Sunday, March 11, 2012


Just now getting around to Isaacson's great Steve Jobs book that many folks read months ago. While many of the great Jobs quotes and pearls of wisdom have been discussed and paraphrased ad nauseum , there's actually great Isaccson insight when it comes to the bullshit 'ideas are cheap, execution is everything' line that many folks in my industry like to toss around a lot.

When discussing Jobs and Apple taking a lot of the XEROX PARC ideas, Issacson writes, 'There falls a shadow, as T.S. Eliot notes, between the concept and the creation. In the annals of innovations, new ideas are only part of the equation. Execution is just as important...good execution is as important as good ideas'.

To me, many video games feel like special effects show reels and glorified tech demos. Most video games- once a few months/years go by and the visuals and fx and the new hardware no longer wow- are forgettable and do not stick to your bones.

I think a big reason for this is so many in our industry value the tech and execution over the ideas that drive that tech. This does not apply to all games. But for most games, we are like the movie business if there were no writers or directors but just the brilliant, genius craft folks who make and run the cameras and build the sets and create the special effects.

If you just want to pump out products and keep the widget machine going, execution is WAY more important than ideas.

If you want to create amazing games, great ideas AND great execution of those ideas must be nurtured and respected.

The only people who want to make great games who claim that execution is more important than ideas are the people who have never actually had a great idea.