In my work as a game designer and coach, I help brilliant entrepreneurs from all around the world innovate smarter and faster with Game Thinking. Today, I’m shining a spotlight on these amazing people – and sharing with you the one key quality that sets successful entrepreneurs apart from the crowd.
My clients are a constant source of inspiration and learning. Their feedback has transformed my Game Thinking toolkit into a proven, solid system. I’m deeply gratified by their success using this system to design lasting engagement and accelerate product/market fit.
One striking quality shared by ALL my successful clients is a willingness to be wrong, learn quickly, and keep going. I see this on the front lines – up close and personal – and lemme tell you – not everyone can absorb challenging customer feedback quickly and ego-free. It’s a crucial and under-valued skill that separates the breakthroughs from the also-rans.
One resilient entrepreneur whose rocked the Game Thinking toolkit is Robin Yang. Robin and her team had built an award-winning prototype for a musical hardware toy. She used Game Thinking to test and validate their idea. As she mobilized and interviewed her passionate early customers, she discovered that her simple prototype would need substantial development and financing to delight these customers – plus she’d need to add manufacturing expertise to her team.
Although it was tough to absorb, Robin listened hard – and after some soul-searching, decided to double-down on her core expertise and pursue game-like software products rather than building a hardware business. Robin is now a certified Game Thinking coach, and the lead Product Manager at CodeCombat, an education startup building coding skills through games.
Another smart, resilient entrepreneur I love working with is Dr. Candis Best – an educator turned startup CEO who’s building a mentoring network to increase graduation rates for low-income community college students. Candis used Game Thinking to re-design her existing product around the habits and needs of her early customers.
Although she’d invested months of engineering into her existing infrastructure, Candis was willing to test her assumptions, listen to her customers, and re-focus her efforts on a high-value, low-friction mobile app that her target audience would actually use. Candis is currently developing her app, and running a pilot study in partnership with New York City College.
And then there’s Megan Mahdavi — a savvy social entrepreneur who’s pioneering a new model of SAAS data services that leverage young talent in developing countries. While working a full-time job, Megan used Game Thinking to validate her idea and mobilize her early customers. When she got negative feedback from her core audience, Megan was initially disheartend – but she quickly realized that she needed to re-target her efforts on a different cohort and develop her core service offering.
Megan is now CEO of Sunreach, a fast-growing data services company. She’s realizing her dream by training smart young people in Haiti and Palestine to become Salesforce engineers – and growing a truly global company.
Want more? Join us online Wed Dec 14 at 9 AM PT for a FREE live Webinar featuring these entrepreneurs and their stories.