Energy?

I had a phone conversation with another startup CEO this afternoon that reminded me of the importance of energy and passion when we’re chasing a dream, especially in the the throes of the first half of the grunt work. I guess that I crunched a little too much over the weekend, and kind of ran out of steam…

As I bang on the various components that will (soon!) become the product line known as Terrorland, it was great to chat with somebody else in another company, in an entirely different line if business, and be reminded to focus on why I’m doing this, and be reminded that there’s no such thing as too much excitement!

Oorah!!

Thanks, Michel. =)

The kanban board is going up!

One of the things that we came to a decision about during our retrospective after sprint zero is that we’re happier with a highly visible workload management tool. During our between sprint planning, we’ve elected to adopt some of the kanban practices that I picked up during my time at Microsoft.

Having physical cards to move across the board helps to maintain the momentum cycle and makes it very easy to visually keep score. Both of which are very important, as we’ve come to accept that we’re in a marathon, not a sprint. No pun intended.

In the spirit of “pix or it didn’t happen”, I’ll be posting occasional pix of the board as soon as we have it hung, striped and loaded with work.

Amen, brother!

I’ve blogged about this before, but the closer we get to hiring team members, the more I am convinced that an approach similar to a mini-project is the right way to start…

I’ve known fabulous programmers flame out in the quizzing cage and terrible ones excel. So unless you’re specifically hiring someone to design you the next sorting algorithm, making them do so on the white board is a poor gauge of future success.

Why we don’t hire programmers based on puzzles, API quizzes, math riddles, or other parlor tricks – (37signals)

Combined with the advice in Dave Ramsey’s EntreLeadership, Tom DeMarco’s amazing body of work and many others too numerous to mention, I’m confident that we will be confident in our selection process for Game Creators.

Counting down the months!

I’ve never understood why…

I’ve heard stories in every royalty-driven business, but especially in the game industry, about management worries about paying “too big an amount” to royalty recipients. I’ve read stories about how this has alienated talent and destroyed “overnight success” studios. I’ve always found this to be baffling behavior on the part of the alleged management.

I’ve always rejected the lame excuses that pass for justification of changing the deal after the fact or trying to write such complex contract so as to insure that the very people who produce The Success™ don’t get “too much money” out of the deal. (I can’t imagine what “too much money” is myself. Heh.)

Seth’s succinctly makes the point that I’ve always felt emotionally, but could never articulate half so well.

We often hesitate to pay a portion of the upside to someone who is taking a risk, because we’re worried that perhaps, just perhaps, his risk will pay off and he’ll make a fortune…

Seth’s Blog: "But what if it works?"

Thanks explaining it, Seth. We already committed to doing it, but it’s nice to see another genius concur with our own thinking.

For the record, my personal goal is to help every single team member make a fortune. Every time we ship. Every time we help each other reach the end zone, the goal, the finish line.

I can’t promise team members and partners (we don’t have “employees” here) that we’ll make even one fortune, but we are damn sure going to have fun trying!!

I want everybody’s royalty checks to have more zeroes on the end than I can count. I can’t think of a better motivation for them to want to sign on for the next game and do it all again.