24 November 2015 | 6 Comments
I’ve learned that it never hurts to thank someone. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I was hoping to write a blog post expressing my gratitude for various types of people who have had a positive impact on me and Stonemaier Games.
However, I have a responsibility to my readers–I don’t want to just spew off a list without adding any value to you. So this is my attempt at a Thanksgiving list that will talk about the types of people who have a big impact on my company and key things you might look for in these kinds of people as you’re building a business.
Also, I’m sure I’m going to leave someone important off this list, like my parents, my cats, or the person who invented chocolate. This isn’t intentional.
In no particular order, I’m thankful for my…
- Business Partners/Coworkers (Alan Stone and Morten Monrad Pedersen): It’s so helpful for me to always have people who know the business as well as I do to bounce ideas off of, playtest with, be accountable to, and delegate to, especially in areas where I am weak and you are strong.
- Graphic Designers and Artists (Christine Santana, Beth Sobel, Jakub Rozalski, Scott Wadyko, and Jacqui Davis): I’m incredibly fortunate to work with an experienced graphic designer who knows how to create printer-ready files, as well as some amazing artists communicate well–other than creating beautiful visuals and sculpts, there is almost nothing I value more than someone who replies to my e-mails in less than a day.
- Lawyers (Zachary Strebeck and Scot Duvall): As Stonemaier grows, it becomes more of a target. I’m very grateful to have two great lawyers to help us create tight contracts and lock in solid trademarks.
- International Production Partners, Translators, and Replacement Part Helpers (Morning Players, Fire on Board Jogos, Helen, Ben, Mati, andvaranaut, Christian): It’s so nice to work with partners all over the world who localize Stonemaier far from our home base in St. Louis.
- Digital Platforms (Tabletopia, Tabletop Simulator, Boardspace.net, and Daniel Risse [iOS]): The skill to take a tabletop game and translate it to the digital space for more people to discover, enjoy, and learn from is astonishing to me. I’m so impressed by these folks.
- Shipping and Fulfillment Companies (OTX, Funagain Games, Ideaspatcher, Good Games, Agility, Snakes & Lattes, Starlit Citadel): In a way, I’ve built Stonemaier Games on fulfillment, not games. I really appreciate that these companies keep me informed and pack our games with care and love.
- Backers, Fans, and Followers (Kickstarter, Facebook, Twitter, and e-newsletter): I love that the people who support Stonemaier do so not because of tricks or gimmicks to get them to follow Stonemaier or back my projects (e.g., no early bird or exclusive rewards)–they do so because they’re genuinely interested in what we’re doing or they genuinely want what we’re making. I couldn’t ask for better supporters with whom to share my passion.
- Crowdfunding Platforms and Fellow Creators (Kickstarter and Celery): How awesome is it that crowdfunding and pre-order platforms exist? Just 7 years ago, they weren’t a thing at all, and now we’re founding companies thanks to them. That’s incredible. Also, I love that there are so many creative, innovative creators out there–way too many to name. You all truly inspire me to be a better creator myself (and a better game designer!).
- Manufacturer (Chris at Panda Game Manufacturing): One of my favorite things about working with Panda and Chris is that at any time, I can have a zany idea for a component, e-mail Chris, and within a day or two I have a response from him not only about its feasibility, but also ways to do it better. It’s a true blessing for my creativity to work with a manufacturer like that.
- Ambassadors and Advisory Board: I sleep well during Kickstarter projects now that I have so many ambassadors who are able to answer questions just as well as I can. They’re also amazing playtesters and proofreaders. And my advisory board is great at clearing up the confusing way I present some ideas before the general public sees them.
- Reviewers, Bloggers, Podcasters, and Video Bloggers: I can’t play every game, but thanks to the variety of perspectives from all of the content creators out there, I’m able to hear a variety of perspectives about every game ever. I look forward to honoring a few of my favorites on our annual charity auction next week, when we’ll auction off 10 copies of the Viticulture/Tuscany collector’s edition.
- Convention and Event Coordinators (Geekway to the West): It takes a lot of work to put together a convention. I’m so grateful for the people who create such welcoming environments for old and new gamers to commune with each other.
- Book Buyers and Blog Readers: Yes, I’m thankful for you! I’m always honored when I get a comment or a shared blog entry–it means a lot when you consider one of my blogs worth sharing with someone else. And I’m so grateful for those who bought my book, hopefully learned something interesting from it, and even took the time to review it on Amazon. The more people do that, the more my book can help reach other creators who probably need the help more than you do.
What’s something specific that someone involved in your life or business does that is worth emulating and appreciating?