We can't believe it's already been 3 years since we started our indie dev adventure! It's been quite a journey, with some ups, some downs, a few sudden turns, and a lot of learning. Now with DinoByte at the age of a toddler, we are excited to see what's ahead and how our company will grow even more, through it's childhood, teens and adult life!
With all we've been through over the last 3 years (and no doubt we still have plenty more to figure out), we thought we would share 3 lessons we've learned which might hopefully inspire some of you budding entrepreneurs out there!
1. Being Your Own Boss Is Tough
It might sound amazing to not have anyone hanging over your shoulder barking orders, but to be honest sometimes that's needed (minus the barking maybe...). It's surprisingly hard to stay focused, especially when not every task involved in running a business is fun. Countless evenings spent on accounting, admin work and replying to emails, are tough to force yourself to do, especially when the Xbox is whispering your name, and oh, it sounds so much more enticing. At the end of the day we've learned a lot about how to stay on track and focus on work, but it's taken time to balance the line between slacking off and overworking ourselves to exhaustion.
Some of the tricks we use to stay on track are for exampleKanban boardswhich keep us on task and organized. Our office walls are COVERED in post-it notes on our physical Kanban wall, and the fact that it's visual and organized really helps us to quickly know what needs doing and by who. One other AMAZING tip we learned is the '5 Second Rule' by Mel Robbins. This applies not only to being your own boss, but is a tool you can use for anything from dieting, to procrastinating on work, homework or really anything you need to just get done.
2. We Don't Have A Crystal Ball
This is a saying I've heard my dad say a lot about life, but it really applies in business too. As much as we predict, calculate and plan, it's often impossible to know exactly how much time a project will take. It's still early days for DinoByte in many ways, and each year we get better and better at knowing ourselves and how we work, so our timings become better. However, there are times when the unpredictable happens, so one big thing we've learned is BE ADAPTABLE. Nothing will ever go 100% as planned, and most larger tasks will take longer than you expect, so plan for that! Honestly it's a great rule both in business and in life.
3. Stay Inspired, Stay Curious
The truth is sometimes things can get really difficult. We've gone through project droughts, difficult assignments and everything else a new business can expect. The thing that really keeps us going is staying inspired and excited about what might be possible. It's important to find mentors and people in your industry to look up to. We've watched so many talks by veterans and people we respect, like Mark Rosewater, Phil Spencer, Don Norman, Todd Howard, Anita Sarkeesian and many more, and each time we do, we find ourselves reinvigorated to want to do more and try harder. Visiting a museum and feeling inspired by a painting, learning something about history to inspire the stories we write, we are constantly trying to consume as much as possible to spark our creativity and keep us creating. We really believe the best work is achieved when you feel passionate about what you are doing, so taking the time to cultivate our curiosity and maintain our enthusiasm is really what is behind our drive to keep working!
We hope those 3 lessons were useful! To wrap up we want to say a HUGE THANK YOU for the last 3 years. To all the clients we worked with, the gamers playing our games, our online community, our Kickstarter backers and the Dino-Bits, thank you all for being a part of DinoByte Labs these last 3 years! We can't wait to share with you what is next!