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Samson Mau is the CEO of Blockstream CSO and Pixelmatic. Blockstream is a leading provider of blockchain technology, at the forefront of cryptography and distributed systems. Samson founded Pixelmatic in 2011 to create immersive games that are truly social and encourage people to make new connections.

Samson holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Simon Fraser University in Canada. A veteran of the gaming industry, Samson is a regular speaker and panelist at conferences such as the GDC and CGDC.

Pixelmatic makes great games. Their mission is to spark the imagination of people around the world through games.

In an exclusive interview, Samson says:

I think I’m generally very motivated, so I don’t have to try to motivate myself. There is a lot to do and a lot of things I want to accomplish – that’s what motivates me every day.

  • Remember where you came from and hold yourself accountable. No matter how successful we are, we all have humble beginnings.
  • Results matter – if you don’t succeed, no matter how hard you try. Make sure you do everything you can to get results.
  • Believe in yourself. When you encounter a problem, analyze it from different angles. There is always a solution, just find it. When you face an obstacle, look at what others have done and then learn from it.

Read on to learn more about Samson Mau and his journey.

Tell me about your personal experience and what motivated you to start your own business.

Samson Mau: Before founding Pixelmatic, I worked as an executive producer for Ubisoft, focusing primarily on developing Ubisoft’s presence in the Asian markets. After producing a number of high-profile games, I decided to use the experience I had gained and set up my own game studio. At Pixelmatic, we focused on developing online games with immersive worlds and truly social experiences. I pride myself on having an extremely lean organization, and our production processes have been streamlined to increase efficiency. We are capable of much more than studios that are 3 to 4 times our size.

What is your current core product and can you tell an earlier story about the product that is the pivot to your current product?

Samson Mau: When we started, Pixelmatic was mainly developing games for cell phones. Then we started licensing and releasing games in Asia. We also did the technical operations for Vainglory MOBA Super Evil Megacorp in Asia. Today, our main product is Infinite Fleet, a science fiction MMO strategy game currently in development. With Infinite Fleet we want to make a meaningful MMO game and we have assembled a top-notch team with veterans from Ubisoft, EA, Sega and Nintendo.

How much money have you raised in total so far? When was the last round of funding?

Samson Mau: For Infinite Fleet’s publisher, Exordium, we have already raised $3.1 million in private funding. The last part of the private round ended on the BnkToTheFuture platform in about 24 hours, and many people couldn’t invest because we reached our goal.

What are the internal decision-making processes that determined when to begin fundraising, and what were the logistics of fundraising? And how many investors have you met, how did you meet them, and what channels worked best for you?

Samson Mau: When we started working on Infinite Fleet, we started with a small prototype and released a trailer that generated a lot of interest and raised a lot of money. We use a security token called EXO to raise funds. The decision to release the security token came at exactly the right time: around the same time we started planning our fundraising, Blockstream, a leading Bitcoin infrastructure company that I call CSO, started working on its Blockstream AMP security token platform. Security tokens, as the name implies, provide basic security but offer easier mobility and accessibility. Security tokens democratize fundraising and give retail investors access to transactions normally only accessible to accredited investors or venture capital firms with good connections.

What were the biggest challenges and obstacles in fundraising? If you had to start from scratch, what would you do differently?

Raising capital is never easy. Convincing potential investors that you have the right team and the right vision is always a challenge. Fortunately, we have a strong team of industry veterans who have generated over $1 billion in revenue in their careers, giving investors confidence in our ability to deliver results. In addition, most of the investors in our private crypto OG tour are early-stage investors, founders and other professionals in the crypto industry, so they can see the potential of the technology we are using and how it will change the gaming industry.

What are the milestones for the next step? And what are your goals for the future?

Samson Mau: Our next funding round of $8 million will be on the STOKR investment platform, and we are working on a Regulation A application in the United States to raise another $4 million.

How did you attract users and what strategy did you use to develop your business from the beginning to today?

