You never truly know how an idea will play out until you execute it
Dmitry Bobrov is the CEO of the San Francisco-based mobile game developing company, ZiMAD. Dmitry has an extensive background in strategic planning and business development and has successfully managed the development of several successful games and mobile apps.
Where did the idea for ZiMAD come from?
Back in late 2009, two San Francisco-based entrepreneurs saw the extraordinary growth and potential of the mobile gaming industry. As serial entrepreneurs, they wanted to challenge themselves by taking on the gaming industry and combining their technical know-how with their passion for creative development. Through their business and entrepreneurial skills, they were able to assemble a unique team of world-class creative and engineering talents in order to create ZiMAD and redefine conventional mobile gaming as it exists today.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
My typical day consists of management, planning, conferences and a flurry of emails. The key for me is to set priorities at the beginning and end of every day in order to keep my timeline, and the teams, balanced at all times. Additionally, discovering and developing new business growth points and possibilities is key in maintaining the strong and continuous growth the company has achieved thus far.
How do you bring ideas to life?
The way I like to bring an idea to life is to try it out. Like most things, trial and error is crucial. After all, you never truly know how an idea will play out until you execute it. Even after an initial idea has been implemented, we never stop iterating based on player feedback, which is very important to us as a game company.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
One trend that really excites me is the intersection between technology and health. It is great to see the ways technologies like fitness wearables and apps are helping people live a stronger, healthier life. For one of our products, Magic Jigsaw Puzzles, we see it as not only being a distraction but as a health benefit. There has been a study done that shows playing jigsaw puzzles in particular keeps your brain healthy and stress free.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as a CEO?
As a CEO, the ability to critique yourself is vital to success. I like to reflect and acknowledge the areas in which I can improve. This has allowed me to remain productive and continue to grow as a leader.
What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
I wouldn’t say I’ve had a “worst” job, as having a job at all is an incredible opportunity. Work provides the ability to develop oneself, their network and contribute to the society they live in.
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
I feel that each step in my journey has taught me something I would not have learned otherwise. If I hadn’t made the decisions I made, I wouldn’t be where I am today.
As a CEO, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
My biggest recommendation is to always remain positive in any situation. Positivity is extremely contagious, especially in a work environment, and provides an incredible support that motivates those around you. That is also why the ZiMAD team is a big advocate of spreading positivity by supporting various charity organizations including World Vision USA and the Michael J. Fox Foundation just as we have through our game, Magic Jigsaw Puzzles.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Our approach has always been accessibility. When creating our games, we wanted to make sure anyone and everyone who wanted to play, could. We did not want geographical location or platform accessibility (i.e. mobile, tablet, desktop) to keep anyone away from enjoying these entertaining games, which has yielded great success for our business.
What is one failure you had as a CEO, and how did you overcome it?
While failure is something that haunts any leader, I like to take it as a priceless, educational experience. The task at hand is always to reduce the risk and build a process that has been well thought out and prepped. If that process does not work, the key is to figure out the reason why, learn from that experience and move forward with greater knowledge.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
One idea I’ve had, floating around in my head is the development of an entertaining, educational virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) game. Since this market is just at the start of its rise, noticing its incredible potential now could position a game or business as a leading competitor in the field.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I would have to say my new fitness tracker. This has definitely motivated me to be more productive outside of the office by participating in more sports and outdoor activities.
What software and web services do you use? What do you love about them?
We use many analytical software tools such as AppsFlyer, Infinario, Crashlytics, Flurry, Localytics, Tune, App Annie and Mobile Action in everyday work. What I love about each one of these services is that they help simplify the data we deal with every day and automate the work process. Ultimately, this allows more time for us to respond and resolve any problems or tasks that may come up throughout the day.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
I would highly suggest reading The Four-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss. As I’m sure many leaders can relate, finding enough hours in the day can be tough. However, this book is all about managing your time and yourself so you can also enjoy a life outside of the office. After all, we work hard to enjoy a great life, right?
What people have influenced your thinking and might be of interest to others?
One individual that has had a great influence on me is probably one that does not need much introduction for anyone in gaming – Hideo Kojima. Kojima has been a true icon in the gaming world for over 30 years and has worked on many games across various genres and platforms. His drive and expertise in directing, designing, producing and screenwriting is one that truly inspires me, and has rightly earned him the title as “the first auteur of video games.”
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