Sunday, 9 October 2011

The project

Talent has little to do with success according to research conducted by Dr. K. Anders Ericsson a theory I first came across through reading Outlier by Malcolm Gladwell. The theory being that elite performers engage in ‘deliberate practice’–an focused activity designed to improve target performance. This principal is behind the 10,000 hour theory.
I furthered my investigation into this by looking into other practitioners of this theory and came across thedanplan, amongst others, who also wanted to prove from novice golfer to PGA tour professional.
That got me thinking what could I apply? My strengths are that I am a problem solver, a software developer and have a passion for video games. I therefore formulated this project to give myself a five year goal to achieve my dream of owning my own gaming studio, paying off my mortgage and funding private education for my children.
The coming hours, weeks, months and years will be documented as a means of diarising my activity and seeing if the 10,000 hour theory can be applied to such a concept.
So what is the timeline to this plan?  It is to achieve the result of my plan within 5 years i.e. by my 40th birthday.
The plan is loose at the moment but it is as follows:
  • Work to a six day plan
  • Year's 1 and 2 to work 3 hours a day, 6 days a week
  • Year's 3 to 5 to work 8.5 hours a week over 6 days
This will provide me with the framework to achieve the 10,000 hours by my 40th birthday. So what metrics will denote success?
  • Year 1: To have a number one category application (iphone, ipad) in an established market
  • Year 2: To have a number one app in an established market and by the end of the two years to be able to give up job and go full-time
  • Year 3: Establish and maintain full-time position.  Have another number one app in an established market
  • Year 4: Financially rewarded by paying off mortgage
  • Year 5: Financially rewarded by affording to privately educate my children
Ambitious, I know, but the principals that I have read into the 10,000 hour theory are examples of people dedicating their time to one goal whether it be to play golf on the PGA tour, the become a chess master or play an instrument but ultimately to do things they always wanted to do. In this instance I go back to why I went into programming in the first place and that was to get into game development while the proverbial carrot of financial reward is there.

The journey will be interesting for me and hopefully I can build up a community that not only supports and offers advice for me but in turn provides motivation to do the same.


Anonymous said...

but you quitted your daily job?

mygamingproject said...

Thanks for your post.

I haven't quit my job ... yet. This is a target to achieve by the end of year two. In the meantime I will produce the mobile game development in my spare time while maintaining this blog.

I currently have a job within the IT industry but not in mobile app development hence some of my novice comments.

Jay Jennings said...

Please do NOT take this comment as negativity, I don't mean it that way at all -- I admire what you're doing and hope you succeed.

The problem I have with your plan is with your intent to have a number one app. Those things *usually* don't just happen by accident, they're the result of intense and accurate marketing -- but you're focusing on programming.

The act of programming and the act of selling something aren't directly related.

If you want to focus on programming, then you need to find someone else who can focus on marketing your products.

It's possible you've already thought of that and part of your goal to create your own game studio is to hire someone with great marketing skills -- but just in case you hadn't been thinking of that I thought it might be good to mention it. :)

Good luck with your project -- I'll be following your progress and wishing you well.


mygamingproject said...

Thank you Jay for your comment and you are absolutely right.

Programming is the focus for now to ensure I at least have something to market but you are correct in that it's a tough task to cut through and get noticed amongst those 100,000s of apps.

The ultimate goal is to hire someone but I'm hoping to leverage the community and research which I'll undertake. There are going to be lessons to be learnt and I look forward to your support throughout this journey.

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