The migration of Hollywood into mobile & social gaming

By Adam Boyes | Published May 3rd, 2011

As part of my recent keynote ‘fireside chat’ at the LA Games Conference, we had a chance to expunge about our partnership with TWC Games. I’ve included some of the video clips from our talk:

Also, LA Daily wrote an article about the migration of Hollywood into more mobile and social. It’s a big focus for us as a company, and I sincerely believe that giving the creativity to the developers and allow them to utilize the properties with a bit of freedom is the key to success.

Breaking our silence with TWC Games

By Adam Boyes | Published March 27th, 2011

Ever since our Press Release went out on Friday, it’s been a whirlwind of activity at the ranch. When I started Beefy Media in May 2010, my goal was to work on great new games with some of the amazing people I have met throughout my career.  Our consultancy partnership with The Weinstein Company and TWC Games enables us a plethora of great IPs to work with, and our goal is to change the perception of ‘low quality’ Hollywood-based video games. We’ve been huge fans of many of the movies in The Weinstein Company’s catalog, and we know that there are high expectations out there from all of the other fans.

To celebrate our announcement, I also wanted to share some of the coverage that we got through the weekend. It’s been a massive outpouring of mostly excitement mixed with skepticism, and the next steps are for us to prove to the entertainment industry that we can do right by these great properties!

Be sure to follow @TWCGAMES & @BEEFYMEDIA on Twitter for our project updates!

The Hollywood Reporter



The Register

The Wall Street Journal


Cinema Blend


Bloody Disgusting

Perez Hilton


Game Rant





Giant Bomb




Beefy Media joins up with The Weinstein Co family to form TWC Games

By Adam Boyes | Published March 25th, 2011

We’re very excited to be able to talk about the latest news here at Beefy Media HQ. It was announced today that Beefy Media is teaming up with the entertainment juggernauts The Weinstein Company to assist them in creating their video game label, TWC Games.

There will be tons more to talk about in the future, as we have a bunch of products in development. Thanks everyone for their support, and you will hear more soon!


NEW YORK, NY March 25, 2011 – The Weinstein Company (TWC) announced today a new initiative in the video game space by launching TWC Games. The TWC Games label will utilize The Weinstein Company and Dimension Films’ strong and recognizable properties, and work with external partners to develop and publish video games for mobile, social, and console platforms. Properties in The Weinstein Company and Dimension Films catalogue include SCREAM, HELLRAISER, HALLOWEEN, SCARY MOVIE, and CHILDREN OF THE CORN, among many others.

TWC CO-CHAIRMAN BOB WEINSTEIN EXPRESSED EXCITEMENT ABOUT THE NEW INITIATIVE. “The video game marketplace is changing at such a rapid rate. With all of the digital platforms, there are so many opportunities to broaden our audience with compelling, high quality, cost-efficient, video game entertainment.”

TWC Games has formed a strategic consultancy with Beefy Media, a video game production company, to foster relationships with publishers and create high quality games. Beefy Media President, Adam Boyes, will work closely with Matthew Signer, TWC Vice President, Production and Creative Affairs, to foster strategic partnerships and oversee all production aspects of the games.

“The Weinstein Company is an incredible entertainment company, and I share their vision for creating very high quality content for the marketplace,” said Boyes. “We plan to combine our extensive video game developer relationships with the impressive catalogue of properties to create and produce content made by gamers for gamers.”

The Weinstein Company (TWC) is a multimedia production and distribution company launched in October 2005 by Bob and Harvey Weinstein, the brothers who founded Miramax Films in 1979. TWC also encompasses Dimension Films, the genre label founded in 1993 by Bob Weinstein, which has released such popular franchises as SCREAM, SPY KIDS and SCARY MOVIE. Together TWC and Dimension Films have released a broad range of mainstream, genre and specialty films that have been commercial and critical successes, most recently Tom Hooper’s THE KING’S SPEECH, winner of four 2011 Academy Awards(r), including Best Picture; Derek Cianfrance’s Academy Award(r)-nominated BLUE VALENTINE; and John Wells’ feature directorial debut, THE COMPANY MEN. Since 2005, TWC and Dimension Films have released such films as GRINDHOUSE; I’M NOT THERE; THE GREAT DEBATERS; VICKY CRISTINA BARCELONA; THE READER; THE ROAD; HALLOWEEN; THE PAT TILLMAN STORY; PIRANHA 3D; INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS; A SINGLE MAN; NINE; and 2011 Golden Globe(r) Best Foreign Language Film nominee THE CONCERT. Recently wrapping is MY WEEK WITH MARILYN, Robert Rodriguez’s SPY KIDS 4, and the new installment of the SCREAM franchise, SCREAM 4. Currently in production is Douglas McGrath’s I DON’T KNOW HOW SHE DOES IT.

