One important aspect of being an entrepreneur is having the ability to adapt. Many entrepreneurs tend to create and stick to just one idea, and although that can be good for creating additional quality products, it can also cause them to fall behind or lose track of their rapidly advancing market. It is then important for an entrepreneur to adapt to the many trials of the business world. One entrepreneur that I look up to who has shown he is capable of adapting, is Jordan Weisman.
Mr. Weisman is known as a serial entrepreneur, in that he has created many different companies and franchises that have influenced many different aspects of the gaming world. He is responsible for many successful games, such as Star Trek: The Role Playing Game, the Xbox hit Crimson Skies, the Shadowrun Series, and his BattleTech franchise.
Mr. Weisman briefly attended college before breaking off to pursue his interests in business where he founded his first role-playing game publishing company, FASA Corporation. Although Mr. Weisman’s company created many small pen-and-paper role playing game scenarios, he wanted to create his own science-fiction role-playing game. Star Trek: The Role Playing Game was his first successful step into the science-fiction genre of board games. Some of the ship designs seen in later movies owe their creation to Jordan and his team who first introduced them in the board game.
With the Star Trek game as a template of sorts, Mr. Weisman went on to create the BattleTech franchise, a tabletop game focusing on 31st century warfare and the use of titanic walking war-machines called BattleMechs. From the BattleTech Franchise came many critically acclaimed video games, such as the MechWarrior series, MechAssault (the first game on Xbox Live), MechCommander, and the soon to be released video-game version of his original tabletop game, BATTLETECH.
Mr. Weisman has not been without strife throughout his career. During the initial creation of the BattleTech franchise, Jordan decided to use Japanese designs in the first illustrations of their Mechs’. Do to some confusion with Japanese Copyright law, it was discovered that another company had also purchased the same designs, and proceeded to sue Weisman’s company. Jordan decided to drop the use of the designs, which had already become iconic parts of his game franchise, and opted to only use in-house artwork for future designs. Unfortunately, FASA Corporation never fully recovered from the lawsuit.
Mr. Weisman went on to create new and different ideas that stayed within the current gaming world. He’s founded many different companies, with his latest one being Harebrained Schemes. Jordan has kept pushing forward to create new games for all different kinds of audiences, however, none have seemed to stick as well as BattleTech. In 2015, Mr. Weisman and his company started a Kickstarter campaign to fund a new game set in the BattleTech universe. The project met its initial funding goal of $250,000 in its first hour of funding, and then went on to surpass its final funding goal of 2.5 million dollars with a final total of about 3 million dollars.
Jordan Weisman may not have created the next Facebook, but he’s made ripples in the large ocean that is the gaming business. He’s shown resilience and a will to adapt, which many entrepreneurs don’t have. That is why Mr. Weisman is my favorite entrepreneur; he’s kept pushing on to make new ideas, even if his previous ideas fell-short. He adapts and re-positions himself, allowing him to try new ideas or reinvigorate older tried-and-true ones. Jordan Weisman is the kind of entrepreneur I hope to become and I have nothing but respect for him.