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Mentoring fellow dreamers – a start up game plan for final year students

It is always flattering when people come to you for mentoring advice knowing that you are a total and complete failure. CIO Pakistan did that this Saturday afternoon when they brought 7 impressionable young men with them. Just to make it interesting and worthwhile I had Nauman Shaikh from Credit Chex also over for a chat.

Here is the essence from the session

  1. Two of the seven kids were lucky enough to know exactly what they wanted to do with the rest of their lives. One wants to write games for consoles, the other, inspired by Rabia, wants to be a technology journalist. Before they landed at the Alchemy office they had already thought through their grand plans to dominate the world
  2. Noman and I jumped on both to drill down and see if they were really committed to their cause. We found out that the game developer knew the major gaming channels, knew margins and traffic patterns as well as the licensing requirements for selling games on Apple iphone and didn’t want to write games for cell phone since they could only do limited functionality. He was let off easily
  3. The technology journalist had a slightly rougher ride when we found that while he has a blog he only posts once a month and in five years that blog has only gathered about 15,000 page views.
  4. After we were done talking we came up with a plan to gauge the commitment of kids present in the room.

Here is the plan

Step One – April

  1. Come up with a list of milestones that help you achieve credibility with peers, mentors and in the space that you want to be in. Do the plan within one week, build credibility within one year.
  2. For the gamer kid (Taha), the plan is to build a game that he can design and start testing in 10 days, refine and release in the next 20. So by the 10th of May, Taha from FAST NUCES will release a game that may not rock the world in general but will certainly change his life forever.
  3. For the blogger, the penance was to do 30 posts in 30 days. That is the ticket of admission for the next mentoring session.
  4. For the other five kids, 6 hours a day for the next 30 days to figure out a commercial idea that can prove to them and the world that they don’t need a job when they graduate from FAST in May 2011.

Step Two – May

  1. Create a platform to widely distribute the gaming application and the blog content within the next 30 days.
  2. For the kids who have just figured out what they want to do, repeat Step one.

Step Three – June – September

  1. In the next 90-120 days book the first dollar of revenue.

Step Four – October – March

  1. Triple revenues every month for the next six months. 3 dollars in Oct, 9 in Nov, 27 in Dec, 81 in Jan, 273 in Feb, 819 in March.

Step Five

  1. Decide what they want to do with their lives.

So Danial, Taha, Mustafa, Osama, Usama and Furrukh, you are on stage and the focus light is shinning right into your eyes. The game is on.

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