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Stephanie James: Angel, you’ve been in the business and gamer worlds for quite a while. What inspires you to talk to the little people, be it casuals or hardcore, and bring our opinions, thoughts, and desires closer to the corporations?
Angel Munoz: I’m probably just a few years ahead of the crowd as far as the role of a CEO in our new social networked environment. Although I enjoy the interactions, they also help me understand the motivations and life realities of the individuals in our growing online community. This information allows me to advise companies on how to evolve their products into real solutions for the people that use them. The companies that have recently partnered with us (especially AMD and Logitech) are seeking this feedback and seem honestly excited to be part of the process. I also think that people can quickly read through most of the hyperbole that is thrown at them online, and appreciate an environment where the entire deck of cards is in full view, enabling them to engage in conversation with real people and not just double-speaking company representatives.
Adrian Augustin: Being CEO is all about decisions and projects. I know most of the time you have to decide between things that might or might not bring success. Usually, with your experience, nothing bad can happen, but you have to calculate the risks of failure. What was the most unpleasant experience of your life as CEO?
Angel Munoz: The premise of your question is absolutely correct. As CEO you spend great amounts of time envisioning the future, deploying resources to make that future a reality and then hoping you did not delude yourself in the process. My unpleasant experiences have occurred mostly by not understanding that I’m more of an entrepreneur and less of a CEO. I am always passionate about my ideas and that tends to make me quite combustible. To make matters worse, I tend to see all good ideas as my own and can give little, if any, recognition to the valuable contributions of other team members. This causes issues in all aspects of an enterprise, and can easily result in bitter resentment and backstabbing as people just try to assert their own personalities. The solution to this is simple though: keep the drive to perfection, but allow others to improve upon your own ideas and systems. One of the great advantages of the aging process is the time you can apply to internalizing these lessons and quantifying their impact, so you can avoid living an entire life as the victim of a vicious circle.
Connie Herbort Green: Mr Munoz, on Twitter you were quoted as saying, “The difference between an impossible dream and an amazing accomplishment is relentless hard work and the determination to never give up.” You had a dream and followed it. You never gave up. Have you had to sacrifice anything to get where you are today?
Angel Munoz: The only way to operate in today’s society as an effective business leader is to be one hundred percent engaged in every moment of your day. You must bring to each situation the full inventory of your personal resources, so that instead of having to sacrifice anything, your entire life is enhanced. The most important life lesson I have learned thus far is to bring the totality of my person to every second of the day. I privately refer to this as “being present,” but that term has been hijacked by new-agers and other pseudo-spiritual types so I rarely speak of it in those terms. In all honesty, I enjoy focused hard work, but I also enjoy a casual conversation with a friend, watching a scary movie with my children and playing fan-made campaigns of Left 4 Dead 2 every other day.
Todd Evans: Why the name Mass Luminosity?
Angel Munoz: As a young child in New York City, I always aspired to be an astrophysicist. I’m still a voracious reader of the subject. The name Mass Luminosity is derived from this interest. In astrophysics, the mass–luminosity relation is an equation giving the relationship between a star’s mass and its luminosity. Therefore, the more mass certain classes of stars have the more luminosity, which is a measurement of brightness. One of the core founding principles of our new company is to democratize information by facilitating the transformation of content consumers into content providers. This very interview is an example of that principle in action. The ultimate goal of Mass Luminosity is to create massive social network experiences that give us all a chance to shine.
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