Paul Thelen is a first-time entrepreneur, having founded Big Fish Games almost a decade ago. Fast forward and Thelen is doing pretty well. Big Fish Games is on a run-rate of $200 million in revenue and it's recently acquired Self Aware Games, the producer of Card Ace: Casino, a leading grossing app on the iPad.
In this interview, Thelen shares his lessons learned building out his company. One of the biggest lessons he's learned is that entrepreneurship or building a company from scratch takes dedication and passion. He bootstrapped his company and worked out of his bedroom. (Sounds familiar to many people, I'm sure). He said he worked 15 hour days. To this end, if a person is working this much, he or she must be passionate about it.
"It’s not your job, it’s your life," said Thelen.
Thelen, who is based out of Seattle, also shares his thoughts on start-up cultures and his biggest mistakes at Big Fish, including lacking the early vision to see that social gaming would be significant. He also shares one of his favorite sayings: The biggest reasons start-ups fail is that they fail to get started.