20 Types of People for Whom I’m Grateful as a Small Business Owner

16 November 2017 | 11 Comments

I’ll be out of the office next week, so in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I wanted to express my gratitude for various types of people who have had a positive impact on me and Stonemaier Games this year. Perhaps some of these people will be good resources for you as well.

In no particular order, I’m thankful for my…

  1. Backers, Fans, and Followers (FacebookTwittere-newsletter, and YouTube): None of this would be possible without you. Thank you for supporting our games, and thank you for sharing them with others.
  2. Retailers and Distributors (retailers who sell our productsTop Shelf GamerMeepleSource, Greater Than Games): You are the backbone of our supply chain, as we no longer run Kickstarter or direct pre-order campaigns. Thank you for being the bridge between Stonemaier and customers. Special thanks to the retailers who were willing to buy the Legendary Box in bulk to make that product feasible and to the distributors who pre-paid for the holiday print run to allow us to meet demand and guarantee desired quantities for you.
  3. Business Partners/Coworkers (Alan StoneMorten Monrad Pedersen, Craig Moore): 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.
  4. Independent Contractors (Christine Santana, Beth Sobel, Jakub Rozalski, Dave Hewer, Scott Wadyko, Mr. Cuddington, Gong Studios, Laura Bevon, Agnieszka Dąbrowiecka, Valentina Filic, Micaela Blondin, Emilien Rotival, Katie Khau, Natalia Hargrave, Justin Wong, Josh McDowell, Nersi Nikakhtar, Katy Adams, David Studley, Heriberto Martinez, and others): Other than creating beautiful visuals, sculpts, videos, graphic design, and experiences for our fans, I’m so grateful that these people communicate quickly and effectively–I highly value that.
  5. Lawyers and Accountants (Scot DuvallZachary StrebeckJustin Marty, and Tony Aiazzi): I’m very grateful to have two great lawyers to help us create tight contracts, lock in solid trademarks, and protect our IP, as well as a great accounting and financial team
  6. International Production Partners (Feuerland, Maldito, Phalanx, Matagot, Delta Vision, Arclight, Surfin’ Meeple, Ludofy, ALBI, Ghenos, Gen X, Moroz, Lavka Games, White Goblin Games, and others): Thanks to these partners, we’ve been able to reach tens of thousands of gamers who wouldn’t otherwise have access to our products. I really appreciate that these partners strive to meet deadlines for translations and payments.
  7. Replacement Part Helpers (Katy, Helen, Ben, Mati, Jose, Christian, Mark, Alan): To date, we have received and responded to 6196 replacement parts requests. I’m incredibly grateful to have these diligent helpers positioned around the world to take care of lost, missing, and broken components from our products.
  8. Digital Platforms (Tabletopia, Tabletop Simulator, Boardspace.net, Daniel Risse, and The Knights of Unity, Asmodee Digital): 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 and grateful for these folks.
  9. Shipping and Fulfillment Companies (OTX, Funagain Games, Starlit Citadel, Greater Than Games): Other than a small number of ala carte orders, the only shipping we do now is bulk freight. OTX is the core of this system, and I appreciate the others being hubs for domestic freight to distributors.
  10. Co-Designers and Game Designers (Ben Rosset, Matthew O’Malley, Hoby Chou, Kai Starck, Ryan Lopez, Elizabeth Hargrave, Morten Monrad Pedersen, David Studley, Travis Jones): I’ve greatly enjoy working with co-designers for two Scythe expansions this year, as well as serving as a developer on new games from other publishers we’ll make over the next 2 years. The talent and dedication of these designers is astounding.
  11. Manufacturers (Chris and Shannon at Panda Game Manufacturing, Josh Ward, Print & Play Productions): It’s a true blessing to work with a manufacturer like Panda. Josh Ward is someone who has helped in the past year with printing and compiling prototypes for our games (a service that Print & Play Productions also does quite well).
  12. Ambassadors: Our ambassadors have made my life so much easier by answer questions on forums, playtesting our games, and proofreading all kinds of content. We currently have over 2200 ambassadors–I love that I can trust this group with ideas while they’re still being formed to get their feedback.
  13. Translators: Localized games are great, but not all of our games are localized. Our amazing team of translators makes it possible for people to learn our games no matter where they live.
  14. Reviewers, Bloggers, Podcasters, and Video Bloggers: I can’t play every game, but thanks to the variety of perspectives from other content creators, I’m able to listen a variety of perspectives from the comfort of my office.
  15. Convention and Event Coordinators (Geekway to the West,Gen Con events team, and any convention that uses the play-and-win system): 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, as well as the volunteers who help us at those events.
  16. Book Buyers and Reviewers (A Crowdfunder’s Strategy Guide): I’m so grateful for those who bought my crowdfunding book, as well as those who also 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.
  17. Blog Readers, Video Viewers, and Commenters (full KS Lesson list and game design YouTube channel): I don’t create content in a vacuum–I create it for you! I hope this blog and my YouTube channel add value to you, and I really appreciate when you join in the conversation.
  18. Design Day Attendees (2017 event): The creative energy and generosity of time and talent at our fourth annual Design Day was truly incredible. Thank you to all of the designers and playtesters who attended, and especially to Pieces Board Game & Cafe for being awesome hosts.
  19. Fellow Creators: I love that there are so many creative, innovative creators and game designers. You all truly inspire me to be a better creator and a more interesting game designer.
  20. My Gaming Group: Gaming is my main social outlet, and I’m really grateful to have a consistent game group filled with people who love a wide variety of games. I like that these people try to win but focus on having fun, and especially that they hardly ever look at their cell phones in the middle of the game and that they’re nice to my cats.

