10 things for 10 years from Anna Idzikowska, CGO - Ten Square Games - one of the biggest mobile games development company in Poland

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2021

10 things for 10 years from Anna Idzikowska, CGO.

26 Aug 21
Author: Anna Idzikowska
7 minutes

My 10 favorite things about TSG for its 10th Anniversary:

alented people – I met dozens of brilliant people in TSG – inventing and producing games, working in R&D, marketing, business intelligence, finance, hr, design… basically, every area has its heroes. Some of them have been with us for years, and some joined recently. It’s probably thanks to Arek & Maciek, our founders, who have created the most creative, entrepreneurial, independent working environment I have ever seen. And they’ve always known how to identify talent. I believe recognizing talent is TSG’s biggest strength today. Talented people are running this business, and our role is to give them space to spread their wings and fly.  

ntrepreneurship and ownership as a core of our culture – I see people in TSG as entrepreneurs who run their own startups within a bigger organization – we own our ‘cells’ and projects, try to improve them in many fields. Our personal success is TSG success and the other way round. I promised myself to leave TSG once it becomes a corporation, but it looks like I may spend another 7,5 years here 😉

ovelty – TSG loves innovation and experiments with new solutions and approaches. It goes for game development, marketing and technology, or even structure & people management. This constant push to try new things and permission to make mistakes make TSG a sandbox of crazy and revolutionary ideas which can never be boring. Each day at TSG feels like the first day at a new job! That’s why many of us (including me) haven’t been searching for one in years!  

mart-growing approacheverything we do, we do smartly. We’re resourceful, iterative, and careful. We think first about the pros and cons, analyze the situation, expected outcomes, and then choose the appropriate set of actions. We adjust to the market situation, search for business opportunities, and are always ready to act when a good wind blows. We’re not only reactive, though, but we also try to be ahead and project the future, so we have it under control when the opportunity comes. There’s logic and strategy behind all the actions. It’s like an intelligent and well-oiled machine! And it’s so great to see that machine runs faster and faster, day after day!

uestioning is our nature. We have investigative minds, we love to challenge ideas. Looking at things from different angles leads to entirely new and out-of-the-box solutions. I believe we’re achieving success because we’re trying really hard to deconstruct everything first and build something new from scratch. We got used to AB testing everything, even our way of thinking and processing things. This way, we’re challenging each other as well all the time. And we like it. It’s something needed and…normal for us! No one gets offended when their idea is challenged. We are a team, and we challenge for the greater good. Challenging is not attacking. We really LIKE EACH OTHER.

nderstanding – yes, understanding! The Internet says understanding is sympathetic awareness or tolerance. I think it’s about building a platform of cooperation and making people feel comfortable to share their ideas and offer their points of view. We’re sharp and challenging in business but show sympathy and support for each other every day. We trust the team. We respect each other, and we want everyone to feel confident and convenient to share even the craziest ideas. A supportive environment enhances productivity and performance. We have common goals – once, in some annual survey, I read that one of the game teams loved working with the marketing team cause they felt the marketing team actually celebrated games team successes as they were theirs – yes, they did and still do. And let’s remember: people have better and worse days, so we should lift them instead of bringing them down. #teamworkgoals  

nalytical minds – being data-informed in the decision-making process is one of our core values. Everything we do, we take data into account. Of course, we don’t forget about experience and intuition. We’re not blindly following excel forms; if we did, we would probably never go live with Fishing Clash (which hit the top 50 grossing games worldwide in its peak moment!). What does it mean to be data-informed in TSG? We let the data support our decisions, but we trust our instincts and experience – humans, not tables, have ideas. Data is widely accessible here, and we have a culture of using it a LOT! Actually, those who know me well know one of my hobbies, next to sports or movies are dashboards xD. I love looking at KPIs from different angles, seeing opportunities and risks thanks to that. But we don’t expect the data to give us business solutions straight away. Humans are those having ideas and good judgment, not tables. Being data-informed means being logical and supporting decisions with data. For me, that means being business-oriented and smart.   

adical Candor explains well how we communicate and work together – we challenge directly and care personally! We have a strong culture of direct and radically honest feedback here. Do you want to challenge someone? Great, but do that face to face, be honest, send a constructive message, make the environment friendly for your interlocutor and do that all over again to improve our business! Being clear, transparent, and brave to question things openly is very much supported and always wanted here in TSG. Disagreeing because we care is the greatest sign of respect to colleagues and the company as a whole. We make games, but we don’t play nasty games with each other.

fficiency – delivery is essential here. We’re into having things done, not only by doing things. We don’t mix outcome and output. This part I love the most, to be honest – the business success is achieved by delivering projects and tasks, not by being in the process of making them (with no visible end). We’re goal-oriented and focus on performance here. We’re DOERS. That also means we’re decisive and dare to implement our ideas into life – we love checking theories and assumptions on real cases. And we do that all over again. Yep, the iterative model of work is our style!

Oh yeah, that’s what I love the most – we make F2P mobile games: free to download, interactive forms of entertainment for basically everyone. I’ve always wanted to work for the entertainment industry, which brings joy to people, but I thought it would be movies that I’ve been watching as a maniac for years. I ended up in gaming, and you know what? I love it! Mobile gaming is super ‘sexy’ to me because it’s fast, iterative, performance-based, data-oriented, and gives endless opportunities to evolve products with time thanks to their longevity and live nature. Every day is a launch day of the game for some new cohort of players. There is less buzz around the premiere maybe vs. video gaming. However, on the other hand, we can run continuous liveops or marketing campaigns, learn, iterate, change. Each day is a new chance to do something better. And we’re very close to our clients – players thanks to the fact they always have their mobile devices in their pockets! Mobile gaming is more egalitarian, interactive, and engaging than any other form of online entertainment I know. And that’s where I want to be! And here I am. It makes me happy. TSG makes me happy. So, let me share that happiness with the world for the company’s 10th Anniversary.

As one of our founders has always said: FOR THE WIN!


With love,
Anna Idzikowska
Chief Growth Officer

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