TWC is also active in television production, with credits including the Emmy(r) Award-winning hit reality series “Project Runway,” and the critically acclaimed HBO comedy/crime series “The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency.” The company is producing two “Project Runway” spinoffs, “Project Runway: Masters” and “Project Runway: Accessories,” which are expected to debut in 2011. The company currently has 15 series in different stages of development, including: “Mob Wives,” a reality series for VH1; “Marco Polo,” a scripted historical series about the great explorer; “The Nanny Diaries,” based on the hit book; and “The Mad Ones,” adapted from the Mafia novel of the same name.

Beefy Media LLC is a video game production company that assists IP holders in creating new game franchises for digital and retail markets at a fraction of the costs of traditional publishing and development. Founded in 2010 by Adam Boyes, a video games industry veteran, Beefy Media also provides business development, production oversight and strategic support for video game developers and publishers. Prior to founding Beefy Media, Adam Boyes was the director of product development for Capcom US, where he helped build the digital games initiative and shipped over 25 products.

Top 10 things I learnt at my 1st DICE

By phil | Published February 25th, 2011

Hey yo!

With only two weeks under my belt as an official member of Beefy Media, I set upon DICE to be an active participant in building of the Beefy empire.  Well, that was quite the experience to say the least, “drinking water through a fire hose” barely describes how it was for me…soooo….I’ve put together a quick “top 10″ list that neatly summarizes what I was able to hold in my brain.

10. When 4 grown men share a room in Vegas, you inevitably see things you shouldn’t

9. The business discussions happen between 10am and 8pm, but the real deals go down after 8pm…

8. Thank god for Costco

7. People just want to play the product; PowerPoint presentations just get in the way

6. I never want to eat Kirkland Granola again

5. Never…ever…ever…open the door till you’ve finished…

4. “Because it’s the right thing to do” is a motto to abide by in Vegas

3. The heartbeat of this industry is in the people doing the dealings in the rooms, not the heads of the “BIGS”

2. The effect of 2 nights in Vegas was clear on everyone’s face and liver by day 3…Just ask Dave Lang

1. The REAL business gets done at the Poker, Blackjack, and drinking tables

Intrepid Digital Guy Blogisode 6: Rollin’ the DICE

By akanu | Published February 25th, 2011

DICE. Like every major milestone of a video game maker’s life, my first DICE has a soundtrack, and like every great soundtrack, it comes from the 80s. You don’t agree? Read on. Don’t know what DICE is, or media made of beef? Can’t help ya, cookie. It’s a secret . And it’s not a gang. It’s a club.

It’s been a while since the Intrepid Digital Guy rapped at ya, but bear with me, all you loyalists. It’s a good story. I’ve missed you even more than you missed me. In a paragraph, Intrepid Digital Guy learned that serial dating drains IDG’s wallet. So what does your Intrepid Self do? What any brave man does. He moves 3000 miles across the country and drops into pre-med. As luck would have it, a university campus is NOT the place to keep IDG’s mind focused. Just before something like a medical degree is about to happen, out of nowhere The Booya comes along in a limo made of cheese slices*, and IDG’s copy of Grey’s Anatomy now becomes a good way to hold up that uneven table leg in his kitchen.

With all that money spent on textbooks gloriously re-allocated to business-necessary equipment upgrades like HDTVs, shiny new consoles and an instant game library upgrade from the two titles a student has time for to 150 games that are making his thumbs sore, IDG is back like acid wash.

All right, so that’s two paragraphs.

Back to business. As a game team manager, I recalled the team members I’d gladly sent to conferences, who returned to the studio with an air of Red, Red Wine and a shaky report on their conference attendances with their evenings redacted out of the doc with plenty o’ black marker. Buggers!

