Gamification in Finding a well-rounded Advisory Board

Gamfiication Advisors

Click this link to see my latest post on how Diablo III uses Gamification to become so addicting

Finding advisors is a game

As a young team, we need a well-rounded advisory board who know what they are doing to guide us and prevent us from making bad decisions simply because of a lack of knowledge.

However, finding impressive strangers to help you could be a scary task, so by adding “gamification” to the process, or simply viewing it as a game, things become a lot more straight forward and less daunting. (How many of you are afraid of approaching a boss in a video game?)

As I pointed out in another post , good networking has 6 Core Values: Integrity, Sincerity, Optimism, Confidence, Initiative, and Persistence. As long as you constantly apply these 6 core concepts in your life, doors will open up in life for you.

1. Decide on the Objectives of the Game

In order to find the right mentors and advisors, you need to first know what are your objectives. Are you trying to create a scalable business? Are you trying to solve certain technology issues?

2. Identify the Kind of Advisors you would need for your Objective

Once you know what your objectives are, create a list of skill sets and experiences that you need to assist you further. Be as detailed as you can, such as “Someone who has 20 years in this field, has brought at least one company successful, and is local to my city.”

3. Create a Hunt-List of Qualified Advisors

This requires some work. You need to go on LinkedIn, go to conferences (and especially check out the speaker list), read the press, and identify a list of super powerful individuals that could be your advisors. Don’t be timid in adding the strongest folks in this list. You never know.

4. Start the Hunt

The next step is to hunt for these advisors. In this day and age, it is easy to find their traces online and possibly offline. See what social networks they spend a lot of time in. See if they have a blog and have a podcast show. Also, pay attention if they are going to conferences soon.

5. Soften up the Ice

 Before you reach out directly to them, go to a few of the places that they have presence, and create some interaction about that. If they have a blog, comment on their posts a few times. If they are on Twitter, Retweet and respond to their tweets.

6. The Direct hit

After some soft engagements, write a respectable email, social network message, or approach them at a conference, and say, “Hello, I’m _____. We’ve had a few back and forths on your blog. I’m working on a [2-3 sentence]. I was wondering if I could have a conversation with you sometime for the purpose of you potentially being one of our advisors. I think your experiences in _____ would make you perfect and I believe YOU will be the one that helps us become successful.” If you have done everything well from before (including truly finding the right and relevant person), you have a good chance of making it.

7. Sell as usual

During the meeting, you should sell your company just like you would to any investor. Get this advisor excited. Get this advisor to like you. Also, be clear on expectations of what you want from an advisor and what you would give for it. I recommend guaranteeing a monthly 1-hour phone call, as well as in-person board meetings once a quarter. Most startups give out  about 0.1%-0.5% of the company for a good advisor that is willing to commit.

8. Add a point on your LeaderBoard

Once you have gotten this advisor to help you, give yourself a brownie point and then go for the next one!

Throughout my career, I have firmly believed that, when you meet passionate and motivated people with a sincere attitude, only good things can happen. Building relationships is one of the most important and meaningful things you can do in life, regardless if it is for professional or personal enrichment. To apply another Gamification Analogy: Outside the comfort zone there is a harmless dragon that looks scary, but you are invincible to it. Once you realize there is nothing you can lose by approaching and talking to more people, you will be ready to slay the harmless dragon.

I lost my blog since 2005 :(

For SEO sake (Search Engine Optimization), my company Future Delivery decided to switch main domain names in Bluehost from FDnetwork.org to FDcareer.com. What I was not informed of is that I need to not only back up all the files, but the databases too, however way it can be done. Once I realize that is the case, it is already too late.

In economics, we learn about sunk costs, which means that what is lost is already lost, and you need to make decisions based on the future instead of the past. I lost some of my most important thoughts, feelings and comments of times when I am angry, frustrated, delighted, impressed, confused, and rare times when I am insightful. To make matters worse, I also lost my planner/diary for 2008 very recently.

Would I be reduced to something less if I have lost my past? Would it change how I should live my moments, and how does it affect my future? The past may not be worth thinking about. I will take the present, and leverage it to make a better future. I will live on, and so will my blog.

A more elaborated record of the Mixergy Interview with Jun Loayza

base=”http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=6,0,40,0″>
(Note: this is just a summary intro and not the whole interview)

So in LA there’s a pretty prominent startup-focused organization called Mixergy, run by an awesome guy, Andrew Warner. Mixergy organizes events and interviews successful startup entrepreneurs to educate the world about how to become successful entrepreneurs. Andrew recently interviewed my Co-founder and CMO Jun Loayza for the latest episode, and I thought it was pretty awesome. I could probably have you download the interview from here, but I think it would be more fair if you went to his site to check the whole thing out, so go listen to the interview here.

I thought the interview was pretty extraordinary. However, due to the time limitation and the nature of the interview, there were obviously some details that could not be expressed. For that reason, I would like to tell some of the missed stories about FD. OK, well, to be honest, I also thought I sounded like an introverted pervert in the interview and I wanted to bring myself a little justice 🙂 I’ll do that at the end though.

Continue reading A more elaborated record of the Mixergy Interview with Jun Loayza

The Crunchies 2008: Not that Great. (although the Myspace Afterparty was pretty cool)

Last Friday I went to the Crunchies 2008 event, and had a pretty awesome time.

For those of you who don’t know, the Crunchies Awards is somewhat like the Oscar for the Tech/Startup World, and is hosted by the dominant technology and startup blog Tech Crunch. Before the awards, people have selected from an ocean a startups and nominated one for each kind of award like Best CEO, Best Boostrapped, Best Innovation, Best App etc etc. Each award has 6 nominees, and in the actual award, they point out the winner and the runner up.

Some cool people who showed up were Mark Zuckerberg, Founder/CEO of Facebook. Microsoft Chief Software Architect Ray Ozzie, Amazon CTO Werner Vogels, Google product chief Marissa Mayer, Twitter founders Evan Williams, Biz Stone, and Jack Dorsey, imeem founder Dalton Caldwell, FriendFeed founder Paul Buchheit, Y Combinator’s Paul Graham, Seesmic CEO Loic Le Meur, and Mahalo CEO Jason Calacanis. In other words, this event is pretty important.

Continue reading The Crunchies 2008: Not that Great. (although the Myspace Afterparty was pretty cool)