Initial Selection of Product Chips
In a 2-3 player game, each player uses all 4 product chips. In 4-6 player games not all are used. There are three options of playing
All players remove the same chip(s), i.e. for 4 players, they remove "Media" and there are no Media products. This will create maximum competition. This is the option described in the rules.
Each player removes one chip of their choice. In this case, some products may not have any competition.
Each player (or the game master) randomly selects the subsets of chips to use for each player. This has the same outcome as option 2.
Leaked vs. Launched
Leak is the result of an Event Card. Launch is the result of reaching 10,000 users - the Launch line. The effect is identical: The product participates from now on in User Loss - both by rolling the die in the user's turn and as a target - and the product participates in the Competition.
Poaching is critical and will likely determine the game.
In poaching only one player pays the price. You can poach up to two times from the same product. You can try to poach the same employee again after a counter offer (but typically there is a "cheaper" employee around)
If there is no counter offer, the player who's turn it is pays and moves the employee to the currently playing product. If there is a counter offer, the player who countered pays the price, and the employees stays at the same company. The employee can move one field back on the vesting track for each money paid.
All money paid goes to the pile/bank.
Vesting, Retaining & Poaching of Executives (Big Suits/Nerds)
Executives (Big Suit, Big Nerd) vest like other employees at the end of the year, they can be retained at the same cost (1 money per field moved back) and can be poached. For poaching, the base cost is 6, so minimal poaching cost ranges from 6 to 10, depending on where they are on the vesting track.
Execs's power applies to all products, and similarly, they can be retained while any of their products is playing.
User Loss represents other bad stuff happening to a launched (or leaked, see above) product, like a bad article in the press, or a loss of personally identifiable data. Any launched product can be a target. Player can damage her own product but makes little sense.
User Loss happens - when playing launched products only - at the end of their product turn. The current player rolls the die and distributes damage points to any of the other launched products. Maximum 2 damage per target.
User Loss is optional. Player need not roll or allocate damage. If a player forgets to roll he or she forfeits that roll. With new players consider playing without User Loss.
On a related note: the "not below 100" limit on User Loss only applies to User Loss, not to competition.
It's player's choice if they want to hide their money or have it open in front of them. My preference is open - as money can be counted. If money is hidden, then players who can remember 4 numbers in their head have an advantage, which means I don't...
There are 6 Big Nerds and 6 Big Suits in the game, but you'll never need more than 5. The 6th is extra. The tin cans are not listed on the box, because they were added very late because of the great Kickstarter success.