About once a month someone, somewhere, will comment on something I've written saying how "A CEO shouldn't act so unprofessionally in public". Over the years, I've gotten that message hundreds of times along with predictions of demise for my company due to my "public" behavior.
Now, I think the case could be made that we live in a different time. The new age of companies have executives who hang out on forums and mix it up with people. But I'm not going to make that argument because, ultimately, it doesn't matter. I would still do what I do no matter what.
My personal and professional objectives have always been the same: I want to do what I want to do.
That is my top priority. Freedom.
Freedom has consequences. I am certain, beyond a doubt, that my public postings on various topics over the years has alienated some percentage of users who have encountered what I written to the point that they have decided to not purchase products and services from my company. I'm okay with it. It's a price I'm willing to pay to be able to do what I want.
Stardock isn't a public company. It's not investor run. It doesn't even have investors. It's my company. It's a company with around 60 people these days that I can proudly say has not had any voluntary turn over in over 2 years. How many other software or game companies of that size can make that claim? And the reason for that is that my public attitude is my private attitude too -- we're going to do what we want to do. Not just me but the people there too.
Sure, there's a cost to doing what you want to do. I have gotten plenty of ribbing that we're working on a TURN-BASED fantasy strategy game instead of making it an RTS. But I want to make a turn-based fantasy strategy game. It won't sell as well as an RTS would but so what? What good is more money if you can't do what you want to do?
Every day at Stardock is FUN. Even during crunch-time it's FUN. And why is it fun? Because every day we do what we want to do.
But at the end of the day, it doesn't matter whether I'm justified or not because I'm going to do what I want to do. And so far, it's worked out pretty well for both me, my family, my coworkers, and our customers.