Harmonix’s Humble Beginnings


Harmonix has shared the story of its seriously humble beginnings, when the company started with a meager $100,000 of capital and one of its founders was still living with his parents.

Music game maker Harmonix is certainly one of the biggest games industry success stories in recent years, but the company’s achievements seem even more impressive when you consider just how little founders Alex Rigopulos and Eran Egozy had when they started. “We raised an initial round of capital from friends and family, meager by today’s standards — $100,000 — but it lasted us a whole year because I was still living like a grad student,” Egozy related to CNN.

Grad school – at MIT – is where Rigopulos and Egozy met. That’s where the two “became interested in the idea of using technology to allow non-musicians to express themselves musically,” an idea which spawned plenty of ideas but not much money after the two left school and founded Harmonix.

“We had zero revenue,” Rigopulos said. “We had been trying for four years to make something work. We were out of ideas. Those first four years had been a graveyard of misstarts and product concepts that never made it anywhere.”

At that point Harmonix switched its focus from music tech development to producing games, whereupon they actually started making some money. Then came the big breakthrough: Guitar Hero. “We did it because the concept was just so compelling,” Ergozy said. “It was the game we had always wanted to make.”

And then came MTV, and Rock Band, and here we are, less than a week away from The Beatles: Rock Band.

“One thing we’re proud of: If you look back to 1995 and read the mission statement of our first business plan, it’s exactly the same as it was today, which is to enable everyone the experience the joy of making music,” Ergozy said. “That’s what we’ve always wanted to do, and it’s been a really tough road to get there. A long and winding road…”

[Via VG247]

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