Case Study: How to launch the New York Times Crosswords to the mobile world — the 2 year (+) overnight success.

So you’ve secured one of the world’s leading consumer brands in the New York Times Crossword Puzzle — great! Now you are faced with the daunting task of recreating the experience on a small screen and without a pencil as your input device. Enter Jeff Bacon and his team at Magmic.

Jeff walks us through the process from the time they secured the brand, launched on the BlackBerry and J2ME platforms almost 2 years ago, through to the successful (and Apple-boosted) launch 1 year ago on iPhone and through not one, not two but THREE price changes AND a business model change. What has endured is a great story about how to handle a brand and the impact it has on the rest of the Magmic’s business.

Jeff is a smart guy and has been in this business for as long as the business of mobile has been around. He’s got the cred to speak on this subject and then some so sit back, get your notepad out and start taking notes!

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About Jeff Bacon
Jeff Bacon has been involved in the mobile industry since ‘Snake’, on a small black & white Nokia cellphone, launched an entire new category of gaming. While still attending University, Jeff designed and developed one of the very first J2ME (MIDP) applications for Sun Microsystems: a stock ticker that was eventually shipped in the MIDP release for developers to review as an example of how to write J2ME code.

After short stints at Zucotto Wireless, Planetfred, and Idokorro Mobile, Jeff found a home with a small mobile games developer: Magmic Inc. While developing, coding and releasing a number of mobile games including Break Fast, Cribbage and Deblocked, Jeff spent time developing tools, libraries and IT infrastructure to help handle Magmic’s growth.

As Magmic’s longest serving employee, Jeff was able to participate in many aspects of Magmic’s rapid growth into a mobile gaming force. He found his niche, however, in BlackBerry technologies and was well prepared to take on all things BlackBerry when Magmic launched their BlackBerry consumer portal: Bplay ( Since then, Jeff has been involved in the creation and production of over 70 games on BlackBerry.

Following the success of Bplay, Jeff has expanded his role at Magmic to include Windows Mobile gaming on and oversees the production of the best Smartphone content in the market.

After a couple of years directing smartphone gaming production, working with partners to port and distribute smartphone content, and directing the development of Alltel’s smartphone content distribution portal (run by Magmic), Jeff has taken on a new challenge: running the entire engineering department at Magmic.

About the author

Rob Woodbridge

I'm Rob, the founder of and I've spent 14 years immersed in the mobile and pervasive computing world. During this great time I've helped some of the most innovative companies grow their business through mobile. If you are in need of a mobile business advisor or coach, connect with me here to get things rolling.

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