21 December 2017 | 15 Comments
I test a lot of random stuff at Stonemaier Games. Some of these are grand, sweeping experiments, like how we stopped using Kickstarter in 2015 or how we made an empty box for Scythe because a bunch of people asked us to. Others are much smaller.
This year I wrote about various experiments on the blog, and as the year comes to a close, I thought I’d revisit some of them.
Experiment 1: Start each day with something creative (not e-mails, social media, or consuming content)
The original article on this topic was about how the first few things you do each day will impact your productivity and creativity for the entire day. So instead of starting your day with someone else’s to-do list, why not start it with something of your own?
I tried this for about a week, and it was fine. But such a huge part of my job is project management and communications that I felt like I was forcefully delaying those responsibilities. It didn’t feel right to make people wait. Plus, it’s satisfying for me to answer a question or resolve an e-mail chain.
So after a week, I went back to what I’ve done every day for the last 4 years: I wake up, get on the computer, and start answering e-mails and questions on social media. I’ve continued doing that ever since.
Experiment 2: Accept job applications without listing a specific job
The original article on this topic was about how I don’t want to miss out on great people with strong skills and a passion for Stonemaier Games just because I don’t have an official position I’m looking to fill. So I created a form where anyone could tell me what they think we should hire them to do.
This was 2 months ago. Since then I’ve received 54 applications from a variety of people who are looking to work for us as artists, social media directors, graphic designers, customer service, game development, etc…really, the outpouring of talent has been incredible.
So far I think I’ve only made one hire from the applicants (a very talented artist), but I love that the next time I need someone for a specific job or if I decide Stonemaier needs to hire someone part time or full time, I have an awesome list of talented people ready to go.
Experiment 3: Use live video to connect better with the Stonemaier community
The original article on this topic was actually from a year ago, but I recently wrote a more specific article about the use of Kickstarter Live on the Joan of Arc project. I’ve really been wanting to try a live video, but I never really seemed to find the right time to do it.
Well, I finally just did it. After Charterstone’s release date on December 12, I hosted a Facebook live video in the Charterstone Facebook group. Facebook made it really easy just to click a few buttons, and suddenly I was live! The interface was really nice–it’s very easy to see what people are writing and how many people are watching.
So I tried it again yesterday. I discovered that you can not only host a live video in a Facebook group, but also a Facebook page. Yesterday’s video was on the Stonemaier Games Facebook page (Facebook saves the video for people to watch later if they miss the live feed).
I’ve learned a few things so far:
- People have kept me busy for the duration of both videos with a steady stream of questions, but it’s good to have some topics and visual props planned in advance to fill dead air.
- It seems like a good idea to host live videos at different times of the day if I do this on a regular basis, just so you can reach people with different schedules.
- I need to have a LOT more water available. I keep thinking 1 glass will be enough, but my mouth gets really dry when I’m talking nonstop.
- I might try to make the videos a specific length rather than “until I catch up on the questions.” Both live feeds lasted around 90 minutes, which is fine for people who tune in for a few minutes, but if someone wants to watch it later…well, no one is going to sit around for 90 minutes to watch me talk. But 20 minutes? Maybe.
What do you think about these experiments and results? What experiments would you like to see from me and Stonemaier Games in 2018?