On Hiring Talent

January 16th, 2008 by Roy Russo

Right on the heels of LoopFuse being proclaimed “like crack for marketers”, I happened across a CNBC special, “A history of video game industry”. Although it was a great summary show on the history of the industry, I found the few minutes covering the Atari developers mirroring something I have often experienced in the past and experience almost daily at LoopFuse. The short of it is that after Warner had purchased Atari, it’s small core of developers were responsible for creating, designing, and programming the actual video games. Where competitors and consumers alike, believed there were hundreds of employees involved in the production of these video games, in all cases it centered around 4 to 5 very accomplished programmers.

I know what you’re thinking… “Who cares? Atari died a painful death anyway.” Indeed, but the painful death occured after this small clan of developers decided to leave, and start Activision. You’ve heard of Activision, right? Guitar Hero, Call of Duty, Quake, and now (acquired Blizzard) World of Warcraft.

Ok, so now for how the relation happens… Not a week goes by that we don’t have a prospect investor, analyst, customer, or even bobo competitors wondering how LoopFuse is able to innovate so quickly. An astute observer will note that we have literally built an enterprise-class product within a year, comparable and very often exceeding the functionality and reliability of competitors that have been in business for over 7 years with mountains of capital behind them.

So the question inevitably pops up… “How do you do it?

I still think people don’t want to hear the truth. The truth is boring, simple, and probably sounds like a lie… “We have the most talented and motivated people we can find working on the product”. Too boring, right? Yep, so Tom and I have resorted to asking people “Do you take your $120k Mercedes for maintenance to the dealership or Bob’s mechanic shop?

So there you have it, folks. Theres our secret sauce, our kimono is wide open, and the cookbook is in circulation. We learned just a little bit of common sense while at JBoss… Marc taught us well, as he pushed for all-stars in every corner of the company; IT, Development, Sales, Marketing, and even Accounting.

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