I hope the year 2013 has been good for you. For me, it's been intense and rich in lessons :
1. Never let a good crisis go to waste (turn sh!t into sugar).
2. Prepare a recovery strategy. As things may sometimes go wrong in the middle of a project, it helps to establish straightforward steps to get back to the momentum. Definitely useful in times of break down, so that you can get up again and just do it.
3. For anything desirable, there's competition. Even on your own projects, expect ambitious entrepreneurs to copy your products and concepts. That makes it kind of hard to focus on a single project and leave others on standby mode. How hard do you work to keep all the cool projects going ? It's up to your competitors to decide and they pretty much all make the same decision : as hard as you possibly can.
4. From a marketing and business point of view, Mobile programming is not a mere option anymore, it's a duty. Mobile Internet and Apps usage is exploding. Chiffres au pif :
91% of all people on earth have a mobile phone.
56% of people own a smart phone
50% of mobile phone users use mobile as their primary Internet source
80% of time on mobile is spent inside apps
Adults spend more time on mobile media than they do on newspapers and magazines combined
5. Sometimes it takes time and several trials to find the right fit. Choose your team wisely.
6. Leading a team through a project requires preparation, skills and time.
7. A lot of things can (and will) go wrong in your (virtual) world. Don't try and fix it all. Just focus on the essential parts.
8. Time stops for no one and there's no time to stop. Paradoxically, there is no time but there is still time. Even though life is short, one should beware of rushing. You have to put on a parachute before you jump out of a plane.
9. A delayed game is eventually good, but a rushed game is forever bad. My first game is up and running but I still work on some additional refinements before moving to the next one. So far I learned some basics and I enjoyed doing it, although it took "a bit" of effort and dedication. I am also looking forward to making more games, better games.
10. In Africa, Internet access is far from great and when available, it's not exactly cheap. Fortunately, there are ways for motivated geeks to express their realities through video games : cheap (sometimes free) training, audio/video resources and software. Indie developers and studios are starting to launch some cool projects.
11. Sometimes a logical analysis is hard (or takes long) to explain. Don't censor yourself but there's a trade off to be found between clearly communicating your point and suming up quick to move on to the next thing.
12. No matter how much "karate" you know, someone else would always know more. Regardless of how good you are, there will always be someone better. It’s surprisingly easy to waste time worrying about this.
13. Despite the ongoing technical and professional growth, there's still a long way to go to become a master coder.