bing gordon

Bing Gordon

General Partner at KPCB

THIS CHAT HAPPENED ON April 05, 2016

Discussion

bing gordon
bing gordon@bingfish · partner
Hi, I’m Bing Gordon, former chief creative officer at EA and current Chief Product Officer for KPCB. I am an avid gamer; favorite games include World of Warcraft, the Sims, Diablo, and Civilization, and I love helping entrepreneurs build successful products, Happy to be here; so ask away!
Allegra Gordon
Allegra Gordon@allegra_gordon
When you look back at your career at EA and KPCB, what are your proudest moments? How did you celebrate those wins?
Bing Gordon
Bing Gordon@bing_gordon
@allegra_gordon Sims, because my daughters played it. SSX Snowboarding, because you were on the cover. Rock Band, because it won our Christmas two years in a row. Madden Football, because i helped design it. Lottso, because it was the first game with a coopetition mode, and I designed it. Bard's Tale, because I wrote the ad tagline "When the going gets tough, the Bard goes drinking." And then all the times I got to work with the devs of my fave games of all time: Sid Meier, Brian Reynolds, Will Wright, Scott Orr, John Schappert, Hanno Lemke, Don Mattrick, Peter Molyneux, Richard Garriott, Chris Roberts, Mark Pincus, Warren Spector. But never got to work with Rob Pardo or Gabe Newell. Oh, and Andy Berlin, Rich Silverstein and Jeff Goodby on the original EA ads and packages. But the best moments were always when daughters visited and played the games.
Allegra Gordon
Allegra Gordon@allegra_gordon
@bing_gordon Do you do anything special to celebrate wins? Other than smiling when daughters are playing games on your lap?
Bing Gordon
Bing Gordon@bing_gordon
@allegra_gordon hehe. I like to break into song. Kung fu fighting. Volare. If I remembered more of the real lyrics, I wouldn't have to make up new ones.
Bing Gordon
Bing Gordon@bing_gordon
@allegra_gordon and remember that a smile and a very specific compliment can make someone else's day. Pay it forward, and they will, too.
Allegra Gordon
Allegra Gordon@allegra_gordon
How do you stay motivated, positive and happy every day, despite frustrating days, weeks, months?
Bing Gordon
Bing Gordon@bing_gordon
@allegra_gordon Oatmeal for breakfast. After that, happiness is an act of will. And metabolism.
Ryan Hoover
Ryan Hoover@rrhoover · Founder, Product Hunt
Two very important questions, Bing: 1) If you were stuck on a desert island for the rest of your life. Which game would you take with you? 2) Your Twitter username is @bingfish. Why? 🐟
Bing Gordon
Bing Gordon@bing_gordon
@rrhoover @bingfish Ryan, I would take World of Warcraft, if i had network connection. If not, i'd probably take words with friends and play solo.
Bing Gordon
Bing Gordon@bing_gordon
@rrhoover @bingfish I got the nickname Bingfish when I was a commercial fisherman in Astoria Oregon in the 70's. Didn't much like it at the time, but it is mine.
Austin Teague
Austin Teague@austin_teague · Full-Stack Marketer and Entrepreneur
@bingfish As an investor how do you find startups to invest in? Specifically is it through referrals, cold emails, specific searches/sites? Second, what is the biggest frustration leading up to investing in a startup?
Bing Gordon
Bing Gordon@bing_gordon
@austin_teague @bingfish Hi Austin. Mostly through referrals. Nothing beats a warm intro from someone you admire.
Bing Gordon
Bing Gordon@bing_gordon
@austin_teague @bingfish Biggest frustration? Hard to sort out the real relationship from the normal posturing of selling.
Bing Gordon
Bing Gordon@bing_gordon
@austin_teague @bingfish and we always have to remember that the pitch correlates with communication skills, but not necessarily business success.
Bing Gordon
Bing Gordon@bing_gordon
@austin_teague @bingfish When KP announced the iFund in 2008, we got something like 2800 business plans over the transom. @_Lee_Linden_ real all of them, culled the list to just 5 whom we met. When we get a reference, we usually meet with every one, unless we are already invested in a competitor. Do the math.
Bing Gordon
Bing Gordon@bing_gordon
@austin_teague @bingfish But you can always send a plan to me. bgordon@kpcb.com esp if it's about games or more broadly, gamification.
@bingfish How is KPCB tackling diversity? What are you doing to encourage start ups to be more diverse?
Bing Gordon
Bing Gordon@bing_gordon
@iamcuan @bingfish My experience is that one is the loneliest number; it's awkward to have just one of any segment in the room. KP Fellows program, at the "top of the funnel" is a very diverse crowd. It even includes creative people.