Prepping for DICE starts with the sounds of Eye of the Tiger. You know it. When you open your ears, you hear the low, guitar E-string harmony (you know it – jugga-jugga-jugga-jugga) as the scene fades from a frozen night time city horizon … to a Best Buy clone with yours truly slamming shut a new laptop…to a screen wipe transitioning in on a red suitcase, leading into the bam-bam-bam riffs you know so well. Socks in suitcase. BAM. Drop in boxers, game controller, cufflinks. BAM-BAM-BAM. Boxers fail sniff test and are dropped on the bedroom floor. BAM-BAM-BUMMMMM.

IDG waits at the airport. And waits…for a flight that’s not leaving… to the sound of U2’s I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.

Six hours later, he takes off to Sin City on a new airline. What the aitch, no big whoop, I’m on the road with a tall glass of barley juice in my bread basket. I even score a full row of seats to stretch out in for the four and a half-hour flight to Vegas. I felt bad for my fellow travellers in the pressured tin can we flew in. Barley juice fumes can float a zeppelin.

First big Beefy meeting: filled with cheery optimism as – you know it! You love it! – the70s Swedes kick into Super Trooper while my eyes blurred under a soft-lens view of glitter and spandex stirrup pants. Meeting after meeting goes on of The Beefy Team softly pushing our video game goodness, and the buyers keep coming for more ice cream. Pretty soon the soundtrack switches to Rod Stewart and If You Want My Body. Shakers and movers waltz into our suite, ready to send us back to the minors but asking who our agent is instead.

Night one: Trooper’s Raise A Little Hell. Billy Idol’s Rebel Yell. You get the idea.

Day two: The Beefy Team’s collection of libations, Beefy Jerky and candy prove a hit with the big shot meetings to the sound of BTO’s Takin’ Care Of Business.

Night two: IDG meets a girl in the industry who he met via email two months before. He redeems his earlier email gaffe in the only way he knows how, by donating a shoulder massage on the casino floor. This creates severe annoyance in the guy that had been macking on her all night, and as he looks daggers in IDG’s direction, I can hear the Bloodhound Gang’s only hit tune in his head. I won’t write that one out as this is a family-friendly blog, so you’ll need to look up the lyrics. IDG lets that one go. After all, not only has the donated shoulder massage redeemed him, married women change his title to Intrepid Guy Running From Biker With Lead Pipe. Trust me on that one. See episode 5.

DICE is gaming goodness, new connections, and great business for the Beefy Team. There’s only one line that wraps it up, from Rush, of course:

I guess that’s why they call me – they call me the Workin’ Man.

Love it, love it, LOVE IT.

*Watch this space. You’ll see a limo made of cheese goodness when Beefy announces its titles later this year.

Who is Intrepid Digital Guy? Your friendly neighborhood game producer with Beefy Media. He also lives  at intrepiddigitalguy.com.

I hate people who hate change.

By Adam Boyes | Published December 12th, 2010

I was recently perusing the interwebs, searching around for new trailers or information about Bionic Commando: Rearmed 2. For those of you who don’t know, I previously worked at Capcom as Director of Production for three years, leaving recently to start my own company, Beefy Media.

While I was at Capcom, we rallied for and got approved the sequel to our successful XBLA & PSN game, Bionic Commando: Rearmed. I was very excited to work on this project, as I had gotten a chance to work on the original title (albeit VERY briefly).

You see, when I first got to Capcom, I had 2 goals. Goal 1 was to create a sequel to Dead Rising, one of my favorite games of past years. Goal 2 (only slightly behind goal 1) was to resurrect the Bionic Commando franchise. I’m sure you can understand how pissed off I was on an EPIC SCALE when I joined mid-2007 and found out that BOTH of these initiatives were well underway without any of my ideas.

Regardless, I plodded along very happily that both were being made, and after talking to some people internally, heard that Blue Castle and Grin wouldn’t let down the fanbase on these sequels. My next goal was to get my hands on these games to try them out, which for those of you who don’t know, is near impossible in a Japanese company.

So fast forward a year later. Bionic Commando: Rearmed launches (with one of the greatest launch trailers of all time) and ends up selling very well. In 2009, myself, Rey Jiminez, a Producer at Capcom (and the current Producer of BC:R2), and Kraig Kujawa, our Director of Design, embark on a mission to get a sequel to the game made.

