09 May Lessons in Business Learned from Fortnite
Over that last couple months I’ve observed my 10 year old son playing the video game Fortnite. I tried it and, as a former video game aficionado, found it to be one of the most fun games I’ve ever played. After playing the game and observing it being played, I came away with three lessons that translated from the family room to my company.
Lesson 1: It takes Strategy
The more you play Fortnite, the more you realize you need a strong strategy to try and win the game. Although there are many strategies that can lead to a Victory Royale, like dropping in where there is no one around versus dropping into highly populated areas. Or trying to avoid conflict until the end versus trying to be the Rambo of the game and eliminating as many opponents as you can, there is still strategy to winning.
Business is the same, there are many ways to make a business successful. Many ways to go to market, many ways to advertise, many ways to grow. Although there may be a better way to do it, there is no real exact-one way to do it. Assuming the strategy is good and effective, there are many ways to reach the goals of the organization.
Lesson 2: It takes Talent
After watching my son play and get eliminated for his lack of talent (and strategy) at the game, I made a snarky comment and told him to hand over the controller. He immediately looked at his old man and told me that I was going to get destroyed.
“Son, I’m a first person shooting legend. I’ve got more hours playing Duke Nukem, Golden Eye and Call of Duty than you’ve been alive. Let me show you how it’s done.” I was almost immediately killed. After some lame excuses of him not educating me about the storm and other things “you need to know”, I said “Okay, now I see how it’s played, I got this.” Again, after coming upon my first conflict, I was immediately killed.
I gave my son back the controller. He played some more…he wasn’t much better. Proving that even if you see how others play successfully (as seen on YouTube) or unsuccessfully (as seen in my family room) and take all the best strategies in the world to be successful, you still have to have talent to succeed.
Lesson 3: It takes Teamwork
If you play Fortnite in solo mode, it’s you against 99 others. One chance to stay a live to the end. However, if you play in the Duo or Squads mode, you have a much better chance of staying alive longer. Like business, if you go Solo in Fortnite you can still win. But you can get further faster with a talented team. In Fortnite, you may have a squad with different skill levels, different talents that you can combine to go after the one common goal. When my son plays with his friends it’s clear to see that each has their strengths and weaknesses. My son is good at methodically searching for items and taking down trees, rocks and metal buildings to gather resources. One of his friends that he regularly plays with moves fast, doesn’t stay in one area long and is good at eliminating other opponents. The other friend he plays with that makes up their squad is good at building. He builds walls and ramps fast giving them protection and allowing them to get places other wise unreachable quickly.
Business is the same. It takes a talented team of people. Each team member having their own strengths and weaknesses they bring to the organization. Everyone coming together, encouraging each other, having each other’s back, and at times “reviving each other” (as can be done in the game when a player is almost critically injured to the point of elimination and a teammate comes to “revive” them), using one cohesive strategy and executing it for that coveted win…that Victory Royale.