Disney Interactive’s news last week that it was reducing its team by about 700 employees, many of whom were originally Playdom employees, drives home the message of how important it to is to technology professionals to stay current and active. With the pace of change in technology and gaming, people who were very-sought-after out of college five years ago may find their skill sets are considered dated and that they have few comparable career opportunities. This situation highlights why it is crucial for anyone in the tech or gaming space to focus continually on upgrading their skill sets so they can compete with the next batch of graduates.
Smart is not enough
There are many very intelligent people in our space and you are deluding yourself if you think you will always have great opportunities because you are brilliant. Employers and start-ups looking to build their core management team have many options and once they discard the mediocre, they usually still have many options. Thus, it comes down to how closely your skill set fits with their needs.
The problem many run into is that a great skill when you started your career—or even a few years ago—may not match what the best companies are looking for. In 2005, you may have earned an MBA in Marketing from Harvard Business School or Northwestern’s Kellogg School and became a marketing super star in the game industry. In 2014, however, few exciting companies are hiring marketing rock stars but they are grabbing growth experts. Although you may feel it is a matter of semantics, the differences between growth and marketing (e.g., focus on performance and analytics, integration with design) are crucial to the companies that are hiring. Thus, you will find your great marketing resume is less valuable to the next WhatsApp than a Stanford dropout who knows native advertising.
Continue reading “Keeping current and staying valuable”
Veteran entrepreneur and investor Mark Suster recently blogged about how online video will disrupt the traditional television space and this evolution with online video will extend beyond television to disrupt many industries, including social media and games. Suster describes how the Harlem Shake video on YouTube started as a skit launched 20 January that generated about 10 million views, was then popularized into an Internet meme by text from an Australian team, and then Maker Studios turned it into a video that has generated more than 17 million views. What is exciting about Harlem Shake is that it has effectively been produced by tens of thousands of people, creating 50,000 versions viewed 200 million times.
Suster makes the point that Harlem Shake is an example of the disruptive potential of a world filled with millions of people who can create great content and now have the resources to do so. Continue reading “Disrupting video/television and its effect on all media including games”
I am not a big fan of end-of-year predictions, as they are usually not worth the bandwidth they take up; instead, I thought I would instead start the year by discussing two areas that I feel are the most exciting part of the tech space. These are already sectors that are experiencing strong growth and have generated a lot of attention from investors, but hopefully this post will help you see the opportunity and how it could impact your efforts.
Although Kickstarter and its reward-based crowd-funding has already found a solid position in the game space, crowd-funding will explode once non-accredited investors can actually obtain equity in companies. In the spring of 2012, President Obama passed an act that will drastically alter the landscape of crowd-funding platforms. Prior to this act, a small pool of existing crowd-funding sites were only permitted to operate on a reward or donation basis (e.g., Kickstarter), essentially offering a product, discount, or enticement in exchange for monetary funding. With the launch of the JOBS Act, the ability for the general public to receive company equity in exchange for funding is now a possibility. Continue reading “Two big trends in 2013”