David Good – GameCrush 1 of 2

“Not all social interactions are equal.” Gamecrush is the first 18+ social gaming site that allows users to play games with other users to enhance their experience.

Matthew: Hi, this is Matthew Wise, founderly.com. We empower entrepreneurs to have a voice and share their story with the world enabling others to learn more about building products and starting companies. It is with great pleasure that I’m here today with David Good. David is one of the founders of Game Crush, which is the first 18+ social gaming site that allows users to meet, match and pay to play online games with other users to enhance the gaming experience. With that said, David perhaps you can give us a brief bio of yourself.
David: Yes, so I’ve been in the tech and the game industry for about ten years. I was at an internet consult agency back in the 90s, and then I moved on to Leapfrog, which makes educational toys, I was a content developer for games for them. Then I went back to Haas for my MBA. Right after that I started Game Spot which is part of CBS, that’s a media company that covers the gaming industry, and then that helped me spring more into Game Crush.
Matthew: And so what is Game Crush, who is it for, and why are you so passionate about it?
David: Game Crush is for all the [??], a place for them to meet and match and play each other and have really rich interactions with each other, and if it’s used to date each other, they can. A lot of users are highly in demand, a lot of people want to play them a lot of girl gamers, especially, and we give the market an opportunity to suss that out, to give the ability to pay or get paid based on how desirable they are. The reason I’m passionate about it is that it gives everybody control over their experience. The gaming experience online right now tends to be faceless, anonymous, very, kind of, transient. This allows people to create relationships, really get to know each other and see each other with the web cam enabled games that we provide.
Matthew: And so given your domain expertise, what are some of the technology and market trends that currently exist and where do you see things developing in the future for social gaming?
David: Right. Well, I think there’s been this long standing myth about gamers as isolated individuals, in their parent’s basement, the lights are out, they’re eating Pringles, and that’s all they’re doing, and that’s just no longer true. Online gamers are getting incredibly interactive, people are forming communities, they’re forming friendships, and it’s a very vibrant, interactive meeting now. And what we’re seeing is that people have a hunger to really recreate the real life experience, so that’s where we come in with the webcam and the fact that people are really getting to know each other in real time, synchronous interactions as opposed to a lot of social games we’ve seen today, which are very asynchronous people, someone does something and someone else does something later on and that’s not the same as a real time, face to face interaction. That’s why we see our research really hungering for.
Matthew: OK. So now that we’ve covered your background and overview of the market, we’d really like to dig into the details of Game Crush and your stories. What inspired you to start Game Crush? Was it an ‘Ah-ha’ moment, did you do marketing research and saw the opportunity, how did you come about it?
David: It was definitely an ‘ah-ha’ moment. We have three real founders, but we sometimes say that the fourth founder was Razor 5 IGA because we were hanging out in a bar one time, a sports bar, and we could see the disparity between men and women at the sports bar and we saw that there was this mechanism in place for the women to take advantage of the fact that they were value on that situation, and that was guys would buy the drink. And we thought, looking at the online gaming space, which I was a part of, why doesn’t this same mechanic exist in online gaming? And that was really how we started to think about it, and I already been talking to one of my co-founders about starting a company, and we’d been kicking some ideas around, actually been talking about social network for gamers but decided, you know, social networks are a little bit, there were too many of them at that point, already. So there was definitely an ‘ah-ha’ moment were we’re like, ‘This is the idea.’ Most people, when you tell them the idea, they’re like, ‘Why didn’t I think of that.’ So it was a pretty easy, ‘ah-ha’ idea for us.
Matthew: And when did you guys launch and from the time of conceiving the idea, how long did it take you to, actually . . .?
David: Well, it took us about a year, more than a year, from idea to execution and that’s because we were bootstrapping, we all had full time jobs, so we were all working on this on the side which meant really slow going. It was frustratingly slow and we also worried, of course, that someone else would come up with this idea at any moment. They idea’s the unique thing, it wasn’t the technology. And we were using very, very cheap developers overseas, quality control was an issue. So it took about a year and then we launched about a year ago, actually. It was supposed to be this little side project that we were working on, we were just crushed by demand, and, basically, I’d have to take the site down every tool area to get ready for the masses that were waiting outside our gates.
Matthew: And so we know founders face new challenges when they start a company, what was the hardest part about starting Game Crush and how did you overcome this challenge?
David: I think the biggest challenges that we faced, aside from the fact that we were working on it part time and bootstrapping it, the biggest thing was the social stigma that people have attached to the fact that, on our site, people are paying for the time of others. We have this belief that not all social interactions are created equal and a lot of people, that’s a hard thing for them to really wrap their heads around and accept. So what we’ve tried to do is really give a face to Game Crush and say, ‘We’re a community of people, ‘ or, ‘Community has created this site and we take good care of them, we payout more money than we take in, ‘ we give more than half of the money we take in to cover play dates. And some people have said, ‘Well, you’re taking advantage of both sides,’ we’ve heard it from both sides. We’re taking advantage of the women or we’re taking advantage of these poor, shy, socially inept guys and I say, ‘No, that’s not the case at all. We’re creating value for both of them.’ This is the best kind of transaction where both people feel like, ‘Yeah, I’m getting something out of this.’ So I just like to bring that to the fore, make sure people understand that that’s what we’re about.


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