2010 turned out to be a difficult year for me. Over a period of 14 months, I had a lot of what I believed thrown into question — about privacy, about my career, about my passion for games. I spent countless mornings wondering what I should’ve done differently. It’s over now, but for a long time I couldn’t see what that end was going to be, or when it was going to happen.
It became very important for me to solidify my understanding of what I was trying to do in the game industry. I needed a reason to stick by the choices I made, and the risks that I took: moving out to San Francisco with no job prospects lined up; leaving a lucrative position at a rising company when I’d felt they stopped hearing what I had to say; joining one of the underdogs with the conviction that I was going to help create the next generation of great social games.
And despite the setbacks — despite the erosion of privacy, the emotional and professional strain, and the (temporary) loss of some very good friends — I’ve ultimately come to the conclusion that I have no regrets. Everything I’ve done over the last 3 years, I’ve done because of what I believe.
I believe in a free and open industry. I believe in friendly competition. I believe that the more we can all talk to each other, the stronger we can all become.
I believe that iteration and innovation are not mutually exclusive. I believe that we have to learn from both our mistakes and successes, but that we can’t repeat the same success patterns over and over and expect them to keep working. I believe in the need to take calculated risks, but risks nonetheless.
I believe that a company is only as good as its employees. And I believe that when a company treats an employee more like an obstacle than an asset, it’s within that employee’s rights to seek out a better situation — more stability, more respect.
I believe that with over 250 million active users on Facebook every day, and with more than half of all Facebook users playing social games daily, there’s more than enough room here for all of us. There’s no need to shake fists at each other all the time.
And I don’t believe that there can only be one winner. I believe that success can be defined in a multitude of ways, and that we haven’t even seen half of how social games can be “successful.” I believe that this industry is still inching closer to that rebirth I’ve been hoping for, and I believe that I made the right decision in staying in the space. To help it get to that point, and to be here when it happens.
I believe that 2011 is going to be a better year.