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Harmonix failed a lot before they started to win

2:00 PM on 09.05.2009 // Matthew Razak

There's an old adage out there that a penny saved is a penny earned. That adage has nothing to do with this story, but since we're all about to learn a life lesson from the founders of Harmonix I figured we should start with something wise. Alex Rigopulos and Eran Egozy, the founders of Harmonix, sat down and opened up to CNN Money about how they came to be the kings of the music gaming world. The life lesson? No matter how dumb your ideas are or how many times they fail, you're going to get lucky and make something really awesome eventually.

The two say that originally Harmonix was founded as a "music tech" company that made techie music stuff. Their first product was "The Axe," which made music by moving a Joystiq around. It failed hard, like only-300-sold hard. The two learned a valuable lesson from it; "You can't really build a business on an entertainment experience that only keeps people entertained for 15 minutes." So they moved on... to another bad idea.

The two attempted to jump into the $10 billion Japanese karaoke market. Unfortunately, that flopped as well and they found themselves coming home from Japan with yet another business failure. Fortunately for us, however, the two discovered that videogames were awesome and, having already realized that music is awesome, they put the two together and gave us Frequency and Amplitude. Two very solid games. After that they did the stupidest thing of all and asked people to pretend to play a plastic guitar while staring at a television screen and listening to covers of famous songs. Yea, like that's ever going to work out for them. 



Matthew Razak, Contributor
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Monday reviews aren't on Monday. It's old school, trust me. OK, so I've been and editor for a while now. I probably should fill this part in a bit more fully. I've been here a while. In most a... more   |   staff directory



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