Four Talks Given at Yetizen (for Gaming Startups)

Four Talks Given at Yetizen (for Gaming Startups)

As of this writing, I’ve been working in startups for 20 years. First as a software architect and then as a VP and then, for the past 10 years, in the C-Suite.

Most of what I know, I know because other people shared their experiences with me. I’ve been fortunate to have a rich and wonderful set of friends and advisors. I try to pay it forward by giving talks (giving talks is also a great way to reinforce learning — the act of writing the slides and giving talks helped me think through the ideas).

Yetizen was a gaming incubator that existed in San Francisco, roughly between 2011 and 2015. I was a mentor at Yetizen and gave a series of talks there (as well as advising the portfolio companies).

The 4 below have better than most:

  • Tales from the Platform Trade. This talk, from 2013, is about what’s involved in being a platform vendor– a third party whose service is relied up by applications. From the fact that your customers (application companies) don’t really trust you to the fact that they make unreasonable demands to the fact that platforms and services are architected differently from applications; it’s all in here. 
  • Maxims for Multiplayer Games. This talk, from 2012, is an intro to “How to think about Vendor Management” — most gaming startups rely on dozens of vendors, but don’t really know what’s involved. At the end of the day, if your game relies on a third-party service, it’s important to ask the right questions, and it’s very important to have a contract in place that has specific representations and specific liabilities in the case of breach. 
  • Crafting an Analytics Strategy. This talk, from 2012, is an intro to “How to think about Analytics” — many entrepreneurs know they need data, and they need analytics, but that they had best be able to claim that their startup is “data driven” 
  • Knowing How People Are Playing Your Game Gives You the Winning Hand. This talk, from 2013, is about the basics of predictive analytics for gaming. It was given both at Yetizen and as a talk for Revolution Analytics and has aged surprisingly well (including a shoutout for Neural Networks *before* the hype for deep learning kicked in). 

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