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Today we have Timothy Tello, A visionary leader whose remarkable journey spans the dynamic realms of the video game and blockchain gaming industry. From a humble start in the corporate world, Timothy’s bold decision to follow his passion for gaming marked the beginning of an extraordinary career that has left an indelible mark on the industry.
With a Bachelor of Science in Marketing Management and a background in sales and marketing, Timothy has consistently showcased exceptional expertise and commitment. He has been instrumental in significant gaming projects, collaborating with industry giants like Sony, EA, King, and 505 Games. His leadership roles in game studios such as Three Flip Studios, Sugar Glazed Games, Octopus Games, GTL Media, and Game Scribes have solidified his reputation as a top-notch business developer.
Timothy’s contributions to the video game industry are extraordinary, having been involved in projects that collectively reached over 15 million players and generated revenue exceeding $300 million. His transition into blockchain gaming further showcases his forward-thinking nature, leading to the establishment of 3thix, an all-in-one blockchain gaming on and off-ramp solution.
As the CEO and founder of 3thix, Timothy Tello is changing the future of blockchain gaming by simplifying the gaming experience while maintaining the values of Web3. His work includes obtaining the first-ever no-action letter from the SEC for an ERC-20 token and co-authoring a groundbreaking patent for using blockchain technology in video games. Accolades and recognitions have followed Timothy, with nominations for Forbes 30 Under 30 in both the United States and Europe, along with the prestigious “Find Your Grind – Best in Games” award. As a keynote speaker at major gaming and web3 conferences globally, Timothy Tello continues to inspire and innovate.
We explore Timothy’s insights on personal and business growth, his journey from childhood to the gaming industry’s helm, and blockchain technology’s transformative impact on the gaming landscape. Join us as we uncover the visionary mind behind the success story of Timothy Tello.
Timothy, as a child were there any specific experiences or individuals who inspired your entrepreneurial spirit or ignited your interest in business and innovation?
Since a young age, I have always been an entrepreneur in spirit. It wasn’t sexy or cool at the time to be an entrepreneur and to be honest, I didn’t know the term until I was in high school. As a child, I ran many small companies. From lawn mowing and yard services to finding ways to create arbitrage for selling hay out of farmers” fields for the gas stations nearby. I was always doing something to make money. I found my passion as an entrepreneur when I joined BPA (Business Professionals of America) in high school. This was when my teacher told me I should do the entrepreneur contest field. I was to develop a company and pitch it to investors in order to get my seed funding. I built a car that ran off of magnets- essentially an electric engine car- granted, this was in 2005 much before Tesla and others would do the same thing. My ideas and presentation elevated me past regionals and state to Nationals. I put my ideas into motion and built a working MVP out of an old go kart frame, filmed it, and showcased it in my presentation. I ended up getting 4th place. However, it was at that moment I truly knew I was meant to build companies.
Aside from gaming, were there any other hobbies or interests you cultivated as a child that you believe contributed to your multifaceted career in the gaming and blockchain industries?
I have always been an athlete. I look at entrepreneurship as a new game I love to play. I am competitive by nature and I enjoy the challenge of sports. I look at my daily work very similar to sports, so to me everything is a competition. This attitude and take on life has led me to be a strong entrepreneur in the gaming and blockchain industry.
Did you have any dreams or aspirations that align with the trajectory your career has taken? How closely does your current reality align with your childhood visions?
I always put an emphasis on being the best. I understood at a young age that to be the best would require a lot of grit and practice to persevere. I wanted to be the best at everything I did to the point where I consumed myself into everything I was doing. For example, as a child I didn’t always have someone to play catch with. As a son of a single mom I didn’t have a dad, but I was determined to be the best quarterback and pitcher in town. So I would spend hours and hours throwing a ball against a wall in my backyard. I would manifest (aware I was doing it) myself being famous for it. I would sign my name over and over in a notebook, so when the day came for someone to ask for my autograph, it was perfect. I knew that I wasn’t always born with the skills that I wanted but I also knew that skills were earned in time and so all I had to do was work hard. I was always willing to work harder than anyone else to be sure I was going to be the best. That has very much translated to my adult life. I love what I do – it’s a game to me and I will outwork anyone else trying to compete. It’s just who I am as a person.
