Rupert Meghnot's purpose in life is help technology entrepreneurs become successful, specifically in the omnimedia fields of simulation, gaming, and virtual reality. To that end, Meghnot founded Burnout Game Ventures, now the largest game incubator in the world. "The problem with many independent game developers and other tech entrepreneurs is that they don't know how to make a business out of their idea," Meghnot said. "They don't plan, which is part of the reason independent games have a 95% failure rate. We provide all the talent, resources, proprietary processes and the kick In the butt they need to create quality experiences quickly."
What separates Burnout Game Ventures from other game incubators is its operating model. "We're all entrepreneurs here," Meghnot said. "No one gets paid until a game or experience ships. This eliminates salaries out of the equation which means a reduction from $750,000 to somewhere between $5,000 - 15,000 in the cost to produce a game. We lower it even further through efficiencies. No other game incubator can come even close because they're all venture capital or education backed so they have venture or public hoops they have to jump through."
Meghnot has launched or helped launch hundreds of companies and he has been doing it ever since he was a recent college graduate. "I was political science student when Reagan was elected and slashed the government payroll by a third," he said. "I was out there competing against seasoned political veterans for a job. I saw the best opportunity was to start my own business at 20. By the time I was 23, I had been so successful that my competitors basically bought me out to shut me up. I sold that company and have stayed in entrepreneurship ever since."
Meghnot's advice to aspiring entrepreneurs is four fold. "First, be prepared to take risks," he said. "Second, decide whether you want to build a business of fund a lifestyle. Then number three is to plan around that dream. Break it down into documents that provide a timeline of what you want to accomplish at each year. Break down the work that it will take to achieve each milestone and then do it. Number four is get the right people."
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