Bing Gordon
Bing Gordon@bing_gordon
@iamcuan @bingfish Diversity is just good for business, that's what we tell all the companies where we serve as board members.
Bing Gordon
Bing Gordon@bing_gordon
@iamcuan @bingfish As a father of daughters, i have always been sensitive to gender split. Early on, I noticed that the great "girl games" were all created by fathers of daughters. Will Wright for instance.
Megan Matt
Megan Matt@meganmatt42 · Megan, Augl
@iamcuan I think one of the answers could be found scrolling through the attendees here #sausagefest. I count four of us woman and I'm pretty sure one is Ricky Ma's ScarJo blowup doll.
Bing Gordon
Bing Gordon@bing_gordon
@meganmatt42 @iamcuan sounds like the world needs more people like you, then.
Bing Gordon
Bing Gordon@bing_gordon
Hey Bing, what's the most valuable blog you've posted recently?
Bing Gordon
Bing Gordon@bing_gordon
http://www.kpcb.com/blog/how-to-... Distill your pitch to a geometric proof, and then show how great and passionate you are.
Jacqueline von Tesmar
Jacqueline von Tesmar@jacqvon · Community at Product Hunt ⚡️
What are the first tabs you open on your computer/phone every morning?
Bing Gordon
Bing Gordon@bing_gordon
@jacqvon Farmville Country Escape or Legendary, when I'm in the midst of a timed event. And then the calendar, to see what I'm already late for. Bleacher Report, to see what I missed or to relish the Warriors, Sharks or Giants victories. Or to see what dumb things are going on with the Forty Niners today. I was hoping Kaepernick and Elway would team up.
Steve Rechtschaffner
Steve Rechtschaffner@steverecht · Creator & lover of fun
Hi Bing, where do you see gaming behaviors becoming more important than they are today?
Bing Gordon
Bing Gordon@bing_gordon
@steverecht Education, medicine, fitness, training, dating/love, work place. Shucks, probably even space travel.
Andrew Flynn
Andrew Flynn@andrewpflynn · Growth, Staance
Bing- what do you think about Nintendo finally entering the mobile app space?
Bing Gordon
Bing Gordon@bing_gordon
@andrewpflynn Way overdue. But it's so hard to give up making hardware, because hardware is the crack of the tech business. it's addicting to make hardware.
Bing Gordon
Bing Gordon@bing_gordon
@andrewpflynn Nintendo has such a treasure trove of properties. I often wonder whether it should become part of the Disney empire. Imagine Mario Kart, the ride by Imagineering, or Legend of Zelda, the movie starring Johnny Depp.
Dhaval Chauhan
Dhaval Chauhan@17haval · Full stack founder
Hey @bingfish What categories of startups are you interested currently ? Also what impresses you : Team or Product
Bing Gordon
Bing Gordon@bing_gordon
@17haval @bingfish Product is ephemeral and team lasts forever. So i start with the former and obsess on the latter. invested currently: games, ed tech, direct-connect publishing, digital health.
Bing Gordon
Bing Gordon@bing_gordon
@17haval @bingfish the first question is what companies will you always make time to see. for me it's gamers, new game formats like VR/AR, edtech visionaries, and motivated young people (under 30). Always make time.
Peter Richard Johnson
Peter Richard Johnson@peterj0hnson · Product @ Kustomer
Hey Bing! How do you feel about gamification in "non-game" products? (Saas, consumer,etc). Are there common situations where people try to "over-teach" their users with gamification?
Peter Richard Johnson
Peter Richard Johnson@peterj0hnson · Product @ Kustomer
And who do you have picked to win this years Stanley cup?
Allegra Gordon
Allegra Gordon@allegra_gordon
@peterj0hnson This is arguably the best question of the day.
Bing Gordon
Bing Gordon@bing_gordon
@peterj0hnson hi peter, cool new job you got! i think gamification works everywhere. Games are the new normal for people who turned 13 after Nintendo came to the West in 1986. Basically, everyone likes getting gold stars like we did in kindergarten. Scores help clarify goals. And we like knowing the rules. The surprising thing is that cooperative games outdraw competitive games.
Bing Gordon
Bing Gordon@bing_gordon
@peterj0hnson My heart is with the Sharks, but I don't think they'll make it out of the West. I am an Ovechkin fan, so they are my choice. But as you know, it all comes down to the goalies.
Peter Richard Johnson
Peter Richard Johnson@peterj0hnson · Product @ Kustomer
@bing_gordon your sharks and my Wild play eachother tonight. Dare to make a wager :) ?
Bing Gordon
Bing Gordon@bing_gordon
Hey Bing, what games are you playing lately?
