Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Support Local Businesses

A loyal reader noticing the title of this post may be tempted to point out the hypocrisy of a free-market gent advocating such a position, but you'll notice that I am not advocating that the government pervert incentives by offering a subsidy to said businesses.

That having been said, I would highly recommend supporting some businesses that have been nurtured by the University of Maryland's Dingman Center For Entrepreneurship.

If you are looking for a board game, check out Wits and Wagers, distributed by NorthStar Games, available at Target.

The most successful Dingman company that I know of is Hook and Ladder Brewing, which in addition to making good beer, donates money from sales to good causes. I believe the bottling operation is quite new. So buy some beer.


Dominic said...

Why do you say that Hook & Ladder is more successful than North Star Games? That's a hard thing to gauge (even for me and I founded North Star Games).

Wits & Wagers won 14 industry awards last year, making it the most awarded party game of all time. About.com says it is the best trivia game of all time.

Target heard about all of the buzz and decided to pick it up nationwide for the 2007 holiday season. That's pretty good distribution.

A video game version of Wits & Wagers will be coming out in January by one of the biggest video game companies and a major Hollywood agency is interested in producing a Wits & Wagers television game show. We are currently working on the contract.

I'm pretty happy with the success that our company has received. I'm sure Matt is also happy with Hook & Ladder's success. What I don't understand is why you think their company has been more successful than ours.

Brian Gill said...

I am quoting Asher Epstein from the Entrepreneur Invitational Golf Tournament (Did I meet you there?) last month, and I believe he was quoting revenue numbers up to that point.

I sincerely apologize for the poor choice of wording, and if I've offended you. I know how hard it is to run a business, and I am very impressed with yours as well as all of the Dingman companies.

Congratulations on your continued success, and I am happy to support your efforts in any way I can. (I am awaiting shipment of my wits and wagers game in the mail!)


Dominic said...

Yes, you did meet us there. We were the first entrepreneurs to speak.

I guess I was a little offended. I had never heard anyone say that H&L was the most successful of the Dingman Center's portfolio companies. The thing is that it is a subjective call and you made it seem, like a statement of fact.

Different people will have different opinions about the valuation of an early stage company. Kevin Plank, the CEO of Under Armour, gave our company the first place prize of $10k in the business competition. I think H&L came in second. So he thought our company held more promise than H&L. And several of our investors passed up an investment in H&L to invest in us. They thought our company held more promise. Other people, including Asher, must think otherwise.

I honestly don't know if H&L has been more successful than North Star Games. H&L is certainly doing amazingly well. My point is that the claim you made is not as evident as you made it seem. And I figured that I would use this as an opportunity to talk about some of the exciting things that are taking place at North Star Games right now.

Brian Gill said...

Thanks for the update. Again, you are correct that such a declaration is inappropriate--I was trying to help both of the companies, not compare one to the other.

Thanks for reading the blog, by the way. I am curious to know if you read it regularly or just found your way because of the mention of the company.

Good luck with the holiday season.

Dominic said...

Your were trying to bring attention to both of our companies and then I jumped on your case. :-( Sorry.

I have a Google alert that notifies me each day of references to our games. Wits & Wagers usually gets mentioned about 5 times a day. But this one caught my eye since it was in Annapolis and mentioned the Dingman Center.