Barak Rabinowitz discussed what it would take to make the social casino market truly succeed and reach its potential during Casual Connect Kyiv 2013.
Barak Rabinowitz is CEO of the new social games company, Win. He brings experience as CEO of two previous companies, Mytopia, which was acquired by 888 Holdings, and Amuso, whose assets were acquired by BBC Worldwide. As CEO, Rabinowitz focuses on three areas: Team, Strategy, and Investor Relations. He says, “Team is the most important aspect of my job, and I execute on this front through a combination of instinct from my service in the paratroops, formal management training at Harvard MBA, and sharing challenges and best practices with other execs from the industry. I love this aspect of my job because the team at Win are not only great at what they do, but are also great people. Strategy is the fun part, and investor relations are easy when we show revenue.”
Focusing on Analytics
Rabinowitz tells us meeting with Index Venture Partners’ Saul Klein was an event that changed his perception of management. Klein showed him the importance of understanding and focusing on key performance indicators to prioritize features and lead any consumer web business. Rabinowitz compares it to a pilot relying on instruments to navigate the skies.
As a result of this insight, Win is fanatical about analytics. They begin every day with a “daily standup” involving every member of the team to see the impact of previous work and coordinate for the future.
The most satisfying career experience Barak recalls occurred as CEO of Mytopia. He was hired to execute a turnaround for the company. He succeeded in only ten months by applying a clear focus on analytics and retaining a stellar team.
However, his career also included challenges. The most difficult was making the decision to sell his first games startup company, Amuso, to BBC Worldwide rather than continue as an independent game studio. He discovered that businesses succeed for many reasons, but they fail for only one reason: they run out of cash. Since that time, he focuses on running a profitable business and aligning the entire company with this goal.
The Dominance of Mobile
In the immediate future of the games industry, Rabinowitz sees mobile as the dominant theme, and he sees cross-platform being the future in both the sense of game devices and also the connection between online and offline, specifically in regards to closer integration with land based casinos. Online makes up only a small fraction of the $390 billion global gambling market and closer integration and collaboration can open up this potential.
On the content side, he expects to see brands proliferate as brand owners become more familiar with the space and new forms of online/offline collaboration. He states, “Win is capitalizing on this trend with the release of all our games on smartphones and tablets, and close collaboration with brand owners like Dreamworks and offline casinos like Boyd, owner of the iconic Stardust brand.”
Win has been working on their own games as well. Rabinowitz announced the tablet launch of Cheeky Bingo at Casual Connect Kyiv 2013. Cheeky Bingo was developed with Ukraine partner, Murka.
Away From Work
When not involved with work, Rabinowitz has several hobbies, including running, surfing, adventure travel, and reading historical fiction. He appreciates listening to folk music because he finds it universal and meaningful.
He is also involved Sunrise Day Camp, a non-profit organization for children with cancer. This team, although rich with volunteers, relies solely on donations for funding. He hopes to revamp the donation funnel, applying all the social casino best practices to infuse their balance sheet and accelerate their positive efforts.
Catherine Quinton is a staff writer for www.gamesauce.org. Catherine loves her hobby farm, long walks in the country and reading great novels.