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The Story of Video Gaming Company Electronic Arts (EA)

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Story of Video Gaming Company EA,Electronic Arts (EA) Story,Startup Stories,Startup Success Stories 2020,Video Gaming Company Electronic Arts, Electronic Arts Founder,Electronic Arts History,Growth of Electronic Arts,Largest Gaming Company in America


With the advent of computers and consoles, gaming took the world by storm.  It evolved into a multibillion dollar industry with different companies releasing franchises and breakthrough games every year.  Gaming pushes the human boundaries as to what is possible and with multiple exciting technologies like virtual reality and augmented reality, the industry is set for a massive change in the future.  However, the gaming industry had humble beginnings and this is the story of one of the industry giants, Electronic Arts (EA.)

Beginnings

Electronic Arts was founded in 1982 by Trip Hawkins, an Apple employee, who left his job and began his own company.  Initially, the company was named Amazin’ Software. After the release of Apple’s Macintosh personal computer (PC,) the market for PCs was thrown open.

Trip Hawkins met with Don Valentine, the founder of the venture capital firm Sequoia Capital, to discuss financing options for his new venture.  Don Valentine convinced Trip Hawkins to resign from Apple and provided a spare office for Hawkins to use. Hawkins spent seven months with his first employee, Rich Melmon (also a former Apple employee,) to refine their business plan.  Hawkins continued to hire former Apple and Atari workers till his team outgrew the office Sequoia Capital provided and moved to a bigger office in San Mateo.

Naming of Electronic Arts

The name Amazin’ Software was disliked by the rest of the team.  Trip Hawkins believed developing software was an art form and called the developers ‘software artists,’ leading the team to consider ‘SoftArt’ for the company’s name.  However, there was another company by the name Software Arts and owing to the similarities in names, the idea was dropped. Electronic Arts and Electronic Artists are some of the names which were floated around at the time and the popular sentiment was towards Electronic Artists.  Electronic Artists was a tribute to the film company United Artists, but an employee insisted filmmakers were the real artists, leading to which everyone agreed to Electronic Arts.

Growth of EA

Trip Hawkins was determined to sell directly to buyers and the policy of dealing directly with retailers gave EA better margins and real time market awareness.  Game developers were given due credit in games as well as in magazines. The album cover box type packaging like the packaging for games we see now was pioneered by EA.  Game development became in house and EA released their first game, Skate or Die!  At the same time, they worked with external developers as well.  Owing to Trip Hawkins’s obsession to develop a sports game, a contract was signed with football coach John Madden, which led to the development of the popular video game franchise Madden NFL.

Over the decades, EA continued developing games for various platforms like the PlayStation, Nintendo consoles and PCs.  EA also acquired its license to develop Star Wars games after LucasArts was shut down by Disney.

EA also released multiple successful franchises like Need for Speed, FIFA, Madden, Star Wars, Battlefield, NBA Live, Medal of Honor and The Sims.

EA changed the way games are perceived and is always on the forefront of innovation.  A recent bad publicity incident due to its microtransactions in Star Wars: Battlefront II hurt their image badly, but they quickly bounced back with the game Apex Legends, a battle royale game like Player Unknown Battlegrounds (PUBG.)  EA, based on the revenue generated by it, is currently the second largest gaming company in the Americas and Europe, behind Activision Blizzard.

 

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How E Pharmacy Startup 1mg Changed The Way Medicines Are Delivered

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India is one of the countries where the prices of drugs and pharmaceuticals are the cheapest in the world, but access to healthcare is still one of the major problems which plague the Country.  A majority of urban population, along with the rural population in India, does not have any idea about proper nutrition, medicinal and dietary advice and the idea for 1mg, an e pharmacy startup, began on this premise.

Beginnings

1mg was initially started as HealthKartPlus, a platform which aggregated medical information and sold alternative medicine to its users.  The platform caught up quickly with the users and soon the users began asking for delivery of medicines to be included as well. That was when 1mg was founded by Prashant Tandon, Gaurav Agarwal and Vikas Chauhan in 2015.  At a time when information and awareness about medicines and lab tests were either minimal or non existent, 1mg aimed to change it. HealthKartPlus now stocks and offers health and dietary supplements and targets a younger demographic audience.

