Igor Matsanyuk, Game Insight: Is Your Company Ready for Changes?


29 September 2014

Igor Matsanyuk, the founder of the IT Territory which later merged into Astrum Online, Game Insight board member and the founder of the IMI.VC Foundation, speaks on his Facebook page about new market opportunities, the importance of recognizing these opportunities and taking advantage of them and the significance of negotiability for studios, investors and funds. 

‘I think that the ability to recognize, take advantage and create a window of opportunities is one of the most important traits of a good manager.
Both earlier in Astrum Online and in GI now I am working hard to anticipate what the future has in store for us. What games will become real hits, what new platforms will make their way in future and how the existing ones are going to evolve. How will our players’ needs change, how will the market shift, what will the foundations invest in and how can critical situations affect my company? Usually, these reflections open you up to seeing a window of opportunities. The next serious step you take is to evaluate how ready is your company, including you, to embrace changes. You are always on the alert, you never stop questioning and evaluating things. A window of opportunities is like a phantom. It will wait for no one and often disappears long before you recognize it.
Go through the history of the most prominent companies and you will see that their ups and downs hinged mainly on how swift their chief executives were responding to the fast-paced changes taking place in the world. In my mind, the two most striking examples are Google and Blackberry. Surely, Google has allowed a few mistakes, but he that never climbed never fell, and its ability to grasp every opportunity since the inception of the company is really amazing. The second example, on the contrary, gives me an excruciating pain in the stomach. Blackberry may stand out as a key messaging system in the telecom market, but it is the BBM story which I find most peculiar. The company could take advantage of a perfect opportunity and take over the entire messenger market, yet was punished tremendously by failing to take note of WhatsApp. 
We have to open up our mind to see what’s happening around us. That’s what we perform every day of our life: we wake up in the morning and look out of the window to see what the weather is like and make a decision on what to put on, whether to go on foot or ride, and so on. We make dozens of subconscious decisions that influence our life. But what happens if we decide to visit our friends in Murmansk or Rostov? We first ask them what the weather is like in their city, and only after do we start packing clothes. Their advice is likely to tilt our decision, even if we get a weather forecast on the Internet. However, if my friends say it’s warm in Murmansk in February, doubt will be my knee-jerk reaction, and I will check at least three sources of information to find out whether their information is true. 
In business, the process is similar. When we hear a proposal we find unattractive or an opinion which contradicts our own, it instinctively puts us on guard and we go ‘No’. Instead, I propose that every time you face such a situation, you refrain from giving an answer straight away. I suggest you go over this proposal calmly and give your answer no earlier than in twenty-four hours, just the right time to put things into perspective. Of course, it’s harder when it comes to negotiations. The kicker is that self-analysis blocks your awareness and severely blunts your ability to perceive your opponent’s argumentation. This is the way our brain works: any opinion that differs from your own is considered a threat. You do not negotiate with a threat, you fight it. I think this kind of problem can be solved with a level-headed analysis of the situation. Push forward your meeting. Of course, that is applicable when it comes to negotiations with your equals. If you begin to argue with your boss, you’re sure to trigger a reaction described above and that may not turn out well for you. Yet, you will be able to get your message across if you start with approval of your opponent’s position and continue with a proposal and readiness to hear out a different point of view. We should understand the basic laws of communication and perception; this is no less important than a serious face. 
So, if someone opens a window while you are still in bed and the bright light prevents you from falling asleep, try not to fret. Look at the clock: perhaps it’s high time to get up! View every proposal as a new window of opportunities and keep analyzing. Make it an unbiased and calm analysis. Give yourself time to see if you have any doubts, but never reject serious proposals even if they seem totally unacceptable at the outset. Such approach will enable you to develop negotiability, and this quality can work like magic!
When you negotiate start working toward a meeting of the minds. If someone is ready to meet you halfway, don’t say your decision is irreversible, though you may think the investor is ready to do anything for you. In reality, you know nothing of your investor. Maybe, at this very moment he decides to make investments into your competitor’s business because he thinks the competitor is negotiable enough, and your window of opportunities is being bricked in.
Don’t be too sure about your own decisions! Confidence and overestimation are polar opposites. Take a detached view of yourself and your company. Admit that neither you nor your company is perfect and flawless, and then make your next move. Use a window of opportunities to your best advantage, negotiate, be open-minded and don’t forget to always analyze a situation!
Game Insight used the opportunity to become a mobile game company in 2011. It was one of the first enterprises to release an Android game with microtransactions. Paradise Island rose to the top and opened up new horizons. We continue to move ahead. We recognize new opportunities in mid-core, hardcore and 3D games. We are open for new partnerships. If you are dreaming of hardcore projects but shy to admit it, contact me now!’