No two industries are the same; different priorities, different ways of working, different perspectives. And our job as investment advisors is to get on the same wavelength as our clients, whatever industry they’re from. That’s because when like minds meet, anything is possible.
A brand in 15 minutes
It was mid-2014. With the Charlie Oscar team established in Vilnius , and Oleg Pridiuk and Sergei Klimov spreading the word, we were ready to take our Gamedev promotion activities to the next level. We had quite a lot of interest, mostly from small studios. Now was the time to ramp up our efforts and position Lithuania as an ideal fit for them.
We started thinking about events to attend, materials to create, and an overall brand and message. What was noticeable at this stage was how organic the development was; everything dovetailed together, thanks to shared goals and a common approach. Take the “Lithuania loves Gamedev” branding.
Oleg and Sergei were taking part in DevGamm Moscow 2014, the no.1 Gamedev event in the CIS. We wanted to go, but budgets weren’t in place yet as everything was moving so fast. In the end, we didn’t need to. Oleg and Sergei just told us, “we’re going anyway, so give us some material and we’ll share it around.” Perfect.
And creating the material was totally natural. Oleg and Sergei suggested making stickers, we set about designing them. Mantas, who does our design and animation, drew up a load of examples. We shared them, got some feedback, refined them.
What was noticeable at this stage was how organic the development was; everything dovetailed together, thanks to shared goals and a common approach.
It all ended up in the coffee shop downstairs from our office. I was sat with Sergei when I received a new design from Mantas; heart motif, little cubes with the colours of Lithuania’s flag, plus the slogan “Lithuania Loves Gamedev.”
“That’s the one,” said Sergei, “let’s go with that.”
As easy as that. A design created in 15 minutes, by our self-taught, but extremely talented in-house designer. No lengthy consultations or expensive branding agencies. Just smart people who are passionate about what they do and who understand each other well.
They gave out the stickers at DevGamm later that month, and it generated lots of interest. It was at that time that we heard Game Insight were planning a visit; so we jumped on that lead and ended up supporting them a lot. Quite quickly everything snowballed.
Sensitive, creative people
For many of us, getting on the same wavelength as people like Oleg and Sergei was pretty intuitive and natural. Of course, we still had to adjust our approach, because professionals in the Gamedev sector are quite different to those in other industries. They tend to be sensitive, creative people, so the range of emotions and responses is much broader. If they like something, it’s world-beatingly brilliant; if they dislike something, it’s a real tragedy. Regular businesspeople are more reserved.
Gamedev professionals also picked up on some values Vilnius has which we hadn’t thought of or don’t normally highlight: the green spaces, the creative environment, how welcoming the city feels for newcomers. Having lived in Stockholm, Belgium and Russia, and travelled extensively, Sergei had some interesting perspectives on life here. For example, he pointed out that language aptitude is so high in Vilnius, it’s virtually impossible for someone who speaks Russian and English to find a situation where they can’t communicate. In most cases, just knowing English is enough to get you by. And many developers from abroad, especially Russian speaking countries, highlighted how inclusive and open the city feels.
Everyone benefits from different perspectives, new approaches and fresh ideas. And with a little thought, plenty of listening and an open mind you can quickly get on the same wavelength, whatever sector your clients are from. And when that happens, the sky’s the limit.