Now most people don’t realize that BC:R was almost a level-by-level perfect re-creation of the original. When I first met the development team, they showed me the palette swatches that they had taken the color choices for the game. It was intense… these guys clearly had as much passion for the original as I did back in the day.

When it came to the sequel, we had many conversations about what we could add. I want to be very clear – NOBODY INVOLVED IN THESE DISCUSSIONS WERE ‘SUIT DOUCHES’. A ‘suit douche‘ is the name that I have awarded to people in the games industry who are empowered to make decisions, but have no idea of what video games are about and ‘played a game or 2 some years ago’. I loathe these types of people, and I assure you we didn’t have any involved in the disucssions. I was lucky at Capcom to work alongside bright, talented, and ridiculously knowledgeable people.

Since BC:R2 was going to be a true sequel, it gave us an opportunity to build from the ground up what a sequel of the original was – rethinking the evolution of the character, the abilities, the environments – everything soup-to-nuts. We had passionate conversations with the BC:R team in regards to changes, suggestions, and improvements. The beautiful thing about it was that EVERYONE was passionate. Whether it was their idea or someone else’s, there was rabid conversation about changes and how we would handle it.

As I reminisce to those discussions, I bring you all around to the reason I’m writing this article. I recently came across an article written by Jeremy Parish aka @Gamespite that decided to make broad assumptions that the people that are making BC:R2 are spineless schmoopties trying to appease modern-day low-ass-barrier-of-entry gamers.

My friend, you couldn’t be FARTHER from the truth.

I read your article thoroughly, and I automatically give you a ton of credit. You are passionate, you are doing what you love, and you have a man crush on the Bionic Commando Franchise. You and I have all of those things in common – when I got my dream job at Capcom, I was (and am still) very passionate about what I do, doing what I loved (making video games FFS) and I had a THROBBING man crush on Bionic Commando.

So that’s why you have to understand that your article, although articulate, was thoroughly assumptive in all the wrong ways.

To your own admission, you applauded Capcom for evolving the original arcade version of Bionic Commando to the home console NES release. You even mention in your article that “These small refinements took a concept that was interestingly novel but deeply infuriating in its arcade incarnation and made it completely viable and genuinely fun on NES. Bionic Commando began as a nice idea, but the improvements it saw in its transition to cartridge form transformed it into something unique and very nearly perfect in its execution.” This was due to some of the fundamental changes that Capcom took in the early days from the Super Joe control scheme to the Rad Spencer one.

And now we add the ‘jump’ function and everything that is and was Bionic Commando is flushed down the window? How is that so?

Every original game that gets a sequel changes. It evolves. New additions, new storylines, and – SHOCKER – new mechanics.

You facetiously mention thatA platformer that threw out the jump button was well and good in the heady, experimental days of the ’80s, but in these safe and formulaic times, there’s just no room for it. Could it be that the people that made that decision and developed the game are as deeply passionate about the IP as you are? Could it be that we were refining and improving on things just as our forefathers at Capcom 20 years earlier would have? What would you say if I told you that the guys in Japan who had worked at Capcom 20+ years liked the idea? Would that sway you?

Why do we fear change in video games so much? We always assume that it’s going to ruin the experience. Our industry has evolved in astronomical ways over the past 30 years, and the developers of the game want to “meekly” (as you say) add a new feature, and they are automatically chastised for having a petrifying fear of alienating fickle audiences”?

What happened to the olden days where we had to actually PLAY the game before we asserted our opinion? Or maybe reached out to some people on the dev or publishing team to find out if they were simply ‘selling out’ to sell 7 more units?

Instead of asserting that “even our digitally distributed niche games have to compromise for mass appeal when the folks watching the bottom line see that a wire arm as a potential noose around their necks.”, let’s say what we all really feel:

“As a massive fan of the Bionic Commando franchise, I’m super excited for the sequel for BC:R. I know you added jump, and although I’m skeptical, I’m going to buy the game. If it’s shit, I’m going to hop onto the tallest mountain and crap all over it, but before that moment I will assume, much like we did in the olden days, that there are some developers out there that still know what they are doing”.

