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

21 November 2016 | 11 Comments

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 (Facebook, Twitter, and e-newsletter): 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 products, Top Shelf Gamer, MeepleSource, Greater Than Games): You are the backbone of our supply chain as we move away from crowdfunding and pre-orders. Thank you for being the bridge between Stonemaier and customers.
  3. Business Partners/Coworkers (Alan Stone, Morten 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. Graphic Designers and Artists (Christine Santana, Beth Sobel, Jakub Rozalski, Scott Wadyko, Jacqui Davis, Mr. Cuddington, Gong Studios, Laura Bevon, Agnieszka Dąbrowiecka, Josh McDowell, Nersi Nikakhtar): Other than creating beautiful visuals, sculpts, videos, and graphic design, I’m so grateful that these artists communicate quickly and effectively–I highly value that.
  5. Lawyers (Scot Duvall and Zachary Strebeck): I’m very grateful to have two great lawyers to help us create tight contracts, lock in solid trademarks, and protect our IP.
  6. International Production Partners (Feuerland, Maldito, Phalanx, Arclight, One Moment Games, Play Fun BG, Ludofy, Fire on Board Jogos, ALBI, Ghenox, Gen X, Studio Joypot, Korea Boardgames, Moroz, 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 3373 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): 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, VFI, Aetherworks, Gamesquest, and Spainbox): 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.
  10. Overworld Games: For the first time, we licensed one of our IPs to another company to create a spin-off game that’s more in their wheelhouse than ours. Brian, Clayton, and the rest of the Overworld Team did a fantastic job with Leaders of Euphoria, and I can’t wait to play the final published version!
  11. Fellow Creators and Game Designers (Ben Rosset and Matthew O’Malley): 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. I highlighted Ben and Matthew here because they’re the designers of Between Two Cities, the first Stonemaier game not designed by me.
  12. Manufacturer (Chris at Panda Game Manufacturing, Josh Ward, Print & Play Productions): 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. 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).
  13. Ambassadors: Our ambassadors have made my life so much easier by answer questions on forums, playtesting our games, and proofreading all kinds of content. My rough accounting is that we currently have 220 active ambassadors and another 250 or so who are looking for ways to contribute.
  14. Translators: We want to be able to offer our products accessible well beyond the localized versions. Our amazing team of translators makes this possible.
  15. 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 or car. I look forward to honoring a few of my favorite content creators via our annual charity auction next week, when we’ll auction off 10 copies of the Scythe Art Connoisseur Collector’s Edition (and Scythe: Invaders from Afar).
  16. Convention and Event Coordinators (Geekway to the West and the Gen Con events team): 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. Design Day Attendees (2016 event): The creative energy and generosity of time and talent at our third annual Design Day was truly incredible. Thank you to all of the designers and playtesters who attended.
  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!

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

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

  1. Hey Jamey – this is a fantastic list as usual. As an aspiring board game creator, I’m thankful to YOU for your book and your blog – both have proven invaluable as I prepare my Kickstarter campaign for early 2017. As a fellow entrepreneur (I’ve run my own “non-game” business since 1999), in addition to many on your list, I am very thankful for my banker. Finding a banker who understands your business and is willing and able to support your growth is critical.

  2. God, my Wife, my Son, my friends.
    With out them to do it for, and have strength from, there would be no Gate Keeper Games or any of our products.
    +1 Jamey.

  3. I am thankful for all of the people who helped get us here! A few of those include Jamey Stegmaier and Christopher and Paul from Greater Than Games. Without you guys we would not have 2 successful Kickstarters!

  4. Wow, thank you, Jamey! I am also thankful for these kinds of unexpected displays of kindness that you are just full of, and for the trust you have given us to extend the Euphoria universe.

    I am also thankful for the people in my life (and pets) who have accepted that I don’t have quite as much time to go around these days.

  5. Jamey it has truly been an honor to meet and talk to you. You are a source of great knowledge and inspiration. I thank you for the friendship and encouragement. You are one of the awesome people I have met this year and appreciate all the ways you give back. You have set a great example for all us to follow in sharing of knowledge and charity. I look forward to hopefully playing a game with you next year and wish you all the best.

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