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25 Sep 2014

Indie Developers: Apply PayPal and Facebook’s Secret of Success to Your Own Indie Studio

I was browsing through some of my saved content on Pocket yesterday, and came across an interesting article that I want to share with you guys today. It’s about the productivity philosophy shared by PayPal and Facebook, and it’s worth incorporating into your indie studio. The article explains how nobody thought Facebook would move beyond being a neat little app, and also discusses how PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel would ignore any ideas unless it focused on one thing:

Growing their company.

After reading the post, one thing really struck me about Zuckerberg and Thiel: they’re not multitaskers. Often, we think that the best entrepreneurs – whether it be in gaming or another industry – can juggle a thousand things at once and make them all work to perfect. But it’s really a lot simpler than that. You see, the best minds look at their business as a whole, and create a plan of action with one goal in mind.

For Facebook, it was growing in order to be profitable. PayPal’s plan was to also grow in order to be one of the preferred methods of payment by consumers. The Business Insider article calls it the ‘’One Thing’ Philosophy of Extreme Focus,’ and by focusing only on one main goal, growth will follow.

Science actually shows that multi-tasking is counterproductive. Clifford Nass, a Stanford researcher did a study in which he provided participants with various tasks to discover how our brains operate. Here’s what he said about his findings:

“Multitaskers are terrible at every aspect of multitasking. They’re terrible at ignoring irrelevant information; they’re terrible at keeping information in their head nicely and neatly organized; and they’re terrible at switching from one task to another.”

Alternatively, researchers have stated that being able to direct focus has traditionally dictated how financially successful someone will be. There was a thirty-year study conducted by psychologists in which they followed over 1,000 New Zealand children. What they found was that the children that became the wealthiest and most successful in life were not the smartest. Rather, they were the ones that possessed the best self-control.

In other words: the ones that were able to focus on the most important aspects of their lives and improve them.

Walten Chen – the author of the article – sums up the power of focus the best via the following quote:

“Focusing on a single, high-impact priority can be the critical advantage for getting things done — whether it’s for yourself or with your team. There are a lot of smart people out there, and a lot of people who have money to spend to make things happen. Your ability to focus and manage yourself amidst the rising tides of tasks, distractions, and ideas is what will set you apart.”

The power to focus on one avenue of growth for your indie studio and never resting until that goal is met is one of the things that is going to set you apart from other indie developers both creatively and financially. When you have a moment today (or later this weekend), think about the one goal you have for your indie studio. Is it to make the best particular type of game? If so, figure out how to make that happen. Is it to reach a certain amount of downloads in a year? Again, find the best way to make this happen.

And once you meet that goal? Exceed it.

I urge you to read the rest of the article for yourself and implement some of the ideas for your own indie studio from the article. It’s mandatory reading for any entrepreneur like yourself, so take a few minutes and read it.

Source: Business Insider

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