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I know what you’re thinking: how on earth does a post-apocalyptic survival game have any lessons for those running a real-world startup, or maturing as an entrepreneur? To which I would reply, “plenty.”
Fallout 4‘s a great game (if you’re interested in a review, Gearburn’s got your back), but it’s also a rather good teaching aid if you take the time to study it.
Through all my hours of playing Fallout 4, exploring the vast world and setting up countless Settlements across it, I take a look at the five biggest lessons the game can teach entrepreneurs (and don’t worry, I’ll leave our the mutant killing content).
Perseverance is key in all aspects
The game’s new Settlements mechanic essentially earmarks your character as an entrepreneur. You’re tasked with creating various tiny companies, allowing the surviving human population to thrive in a sustainable ecosystem. But it’s extremely hard work, requires a keen eye, level head and dedicated work ethic. These mini-societies take ages to build too, and to build a thriving ecosystem is perhaps the biggest challenge of the game. But failure is almost inevitable, and that’s okay. I’ve learned from each missed opportunity, but persevering with that new knowledge is key.
Understand your team’s strengths and honour them
In these Settlements, it’s important to select settlers for key positions based on their skills. Some characters will boast a better perception level than others, while some will rank high on endurance. The former would do well growing crops, while the latter is perfect for defending the settlement. Essentially, each team member has his or her strengths and weaknesses, and as a chief architect, understanding your team and honouring these strengths is integral to success.
You can’t build everything with your own two hands
As I’ve mentioned above, understanding your team’s strengths is key, but delegation is even more important. Choosing to play the game as a lone wolf is an option, but even that can’t be done in some instances of the game (namely Settlements). Lessening the load, spreading the burden to specifically skilled individuals and realising that the game is all about relationships is perhaps one of the best lessons of the lot.
Look at big problems by focusing on granular details
The Fallout 4 game world is so huge that taking each section of the map piece by piece is the only logical way to play the game well. There are areas where challenges seem near impossible (especially early on in the game), but ensuring that all your bases are covered, you’re well prepared and that you have a plan B if things really go pear shaped is integral to progression. Sure, it’s human nature to go gung-ho without a thought, but it’s not good business or gaming sense.
Curiosity is an advantage, not a hindrance
Never stop learning, because that’s really what furthers you as an entrepreneur and gamer alike. Curiosity is essential in the game, largely thanks to general experience and adding to your character’s knowledge base is essential. Remaining in one fixed spot constantly goes against the game’s intentions. That’s true with entrepreneurs too. To budding entrepreneurs especially, leave the so-called nest and explore your own strengths and passions. It’s also never too late to begin.