“There is no surprise that microconsoles are coming now that the mobile core technology has become a commodity,” says John Gargiulo to his audience at Casual Connect Kyiv 2013.
John Gargiulo, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Business Development at BlueStacks, came to this position with over a decade of work in the field. He began his career in advertising as a copywriter with Merkley & Partners, then moved to Cliff Freeman & Partners, where he created campaigns for brands that included Snapple, Quiznos and Sports Authority. Before joining Bluestack, he launched and became CEO of Switch, a restaurant company in New York, which he expanded to two locations, 44 employees, and more than $2 million in revenue.
Learning to Love the Ride
Gargiulo describes his work at BlueStacks as an incredible roller coaster of ups and downs. Fortunately, since he has been involved with a number of start-ups, he has become accustomed to the roller coaster, and claims you must develop the right temperament to cope with it, never letting yourself become too up or too down.
One of the biggest “ups” in his career came shortly after he joined BlueStacks. At the time, they were working with a PR firm that just wasn’t getting them the exposure they needed. Finally, at 10 PM the night of their beta launch, he began emailing every reporter he could think of. The result of this effort was coverage in TechCrunch, GigaOM, and many other publications. The company no longer feels any need to use an outside PR firm.
Seeing Potential, Not Popularity
Gargiulo feels the most difficult aspect of his work is getting people to see the value of something when it is not already popular, to catch the vision of potential when it is not easily apparent. He says, “You have to paint a picture of the future that is practical, but also inspires.”
The biggest challenge in the games industry today is growth. He sees a parallel between the console industry in the mid-1980s and the mobile industry today. At that time, there was a dip in the money developers and platforms were making. People began to assume this was the end of the business, when it turned out to be only the beginning.
Risks are Crucial to Progress
He insists that the way to meet the same sort of challenge today is by taking risks and continuing to innovate rather than replicating the last thing that offered a slight improvement. He insists, “If everyone is chasing their tail, we won’t get anywhere.”
BlueStacks is an example of the risk taking that is so essential. Gargiulo reminds us that in 2011, they were the only ones who thought Android was exciting or that people would want to play mobile games on PCs or TV. Now they have 13 million users.
Mobile Games Invade the Living Room
He believes the next big trend in the games industry will be seen in our living rooms. He insists, “Mobile games will not be trapped in four-inch phones three years from now. The living room is a massive install base just waiting to be tapped.”
BlueStacks has now built GamePop, a mobile game console intended specifically to capture this trend and promote their developer partners through this channel.
When not occupied with work, Gargiulo enjoys being involved with all sports, particularly the sailing he grew up with.
Chocolate with a Cookie Crunch 🙂
And his sense of humor is evident when he suggests Bluestacks’ next innovation will be a Kit-Kat flavored Android phone. Why? Well, shouldn’t your phone experience be delicious?
Catherine Quinton is a staff writer for www.gamesauce.org. Catherine loves her hobby farm, long walks in the country and reading great novels.