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Editor in Chief Amy Cosper on Nerds and Mobile Games

August 27, 2013
URL: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/227406

Amy C. Cosper

Nerds, not unlike zombies and vampires, deserve a lot of credit these days. The collective power of this awkward group is evident not only in its intellectual influence but in the more measured surge and financial viability of innovations in technology, science and, yes, video games.

While nerds' street cred as thinkers cannot be overstated, they deserve credit for more, especially in the cultural realm. This erudite group is the one to thank when, in those moments of need, you look to an authority figure and calmly say, "Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi, you're my only hope." Or, perhaps, the more sophisticated, "None shall pass."

Unlike zombies and vampires, both of which enjoy international mystique, nerds are distinctly American, and therefore it's important for the sanctity of this country that we move away from Booger and his Revenge of the Nerds cohorts as the main representatives of this formidable psychographic to one with a more respectable image.

And so, we bring you this month's cover story. Perhaps the funniest, most accessible nerd of all time: Chris Hardwick, who, along with Peter Levin, took a passion for all things sci-fi, superhero, dweeby or just plain smart and created an empire, Nerdist. (See story, "Revenge of the Nerds".)

Many pundits are attempting to assign names to this precise stage of our economic evolution and recovery: the "share economy," the "social economy," the "us economy." We boldly submit that this period is, in fact, the Nerd Economy. And welcome to the first ever Nerd Issue of Entrepreneur.

And that leads me to another story. We love nerds around here mostly because everyone on our staff is either an admitted nerd or an admitted geek (and one egghead). This fact, coupled with the somewhat nerdy fabric of our chosen profession, made our foray into the world of gaming app development not terribly surprising. It seemed a natural extension. But the outcome has been surprising--especially to us.

It all started like this. At about 3 a.m. on April 14, 2012, I was awakened by a "eureka" moment. I thought it was an earthquake, but it was just an idea. In the darkness, I grabbed for a notebook and wrote this down: "Must create a game app. Must be called Bosshole. Must document the process and report to readers." That done, I went back to sleep.

Over the next six months, the Entrepreneur staff experienced the ecstasy and the agony of game development. We learned what most in the gaming world already knew: It had better be damn good, you'd better have a detailed vision and you'd better not at any point surrender your idea to anyone. (And schmooze the hell out of Apple.)

Reporter Jason Ankeny's account of the process can be read here. It's an excellent look at what started as a big idea but ended as a whimper--no, more like a cry for mercy. It may not be pretty, but it's an honest documentary of us dipping our toes and then our feet and then our whole bodies into the nerdy waters of gaming. And the mistakes we made. Oh man.

But one thing we learned is this: Mistakes in business often lead to new discoveries, new ideas and new opportunities. And that's what we're hoping for. We'll have our revenge yet. Hail nerds!

Amy C. Cosper
Amy C. Cosper,
Editor in chief
Follow me on Twitter, @EntMagazineAmy