Investing In Games: Broad Or Deep?

Graphic title of the Endemic game show 1 vs 100

Suppose two studios approach you. Studio A has a strategy centered around making a big play on one game. It plans to take your investment and use it to make that game as best it can and find success. Studio B has a different idea. It plans to make many small games, build a platform and ecosystem between them and see which works. Then to accelerates what works to success. Which should you choose? Read More

The fundamental delusion at the heart of Ireland’s startup efforts.

There is a fundamental delusion in Ireland’s past and current efforts towards understanding how we can achieve global startup success.

At the basest level it has been understood that success in business can be achieved by training and fostering successful business people and expertise in sales, marketing and the core “serious” business disciplines etc. Technology has also recently been added to that list so if you can program your on the list.

The thinking is simple and goes like this. If we can train people to be great at business and the “serious” job of business great businesses will result.

This well trodden pathway to sure success in the market has always been the core underlying argument. Well once you get passed all the noise, egos, agendas and currently love affair with “Startups”, Web Summits and accelerators. These are all awesome and indeed welcome additions to the process but don’t change our thinking so are moot in this argument.

Not only is this “serious business by serious business people” thinking far too naive and unidimensional a basis to underpin a fundamental argument of such importance on. Our evidence shows it is a ‪#‎epicfailed‬ hypothesis. We have been trying to do this same thing for an always. It hasn’t worked and is looking increasingly like a fool’s errand.

We simply cannot build a global facing startup ecosystem or startup success orders of magnitude higher and more scalable and more well adopted by global audiences (which we need) than our current moderate levels of success by following the well trodden “serious business people build serious business success” of thinking.

I would argue that without artististic/design based startups/founders in equal measure to business based startups/founders we are always doomed to fail to build companies and products with global merit, appeal and scalability.

The current status quo of our digital, support and commercial support agencies, VCs and ecosystemic actors are undeniably and horrendously biased in their opinion that serious credibility on the global stage looks like their “pattern matched” desired outcomes and some retarded school yard like reflection of their own professional, environmental and educational makeup and journey.

They look around to their colleagues and ask we are the elite? So the people we need to support are people like us? right? Whats going wrong?

They maintain that success can only be achieved by creating “serious business” based businesses. It’s an nieve illusion and a very very dangerous fallacy of thought that will leave Ireland’s future well behind its necessary trajectory and not in front of it.

For once I would like to live in an Ireland where we lead fields and not simply copy someones elses idea 3 years after someone else has already done it?

No current administration or support agency has equality of business disciplines versus artistic or design disciplines therefore all they end up doing is trying to solve problems such as how should we succeed globally or what startups should we fund with the age old symmetrically biased “it looks like a nail and we are all hammers” lets hit it, followed usually by some reductive sports term like “out of the park” to signify they know how to “Speak Serious Business”

It would be nice to find other designers, artists and dare I say even scientists and entrepreneurs on the other side of the tables I am increasingly getting bored at.

I challenge every major government department, Venture Capital firm and startup ecosystem support agency to hire equally through the design and creative disciplines before it simply becomes too late to compete in the global arena with countries, startups and industries that fully and wholeheartedly recognise innovation, creativity and design are as much competitive advantages than sales, marketing and operations.

I am a “serious business person” but I am also a designer and consider myself an artist it would be nice to meet other grown ups with the privilege of being in jobs and positions to make a difference to consider that without the art of business we are doomed to keep failing to make Ireland a global powerhouse of new startup thinking.

Crowdfunding Aint The Bank

From the movie

We in the games trade like the crowdfunding avenue in so far as the money that it brings, but we still struggle to not hold our communities at one remove as we might investors. As a result we are often mistreating fans even when we don’t mean to. We need to get better at the skill of community. Read More

The Lesson Of Monument Valley

Monument-Valley-Forgotten-Shores

I’m fascinated by the reviews left by Monument Valley players after learning that new content was going to cost an extra $2. Why does something so apparently ordinary generate such resentment? Read More

What Is Journalism Anymore?

He's mad as hell...

With the increasing rise of YouTubers, movements like Gamergate and so on, questions about the role of journalism abound. Who’s a journalist? What does it even mean to be a “journalist” as opposed to something else? Does anyone really know anymore? Read More

Is Mobile Gaming The New Core Gaming?

gaming consoles mobile gaming

With mobile gaming revenue set to eclipse console next and year and PC by 2017, the question should be asked whether what we currently call “core” gaming really is any such thing any more. Or are mobile phone games the true inheritors of that mantle. Read More

Mobile Games Need Their Artists

Screen Shot 2014-10-26 at 4.50.58 PM

With mobile having relatively stabilized the question is what the next generation of games for the platform will look like, and how the industry needs a patron class of publisher to facilitate more creative games. Otherwise mobile may well stall. Read More

Why And How To Hire A Game Designer

Tom-on-WIB-Set-Promo-Pics-Small-Jun14-12-3

I am a game designer but I don’t envy the task of potential employers or partners in trying to find someone like me to hire. Game design is very difficult to assess from the outside, to understand what role you think it would play in your team and whether it would be a fit. Some thoughts on how to approach it. Read More