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Old 04-12-2017, 05:21 AM   #1031
Anders
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Default Re: Report To The Stakeholders

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Everything before the files go to print. Administrative work, proofing, editing, layout, artwork, prepress checks . . . all of those and more happen before a project goes to the printer. And each of those stages are necessary regardless of whether or not the final destination is print-on-demand -- like these: http://www.sjgames.com/gurps/ondemand/ -- or a hardcover.
So basically everything involving humans to a significant degree... :o)

I was interested in your comments about closers. They are people who can start a project and hang in until they see it in the shops? Are there any easy ways to recognize them and, possibly, mind control them into working for SJG?
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Old 04-12-2017, 05:25 AM   #1032
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I was interested in your comments about closers. They are people who can start a project and hang in until they see it in the shops?
Right. Someone we can hand a project -- or, at times, the rough concept of a project -- and they take it all of the way to store shelves. A closer makes things happen and champions the project every step of the way.
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Old 04-12-2017, 06:49 AM   #1033
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So a closer is more of a "pitcher who pitches complete games" than what is meant by "closer" in baseball....
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Old 04-12-2017, 07:20 AM   #1034
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Everything before the files go to print. Administrative work, proofing, editing, layout, artwork, prepress checks . . . all of those and more happen before a project goes to the printer. And each of those stages are necessary regardless of whether or not the final destination is print-on-demand -- like these: http://www.sjgames.com/gurps/ondemand/ -- or a hardcover.
OK, so a PDF of the same word count and artwork standard costs almost as much as a hardback to produce, since prepress checks is about the only thing a PDF can omit in the above list. So the change to mostly PDF publishing for GURPS isn't because print is expensive itself, but because PDF makes it viable to produce smaller products and people have lower expectations of the artwork.
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Old 04-12-2017, 07:21 AM   #1035
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So a closer is more of a "pitcher who pitches complete games" than what is meant by "closer" in baseball....
It may be more of a Glengarry Glen Ross, "Coffee is for closers" reference.
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Old 04-12-2017, 07:32 AM   #1036
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Right. Someone we can hand a project -- or, at times, the rough concept of a project -- and they take it all of the way to store shelves. A closer makes things happen and champions the project every step of the way.
Closers are required in many industries. Software companies that innovate are all well and good, but if they don't have enough closers in the company they won't get things out in time to make money.
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Old 04-12-2017, 08:33 AM   #1037
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We sent out info to several sites and some of our staff are active in different places around the web. I completely agree, though, that our entire team could do a better job of interacting online.

Personally, I keep an eye on the sites where I have a history and post at those sites when appropriate. Some sites -- therpgsite.com -- are places I have never joined, and jumping in just to shill is something I want to avoid. The sites I have personally been a part of and used for well over a decade come down to: RPG.net, ENWorld, and BGG.

This is where we ask for assistance -- fans, MIBs, other staff -- and hope that those who wish to see our games spread get out there and talk to others.
If you made "cut and paste" press releases and emailed them to me, or made them available on a particular website in one spot for easy harvesting, I'm sure that the GURPS blogger community could amplify your signal. We've got over 80 blogs writing at the moment and we average a post from half each week (our velocity isn't what I would like).

In particular, I'd be happy to repost or put out a "This Week in GURPS from SJG" every week for GURPSDay...
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Old 04-12-2017, 08:38 AM   #1038
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I do enjoy reading the Annual Report, and often refer back to the previous year for additional context. And above all else, the transparency is refreshing to see. I've dealt with far too many companies who ignored or even hid their problems, only for them to eventually be consumed by them.

I was particularly interested in the issues about modernizing the administration, especially the basic documentation. I've seen this hinder other companies too, and many fail to appreciate what a drag 'old legacy' stuff can become, when you try to push business forward. At least you recognize the problem - that way you can hopefully put something in place, perhaps a sequential programme, that can attend to this. My personal prime interest has always been Ogre so when I see you mention the need for a line document to transfer knowledge from Steve Jackson to the Ogre line staff, I see that as a potential trial-run possibly? Perhaps by starting with that, you might refine a useful method you can then roll-out to the other products?

Of course, that would be fine for the product end of the business, but you would still have to start a similar process to map down the core aspects of company business at the other end of the 'shop-floor'. And again, from this report, with the news on the expansion of Marketing, that may well prove to be a worthwhile starting place maybe?

Above all else, thank you for the insight. It's invaluable in gaining a better appreciation of what you all have to contend with.
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Old 04-12-2017, 08:38 AM   #1039
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It may be more of a Glengarry Glen Ross, "Coffee is for closers" reference.
I am ashamed to admit that there is not a GGR poster hanging in our break room. There should be. _I_ would find it funny.
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Old 04-12-2017, 08:41 AM   #1040
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I was particularly interested in the issues about modernizing the administration, especially the basic documentation.
This is vital. As the company turns 37 this year, our processes and documentation are a patchwork that built over time. That means there are instances where we need to rip down and rebuild fresh, rather than keep adding to older materials.

Unfortunately, the work on this has stalled as Monica (and Steve) have jumped in to assist the team with wrapping up Dungeon Fantasy. We hope to turn back to the documentation work as soon as Dungeon Fantasy is at print.
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