I blogged last year that a trade show is fundamentally a stag hunt:
(see “cultivating a community” for more on this paradigm) It’s an effort by a collection of firms to create a larger shared opportunity that even when divided yields them a larger benefit than if they prospected separately. Any one hunter or set of hunters can defect from the larger hunt and either hunt on their own or form a smaller hunting party, but if they would have been better off with a smaller share of a larger pie, at some point they will return…
Here is a non-technical definition from the Game Theory Dictionary
The French philosopher, Jean Jacques Rousseau, presented the following situation. Two hunters can either jointly hunt a stag (an adult deer and rather large meal) or individually hunt a rabbit (tasty, but substantially less filling). Hunting stags is quite challenging and requires mutual cooperation. If either hunts a stag alone, the chance of success is minimal. Hunting stags is most beneficial for society but requires a lot of trust among its members.
So I was very intrigued when I caught an announcement for an interesting new event that is designed to foster collaboration among entrepreneurs. It’s Anuj Singhal‘s Game Club
I had a chance to talk to Anuj this afternoon and he was kind enough to drop a short note afterward:
The inaugural Game Club workshop is being held tomorrow in San Francisco from 5:00pm-10:30pm with dinner, register online for $65, full details here: http://www.thegameclub.org/events/ . Along with inspirational entrepreneur stories, the speakers will be sharing their current challenges in their present venture and inviting participants of the workshop to contribute. Topics of discussion will include hiring, fundraising, marketing, personal development and building teams, all areas of importance to bootstrappers.
Anuj hopes develop a framework for entrepreneurs to cooperate to create greater shared value. He is inspired by the “Stag Hunt” paradigm from game theory and techniques developed in the microfinance industry to foster entrepreneurship.