[MUD-Dev] Evolutionary Design

Jeff Cole jeff.cole at mindspring.com
Tue Jun 18 19:21:30 New Zealand Standard Time 2002

From: Derek Licciardi
> From: Ron Gabbard

>> I would argue that it's [...] not the VCs that need to learn
>> about ORPGs... it's the game designers that need to learn about
>> business.  The dot com boom/bust showed that it takes more than
>> advanced technology and a good idea to make a successful
>> business.  A compelling business plan is much more important in
>> getting money than a compelling game design document as the VCs
>> are investing in a business, not a game.

> This has not been our experience.  I have a business degree and
> the team and I have put together a strong argument for the game.
> The investors realize this most of the time.  We have the team,
> the product, the focus and the management skills to pull it off.
> None of the investors we've talked to have argued these points.
> What they argue is that they don't have the experience in the
> industry and as my other post points out, choose to invest
> elsewhere because their risk assessment is easier.  (this lends
> well to your powergamer theory) In this respect it would seem that
> it is the VCs that need to get educated about our industry and not
> the other way around.  As it stands right now, they do not have
> the ability to "see" the opportunity because the industry is so
> alien to them.

I certainly hope your pitches are less seasoned with arrogance and
condescension.  Do not delude yourself, the VC's do not *need* to
become educated about the industry; *you* need the VC's to become
educated.  Don't forget, *somebody* (entity) is going to get the
capital for which you're pitching.  You have to do more than just
beat the industry; you need to have the potential to perform so as
to pay (and then some) for the VC's dogs (much more than a couple of
bags of Alpo, heh).

With respect to your team, product, focus and management skills, I
would imagine that a VC never seriously considers those aspects
because you(r business plan) never clear(s) the first obstacle (the
industry--the "venture opportunity").

This thread begs the question of the existence of a venture
opportunity.  The opportunity is assumed; and, further, assumed to
be obvious.  Even as an avid gamer, I don't think the MMO* industry,
as discussed by anyone on this list, presents a very interesting
venture opportunity at all.

As a VC, one of my first questions would be, "What's a homerun for

Yrs. Affcty,
Jeff Cole

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