June 17, 2017

My Journey

I’m a storyteller who worked in the marketing departments within companies and as an outside service provider. Let me tell you an exciting story filled with drama, politics and intrigue.

I grew up loving science fiction. I read all of the greats. Isaac Asimov, Sir Arthur Charles Clarke, H. G. Wells etc…, and watched late night Star Trek and Twilight Zone reruns to 2 am on school nights. Missing the morning school bus was routine. Learned the word “tardy”, so I improved my word power.

The movies Star Wars and The Matrix had a spiritual resonance with me. I have had premonitions that have come about, so I was very open to religion. My spiritual journey led me to a 3-month tour to see what it was like to live and work in Israel.

The woman who interviewed me at the employment agency became my wife and a News Corp company offered me a fantastic opportunity to create iTV apps for cable TV in “Startup Nation”. My background in writing, website, and TV qualified me.

One of my iTV apps won an award. I saw that renting theaters and hiring staff for test screenings of films was inefficient, so I created an iTV app that people could rate films on their TV. NDS was later bought for 5 billion by Cisco.

I then worked for Zone4Play, an iTV cross-platform gaming company, as a Product Marketing Manager. We were the first to create iTV games and the first to be on cell phones, in the UK, for legal fixed odds games. I did the research and created our value proposition to the cell phone carrier and bookmaker. Even though we were the service provider, we lead the initiative and were equal partners. Our stock shot up 150%. The company was bought and moved to the UK.

I then worked for a KVM and Digital Signage company as their Inbound Marketing Content Manager. We were an early adopter of web marketing and were able to gain a 50% market share. Both companies were bought and moved to the US.

I then created a way of getting people to re-engage with TV commercials. I mix people and product placement figuring that if you make someone the star of a video game and share it virally. People will watch it because they know the star. I call it GameMercials, which was recognized by Seedcamp, IBM & Deloitte as a top new startup. The value proposition = brand value x N people. N people are comprised of Players + Spectators + Social networks = cost effective ROI. The most cost-efficient method of reaching consumers. We had a chain of amusement parks, malls and toy companies interested in pilots.

Due to my divorce and being scammed by a con artist, I was stuck in Israel and when I finally came to the US, I wasn’t able to get the pilots funded. An entrepreneur’s life isn’t easy.

Due to scale-ability and funding issues, we have pivoted and created a more scaleable version called GameMerce. I developed our GameMerce solution while trying to keep an emotional connection with my 3 children living in Israel, via video chat and to buy them gifts. After discovering that kids get easily bored while just talking, I unsuccessfully tried finding 2 player video chat games. So I began playing my own experimental games with them and they loved it.

These events led me to want to create these highly scalable video chat “Dress-Me-Up” type games. I dress the kids with photos of real products and they dress me. When they like a product they put it on their wish list, which makes the items available for purchase. This is how the merging of games with eCommerce began and the “GameMerce” platform manifested. This not only helps out-of-town family members in improving their emotional connections but can become the “home shopping network” in a game.

When a person likes an item, they add it to their wish list. Any family member with access to the child’s wish list can buy, sending them the gift.

What I have noticed is that most of my creative work was done outside of the corporate environment. Most successful startups seem to take place outside as well. Companies say that they want “out of the box thinkers”, but then don’t provide the atmosphere conducive to that type of thinking. Being creative is experimental and has to allow for failure. My coworkers who don’t take risks are the ones who stay with the company the longest. They spend time trying not to take on projects that could get them fired and keep an email paper trail to “CYA”.

I have decided to forego my personal projects to help you pursue your goals. There is no “I” in team. I need to be part of the right team. If you agree with Simon Sinek and Brene Browns approach, please give me a call.