John, met.

“I wonder how many people I’ve looked at all my life and never seen?”

On my way back from work today, a couple walked by me at the Montgomery BART stop. I noticed that the gentleman was wearing a hoodie, and my curiosity cultivated into a conversation.

It turns out that the man, named John, works for the company in the San Francisco headquarters. He and his girlfriend, Adah, had moved from Pittsburgh a little over two years ago and have loved the Bay Area ever since.

For once, this felt like a short BART ride back from a 12 hour workday. I got in touch with my inner gamer geek side talking to them. John was once “arguably ranked the number one Guitar Hero player in the world.” He loves his job as a partnerships and sponsor strategist; he doesn’t even call it a job. He loves watching speed runs, plays DotA, loves eSports, and attends gaming conferences.

He told me that the website receives around 40 million unique visitors every month/year (not sure), up from the previous eight million. There are currently 90 people working for the company, which I found to be incredibly efficient considering the complexity of the code and hectic internal activities must be.

He appreciates Starcraft II. He knows of Dragon, of Suppy, and probably most of the pro-gamers. He’s also helped many streamers acquire their sponsors, even those who are not pro-gamers. That’s pretty awesome.

His favorite game.

We also talked about Portal, Team Fortress 2, Super Mario Bros, and Call of Duty. He said that the company work atmosphere was great, and that employees truly loved the gaming scene: in highly touted gaming instances such as a world record speed run being broken, they would turn on a big screen at the workplace to cheer on the streamer. That’s so awesome.

John has been met, but I wonder how many people I’ve looked at all my life and never seen?

P.S. Sorry for the 1.5 week blogging hiatus – no excuses here, despite killer work hours I had more than enough time to spend 30 minutes writing an entry. I’ll try to get my blogging consistency back up.

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