Hi there! Last week I talked about what I do as a CEO for Triolith Entertainment and I also promised to share my tips and lessons to other people who aspire to become game company CEO’s one day! Let’s get to it!
One thing that I’m trying to change in my leadership style is to try to not bug my developers as much as I used to; often if I find some interesting news I want to tell them right away but this can often come at a bad time as they might have their heads buried in something much more important.
Solution: start writing a weekly email digest of the interesting news you have found and what you have been working on during the week. When I started this my guys loved it!
Also about emails: after checking your mail in the morning turn off your email client! If you don’t it’s very likely it will distract you from your other duties. Check your email an hour or so before leaving the office! I usually also come in a bit later than the other guys and might also leave a little bit early. Why am I doing this you ask? It might sound strange, but once I get home I don’t stop working most of the time; usually I place myself in front of the computer and talk to our contacts in the US or some other country. So even if I might not be at the office I am still working and I probably work a little longer hours than the rest of the guys as I more or less am always doing some kind of research. It could be reading a blog or researching a game or reading a book about entrepreneurship.
When it comes to books I got one great tip for you that is a must read! If you haven’t heard of Guy Kawasaki you should look him up and especially get a copy of his book ‘The art of the start’.
This book has given me a ton of new ideas and tips on how to do things and I really recommend this book and others by Guy Kawasaki!
Some of the best tips I have gotten from this book is to hire A+ people, in other words hire people that are better than you. His book also taught me a very good lesson in how to estimate our sales for our pitches to investors. When I started to write our business plan we did it this way (which is wrong!):
“The market has over 200 million smartphones, if we can get 0.05% of those and the revenue from each game is $0.7 a piece we would have a revenue of *insert very big number*…”
If you came to an investor and did your pitch that way nobody would believe you as it’s quite an unrealistic number. Instead, try to estimate a realistic number of how many would buy your product and calculate your revenue from this. For example let’s say we believe our next game will have 500 000 downloads. We know that about 10% of those will be daily active users. We also know the average revenue per user is 2-4 cents per day. So our revenue would be (using 2 cents) ~$1000 per day. This is a much easier number to understand and also much more likely.
Networking is one of my most important jobs as a CEO, in any business you need contacts and the more connections you have the better as it’s more likely a connection might know someone you might need in the company.
My first real experience with networking was at the Nordic Game Conference held in Malmö, Sweden earlier, last summer. It was a great experience and I met some really great and interesting people there. It did cost our company quite a lot as we had limited funds, but it was totally worth it.
So what does one actually do when networking? Well you socialize, talk about your business and other things and get to know people. Most often it takes place at some gathering with people of similar interests or businesses, such as games.
Now some people might be a bit scared of networking or talking to total strangers, but you shouldn’t be. You are there for the same reason and have similar interests, and everything doesn’t have to be about business things. Talk about what people are interested in unless you happen to have a specific business meeting.
One person I met at NGC was Kwasi Asare who’s the CEO of Fighter Interactive Inc. A friend of mine and his CEO was standing at the bar and talked and I ended up talking to them. Then my friend and his CEO had to leave and there I was all alone with this famous industry person I had NO idea about who he was. I stood there with my beer in my hand and, well, I had to say something so I just started talking from the top of my head. I no longer remember what we talked about but it so happened that we ended up hanging with each other and talked the entire evening and the NGC party. It was great fun and Kwasi is a great person and very friendly. I was a bit afraid what to talk about in the beginning, but hey, the beers helped!
The morning after I was happy that it was the last day of the convection, i.e no more meetings or social gatherings, because I was pretty hung over.
PROTIP: If you have a meeting the day after a party, do not drink too much! Going to a business meeting with a hangover shows disrespect for the others and I can promise you the meeting will quite likely be a bad one. Luckily I haven’t had that experience and never plan on having it.
Another thing about going to social gatherings and networking is what to wear. This is actually quite simple: if it’s a formal party or gathering, then it’s suit up time. Other than that I would suggest wear what you feel comfortable in, but please do wear clean and fresh clothes. Don’t wear a suit if you don’t feel comfortable in it as it will show. In other words don’t try to be someone you’re not.
So where else can one network? Well, you have Twitter, Facebook and for business people you have LinkedIn. On LinkedIn you have a vast network of possible connections and it’s quite simple to find them. Make a good profile and also put your company on LinkedIn. Then look through the groups that are available for your type of business and join in on the conversations. If you write in them and come with ideas and feedback people will start to notice you and look you up.
Also, share your experiences and talk about what you’re working on. There is no reason to hide what you’re doing, unless it’s some revolutionary new thing. If it’s a game you’re working on, talk about it, ask for feedback. When I started school I was so afraid that others would steal MY game idea, but everyone else have their pet game idea so they are not really interested in stealing yours, so talk about it. And even if someone would steal your idea in the end it would still not end up being the same game you had envisioned.
In the end, just get out there, go to conventions, parties and talk to people, share your experiences and be a nice person and people will notice you and you will get a vast network.
Before closing, I would also like to share the knowledge we’ve gathered so far in setting up and maintaining our company’s Facebook page. Since employing these strategies we’ve seen a significant rise in interaction and page likes (but we’re still in the small numbers). I think that learning how to operate your company’s Facebook page early will pay off later when you’ve made that super smash hit and people are flooding to your page!
First thing you need is your own company Facebook page. Set up a nice landing page. Create a nice logo to use.
The aim of your page should be to make it a resource for your fans. If it’s not a resource you will get a lot less interaction with it. To get your page to become a resource you should before posting anything consider if your post is of interest to our users? Also keep the post quite short, some 200 char’s maximum. And to get people to interact with the post ask them a question! For example if you post a link to some food ask your users what their favorite food is. And also you should always ask them to click the like button; this gives you a much higher probability to actually get them to click it.
A very good place to find information about all things Facebook is Wildfire Interactive and their blog; they also provide some great tools. Also like their Facebook page and you get their tips right in your Facebook feed!
In conclusion, if you’re serious about your business you need to use social media today and Facebook is the easiest, cheapest and fastest way to grow your brand. But, do it right or don’t do it at all: it’s a science to use it the right way and you have to learn how to do it.
Until next time!
PS. Tomorrow is Power Metal Friday and you need to be prepared, so here is our Triolith Power Metal Friday Spotify playlist!