Hehe, you can never guess what’s next… I think that was the secret to our Earthworm Jim game all those years ago!
I like to keep things interesting, when starting Gaikai with my co-founders Rui & Andrew I knew nothing about high-performance computer networks, so had to learn fast. I built our first USA server on my dining room table and remember driving to Los Angeles to place that server into a rack. Gaikai was launched. Fast-forward a couple of years, we had found an amazing group of team members and leaders and we had built one of the fastest networks in the world. I was in Brighton, England to give a speech and was handed a Guinness World Record for the network. Sony then bought the company. I have to say it’s changed my mind forever on what we can accomplish if willing to embrace new challenges and learn new things.
What did I learn from this?
#1 Our investors were incredible, they stood behind us every step of the way, even when we had very aggressive competitors. I could write paragraphs on just how much respect I have for the investors that supported us, I learned so much from them. I feel the same way for the seed investors that have supported VYRL.
#2 Our Gaikai team evolved an amazing culture and that came from the incredible team members we somehow were able to find and get to join us on the adventure. When you’re the CEO of a company, it changes everything when you walk into a room or give a keynote speech and know that the team behind you are rockstars. These people can make what seems impossible possible, they jump every hurdle placed in front of them and they make the job really inspiring. I was in tears when I gave my final goodbye speech to my team.
#3 Selling your company can be a good thing. It was 1+1=10 at Sony. PlayStation is the best place to play and I’ve known most of the executives since they started at the company. The passion, quality and vision has been rock-solid and if you read my two previous blog posts, I don’t think there’s a future for the video game industry that doesn’t include Cloud Streaming. Sony has so much experience in this space now, that’s going to be tough for anyone to compete against.
#4 If you have a company idea, don’t talk yourself into not trying it. If you are very passionate about the idea, then just start climbing the mountain. Companies fail when they stop climbing, or when they get lost in the fog, just keep climbing. A friend of mine Lloyd Charton took Rui and myself to Mt. Whitney when the trails were treacherous, and we just started climbing, I had a thousand reasons to stop, but we just kept climbing, at points I was being held to the mountain by a single finger, but we kept climbing until we stood on the summit. That passion to complete the project fuels me.
#5 What do I do in my spare time? I keep learning. We made an indie movie starring my daugher (as a mermaid) in a movie called Scales: Mermaids are Real. 6-10 year old girls seem to like it, and it won “Best Family Movie” at a local film festival. We then signed Global distribution deals (hard for indie movies), it was released in AMC movie theaters and is now on all digital services like iTunes, Amazon Video etc. It’s fun to know making movies is really just a case of going and doing it.
#6 Keep your mind wide open. I’m on the Board of Trustees at my Daughter’s school, I do all I can to help students with entrepreneurship as it’s changed my life. I met Jason and Cade from VYRL, they were also there helping the students by giving a case study on building a real company. I was asked to help advise the students to consider the possibilities for the company, and just like Gaikai it made me realize this is yet another massive space I need to learn about. Advertising is the backbone of Google and Facebook, yet it’s changing and there’s definitely room for innovation. So I’m about to drive to VYRL’s office and start climbing the mountain.
I’m going to be hiring full-stack web developers and web architects that can build multi-dimensional social graphs that don’t exist today. I’ll need advertising sales people that have direct connections to lifestyle brands, and I’ll need millions more influencers around the world to join us.
Wish us luck!