Nick Kellet on Building Social into Your Product – Episode 92

February 19, 2014

I’m so excited to share our good friend, Nick Kellet with you today. He’s the “Beyonce of gaming,” a super smart serial entrepreneur, and all-around great guy. Nick takes us back to his fears as a 17-year-old getting rejected by every game company in the UK before finally publishing his board game 20 years later. Despite the great success Nick has seen with his board game GiftTRAP and growing List.ly to a very popular blog with one million hits per month, there still is fear. Find out what’s keeping Nick up at night in today’s episode.

Watch the show (uncensored & unedited)

Listen to the podcast

Share Some Shut Up Love –> You can put lipstick on a pig but it’s still a pig. You have to make a social pig first before you put lipstick on it. @NickKellet on #shutupshow (click to tweet)

Fun Facts:

  • Nick Kellet is the co-founder of List.ly, which is 7000 on Alexa.
  • Nick is CEO of GiftTRAP – Gamifying the Exchange of Gifts, aka “Beyonce of gaming” winning 20+ awards including Games Magazine Best Party Game of the Year 2008 and Spiel Des Jahres – Party Game of the Year 2009.
  • Nick is a notable community builder and technology guy.
  • Nick is an ENFP (just like me!) currently living in Kelowna, Canada.

Defining Shut Up Moment:

ON GETTING REJECTED BY EVERY GAME COMPANY IN THE UK AT 17:  A passion of mine since I was a teenager was making my own games. At 17, I was pitching games to Milton Bradley. I was rejected by every game company in the UK. It took me 20 years till I was 40-something when I finally published my board game. I ordered 10,000 of them. It fills up your garage, a 40-foot container.

ON PUBLISHING HIS PRODUCT AFTER 20 YEARS: We had an unloading party and then I started asking people to buy my games. I made the most incredible game on the planet and a distributor didn’t want to have it. I actually crowdsourced the game before that term existed. I was going to Boardgamegeek.com and lobbying people to send out samples. The coolest person in the gaming world played it but wouldn’t write a review. He referred me to five people. I called them up. They started playing the game and it started a snow ball effect. We got an average rating of 7.1, which is high.

Shut Up Tips:

The fear of talking about fear is harder than fear itself. – Nick Kellet

I love starting; sometimes I think I start too soon. I love getting things moving. It’s fun and you don’t need anyone’s input to start building your momentum. The fearful thing is losing it. – Nick Kellet

I’m always fearful of losing momentum. Once you actually put all this energy, soul and passion into something and then you look at it and let go, that’s so destroying for me. – Nick Kellet

Your goal is to make your product so alive that “you” don’t matter. It’s gonna live without you. Then you know you’re gonna be successful. – Nick Kellet

I actually crowdsourced the board game before that term existed. – Nick Kellet

I think of it as a roller coaster ride. At that point I wasn’t enjoying the ride. I was just feeling the ups and downs instead of saying, “Hey, I’m on a ride.” – Nick Kellet

If you live in the moment of the ups and downs, you can take it all too personally. – Nick Kellet

A board game was a passion of mine but I didn’t want it as a career. I’m a technology guy. – Nick Kellet

By age 17, every single game company in the UK rejected all my ideas. – Nick Kellet

You can’t add social to a product. You can put lipstick on a pig but it’s still a pig. You have to make a social pig first before you put lipstick on it. We built social into our game. Then they shared it and bought copies for their friends. – Nick Kellet

Sometimes you realize you actually know what the text book would say if it were written but then you step back and go, “Wait a minute, I know the truth.” – Nick Kellet

The worst thing you can do is ask too many people for advice. You have to find out who your advisers are going to be. – Nick Kellet

When you find your voice, don’t lose it. When I’ve got it, I will cherish it. Your voice comes from momentum. – Nick Kellet

I was there when List.ly started. But I’m not it. “It” is it. – Nick Kellet

You can’t force things to go anywhere but you can lead the charge. If you do the right things, people will jump on your charge. – Nick Kellet

Habit is the new black. What drives your day? – Nick Kellet

If you don’t think about how the product you’re making can be habitual for your audience, you’re just gonna get forgotten. – Nick Kellet

Self trumps seconds. You’ve got to look after yourself because that gives you more time. – Nick Kellet

Nick Recommends:

If you love lists, you’ll love List.ly! Check List.ly out and let Nick know what you think!

Find Nick:

Nick’s web site is NickKellet.com

Nick on List.ly

Nick on LinkedIn

Nick on Facebook