Tell us about yourself?
I’m a gaming and esports industry veteran who had the pleasure of taking my passion for esports and translating it into a career. I was on the founding team at Twitch in 2011 where I worked for over 7 years. Juked is my latest venture.
What do you think is the single biggest misconception people have when it comes to startups?
The sheer aggregate amount of effort that goes into building a startup is seldom understood. Everyone knows startups are hard, but it’s difficult to conceptualize how all-consuming it can be. 80+ hour weeks was not something I was mentally prepared for.
If you could go back in time to any moment from your journey, and give yourself one tip, what would it be?
Focus. Lots if shiny “maybe” opportunities exist, but only focus on the things that you know for certain will make an impact on your business.
What makes you stand out as an entrepreneur?
Empathy, understanding, and kindness are personal attributes I try to hone and prioritize. Being open and transparent.
What are some of the best working habits you’ve gained over the past couple of years?
Learn your biology and when during the day you’re most efficient. COVID and work from home taught me that I operate best if I relax and take a nap after lunch, but get back to work and work into the evening. To each their own.
Give us a bit of an insight into the influences behind the company?
My co-founders and I are passionate esports fans, and have deep connections and experience in the industry. We’ve always felt esports fandom was lacking, and that a central hub which unites the esports community could help grow the industry at all levels. So we decided to build that hub.
Where do you see your business in five years?
We want to become *the* social platform for esports fans and competitive gamers that hundreds of millions of gamers use on a daily and weekly basis to connect around the competition.
What do you think the biggest challenge will be for you in getting there?
We have to change existing user behavior for existing fans while simultaneously building a platform that can be a starting/jumping off point for new fans. Breaking the network effect of Twitter/Reddit won’t be easy.
Talk to us about your biggest success story so far?
Our biggest success is in the life’s we’ve changed for the better. We have users tell us every day that they’ve found a deeper sense of belonging and community in their passion for esports than anywhere else in life. That’s an amazing feeling.
How do clients and customers find you? Are you much of a salesperson for yourself?
We’re a community oriented team and product, so growth has primarily been via word of mouth. We also are well aligned with the esports industry, and have 500+ esports industry execs, influencers, and insiders already using the platform regularly. This has been huge for awareness.
What one tip would you give to fellow startup founders?
Be prepared for the hardest journey of your life. No, seriously. Do not take this journey lightly. Build good habits early, and lean on your friends/mentors/peers for support. You can’t go it alone.
And finally, what do you hope the future brings both you personally, and your business?
We hope Juked can make a difference in the lives of hundreds of millions of gamers as well as change the culture of gaming, making it more inclusive, less toxic, and more fun.