4 episodes

The podcast spilling all of gaming's secrets, hosted by Justin Kan and Archie Stonehill from Stash

Secret Stash Justin Kan and Archie Stonehill

    • Leisure

The podcast spilling all of gaming's secrets, hosted by Justin Kan and Archie Stonehill from Stash

    The Secret to Being a 5-Time Founder & #1 Esports Champ: Dennis Fong

    The Secret to Being a 5-Time Founder & #1 Esports Champ: Dennis Fong

    Dennis Fong has had an INSANE career. By age 19, not only had he earned the title as the world’s first esports champion and pro gamer, but also became CEO of a 100-person gaming media company. He's even had a League of Legends character named after him.

    Since then, he’s gone on to found four additional businesses, all of which have majorly impacted the gaming industry as we know it. (We stopped counting how many social gaming features he invented...).

    In this episode of Secret Stash, co-hosts Justin Kan and Archie Stonehill sit down with Dennis and walk through a very raw chronology of his career (and life) - from young esports champion in 1996 to five-time CEO in 2024. 

    Tune in for nostalgic stories from the early days of esports and how he got his start in entrepreneurship.


    Read the highlights here: dev.stash.gg/blog/secret-stash-ep-3-dennis-fong


    0:00 - Intro

    2:33 - Dennis’ start in esports

    4:14 - The famous Wall Street Journal article

    7:38 - Family reactions

    9:05 - Winning a Ferrari 

    12:25 - The birth of esports

    14:52 - Who’s Thresh?

    15:39 - Esport rivalries 

    18:37 - Organic communities 

    22:20 - Fatality takes over

    25:19 - Critical mechanics

    28:05 - Struggles of a young founder

    33:59 - Spinning out Lithium

    39:10 - Xfire innovations

    48:06 - Raptor

    50:13 - GGWP and anti-toxicity

    1:04:45 - Distribution

    1:07:08 - RIP Avicii 



    Hit the Subscribe button wherever you listen to your podcasts!Stash is the first of its kind direct-to-consumer platform for games.Learn more about Stash here: https://dev.stash.gg/

    • 1 hr 14 min
    The Secret to Finding Your Co-Founder: Justin Kan, Robin Chan, Dan Borstelmann

    The Secret to Finding Your Co-Founder: Justin Kan, Robin Chan, Dan Borstelmann

    It was 2007 and Robin Chan was running the mobile data business at Verizon while Justin Kan was rolling out JustinTV’s first prototype - a camera strapped to his head (literally). It was the perfect meetcute: Justin needed inexpensive mobile data to livestream his day-to-day and Robin had access to tons of it (In fact, Robin was the first one to put YouTube on a cell phone!). Turns out the deal didn’t go as planned though, and the two went their separate ways.

    Then nearly fifteen years later, in 2021 they reconnected, teamed up as co-founders, and created their investment fund Goat Capital. Since then, they’ve founded and invested in dozens of companies - including Stash.

    In this episode of Secret Stash, co-host Archie Stonehill and Stash co-founders - Justin Kan, Robin Chan, and Dan Borstelmann - share stories on each stage of gaming entrepreneurship:
    - how the founding team got together and why it’s stuck
    - creating hypotheses and knowing when to change gears
    - doubling down on macro market trends
    - establishing a defensible product strategy
    - executing on product excellence

    Read the highlights here: https://dev.stash.gg/blog/secret-stash-ep-2-justin-kan-shares-the-secret-to-finding-your-co-founder

    0:00 - Meet the Stash co-founders
    2:02 - How Justin and Robin met
    8:21 - Justin gets arrested
    10:11 - Justin and Robin reconnect
    11:07 - Bringing on Dan
    12:18 - Two types of product people
    15:34 - Promoting Dan to co-founder
    17:40 - Different career paths
    20:18 - Justin’s job as a stockroom attendant
    22:07 - Complementary skill sets are key
    26:57 - How to find a good partner
    29:17 - Pivoting JustinTV and tips
    31:24 - Pivoting Fractal
    36:41 - Macro vs micro investments
    40:32 - How JustinTV beat out a competitive market
    53:28 - Swapping entrepreneur secrets



