If authors bring you the world of imagination via books
Then game designers bring you the world of joy via games
Last week, in the process of begging people to ‘like’ my Facebook page in order to get 100 likes and achieve one of my October goals, I came across this game called Spacetacular Voyage and have been addicted since. (You can get addicted here).
It wouldn’t be anything special if I didn’t start exploring the site for more (would that classified as curiosity or greed? You tell me!) and found out that Sasha-the guy who wrote these badass games went to the same high school as me, just one grade above =>which means he is only 21 now.
Plus, he started making games at the whooping young age of 15. wow
Intrigued…I did a little research on him (Google style) and found out that besides winning a bunch of academic awards ( from high school all the way to uni), he won Game Design UNSW 1st Place, AND Global Game Jam Sydney 1st Place. Not bad for someone so young.
So, I did what I have to do and FB messaged him for an interview, not expecting someone as busy as him would reply so quickly. Well, I was wrong.
Without further delay, here is the interview. I hope you guys will learn something from this down-to-earth, awesome young designer. I know I did.
5 quick questions:
How old were you when you first started your entrepreneurial journey?
I started developing games in high school (15) and made my first dollar off a game in my first year in university (18).
The best business tip you‘ve ever received?
Make something first – then fix it. Don’t get caught up worrying about things being perfect, because they never will be. It’s more important that you get a product out the door and learn from your mistakes than that you make a product that doesn’t have any. Every game I make, I make many mistakes, but I also learn something which makes the next game better. This mentality helps me to always finish my games.
Your best business purchase?
My best purchase was other people’s talent. You will never be the best at everything and most of the time you’ll be the best at nothing. To make a fantastic product you NEED other people. Professionals will do better work more efficiently, which ends up saving you money in the long run.
Your best business mentor?
I have never really had a single business mentor. I’ve learned a lot from a lot of people, but no one has ever given me explicit advice about my company. Instead, I’ve learned from my own successes and failures from project to project. The person you’ll learn the most from is yourself.
Your Company is Bit Battalion. Can you sum up what you do, for our readers who haven’t heard of the company?
I make games. Mostly flash games, but I’m moving into iPhone as we speak!
Where did you get your entrepreneurial spirit? Are your parents entrepreneurial?
My parents are both social workers, not exactly tech entrepreneurs. To me, the idea of “entrepreneurial spirit” is essentially synonymous with passion and persistence. It’s not something you need to “get”, everyone has it in them, and they just need something they’re passionate enough about. For some people it’s their skill, others are passion about product and business. All of these can manifest in “entrepreneurial spirit”.
Given the chance to start your company over again, what would you do differently?
I’d try to take more risks and make more mistakes. I feel the biggest failing in my business so far is that I haven’t pushed it as far as it can go. I’m always trying to learn from the projects I do, and staying within a single medium (flash) put a roof on that.
Describe a day of your business life?
Code, skype with my artist, code, do some writing for my blog, code, write up some ideas on my google site, more coding. Almost all of my time is on product development.
5/What do you love/ hate about it?
I love everything and hate nothing! If I didn’t, I wouldn’t be doing it.
What factors do you think are most important for young entrepreneurs to succeed?
Just getting started. Make a commitment and work at it, especially if you have no idea what they are doing. It’s also important that you’re doing it for the right reasons – work at something that you’re passionate about. Don’t expect to make money, to begin with. Money follows passion, never the other way around.
7/ What is your advice to young people wanting to start their own entrepreneurial journey and achieve financial freedom?
Go for it! Test the waters. Start something, aim to make as many mistakes as you can in the next month and learn from all of them. Failure is simply a lack of persistence, not a lack of success.
Get in the habit of making decisions quickly and committing to them until you know you’ve learned everything there is to learn. You probably don’t know what the best choice in the early stages, so just commit to your first choice. If you continually change your mind, you won’t make any progress at all. That’s what being an entrepreneur is, persistence through self-imposed challenges.
Most importantly, be passionate. Being passionate will move you in the right direction, and will attract the right people to you. People are often just as attracted to passion as they are to talent, sometimes even more so. In entrepreneurship, passion and talent is almost the same thing.