My startup went public, and it only took me about 25 minutes to pull it off. I don’t remember what the company does, though I don’t think it really matters? I own 16 percent of the place, but after I made some rash decisions about a legal fight and opted to set up a local office in India, the company basically doesn’t have any cash left on hand. Users love us, though! So the future’s bright for… whatever our name is. It doesn’t matter. In a minute, I’ll start over and try something else.

I’ve spent too much of my day today playing Startup Trail, a new browser game made by the tech policy website Techdirt and Engine, a DC-based startup trade group. The two organizations created the game, as Techdirt’s Mike Masnick puts it, to give people a small glimpse into the kinds of policy decisions startups have to make and why they’re rarely as easy as they look. Especially for small companies that don’t have the seemingly infinite resources of a Google or an Amazon.

At the start of Startup Trail — which definitely has echoes of Oregon Trail, and Masnick told me the debate about whether dysentery should be involved made it all the way through the night before launch — you choose the kind of founder you want to be and where you want to be located. I picked Mike, who has wealthy connections, graduated from “an elite institution with a reputation for turning out startup founders,” and sounded roughly like most of the Stanford grad startup founders…

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