I just read an article in Inc. entitled, How Great Entrepreneurs Think. As my colleagues in grad school liked to say, “It was a wonderful read.”
I liked it because I am a social entrepreneur so I like to see what I have in common with entrepreneurs in the business world. What I learned is that like me, they focus very heavily on the target audience, the ultimate end-user of the product that is being developed, that is, the individual customer (see my “10 Tips for Making a Successful Serious Game”). I differ from these entrepreneurs because I also consider research on large populations when I’m developing my product because I need to think about how much of a learning effect I can see in a large population that will play a game that I work on. That is how I differ from these entrepreneurs (besides the fact that I don’t have stock in any of the non-profit companies in which I work).
What I found interesting about this article is that it discussed a research study on what a group of successful entrepreneurs said about founding a company that was making a serious game to simulate a company being launched to teach entrepreneurial skills. The actual study was conducted by Sara Sarasvathy when she was a graduate student at Carnegie Mellon University.
Because a lot of serious game projects are begun by scientists or practitioners who don’t have a business background, they often underestimate the importance of a business perspective when they make their games. They call in a businessperson when the game is done and it may be too late by then to shape the game into something that is acceptable and credible to viable consumer market.
If you are interested in learning more about how entrepreneurs would help a company making a serious game be successful, give the Inc. article a read. If you want to read about the research in more depth, Prof. Sarasvathy’s book is entitled, Effectuation: Elements of Entrepreneurial Expertise. It might just help you think more about how you can make your serious game a success in the market!
Sarasvathy, S., (2008). Effectuation: Elements of Entrepreneurial Expertise. Northampton: Edward Eglar Publishing,