The Answer to the Talent Shortage

Much has been made of the difficulty in attracting and retaining strong people in the social gaming industry; I have repeatedly heard the northern California region described as in an employment bubble. Despite the increasingly depressing unemployment numbers throughout the US, social game companies in northern California are finding it close to impossible to get good employees (even at outrageous salaries) in the Bay Area.

Rather than swim in an increasingly crowded pool, these companies should be looking abroad to grow. Continue reading “The Answer to the Talent Shortage”


One of the most effective elements of building an effective international social gaming operation is collaboration. Although collaboration is useful in all aspects of business, it takes on even greater importance in the international side. A proactive collaboration strategy can have a greater impact than a large marketing budget or superior product.

The reason collaboration is so important when launching social games internationally is that the number of stakeholders is dramatically higher. Continue reading “Collaboration”

Social Media Marketing Strategy

One thing that constantly perplexes me is how little social game companies leverage social media. Even though the games are obviously delivered on social networks and the internal game features leverage what makes social networks so powerful, outside of the product their social media marketing and product development strategy is usually light years behind old-school companies like Ford and GM. Yes, the game companies run social media ads. But if you look at their fan pages, Twitter streams and other social media elements, their efforts are normally very superficial. Continue reading “Social Media Marketing Strategy”

Inflation and Social Gaming

With inflation imminent or already in most major markets, the next question is “What must social game companies do to survive?” The answer: A lot more than they are currently doing. Continue reading “Inflation and Social Gaming”

Social Gaming and the European Debt Crisis

It is easy to focus on specific conditions for your company, your game, etc., when evaluating an international opportunity. With all the opportunities available and competing demands on people’s time, there can be a rush that leads to a misallocation of resources, poor revenue projections, or missed opportunities. It is very difficult to step back and look at the macro environment. Continue reading “Social Gaming and the European Debt Crisis”

Goal Setting for your International Strategy

I wanted to talk a little about the right way to set goals to grow your international business. Much of this discussion is applicable to virtually anything, so even if you are not responsible for international growth, hopefully you will find this discussion interesting.

Over the past few years, I have learned one of the most important things a leader does is set effective goals for his business and employees. These goals help decide which activities to pursue, where to allocate resources (especially time, our most limited resource) and how to measure performance. Without goals, businesses and people tend to flounder. Continue reading “Goal Setting for your International Strategy”

My Definition of Distance

As I have stated repeatedly, most members of the social gaming industry approach international markets in a tactical, if not knee jerk, manner. All whining aside, today I wanted to write about the first step in formulating strategies for specific regions. That step is to analyze each region using a distance framework (before anyone accuses me of plagiarism, I consider Pankaj Ghemawat the best international business strategist around and have adapted many of his methodologies). Continue reading “My Definition of Distance”

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