Neil Patel

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In the sphere of innovation, there are individuals whose journeys span continents, cultures, and industries, shaping their perspectives and approaches to problem-solving. Brian Meidell, a Danish entrepreneur with roots in Copenhagen, embarked on a remarkable journey that led him from a stable upbringing in Denmark to disrupting the gaming industry.

In this blog post, we delve into the insightful interview with Brian Meidell, exploring his experiences, learnings, and the evolution of his mindset.

Listen to the full podcast episode and review the transcript here.

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    Early Influences

    Brian reflects on his childhood in Denmark, describing it as safe and supportive. Raised with a sense of psychological safety, he attributes this environment to fostering his risk-taking propensity, which is crucial for venturing into the entrepreneurial space.

    Brian acknowledges the privilege of growing up in a society that provides a safety net, emphasizing the significance of recognizing diverse backgrounds in fostering bravery and innovation.

    While initially drawn to the aggressive scaling culture, Brian gradually learned to appreciate the privileges he had.

    This realization instilled in Brian a profound respect for those who embark on entrepreneurial journeys without the safety net he once took for granted. His fascination with mathematics, engineering, and problem-solving sprouted at an early age.

    Childhood Fascination With Coding and Gaming

    The influence of family members who were engineers, coupled with a love for games, set the stage for Brian’s journey into the tech world. Driven by a childhood dream of becoming an inventor, he discovered his passion for coding and computers.

    The world of gaming, once considered niche, became a playground for his creativity. Little did he know that his early affinity for games would lay the groundwork for groundbreaking ventures. Leaving the safety net of Denmark exposed Brian to the diverse entrepreneurial mindset of Silicon Valley.

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    From Solo Ventures to Collaborative Growth

    Brian’s professional trajectory includes solo ventures, corporate experiences, and collaborative endeavors. He recounts the opportunity to be a part of an extensive network of talented people who are working in top positions in big companies.

    While building networks and gaining expertise, he recognized the significance of learning from both successful and flawed companies. His journey underscored the importance of working for companies that excel and those that stumble, providing a well-rounded education in the intricacies of business.

    Brian’s foray into game development highlights the shift from building games with large teams to embracing the emerging trend of smaller, more agile game development.

    Building a game solo heightened Brian’s understanding of the importance of planning and time management, ultimately shaping his approach to leadership.

    Cofounder Dynamics and Lessons Learned

    Brian went on to join forces with co-founders to establish successful ventures like Cape Copenhagen. Reflecting on his experiences with cofounders, he emphasizes the importance of understanding one’s business partners on a personal level.

    Brian candidly shares insights from a past partnership where misalignment led to unexpected changes. The experience taught him the significance of knowing co-founders well, akin to a marriage, to ensure a strong foundation for the business.

    Brian discusses the evolution of his thinking from strategic planning to meticulous execution. He emphasizes the importance of refining the entire process, from ideation to release, to achieve sustained success.

    Game Analytics and Shaping the Industry

    Brian has been closely involved in shaping the gaming industry. His innovative approach to solving problems, coupled with a keen understanding of market dynamics, led to the creation of solutions that significantly impacted tech trading.

    Brian realized that no one had really built a solution analytics solution for games. Bigger companies typically build their own data warehousing solutions and have infinite cache. Brian built a simple prototype for his game because he wanted to balance how the progression of levels should be.

    With this objective, he built a dashboard that basically sent metrics from around 100 testers who were voluntarily playing his game. The tool would send Brian metrics, and the dashboard would allow him to tune the difficulty of the different levels and find the right progression for them.

    This journey eventually led to the birth of Cape Copenhagen, a company that not only built games but also emphasized creating a workplace where people enjoyed working. Brian learned valuable lessons during his time working in the company.

    FRVR and Disrupting Distribution

    FRVR, Brian’s current venture, stands at the forefront of revolutionizing game distribution. The emphasis on making the pie bigger for developers rather than simply taking a cut exemplifies FRVR’s commitment to reshaping the gaming landscape.

