Failure is part of startup reality, so why not take it out of the real world and into entertainment with Hipster CEO?
Creator Gerard Kelly has been in the startup scene in Ireland for the last six years and created the game to give people the chance to show they could be the next star tech founder.
Once you've named your startup, you're given a guide that, in keeping with the app's name, is decidedly hip. The tutorial tells you "how the whole dealio works" and warns you to "make sure you're happy with these deets bro", because you won't be able to change your company name or target market later down the startup journey.
A nicely designed dashboard displays your company's vital stats: money in the bank; staff happiness percentage; average daily revenue; daily burn rate; days to live (your company, not your lifespan shortening because of overwork); and money in your wallet.
It also lets you assign work to staff in tech, marketing and sales. I started a fitness app venture (why not, everyone else has) but crashed and burned early on when I tried to hire too many staff for the size of my office and splashed out on a coffee machine and a keg for the staff.
Apparently the premises was also too small for a putting green.
Make sure you set the game speed early on: I got an email asking if I couldn't handle the pace when things were moving along and I was busy figuring out what to do.
Once you make revenue you move up through the levels, from $5000 to a whopping $5 billion. You can then compare yourself against the global leaderboard, determined by net worth.
That's calculated by how much you made from your last acquisition and the profit you're currently making.
There are useful guides for advertising and marketing, tech product development and using social media, and even some tips if you're thinking of a real life startup.
The game will make wry entertainment for anyone who's been through the challenges of building a startup, and gives useful insight for outsiders and students about what goes into small business creation. In New Zealand this iPhone app costs $4.15.