I wanted to share with my friends and colleagues the most recent phase of my professional career. Last month I left Zynga and moved to Isle of Man to become Director of Social Gaming at Amaya’s Rational Group (PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker). At Rational, I will be leading and building the team responsible for replicating PokerStars’ success in the real money gaming world into social gaming. In addition to poker, where nobody can question Rational’s expertise, we see great opportunities in social casino, slots and social sportsbet (and, of course, some blue oceans).
The opportunity was irresistible because of Rational’s focus on the player. It has grown to be the leading real-money gaming poker product ( Rational was sold to Amaya last year for $4.9 billion) because of a laser focus on making their players’ happy. From my first interview, it was clear they were not interested in the short-term tricks that boost revenue but drive a wedge between the player and the company (all too prevalent in most social gaming companies) what is often referred to as bad profits, and instead creates value by creating the best player experience.
This customer-centric philosophy has not yet been tried in the social space and I find it incredibly compelling. I am excited about what my team and I will be doing soon and will surely share my experiences on this blog with my colleagues.