The Instant Gratification Monkey

It has been a very unproductive week for me. I find that I fall back into bad habits at the first sign of adversity inside the company.  I want to jump up and plug the hole in the dam. I find that the hardest part of moving to a new position in your own company is delegation, trust, and breaking personal bad habits.

I will often let the business run me instead of me running the business.  I used to let my screaming in-box give my day some structure. Answering emails for 4 hours makes you feel like you are being productive.    Now, in this new role, I let play test days and visitors to Larkstone push me forward. The business is still driving me.

I have allowed a number of important things to slip, one being a completed blog entry for today, so armed with a fresh cup of joe and a clean whiteboard I figure we can get back on track together.  

I need a more interesting coffee mug.

In my role as 20% CEO, I need to identify the most important items that might need my attention each week.  In a perfect world, these are not emergencies but proactive connections to keep things moving.

Thunderstone Quest

  • Is fulfillment on schedule? (yes)
  • Is expansion design on track? (yes)
  • Big announcement ready? (yes)

Edge of Darkness

  • Is it on schedule to get on ships before tariffs happen? (yes)

Tiny Towns

  • New print runs on schedule? (yes)
  • Distributor allocations confirmed? (yes)


  • New booth graphics and show planning on schedule? (yes)
  • Products confirmed for early arrival? (yes)
  • BGN plan moving forward? (yes)


  • Product on schedule? (yes)
  • Marketing campaign on track? (No)

My one NO is the Atelier marketing campaign.  I knew that Tiny Towns was going to be a tough act to follow, but we thought Atelier would be up to the task.  We have just started the marketing campaign and I don’t love it.  I have scheduled a meeting for Monday to see if we can spice it up.

There is a lot more going on outside of development at AEG, but these are the items I identified as must follow-up and so that is now done.  

Now I also have to address my screaming email.  Not in the same way I used to where I would spend all day hunting and pecking email chains that turn into more email, I need to solve and/or delegate.

Let’s look at the count.  

I do a quick review of my in-box and break emails up into three boxes.  I also try to follow the 2-minute principle. Do not file it if you can solve it in under 2 minutes.  

@today – Must address today items

@action – Normal day to day emails. (old job)

@devaction – Development related emails (new job)

It’s worse than I expected.  23 @today, 139 @action, and 148 @dev-action. Attacking the @today emails first.  They were pretty easy, few appointments to make and a series of wire transfers I needed to cue up for payment before the end of the month.  

STOP THE PRESSES- 9:53am The instant gratification monkey just arrived!! I think it’s my advance copy of Edge of Darkness!!  

It’s worse than I thought.  Not only Edge of Darkness, but Atelier, TCID 3, Point Salad, and Curios.  It’s not a monkey; it’s a gorilla.  

Get back on track, Z.  You can have it all. You can get your work done AND play with your new toys and sort and organize your copy of Edge.  

Then unpacking begins
This would be a great Gencon haul.

Come on … who am I kidding?  The instant gratification monkey wins this round!

At least I got this blog mostly done and even started another one about just how darn hard and expensive it was to get Edge of Darkness made.  

Enjoy these pictures of me enjoying my copy of Edge of Darkness with no guilt. Have a great weekend.  Hope you have games and fun planned for International Tabletop Day.  

Punching the boards
Maybe a quick solo game
Easy Mode.
The tower works. Whew!

Want to learn more about the instant gratification monkey? Watch this Ted Talk by Tim Urban.

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