An Interesting Analogy…

The CXO for the social media site note really loves HSBG. Like, REALLY loves it to the point of writing a witty article.
(and this is a translation with his permission.)

All Startups Should Incorporate Battlegrounds for Employee Training Immediately

All startups should incorporate Battlegrounds for employee training immediately. This is really important, so I said it twice.

This free-to-play game (Battlegrounds) is packed with everything an employee of a startup company should learn.


Just by playing the game, you can learn all sorts of things. Leverage, metagame, megatrends, synergy, scales, network effects, Rhinoceros beetles, Rhinoceros beetles, risk management, pivots, Via Dolorosa… and on and on. You can obtain the essences of difficult foreign-derived elements as such. In other words, just by playing the game, you can learn all sorts of wisdom necessary for surviving life in Silicon Valley.

That is why every businessman should incorporate Battlegrounds into employee training. Right now.

I’ve played Battlegrounds for 452 hours now, so there’s no mistake here.

“You used 452 hours to play a game… maybe this guy is just an idiot?”

Perhaps that’s what is going through your head right now. However, that is a grave mistake.

There is only education in Battlegrounds, so one hour of playing is eight hours (a full time job) worth of learning and discoveries.

452 hours spent playing is equal to 3616 hours of thinking about synergy, network effects, and leverage. (*this is the author’s sentiments, not something that indicates effects/efficacy.) You can efficiently gain experience just by playing.

Compared to the work involved in clicking on some strange videos trickling down your timeline, I must say that playing is a quite more productive, graceful way to spend one’s time.

So everyone should just take my word for this, and play for about 20 hours. One game will end in about 20 minutes.

What is Battlegrounds?

An 8-player battle-royale corporate management game.

You become a venture corporation CEO (hero) and receive allowances from capitalists (Bob) to fortify your facilities (grade) and collecting personnel (minions) to create “the strongest corporation that I can imagine”.

And, you punch each other.

So you will start with a garage operation, and kick your rivals’ asses and aspire to become like GAFA… a game that will determine the most powerful CEO of Silicon Valley… THAT is Battlegrounds.

Cute girls (booth babes) basically are nonexistent. All you’ll usually see are pigs, demons, fishmen, pirates, robots, dragons, or supernatural existences that shall remain unnamed. Oh, and gorillas.

One match is about 20 minutes, so you can use your break time, your bath time — even time in the toilet – to train and learn the secrets of startups.

How to start

Battlegrounds can be played without paying (FREE). You can use your smartphone or your PC. You can download it from the website below.


When you install it, it will show up as Hearthstone, but don’t think too much about it. The main objective right now is just Battlegrounds.

Once the game starts up, don’t tap the top row “Hearthstone” but tap the second row, “Battlegrounds”. That is the flight path to the Silicon Valley <Battlegrounds>. If you accidentally hit the top row, you will end up in Azeroth – that is a completely different world!

Basic Rules

In Battlegrounds, 8 CEOs will use the following rules to expand the influence of their corporations. They make do with the allowance coins you receive every turn to create the most powerful growth organization.

  • Collect personnel (minions) with money.
  • Fortify facilities (grade) with money.
  • Release personnel (minions) to gain money.
  • Use special powers unique to each CEO (hero).

Outside of that, selling, buying, buying, losing, and Googling will let you get by somehow.

So, in Battlegrounds you can learn the following…

Learn the Value of Scaling

You cannot survive in this world without scaling. No matter how beautiful the card formation you collect, an army of tiny rats will be annihilated by carelessly fattened pigs or giant robots. The truth is that even if you make something small and goo, it will get stomped once you face huge capital.

Any and every lip service of management becomes nonsense without scaling… you can learn that cruel reality.

Learn the Value of Reproduction on Enlarged Scales

So how should you go about it to grow big? Of course, the way is to grow big. The bigger and bigger you get, it becomes easier to grow bigger. That is reproduction on enlarged scales, and that is the network effect.

Schemes, business models, and growth cycles that “grow bigger on its own when left alone”… the guy that makes something a management consultant is likely to tell you will be the winner.

Armies of overwhelming pigs/demons/dragons that grows bigger each turn on its own will pummel you, and the pirate army you painstakingly built have no choice but to be blown away. That is how people realize just how merciless a labor-intensive industry is.