    The company’s unique approach to sidestep traditional app store challenges like user acquisition costs reflects a keen understanding of market dynamics. By prioritizing distribution over game creation, FRVR aims to reshape the traditional dynamics of the gaming industry.

    Challenges, Market Timing, and Remote Work

    Brian’s fundraising experience sheds light on the evolving dynamics of securing capital in Europe. Brian delves into the challenges faced during fundraising, offering a candid perspective on the impact of in-person meetings versus virtual interactions during COVID-19.

    He shares insights into market timing, emphasizing the importance of being neither too early nor too late in introducing groundbreaking ideas. Additionally, he explores the shift to remote work, its challenges, and the strategic decision to go fully remote for FRVR.

    Shifting Perspectives: From Malta to Lisbon

    The decision to move operations from Malta to Lisbon presented both challenges and opportunities. Brian’s experience highlighted the importance of making tough decisions based on incomplete information.

    The shift to fully remote work during the pandemic reinforced the belief that embracing remote work trends provides a competitive advantage.

    Brian estimates that they have raised around $79M with a mix of debt funding and equity funding over two rounds. They are currently fundraising for a third round.

    However, Brian acknowledged that they weren’t really good with short pitches and needed an hour to explain their concepts to potential investors.

    Storytelling is everything, which is something that Brian Meidell was able to master. Being able to capture the essence of what you are doing in 15 to 20 slides is the key. For a winning deck, take a look at the pitch deck template created by Silicon Valley legend Peter Thiel (see it here), where the most critical slides are highlighted.

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    Ultimately, the remote nature of pitching to investors over video conferencing soon had Brian and his team making their pitches more concise and bringing them down to 10 slides.

    Vision for the Future: Empowering Developers

    Brian envisions a future where small teams and individuals can build meaningful games, living off the royalties they generate. By connecting players with games that resonate with them, FRVR aims to disrupt the gaming industry’s current landscape, fostering a more equitable environment for developers.

    Brian’s objective is for people to end up with the games that are right for them and not the games that could pay the most to advertise to them.

    He imparts valuable advice for aspiring entrepreneurs, stressing the importance of doing the math early on and urging entrepreneurs to assess the feasibility of their ideas.

    Furthermore, he advocates for a business-first mindset, emphasizing the need to think critically about the utility and viability of ventures.

    Closing Thoughts

    Brian Meidell’s journey from Copenhagen to the forefront of the gaming industry exemplifies the power of adaptability, strategic thinking, and relentless execution.

    His experiences offer a treasure trove of insights for aspiring entrepreneurs, illustrating the importance of understanding market dynamics, fostering meaningful collaborations, and embracing a business-centric mindset.

    As he continues to lead FRVR into new frontiers, Brian’s story serves as an inspiration for those navigating the ever-evolving landscape of technology and innovation.

    Listen to the full podcast episode to know more, including:

    • A Danish upbringing instilled a sense of psychological safety, fostering the risk-taking mindset crucial for entrepreneurial success.
    • An early fascination with mathematics and gaming laid the foundation for a journey from an aspiring inventor to disrupting the gaming industry through coding and technology.
    • Brian’s career spans solo game development ventures to collaborative endeavors like Cape Copenhagen, highlighting the evolution from individual efforts to teamwork in the tech industry.
    • Reflecting on past experiences, Brian emphasizes the importance of understanding co-founders on a personal level, drawing parallels between successful partnerships and marital bonds.
    • The shift from strategic planning to meticulous execution underscores insights into achieving sustained success, emphasizing the need for refining the entire development process.
    • An innovative approach to game analytics contributed significantly to shaping the gaming industry, showcasing the power of problem-solving and market understanding.
    • FRVR’s unique approach prioritizes distribution over game creation, aiming to reshape the gaming industry dynamics by enlarging the revenue pie for developers and offering an alternative to app store challenges.

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    Neil Patel

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