“In The Studio” rolls on this week by welcoming a long-time Valley operator, founder, angel investor, venture capitalist, and now general partner at one of the first “super angel” funds.
Charles Hudson, now a partner with SoftTech VC, has sat on every side of every table in the startup world. With stints as an operator at Google, as an investor with In-Q-Tel (the CIA’s venture capital arm), and founder of companies in the gaming space, Hudson brings a wealth of experience and insights — particularly around the gaming industry — to the table. Hudson is a familiar face in the Valley’s startup ecosystem as an active angel investor, speaker, and commentator, as well as penning a great blog with nontraditional insights, such as this one which suggested beleaguered Zynga may consider going private after going public.
If you’re a founder or investor in the startup gaming world, this short video is a must-watch. In this short discussion, Hudson and I talk about a dizzying range of topics, such as how Zynga was able to scale so quickly and why their value began to fall, how Zynga mastered customer acquisition and built cash machines to subsidize other activities, how Zynga had to decouple itself from the Facebook platform and how that process inflicted pain, how Zynga’s public market valuation trickles down to all corners of the gaming industry, how the angel investing climate for gaming is growing thin, and how founders and angel investors can, most importantly, look to the future for areas and platforms to focus on, such as Apple TV.