Have you “Fired in the Hole”? Lessons from Counter Strike

11th Sep 2012
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Gaming has fascinated mankind ever since Thomas T. Goldsmith, Jr. and Estle Ray Mann filed a United States patent request for an invention they described as a "cathode ray tube amusement device in 1947. There were games before but this was probably the advent of video games. We’ve evolved and so have our games. And one of the most popular one of the recent decades is Counter Strike, better known as CS. Counter Strike, a game which was developed by two friends Minh lee and Jess Cliffe from their college dorm, is religiously played on 200,000 servers, by more than 500,000 people online and has sold over 27,000,000 units since it was released publicly in 1999. More than 13 years later, it is still one of the most played online FPS game in the world.So, what has made the game sticky and why is it good for a startup to play CS together for a while? Some good lessons:

Teamwork – While most other games focus on the single player and his abilities to accomplish the mission, Counter Strike is all about teamwork in order to achieve the goal. One person cannot just go alone and defuse the bomb or rescue the hostages. Same goes with entrepreneurship; it gets extremely difficult to manage everything on our own. Trusting teammates is the most important thing in the


entrepreneurial journey. So next time when you face fire, just shout “Need Backup” on your Radio!Objective is Everything – In most other games the gameplay is over when you die, but in counter strike team strives towards to goal even when the “Commander is Down”. Same way startups face many glitches while working towards their dreams, and in spite of the gunfire the team faces they should not lose sight of the ultimate goal and keep moving forward.

Freedom – Teamwork does not mean that the whole team always sticks together. It means using every body’s strength and area of expertise to achieve a particular goal. As soon as a round starts and freeze time is over, the sniper finds a suitable location and eliminates the opposition. In a similar manner, an organization becomes most efficient when we allow people to do things that they are good at, rather than forcing them to do something else. Someone who is good at convincing people will make a great salesman rather than being a coder.

Choosing the right team – In the team selection screen we are presented with all the people who manage our team, along with their capabilities, some are good skill wise, some are brave and some are very cooperative. We have to choose a mix of all team to bring out the best of everybody for our startup and attain our goal, before we say “Go team Go!

Resource management – Deciding the right weapon to choose and using ammunition wisely has a very important role in winning the round. While AK-47 is very damaging, it lacks in accuracy. A machine gun can carry upto 100 rounds but reduces mobility. And moreover when you use grenades and flash bangs you have to be very precise and accurate as they are very limited. While running a startup we have be extremely careful about the cash flow and be frugal in our approach.

So what are you waiting for, just go and “Fire in the Hole!

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