5 business lessons from Angry Birds

Any Angry BirdsTM fans reading this? Game or movie, whichever tickles your fancy?

Well, I am an avid fan and with my recent addiction —or should I say penchant— to the league tournament game, Angry Birds Friends, where we complete online ‘globally’ (pauses to laugh at such an interesting hobby), I found myself ruminating over some business lessons.

These angry birds have something to teach us as they deal with their foes, the bad piggies. Let’s get angry, I mean, started!

Photo credit: AngryBirds.com

1. Put your ducks in a row or if you prefer, arrange the birds wisely behind the catapult

This is the bit you prioritize on your strategy from the business plan. What comes first? Leasing office space or testing the market?

When playing angry birds, the birds are aligned for you such that you cannot pick red before yellow. If yellow were to be fired on the catapult before red, it would change the dynamics of winning.

Create a list of priorities and shuffle it accordingly according to internal and market conditions.

2. Understand the role of each bird

When playing this game, each bird has its own unique ability. This also goes for you, I bet you’ve identified your strong point by the time you launched.

  • The yellow bird (Chuck) can zoom in at a high speed and is good with wood destruction.
  • The little blue birds can be fired into 3 and deal well with glass.
  • The black one (Bomb) is a bomb in waiting and is perfect for blowing stone.
  • The small red one (Red) can be fired to mid-range distances.
  • The big red bird (Terence) is bulky and is good for close range mammoth destruction.
  • The white one (Matilda) doesn’t fly so far but it can drop an egg and destroy whatever lies above with its head.
  • The green one is fantastic for hidden spots because it works almost like a return boomerang.

Back to business, what is the objective of each strategic action you take and what will it be good at achieving?

If you are launching an app, you could decide on a market sampling storm, then online advertising and finally traditional advertising. Or if you’re launching a clothing boutique, you could open with premium unique designs that you know consumers are looking for and consider offers later at certain peak seasons instead of the other way around.

What comes first or last and why?

Sometimes though, this is an egg-before-the-chicken, chicken-before-the-egg phenomenon! So be careful.

3. Save some birds, where possible

Now, the objective of this game is to use the least number of angry birds to destroy the bad piggies. Feels odd typing piggies as I wear a smug face and convince myself that I am writing earnestly!

With such a mission, the moves you make need to be smart. You need to visualize the end from the beginning for you to save some birds which is different from releasing them aimlessly.

As an entrepreneur, bootstrap is your friend. You need to decide on what you want versus what you need. Do you really need a fancy office space or can you operate from home and save that money for one or two sales personnel?

Do you need an accountant or can you handle that in your initial years, seeing that your degree gave you some basic skills? Such pertinent questions and more will help save your ‘birds’.

Photo credit: AngryBirds.com

4. Ignore the grunting pigs

The sound effects in this game are quite something. I mean, when you are down to one bird and have three pigs to attack, they begin to grunt and somewhat remind you that you are losing.

Then when the game is over and you’ve lost, they snort and grunt even more! In the face of business, you might have some competitor pigs nipping at your heels or get to a point where some of your family and friends are not being very supportive.

You will need to remind yourself why you started, what your deepest and genuine motive is and latch on to that. Hang around inspiring like-minded people and don’t let the noise of competition cripple you, unless it’s obviously sending an important signal. As for the naysayers, just make the lipstick redder and keep at it.

5. When you don’t manage to destroy all the pigs, try again, differently.

Perspective is the crux of the matter here. If you looked at a 6 from the south, and then from the north, you will see different figures.

At times when playing this game, I tilt my phone. I flip it to the right, left, diagonal, maybe 65 degrees, or whatever. I take a moment and rethink my attack strategy.

You will have a number of moments like these in business when all you need to do is take a step back and change the plan. It is okay that the first plan didn’t go as expected, you learnt something. You are now wiser but don’t waste any more time, rethink and reactivate.

Hope you enjoyed this one!

About Nelly Makena

Nelly Makena is a contributing writer to SLA.
She is also a partner at ReFab Interiors, a wall decor business. When not day-dreaming design, she has a bucket list to chase, humans to love, nature to admire, books to read, words to write and mocha to sip.

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