Every entrepreneur with an acknowledgeable success to his/her name has a similar set of praiseworthy qualities. However, the most important quality lies in understanding the forthcoming opportunities in the concerned industry. Andrew Paradise, CEO and Founder of Skillz.Inc, is a sound example of the same.
Andrew chose an industry that was a lifelong passion for him – video gaming. He realized an unharnessed potential within both mobile gaming and eSports industry, one which could potentially democratize the entire ecosystem. Hence, he founded Skillz in 2012, with the intention of engineering a platform that game developers could use to power competitions and monetize their games in an engaging and new way. Today, Skillz has invented streaming/broadcasting technology, patented solutions to engage players, connected passionate gamers worldwide, and has challenged the stereotypical perception related attached to eSports.
Initially, Andrew worked at investment firms, although his passion for solving unique problems led him to become an entrepreneur, and he founded Double Picture LLC in 2005, a pioneer stage for digital photography and advertising. He later sold the company to MPA, Inc. After that he founded AisleBuyer LLC, which facilitated mobile self-checkout and built in-store mobile payment solutions for retailers. He sold the successful company to Intuit. Six months later his life-long passion transpired into a globally leading company as he founded Skillz, an assured real-time gaming platform.
Delivering Mobile eSports to everyone with Democratizing Nature
Skillz is the leading mobile eSports platform, which connects the world’s 2.6 billion mobile gamers through a competition. Skillz is dedicated in delivering mobile eSports to everyone including developers, streamers, viewers, and players at every level. The democratizing nature of the Skillz technology benefits associates involved in the eSports ecosystem. On the B2B side, Skillz is the eSports provider for over 3,000 gaming studios and helps developers drive engagement, retention, and revenue in their games. The company stereotypically provides Tournament Management System (TMS) to transform games into a full-fledged eSports. This platform saves external expenses of game developers that would be required to build the necessary infrastructure technology to support eSports functionality.
Skillz has also been actively advancing broadcasting and streaming technology for the entire eSports ecosystem; hosting over 100 million tournaments with an average of 500,000 every day. Streamers that partner with Skillz and implement its technology into their broadcasts are able to better entertain, reward, and engage with their viewers. Skillz also broadcasted over 40 million minutes of footage to spectators worldwide in 2016 itself, across major streaming sites like Twitch and YouTube.
, With Skillz levels the playing field, independent studios now have the chance to compete with top studios to create the next big hit. A key element of platform is fairness, which Skillz ensures with its patented algorithm that matches players based on their skill levels to prevent unfair advantages. This technology provides a superior gaming experience that result in record engagement metrics. Skillz players spend an average 61 minutes a day on the platform, which is almost twice the casual mobile gaming industry average of 33 minutes.
Leading the Initial Obstacles towards Unparalleled Gaming Platform
Skillz mainly partners with game developers to integrate its Tournament Management System (TMS) into mobile games. When the company launched in 2012, it was solely partnered with Android game developers. In August of 2013, Google changed their policies and subsequently conditioned to remove Skillz 2 tournaments from its platform. This hinted an emergent shut down of their games from its platform. Skillz closed its Series A in financing and Google changed its Terms of Service subsequently. This led to Skillz losing all of its customers and half of its employees within the span of a month. Fortunately, Andrew had a successful meeting with Apple that triggered the rebirth of the platform on iOS. After overcoming this major obstacle in its early days, Skillz has since achieved meteoric success, with 50,000% revenue growth in the last three years alone. With all of its talented, hardworking employees, Skillz has been able to exceed all early expectations and become the worldwide leader in mobile eSports.
The Pivotal Moment that Inspired the Establishment of Skillz
Andrew and his Co-founder Casey Chafkin are big mobile gaming fans.. While playing a racing game on his phone, Andrew got disturbed by an unnecessary advertise by a third-party website. This was a frustrating experience that coined the idea to create a better way for game developers to monetize, which further resulted into the inception of Skillz
Integrity, Intellectual Curiosity and Ability to Honor Commitments: The Mantra to Success
Andrew is known for his big-picture thinking, but his success has been the result of the combination of his unique vision with the necessary planning and follow-through to achieve impressive results. He strongly recommends aspiring entrepreneurs to find great mentors, because he believes that such individuals can lead one towards the right path. Andrew personally trains his employees, and employs unique practices to empower them with essential qualities, wherein gifting books of popular business leaders to Skillz employees is one such practice.
According to Andrew, the three most important qualities every business leader and entrepreneur must have are integrity, drive, and intellectual curiosity about the vertical. He exemplifies these traits in his daily responsibilities, and constantly strives to mentor his employees to foster these attributes.
Aiming to Dominate the Market as a Global Business Leader and Household Brand
Andrew mentions “In the next five years, Skillz will be a true global business and household brand. As the company continues to scale, its internal headcount” Andrew also foresees that the company’s success will soon be less about him and more about the rest of the staff. True to his nature, Andrew’s ultimate goal is to ensure that the company flourishes without him to its best possible level.