It’s taken very nearly two years, but I’ve gotten the final invoice from our manufacturer at last, and the FourGames Deck is complete. What is the FourGames Deck, you might be asking? FourGame Dynamics, or FourGames for short, is a set of mental models created by Jamie Combs, founder of Natural Balance Foods. Jamie tasked me with creating a standard 52 card deck using FourGames that works both as a normal set of playing cards as well as an oracle deck, which is a general name for decks like Tarot or Lenormand that have symbolic meanings for the cards. Today, I’m going to give you a walkthrough of the last two years of this project from ideation, design, prototyping, and manufacturing.
One of the two mistakes I see many early founders and entrepreneurs making are either spending too little time or too much money on brand for their startups & small businesses. I say this as someone who sells branding to founders and entrepreneurs, so while this advice may result in reducing the number of clients I’ll have in the future, I think the possibility of early businesses saving money, and perhaps more importantly, not being terribly hard to look at, is worth the risk in my book.I want to introduce the idea of Minimum Viable Brand as a concept to aim at.
Not too long ago, MasterSelf celebrated its one year anniversary. The site originally came about during a phone call between Arda Cole and myself. At the time, I was living in a hotel room somewhere between Colorado Springs and Pueblo. Arda had mentioned he was looking to start a fitness blog (he’s a record holding powerlifter) and I was looking to start writing about philosophy, the mind, and that sort of thing. The reason why I mention this all is that it’s about the time of the year where I start looking at where I was last year and how far I’ve come since then- and I’m sure I’m not the only one in that regard. I don’t really have a clever way to sum this one up, so here’s the story of how a failed business taught me everything.