You know the philosophy: “You never know unless you ask,” but that gem has taken Andy Rosic, Founder of Portland, Oregon’s SelfPubd, to the pinnacle of a burgeoning business. The model is a co-op publishing group for developers who make games and apps. The idea is not so much to eliminate the middle man here (but that’s what happens), but to empower the individual (gee, isn’t that what Gates preached decades ago?). Their website says it’s a “movement to take back control… a methodology to sell” for the independent developers. People pay to join the co-op which gives them access to the sites’ users (they claim around a million at present) plus a lot of great tools.
The road has had some bumps common to many startups, including Co-Founder issues. “We get along and think alike, but we also clash a lot,” Andy admits. However, there is an upside, “I think it’s healthy because it makes you think, to stop and evaluate your decisions.” And of course, there is always the temptation to try and do everything. “Don’t spread yourself too thin,” he cautions, “hone in on that single idea.”
He’s inspired by his family, including his three young kids. “They think I’m a rock star because I make games”, he beams. “I love that, but also what I’m doing is going to care for and provide for them…it drives me to work hard and do well.”
But now it’s crunch time, the moment of truth, where the company will find out whether “everyone will get excited, join in and push forward with us or we’ll just fall into the abyss.” Andy shouldn’t be too worried, as he always does his homework. “My mantra is to ‘be audacious,’ not in a mean way but in a way that says ‘just asking’ is a zero-sum game. You have to ask, you have to get out there and make yourself available.” That applies to asking customers, employees, investors – just about everyone.