It’s worth wondering whether Srikant Vemparala walks around the offices at 9Logic Technologies saying “argh” all day. After all, the co-founder and president of the young company has been devoting a significant amount of his time lately on “Captain Blimey,” a new pirate-themed mobile AR game.
9Logic, with offices in Redmond, Wash., and Hyderabad, India, is a global IT solutions provider founded in 2015 to help large enterprises and SMBs use the cloud without sacrificing security, control and visibility. The company’s expertise has grown to cloud computing, ERP and CRM applications, including mobile games such as chess and “Blimey,” which launched just recently.
Vemparala, who previously spent seven years at Microsoft as a software design engineer, said he devoted significant time over the last nine months getting the game ready.
“‘Captain Blimey’ began as a passion project and grew out of thousands of hours of design and development from our team,” Vemparala said. “For me, that encompassed major time investments in project and team management for design architecture and development of the game, plus several rounds of testing.”
We caught up with Vemparala for this Working Geek, a regular GeekWire feature. Continue reading for his answers to our questionnaire.
Current location: Redmond.
Computer types: On the moveI I use a Microsoft Surface. It is easy to carry and has a good battery life. While at my office, I use a desktop.
Mobile devices: Samsung Galaxy S7! The large screen makes it easy to answer emails while on the go between meetings and the camera takes great photos of my kids.
Favorite apps, cloud services and software tools: An alumnus of Microsoft, I tend to favor their software and technology for day-to-day business. With teams in Redmond and Hyderabad, we use OneDrive for streamlined file sharing. Similarly, we use Exchange online for email access anywhere and other Office 365 productivity tools company wide. I really value face time with my team regardless of location, so Skype for video meetings is critical to ensuring a better experience for collaboration across geography.
Describe your workspace. Why does it work for you? We have an open floor plan and we took a minimalist approach with limited décor. I love this dynamic, as I believe it inspires collaboration, productivity and effectiveness.
Your best advice for managing everyday work and life? For me, it can be tough to wear various hats throughout the day from dad and husband to boss and business partner. The mantra that I apply to both my work and personal life is prioritization by applying Covey’s time management matrix. This helps me stay focused on what is important and not to get distracted with little things that crop up in my day. My next advice is to respect and value people. Hire and nurture talent that you can rely on to represent you effectively. At the end of the day, people are key to the success of any organization. Lastly, given the sedentary nature of our work it is very important to be active during the day. I try to incorporate walking during 1:1 meetings as much as possible. It gets you out of your seat and thinking more creatively, which has been vital for me during the development of Captain Blimey.
Your preferred social network? How do you use it for business/work? LinkedIn! Find me here. I primarily use it for recruiting talent. I see so many fake or embellished resumes these days that LinkedIn helps me to determine authentic experience.
Current number of unanswered emails in your inbox? 65.
Number of appointments/meetings on your calendar this week? There are 29 meetings on my schedule for the week, many devoted to “Captain Blimey.” I average five or six meetings during the traditional 9-5 day as well as several in the evenings each week to accommodate the time difference with our team in Hyderabad.
How do you run meetings? I prefer Skype meetings as we primarily deal with a global workforce. Each meeting has a designated person who drives the agenda, sets clear objectives and keeps track of the action items for follow up. For clients, I favor weekly conversations to share incremental progress and demos to ensure no surprises at the end of a project.
Everyday work uniform? Polo shirt and jeans, but I step it up for important meetings.
How do you make time for family? My mornings and evenings belong to my two young kids. My daughter is one and my son is almost 7 years old. They love movies and bedtime stories. My son and I play chess together. He’s really good! I could not make it work without my amazing wife, who is a working woman, too. She provides incredible support structure for our family.
Best stress reliever? How do you unplug? I love Poker nights with my buddies. It’s been all hands on deck to bring “Captain Blimey” to market, so I value these evenings even more these days. Spending time with friends at the card table in a social setting helps me relax and rejuvenate.
What are you listening to? I listen to a lot of Indian music. It helps me feel culturally connected to my roots and family. A. R. Rahman is one of my all-time favorite musicians!
Daily reads? Favorite sites and newsletters? GeekWire, of course! It is my go-to for tech news, especially in Seattle. I scroll through the MSN newsfeed to snag national headlines. BBC News is important to me for international happenings and news out of India.
Book on your nightstand (or e-reader)? “The Lean Startup,” by Eric Ries.
Night owl or early riser? What are your sleep patterns? Night owl! I tend to head to bed in the early hours of the next day. I’m incredibly excited about the launch of “Captain Blimey,” so it keeps me up at night.
Where do you get your best ideas? “My” best ideas are inspired from everyday experiences and conversations with my family. For example, the inspiration for the parrot trinket in “Captain Blimey” was a result of a conversation with my dad, who wanted to play the game from the couch — he isn’t as mobile as he was in his younger days. Some other features of the game like the AR experiences and challenges were brainstormed during sessions with my wife.