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Games are going through a revolution on the same scale that web sites did through Web 2.0. The drivers of Web 2.0 were variablized development costs, variablized content costs, variablized marketing costs, variablized distribution costs, and variablized monetization. Exactly the same drivers are starting to apply to games, although they are instantiating themselves slightly differently. Games are moving to the Web and getting cheaper and easier to build, resulting in an explosion of supply.
Simultaneously, as games collide with social networks, and as more internet users fall into the “time poor” category rather than the “time rich,” a vast new demand for games is opening up. Viral marketing is drawing in many new game players as they accept invitations from friends. People who would never identify themselves as gamers are playing more and more games online.
We will explore some of the implications of the changes, how this can reverse the old order of game design, and how both startups and large companies can profit from the disruption and create large and valuable businesses.
Jeremy Liew is a General Partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners, an early stage, tech focused Venture Capital Firm. At Lightspeed, Jeremy invests primarily in the internet and mobile sectors, with a particular interest in social media, gaming, commerce, and methods for increasing monetization. He joined Lightspeed in early 2006. He has led Lightspeed’s investments in Rock You, Flixster, Tippit, Mercantila and Streetfire.net.
Previously, Jeremy was with AOL, first as SVP of Corporate Development and Chief of Staff to the CEO, and then as General Manager of Netscape.
Jeremy joined AOL from InterActiveCorp (originally USA Networks) where he was VP of Strategic Planning. While there, he was responsible for acquisitions, divestitures and investments in TV Networks, consumer internet companies and online travel companies.
Jeremy started working in the consumer internet industry as an early employee of CitySearch in 1996 where he held a variety of sales management, operational and business development roles. He was also a management consultant at McKinsey and Company.
Jeremy holds an MBA from Stanford and a BA/BSc from the Australian National University in Linguistics and Pure Mathematics.
Jeremy is a frequent contributor to the Lightspeed blog at http://lsvp.wordpress.com.
Shervin Pishevar is president of Social Gaming Network (socialgn.com). Mr. Pishevar was an advisor for Webs.com at its early founding stages and joined as its president and board member when there were only 3 full time employees. He is responsible for leading overall strategy, business development, alliances, mergers and acquisitions and played a pivotal role in helping raise Webs.coms’ Series A funding of $11 million Series A from Columbia Capital and Novak Biddle.
Mr. Pishevar founded his first company, WebOS (myWebOS) in 1997 – when he was 23 years old – and raised more than $10 million for that venture. WebOS created the world’s first distributed operating system, that heralded the dawn of a new era in advanced on demand Windows-like web applications complete with a set of powerful API’s for developers.
Mr. Pishevar’s previous accomplishments include creating CNET’s Top 5 Web Application in 2000 (Hyperoffice), winning Computer Shopper’s Top 100 Technology Products of 2002 (Argentum), and he has raised millions in financing for companies that he co-founded or led, in areas from distributed computing to an advanced mobile graphics and a gaming company. He is a holder of numerous patents, and is a published researcher with peer-reviewed articles published in JAMA and Neuroscience Letters.
Mr. Pishevar has been featured by The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, New York Times, LA Times, CNN, CNBC, Fox News and on Slashdot. Mr. Pishevar received his B.A (Interdisciplinary Studies) from the University of California at Berkeley, and completed more than a year of graduate course work in Health Economics at Berkeley�s School of Public Health.
You can visit Shervin’s Freewebs site at shervin.com. Feel free to leave a guestbook comment or become his friend.
Founder of a Facebook application company, working to rapidly develop viral applications on the Ruby on Rails platform. Previously a Product Manager at Veoh.com and a Developer at Powerset
Weighing in at 150 lbs is Mark Pincus, frenetic visionary of Zynga. His DNA is one strand entrepreneur and one strand competitive gamer. Mark founded Tribe.net (www.tribe.net), one of the first social networks in 2003. Prior to Tribe, he was the founder and CEO of SupportSoft (Nasdaq: SPRT), the world’s leading provider of support automation software. Prior to SupportSoft, Mark co-founded Freeloader, the first consumer push information service.