In 2003, three ambitious students from Finland started a mobile gaming company, later known as Rovio. Mobile gaming before smartphones were mainstream, you might wonder? Absolutely. Here’s a random guy with proof.
Six years and 51 unsuccessful games later, fame wasn’t exactly knocking at the door for Rovio. By 2009, the company—a sinking ship that had already lost most of its staff—was heading full speed towards bankruptcy.
As a last attempt to save Rovio, management came up with a rescue plan. Apple had recently announced the iPhone, triggering a wave of excitement worldwide. Rovio’s rescue plan was to try and ride the wave by developing an exciting game for the iPhone.
Enter Jaakko Lisalo, a passionate video game designer at Rovio. As part of the rescue, Lisalo and his colleagues had already submitted several ideas to the directors, with no success. Determined to meet the challenge, Lisalo found himself sketching one more game character, resembling a fat, red, frowning bird. Although he didn’t think much of it, he decided to show it to the team. That’s when the unthinkable happened—everyone loved that weird, angry bird! The team felt there was something addictive about it. Quickly, Rovio developed the Angry Birds concept, which then led to the development of the mobile game.
Today, Angry Birds is one of the most downloaded game series of all time, with over 3 billion downloads. Oh, and I forgot to mention that Rovio is now a thriving business, but you’ve already guessed that, haven’t you?
All these things that happen before an “overnight” success. Going forward, a solid bet for entrepreneurs is to focus on building, learning, and repeating, all while staying determined. That is how the chances of overnight success significantly increase.
- Interview from The Telegraph, February 7, 2011.
- Forbes, July 16, 2015.
- Rovio profile on successstory.com.
- Gif via Giphy.
© Story by Tarek Issa.