Archive for Content Entrepreneurs

Respawn

On March 1, 2010 Activision reported the firing of two senior employees to the Security and Exchange Commission. One of these employees was Jason West the Infinity Ward president, game director, co-CCO, and CTO. The other was Vince Zampella the CEO and co-founder of Infinity Ward.

They were dismissed and replaced by Activision, the same company who helped fund their own company Infinity Ward during the golden days of their Call of Duty franchise.

-Jason West on left and Vince Zampella on right

On April 12, 2010, the Los Angeles Times wrote an article about West and Zampella’s new ambitious venture. They were forming a new game developing studio called Respawn Entertainment.

West and Zampella got funding from Electronic Arts (EA) while keeping all intellectual property. After hearing about West and Zampella leaving and starting a new project, a bunch of their old employees from Infinity Ward left to join thier LLC, Respawn.

In June 2013, they debuted Titanfall their new and revolutionary take on first person shooters. The game was released on March 11, 2014 only for xbox. By October 5th of 2015 IGN reported that Titanfall’s sales passed 10 million globally (awesome for a game only on xbox). Recently they have been even more successful with their multi-platform sequel, Titanfall 2.

-Respawn developing team

Official site: http://www.respawn.com/

Los Angeles Times article on Respawn: http://articles.latimes.com/2010/apr/12/entertainment/la-et-ct-callofduty12-2010apr12

IGN article on 1o million in Titanfall sales: http://www.ign.com/articles/2015/10/05/titanfall-sales-pass-10-million-globally

 

Humans of New York

Brandon Stanton (L), creator of the Humans of New York blog, shows an image he took of a man named Carl February 22, 2013 across the street from Union Square in New York. Some like New York's skyscrapers, bridges, his energy, taxis or lights. But Brandon Stanton has set himself another challenge: photograph of 10,000 inhabitants for a blog now famous "Humans of New York."  In two years, he has photographed 5,000 New Yorkers, children leaving school, tramps, fashionistas, New York with a bouquet of tulips, old lady with a cane, municipal employees, etc. And nearly 560,000 fans now follow his Facebook page.AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA        (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)

(STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)

In 2010, an ambitious young man squeezed everything he owned into 2 suitcases and moved to New York with a camera and a dream.

New York is a people watcher’s dream. The city is busting at the seams with people from every culture; it’s a canvas smeared with every color imaginable. The fashion, the language, and energy- are electrifying. Everyone seems to be in a rush to get somewhere.

Mesmerized by the New York inhabitants, an immense wealth of interesting photographic subjects, Brandon Stanton decided that he would take 10,000 photos of 10,000 of different New Yorkers.

Stanton was a mere amateur at photography. People laughed and asked him what on earth he was doing. But for 6 months he kept his head up. Every day he walked the streets, snapped photos, and published them online. And nothing happened. There was no response from the public; No-one had interest in his photos.

Frustrated but driven, Stanton persisted. One day he decided to publish his photos to Facebook along with quotes or stories attached to his photographic subjects. He created a page and titled it Humans of New York.

Doubtless, you’ve heard some of these stories. Soon after the page was created, Stanton had 1 or 2 new followers every day. People weren’t excited about pictures. Anyone can take pictures. But pictures paired with real stories are almost irresistible. He began conducting short interviews with the people he photographed and their stories and their photo compose Humans of New York. Soon, Stanton had a massive following.

Today, Humans of New York has over 17 million followers on Facebook alone. Humans of New York started with a goal to catalogue the inhabitants of New York, and is now adored by people all over the world.

Brandon Stanton, I think, is the proverbial entrepreneur. He’s someone who didn’t give up. He pivoted his idea and didn’t allow the apathetic spirit of those around him to blind him from seeing, capturing, and celebrating peoples’ stories. Today, he continues doing what he loves most – sharing the stories of New Yorkers along with incredible photos.

Bungie

Founded by Jason Jones and Alex Seropian in May 1991 in Chicago, Illinois. Bungie is an American video game developer located in Bellevue, Washington.

Jason Jones is a video game developer who began programming on Apple computers in high school. One of his early games he assembled was Minotaur: The Labyrinths of Crete. It was a multiplayer game he worked in partnership with Seropian to publish while attending the University of Chicago.

Eventually Marathon, Myth, Oni and Halo: Combat Evolved came along. Marathon did well but paled in comparison to the success of Halo.

Microsoft acquired Bungie in 2000 to develop the Halo games for their Xbox console.

On October 5, 2007, Bungie become an independent company, Bungie LLC and Microsoft still had ownership of the Halo IP.

More recently Bungie has made a deal with the Call of Duty developer Activision. The partnership is a ten year long project called Destiny.

Bungie.net

Activision

Destiny

Dan and Phil: Content Entrepreneurs

If you would have asked Dan Howell and Phil Lester 10 years ago if they expected to become international YouTube celebrities, they likely would have laughed and responded with a quippy sarcastic comment. These British YouTubers have been producing videos as early as 2006, when YouTube vlogging was a relatively new trend and MySpace was still in full swing. Somewhere between 2006 and now, Dan and Phil have gained millions of followers and built an audience unlike any other YouTuber. Their quirky videos span from gaming challenges and question and answers to daily vlogs and stories. They have become icons in the YouTube content world, creating new ideas for videos and challenges – even building their own app to accompany a challenge video. This year, they launched two huge projects – a book written by them and a live tour in the UK, Australia, and America. They are some of the first YouTube stars to extend their content production into the physical, non-Internet realm. Both the book and the tour have been widely successful, proving that Dan and Phil know more about content creation than just YouTube videos.

Dan and Phil are the perfect example of true Internet entrepreneurs. What started as a hobby or a way of expressing themselves has turned into their careers. They are constantly having to come up with innovative new ways to gain and keep followers. As their audience grew, they had to find new ways to connect with them beyond the boundaries of the YouTube platform. As first movers in their industry, Dan and Phil were able to carve out their own niche and set themselves apart from the millions of other YouTube videos in existance. They are truly an example of successful millennial entrepreneurs who started with nothing but a webcam won from a cereal box sweepstakes and ended up as Internet .