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Going to spend the rest of February digging into Colossus and Invest Like the Best transcripts. Patrick has done such a great job of aggregating the leading thinkers across a range of topics. Yet podcasts are often too long, making the transcripts the perfect place to spend some serious time.
Interesting chart from Joost van Dreunen, an investor in the gaming world, professor at NYU Stern School of Business, and former CEO and co-founder of Super Data Research.
"Why does it say 50,000 euros in this line item here? that seems like an anomaly." It's like, "Oh no, that is one of our Saudi customers and he ordered a custom sword for his character in his game."
Value is all relative. :)
"Pioneers are the people with the arrows in their back."
Never two steps early, or one step late ... it's one step early that you aim for.
"As an investor, I always look for moments where that's happening, where the incumbents are just sort of sitting on something but not acting on it ... So I'm always curious to look into businesses that are at the cusp of something that's about to go big in terms of it's a space no apex predators want to move into, but they have a plan that goes a little further than we have a cool game around this."
Sounds like Crypto x Gaming to me!
"The game industry has always been on its back foot. If you look at it culturally, it's starting to change a little bit now, but for as long as I've been in the industry, which is now coming up in 20 years, unlike Hollywood and unlike the music industry, there's not a lot of red carpet events. Just from a personality point of view, the games industry at the top, and I talk to people that have been part of these billion-dollar franchises as much as I do to indies and starting designers through my class at NYU. What they all have in common is that they check their ego at the door. It's such a cliche and something, but from a culture industry, for an industry that's by its very nature, something that's built on people being extroverted and having a story to tell or having an idea to transmit and communicate to other people, they don't really do it for the sake of their own celebration. They don't really want to necessarily recognize and stood out in a crowd. And so, the games industry, culturally and individually, as I experience it, have always been sort of the quiet kid in the back of the room tinkering away. And it has retained a lot of that character.... There's no TMZ for games. So, that absence, I think, of ego in everything that you do, and I say this also as an entrepreneur if you're able to let that go, if you're able to just focus on the problem, if you're able just to focus on building cool experiences, I think long-term, that is far more interesting than your 15 minutes of fame. And I think from a financial standpoint, it's just much more interesting long-term to invest in companies like that."
This was Joost talking about the culture of gaming. I've found this to be very true, particularly for the Finns given their personalities. At the same time, game developers and publishers are a fairly insular crowd, and you're quickly classified into those who either "get it" or those who "don't", as judged by a historical lens. The key is to be somewhere in the middle. Not to be so wedded to the minutiae of the past that you can't see beyond the trees, but do understand enough about how foundations are built to understand the guts of what lies underneath.