Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Starting a Startups = playing a Videogame

Bundlecamp is a startup about video games. Doing research for Bundlecamp, I noticed the similarities between startups and video games. The scientific explanation to playing a game as the voluntary attempt to overcome unnecessary obstacles. And many believe starting or working on a startup is like jumping off a cliff as you assemble an airplane on the way down. If you noticed both startups and video games from these quick analogues are about risk. Video games and startups are alike in four additional ways.

First, starting a game or a startup under most circumstances is a voluntary action. By volunteering for a challenge a person is giving meaning to the outcome.

Second failure is learning, when you play a level several times, you learn what not to do and what to do to beat that level. In a startup you will try several methods when solving a problem especially when you are trying to find a repeatable business model. Thomas Edison tried 10,000 attempts before creating the light bulb.

The third both good gamers and entrepreneurs are Masochistic. “In video games, we find tribulations we can conquer with practice, sweat and, sometimes, the aid of others. We invite their troubles because we are promised solutions. The tougher games are, the more exciting our success will be.” According to a New York Times article “In Masochistic Twist, the Faster You Die, the More Popular the Game” by Stephen Totilo. This echoes what is said when starting a business. “Starting a business is like being punched in the face.” This is because starting a business is painful. Passion drives you through.

The fourth we tend to glorify success. Look no further than articles on Techcrunch and Forbes. There are “inspirational” stories about entrepreneurs that beat the odds all over the place. In most games there is a win or lose outcome. If you win most of the time you receive something in the game a virtual good, electronic pat on the back or a high score but if you lose you will receive nothing. Games reward you on winning rarely on losing. In conclusion in both cases losing means you are gaining experience to win the next time you play a game or start a startup.

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