Leveling-Up, But Make it Business

Skyrim, Fallout, Mass Effect and Civilization; ahh, my favorite binges (pre GoT). Despite different settings and storylines, they all follow a similar player advancement structure. You begin with a baseline character or set of forces, and throughout the course of the game, you accumulate resources, develop skills, and grow in ability. With every obstacle overcome, challenge crushed and prize won, you grow stronger, faster, smarter and more potent.

By the end of series one, you have tricked out gear, seven, instead of three lives per level, multiple battlecruisers, you can outrun all your opponents and for some inexplicable reason you have the ability to breathe fire. Despite setbacks and literal weeks spent trying to beat the boss, or complete the campaign, you’ve come out stronger, and honestly, much cooler than before.

What we’re talking about are skill trees and resource development. In other words, core competencies and capabilities, where each progression enables better results and unlocks new opportunities. This metaphor is apt to describe the “venture” in venture capital. The parallels are indeed similar, except the quest of a “venture” exists out here. On Terra. Where the real adventure is.

And, you know, where there’s only one life.

Developing competencies and skills are subtle, but key success factors for a Venture Builder Studio. And K8 is leveling up.

The first business that we ideated, built and invested in was 100% digital technology. From there we took our learnings, expanded our resources, and infused our second company with artificial intelligence. Our third is digital, big data with AI, and IoT. The sensor technology we’ve learned about through these companies has given us the know-how to consider other ‘physical’ opportunities. We’ve been growing our expertise through experience, and building out our team, to create concepts that are more groundbreaking with each turn.

For example, one of our R&D projects is around nano technology and magnetic fields to influence factory/plant productivity. Simply writing this feels surreal, because last year I would have never imagined that K8 would KNOW how to evaluate markets accessible by these technologies.

What it comes down to is seizing chances that promise learning and growth---operating with tenacity and the foresight to understand how each project can ladder up into something even more exciting. I’ve written before about K8’s commitment to taking extremely well thought out, calculated “risks.” It’s through this strategic, big picture mindset that we’ve been able to grow stronger, edgier and more progressive as a VBS.

These are high level thoughts that don’t leave much room, or nuance, for disagreement, so let me add some detail to the "how". In the early stages of company creation, we identify the best resources to execute on the technology/plans needed to take a concept to MVP. Through our advisory board, we identify the team that we have and how its members can best be staffed against our execution plan.

There are inevitable gaps between what we have and what we need. We fill those gaps with commercial partners as appropriate (think of this as alliance building, in gaming terms) but where we suspect a perspective or set of skills are either vital or strategic, we expand our advisory board with select, remarkable and most importantly, aligned individuals. But how do we determine when a skill is vital and when it’s strategic? It’s in the same way that we know increased speed can help us pass a current game level, while that mysterious fire breathing, as epic as it has proven thus far, probably has a greater use for a later expedition.

For K8’s intents and purposes, a vital skill is a capability that is required in the short term. That need for NOW, is the constraint we have to resolve in order to complete the MVP, and so, however tactical, it is absolutely critical to success. Strategic skills are those that can apply both to the current company and to our roadmap. They have immediate use, but their real value lies in the long-term, versatile usability they provide. Both require investment, however, the strategic skills are our level up --- that incremental addition of knowledge and capability that makes the K8 team more potent for what’s in front of them now, but more capable to tackle what’s coming.

We’re passionate about building companies and investing in concepts that can truly change the world. Yes, because the payout is fantastic, but also because we’re thrilled to be a part of advancement and progress. So with that, we’re willing to scout out every “power-boost” and “10x strength” that comes our way. We’re aiming for effecting massive transformation and won’t stop ‘til we get there.

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