What are the benefits of the Waterbug Business Model? David Galiel of Elbowfish Board Games has first hand knowledge.
Name of Business: Elbowfish
Years in business: 4
What the business does: Design, develop and publish board games that make you think.
What was the path that led to your business? I have a long entrepreneurial background and was involved in a pioneering massively multiplayer online game in the late 1990’s. I was also the director of the Boston Computer Society Virtual Reality Group in the early
What’s working now? Jackie’s “Waterbug” model, with a solo entrepreneur at the center collaborating with other independent creatives, is a perfect match for Elbowfish. It supports our goal of supporting the local creative economy.
We have already worked with three visual artists/illustrators, two game designers, two videographers, a writer, several actors, composers, an attorney, a bookkeeper and even some goats! (Portland’s pigmy goat herd were featured in the Kickstarter video for JUX, our collaborative storytelling game).
Do you have any advice?
– Remembering that I have a lot of experience to draw from and that I should trust my instincts;
-Realizing that I do not have to build a traditional, top-down game studio with high overhead and headaches. Instead, that I can grow Elbowfish and reach sustainability using the Waterbug model;
– Recognizing that Elbowfish already has significant intellectual property/tangible assets. This is in the form of the quality original art, character design, and major investments of time and expertise from designers, business consultants and others in developing a quality brand identity and individual game brands. This has not only helped me revalue the business from a financial standpoint. It has also made me appreciate what I, with the help of so many others, have successfully built in just a few years. We often forget that side of things, and look only at the challenges and speedbumps along the way.
Which class did you take from Jackie?
Encorepreneurs and Solopreneurs.
What was it like working with Jackie?
I’m 58. I have been in business, mostly for myself, for over 35 years. I have read many books, attended many talks, and participated in many workshops about business development and entrepreneurship. Most of them were not worth the cost – including the ones that were free!