And with that, and the utmost respect, I can speak from the heart when I say that the jump feels fucking awesome in Bionic Commando: Rearmed 2.

Sincerely yours,

Adam Boyes

A.K.A. one of the guys trying to ruin your favorite childhood game
PS – We made it so you can finish the whole game without jumping. Good luck.

Festival of Games – The Video

By Adam Boyes | Published December 10th, 2010

I blogged earlier this year about speaking at the Festival of Games (NLGD) conference in Utrecht, Netherlands. It was a great experience, and the organizers have recently posted a video of my talk. It starts  out a bit slow, but picks up with juicy info, hot tidbits, and some insight into the games industry.

Festival of Games 2010 Recap: Adam Boyes – Capcom’s Digital Victory from Festival of Games on Vimeo.

As always, if you have any questions about the stuff that I discussed, post in the comments below or e-mail me at

Swedish Trip Recap

By Adam Boyes | Published November 15th, 2010

I recently returned from my whirlwind tour of Sweden. The main reason for the trip was to speak at the Swedish Game Conference in Skövde. I figured it would also be a great opportunity to stop over to Stockholm and catch up with a bunch of ex-Grin friends, and meet some new people.

Skövde (pronounced Hoo-eh-veh-deh) is located between Gothenberg and Stockholm. It’s the home of Gothia Science Park (not Goth Science Park, which I’m sure is where they cooked up the concept for Twilight) which is a University, science center, and incubation center. It’s basically a school where students learn about game development, and then can continue their studies and start companies with a great support structure.

The Swedish Game Conference was the first edition of this new get together. It was an opportunity to feature the facilities of the GSP, and gather a bunch of talented speakers and skilled students under once roof.

The speakers were very impressive. The keynote speaker was Stefan Lampinen, a seasoned industry veteran and global market insider when it comes to games. He’s even been hired by ex-MI6 agents, FFS!

I had the pleasure of following his talk, which i will post a blog overviewing my full talk another time. It got some pretty good reactions, but i think that’s only because I had bikini-clad Swedish women in my presentation.

After me, Tabitha Hayes who is in charge of Marketing for the Need for Speed franchise did a great talk about the top ten things to keep in mind when your studio is looking into the Marketing aspect of the project. She was also responsible for developing the marketing strategy for Call of Duty going into Modern Warfare 2, and shared some great war stories about those days in the trenches.

Craig Howe was up next, with a discussion about how to create social media buzz for your game. Craig was previously in marketing at EA, but founded his company RocketXL which is hired by Fortune 500 companies to develop social media strategies for them. He walked the crowd through all kinds of great insights, and featured some great examples of creating buzz (Warioware’s Shake YouTube campaign, the Old Spice campaign) and examples of completely missing the point (Dante’s Inferno deadly sins social buzz campaign).

To wrap up the day, Tom Russo, everyone’s favorite insightful press guy, closed it down. He gave pointers on how to butter up the press, conduct on-camera interviews, and talked about his career highlights and lowlights when it came to the press side of things.

After the show, there was a large dinner hosted by the school for most of the students and speakers. During the day and throughout the dinner, I had a chance to meet with all kinds of students and start up companies. One of the things about my new company Beefy Media at i am so passionate about is providing advice for the smaller companies that don’t know where to start. I met with and discussed strategy with multiple companies, and really enjoyed seeing what they had created and hear about their plans.

Once the conference was wrapped, I headed up to Stockholm to meet up with some friends, colleagues and clients to get down to business.

I’m working with 2 different teams in Stockholm – Might & Delight and Whiteout. Both teams were formed out of the dissolution of Grin, and both teams are working on new IPs trying to get deals with Publishers.

As i mentioned earlier, I’m really passionate about working with developers to help them through the overwhelming process of creating an idea, getting it in front of people, and getting a contract to create that game.

I spent over a day with each team, and we had a fantastic time creating, refining, brainstorming, and planning. I can’t wait to talk more about the projects at both teams are working on, and so far it’s been an absolute blast. I even got a chance to host a live uStream session with the Might & Delight crew, which I want to try to do more of in the future.

There was also a great dinner catching up with my old brothers-in-arms, Bo & Ulf Andersson, the two brother/founders of Grin, and Mikael Nermark from Starbreeze (also worked at Grin). It was really great to meet up with those guys, they are all doing really well on their new ventures, and i can’t wait to hear more about all of ‘em!

