Serial Entrepreneur says Games Development expertise are needed in his companies
Koldo Garcia is co-founder and BizDev Director at Madpixel, creator of Madgazine and also co-founder and CEO at The Mad Video. We spoke to him to hear from this successful Creative about his career in areas similar to games development and to gain an understanding of transferrable skills. It was also a great chance to hear about his personal history and the incredible projects he is currently working on.
What is your personal working history?
“Although I have a degree in business administration early I changed my mind and re-oriented my career towards design. I worked as a freelance designer for years in several areas (graphic design, corporate identity, etc.) until I started to work as web designer around 1998. In 1999 I founded Madpixel with my colleague Iñaki Arredondo, with the idea of combining design and technology. There, I specialized in UI Design and UX. I also played the CEO role. In 2011 I founded The Mad Video, a start-up focused on interactive video, where I’m the CEO. But I still actively collaborate with Madpixel as BizDev Director and Product Strategy Advisor.”
What experiences shaped your development as person and your ideas?
Working with colleagues with strong ethics it’s been definitively very important in my life. Also my experience these three last years with my other project, The Mad Video, it has been very important. I lived for three years in San Francisco, as many other startups from everywhere, and this was challenging and also demystifying. And from the personal point of view, living in a completely different culture was very enriching too.
How did you get into what you do now?
“At the beginning, at Madpixel we were focused on any kind of multimedia projects, but in the last years we began to develop our own products, specially focused on providing digital solutions for Museums and Cultural Institutions. Why this sector? We developed several tailor-made projects for clients in this area which were really successful. This gave us the opportunity to detect some areas where we could offer innovative solutions for them, and we decided to jump into it. Now we commercialize three products/services for this sector: ArtGigapixel (super-high resolution images), SecondCanvas (app/widgets builder for Museums), and Madgazine (platform to build digital magazines).”
Do you find there are transferrable skills from Video Games to what you do?
“Well, I have to say that in our past activity in Madpixel, we developed several online games, and this experience was for sure something worthy for our next projects. But talking more specifically about our present activity, I think there are several areas where Video Games could have a fit with us: 3D environments combined with our gigapixel publishing technology could be something interesting, for instance. And of course, all the gamification techniques are very interesting to offer museums new experiences for their audiences, especially for the younger ones.”
Can you tell us a little bit about Madgazine?
“Madgazine is an online platform which allows any kind of user to build their own digital and multimedia publications, magazine-style. Its CMS allows you to create the content once, and automatically get different outputs adapted to different devices and platforms: web, mobile devices (iOS and Android, both in HTML5 and as native apps).”
How does technology enhance an experience?
“There are so many ways I can’t say just one example. Think of technological companies such as Tesla, Über, Next, Airbnb, and so many more, that are disrupting and innovating through technology so many different aspects of our lives. It’s not only about getting info but about taking actions and interacting with our environment, the closer one and the remote one. I feel like we are living right now a really trascendental change in our world through technology.”
Interaction is a theme, is leaping off the screen into a person’s world important?
“Definitively. Interactions combining both the digital and the real world are more and more important. It’s not the future, it’s the present, and is changing our relation with everything. There are so much opportunities in so many areas that I can’t imagine in the next year’s a single thing where interaction between both worlds doesn’t make sense. Being able to explore artworks that way, makes a big change on how we see, enjoy and understand Art. This definitively gives you a better context of the painting and the painter from several points of view: history, technique, or just curiosities. All of this together allows you to better understand and enjoy Art.”
And Second Canvas, how are you modernising the exhibition experience?
“First at all, we are providing the museums with tools to make easier the process of going digital. And that’s important because museums are facing a big challenge about its own essence, where the digital museum is becoming as important as the physical one: universal and remote access to content, enriched and curated experience, etc. Second Canvas Modules makes this process not only easier, but also affordable for any kind of museum.”
“In this context, some of the modules Second Canvas offers allow visitors (both physical and virtual) enjoy this content in new ways that complement and sometimes enhance the traditional visit: ability to explore artworks with your fingers in your mobile device, zooming in the areas you want to explore until the smallest details, or getting stories about the different elements in a painting, are some of the features we offer. But also the possibility of interacting with beacons during the visit, having experiences combined with wearable gadgets, or changing the way art can be taught at schools and universities. The experience has been really welcomed. Audiences are asking us for more and more artworks in these innovative formats, and that’s incentivising museums to create more Second Canvas-style content.”
Madpixel, please tell us more?
“Madpixel is the company developing our three products/services. I didn’t tell you anything about one of them, ArtGigapixel, yet. ArtGigapixel is a team within Madpixel, specialized in very high resolution images captures. We have developed the software and hardware required for this kind of projects, and we are right now the company leader in this technology, working with hundreds of museums all around the world. Madpixel has given me the opportunity of experiencing art as never before. And as designer, I really love this. To be able to explore these artworks, zooming on details, and see the painter technique, and the evolution of techniques along the years, it’s been really wonderful for me.”
What would you say to a student, wanting to get ahead in the world?
“Don’t be afraid of changing your mind. Follow your instinct and do what you makes you feel great. And work hard, but don’t forget that life is greater than projects.”
To hear more about Koldo’s work or speak to him about future projects, contact the Train2Game blog at Mark Kington (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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