Tom Ortega II

Posts Tagged ‘Area 161’

My Purpose in Life

In Life on January 8, 2013 at 10:57 am

The title should really be, “My Purpose in my Professional Life.” But that doesn’t flow as nicely or grab you buy the emotions, so I shrank it down to “My Purpose in Life.”

Some Background

If you’re lucky, you’re one of those people who’ve known exactly what your purpose in life was since high school or college. If you’re extremely lucky, you’ve known since you were a kid. Unfortunately, it wasn’t that way for me. I barely figured it out this morning, after a little more than 37 years of being me. That’s almost 20 years AFTER joining the workforce, where I was supposed to be executing upon that purpose.

For some, their purpose in life is wrapped up in a single goal or series of related goals. For example, “I want to be the best basketball player…on my team” then morphs to “…at my school” and then “…in the (W)NBA” and lastly “…of all time.” Now, for me, my purpose is not like that.

For me, my purpose in life is something that I’ve been hoping for to provide guidance. I like to do many things as evident in these two separate posts. A lot of different things make me happy. I have a ton of crazy ideas, and I get more ideas all the time. In fact, I just had a great new biz idea this morning. When the ideas hatch though, I invariably ask, “Will this make me happy? Will this be fulfilling for me in the long run?” Most of the time, I would answer, “I don’t know” because again, I didn’t know my purpose so how could I know if this would work towards it? Read the rest of this entry »

Don’t Be Another Mobile Game Company

In Area 161 on October 14, 2011 at 3:27 pm

[This post is one I wrote on the Area 161 blog. I normally don’t cross post, but this one really resonates deep within me, so I’m sharing it here as well.]

What We Are

As we’re trying to get our first game out the door, I came to a realization. It was something that Smiley already knew and understood. I sorta understood it also, but semantically I was just a little bit off base. You see, this is how I saw ourselves:

An iOS game company pushing the boundaries of device interaction.

Which is cool and fine sounding. It pretty much explains what we’re thinking about the company – right now. It also covers what the company will be doing for the next few years. Then it hit me though, that really doesn’t explain us quite right. I thought about it and really, this is what we are:

A game company that leverages new ways of device interaction, which currently designs exclusively for iOS.

Note the subtle difference. They both say the same thing, but the latter is more closer to reality.
Read the rest of this entry »

You Can’t Plan a Business, You Can Only Show Up

In Business on June 16, 2011 at 12:48 pm

To date, I’ve had about a handful of entrepreneurial activities. Looking back, I realized something: You can’t plan a business.  I know that sounds pretty counter-intuitive, but I’ll be honest, the more I think about it, the more it makes sense. At least for me.

Don't get stuck on Planning and never hit Implementing

Don't get stuck on Planning and never hit Implementation

Don’t believe me? Alright, well, let’s take a walk down memory lane and let’s survey the land to see what happened.  NOTE: I’ve had way more ideas than this, but these are the ones that I put more than a few days or weeks into.

Idea #1 – Restaurant Paging/Seating Software

I wrote a fat business plan. I did market analysis. I had a team in place and a product being built. Then I had a personal incident happen that left a bad taste in my mouth on the idea. Regardless though, I spent a few years on the idea and nothing happened. I had a great plan, but never had a product, not even a beta product. I almost became the software arm of one of my would-be competitors, though that fell through at the last-minute because they didn’t understand software.

Takeaway: You can have a great product idea, business plan and market analysis yet still not go to market with a product. In which case, what was the point of all the planning?

Read the rest of this entry »