Setting Goals

Guidance by the incubator.

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This is an extract from Output 3.4

4.4 Setting Goals

Starting a company is overwhelming, and many entrepreneurs struggle to establish a clear roadmap for the company. Setting measurable, customised goals for each start-up can be immensely helpful to keep them concentrated on the right things and recognise progress when it happens.

The founders should always be the ones responsible for their company’s goals; incubation staff and mentors only have an advisory role. Accountability is at the core of entrepreneurship and leading teams and giving the founders the illusion that they could share it and blame someone outside the company would do them a disservice. Additionally, clear responsibility for the goals increases commitment to them. However, an in-depth discussion with an experienced industry professional is likely to help the founders set more realistic goals.

The goals to be set depend entirely on the situation of the company. Normally at least some of the goals are about game development; to have a proof of concept, a vertical slice, or a published product by a certain date. Reaching these goals will often require some restructuring of production and/or refining of scope. If the company already has published games, goals should include user acquisition, visibility, and revenue. Some of the goals can be more abstract – changes in the company culture, for example.

Setting goals is important, but it’s also crucial to remember that running a company can be unpredictable and situations change. Even if production goals seem perfect when they’re set, it’s quite possible that the test users dislike the vertical slice, and the whole project goes back to the drawing board. Keeping an open mind and being able to change the goals is just as important as setting goals is.