Dino is a multipreneur who prides himself on thinking outside the box. So when he had a brilliant idea for a board game, he knew he wanted to beat the system to get it made. Here’s how he used Fiverr to bring his concept from idea to reality.
Tell us a little about you. Who you are, where you’re from, what you do.
I’m a 35-year-old entrepreneur from Arizona. I’m a big gamer (board games, video games, mind games… 😉 But overall I can tell you my favorite hobby is brainstorming and creating products. Whether it be prototyping something in the garage, writing specs for a software application, or even speaking to crowds about product design and development, I love being creative.
You’re a doer, to say the least. Tell us about some of your (many) businesses.
I run a technology services company in the US. I’ve always been technical and creative, but regretfully never pursued those strengths in college. I always found myself gravitating to drawing out ideas or writing stories and screenplays, but as you can imagine, those are not viable methods of income. So in 2011, I had an idea to create this innovative video web application. For about four years I broke my teeth learning how to create software applications, manage developers, and create a business with no experience on the side, while I successfully ran my main business. And I failed at my “side hustle.” A lot. I learned how hard it was to manage people and to translate vision and ideas into action and desired results. What I gained was knowledge. I then knew how to manage people, software developers, engineers, artists, writers, and accountants. Knowledge. Self Awareness.
Tell us about your board game—how did you come up with the idea? Who is the target audience?
I can honestly say the most fun and memorable activities I get to have with friends and family is sitting around a table eating, drinking, laughing, playing games, and having great conversation. My wife and I went to a ski cabin about six years ago with 20 other friends and while we were sitting around eating, drinking, laughing, playing games, and chatting it up. I wondered how I could take these 52 cards and translate them into something fun—an idea that sat in the back of my head for the next five years.
And then on Mother’s Day, 2017, as we were in the car driving to my in-laws house, it came to me almost like it was implanted in my head by someone else. Just math: What the card game is based on. I thought of offensive (+) and defensive (-) cards, with a small number of powerful cards shuffled in all playing against 6 cards with random numbers assigned to them. I brought the game to my brother-in-law and we wrote down just numbers on little pieces of paper and decided to play this out and see what happens. It worked and we kept playing. And even with just numbers, it was a lot of fun.
So we went home later that night and I entered into my focus zone and got to work. I Google Image-searched some placeholder images, threw them in Powerpoint, put some font on them and made version two of the game. At that point I really started to test the mechanics with groups of people and received a ton of positive feedback, but also was made aware of some needed clarifications of how things work. I wanted to create something edgy and compelling. We had just gotten through the presidential elections that prior year and politics and conspiracies were the talk of everyone, so I decided to take elements from that and make them funny, edgy, socially questionable and offensive. This would be a game for adults, so I wanted to make it conversation-generating.
What resulted is “Guilty!”: a cutthroat game of cunning, manipulation, and deceit for 3-6 adult players who assume the role of a “Public Defender” assigned to represent one of six deplorable suspects being held for a crime they most likely committed. It is your duty to manipulate the system at all costs to make sure that your suspect is found not guilty!
This game is funny. It’s meant to push boundaries and poke fun at ridiculous stereotypes and current events. After some trial and error with local artists who didn’t quite grasp what I envisioned, I turned to Fiverr and used an artist, rizk09, that I had success with already for making a logo for a podcast I do called “The Book on Recruiting.” We honed a relationship where he did 1-2 images a week for almost a year! I would send him a rough sketch of my idea, provide specifications and details and he would go to work. Sometimes I’d give him corrections and sometimes he would nail it first try. It became really addicting to be able to give a talented artist an idea that’s in your head and for them to refine it and create something beautiful for you, over and over and over. I’m already thinking about my next project on Fiverr!
What drives you as an entrepreneur? Why do you do what you do?
Like listening to a great song for the first time or that rush when you or your favorite team win at something; that “eureka!” moment you when you’re inspired to create a product or write a story is just amazing. I am addicted to projects. Being an entrepreneur allows me the freedom to do whatever I want. The greatest challenge is how to balance what pays the bills with what makes the thrills 🙂
How do you use Fiverr as a business? What do you use it for? Why do you like working with freelancers?
I’ve found that the biggest challenge I’ve faced about having ideas is what I am going to do with them. My skills are limited, and Fiverr allows me access to some of the top creative talent on the planet to do almost anything. The biggest thing I had to learn the hard way, is that when you want something done that you cannot do on your own, you immediately turn to your existing network to see if someone is out there that can do what you need whos within “neck-choking range.” I think we’re immediately afraid of “outsourcing” or never meeting someone because our ideas are like our little babies and we want to protect them. But what I’ve found is that I don’t need to water my lawn with artesian spring water from the peaks of the Andes. The grass just needs “water.” I don’t need to hire an artist or a developer for $50,000 to make something. Fiverr allows me the ability to create an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) at an extremely high quality for an amazing price. Before I found Rizki on Fiverr, I had an artist quote me $600 a picture for the game. There are 55 images in the game. That would have cost me $33,000.00. Instead, I spent a little over $1,000.
What advice would you like to give entrepreneurs just setting out on your business journey?
- Do your research. There is an endless amount of useful information out there where people who are really really good at things will tell you what they’ve learned and how to do it the right way.
- Try things. As one of my favorite football coaches would say, “No Risk It, No Biscuit!” He’s right. You have to be able to pull the trigger and commit to it.
- Don’t do it alone. It’s really, really hard to give up control over a project. But sometimes you have to. So do it.
- 100% of nothing is less than 50% of something. Bringing people in sometimes requires giving up a little equity or sharing the business. People don’t like working for free, but at the same time people want to work at something just like you. Sometimes you have to give a little to get a little.
What advice would you give to first-time buyers on Fiverr?
Before you purchase: Read reviews, look at their portfolio, ask questions. Once you submit an order, make sure you are absolutely as detailed as possible with what you want. These people are not in your head, so telling them you “I want a picture of a pony,” will give you the pony that is in their head. What color is the hair? What color are the eyes? How big is it? Which direction is it facing? What’s it doing? Why is it doing that? What’s the picture for? Any unique elements to the picture?
This example is for a picture, but even with software, or voice recordings, getting all the details out on the table will save you a lot of time and frustration.
What’s next for the brand? Any goals for 2018?
We’re looking to go live with a Kickstarter campaign this July—fingers crossed!
Once the project hits its goal, we’ll get the go-ahead to start ordering all of the copies we need and hopefully have them shipped out before the holidays. My mom is already asking for a copy for her birthday! We will have some really cool booster packs available with new themed characters that you can defend, like “Everyone’s Favorite Corrupt Politicians.” Stay tuned!
Want to know more about how Dino made his idea a reality? Ask him in the comments below!