People who surround them with other people, and they embrace teamwork around shared beliefs, goals and measurements, create success.
Successful teams are made up of partners — people who can share each other’s minds, hear their ideas, and listen.
How to “break in” the team
New teams should get failures under their belt. Why is that?
I’ve seen many startup teams who are overly optimistic about their game. Optimism is a critical factor in entrepreneurship; without these positive thoughts about the future, it would be hard to be motivated and keep spirits high when faced with uncertainty.
Were the over-optimism comes into play is about being too excited about the game that they are making. That often blinds people. The fact is that you don’t know anything until you’ve market tested the product until you start getting some data.
The quicker the team can get to a situation where they need to kill their first game, the better they will align their optimism and motivations for the long term. They could say:
“Hey we don’t know which of our game ideas will be a success, but we can improve our odds by becoming smart and not loving our games too much.”
If several people in the team are going through the process of killing games, the more benefit will accumulate to the group, who will become a battle-hardened group.
Discipline, consistency, and long-term
Getting a team to work well is going to take time. That’s why teams who’ve worked together previously make up for great startup teams.
One of the key ingredients is discipline. To achieve discipline, I believe you have to take the following steps:
A: Define a company mission, which is “why your company exists? why does the gaming world need us?”
B: Together with the entire team, you converse all the aspects that relate to the mission.
C: Create a plan of action, define roles and responsibilities, and build a framework for accountability.
Once you have discipline, you can achieve the following:
Create objectives and define measurable results. Discuss the timeframes were you would be operating in.
When you have discipline, you can unshakably repeat: “Our mission is X, and it’s of the utmost importance. We will talk about every issue through the lens of achieving our mission. We will be disciplined about saying which things matter and which things don’t.”
When anything comes up, you can always as “How and why does that allow us to achieve our mission?” This way, you pick your battles and select the right ones.
Consistency creates results in the long-term. Running, operating, and growing a games company is about knowing when you need to turn the wheel to head down the right path.
In the long-term, the team will start inhibiting new abilities and ideas. These ideas won’t appear by themselves, but it’s an organic process in which highly skilled people breed ideas with other highly skilled people.”
The final point I want to make about building strong game teams is bringing people on board with high integrity.
Not only are they honest human beings, and having strong moral principles. But they listen to others and take in what they are saying.
They don’t need to respond or counter the other person on the spot, but they do the work on revealing information that can be useful. Eventually, it’s their time to talk, and the other people around the room, with high integrity, will listen.
More on teams and company building
Here’s what you should read next:
- “Start with Why” for gaming entrepreneurs
- How To Avoid Risks In A Gaming Startup
- 50 Principles for Gaming Startups