Startup Scaling Is the Most Addictive Game

The rules change constantly. Sometimes there are no rules. Sometimes there are so many rules you have to go rogue.

There are dozens and hundreds of characters with unique personalities and motivations. You don’t know which ones are friends.

What works at one level doesn’t work at another. You constantly have to re-learn the game. If you rest on your laurels everything falls apart.

There are all kinds of boss levels. There are new obstacles almost every time you play.

It’s extremely competitive, and it requires you to be extremely cooperative too – often with people you can’t even see from around the world.

It’s running at most hours of the day. You can always get back into it, and you can never get fully out of it.

It’s has moments of extreme randomness, humor, and chaos.

It makes you retry everything four times and rethink everything five.

It’s easy to fail and yet very easy to restart. It’s hard and yet forgiving.

Your character doesn’t even remain the same. Your powers change, your skills change, and your part in the story will change multiple times in gameplay.

It challenges your body, heart, and mind.

I’m not describing what would likely be the most fun, most addictive video game of all time. I’m describing the game of scaling in a startup. For me, a non-athlete for most of my life, it has captured much of the energy and intensity I might have put it into sports or gaming.

Can you understand why I love it?

The things that make startup utterly addictive are also the things that make it utterly wholesome and healthy. The process of building a business can be (with the right perspective and mindset and actions) the process of building a whole life.

Whether you’re actually building a business or just getting a project or organization or event (or yourself) off the ground, try tapping into all of the things that make scaling so much fun.

Photo by Etienne Girardet on Unsplash

James Walpole

James Walpole is a writer, startup marketer, and perpetual apprentice. You're reading his blog right now, and he really appreciates it. Don't let it go to his head, though.

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