Lots of speakers aim to give their audience valuable takeaways, but Double Down Interactive’s Glenn Walcott took that concept very literally at the Casual Connect conference in Seattle today.
As he wrapped up his speech this afternoon at Benaroya Hall, the Double Down exec gestured to the sky. Suddenly $1,000 in dollar bills started raining down on the crowd, shot from what sounded like cannons by a group of women positioned in the balconies — causing a mad scramble among attendees to grab the cash.
It was unorthodox, for sure, but perhaps appropriate given the topic of his speech: “Building Your $100 Million Company (or your $500 million one!).” Double Down Interactive, which makes casino-style Facebook games, was sold to casino giant IGT for $500 million this year.
Walcott, a veteran of Blue Nile and Big Fish Games, is certainly one of the more colorful characters in the Seattle tech community, and this at least solidifies that reputation. Double Down, like many tech companies around town, is attempting to fill a bunch of open technical positions, and the stunt grabbed the attention of the industry crowd, at least.
I caught up with Walcott afterward and asked him some serious questions about Double Down’s business, and we’ve added his comments to our earlier story about IGT’s earnings report today.
But wait a second — who were those women, exactly?
“They were friends of friends that are baristas around town,” said Walcott.
Hmm, they didn’t really dress like baristas.
“I think they might be bikini baristas,” he said.
He added, “Hey, you’re spending a lot of money to be at a conference. Why not do something that’s fun and innovative and new. Kinda goes back to how we make our games innovative and new.”
Walcott said it all comes down to how people will remember the talk. “Is it something I said in the speech? Hopefully. Is it something that happened around the speech? Perhaps, too.”
If all else fails, they’ll walk away with a little money, huh?
“That’s exactly right,” he said.