, which may mean building out your portfolio beforehand.
o Get government grants or tax credits. There are less strings attached.
o Crowdfund using Kickstarter or IndieGoGo, but make sure it is project-based, not company-based.
· Learn financial statements, at least at the surface level.
· Don’t trust the statement: ”If you build it, they will come.” Almost in all cases, they will not come. You need to budget for post-launch and marketing.
· Use lean methodology. Build a MVP (minimal viable product), launch fast, test it, and iterate on it.
· Get lucky. When all else fails, listen to the wife and ask what she thinks (assuming she’s the casual audience).
· Remain persistent. BlueBat Games had 94 rejections before finally getting VC backing.
· Further reading – Get Lucky (Miller & Becker), Lean Analytics (Croll & Yoskovitz), Made to Stick (Heath & Heath), Financial Intelligence for Entrepeneurs (Berman, Knight, Case).