Appy Entertainment exists to develop great games for busy people on Apple’s iPhone and iPod Touch. That’s the obsessive mission that consumes our days and nights. But building our first game is not the whole enchilada. In a startup, there are no standard operating procedures. You have to find an office, figure out your accounting system, your IT infrastructure, your corporate bylaws, your budgets. You take out your own trash, make your own coffee, build your own furniture. You wear a dozen hats and make a fresh steaming mistake every day. But the most important start-up thing you must do is build a great core team. But what are the elements required? Are talent, intelligence and passion enough to do the trick? Or is there something more required …?
Consider The Beatles.
The next time you’re in a bar with your friends, you might try this question: “Can you think of any human being in history luckier than Ringo Starr?”
(Totally boss Ringo Starr picture nicked from Rock 107 – if you are ever in the Keystone State, check them out!)
In defense of this proposition you might point out that Ringo replaced Pete Best as the Beatles’ drummer on August 16th, 1962. The Beatles recorded their debut Lennon-McCartney single, Love Me Do only one month later.
One month. Pretty sweet gig, eh?
Within the next year, Beatlemania in England was in full bloom and by 1964, the Beatles had conquered America, delivering 17 number one singles over the next six years. The Beatles sold more records than anyone else in history, rewrote the rules for the record industry, and had an enormous impact on pop culture. Ringo would become an international celebrity, a film star, and a rock star in his own right.
Ringo, though a fine drummer (and those that don’t think so, can read the truth here), happened to be in the right place at exactly the right time to ride a wave of success that has never crested.
Malcolm Gladwell (the author of The Tipping Point and Blink) in his latest book Outliers, points out that a partial element of The Beatles’ success was the sheer amount that they had to play — the band had been together since 1957 and by the time they really hit it big, they had performed live over 1200 times. So, the argument goes, The Beatles had not only built up incredible stamina, but had perfected a highly energetic stage act featuring a wide variety of musical styles (you try playing for eight hours a night!)
But the vast majority of the time The Beatles practiced their craft before hitting it big was with Pete Best, not Ringo. Was Ringo critical to the success of the Beatles or did he join a band that was already a success? Did Ringo just happen to fall into becoming the most popular drummer in the world? Was Ringo the luckiest man alive?
I don’t think so.
In fact, I believe The Beatles were the lucky ones. In Ringo, they found a musical soulmate whose personality completed the rest of the band. Ringo’s left hand dominant backbeat, his easy-going personality, his quirky looks and his laconic sense of humor (who do you think came up with the terms; “A Hard Days Night or “Tomorrow Never Knows”?) served as the bedrock that supported the creativity of the band. His chemistry with the others, especially Paul McCartney on bass guitar, gave the Beatles an unrivaled rhythm section. Ringo’s natural acting ability made him the centerpiece of A Hard Day’s Night and Help! and revealed a perfect complement to the impossible-to-quantify Liverpool charm that literally seduced the world. The Beatles were far more than the sum of the individuals that made up the group.
(The Beatles, circa 1965 found on Myrto Pirl’s Beatle Page)
Consider this: every Beatles song you can name was written and performed in the period between August, 1962 and May, 1970, a little less than eight years.
All the individuals that made up The Beatles were extraordinarily talented and highly successful on their own, but none of their individual careers ever matched the impact or quality of their collective work.
It comes down to chemistry — that strange you-know-it-when-you-see-it vibe that occurs when the weird creativity and humor of A meets the technique and sophistication of B together with the raw charisma and talent of C mixed liberally with the vision and drive to succeed of D. The resulting potent mixture can produce great, lasting things. This applies to rock bands, football teams, mercenary armies and yes — even iPhone developers.Explore posts in the same categories: company culture