When I was a kid, I always wondered what people did in those big office buildings.
How did they learn how to do those jobs, whatever they were? How did they get those jobs? What do they wear?
I knew what teachers did, since I went to school, and doctors, police officers and firefighters, but what did people in offices DO?
After I graduated from a very good university with a business degree I knew what accountants did, engineers, actuaries, but there was a huge amount I still did not know.
I try to respond to every request to speak at schools. Even if I can’t make it personally, I’ll get someone from our company to attend, because I totally get those kids who have no idea what people on the 12th Floor of 4th & Wilshire are doing
If you’re a teacher or a parent, what can I teach YOUR kids? Unquestionably, you know more about teaching them than I do.
Here are three things students who are exposed to our company learn that I guarantee you increase their odds of becoming a successful entrepreneur.
1. We compare our first drafts with other people’s finished products
Every time I speak to a class, I ask how many people play games on their computer, phone or game console. Nearly all the hands go up. Then, I ask how many would like to MAKE games. At most, one or two brave souls will leave their hands up and their classmates immediately start laughing at them, asking why they think they are smart enough.
We welcome classrooms to use our games even at the very earliest alpha, pre-release level. I want students to SEE the progress made over a year as we release updates and each iteration is better. Guided by a good teacher, this experience allows young people to see that their own ideas can turn into something amazing, given enough time and effort.
2. Done is better than perfect
This is a particularly necessary lesson for some of the perfectionists. Putting your work out there is a risk. One way to avoid that risk is to continue revising your product, until you run out of money, or to put off starting a company until you “know enough”. Sometimes, it’s good to see other people’s less than perfect work to realize that no, they didn’t die, the company didn’t fold, no one laughed at them. The most important lesson of all – People criticized them and it wasn’t a BAD thing! We welcome criticism and we learn from it, because that lets us know how we can do better.
3. Most of the jobs that exist, you probably never imagined
I mean that literally. Most students probably never even gave a thought to many of the jobs in a gaming company, or most jobs outside of the dozen or so with which they’ve had personal experience. With audio, art, code and the business side of the business, whether your skills are in math, writing, music or social, we’ve got a job for you.
So, this school year, invite us in – on Skype, as a pilot school for our beta tests, or to drop by in person. Oh, another thing, unless you’re paying me big bucks, I’m coming in jeans and Reeboks because that’s what I wear to work. That’s a topic for another day, though.