Jun 10, 2021
In this podcast, Karim Nurani welcomes Arnold Hur the Chief Operations Officer and Co-President of Gen.G, the highly successful professional esports team and event company. In part 1 of this conversation, Arnold gives insights into company growth strategies, successful career paths, and the value of learning from failures.
In this podcast, we explore three major themes:
The experience you learn from failure in business is an important element for success. But you need to fail quickly - that is, speed towards failure! It doesn't work if you're trying too hard not to fail; don't over-think things too much. Remember that failures almost always produce specific elements or features that become useful later, like the need to do quality user research and get into the minds of your customers.
As you expand your career, each job experience gives you more insight into being a startup entrepreneur. For example, you start to understand how decisions are made in large organizations, which is a useful skill, no matter whether you're competing with a big corporation or trying to be bought by one. Don't get caught up with titles and reporting structures. Regard each job as a transition, where moving gives you momentum and helps you gain the confidence to grow things. Think of yourself as a game character with special abilities that let you transform into any other character and acquire their powers and skills.
Understand the Effects
You can solve a lot with money as you build a large company, but beware of raising too much funding. The more money you have, the less fun the job becomes. As the CEO, you can stay on top of everything yourself with up to about fifty people. After that, you really need to focus on getting the right processes and people on board, ensuring that you have a good product-market fit, etc. At around 150 people, you'll be adding the rocket fuel, and then you'll hit the next growth curve and stuff is going to break. At this stage, internal politics can start emerging, so it's important to know how to create an ethical and truthful culture, so ensure that you have a team that can put all the key core processes in place.
About Our Guest:
Arnold Hur is the Chief Operations Officer and Co-President of Gen.G, the highly successful professional esports team and event company.
He is a serial entrepreneur who specializes in the growth of early-stage startups. He joined Gen.G shortly after it was founded in 2017, and initiated the rapid expansion of the company through acquisitions of professional teams in several esports franchises, including Heroes of the Storm and League of Legends.
Under Hur’s leadership, Gen.G has continued growing by further acquisitions, as well as building its own rosters of players and coaches, including one of the first all-female teams for Fortnite. By December 2020, the company had become the sixth most valuable esports organization in the world, with an estimated valuation of $185M.
Hur attributes much of Gen.G’s success to a close collaboration between the United States and S. Korea, which combines the skills and dedication of Korean esports culture with the investment prowess and global reach of California's Silicon Valley.
Prior to joining Gen.G, Hur was President of Memebox, a multi-brand beauty and personal care e-commerce venture headquartered in San Francisco. Like Gen.G, Memebox leverages the latest innovations in Korean trends and popular culture. During his time at Memebox, the company raised over $160M in funding from numerous prominent early-stage Silicon Valley VC firms and family offices.
After graduating from Boston College with a degree in finance, Hur worked with Goldman Sachs and Boston Consulting Group, before heading west to Silicon Valley to work in new product strategy and business development for Google.
About Our Host:
Investor and Entrepreneur
Chief Strategy Officer, Linqto
Fearless innovator. Perpetual student. Equal parts irrepressible and curious, always scanning the horizon for a better way. This is how Karim Nurani is routinely described by those who know him best.
This particular handful of traits has served him exceedingly well across three decades as an entrepreneur, investor, and advisor. It’s a journey marked by the formation and successful guidance of over a hundred startups from mining to process manufacturing, leadership in a number of top venture firms, and lucrative forays into markets as diverse as IoT, GreenTech, SAAS, and FinTech. His special power is a rare ability to embrace the multiplicity of perspectives and mindsets that coexist in the business realm—entrepreneur, executive, investor; early-stage, IPO, and established enterprise.
A great believer in the law of mutual attraction, he puts a great stake in relationships with like-minded thinkers across sectors and around the globe—an endless source of inspiration, knowledge, and exciting opportunity.
Find Karim on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/karimnurani/
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