Learn the Metagame

The most powerful card is not necessarily the most powerful in a match. If everyone starts collecting the exact same super-powerful card, there will be a shortage of cards and everyone will end up weak. It’s what you’d call a red ocean. The army of pigs that everyone scrambled to assemble is not a gigantic pig but nothing more than an ordinary pig, and will be pulverized by the unpopular beast army.

On the other hand, if you can find the blue ocean that nobody has chosen to that point… even if your business model is a bit iffy, you will be able to make something of it.

Outside of the wins and losses each turn, the trend that flows over the entire industry… feel the breath of the ever-changing metagame. No matter how cool your playing was, if you’re not trending in Silicon Valley, you won’t be able to survive.

Learn the Balance of Long-term and Short-term Measures

Poverty dulls the wit. In order to survive the upcoming round, you endeavor to get good short-term numbers, and fall into a negative spiral. But in the meanwhile, your rivals are steadily and repeatedly investing towards the future.

Of course, if you’re only looking at the future and you neglect what’s currently under your feet, there is no future for you to arrive at. A tough part of a venture corporation is that you need to be attentive of both long-term and short-term items simultaneously.

Learn the Timing of Taking Risks

Find a timing where your opponent can’t move due to facility investments and throw your entire campaign at him. That opponent should be annihilated. Of course, opponents will be assaulting you while you are investing in your facilities. What douchebags.

And that’s why many veterans will invest in their facilities at “the same timing as other competing corporations”. If you don’t know the subtleties, you will needlessly punch each other, and a third party will profit from your fighting.

Learn Pivoting

Depending on the situation, you will realize that your business model is a failure. Like when everyone is fighting each other to build a dragon army, or when you can’t obtain the personnel that you desire. Oftentimes my plans for “the strongest corporation I can imagine” can easily crumble down just like that.

When to ascertain the failures and pivot into a different vector? The CEO must be able to properly ascertain or he will die. If dragons are immensely popular, you must quickly give up on dragons and move to the fishmen market. If you harp too much on opportunity loss, you cannot survive here in Silicon Valley.

Learn Synergy

In order to scale up your corporation, you must understand standard tactics and synergy. Each card is nothing more than a water flea by itself. No matter how powerful the card is, it will be instantly killed by a giant pig by itself.

To fight against a violently large capital, you must combine cards together to create something like synergy or leverage. Such as combining a dragon that doubles attack with an increase in attack power… things like that.

Through Battlegrounds, you will understand how meaningless measures are on their own. And, you will sense the value of overwhelming power once you connect measures together.

Learn Balance of Standard Tactics and Ad-libbing

Of course, there are standard tactics within Battlegrounds as well. Poison Murloc, Big Demon, Deathrattle Beast… lineups like that. Indeed, they are powerful. They are powerful, but they are not absolute. Even within the game environment, the special powers of the 8 CEOs (heroes) change each match, so standard tactics working or not depends on a match-by-match basis. If you can’t feel such winds of the metagame with your skin, you will not be able to survive.

You learn how important it is to stick to standard tactics while breaking away from standard tactics.

Learn Absurdity

Even if you play the best game possible, life doesn’t necessarily reward you.  That is because that all the other players are all striving to play their best as well, and the mega-trend of the match is ruled by randomness.

“My idea of the strongest Deathrattle formation” can come across a shit formation that looks like a phantom slasher and accidentally die. Things like that are commonplace. The strongest dragon lineup can be annihilated by a revive-poison animal. Oh, and sometimes you bug out or otherwise get disconnected, and everything is for naught.

Even in your prime, all things must pass. When you die, you die. Never forget memento mori.

Learn that Life is a Batting Average

In order to survive in Silicon Valley, you have no time to swing from joy to sorrow with each quarterly settlement. What is truly important is your continued survival. You must emancipate yourself from focusing on each individual victory or loss and gain the new vantage of evaluation through an average win rate or a ratings system. When you gain that viewpoint, that is when the doors of Silicon Valley open for the first time.


That’s where the story begins. This game teaches so much, I want to use the diehardtales font to write the introduction. A salute to Sir Soichiro Gyakufunsha.

Leverage, metagame, megatrends, synergy, scales, network effects, Rhinoceros beetles, Rhinoceros beetles, risk management, pivots, Via Dolorosa… and on and on. If you want to feel the essences of difficult foreign-derived elements as such on your skin, everyone should get their hands on this game.

Oh, and the main game of Hearthstone is simply fun on its own, so once you get used to the cards and feel like tossing some money at them, you should play that too.

Thank you, Ben Brode!