    Hit the Subscribe button wherever you listen to your podcasts!Stash is the first of its kind direct-to-consumer platform for games.Learn more about Stash here: https://dev.stash.gg/

    • 56 min
    Welcome to Secret Stash

    Welcome to Secret Stash

    Welcome to Secret Stash, the podcast spilling all the industry's secrets! Meet your hosts: 
    Justin Kan, co-founder of Stash and previously co-founder at TwitchArchie Stonehill, head of product at StashBefore you jump into the first episode, where we have an incredible first guest, we wanted to share a bit about who we are, why we decided to make this podcast, and what you can expect from us. 

    So why are we calling this podcast Secret Stash? We want to give you, our listeners, access to really deep, almost private conversations, stories, and insights with some of the most brilliant minds in gaming and tech. We want you to feel like you’re in the room with us, talking about topics that really matter and conversations that are usually discussed behind closed doors. We’re going to dig into what people were thinking when they made certain decisions and what they really think now.

    We’re going to use Secret Stash to talk about everything related to Stash's mission - which is to give game developers more control. The way we see it, there have always been platforms getting in the middle of gamers and developers - first the consoles, then Steam, then the app stores. They control nearly everything a developer is allowed to do - from taking a 30% fee from IAPs, to limiting user tracking, etc. At Stash, we’re trying to build toward a future in which developers can be their own platforms for the first time - by delivering really great direct-to-consumer experiences. 

    So on the podcast, we’ll talk about things like the driving forces behind major success stories, changing platform dynamics, new gaming tech, antitrust regulations, and more.

    No matter the episode, you’ll always come away having learned something new you can take back to your studio.

    See you in episode 1! 
    Hit the Subscribe button wherever you listen to your podcasts!
    Stash is the first of its kind direct-to-consumer platform for games.
    Learn more about Stash here: https://dev.stash.gg/

    • 3 min
    The Secret to GTM in Games: Mitch Lasky

    The Secret to GTM in Games: Mitch Lasky

    Welcome to Secret Stash's first-ever podcast episode, hosted by Justin Kan and  Archie Stonehill. Today's guest - legendary investor Mitch Lasky!  Since the mid 1990s, Mitch Lasky has been building and investing in some of the biggest game companies in the world. He was one of the first, if not the first, investor to take game developers seriously as a venture-backable business. He helped build Activision, was CEO of Jamdat (one of the first mobile game studios, which he took public before selling to Electronic Arts for $680M), and was an early investor at Riot Games, helping turn League of Legends from a rough wireframe to the sensation it is today. Suffice to say, Mitch has been around the block and has some secrets to share - specifically the importance of GTM and how to innovate in it. While the game industry is quick to attribute some of the biggest successes to groundbreaking product and design, Mitch says there’s more to the equation - that distribution and GTM is arguably the most important element.Read the highlights here: dev.stash.gg/blog/secret-stash-ep-1-mitch-lasky-reveals-the-secret-to-gaming-gtm0:00 - Meet Mitch Lasky1:45 - Mitch reveals why he didn't invest in Twitch5:56 - Some business models are gross12:06 - How Riot innovated their GTM17:37 - Mitch's practical advice on GTM21:13 - Regulations are opening up mobile and Steam26:04 - Is AAA bad at direct-to-consumer?28:57 - There's room for innovation in funding35:02 - How thatgamecompany and Jenova Chen innovated GTM40:09 - The AAA business model is gross too41:51 - Looking ahead 48:13 - Mitch's biggest secret from his Riot days

    Hit the Subscribe button wherever you listen to your podcasts! Stash is the first of its kind direct-to-consumer platform for games. Learn more about Stash here: https://dev.stash.gg/

    • 50 min

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