Thanks to everyone that was a great host in Sweden, and especially the guys from various sites and Twitter that reached out to say hi! We’re in a new age of digital entertainment and social interaction, and it excites me to experience this and see the evolution of the industry while experiencing it on the front lines.

Thank you, Keiji Inafune

By Adam Boyes | Published October 29th, 2010

It’s now been 6 months since I left Capcom to start my own company. I spent 3 years at Capcom, working as the director of production where I helped to build the product development organization in the US.

During that time, I had the opportunity to meet and work with Keiji Inafune, the head of global R&D at Capcom. As most of you are aware, news broke today that he has decided to leave Capcom. This comes as surprising news to many, but I wanted to take a moment to thank him for all that he did for us.

From the first time I met Inafune-san, he showed interest in what we were doing at Capcom US. At the time, we weren’t reporting to him or Japan R&D – Capcom US was a standalone group. As the years passed, Inafune-san became more and more interested in Western Development and in our Capcom US group. He had already engaged Grin to make Bionic Commando, and Blue Castle to make Dead Rising 2, so he had high hopes for the Western expansion of the company.

In 2009 we shifted to reporting to Inafune-san. Prior to that, my interaction was usually brief – we would have quick meetings, or see each other in green light meetings in Japan. Once we started reporting directly to him, the length and quality of meetings increased exponentially, and I got to spend some time getting to know one of our great industry luminaries.

I’ve been blessed in my career having the opportunity to work alongside great industry forefathers like Mark Turmell, Ed Boon, and George Gomez. When I got to Capcom, I never thought in that I would get to hang out and crack jokes over dinner with Inafune-san.

Even though some people in our company doubted that the West would bring any value, Inafune-san believed in our cause very strongly. He brought over large teams of Japanese producers, designers, and artists to meet with us and potential external development partners. He was adamant that if the Japanese didn’t listen, observe, and learn from the Western market, that it would mean the downfall of their industry.

Every time we met, whether it was in work meetings or after hours, Inafune-san would repeat his support for our cause in the US. He challenged assumptions, pushed us to think outside the box, question our intentions, but he always had our back. Capcom was a very special place to work, and working with Inafune-san and was a fantastic time in my career. It won’t be the same without him and I’m excited to see what he does next.

Thank you for all of your support, Inafune-san, and believing in us when many others didn’t. It was an honor and a privilege to have worked for you.

Tahoe Tech Talk Redefines 80′s TV Shows

By Adam Boyes | Published October 7th, 2010

About 6 months ago I stumbled across a book called Crush It in a Cost Plus World Market. At the time I was getting the itch to start my own company, and the back of the book struck a chord with me – Gary Vaynerchuk was claiming that the way to success was through interacting with people, driving as hard as you can, and utilizing social networks to get people talking. I enjoyed the book a great deal, and in it, he proclaimed that his goal was to interact with as many people as humanly possible. Once I finished the book, I tweeted @garyvee that I enjoyed it, and within 8 hours I had a response @thebooya : ) from Gary himself. He was living up to what he wrote about, which I thoroughly appreciated.

Fast forward to Sept 30th – Gary’s goal was to “humanize business” by putting together the Tahoe Tech Talk at Harrah’s Casino in Lake Tahoe. He gathered an incredible group of people, mostly angel investors & entrepreneurs, and held a one-day conference with an intimate gathering of 300 attendees. The format was simple – each of the eight speakers had 30 minutes, and then everyone took the stage for an epic round table Q&A which was like nothing I had ever seen.

My background is in video games, and I’m used to a different sort of conference. I’ve spoken at a dozen different events in the games industry and attended many more. Most of them are really good, but they are all pretty similar in format: two to three days of sessions, multiple tracks, a VAST range of speakers (from talentless to pretty damn entertaining) and everything in between. The sessions are usually hit-and-miss (mostly miss) because the speaker is trying to teach you about things you probably already have a grasp on. I usually walk away from the conferences saying the same thing: “The sessions were okay, but I learned more talking to people at and around the event.”

