In April of 2018, my first son was born and soon after that I ended a major professional chapter in my life by closing the book on my time at AdColony. This was a big moment for me as it was a job I took as part of the earnout agreement after selling my first startup, mobilike, to AdColony. It had been 9 years since this journey began, more than a quarter of my life at that point — a job that pretty much defined me as a person.
I spent the next half a year without a real job, instead I chose to fully immerse myself in observing a small creature develop into an actual little human, building the strongest possible relationship with him and figuring out the world together. To watch him everyday, being curious and in awe of everything around him was incredibly inspirational. A baby just gives you so much hope.
This peaceful period of growth and wonder gave me the perspective needed to figure out what I liked most and what should be the drivers for what I do next. Two things stood out above the others: I loved being on a journey where everyday was new, just like raising a child. Bootstrapping a mobile tech startup in Istanbul in 2009, selling it twice, moving to London, then New York — the novelty of learning something new everyday was what kept me going.
The second piece was, unsurprisingly, the people. Working with people I saw as friends; essentially hanging out with friends all day and working on hard problems was very rewarding.
One day, I realized that the same desire for newness and belonging was fully in line with what was driving my young baby’s behaviors; he was the most curious thing I had ever come across and he just loved being around us. It’s clear to me now that this was what inspired me to work on something that would enable people to be curious about their passion and what this passion could enable for them and the people around them. This is why we are building a platform that helps people who love making games to find sustainable success in the business of making games.
There are millions of people in the world that can make games and gaming is a $150 billion market. But, less than one in ten thousand apps actually achieve sustainable commercial success. If you put aside the occasional miracle, only the biggest companies that have access to funding and talent in major economic hubs are able to put their games in front of players at scale. Almost everybody else needs to get a job -probably not even in gaming- and box their passion to weekends and evenings. We believe there is a lot of creativity and talent that’s wasted by this lack of opportunity in the industry.
With that in mind, I’m very proud to finally announce the launch of Coda, the company I started in January last year with my two co-founders Berk and Cemal, with big ambitions to level the playing field for all game creators.
Coda is the first and only platform that simplifies the entire process of launching a game — all the way from before the birth of the game idea, to the game being discovered by millions of players around the world. A place where game creators have everything they need to launch a game. We aim to make the gaming business as inclusive as possible so that every talented game maker can find the path to putting their idea in front of millions of people.
Want to know what game mechanics are going to generate the next wave of hits? You can find that on our market intelligence panel. Want to know how your prototype will be received by players? You can initiate a very quick test on our dashboard, for free. Not experienced with complicated advertising and analytics infrastructure? Don’t worry, you can plug our platform into your game and it will do all of it for you. And so on and so forth.
With our amazing team of tech and gaming enthusiasts, we’ve been working hard over the last 12 months to prove that the business of gaming can be more simple. You don’t need to afford or try to figure out all the expensive tools out there and you don’t need to have hundreds of thousands of dollars to spend on marketing. We’ve enabled numerous teams to find success with our tools already and now we are opening it up to the rest of the global game maker community.
We are fortunate to have the commitment of our investors LVP in this endeavor, who led our $4M seed round. LVP has previously invested into gaming legends like Unity and Supercell and we are excited to have them onboard alongside a number of industry friends that believe in our mission.
For me, the cycle of curiosity continues as I welcomed my second son into the world a few weeks before the Coda launch. I now get to watch another mini human as he relentlessly tries to crawl over the small threshold in our kitchen and have that big beautiful smile on his face when he finally manages to do so. The thought of all these moments to come gives me hope and I can’t help but look at the world through a positive lens. Founder optimism is one thing, but being the father of two wonderful babies — that’s another level!
We are determined to make it very easy for creators across the world to find their audience and believe that by doing so, we will help players discover amazing game experiences. So if you’ve created a game or even just have a few ideas, please check out our platform at codaplatform.com. If you are not a game maker yourself, but know any talented game developers, studios — please send them our way too.
Any parenting advice, please reach out to me directly!