Jordan Weisman is a veteran game designer who made headlines this year for an epic Kickstarter campaign, raising $1.8 million for Shadowrun Returns, a revival of the franchise from his current company, Harebrained Schemes. The serial entrepreneur is known for startups including FASA, Virtual World Entertainment, Wizkids, 42 Entertainment, and Smith & Tinker.
Weisman shared his insights into the startup world at Seattle 2.0 Startup Day, presented by GeekWire this past weekend. For anyone who missed the event, or wants to relive the highlights, we’ll be rolling out video and related content from all of the talks by Startup Day speakers in the days ahead.
Watch the full video of Weisman’s talk above, see his slides below, and continue reading for a few of our favorite takeaways. You can also access the audio here as an MP3, for listening on your favorite device. A big thanks to the team at Bootstrapper Studios for their help on all of this content.
On the need to take risks: “I’ve always said that an entrepreneur is someone stupid enough to throw themselves off a cliff on the premise that they will invent wings before they hit the ground.”
On the need for a long-term view: “Sometimes, you get an uplift. You actually get some traction and you start to think that you’ve missed the ground. But in this case, for an entrepreneur, you’ve got to realize that you’ve only made it past the first hurdle. That first initial lift can also be as deadly.”
On characteristics of a startup founder: “For an entrepreneur, vision is seeing something that doesn’t exist yet that should exist. Then your job is to convince other people to believe in that.”
On the changing funding environment: “Because of the democratization of tools and how quick it is to bring products to market now, investment comes in later and later in the product cycle than it used to. They actually want to see you bring it to market initially and then fund you for growth. That’s why some of us have turned to crowd funding for that initial product development.”
On the key ingredients: “Creation, at least in the games and software business, requires four things: Talent, time, money, and human sacrifice.”