Bing Gordon
Bing Gordon@bing_gordon
Two games in soft launch: Legendary from N3twork and Wizard of Oz match 3 from Zynga. Wordbrain and Words with Friends. Duolingo, because I'm headed south of the border. Cake Swap, another fun match 3. Puzzles and Dragons. and an old Zynga classic called Drop 7. And just finished The Room.
Jonathan Korn
Jonathan Korn@jkkorn · Product Owner @ PlayKids
@bing_gordon ha ha. I'll follow this up with an extra question: What EA game would you love to have redone for VR?
Bing Gordon
Bing Gordon@bing_gordon
And looking forward to playing/owning Lucky's Tale on Oculus, The Void (real world VR gaming) when it comes to its first location.
Bing Gordon
Bing Gordon@bing_gordon
@jkkorn hi Jonathan. The Sims would be fascinating, but it was always a god game, not a first person. So sims as a table top vr game could be cool. Football first person would be awesome, a high res version of Game Star Football by Scott Orr in the 80's, but too expensive to build today. Need for Speed would be ideal. When Don Mattrick first envisioned the series, he started with "I want to feel my hand on the door when I open it, and then slide into the seat."
alex moffit
alex moffit@moffitalex · Goal Scientist, BetterWorks
a16z's benedict evans said, "mobile is eating the world" (and now says, "mobile ate the world.") who/what is eating next? what comes after mobile?
Megan Matt
Megan Matt@meganmatt42 · Megan, Augl
@moffitalex I think our bodies will eat mobile. There is already technology to allow simple applications from brain waves. We want to impact the world immediately but have to go through language, motion, action...the evolution is to be able to think and have it done.
Bing Gordon
Bing Gordon@bing_gordon
@moffitalex Voice mediation layer, like Amazon Alexa. The non-interface interface. And "recommendation engines" broadly defined that infer your needs and deliver solutions, delivered through bots, apps etc. After that, personal robots.
Bing Gordon
Bing Gordon@bing_gordon
@meganmatt42 @moffitalex Very cool. Our bodies are actually the ultimate mobile device. I am hoping that Under Armour keeps winning, because their technology always makes me feel like a hero.
Bing Gordon
Bing Gordon@bing_gordon
Hey Bing, what's the coolest hardware products you've been using lately?
Bing Gordon
Bing Gordon@bing_gordon
@ProductHunt faves: amazon Echo and the Meta 2 from @metaglasses. They show the future. Wish list: Juicero juice press, Amazon Dot, and the BMC Granfondo bike with disc brakes.
Steve Rechtschaffner
Steve Rechtschaffner@steverecht · Creator & lover of fun
@bing_gordon - is that a self probing question in the 3rd person?
Bing Gordon
Bing Gordon@bing_gordon
@steverecht sounds like an alien abduction.
Bing Gordon
Bing Gordon@bing_gordon
@producthunt and shopping on Tradesy is the bomb.
Bing Gordon
Bing Gordon@bing_gordon
Hey Bing, what are you liking in other media these days?
Bing Gordon
Bing Gordon@bing_gordon
You have to hear GIrls Night In, by @RitaWilson. Rocking tune, and the music vid has a funny cameo from a friend of hers. On TV, really liking Mr. Robot, maybe because @johnhering was tech advisor.
Peter Richard Johnson
Peter Richard Johnson@peterj0hnson · Product @ Kustomer
How do you strike a balance between work and personal life/family while still being successful in your career?
Bing Gordon
Bing Gordon@bing_gordon
@peterj0hnson life balance is impossible, so deal with it. You have enough time in the day for two things, maybe. Family, fitness, work are already one too many. And the hardest of all is the working mom.
Megan Matt
Megan Matt@meganmatt42 · Megan, Augl
@bingfish How do you see the mobile app space changing in the next five years?
Bing Gordon
Bing Gordon@bing_gordon
@meganmatt42 @bingfish More apps built on platforms like Slack. More bot interfaces like Fin. More voice inputs like Alexa. I think 10% of server connected humans will be wearing AR glasses regularly within about 7 years.
Emily Snowdon (née Hodgins)
Emily Snowdon (née Hodgins)@emilyjsnowdon · Operations @ Product Hunt
Hi Bing! Thanks for being here today. How was the transition chief creative officer at EA and current Chief Product Officer for KPCB?
Bing Gordon
Bing Gordon@bing_gordon
@ems_hodge Well I took 12 hours off to make the transition. Biggest change at KP is that I see many more people per month than I did at EA, and young entrepreneurs have more upward mobility and better prospects than twenty somethings had at my former company. It turns out that starting a game and starting a company are very similar, in funding and team size, but that companies take a decade rather than 12-24 months for a game. In games, I always aimed to add 5-10 review score points on metacritic.com, and now i try to do the same thing for our portfolio companies.