Services

After rebranding itself as a platform offering sales of generic drugs and pharmaceuticals, 1mg currently has 2 other major verticals (business areas)—doctor consultations and lab tests.  Users can go on the website or mobile phone app of 1mg to avail any of their services like ordering medicines, booking an appointment with a doctor or booking a lab test, which is neatly classified according to health and body categories.

Quality and information checks

Pharmaceuticals are very sensitive and need to be stored and tracked properly and on an online marketplace like this, there needs to be a system in place to ensure the quality of the medicines.  1mg has a system in place where they onboard vendors onto the platform if they meet certain requirements like computerised inventory and invoicing, which makes end to end tracking easier for the customer.  The startup is able to generate business even after strict government compliances which banned online pharmacies by making a prescription mandatory to make a purchase.

Adoption of Artificial Intelligence (AI)

With AI being hailed as the technology of the future, every startup is trying to adapt it in some capacity to streamline and optimise their offerings.  1mg recently started offering a feature, ‘Ask a Doctor,’ which is an intuitive chatbot that asks questions in order to accurately identify what the problem may be and shows the medicinal specializations under which the ailment may fall.  Users can choose from one of them and a doctor, who can diagnose the problem via chat, is assigned to you.

With technology changing everyday, 1mg established itself in the e pharmacy market place as a major player.  They currently deliver medicines and health products to homes across more than a thousand cities in India from licensed and verified pharmacies.

Read about how this company is recycling electronic waste: How Namo E-Waste Is Solving A Major Environmental Issue

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Story of Rovio Entertainment, Makers of Angry Birds Franchise

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If you are a smartphone user, chances are you have seen or played the hit game Angry Birds at least once.  The game became a phenomenon due to its fun gameplay featuring ‘angry’ birds with powers and pigs which try to steal the eggs of the birds.  However, the creators of the game, Rovio Entertainment, almost went bankrupt before coming up with the idea of Angry Birds.  While Rovio Entertainment may look like an overnight success story, in reality, it really was not.

Beginnings

Rovio Entertainment was founded by three Finnish students, Niklas Hed, Jarno Väkeväinen and Kim Dikert, belonging to the Helsinki University of Technology, after they won a mobile game development competition sponsored by Nokia and Hewlett-Packard in 2003.  Rovio was initially named Relude. Later, the name was changed to Rovio in 2005 before finally becoming Rovio Entertainment in 2011.

Rovio Entertainment was focussed on making games which targeted niche audiences and concepts like science fiction and horror.  They released 51 games to not a lot of success and realised they would go bankrupt if they continued on the same path.

Development of Angry Birds

When the first iPhone was announced in 2007, the entire smartphone industry was disrupted, leading to the development of new ecosystems.  Mikael Hed, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Rovio Entertainment, saw an opportunity to create a game which echoed with the millennial mindset and attention spans.  He wanted to come up with a game which was easy to load, simple to play without any tutorial and could be played at any time.

While the team of Rovio Entertainment was experimenting with different concepts, one designer pitched a concept art showing a group of birds which were cross for no reason and the design stuck.  The game was developed around these ‘angry birds’ by creating a storyline and antagonists. For the antagonists, the developers settled on pigs because of the swine flu epidemic which was in the news at the time.  Angry Birds was the fifty second game to be developed by Rovio Entertainment and was developed at a cost exceeding 100,000 euros.

Capturing the market

The developers realised they could not compete on the Apple App Store in the United States of America and the United Kingdom, which hold the largest market share with other games, as the response to Angry Birds was lukewarm.  Therefore, the developers released the game in smaller markets like Finland, Sweden and Denmark before capturing Greece and the Czech Republic.  The larger markets began to take note and the App Store in the United Kingdom finally put it on its featured games list, thereby catapulting the game into limelight and making it the number 1 game on the U.K. and the U.S.A. App Stores.  Angry Birds reached its one billionth download in 2012 and two billionth download in 2014.

