Monday, September 5, 2011

Bigfoot Networks Acquisition

I am super delighted to announce that a company I founded based on my own original idea (to build products that Fight Lag in Online Games) has been acquired by Qualcomm!  Congratulation to the whole team, and THANK YOU to all my friends and family who helped Bigfoot Networks get here.

It is a great ending to an amazing story of adventure, passion, and persistence.

Founded in 2005, Bigfoot Networks grew out of my own idea, and 18 of my own patents.  The idea was simple: develop networking products that reduce online lag in video games.  I had expertise in networking technology due to my 5 years working at Intel in their Platform Networking Group.  At Intel, we focused almost exclusively on "throughput", often to the detriment of "latency".  Being an avid gamer, I realized that if we simply made a few different decisions about "latency" that we could reduce Lag in online games by 10% or more.  This led to the development of Bigfoot Networks first product, "The Killer NIC", which was released in 2006 to much pessimism and doubt.  It took much less than the $4MM we raised from our investor Venio/Raven Capital Partners.

Persistence and willingness to put our technology to the ringer led to our first big customer, Dell/Alienware.  At Alienware, where gamers were buying new PCs just for gaming, we had some amazingly good success (20-40% attach rates, as has been previously published).

From there, additional research into Lag and Latency led to many more patents and several new products, including "LLR SDK" a network SDK for online game developers to optimize the server side of latency.

With multiple products under our belt, we were invested in by North Bridge Venture Partners and Palomar Ventures to the tune of an additional $8MM.  The new capital was put to use bringing several new products to market, and hiring a California executive team.  Shortly after that I moved on to found a new company (Karmaback, Inc.), but stayed involved in Bigfoot and remained on the Board of Directors.

Now almost 2 years (and quite a bit more money invested) sinceI left Bigfoot Networks, the company that I started with my 2 U.T. MBA friends Bob Grim and Michael Cubbage, finally got acquired!

What a long and awesome road.

I do have several regrets from the adventure:
  1. I wish I had gotten an EVEN BIGGER return for my investors (especially friends and family).
  2. I wish I could have slowed down the company a little earlier... we were growing so fast and furious that we should have stopped and noticed the big wave that was coming: Cloud Computing....  our technology could have really made a big impact in Cloud should we have gone that direction.
  3. I wish I could have finished my ultimate vision for 100% lag-free gaming (for which the Patents were filed)... because even today, I still suffer from too much Lag while playing from my remote ranch in East-Central Texas!

Best wishes to my friends and colleagues in their new career at Qualcomm.

NOW, I get to take all my learning and skills building Bigfoot Networks from nothing, and make Karmaback, Inc. into the next big thing!

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