about DC

Welcome to my blog :)

 

I founded Pikkle in 2005 to create the next wave of social entertainment – social networks with a game flavor.

We’ve built up some unique technology to create mobile flash sites.

 

My journey started in London in the early ’90s, when I finished art college and formed a digital design company called “DeCode”. This was right around the time the first Mac came out. I wrote a few books on digital design, the last one being “Collier’s Rules”.

 

Having been a programmer since my teens, I decided to develop games, and got lucky with the first title. “Burn:Cycle” went into the UK Charts at #1 on the week of its release, and went on to be translated into seven languages and three platforms. I was the game designer and producer on that title, and formed a little company called TripMedia Ltd to produce that and a couple of other CD-ROM titles.

 

Around this time, something magical was obviously happening in California. We were seeing a taste of it with something called Netscape… I was speaking at conference in Amsterdam (Doors of Perception #1) when I heard Louis Rosetto, who was about to unleash WIRED on the world. He said something like “if you were alive in Roman times, you’d want to live in Rome. In this epoch, SanFranciso is the heart of the wired revolution”. He had just relocated from Amsterdam, and I was moved to do the same.

 

I got sick of reading press releases, packed my computers up and moved to San Francisco.

 

In SF I formed an internet startup called “Gamelet.com”, to create online games. Working with Java before it was released, I built up a crack crew of people and we built all kinds of fun things. Since there was no B2C model at that time, we built games B2B and were lucky to get companies like Disney, Sega, Sony, Procter and Gamble, Electronic Arts and others as our clients.

 

Java on the desktop gradually got more and more mangled, but at the same time mobile phones supporting java came out. Gamelet got more fascinated by the possibilities of mobile technology. One of our clients PacketVideo was a leader in this new space, and Gamelet agreed to be acquired by them. My team moved from SanFrancisco to LA. This was my first “liquidity event”. PV went on to raise over $100M in VC, and then spend it. It was a wild ride and I met some great people, who are now scattered throughout the mobile industry doing new things.

 

But in 2002, mobile phone technology was still taking forever to happen in the US. Meanwhile in Japan, PV’s main client DoCoMo was doing all kinds of cool things. I decided to move again to be in the heart of things, and in 2001 relocated to PV’s Tokyo office.

 

PV’s direction moved more toward their video roots, and so I decided to make a change in the java game direction. At this time the #1 publisher in Japan was Namco, with some amazing brands like PacMan and a good initial position overseas. I signed on to develop the overseas mobile business. Mountains move slowly, and eventually I got consensus to do some things like expanding into China. It was a learning experience in big and japanese company culture.

 

 

And then a new opportunity exploded onto the Japanese mobile ecosystem: a seismic platform shift. From 2005, Flash has been installed on 100% of new mobile phones, and there is a huge opportunity for rich content, and reach way beyond gamers. At the same time, the flat-rate network charges make connected mobile content a reality. So Pikkle was formed to create this new wave of connected, flash-based social entertainment.

 

We took a year to develop our core tech, and have worked behind the scenes on some huge mobile flash services. We have a great tech group, and this year I was joined by a friend from Index (Japan’s biggest mobile keiretsu) to lead the business side of things.

 

Some of our own B2C services are also in development, and I’ll update this blog as more things reach the other end of the pipeline!

 

Oh, and if you’re studying japanese, check out JGram, my japanese grammar (and hobby) site.