Playing Games to Startup


“The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct.”  – Carl Jung

The startup process has become too serious.

True, a lot can be at stake when you spend much of your free time (and then maybe all your time) trying to make something new come to life. And for investors, the money they’ve put into a new business is not a joke to anyone.

But when we make something so serious and place a lot of significance on it going ‘right’ we lose one of the most critical factors to really being successful – to think beyond what is and create something new that may displace or disrupt the current way of doing something.

When we’re serious, we tend to focus on the next task in the plan to meet the milestones that are going to get this out the door.

Our most innovative thinking often happens when we’re at play. When we’re freed up from some measurement of accomplishment and can explore, experiment, and try stuff out – knowing that the real-life risk of failure is suspended.

“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.”   – George Bernard Shaw

As grown-ups, our access to play is most often in games. Playing a game, we can live out fantasies, try out ideas, be someone else, and, if the game is good enough, imagine ourselves living out our dreams.

“We’ve been playing games since humanity had civilization – there is something primal about our desire and our ability to play games. It’s so deep-seated that it can bypass latter-day cultural norms and biases.”   – Jane McGonigal

That’s why we created the MonstRpreneur Startup Board Game. Because if there’s one aspect of business that is truly enhanced by the ability to innovate, dream, and think beyond constraints, it’s the world of starting up.

We’re starting with a board game to learn, research, and experiment with the structure, social interaction, and mechanics of the game.

“By playing games you can artificially speed up your learning curve to develop the right kind of thought processes.”   – Nate Silver

This is the first step to building a digital startup environment where you can play your dreams out in a simulated world. Where there may be a fantasy investment model based on a founder’s track record of building valuation for themselves and partnering with other founders.

The game play is based on AHA moments – those are moments of insight that come in a flash where you never see something in the same way again, ever. The game creates opportunities for situations where you have choices and the options themselves can create AHA moments that make you think about the potential of the business you choose in new ways – that may lead to fulfilling dreams or new dreams.