Justin Beck is the co-founder and CEO of PerBlue, software startup in Madison, Wisconsin. PerBlue’s Parallel Kingdom is the first location based game designed for the iPhone. More than 60% of the user base play on an android phone .
Can you give us a brief overview of your company ?
PerBlue is a mobile and social gaming company. Most notably we make the game Parallel Kingdom for iPhone and Android phones. We design, create, own, publish, test and maintain our game titles and we make money by selling virtual goods in these games. My business partner Andrew and I started PerBlue in 2008. I was 21 at the time.
When did you decide that creating an App for mobile devices was the way to go ?
It was late 2007 when I realized the mobile phone platform was going to really change. By the increasing of data plans and consumer driven smartphones, and that phones even at that time had over 3.5 Billion in the world. It is now over 1/2 the world population. That is a lot more small computers than PC, laptops, servers and gaming consoles have ever seen.
Who was your greatest inspiration during the startup of PerBlue ?
If you mean as a mentor, I would say there are many. I am a big mentor guy. I will have 4-6 mentors at one time. Sometimes having 1 direct mentor is the way to go. Other times having a greater amount of mentors that are less active is a better way to learn and mature. These mentors have had a huge influence on my life and the startup of PerBlue. They guide me through the extremely hard decisions that face any startup leader.
What is the most valuable lesson you learned from creating, developing and managing a startup company ?
Probably the most valuable lesson learned from creating a business is that in order to reap the benefits of many things in life, including starting a company, you have to run the marathon. It’s not a sprint. Very often it’s miserable. It takes more discipline then anything else. You have to pivot, adjust, and manage your cash (fuel) carefully so you can survive. 90% of startup’s fail because 90% of founders are not distance runners or they started with the wrong attitude.
What are the best pieces of advice you can give to aspiring entrepreneurs?
- Play to win – Commit yourself to playing the game and be willing to be very flexible in how you navigate the pathway. Watch and model people who have built successful companies and learn from them. (Watching failure doesn’t teach you how to succeed.
- Have a specific goal: we are going to do “this.” Drive yourself and your team to this goal.
- Have a schedule: (roadmap) that is a reasonable plan of getting to that goal.
- Choose your team wisely : Commitment and talent are the 2 most important traits of your teammates.
- Stay focused : You can only build one business at a time. Choose your business and stick to it till its done.
- It’s a marathon not a sprint : Pace yourself emotionally, mentally and physically.
Take a look at the link below to view Justin Beck’s tips on effective networking. Networking : The Business of Meeting People