The Tahoe Tech Talk was 100% different. Every single speaker had an incredible story, a vast background, and an enthralling presentation. The Q&A session was long enough for EVERYONE who wanted to ask a question get it answered, and it opened my eyes to the tech industry on a massive scale. The speakers’ breadth of experience and presentation chops were all memorable, so let me do a quick recap.

In order to help the random folk to get some context for each person, I’ve likened them to actors from 80′s TV shows…

Chris Sacca

80′s Counterpart: Howard Hesseman in Head of the Class

Why? They’re both teachers, when they’re surrounded by smart people they still can spit some crazy knowledge, and they’ve both got a penchant for facial hair.

Chris’s talk was fan-effing-tastic. He’s got a crazy background – investor, Google-r, lawyer, and back-country hiker. He spoke about a ton of the cool stuff he did at Google, including being on the Google Talk team. Flanked by seven other people, he had the task of building a ‘Skype Killer’. He joked that his team was as big as the emoticon design team at Yahoo, but they were able to pull it off and have a great launch. It was intriguing to see the openness of Google as an organization, but I got the feeling that Chris is much happier now that he’s moved on. Chris is also an avid philanthropist, supporting such causes as charity: water and LIVESTRONG. He was so entertaining that I mentioned to another attendee that I would pay money to attend ‘Sacca-Con’… but only if the theme song dubbed over by Chaka Khan.

Ben Kaufman

80′s Counterpart: Fred Savage in The Wonder Years

Why? It’s their youthful exuberance, they both like to get people’s opinions to build things (except a relationship with Winnie… WTF, Fred?) and you just want to squeeze their cheeks.

I was really inspired by Ben’s background. He started as a product inventor, working at home creating iPod accessories. His parents were so impressed, they took out a second mortgage on their home and invested in his company, which was called ‘Mophie‘. One morning he was on the subway in New York, and noticed someone wearing one of his inventions. He felt so good that he went on a mission to allow people to create products that can live and breathe in the real world. His invention was Quirky – a site where people collaborate in creating and profiting from building new products.

I really felt a connection with Ben’s work, since it is very similar to what we did at Capcom with Super Street Fighter 2 HD Remix. We worked with the community to rebalance the game, the community and fans remixed the music, and fans and artists alike from Udon created the new sprites and backgrounds. It’s amazing to see how he’s adapted to a larger crowd (they now produce two physical products each week), and I’ve been thinking about how it would be possible to leverage the groupthink philosophy in making a video game from soup to nuts.

Dave Morin

80′s Counterpart: Neil Patrick Harris in Doogie Howser, M.D.

Why? Both are retarded smart, got rich young, and are on the bleeding edge of their technologies.

Dave Morin’s talk focused around the age old concept of a global community. Over centuries, we’ve evolved from knowing a few people in the stone ages to being connected through flight, telegrams, phones, and now the internet to billions of people. The concept that we’re all a single phone or e-mail away from pretty much anyone on earth is a pretty incredible thought. Nothing new really, but it’s interesting how we as a society still haven’t adapted to this accessibility yet.

The other concept was in regards to premium content. Dave surmised that people are willing to pay money to read & consume high quality content. He sited Letter.ly as a good example of a service where people can create great content in a newsletter format and sell it for a monthly fee. Dave mentioned he already has 400 subscribers, of which he charges $4 per person per month to write and publish a newsletter for them. I like the notion, but I’m pretty tight with my spending and it becomes hard to quantify the value of a monthly or weekly newsletter.

Travis Kalanick

80′s Counterpart: Grant Shaud (Miles Silverberg) in Murphy Brown

Why? You never see his face, but without his ideas and planning, there would be no news to talk about. They’re both surrounded by divas that they have to manage on a daily basis.

Travis was the sleeper hit of the show. Very few people know about him, but he’s a behind the scenes guy – helping coach and improve tech companies. Travis started his early days as a pirate, founding Scour.net prior to Napster blowing up. The anecdote of the day was Travis getting sued by all the multinational entertainment companies for $250 billion dollars. Yes, billion. He leveraged the lawsuit by settling for around a million, sold a company in the courtroom for $10 million, and then approached the same companies to try and get hired by them.

