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What is Duxter?
Adam – Duxter is like LinkedIn for your gamer life. Facebook is for your personal life, LinkedIn is for your professional life, and Duxter is for your gamer life. We’re striving to be the home for your gamer life.

What’s your traction been like thus far?
Sky – We officially launched on election day so that’s about four months ago. We went from a couple thousand users in the first month into 86,000 users currently. We’re hoping to break 100,000 this month, fingers crossed, but we’re certainly going the right direction.

What do you know now that you wish you would have known when you started Duxter?
Adam – As with all startups, there’s a laundry list of things. You think you know your customers, your market, because you are the market. Our entire team, we’re all gamers and that’s a part of who we are. With that, you naturally start with this bias of, hey this is what I would like to see. We were fortunate enough to get pushed in the right direction from advisors early on and talked to thousands of gamers to really understand what they wanted and how they were different than we were. We would have liked to have known all of that to make sure we were building the right product for the audience. We were lucky enough to get there early on though.

Sky – We had some surprises. The fact is, we put Flash games on the site basically as a way for people to kill time. We were still working on building an audience and wanted to build a stickier experience. It turned out, for a fairly sizable chunk of our audience, it was a very sticky experience. People were coming on and playing games because that was frankly what they did. The fact that they could do so on Duxter while still hanging out and socializing with other folks was much more appealing than Adam and I were going to bet on. We thought, well we’ll get some people trying this and we’ll see if it works and it was definitely surprising how sticky it made the experience. Similarly, we put a meme generator on the site two months ago, (laughs and facepalms) and we got spammed like crazy. Everybody and their troll faces, not the least of which was me.

What’s a hypothesis that you’ve had that has failed? And how did you respond?
Adam – So, the biggest one and it sort of changed to some small extent, at least to the story of what we’re about, is that we thought the content was going to be all about games. You probably think that now right? This is a social network, they talk about games. What we found is that there are a whole wide variety of things that have nothing to do with games. Our best example is when the movie The Hobbit came out and when The Walking Dead season started, those became the two most talked about pieces of content on our site. They’re not game related, but they’re what I call gamer-adjacent now. So basically our site has become a place where people can talk about certain types of things in their life beyond just games. So our original hypothesis that Duxter would be a place for people to just talk about games was certainly wrong. This is a good thing, but it does change things a bit. You slant away from things that become too game-specific.

Sky – I think we were also expecting more of a long-tail content adoption on which people played which games. It turned out that there were some very strong correlations. Like, for example, the most popular mobile game that we have across Call of Duty or Halo or all the other sort of console correlations, and it ended up being Plants vs. Zombies. Okay it’s a good game, right, it’s a lot of fun. But it was not what we were expecting the number one correlation for Call of Duty players to be.

You mentioned that people were talking about content that you hadn’t anticipated. Did this change any of the features on the site?
Adam – We had a feature we were planning on building but due to this observation decided against it. We were going to make status updates or forum posts be always inherently linked with a game. Are you talking about Halo, is this about Call of Duty, etc. We decided not go with that, so that if people are talking about something unrelated to games it’s not going to be stuck in some weird category. So instead of going with a silo approach where everything was going to be about games, we made it a little more open.

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