Rovio Entertainment showed what it means not to give up and stick to an idea if it is endearing.  The success of Angry Birds is a testimony to the perseverance of the studio behind it.  Angry Birds successfully spawned a franchise, with multiple games on offer, merchandise and Hollywood movies to its name.

Read about the story of Electronic Arts here : The Story of Video Gaming Company Electronic Arts (EA)

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Entrepreneur Stories

7 Inspiring Quotes By Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

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Satya Nadella came into the limelight when he was announced as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Microsoft in 2014.  Satya Nadella succeeded Steve Ballmer and is the third CEO of Microsoft, the software and cloud giant. He managed to increase the stock value of Microsoft during his tenure at a growth rate of 27 % and made some key acquisitions like LinkedIn, Mojang and GitHub, to name a few.

Satya Nadella made it to the top of one of the world’s biggest corporations and in the course of his inspiring journey, he has shared many words of wisdom.

Let us have a look at some of the inspiring quotes by Satya Nadella.

1. “Be passionate and bold. Always keep learning. You stop doing useful things if you don’t learn.”

Learning is a constant process and there is always something new to learn, be it a new skill, a new language or a new subject.  Being in a state of learning will lead to a fulfilling life. Once the learning stops, there is no growth in an individual, which leads to a state of stagnation.

2. “You renew yourself every day. Sometimes you’re successful, sometimes you’re not, but it’s the average that counts.”

Each day is an opportunity to do something new.  Whether or not you are successful is unimportant, but every new trial contributes to the average output.  This offers the opportunity to learn from your mistakes and make the average better.

3. “I think playing cricket taught me more about working in teams and leadership that has stayed with me throughout my career.”

Cricket originated in England and spread to its colonies, where it is a popular sport.  Cricket is a team based sport and involves reliance on teammates, offering plenty of leadership opportunities.  Almost every team based sport offers a wealth of learning in terms of leadership and collaboration. In his book Hit Refresh, Satya Nadella mentions how he was taken out of the bowling attack because he was having a bad spell and was later recalled by the captain again to bowl.  That incident resonated deeply with Satya Nadella and he says, Why did he do that?  He could have just broken all my confidence and thrown me off the team, but for some reason, he decided to give me the ball back. That ability, that sensibility of what leaders can do to bring teams along to do their best work—that’s what we can learn from team sport.”

4. “If you do not jump on the new, you do not survive.”

The world is constantly in a state of change in this age of digital communication, where technology is growing at a very rapid pace.  In order to stay ahead of the competition, it is important to constantly adapt to new things.  In a bid to compete with cloud product service giants Amazon and Salesforce, Microsoft released Enterprise Mobility security, which allows corporations and organizations to track and protect their mobile devices.  This product increased Microsoft’s gross revenue up by 67 % and drew praise even from the critics who predicted its failure, thereby proving the Company’s ability to innovate and survive against all odds.

5. “Success can make people unlearn the habits that made them successful in the first place.”

While success is a cause for celebration, it is important not to let it get to your head.  Success should pave the way for setting a new goal and aiming to achieve it.

6. “Our industry does not respect tradition. What it respects is innovation.”

The software and cloud industry is constantly evolving at a rapid pace, with innovations happening at a very quick rate, making the competition cutthroat.  The entire industry thrives on innovation and Satya Nadella aims to do the same during his tenure as the CEO of Microsoft. Some innovations under his tenure include the Xbox adaptive controller designed to give additional assistance to differently abled people, the HoloLens augmented reality headset and the surface laptop.

7. “We all know the mortality of companies is less than human beings.”

Companies are made by the customers who use their products.  Many big corporations shut down due to lack of demand from their customers, like Blockbuster, Thomas Cook, Compaq and Toys R Us.  It is important to be humble and constantly innovate to improve the quality of life of the customer. Microsoft released its operating system (OS) Windows 8 as a measure to push people towards using tablets over desktops and pushed needless updates.  This did not sit well with the people and they avoided using the OS altogether. Microsoft took the feedback into account and then rolled out Windows 10, which was more stable and compatible with desktops.

Which of these quotes by Satya Nadella inspired you the most?

Read more about motivational quotes by Sundar Pichai here: 7 Motivational Quotes By Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai

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