The other great story was the fact that Travis was at the dinner where Sean Parker met with Mark Zuckerburg to discuss Facebook’s future (you’ve probably seen the commercial for Social Network where Justin Timberlake says “You know what’s cooler than a million dollars? A billion dollars.”) He had a plethora of stories and info to share with the crowd, and as he referred to himself as ‘Mr. Wolf from Pulp Fiction’, the guy is crazy busy cleaning up the bodies of dead tech companies and helping brainstorm the next big idea.

Kevin Rose

80′s Counterpart: John Stamos in Full House

Why? He’s part alt-rock, part hacker-coder, but all-around pretty darn likeable. To top it off, much like John with Rebecca Romaijn-Stamos, the Internet seems to think that Kevin is screwing up the relationship with the love of his live, Digg.com.

Kevin walked through 10 tips in order for entrepreneurs to succeed. It was quite uplifting and positive, with some of the main takeaways being tips like ‘Go Build It’, ‘Hire Your Boss’ and ‘Hack the Press’. Some other aspects focused around engaging with your user base, having a back-and-forth discussion, listen to them, and track your metrics so you can use them to improve & evolve. Utilizing your fans / users to push out messaging and become your ad hoc PR crew was also a focus, which I completely agree with. We did this for many of our game launches at Capcom, and it worked wonders when we engaged with the consumers and worked with them to spread the word.

Dave McClure

80′s Counterpart: Ed O’Neill in Married with Children

Why? Both are chauvinistic pigs whose goal is for everyone else to fail – except where they may get personal gain.

You’d think that Dave McClure, who runs 500startups, would be a guy promoting doing a start-up, since that’s his business. Nope. Not a bit. He did a talk on ’11 Reasons you shouldn’t do a Startup’, which included phrases like ‘You are stupid and lazy’ and ‘You will get a divorce’. I chalked up his talk to him being the class contrarian, and his major point, I believe, was to make everyone understand that the vast majority of startups will fail. Hard. I get that. And yes, he is correct that most people in the audience won’t succeed in his eyes… but that all comes down to what each person’s view of success is.

He mentioned that if you are married (check), have a child (check), a nice house (check), and had a six-figure job (check) then you should absolutely NOT start a new company. My goal with Beefy Media is now just to prove him wrong. Yes, I’ve only been in business for 6 months, but so far so good, Mr. McClure.

Alexia Tsotsis

80′s Counterpart: Sara Gilbert in Roseanne

Why? She’s quick witted, could take on most dudes in a tête-à-tête in regards to internet tech and meme-ology, and if she disagreed with you and comes at you, it’s a full on sass-alanche.

Alexia seemed the least-prepared and the least-experienced in presenting. That’s not really a knock, seeing that the other people that were presenting were some of the best I’ve ever seen. Alexia’s background is as a blogger for TechCrunch,recently acquired by AOL, and she discussed sample e-mail introductions that she receives and what the best approach is for getting a story on TechCrunch. Some good insight, but the main takeaway was ‘Have a cool effin story to tell’.

Gary Vaynerchuk

80′s Counterpart: Tony Danza in Who’s the Boss

Why? Loud, likeable, opinionated, friendly, passionate, and most importantly – they are both the bosses.

Gary focused on the humanity of business. Ever since reading his book, I’ve been a big fan of the human aspect of interacting with people. I also realized that our team at Capcom did this to some degree, but looking back at it, I wish we reached out and interacted with the community much more. Gary spoke about how amazing it is that we’re comfortable with having a personal interaction with a major brand (side note – @unitedairlines responded to my tweet the other day). He mentioned how strange it would be 10 years ago if we complained about a product, and an hour later a product rep was at our door apologizing and offering up an alternative or refund? Pretty incredible evolution, and we’re just getting started.

There were some other great discussions, including a public lambasting of a member who had distributed photocopied ‘ads’ to the audience. Gary felt strongly – and I agree – that the process of cold mailings are exactly the opposite of how we should be operating in this day and age.

The conference then broke into a three hour roundtable Q&A which was like nothing I had ever seen. It was uber impressive, and far too many things were covered for me to even scratch the surface here. I will 100% be attending next year, this was one of the most incredible conferences I have ever attended.


Adam Boyes (@thebooya) is President of Beefy Media, LLC which is a video game production company working on a multitude of games and projects.
He is not a professional writer by any stretch. I’m sure you already guessed that