Aradhya Malhotra | Crain's Philadelphia

In this ongoing series, we ask executives, entrepreneurs and business leaders about mistakes that have shaped their business philosophy.

Aradhya Malhotra

Background:  

Skyless Game Studios' Philadelphia team helps organizations use video games to support their social, educational and philanthropic causes.

The Mistake:

When we first began Skyless Games, we spent too much time pitching and going to venture capitalists and angel investors trying to get funding for our idea. We forgot that startups are only successful when they have a steady source of revenue, and we were spending more time trying to get funding than developing our product. My partners and I essentially ran out of money and couldn’t find the right funding match for our idea. That became a turning point for us.

Additionally, we had the opportunity to network with two gentlemen who were entrenched in the business of anti-corruption and began working on a project with them. As others heard about our game, people began approaching us to create games for their industries, but we wanted to stay solely focused on anti-corruption. We made a mistake in not diversifying our focus earlier, and it cost us time and opportunities.

We wanted to stay solely focused on anti-corruption. 

The Lesson:

We should have recognized earlier that time should have been spent on product development and finding the right investors. We also learned that we didn’t have to stick to the business model that we started with initially. We decided to move primarily to a contracting business model that helped us to diversify our clients and our revenue stream.

Follow Aradhya Malhotra on Twitter at @AradMalhotra.