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Posted by Tom Grant on July 28, 2008
The most mature part of the technology industry may be the console and PC game vendors, who pitch their wares at the least mature audience. These companies matured the hard way, by surviving not just technology challenges, but having to master business techniques that many other technology companies have yet to learn. Here are a few examples:
Sure, game vendors make mistakes. Many of them look worse than they really are, however. For example, the vast majority of "tie-in" games, based on popular movies and TV shows, stink on ice. However, in an industry where shelf-life is short, a small company can still make amoney on a licensed game, since the game will be off the shelves almost as soon as the negative reviews are published. Cynical, yes, but hey, it's business.
Other technology companies might learn a lot from the game industry. They may also ponder how much good it did for the game vendors to work under constraints like the retail channel. While everyone wants to be masters of their own destiny, sometimes you can learn a lot more valuable lessons with less freedom of action. To use a musical analogy, you learn to play scales before you improvise, not the other way around.
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