If you read my first blog in this series then you know how I got to here. If you didn’t read it I recommend you take a look here.
After returning from anti-piracy on ships in Africa with my new plan. I had to then figure out how I was going to accomplish this large feat of building a video game. I was not a programmer. I have never programmed a single thing in my life. I wanted to have my hands in this project as deep as possible so I started doing some research on what it would take to learn how to program. I looked into courses and schools. Most notably I found the App Academy. I was very close to applying to this course. They have great reviews and even still to this date seem to be doing very well for themselves. For a 12 week program this seemed to be the most jam packed way to begin learning how to code apps.
I started to become more pragmatic. I looked at final projects that students made at app academy and while they were very impressive they were not even a fraction of the size of the game I had in mind. Then I started thinking about graphics. Who would draw everything up? I am not an artist either. I started to get a little overwhelmed with everything that I knew I didn’t know. The ignorance I had when first starting this project really was bliss. I started looking for help. “Anyone interested in building a game?” Not a chance. People are into their own things and have their own projects which is great for them, just didn’t help me.
My next step was to look into contracting a few people to help me build the game. I started looking around the typical sites, elance.com, odesk.com, etc. I found some really talented people but these people were all looking for short-term work. A lot of them had their own jobs and weren’t looking to join me on my crazy adventure. And come on, how many people would be willing to quit their current job and join me (for not much pay) to help me get going? Not a lot.
While searching online I found a few companies that built apps and thought, well maybe that’s the way to go. I started to talk to businesses about my app. I became weary of going around and laying out my plan, my game, my brainchild. What if I tell this company about my idea and they take it? I used to think this way but now I know these businesses are not in the business of stealing other people’s ideas. They build them for you. It is a lot less risk for them to get paid to build everyone’s ideas than it is for these companies to steal the content and take on the opportunity cost of having a failed product. If you do decide to get some quotes then I recommend sharing your idea, maybe not 100% of it but don’t be afraid to let them in. They have to know what you want in order to quote you an honest timeframe and a price.
A wise man once said, “Ideas are worthless, actions are priceless.”
These words could not be more true. I believe it would be good for any entrepreneur to remember them. Success is a journey, not an event. It takes years to build something from the ground up and it will take you years. Buckle in and rest easy that the next guy won’t have the guts to take the time to complete your idea.
In fact, I had a few friends in the beginning of this whole project that couldn’t help me with mine because they were starting their own apps and their own projects. Looking back now I see that they still haven’t started. It has been 2 years since we all pulled each other aside and said, “Ok don’t tell anyone about this idea I have, I don’t want anyone to take it.”
Now I am not trying to toot my horn here. I am NOT saying, “look what I did and they didn’t.” I have had so many ideas slide under the table. My ratio of entrepreneurial ideas completed vs. ones forgotten about is quite literally 1,000 to 2. So please don’t think I am on a high horse. I am still grasping this just the same as you may be. I only want to pass along the things I have learned along the way.
That same wise man also said, “tell me your idea and ill show you at least 1,000 other people with the same idea.”
Think about that for a moment. At least 1,000 other people with idea the same idea you have. scary right? Well it should be. Not scary in that you should come up with a different idea, it should scare you into action. Motivate you to create your idea first and to make it better.
This has been proven to be more true now that I am on the precipice of launching my game. At first, with the conception of my “great idea” there was one other show in town. Clash of Clans was the only base builder. My thoughts were channeled at them. Fast forward two years, if you have ever been on Facebook I am sure you get quite a few ads wanting you to play the now dozens of base builder games that exist. Each new one was a punch in the gut. The only breath of fresh air I had was the fact that the ideas and features I had for Zombie Company Crusade were, and are still, original and I will be the first to launch introduce them into the mobile gaming community. Hopefully. Unless that 1,000th guy with my idea is one step ahead of me and is about to launch his game right as I am about to cross the finish line. Hah…. But seriously, that’s not funny.
Success is a journey not an event. Typically we only see people at the peak of their success and we seldom view the years that it took them to get to that point. The most critical stages of their success came in the beginning and middle, not the end. Don’t ever think the makers of Angry Birds woke up one-day as millionaires. Or SuperCell was handed Clash of Clans. It all came with hard work and perseverance.
So remember, everyday. Action = Priceless
Nonetheless, I presented my game to people to get quotes and wow did I get quotes for my game. The prices came in at rates I never would have been able to pay. So I went back to the drawing board. I finally managed to get a team and they were ready to go with helping me complete this project.
Now that I had my team I needed to give them my plan, my vision. Which you will learn in my next post was not as easy as I thought it would be.