The Startup Game

2014

The Startup Game

Stories of startups are most often told using superlatives. These are stories of founders dedicating themselves to a single idea, prepared to risk it all for a chance of success. Teams putting in extraordinary effort: their sweat, late nights, and swapping socialising outside of work for obsessively improving their products.

Of the personal stories of my friends most of them are not the happy ones of hardship, survival and success. Mostly they’re stories of workplaces that in the name of innovation and moving fast throw out healthy working practices. I’ve heard of startups doing “agile” by having three stand ups a day. Ones which insisted they were still too small for HR departments despite complaints. Companies where managers were so scared of losing control that they had to micromanage everyone below them. Places which enforced permanent “crunch time”. Stories of unfair dismissals, unforeseen firings, burn out resulting in months off work.

The Startup Game

Anecdotally at least it seems to me that those stories are at least as common as the success ones, but they’re not told as often, though they should be. That’s why I made the Startup Game.

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