the making fun team
President and CEO
John is a veteran leader of the online games industry and one of the early pioneers of digital distribution of entertainment. Prior to forming Making Fun, John was co-founder and CEO of PlayFirst, the casual games publisher famous for the best-selling “Diner Dash” brand that has touched hundreds of millions of consumers. John was responsible for the vision, financing, strategic direction and operations of the company for its first five years, as well as the production of the first Diner Dash title. PlayFirst was an innovator in bringing the full-service publishing model to casual online and downloadable games.
Prior to forming PlayFirst, he spent nearly five years building Shockwave.com into one of the Internet’s top game portals as the company’s Vice President of Games and Product. While at Shockwave John created and shipped some of the world’s first fully-digital premium (for pay) entertainment products available over the internet – long before iTunes or Kindle. He was a key member of the Dreamcast Network leadership team at SEGA from 1998 to 1999. Previously, John spent several years running a small consultancy he co-founded. He began his career at Andersen Consulting.
In addition to his operating role, John is a board member of Secret Builders, a creative online virtual world and network of mobile games heavily endorsed by parents and teachers.
John has served as steering committee member and chair of the International Game Developers Association (IGDA) Online & Casual Games groups, and he is a regular faculty member of the annual Game Developers’ Conference. John is an active member and officer of the Golden Gate chapter of the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO). He holds degrees in Mathematics and Computer Science from M.I.T. and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
Vice President of Marketing
Don brings 18 years of marketing experience acquiring customers, increasing usage, improving revenue, and strengthening brand awareness of products across numerous product and service categories. Don’s role at Making Fun also leverages his vast experience with the management of all customer service matters, data tracking, game analytics, market research, PR, and in-game monetization partnerships.
Previously, Don was Director of Marketing at Visa, developing strategies to increase Visa card usage in mature payment segments and also acquire users and stimulate trial in emerging segments. Don has also worked at several advertising agencies including Young & Rubicam, J. Walter Thompson, and three other independently owned agencies. He has managed offline/online advertising, SEO/SEM, customer analytics, developed promotions and sales events, sponsorships, and event marketing with client companies such as Toyota, Levi’s, Cisco Systems, Wells Fargo, Nestle Chocolates, Bevmo, and Chevron.
Don holds a Bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies (Business, Mass Communications, Sociology) from University of California, Berkeley.
Vice President of Production
An Argentinean software industry veteran, Martin has been working for the past 17 years developing everything from e-commerce platforms, dynamic web development, mobile applications, to video games. Prior to Making Fun, Martin was the CEO of Minor Studios managing a team of 21 developers in the creation of Atmosphir, a video game creation tool that ended up as a runner up on TechCrunch 50 in 2008.
As a pioneer in the game developer industry in Argentina, Martin previously held roles as the CEO of Korpos Studios and the COO of Sabarasa Entertainment, where he helped lead a studio of over 50 developers and artists shipping and publishing over 10 games in 2 years for PC (multiple platforms), Nintendo DS, Wii, and PSP. Martin is the former Secretary of ADVA (Argentinean Developers Association) and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Systems Engineering.
Vice President of Engineering
Calvin created his first website back in 1999 and has since developed a strong interest in web technology. Over the past seven years, he has been working with various early-stage internet start-ups as a web developer, designer and manager, focusing on producing platforms designed with modern web standards and emerging technologies. Calvin specializes in usability design, front-end development, and product management.
Prior to Making Fun, Calvin was the first employee hired by a Sequoia Capital funded company called GameStrata in 2006. At GameStrata, Calvin designed the company’s first product, an online gaming Q&A platform. Two years after he joined, the company was acquired by GameFly, Inc. After his journey with GameStrata, he joined IntoMobile.com, which was one of the top publishers on mobile related news. As a technical partner with IntoMobile.com, he developed a custom CMS for mobile sites and applications.
Calvin is one of the founding class members of Alpha Kappa Psi, a professional business fraternity at the University of California, Davis. In addition to his passion in web development, he actively gives leadership and entrepreneurship talks while mentoring other younger individuals in the organization. He holds double degrees in Computer Engineering and Technology Management from the University of California, Davis.
Believe it or not, Travis started out as a player of Making Fun’s games! Travis was plucked from the daily grind and dropped into the mystical world of gaming, where he is the voice of the players.
Travis brings over 10 years of customer service experience, managing the customer experience at restaurants and bars in the physical world, as well as moderating forums and managing customer inquiries in the online world.
Maximo has worked in the software industry for 14 years, with most of the time spent on the development of video games. Prior to Making Fun, Maximo was the COO of Minor Studios managing a team of 21 developers in the creation of Atmosphir, a video game creation tool that ended up as a runner up on TechCrunch 50 in 2008.
Maximo has also worked on the dynamic web development, mobile applications, and mobile games. He has a degree in business and economics.