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.)
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.
5 Books For Every Entrepreneur In 2020
It is easy to talk about entrepreneurs and look at them with envy for pursuing their passion but what no one knows is the amount of sweat, blood and tears which go into making an entrepreneurial dream come true. Entrepreneurs are expected to be highly competitive in the cutthroat market and at the same time continually strive to set an example for others to follow. The sad truth however is that not all entrepreneurs succeed in their mission because some may give up midway through their entrepreneurial journey, or some might run out of cash while some are just not able to scale up their business.
Many successful entrepreneurs have documented their journey and their thoughts in autobiographies or novels for aspiring entrepreneurs seeking inspiration. These books would manage to scale up your game, improve your business strategy, potential to connect with new people and most importantly would give you courage to persist on your journey.
Here are five books in 2020 which every entrepreneur should read
1) The Lean Startup by Eric Reiss
Published in 2011, this book is still relevant even in 2020 as Eric Reiss outlines a guide to help entrepreneurs to develop methods to manage their startups/businesses. Entrepreneurs can set their strategies according to their needs and runway cash to optimise their business opportunities. The Lean Startup offers entrepreneurs, in companies of all sizes, a way to test their vision continuously, to adapt and adjust before it is too late.
2) Zero To One: Notes On Startups Or How To Build The Future by Peter Thiel
Peter Thiel is the co founder of PayPal and an entrepreneur as well as a venture capitalist. Zero To One tries to teach entrepreneurs about how Peter Thiel thinks , his approach towards business and how one can shape the future of their startup. WhilePeter Thiel was teaching a class at Stanford University, a student named Blake Masters took notes which led to the book Zero To One released by both Thiel and Masters.
3) The Startup Owner’s Manual: The Step-By-Step Guide for Building a Great Company by Bob Dorf and Steve Blank
This book is touted to be the perfect guide for any entrepreneur to scale their business. This book has detailed step by step instructions on building successful, scalable, profitable startups. The Startup Owner’s Manual is so popular that it is taught in university courses at Stanford, Berkeley, Columbia and many other universities. The Startup Owner’s Manual follows the theory of customer development, agile, and lean engineering.
4) The Greatest Salesman In The World by Og Mandino
Although first published in 1968, this book is still a bestseller and widely read by entrepreneurs. The book aims to serve as a guide to philosophy of salesmanship, and success through the story of Hafid, a poor camel boy who achieves a life of abundance. The Greatest Salesman In The World is written in the form of ten scrolls.
5) Founders at Work: Stories of Startups’ Early Days by Jessica Livingston
This book is a collection of some really unique interviews done by Jessica Livingston with some of the greatest startup founders in Silicon Valley like Apple, PayPal, TiVo, Yahoo, and TripAdvisor. This book aims to offer wisdom and insights straight from the mouths of some of the most influential entrepreneurs.
Let us know if there are any other books which deserve to be read in 2020.
TruCup: This Startup Is Fighting The Taboo Of Menstruation With Sustainable Sanitary Products
A country like India which is influenced by diverse cultures and religions over the ages, there are multiple belief systems which also come with their own share of taboos and stigmas. Most of these taboos are based in deep rooted ignorance and also the lack of proper educational awareness among the Indian population. One such taboo, is the stigma surrounding menstruation, because it is treated like a societal evil. The problem is due to the old school thinking which associates menstruation with impurity. While the stigma is one problem, another problem is the lack of means for a large number of women to purchase the necessary sanitary products because of their high price.
This is where a startup named TruCup comes into the picture. TruCup was founded by two women entrepreneurs Shivangi Bagri and Alakshi Tomar. Shivangi Bagri used to have to endure excruciatingly painful periods before purchasing a menstrual cup from Singapore and realised the product made her life better by easing her periods. Being a Yoga teacher and a dive enthusiast, Shivangi’s life changed for the better after using a menstrual cup. It was then she realised how the current market products are misleading women by convincing them to buy products which contain synthetic fabrics, fragrances and chemicals. This motivated Shivangi to come up with the perfect menstrual cup.
