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(re: Login in required) I would pay a lot of money to anyone who could turn me into the “Ken” I was in the book. I’ve become much more boring with age…
Sometime I’ll write a long message about my philosophies on inhouse development for this board. For now, here’s the one paragraph version:
I wanted Sierra’s games to be different than any other companies. I really didn’t see Sierra as “just another publisher”. Publishers go into the open market and bid for products. In that market, the high bidder wins (meaning the company willing to show the lowest profit). Sierra, to me, was a creative group (our #1 priority was development, not publishing). I’m having trouble explaining this – but, I saw us as a vertically integrated developer, not just someone who marketed other peoples products. One of the major critiques of me, through the years, was that at Sierra developers were treated like gods, and everyone else as unnecessary overhead. This was a fair commentary. I felt we were in a product business, and that only product mattered. Good product sold, bad product didn’t. Customers are smarter than you think. You can’t turn crap into gold by spending millions on advertising. We ran almost no advertising, and spent almost no money on trade shows. What we did spend was against existing customers, and really it was just “informational”, not hype. I’m anti-hype. . I felt we were running a “club” where our job was to build cool product for people who had bought from us before (I did spend on direct mail, such as InterAction magazine). New people would “join the family” if our existing customers talked about our products. The idea of someone else building your product is a completely different kind of company than I ran.
-Ken W