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February 4, 2011 / farrelledwards

How EA prepared me to save the world

My Dad has long been working on a nuclear containment device that would make nuclear fusion a viable power source. He opened a research lab to prove the theory and smart people think he’s onto something. The chance that this will work is remote, but if it does, it will change the world.

The lab is making progress, but these things go slowly. At 79, Dad isn’t getting any younger so it’s essential to find out quickly if he’s right. Success in the lab is knowing, whether it’s proving or disproving. The only failure case is not knowing the truth of his theories.

So, for a couple of years, I’m going to help him in whatever way I can.

And what makes me think I can go into a different industry, do brand new stuff and make a difference? Well, my time in video games does!

EA and Headgate Studios have been amazing to me. I have worked hard on some great games and have given this studio the best years of my career. In return, I have been given opportunities that I wouldn’t have gotten anywhere else. I have learned from the best minds in the world. I thought I’d itemize how EA prepared me so well:

  • I have delivered increasingly high quality products every year for each of the last 13 years. I know what it takes to get something done against the odds.
  • I’ve had completely top-notch bosses. I have improved my personal effectiveness under the best tutelage around. It wasn’t always pleasant, but I like the results.
  • I trained alongside promising studio leaders from EA facilities all over the world. I was able to get to know some smart people and see what innovation looks like at the best studios in the world.
  • EA taught me financial acumen — balance sheets, profit & loss statements and the cold hard truths of ROI planning. It’s tough to ignore a spreadsheet when it delivers bad news.
  • I worked with good people who struggled to contribute, developing out plans to raise productivity and contribution. Some of these efforts turned out well for all involved. Some are still pending…
  • EA brought in experts to raise our various competencies. I learned from industry experts in game design, Agile development process, financial planning, peer mentoring, people management, studio leadership and political relations.
  • I worked with wonderful, bright people in many disciplines. I rubbed shoulders with many amazing artists, designers, producers, development people and engineers from all over the place. The strength of EA is its people. I know that first hand.

This is experience I could only get at EA. For that, I am grateful. It is a great company with great people that took the time to prepare and qualify me to do one thing.

Save the world. πŸ˜‰

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4 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. Claire E Grover / Feb 4 2011 8:06 pm

    You’re awesome, Farrell!

  2. John / Feb 5 2011 7:58 am

    A wise definition of success. And an insightful look into your preparation for this new adventure!

    • farrelledwards / Feb 5 2011 2:18 pm

      This may work, but as with most research enterprises, there are a billion things that can get in the way. So, we try it and see. πŸ™‚

  3. Andrea Christensen / Feb 5 2011 1:24 pm

    I can’t wait to be able to tell people that my grandpa and uncle saved the world! Good luck, Farrell–we’re rooting for you.

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