You’ve been involved in numerous gaming projects with major players in the industry. Can you tell us about a specific project or collaboration that challenged you and contributed significantly to your professional and personal growth?
I was very fortunate to get my first job in gaming with two well-connected industry veterans. I believe wholeheartedly that who you know is just as important as what you know. I was able to meet every major executive and player in the gaming industry because of these two guys. I have always been an active learner and an established sales person, so I used these skills to my advantage. Then I just worked and worked from dawn to dusk without trying to. I was always the first one in the office and the last to leave. I earned the CEOs trust and quickly became his right hand. This led me to being able to learn the industry side by side with an experienced professional. This was the moment that really gave me the pieces I needed to take a stab at my own entrepreneurial career in the games industry.
Your transition from a corporate consultant to a prominent figure in the gaming industry was a bold move. What advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs looking to make a career change and pursue their passions?
With all things, risk will always be the first factor you have to consider. It’s a hard pill every entrepreneur has to swallow. It takes time to understand your industry;you can’t get most of that knowledge in schools and colleges. I would tell anyone you have to be willing to risk it all to learn. You can look as this paying your dues or like getting your masters in your particular field. The ultimate goal is to find someone of prominence in your field of choice and shadow them to learn as much as possible. The amount you will learn with someone in the industry and on the ground floor will be invaluable. You will learn more from 3 months of on-the-job experience than you will learn in a year with any college. You will come out understanding more than just business. You will understand raising funds, operations, sales, business development, marketing, etc. This all is key to your success.
Your work with 3thix aims to simplify blockchain gaming and make it more accessible. How has this endeavor shaped your personal growth, particularly in terms of leadership and innovation in the Web3 space?
When I think about what we are working on and what it means to the industry as a whole it is exciting. The idea that I have the ability to support and help an industry as vast as the games industry is big. Nearly half the world (4B people) play video games; mostly on mobile or in FTP style games. In-game advertisement (though it can be annoying) is a pivotal part to this operation. People can not always afford to play or buy things in games. We need to support them in ways that bring back value. Web3 does this in so many ways, while maintaining discretion. These ideas and thoughts are humbling and really push myself and my team to think creatively and to build products that we would use ourselves in our own games. It’s really made me step back, view the bigger picture, and become more methodical.
The gaming industry is continually evolving. What emerging trends or technologies do you believe will have the most significant impact, and how do you plan to leverage them in your future endeavors?
Gaming is usually always on the frontlines of tech. We see the most shifts in game design, mechanics, play, and monetization. We also see constant introduction of new technologies. A good point to this is the current AI craze and what the world views and hears as new and emerging tech. However, AI has been in video games as long as multiplayer has been in video games. When you think you’re playing against a person, you are, but there is a bit of AI and prediction involved as well. Which is why so many get angry playing online when they can clearly see they are hitting someone in a FPS but the game is not rewarding them properly. This is the game algorithm and AI not matching the real world version. Blockchain is truly the newest technology to enter the gaming landscape and we will see it contribute to games both in plain sight as well as in things like data and wallet design. It’s going to be interesting to watch as the future unfolds with the creative world and the ability they have to change, create, and build because of blockchain technology.
Can you share the key strategies and milestones that have driven the growth of 3thix as an all-in-one gaming monetization platform and its role in simplifying the blockchain gaming experience?
We want to focus on using blockchain as a technology – not for speculation or for some sort of get-rich-quick scheme. We see the value that it can bring to the industry. IDFA has always been the value supplier to the mobile games industry. That’s no longer the case with companies like Unity so heavily reliant on ads and in game monetization for their revenues. In one year since losing IDFA, the company went from 55B in capital to 10B. Blockchain and decentralization are the stepping stones needed to find compliant manners to address COPPA compliance and data privacy laws.
Can you share insights into your approach to partnership and collaboration in the blockchain gaming industry? How have strategic partnerships contributed to the growth of 3thix and your overall business ecosystem?
