December 19, 2006
Raph Koster Soars Without a Net: Areae.net
Raph Koster has his first startup: Areae.
Venture Capitalist (and Areae funding partner) Susan Wu has a great post that says many of the things about Areae that I wanted to, so rather than repeat them, I’ll just add a few things of my own.
Raph’s design pedigree is impeccable, but this is his first startup – and that introduces a whole new set of challenges. Dead (and dying) virtual world businesses abound. Worlds/Games with excellent design and technical execution can fail for lack of business focus, non-existent market research, decent marketing, competent management, financial prestidigitation, faulty timing, audience mismanagement, and more. It is a much larger mountain to climb, especially for the first time.
Yes, Raph will have more creative control than ever and no bureaucracy to slow him down. Huzzah! But, in exchange, he won’t have the same resources that he’s used to at his command. That’s why he’s got his board of directors and his advisors. I’m proud to be a member of that team. Though we are a much thinner safety net than, say, SOE, we do represent a broad set of industry experience. Some say I’m old and cranky and perhaps that is why Raph asked Richard and I to help: we grizzled veterans know where mayny dragons there be lurking in the wylds.
we head off
Dusting off my questing clothes,