If you’re a fellow entrepreneur, for whom are you grateful this year?

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11 Comments on “20 Types of People for Whom I’m Grateful as a Small Business Owner

  1. Gerald: Those are some really interesting stats! I have a feeling Tabletopia’s numbers are boosted by their non-Steam users (there’s a web-based version too). Tabletop Simulator can generate income too if it’s an official game on their platform, but the income from either is minimal–it’s more about exposure and giving people a chance to try before they buy (as well as fan service to allow people from around the world to play your game together).

    I haven’t used either for playtesting. I think more people have played our games on Tabletop Simulator, but Tabletopia is much, much faster at integrating our products into their system.

    1. Thanks. Yes iteration speed would be an important factor. Great point about the web format of Tabletopia. That would make it even easier for people to try the game. I forgot about the web format because I can never get it to fully load on my PC, and I have a high spec PC. I tested loading games with the application and they load fine.

      I forced myself to play a digital board-game 3 weeks ago. I didn’t like the experience at all. But I know I have to make one :)

  2. Hi Jamey, I’m looking into Tabletopia and Tabletop Simulator. Which platform do you prefer?
    Which platform do you have greater play-testing success with?
    I think Tabletopia is the only one that can generate income. But is that income significant?

    I looked up some stats on SteamSpy for the 2 of them that you might find interesting. Steamspy is about 90% accurate.

    -Tabletop Simulator:
    1.1 million owners.
    59,000 to 70,000 people actually played it during the last 2 weeks.

    – Tabletopia:
    0.23 million owners.
    2,000 to 5,000 people actually played it during the last 2 weeks.

  3. I’m grateful for the folks who’ve included me in their projects, for my friends who have taken the time to playtest my games (even when my games are very, very bad), and for the folks who inspire me every day to work harder because of their examples (Jamey, you’re at the top of the list)

  4. Very thankful to my family for taking the plunge with me when I came up with the idea to become a content creator by reviewing games in written format. For the wife who came up with the name (TheDiceHaveIt) to my sons who appease me but are totally on board with the world of board games. I still have a bookmarked page titled “An Open Letter to All New Reviewers…” that I used as a starting guide before I figured out who this Jamey Stegmaier guy even was!

    Also extremely thankful for the relationships we have developed with 40+ publishers that have made this dream possible.

  5. As a member of Group 15, I’m thankful for the thousands of people that love Geekway and make it a success every year! We’re getting into prime time for planning and working on the convention now (and we have another smaller one to put on as well!), and at some point in the next few months I’m going to be seriously questioning my life choices and why I think Geekway is a good idea at all!

    Then May will roll around, and at some point on Sunday night after Geekway wraps up, I’ll remember why.

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