Matt Hulett’s startup advice: ‘Money makes you soft’

Matt Hulett of GameHouse interviewed by Jeff Dickey

Matt Hulett, a self-described “late-bloomer” in the tech space, started out shrink-wrapping software in the 80s and is now leading RealNetworks’ GameHouse unit into the future of gaming. It’s no surprise he ended up here.

Hulett, a former executive at Mpire and Atom Entertainment who returned to RealNetworks two years ago, has a history of rising to the occasion when it’s time for a game-changer. Find out where he’s driving GameHouse, and how he makes innovation happen no matter where he goes.

  • Hulett seems to be drawn to situations and businesses that are on the verge of great change, and he’s happy to be there to make it happen. Whether it’s ripping up a business model or rebuilding a team, he knows that “low points are inherent;” but if you treat your team with respect and dignity, you can effect a positive change.
  • A positive company culture starts from the top down, and can make or break a business. “Start with the most basic things – value system, vision, mission” and find employees who reflect the culture you’re trying to create. This goes for CEOs and founders too. If you’re not on board, your team won’t be either.
  • The future of gaming is exciting to Hulett, though he can’t say for sure exactly what will happen. “There’s never been a better time to get funding or cloud-based support,” he explains. “But everyone has figured that out.” Newcomers have a good shot at getting a game to scale effectively, but there are a lot of them out there.
  • Hulett knows the next big tech innovator or start-up team has to make their energy count, so what’s his best advice? “Stay focused on what you’re going to get really good at. Don’t take a lot of money, because money makes you soft. Stay hungry. Innovate.” The power of a start-up lies in how much faster they can adapt and grow than any other business.
  • What’s an “intrapreneur?” Find out who Hulett describes as the antibodies within large organizations, those folks who keep innovation moving and solve the big problems. “You have to create a cult-like mythology,” he says.

Nextcast founder Jeff Dickey is passionate about technology, business and philosophy. He works as the chief cloud architect at Redapt, a Redmond-based cloud and big data infrastructure company.[Editor's note: GeekWire is proud to partner with Jeff Dickey who produces the Nextcast entrepreneur interview series].