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Sports Business Simulations Update:
You all have been either users of the sims or friends of the company and myself. You deserve an explanation in full. I will state that my sims still have NO direct competitors and are miles head of download-type business sims. The field is still open for SBS' return.
The basic lesson I've learned is not to learn a programming language set up by one vendor, who then asks you to pay to host the same game they wanted you to build in their language, and promote. Got that? That's the dumb thing I did.
The result is that Forio, and for reasons that are still not clear to me, shut down the entire site, including the web portal that was the gate way to the sims, and they offered to host for free. A clear case for a business law suit.
They did so after, first, last year explaining that they would reduce our hosting cost, BUT I had to essentially take time to rebuild the entire simulation in a format I was not familiar with and for a WHOLE new system they made that I wasn't briefed about at all. So, I elected not to do that and maintain the course I was on.
We normally pay Forio on Feb 9th, but they elected to move up with due date for monies to December 1st, but told me this on....November 23rd. I asked for more time, got no feedback from them, and then they shut down the whole site December 13th without warning.
For a company that started just 8 months before I started SBS in 2002, and for which SBS was the first and only company built around their programming language called FML, you'd think we'd have gotten better treatment. Heck, we were covered in the Oakland Tribune and on television - all to Forio's benefit.
Yes, we were behind on payments, but for the first time in 7 years. Seven years. Never before. Plus, we have a board of directors, it's not just me, even if it feels like it. The only person who seems to care is Dan Rascher, who started the company with me.
The lesson there is never go into business with a board which consists mostly of people who have no tech interest or experience. They wind up waiting for you and having no understand of what's going on. And the money put in? Mostly me and to the tune of $43,000 over the last seven years.
Plus, for all of our exposure, and the fact that I'm a national blogger, Forio never seemed to want the publicity or to do a deal that helps SBS. It was more extortion than anything else. Period.
Now, I am forced to learn a new programming language and rebuild my sims in a better way - maybe not a bad thing. I could wait and pay Forio, but then I'd be right back in the place I don't want to be. I don't like how Michael of Forio - who was SUPPOSED to be a friend - did this. I can't trust him at all. I have no interest in doing business with him any more.
Plus, what I want to do with the sims - mobile and Facebook gaming - I can't do at Forio so I need to go into a new direction where I have more control over the entire product area. It doesn't cost $4,200 a year to host a sim - that's silly. But that's what we were being charged and for a sim set that didn't even generate a lot of traffic to justify that cost! Yet, we paid it every year. Call me a fool.
So, I'm learning a programming language on my own called Python and surveying other options. The sims will be back, and I think sooner and better than one would think.
The market for this Worldwide is $15 billion in size. And had we stuck with our business plan, we would have done better. I fought with my board, which wanted a $12 sim price - I wanted $27 per student. The board outvoted me. Last year, I just went ahead and as CEO decided to increase the sim price to $20 per student because that was needed, and it helped.
I wish I'd done that in 2003.
Always stick to the plan.
God bless all of you.
1 - You can sign up individually for either the XFL Simworld or the Oakland Baseball Simworld. You can use your credit card and all transactions are managed by Kagi. It accepts the folowing credit cards: Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, BankCard, JCB, Diner's Club, Delta, Mastro / Switch, Visa Electron, Solo.
2 - If you represent a University and use purchase orders, click here to e-mail SBS with the university name and address, the name of the class, the date you want use of the sims is to start, and the number of students to be using the sim. We will e-mail an invoice to you. You must then provide SBS with the names of the students using the sim so that we can set up an account for you.
- Link to Kagi disabled until further notice - Click to Sign up for The Oakland Baseball Simworld and / or the XFL Simworld
You can also earn money by becoming an affiliate on the SBS Affiliate Network. For more information, and to sign up, click here: About SBS Affiliate Network
||SBS World Membership
||$12.50... per member for one year or if a high schoool, college,
or university instructor, then cost is per student and class
Members can purchase multiple memberships and have scoring
competitions exclusive to their group.
If you are a high school, college, or university instructor,
then the membership can be for the entire class semester or
Each subcription to the SBS World Network gives you the following:
Access to either the Oakland Baseball or the XFL Microworld - please tell SBS which one you want to use.
Questions? Contact SBS: firstname.lastname@example.org
- A "chat room" discussion forum for your group
- A printable "What you learned" summary page
of each student's simulation run.
- A "high score" page.
- A "business strategy" page.
- Printable graphs of simulation run data.
- Printable tables of all fiscal data for a simulation
- A library of information on the organizations simulated
and on various topics in the sports industry. (A good resource
for student projects combining research and simulator use)
- "SBS Personalities." Where well-known sports
journalists give their unique commentary on your simulation runs
and present their own view of the sports industry.
- All memberships subject to SBS Terms and Conditions.