Gap? What Gap?

I’ve been asked a lot recently what “gap” I refer to when I’m banging on about my radical new business model. This is the most important one.

When I nosed around the Danish game industry two years ago, I was looking for causes to the symptoms that I saw. The symptoms were that good game ideas never got to make it into production, and a lot of those that did ran out of cash before reaching the market. I don’t know which scenario is saddest, but focusing on the first and asking “why” four or five times, you get to some of the root causes, and two stuck out. The first was that investors (other than the incumbent publishers whom I want to avoid) have little or no competency in games, and thus it’s pretty difficult to assess the risk, hence difficult to calculate the returns, and then the money goes to some other, more predictable, industry. The other was that developers tended to have a sort of romantic impression that the whole world would love their game as long as they loved it themselves. Those were the parties meeting up. A pretty impossible situation. So that’s the first gap I want to close: The gap between developers and investors, and the bricks and mortar of that solution is called co-creation. We take all the good things from both sides and build the games proposition together, framing and reframing the game design and the market need. The inspiration comes from open innovation thinking.

There are other gaps, such as suboptimal use of our best talents – and the missing management skills. You’ll get those stories, and more, in a later post.

Posted: January 27th, 2010
Categories: Games
Comments: 2 Comments.
Comment from Nevin - January 27, 2010 at 10:30 pm

Hi Maz,

You say that “The inspiration comes from open innovation thinking”. I would like to dig a bit deeper into that sentence. ‘Innovation’ is a word used by many – but nobody seems to be able to explain what innovation actually is. So what is innovation?

1. A buzzword to tell investors to get funding?
2. Idea to revenue – how you go from idea and invention to a revenue stream? Meaning that you could also innovate aspects of your company, which is not related to your product or service.
3. The process of transforming ideas into inventions that deliver value – which is not necessarily a revenue stream?

I guess that there are different types of innovation too – but what is your definition on “innovation”?

Comment from maz - January 28, 2010 at 9:04 pm

You are probably right about #1. If you do a search on, say, a job site on “innovation” you can probably find someone looking for innovative cleaners. But I am using it in a specific sense, namely ideas that are converted into products that actually change the world. Ideas that don’t change the world are merely inventions. I did a blog entry on this very topic earlier here with some additional game context.