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As far back as I can remember, I have always enjoyed playing video games. I was probably around 5 or 6 years old when my uncle brought home a Pong arcade console. It was so simple but could provide countless hours of entertainment, and from then on, I was hooked. After that, every job I had was in the pursuit of playing video games. From summer jobs at small hole-in-the-wall computer shops when I was 10, play testing for SNK and Interplay when I was 12, Babbages when I was 15, Computer City, CompUSA, Linksys, each of which were just to either get me the best discounts on video games and hardware.
Although my title was usually related to designing, marketing, branding, or programming, they were just skills that kept me close to the gaming industry. On the surface, people tend to assume I love marketing and branding, and don’t get me wrong, I do love my work and thank the stars for helping me hone these skills. After all, it is these skills that have allowed me the privilege of working with brands like Microsoft, NVIDIA, Intel, and AMD today as a tech and gaming evangelist, which pays the bills and allows me to still play games today. I have invested most of my life into the gaming industry, and so my genuine yearning to see it evolve and succeed is deeply personal. To be completely honest, I’d rather be playing video games all day. Even as I write this, just the mere mention of it makes me want to get in a quick game.
Today I consult for many companies of all types of industries from food, to cosmetics, to technology, however, technology consulting is my core expertise particularly in the video gaming industry because it’s my passion. In my position, I am regularly invited to summits with AMD, Intel, NVIDIA as well as presenting to major technology brands such as ASUS, MSI, Western Digital, and so many more to discuss the gaming landscape, how technology and consumer preferences are affecting the industry and most importantly branding and marketing effectively to reach these new audiences.
My predictions and suggestions have for the most part been spot on and it is all due to my philosophies around branding and marketing which I’ll share through out my content. Time and time again I have spotted and taken action on trends that are 3-4 years ahead of the curve which has resulted in tremendous success for my clients.
Nearly every brand I’ve consulted with has seen 5X to 10X growth over a few short years. To give you one recent example, when I took on CyberPowerPC in 2015 it was averaging around 70 Million a year in annual revenue and now 8 years later CyberPowerPC is just shy of averaging 500 Million a year in annual revenue. And this isn’t one fluke example.
I’ve helped other brands like XFX, OneService, Nordstroms, The Bodyshop, Urban Decay, Nestle, Hitachi and so many other brands achieve tremendous success, some of which have seen major acquisitions. It’s not easy and I don’t do it alone, it take a team of people sharing my vision to make success a reality but I know that if you learn and apply some of my principles, your brand can also see the same levels of success.
It’s not natural. It’s just hard work.
These days though, it’s not quite the same. As I get older and my sense of mortality becomes clearer, the more I feel the urge to pass on what I’ve experienced and learned to others. People often think I have some natural talent for this, but I don’t think that is true or accurate. I never had a natural ability to draw. I still struggle with basic multiplication, and my grammar is atrocious. Yet my portfolio seems to say otherwise, and all I can say is it’s not attributed to any natural talent but just a tenacious obsession with learning and incrementally improving my skills at anything and everything.
I remember when I first began drawing illustrations, I was so uneasy with drawing faces, so my first two years of illustrations were often these faceless people. By the third year, I began to add rough facial features, and by the fourth year, I could draw mostly realistic and accurate faces entirely in vector. I’m a strong supporter of the belief that anyone can achieve anything, given time and determination. Determination is something we can all learn, time on the other hand is, unfortunately finite, so we just have to make the choice about how much time and determination we want to put into things.
Only recently I learn about Lee Kuan Yew, the once Prime Minister of Singapore, and ironically it was on TikTok of all places. I still don’t know too much about him but from the few tidbits of interview clips I’ve seen, I felt a kind of kinship with his approach to life and governance. He and the Singaporean people took a malaria ridden swamp and turned it into one of the most successful civilizations in the world today. It’s a testament to the idea that no matter what the challenge is, you can always chisel away at the problem and transform it into something useful.
Always be consuming.
Any of my marketing, branding, and business successes are not original. I can always attribute it to inspiration from some other person, some other business, or some other industry. I think it’s just a matter of how wide your net of reference is and I like to cast my net extremely wide. A computer company can learn a lot from a sneaker company. A fast food brand can learn a lot from a rubber tire manufacturer. If you want others to consume your ideas, content and products, you have to be a veracious consumer of ideas, content and products. As a marketer and brander, I absorb the world around me at all times. I collect and store images of every billboard I pass, every commercial on the radio, every logo I see, colors, pictures, sounds, smells, touch and feel. I compartmentalize them, and amalgamate them in my mind into new possibilities.
I hope that in reading about my insights and experiences, I can imbue upon you some of the principles for how I approach problems and the process that leads me to discover solutions for these problems. I hope you enjoy it and find it useful in your own life.