Digital Media Start-Ups: Tips on Surviving & Thriving

As an entrepreneur who has founded several start-ups and also worked at larger companies, some days I feel like I’ve seen it all — the good, the bad and the ugly of surviving and thriving in this increasingly competitive space. Here are some truisms I’ve learned over time.

1. Take Off the Beer Goggles — they don’t help with your love life and they are terrible for running successful start-ups.

Sometimes the truth hurts — but refusing to own up to your short-comings, success challenges or failures can spell disaster for you and for your start-up. What’s more, it’s very easy for co-founders to reinforce each others’ delusional thinking. That’s why it’s important to have checks and balances built into your start-up — whether that’s in the form of advisors, success metrics — even self-imposed deadlines for achieving certain milestones.
Truths and Observations in Running a Gaming Start-Up

GamesBeat 2013 Panel: “Intuition vs. Analytics”

GamesBeat 2013 – Intuition vs. Analytics Fireside Chat from VentureBeat on Vimeo.

Focus of this October 13, 2013 discussion:

  • What’s the best way to design a game?
  • How does a creative person take consumer feedback into account?
  • What does analytics bring to the creative process?
  • What are its limits?

This Gamesbeat 2013 Panel from October 29, 2013.

Speakers Include:

Gamesbeat 2013

Mark Robinson, COO, GameAnalytics
Greg Richardson, CEO, Rumble

Margaret Wallace, CEO, Playmatics

Hotel Sofitel
223 Twin Dolphin Drive
Redwood City, CA 94065

Mobile Gaming: “Getting Into Bed With an IP Licensor” (Slide Deck)

The Hound and His Chicken

Here is a talk I delivered on September 10, 2013 at the Yetizen Innovation Lab, called “Getting Into Bed With an IP Licensor” (more info here) — as part of the SF Game Developer’s Workshop. I had a great time talking about all of the ways that I’ve interfaced with brands throughout my career. It was also awesome seeing old friends and meeting new people.

Slide Deck: “Getting Into Bed With an IP Licensor”

“Made In New York” Media Center – Membership Applications Open

IFP Made in New York Media Center Logo



Introducing New York City’s Media Center in DUMBO, Brooklyn

A place where storytellers from multiple disciplines, industries and platforms create, collaborate, connect and incubate across a spectrum of programs, events and experiences.

“The MINY Media Center is the reason why artists move to Brooklyn”- Fast Company

We bring together innovators in film, video, gaming, technology and more through education, mentorship, entrepreneurship and content creation.

Site of the new IFP Made in New York Media Center

Site of the new IFP Made in New York Media Center

August 27th — “Women in Tech: The Future of Equality” | A Daily Lounge Roundtable

Hot Topic

Women in Tech: The Future of Equality

I will be participating in a discussion on women working in the various technology sectors, hosted by Daily Lounge — please join us!

The event takes place on August 27th, at 4PM EDT/ 1PM PDT. The event is conducted as an online round table discussion on women in the the tech industry.

We’ll delve into this topic with our panel of experts:

Google+ — Not About “Circles”, More Like a Downward Spiral

Google+ and It’s Discontents

What is it about Google+ that makes it so tedious to use? Why can’t the social network get the kind of traction it needs to really have it take off as a viable platform and contender of Facebook?

Every since Google+ launched, I have been luke-warm about it.

I really want to see the service succeed. As someone who makes games, I’d like to have more than one social gaming platform to consider outside of Facebook. I also love the idea of having all of my Google services integrated into one profile and destination.

Today’s Hot Topics: Mindjolt, Facebook Friends, Red Robot Labs

Here are some recent stories in the ever-exciting world of tech, media or gaming that have caught my attention:

“MindJolt gets a third of its revenues from social mobile games” – Venturebeat:

This story gained a lot of attention in the game industry. For a company like MindJolt to make any announcement around revenues is a pretty interesting moment. Some people were surprised that one-third of their revenues comes from social mobile games. Revenues are generated through a combination of micro-transactions and advertising revenue.

From the Vault: My 2006 Interview With “Business Week”

What my ‘vault’ would look like if it actually existed.

“Enough with the Shoot ’em Ups: Skunk’s Margaret Wallace develops casual games. Turns Out the Market for them is Huge.”
— Business Week, 2006


On the heels of my write-up on The Sheenification of America, I thought it might be fun to take things down a few notches.

So, today, I’m digging deep into my non-existent “Vault” that, if it actually existed, would all sorts of remembrances and ephemera from the world of tech, media or gaming.

Is the Whole (Tech) World Going “Charlie Sheen”?

“Take this job and shove it — I ain’t working here no more.”
— David Allen Coe, the original Charlie Sheen

The “Sheenification” of America?

Charlie Sheen: Madman? Genius? Both?

There must be something in the air these days. It’s a bit hard to pinpoint but I will try: When I take a deep breath, a really deep breath, I smell the heady fragrance of renunciation hanging in the air of public discourse. Can you smell it, too? The fetid air of discontent? In both personal and professional spheres, we’re witnessing the abandonment of the keeping up of appearances. In place of “sucking it up” when faced with life’s adversities, there’s been a radical rejection — even condemnation — of possessing any quiet comportment whatsoever.