Tag Archives: Start Ups

Failing fast and hard

It’s the Jewish New Year and I’ve taken a brief break from the two week old Enhanced Wars Kickstarter campaign to attend services. I check the time on my phone and see the notification that we have had two new backers. Despite my best intentions, I cannot help but open up my email to check the details. I recognize both names. At that moment, I know that Quarter Spiral is finished.

We’ve crawled over the 20% funding mark past which 4 out of 5 projects are successful. But with a platform wide backer average of $25, we will need to attract over 1,500 new backers to the project in two weeks. In the past 36 hours the small number of new backers are friends and family. Despite the common wisdom that many projects get funded in the final 48 hours it feels impossible.
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6 process tips for virtual teams

Before Alex and I decided to start Quarter Spiral, we both spent a significant amount of time as Producers leading teams at BioWare. In the San Francisco studio, he led the platform technology team and I ran the game team. Although we both have creative backgrounds as designers (he graphics, me games) we both learned to love process. As a team leader, I put down the game design document and picked up the process as my tool of quality and control.

So the very first day Alex and I met to discuss our product vision, we opened up Pivotal Tracker and wrote stories in a backlog. The first full time day for Quarter Spiral, the three co-founders met on Skype for sprint planning. Before the second day was over, Alex and I had already held an ad hoc meeting to review the process we cobbled together; dissatisfied with some kludginess we began to make changes.

Quarter Spiral has been a virtual team from day one. Being virtual is key to keeping our burn rate low and working cohesively while spanning from the west coast of California to the northern tip of Germany. As such, a strong focus on process has been key to keeping our team humming as we build product. Along the way, we’ve picked up some tips and tricks that keep our virtual team strong.
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