Samson Mau: So far, we’ve focused mostly on social media marketing and building a community through channels like Discord. The closer we get to the launch of our new game trailer, the more we will focus on industry media.

Where do most startups go wrong with marketing in general?

Samson Mau: Most companies don’t understand that everything you do is marketing. From the way you communicate with users on social media, to the way you treat job seekers, to the quality of customer service – it’s all about marketing. It’s about how you present your business and how people view it. That’s why at Pixelmatic we have three core values: accountability, excellence and passion in everything we do.

How do you plan to expand globally?

Samson Mau: After the next round of funding, we will recruit and expand our team around the world. Because we have strong roots in the gaming industry, we have a network of experienced professionals we can call on. One of our goals is to appoint national directors to lead the expansion into different territories.

What are the most common mistakes companies make in global expansion?

Samson Mau: Companies often give regional managers in different regions too little autonomy in their work, leading to constraints that prevent managers from working and selling successfully in their region. Another mistake that companies easily make when they want to expand into new areas is not preparing and allocating the necessary resources from the start. Different regions have different requirements and challenges that require extensive research and preparation – not doing this upfront gives a bad business image.

How do you handle this COWID 19 outbreak situation so that your business can survive in the future?

Samson Mau: Because most of our team is in China, we detected the virus very early and switched to working remotely. The rest of our team was already working remotely, so it was relatively easy to switch to remote working. Aside from some restructuring of the server infrastructure that had to be done, it was a quick and easy installation that didn’t cost us any productivity. We also switched to a more flexible work structure, allowing employees to work from anywhere in the world after one year in the city where our office is located and three years after joining the company.

What are the most common mistakes founders make when starting a business?

Samson Mau: Many founders are not fully prepared for the challenge and are not prepared to do what it takes to succeed. It is easy to underestimate the challenge of building a company from scratch and making a profit.

What is the best advice you have ever received? And what advice can you give to someone who wants to do something similar to yours or go in a similar direction?

Samson Mau: The best advice I have received is not to fight every battle and not to lose every war. Actually, as a founder, you have to focus on what is important. You can’t win every battle because every company has different opinions and ideas. It would be best if you choose your battles strategically based on which will have the greatest impact.

What are the top three books or movies (TV series) that have changed your life and why?

Samson Mau: The book I liked was Difficulties. It gives a good overview of what it takes to be a good CEO and to deal with different difficult situations. I like Star Trek and Enders’ Game, which is science fiction in the form of series and movies. They had a dual influence on Infinite Fleet: both inspired me to invest time and energy in planning and creating the Infinite Fleet universe. They also ensured that their science fiction was based on logical science. At the same time, certain areas, such as geopolitical structures and economics, were neglected. Another example of neglected economics can be found in Star Trek, which is based on a rather utopian science fiction: There is a form of money, but the characters don’t seem very interested in the concept of it. There seems to be a form of economy, but it is never discussed. With Infinite Fleet, we want to flesh out these areas and the subtleties of the universe, and make a game that offers incredibly immersive gameplay that makes sense on every level.

How do you motivate yourself on a daily basis?

Samson Mau: I think in general I’m very motivated, so I don’t have to motivate myself. There’s a lot to do and a lot of things I want to accomplish – that’s what motivates me every day.

What are the three most important life lessons you want your (future) sons and daughters to take away?

Samson Mau:

  • Remember where you came from and hold yourself accountable. No matter how successful we are, we all have humble beginnings.
  • Results matter – if you don’t succeed, no matter how hard you try. Make sure you do everything you can to get results.
  • Believe in yourself. When you encounter a problem, analyze it from different angles. There is always a solution, just find it. When you face an obstacle, look at what others have done and then learn from it.

Why do you want to be remembered?

Samson Mau: I want to be remembered as someone who helped Bitcoin become the world’s reserve currency, and as a developer and producer of great games!

You can follow Samson Mower.

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