MGT 3111 Banks 9/24/14
Reflection Paper #2
Curt Schilling was a very successful professional baseball player in the early 90’s and late 2000’s. He was searching for something more to do with his life after his baseball career ended when he retired. Schilling expressed how he wanted to get “Bill Gates rich” by doing something meaningful in his life, and that is where gaming came into play. If he wanted to be good at something like he was good at baseball, he knew he had to work at it. He began his homework researching the entire aspect of the gaming industry. I thought that him informally meeting with SOE showed great character. In baseball he was a star player, but he was about to embark on a completely new journey. While reading, I kept expecting that he would use his celebrity status to just put his name on someone’s hard work. It was shocking to me that this never happened. A huge pro I thought was when he visited SOE and had his notebook to take notes of things he did not know. He knew that he was not very familiar with how to actually make a game, but his drive to follow his dream would help him achieve this. When entrepreneurs start out, the road ahead is never easy. I think Schilling knew this, but I do not think that he ever expected just how difficult it would be. Even though he did not have much knowledge of how to start up and run a business, he was very adamant about learning. When he threw out crazy ideas about working fourteen days straight, MacLean gave him many reasons why that was not okay. He listened immediately and learned from it. He had to take control of the reigns being a founder of an organization, which took him some time to understand. After five years when the company went bankrupt, Schilling handled the situation with such dignity. He knew he had failed, but he posted on the Internet thanking God and his employees for a memorable five years. You would not find many people like that in today’s society. It is now all about the money. It does not matter how you get it or who you hurt in the process.
This entire case is made up of risks and rapid decisions. There were many instances that I found to be detrimental to the success of 38 Studios. One decision that stood out to me was when Schilling agreed to the 50-50 profit sharing. Giving half of the profit that 38 Studios made to the employees would never render much profit for the company. Schilling promising this to new hires shows how inexperienced he really was in the business world. He thought he was going to be able to fund the company all by himself. Little did he know at that time how that would turn out for him. It is a good thing that Schilling had Close to enlighten him that stock options would have to replace the 50-50 profit sharing strategy. Schilling’s verbal agreements to customers, employees and investors were all made out of haste. Being an athlete, your life is constantly full speed at all times. Schilling had to realize that this was not the case in this business. If Schilling had said what he wanted to about the release date, there would have been uproar in the gaming industry. He needed Close and MacLean to give him direction on what he could and could not say. Without their expertise and guidance, the company probably would have failed way sooner than it did. Schilling did not know what he was getting himself into when he decided to start this gaming company.
Family, business, and a team have a lot in common, but they should all be kept apart. I find that it is very important for management and employees to have a tight knit relationship, to a certain extent. Schilling truly did care for all his employees and called them a team, but he told them that work was equally important. A part of the case that really stood out to me was when Close was talking about Schilling, “as pushing Curt to recognize that in addition to being family, someone has really got to make sure that we’re operating as a company by…