Playing the Enterprise Game

I was recently reading about the Spanish explorers looking for El Dorado, heading for a place, which no one had come back from.  Also this week seeing NASA landing a one tonne vehicle on Mars, saying we will one day land a real person.  Both are achievements of amazing people.

Explorers were and are entrepreneurs.

The successful entrepreneurs understand the rules of the game (Being in favour with the King of Spain or maintaining USA government funding during an election year), play the game to the desired conclusion and manage the risk on their terms. Not much has changed in over 500 years.

However, today we can test our “entrepreneur game play” like no other has ever done. Learning through game play is well established and re-connecting the real-virtual world learning is important in this case. It is important when and what to learn in games.

When you start playing your latest xbox game, the first five or ten minutes are spent learning the rules, controls, physical aspects, tasks and goals of games. Once these are understood you proceed to managing the risks (bullets, baddies, obstacles..etc).

The management of risk is also well established for seasoned entrepreneurs and gamers. They have both tuned this to ensure a higher probability of success. In both cases, time is their only currency traded for a higher risk in their new venture.

Based on previous games, you may have a play strategy that will be continuously modified during the play. This is very much the the case with entrepreneurs. Their business plan will be a strategy or series of best-case scenarios which the entrepreneur will know works for them and their skill set (the same as the gamer). A series of personalized moves or short cuts which provides you the advantage on your opponent has always (since Rules of War) been one of the core tactics for success.

Once in the game/ business, the strategy and management of the risks will be altered in real time to ensure the current goals are achieved. You can never forecast when a surprise attack will occur and therefore you must always have enough ammunition and resources to overcome these random events. These tactics are often overlooked in start-up businesses, yet seasoned gamers and entrepreneurs understand them very well.

The partnering with other players is also an important aspect of today’s games (World of War Craft). Without this you cannot build greater resources and achieve higher rewards. Again this is a skill you will see with successful entrepreneurs, why do something that someone else is better at, find you core strength and maximize your rewards on this. So you find t-shirt businesses who don’t make, print and sometimes even retail their products. This is also the case when funding a business, investors are partners in your business.

The physical controls (keyboard, mouse, joystick, controllers) used and implemented in a game allow us to manage the game. In business these controllers can be just as simple, such as people skills, presentation and setting SMART goals.

Games have had their score board’s for years and forum to look and exchange comments.

The whiteboard is in everyone’s office, putting targets, status and issues in one place for everyone to see, discuss and develop solution is just the best business tool developed by the human race.

So the next time you sit down for the entire weekend to play your console, you are entirely justified in saying you are developing your entrepreneurial skills. Go and enjoy, cus ….

Gamers can be entrepreneurs too..