Andrew Ettinger
Andrew Ettinger@ettinger · 👟 @wearAtoms // ex @Twitter @ProductHunt
How much of gaming do you think is inherent skill? For instance, I'm a horrible gamer and I think it's natural.
Andrew Ettinger
Andrew Ettinger@ettinger · 👟 @wearAtoms // ex @Twitter @ProductHunt
I feel I must further qualify this by saying I played a lot of COD in middle school and had a .3 KDR (I've since retired)
Bing Gordon
Bing Gordon@bing_gordon
@andrewett practice and hand-eye for action games. i have found that pro athletes are the fastest learning curve ever.
Andrew Ettinger
Andrew Ettinger@ettinger · 👟 @wearAtoms // ex @Twitter @ProductHunt
What is your role as the CPO of a VC firm? It's not a title I've commonly seen.
Bing Gordon
Bing Gordon@bing_gordon
@andrewett yeah, it's unusual. I spend regular sessions with our portfolio companies on design/refine features (like Specializations at Coursera, goal loop at Betterworks), product marketing (brand book at Tradesy) and CEO scaling (OKR's, pitch decks, all hands). Very fulfiiling to me. Better than being a college lecturer, with longer term relationships and way cool people.
AndrewKemendo
AndrewKemendo@andrewkemendo · Founder, Pair
Bing, What are your thoughts on how pre revenue R&D heavy consumer startups should approach fundraising in terms of traction/metrics.
Bing Gordon
Bing Gordon@bing_gordon
@andrewkemendo Audience growth is good. Indiegogo and Kickstarter are a great place to hone your marketing plan, so do that first if you can. Always start with a single customer who can't live without your idea, even if it's your mom.
Ben Tossell
Ben Tossell@bentossell · Makerpad.co
Whats your personal investment thesis?
Bing Gordon
Bing Gordon@bing_gordon
@bentossell Zero marginal cost education, zero marginal cost personal assistants, math for self-improvement, caveat vendor (freemium model). And then find spectacular, resilient, energetic, maniacally committed founders who can attract top talent.
Ben Tossell
Ben Tossell@bentossell · Makerpad.co
What do you think of the 'bot rush'?
Bing Gordon
Bing Gordon@bing_gordon
@bentossell Trendy theme of the hour. But long-term, math will win.
Kate
Kate@katesegrin · Head of Social @ GitHub
What do you think has been your greatest contribution to the world / business thus far in your life / career?
Lali Weiss
Lali Weiss@lali_weiss
Hi! Thanks for being here today! Who are your heroes?
Bing Gordon
Bing Gordon@bing_gordon
@lali_weiss David Ogilvy is my business hero. Started as a neer do well, became a top chef, then a market researcher, then a copy writer, then a founder. and after he started his ad agency, he built training programs for young talent, and published the most useful books in advertising. Today's best role model, imho, is Jeff Bezos. One day his true story should be told. till then, read all his shareholder letters.
Emily Snowdon (née Hodgins)
Emily Snowdon (née Hodgins)@emilyjsnowdon · Operations @ Product Hunt
What advice can you give to startup founders just starting out building a new product -what three things should they keep front of mind?
Bing Gordon
Bing Gordon@bing_gordon
@ems_hodge Pay attention to cash. Clarify vision, mission and strategy and put them on the wall. And put your target customer, a specific person, on the wall. Channel your customers.
Ben Tossell
Ben Tossell@bentossell · Makerpad.co
What are your favourite questions to ask founders?
Bing Gordon
Bing Gordon@bing_gordon
@bentossell who are your heroes, and what did you learn from them? And where did you come from, what's your story?
Kate
Kate@katesegrin · Head of Social @ GitHub
@bingfish which is your favorite version of the Sims and why?
Bing Gordon
Bing Gordon@bing_gordon
@katesegrin @bingfish Sims 1, because it overcame all odds. I really liked the generations, wants and fears meter, and Bella stories in Sims 2, but they were improvements, not the original invention.
Bing Gordon
Bing Gordon@bing_gordon
Hey Bing, I want to be a game-maker. What are the best colleges for making games?
Bing Gordon
Bing Gordon@bing_gordon
I get asked this a lot. Carnegie Mellon ETC has the best master's program. Just 2 years, and you build 5 synthetic world games in the first semester. Learn by Doing. USC has the best undergrad programs, led by @mikezyda for engineering and Tracy Fullerton @kinojabber for design. Great Northern Way in Vancouver, and Fiea in Orlando are also great. But bottom line, just start making stuff while you learn to program. Minecraft, mods and comic books.