15 Things Angry Birds Can Teach You About Business

Video games can teach you a thing or two about the challenges of life and business. One of the most popular titles to sweep smart phones, TV’s and tablets across the globe is Angry Birds. It too, offers nuggets of practical business wisdom. Here are 15 pulled from the experiences of Angry Bird addicts around the world.

  1. The first attempt is worth playing out. Even if you can’t quite see victory, use the remaining resources to figure out the mechanics and define the winning strategy of your next attempt. The more you learn from each experience, the deeper the understanding, the more likely you are to succeed in the future.
  2. Sometimes good things happen despite your worst performance. Accidents can work in your favor. Some of the greatest inventions were the result of accidents including chocolate chip cookies, the popsicle, and potato chips. (Writer’s note: I must be hungry). For more awesome accidental inventions, see Mistakes that Worked.
  3. There are different ways to overcome an obstacle. Think creatively, avoid limiting yourself to linear thought and don’t immediately accept the premise presented. You may see opportunities where others do not. Don’t take yourself for granted. For more on creative problem solving, check out The Back of the Napkin: Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with Pictures
  4. Have a purpose in mind. Identify weakness, need, and opportunity.
  5. Aim first, or fire first? Choose an attack pattern to make it work.  Don’t fire arbitrarily, but don’t be afraid to try. Conserve ammo. Have a plan but don’t be afraid to deviate as circumstances change. Must read:Ready, Fire, Aim: Zero to $100 Million in No Time Flat
  6. Choose the right tool for the right job. Sometimes, you don’t have the right tool, but you can choose a different job. Aim for the other legs of the table.
  7. Play the angles. If one angle fails to work or win them over, adjust your trajectory and tray another. Often,
  8. If 3 stars is perfect, strive for perfect, but be happy with lesser successes. The perfect score is not always attainable.
  9. Focus on being as effective as you can with the tool that is in your hand. Don’t waste energy whining “if I only had a…” unless you’re willing to invent a solution.
  10. You can make up for tact and strategy with tenacity. Stay angry. In just about every sport I played, I was more tenacious than talented. For lack of better literary eloquence, I’d simply play harder. The same is true in business. It can make all the difference.
  11. Recognize when you have failed. If you know there is no chance of success, fail early and hit the restart button. Spend a short time failing to free up more time for success. Spending a long time failing may further your education but it will rarely make you rich.
  12. Pay attention to your failures. Make every failed attempt worth it. Study the failures to refine your next approach. Recommended reading: Failing Forward: Turning Mistakes into Stepping Stones for Success
  13. Don’t beat yourself up at every loss. Sometimes we lose and learn. There are very few complete failures. The defining moments or mistakes are usually small ones. Count the small victories and pinpoint the failing points. Remember, if it was always easy, it would quickly become boring.
  14. Don’t let the green pigs get you down. There’s more to life than fame and fortune. Find something more fulfilling and strike a balance.
  15. Playing Angry Birds while on the job may win you a ticket to an unemployment line.

Bonus! 11 fun facts about Angry Birds:

  1. Angry Birds is downloaded about a million times per day across multiple platforms. Most of those downloads are paid. $$$
  2. A father made a playable Angry Birds Birthday cake for his son. Watch the video here.
  3. Angry Birds was made by a team of four people and took eight months to finish because it was such a low priority for the company.
  4. The game cost less than $109,200 to make.
  5. Angry Birds fans include public figures as diverse as David Cameron, Paul Gascoigne, Kylie Minogue, Conan O’Brien and Jon Hamm, Mad Men’s Don Draper.
  6. It has sold more than seven million copies on Apple’s iPhone.
  7. Rovio Mobile developed more than 50 games, with relatively little success, before finally striking gold with Angry Birds.
  8. The Angry Birds beta for Android hit more than one million downloads in three weeks.
  9. More than twenty different Angry Birds toys are available in stores everywhere.
  10. Peter Vesterbacka, Rovio’s official spokesman, has the job title ‘Mighty Eagle’.
  11. Speaking of unusual titles, one of Rovio’s game testers was nicknamed the ‘Rovio Killer’ because he was so bad at their games.


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