We are three women who met in the trenches of corporate America. The further we progressed in our careers, the more alone we felt as women. It was only after we met together for months over stiff drinks and tapas that the hours of venting gave way to laughter … and we stumbled upon the idea of Persist the Game.
Check out the Q&A with the founders.
The Source of Inspiration
The “source material” for the game wasn’t one single traumatic moment. It was instead decades of cumulative moments that began to feel suffocating as we grew older. It was...
- Being told we were bossy growing up, that we should be more friendly and accommodating instead of being told we should pursue a life in leadership
- Being told to fall in line instead of to take risks and experiment
- Being told we were too aggressive when we were assertive, but too soft when we were kind
- The meetings where we were repeatedly over-powered by the ego-dominated male leadership at work—what we defiantly refer to as “Swinging Dick Syndrome,” SDS for short
- Being told we should get better hair and clothing if we ever wanted to see the C-suite as a woman
- The recurring calls with our grandmas where we somehow felt like life failures because we were entering our 30s without kids, even though we had made huge strides in our careers and relationships.
Putting it All Together
We knew we weren’t alone in fighting these double-binds, pressures, and prescriptions. All it took was a quick five-minute scroll through our twitter feeds to see that other women shared our frustrations. We knew women in all lines of work had lives where choosing to persist wasn’t an option, it was required—especially if women have children, are a minority, or a single parent!
More than ever, we wanted a way to connect with other women who were persisting in their own lives. We wanted to craft something that would provide an entertaining, meaningful connection where they could bond, laugh, learn and gain insight over shared struggles.
We personally knew that laughing, learning, and connecting could help all of us weather moments of insecurity, fear, and doubt that inevitably arise along the way.
Then, we had it. Our “ah-ha” moment. What if … we built a game. A game that embodied all three elements of laughing, learning, and connecting in the face of adversity. Persist was born!
Building the Game
None of us had any prior experience creating games, so we spent countless hours learning techniques in building and testing game strategy from scratch. We scheduled a ladies getaway to develop content and test the game strategy. It was nonstop fun … and along the way, one of us (not saying who) was so lost in the flow of gameplay creation, she lost a wedding ring that weekend. Truth!
After the game was nailed down, we set our sights on our first beta test. We had eight ladies lined up who were all in their second year of law school. These women weren’t shy when it came to brutally honest feedback. We knew our customer base would always have a point-of-view, so why not just dive in! But we worried. What if our game sucked? What if we wasted precious, free time only to fall flat on our face and have to start all over again? What if our content and strategy wasn’t good enough? Would they even want to play it again?
Then something amazing happened. They all loved it. As we looked around the room, we saw laughter and connectivity come together in an electrifying way. It was even better than we had envisioned. They also had incredibly helpful feedback on tweaks to the content and strategy, making the next iteration even better.
We couldn’t wait to get started on refining gameplay and booking our next beta tests!
Mixing Things Up
We spent the next phase of product development conducting a diverse set of beta tests and continually refining our content and strategy along the way. The only constant with each beta test was the feedback we received: overwhelmingly, people loved the game. There was nothing else like it on the market, and everyone reported they’d play it again and buy it if available.
We also learned something completely unexpected during our beta tests.
While we built the game from the female perspective, we discovered it is actually deeply versatile. It worked equally well across a variety of contexts: from a group of close girlfriends to ladies who had just met; from female work colleagues to mixed gender groups; from a group of couples to a multi-generational family; and from dedicated gamers to others who checked their competition at the door and were happy to have a good time.
Even more surprisingly, the game worked equally well with men. To be clear, Persist is a very different game when play with mixed company. Each time, each group of the guys would learn something new. Sometimes sharing in Persist was met with laughter (“You seriously don’t know what a pap-smear is?!”). At other times, we were struck by a display of genuine empathy, as the men attentively listened to the real life challenges of women.
We immediately knew this was an important element of the game. People talk these days about echo chambers, where as a society we now socialize and consume information that is limited to our closely held beliefs and experiences, with no way to communicate with the “other side.” This can be especially when we participate in ladies-only venting sessions. Now, with Persist, we had a funny, raw, and educational solution. Why does this work? Humor.
Our next chapter is about you—smart, visionary, and dedicated women.
We are looking for women who know, that while most days choosing to persist is not an option, persisting in good company will always be preferred. You get up day after day to fight, clinging hard to your successes, no matter how small. You believe in empowering and drawing inspiration from other women. And, like us, you value the kind of catharsis that can only be found in some good old fashioned belly laughter served with fresh cocktails on the side.
We have thought about you every step of the way in building our game. We see you in every detail—from our unique card deck, to how our box will look proudly displayed in your home. We have obsessed over the details for you, and we are confident you will love Persist the Game. Give yourself (and your friends) the gift of therapeutic laughter and elevated connectivity by experiencing a game that was built for and celebrates you.
Come join our Persist community on social media and share your Persist story.