JULY 9-12, 2018

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“That’s what’s beautiful about being a gamer”: Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan answers your questions

Anna O'Hare
Published on May 31, 2016
In the world of entrepreneurs, Min-Liang Tan is a rockstar. Founding the gaming hardware company Razer in 2005,  Min-Liang brought it to unicorn status. Today, it has a dedicated following. Some super fans have even gotten the Razer logo, a distinctive three-headed snake, tattooed on their bodies. It’s safe to say the audience was packed out for Min-Liang’s Machine Stage talk where he talked about Razer’s open-source approach to VR. He was part of a panel with Avegant’s Edward Tang and Bloomberg’s Regina Tan. “VR will be pervasive in the next three years or so” he said, “We’ll take it for granted like the smartphone experience”. Startups were not short of questions for Min-Liang. Here’s what they wanted to know. But before that, we asked him what trend he’d like to see die…   Swapit ask… What’s something you wish you were told as an entrepreneur just starting out?
I started the company about ten years ago. Back then it wasn’t necessarily the sexiest thing to be a startup founder. One of the things I would have appreciated to have been told is that, it doesn’t get easier.
When we were starting out we were just two guys in a garage. I used to think, “One day I’m going to hit $100 million in revenue and hire a CFO and COO and things will be so much easier.”
No it does not. I’m afraid to dash those illusions, but things get harder and harder and you get less and less sleep. It gets worse. But don’t let me dissuade you!
Fantasee ask… What’s the next big thing in the gaming industry? How are Razer getting in on this?
We’re focused on three things. I wouldn’t call it a new thing, but I believe that e-sports are at an inflection point. We’re going to see e-sports becoming increasingly mainstream.
Secondly, what everyone’s talking about: VR. We’re excited about it. I think we’re just at the tipping point of something truly, truly massive.
The third thing is a little bit more banal, but I think there’s a lot more that could be done for gaming on Android. That’s something we’re excited about.
Spade Tech ask… In ten years, how does the gaming space look different from today? Will mobile gaming ever kill off consoles? In ten years, gaming is going to be very different, and not very different. On a fundamental level, gaming is going to be exactly the same as it was for me 30 years ago: it’s just going to be fun.
Will it get more reactive; will it become more immersive? Absolutely. But at its heart – at its core – it doesn’t really matter about technology. It’s about having fun. That’s what’s beautiful about being a gamer.
Nixplay ask… What is your proudest achievement as CEO and founder of Razer? I’m incredibly proud of being able to, every single day, remain focused on building software we enjoy and we like – for gamers, by gamers. To not get distracted from this is a huge thing for us.
Giving the best possible experience to gamers everywhere is something I really truly enjoy.
Aptoide ask… How are you going to be able to distribute apps for VR? It’s going to be a combination of traditional user interfaces as well as all-new user interfaces in the VR environment. Many companies are trying to solve this problem. Whoever manages to get the balance right between these interfaces will be dominant in this space. Join us at RISE 2017. Bring your startup. Apply to ALPHA.