Alakshi Tomar on the other hand used to work with schools in the slums of Mumbai and it was there she saw the neglect of menstrual hygiene. The problems she saw while working in the slums coupled with her own sedentary lifestyle during her periods made her switch to a menstrual cup.
The two (Shivangi and Alakshi) became friends in school, and remained so even when they moved to different cities for higher education. A chance WhatsApp conversation between Shivangi and Alakshi led to them realising they are the only two women using cups in a group of 15 friends from school. The two figured there was an urgent need to create the perfect cup for all menstruating women. After months of research and constant design feedback from women who used cups, they came up with a comfortable design.
According to TruCup, one billion pads and tampons are disposed of in India each month. Another 64% of women use cloth for sanitary purposes in India and another 95% of women do not use menstrual products due to taboo/myths surrounding insertion, virginity and hygiene.
Shivangi and Alakshi set out to create demand in a market dominated by sanitary napkins and were able to expand organically to 56 cities through online and offline sales. Women who used their products are their best promoters as they are vocal about the quality of their products and recommend it to other women. TruCup trained more than 1600 women on menstrual hygiene, established partnerships through governmental and non governmental agencies and impacted more than 60,000 women through different projects. Shivangi and Alakshi however have a long term goal to destigmatize the taboo surrounding menstruation and to make the public have conversations on menstrual health and hygiene. TruCup plans to train people of gender roles and how gender roles shape the way people think, organise and know the world. TruCup also provides training on sexual and reproductive health as well as menstruation. Furthermore, TruCup also aims to create awareness about the environmental impacts due to unsafe disposal practices of sanitary napkins and the importance of sustainable menstrual products.
TruCup is bringing a revolution to women’s health with their community awareness programs and their top quality TruCup!
The Rise Of Gig Economy In India
India is notorious for churning out graduates from colleges at a very high rate and the education system in India is always under fire for not focusing on all round development but on marks and grades, instead. This is a growing concern as there are not enough jobs available to accommodate all the graduates passing out from college. However, the Indian millennial is a smart individual and when put under pressure, a millennial is capable of coming out of it better. So, what did the Indian millennial do when there were less opportunities and did not want to be part of the rat race? They turned to taking up gigs and that spawned an entire economy and industries to flourish.
Gig economy can be defined as a work engagement where on one side, there is a service seeker that is a consumer with a demand for a specific task, and on the other side, there is a service provider that is. a gig worker who can perform that specific task. The gig economy was able to flourish solely because of the advent of digital platforms which were able to connect a service seeker with a provider. More and more Indians are looking to escape from the monotony of a 9 to 5 desk job and instead take up freelance gigs which complement their skills.
In order to put the gig economy into simpler terms, here are some examples. An individual who likes to drive cars would consider working with Uber as a driver partner to earn some extra bucks. An individual who is good at playing the guitar would consider performing in live shows with a band to earn extra money. A person who is good at painting would consider selling their art for extra money. The gig ecosystem offers the millennial an outlet to escape monotony and pursue their passion instead.
The gig economy could only thrive when there are digital platforms which are able to connect the supply with the demand. The digital gig economy generated a gross volume of approximately $ 204 billion from worldwide customers in 2018. India has emerged as the 5th largest country for flexible staffing after the United States of America, China, Brazil and Japan. Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat and Telangana have the most opportunities in terms of growth for the flexible workers.
Gig economy allows task ownership, convenience and flexibility. Based on tastes and preferences, an individual can determine the number and type of projects they can work on, the quantum of their earnings, and thus, their work-life balance. For example, an individual who took on five gigs in one month could take only three gigs the next month to balance life at their regular job.
The gig economy has a disruptive model to connect sellers and buyers for almost all kinds of skills and services. While the size of the gig economy may seem marginal when compared to the traditional economy, it is recognized for its enormous potential with the desire of workers, specially millennials to have a flexible work schedule and the rise in the on demand consumer services. Of In India, almost 70% corporates have already used gig workers for at least one task in 2018.
In India, a platform called Lemonop, is setting an example in the gig economy by providing a platform for students and working professionals to look for gigs of their liking. There are plenty of other platforms like Lemonop which are slowly bridging the gap between talent and job demand.
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