We look at it in an iteration phase. We want to consolidate the web3 market first; we can do this by supplying the market with on ramps and tools to make monetizing games easier. Then it comes next to the chains. Each chain is essentially looking to create transactions (this is where they derive their value), Games are a strong provider of transactions. However, blockchains including layer 2s are not always scalable and can build high fees. So we have to work with them to not only build presence but to bring strong relationships that we have cultivated in our decades in the games industry. As this happens we will use our tech and medium of exchange to bridge the gap between web2 and web3 making it much easier for companies to adopt blockchain technologies and our IDFA replacement without any need to ever create a token or interact with the blockchain directly. If you provide the right value at every step then you can essentially address the needs of your partners. They in turn will be successful and building users and those users create transactions. It all comes down to a symbiotic relationship.
What challenges have you encountered in expanding 3thix and other related ventures, and how have you navigated those challenges to achieve continued business growth and success?
With all startups come challenges, it all comes down to grit determination and a bit of bull headed stubbornness. If you quit every time someone told you that you can’t or it’s not possible, nothing would ever change. We would be in the stone age. It takes people with the sheer determination to wield what isn’t into something that is that powers the world into new and exciting times.
The gaming industry is highly competitive. How do you differentiate your products and services to stand out and ensure consistent business growth, especially in the context of blockchain gaming?
Again, provide your partners with what they need. So many in blockchain have tried to do everything from A to Z. We want to build a chain and then we want to publish games, and we want to do this and that. It’s too much, it doesn’t work that way. I always like to refer back to the Art of War. If I strengthen my right then I am weak on the left. If I strengthen my left then I am weak on the left. If I spread my forces out evenly then I am weak everywhere. Understand that VC funds only last until they are gone. The goal is not to raise and raise and raise.I think this misconception plagues industries and tech as a whole. The goal should be to build a company that generates revenue. You do this by providing a needed service or item in a symbiotic relationship. What helps my partners helps me and so together we will grow.
The concept of the metaverse is gaining momentum. How do you see the integration of blockchain technology into the metaverse, and what potential does this hold for your futuristic goals?
I don’t really like the word metaverse. It really pulls away from what should be the focus in my opinion. Metaverse is essentially a synonym for crypto games at this point and crypto games are generally speculative and not really games. Blockchain does not need to be in the forefront; it shouldn’t be used as advertisement. It should be intrinsically better and so you use it regardless of if you know it is there or not. I always like to say no one cares how the internet works! They just care that it works. Games should be no different; games are supposed to be fun. No one sits around and says is this an Amazon server? Or I wonder if this game is using Oracle for cloud? It doesn’t matter if the player cares that their save point is safe and that the game is running smoothly and without delay. The moment that changes is a problem. Blockchain should provide the same value. It allows players interoperability, digital rights management, the ability to monetize their own data, to sell assets, to license their UGC, and more. It’s a value add to both players and developers alike. That’s what matters; unless that changes, the rest is just noise.
How do you see the future of blockchain gaming, and how does 3thix position itself to adapt to and influence the evolving landscape, particularly in terms of business growth and innovation?
Blockchain gaming is here to stay. It’s very similar to the same things that happened with FTP games. FTP was hated by so many and then it became the way of life for games. Digital Rights Management, play data driven value, and interoperability are among the first small steps we will see come from Web3. We are in a world where real world consumption is being drastically overshadowed by digital consumption. This isn’t going to change, and with that understanding we have to understand that at some point people will start to want ownership, licensing rights, revenue shares etc, from these assets. The blockchain provides the ability to remove the duplication problem. Which leads us to the ability to create scarcity and unique items and tools that can have programmable functionality. UGC in games is growing rapidly, and both players and creators are going to want to own the items and tools they create. Then they are going to want to be rewarded for their popularity. No longer should people like Brendan Greene get 0 for creating H1Z1 battle royale. Blockchain impowers UGC and content in ways many have never seen before.
What inspired you to venture into blockchain gaming, and how has this journey transformed your perspective on technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship?
It’s actually a crazy story. I was speaking to Cliffy B (the creator of Unreal) at E3 back in 2015. Their big announcement was around a game called Gun Slingers. It was to be the first FTP game on console which I thought was mind blowing. My first reaction was, “You can’t do that. You can not give away a game that can cost upwards of 100M dollars to create for free.” Yet they were adamant about doing this which led me to start to think about the consolidation of games via tokens. Similar to that of the European Union. I thought if one major game was going to be FTP, all major games would have no choice because once players know it can be free, they will demand that it’s free.