...but they don't understand that there's more to it, and knowing how to analyze your industry is more important than you think!
"There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure" - C. Powell
Spoken by a wise man, and it is as close to the truth as possible. If you want to succeed in this industry (or any industry), you need to understand that it is not called an "industry" because the word sounds cool. It implies that it is a market, and what is a market made up of? Businesses! If you want to succeed in this world, you have to learn to pull the trigger. This is not a matter of: "When the time comes, I'll learn it from whoever hires me". Do not count on being hired in the first place. You will need to know the "ins" and the "outs" of what you are doing - whether a video game developer, a film or music producer, or whatever it is you choose to do - and realize that your future lies in how well you understand the difference!
The truth is: you are not just a developer; you are a businessman (or business-woman). You have two choices: climb from the bottom and to the top, or start at the top without ever having to meet the bottom to begin with. As I said, the truth is: this is a business, a market, and a very saturated one, at that. If you want to succeed, you need to know that you are facing tremendous competition, as there are literally hundreds of thousands of others out there, just like you, who are out to do the same thing(s) as you. Knowing the hard truth, and knowing that you may not be in this for the money...but your employer is, is the first step to success.
Take a look at any industry. Let's use clothing stores as an example. They all do the same thing, but they do it differently. Somehow, they find a way to find a common ground, but they then do market research, asking the customer or client what they would like to have been done better by prior, more established businesses. They then turn their own clothing store into what the others are not. JCPenny's offers clothes, but they include jewelry, perfume, and tons of other stuff. Macy's does the same thing, but they may have lower prices or strategic marketing in place. Each of these companies are constantly doing market research in order to determine trends in their industry, and when JCPenny's has a 20%-off-sale, Macy's may have a 40%-off-sale. See where I am going with this? You need to look at the multimedia industry as just that: an industry.
How To Compete
Again, think like a businessman! Look less on development forums, and read less about video game releases...and start reading up on business, marketing, and the video game industry. Watch the trends, and see what games are going well, what types of games are doing well, what genre of games are doing well, what platforms are on the rise and which are on the fall..these are all things that account for "Research". You need to learn as much about video game development, as you need to learn about the business of it. If you are not able to know from the git-go how to develop your own studio, license it as an LLC or a Corporation, hire employees, raise funding...then you might as well name yourself: "Craig", last name: "LIST", because you will be spending a lot of time on there doing work that has nothing to do with video games at all.
The ball is in your court - always remember that!
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