Throwback Thursday – Judo and Start-ups: I could write a book

Going through our archives, we came across this great post by Dr. AnnMaria De Mars, found in her Business/Judo blog, from February 11, 2015 “Judo and Start-ups: I could write a book” that we wanted to share in case you missed it the first time around.

I just came up with the name of my non-existent reality show: Start-up Judo

(An acquaintance of ours noted that reality shows about little people are popular, e.g., The Little Couple and suggested that since both Julia and I are pretty short we could have a show called “Little Start-up”. Said acquaintance made sure to convey the suggestion through text message and safely out of punching range. Hmph.)

The longer I work on 7 Generation Games, the more it becomes clear to me how much judo and start-ups have in common. There is a reason this blog is titled The Business/Judo of Life.

(This blog has a title? Really? Yes. It does.)

Here, in random order, are some lessons I have learned from judo that have helped me greatly.

  • Progress happens in tiny steps. Whether it is doing the same technique 100 times or making another two-minute video that plays in the game, it’s unlikely that you will see a massive improvement in a single day, or even a week.
  • Small steps add up. Eventually, you WILL beat that person you had never been able to defeat, your game will run without crashing.
  • Perseverance matters more than anything. You can have all of the talent in the world, the best team in the world and train like a beast, but if you don’t keep it up for the long haul, you’ll never make it.
  • A good team around you matters, but they don’t have to look like every other team. I trained with a lot of guys in their forties at the Naval Training Center. They’d each take 15 falls for me and then I’d go on to the next one. I’d get in hundreds of throws a night. Our team at 7 Generation Games doesn’t look like Electronic Arts, but we get the job done.
  • Failure often sets you up for later success. I can think of matches that I lost that made me determined never to lose that way again. We’ve tried certain game designs, development environments, that didn’t work. Was it a waste of time? No, because we learned from it and the subsequent work was faster and better.


You exercise your muscles, why not exercise your brain?

Speaking of better, our new game, Fish Lake, is out. Don’t remember how to find 1/8 x 1/4  ? Is that 1/2 or 1/32 or 972?

I know a lot of people donate our games to schools and that is super-appreciated, but I’d also suggest that you download it and play it yourself. It’s only $9.99 (yes, less than $10).  It’s fun. And you’ll get smarter.

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