Georg Westin is the Founder and Chairman of Hero Gaming, a leading, global gaming and sports betting company. Above all, he loves building companies and wants all involved parties to benefit from the journey.
These are the results from initial investments payback on his companies (founder/co-founder):
Happy Bingo: + 500%
Casumo: + 2400%
Hero Gaming: + 1300%
Casumba: + 2900%
His record of success comes from addressing the most important aspects from leadership, business strategies and building product/brand to market fit. He works mainly with Hero Gaming but has also many interests in other companies through his investment company, Maxify.
Georg is a leader with a deep interest in both the business and the technical/product development part of running successful companies. He can define and execute detailed business strategies as well as handle large scale IT and development projects due to my history in both fields.
He has a long experience and a track record of positions in extremely successful companies and has recruited 100+ persons and created highly effective teams showing performance far above average. He believes in improving organizations and people one step at the time, finding great people and giving them the motivation and environment to create great things.
Georg enjoys working in organizations with high growth rate and exciting business and loves the challenge of making intelligent business strategies combined with product development to create high growth and profitability.
Where did the idea for Hero Gaming come from?
The idea for Hero Gaming came from a long and varied career within the gaming industry. The main problem I saw amongst companies was the lack of loyalty among players to specific brands/casinos and the fact that they jumped easily and quickly from one platform to another. I felt like industry leaders needed to listen more to players’ wants and needs and that I should introduce gamification within the gaming industry. Hero Gaming is based on that very idea. I studied and sought out answers such as “What makes a game fun? and realized that if you could introduce mechanics for games such as Candy Crush into the gaming world, then players would stay more loyal to a brand. Our first product was Casino Heroes. Yes, within it you do play Roulette and you have slot machines, etc., but you also create an avatar, and you get to face different missions. This was our way of combining gaming and gambling and the product proved my theory of loyalty.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
The big problem is my day tends to get eaten up by meetings.
I try to use afternoons for working with innovation and creative and anything pressing that needs to get done. I try to slot meetings in my mornings.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I’m a guy who really loves brainstorming. First by myself on a white board and then quickly bringing in a team with a mixed background. I always want a designer in the room so they can put things down on paper in a follow up meeting and have something viscerally. We like to walk the steps of the customer viscerally. The key is to understanding the drivers and asking questions on each screen of the game. The digital interface should be about simplifying things and understanding the intentions of the end user and making things easier for the end user.
What’s one trend that excites you?
A trend that really intrigues me is remote working. What does it mean in reality? How do we interact as a company? It has forced me to change my views a bit because I love being around people and being in an office, but you notice now in dealing with COVID that the trend has worked. We’ve stayed productive and smart as a company and workers haven’t left. But it also really puts hard questions on the table: expanding Hero Gaming completely remotely or having small offices and telling everyone to come into work? I love discussing these trends and they tend to create opportunities for new business. For example, we’re working on a project involving digital physical training online.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I’m a lot faster than the average person. I’m a productivity nerd. If someone asked me to have a session in 2 hours on polar bears, I can do a great presentation in that short amount of time without having known anything previously about polar bears. It’s all about speed and tempo. That’s what I’m good at.
What advice would you give your younger self?
You can’t win the race only with technology and production. You have to have great people with you as well. I grew up being a chess champion and collecting stamps digitally – very solitary endeavors –and then I started working with SEO and building live sites. I had thought it was only about showing the world I could build amazing things. But I realized over the years that you must have great teams and great people to succeed.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
That’s a question I usually ask someone interviewing with me for a job! I don’t agree that you need to have work/life balance. For me work and life are one. I can be on vacation and take a meeting. I don’t worry about mixing those two worlds. Both are fun for me and it’s ok to mix them. I’m not exhausted working a bit and then taking a few hours to golf. I mix these two worlds quite a lot.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Keeping up with trends. It’s great to read a lot about one’s industry. It makes you analyze and plan better. As Wayne Gretzky once said: “It’s not about where the puck is, it’s where it’s heading.” It’s figuring out what the world will look like in six months and how to position your business. And to be better at this, you have to have a lot of inspiration from podcasts, magazines, colleagues and other inspirational sources to get more information to make better decisions for your business.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
I learned early (because co-workers had become fed up with me), that I have to have an assistant!
I had papers and important contracts laying around all over the office, and I was constantly overwhelmed. My staff said, “We need you on other things.” My strategy has become to let go of control to people I trust. It’s the Swedish way to do everything on your own. It’s frowned upon to get help. But to build things I could no longer become a bottleneck.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
One mistake I made was waiting too long to make the right decision about letting go of a senior staff member. It took me a while to understand he wasn’t the right person.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
There is a need for digital software that will help collaboration more. That would help design thinking/strategy or a way to become more innovative in a group setting. With more people working remotely we need to have collaborative flows in meetings. I haven’t found actual software to help and that could be a huge business opportunity.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I went to a Monaco casino recently with 100 euros and walked away with thousands.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
When we introduced Slack, it helped us collaborate a lot more smoothly.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
It changed my view on how to run companies. We traditionally set goals but what if you could reform your way by introducing great habits? There’s a massive opportunity for company building in a different manner.
What is your favorite quote?
As Wayne Gretzky once said: “It’s not about where the puck is, it’s where it’s heading.”
- It’s figuring out what the world will look like in six months and how to position your business.
- The main problem I saw among companies was the lack of loyalty among players to specific brands/casinos and the fact that they jumped easily and quickly from one platform to another. I felt like industry leaders needed to listen more to players’ wants and needs and that I should introduce gamification within the gaming industry.
- I had thought it was only about showing the world I could build amazing things, but I realized over the years that you must have great teams and great people to succeed.
Carlyn runs the day-to-day publishing operation here at ideamensch and interacts with our awesome customers and entrepreneurs. She is likely editing this with a cat on her lap.