Episode #448: How this first-time entrepreneur built his mobile games company – with Sylien Games founder Sylvain Rochon

Episode #448

Port 200 games in 4 months. That was the challenge put to Sylien Games founder Sylvain Rochon by Microsoft and, like a true entrepreneur, he accepted it. That challenge is what drew me to ask him on the show but I soon found out (as will you) that the story leading to that Microsoft ask is much much more interesting.

Sylien is Sylvain’s first company – he quit his well-paying job as a teacher to jump into the mobile games fray 8 years ago with little to no entrepreneurial experience. He supported his habit by taking odd jobs including as an overnight security guard.

This episode is, at times, a very personal glimpse into the challenges of starting a business – any business. It very clearly outlines the determination and capacity required to really stay focused on your goals. It also lays out some of the biggest challenges and triumphs – and fears – Sylvain faced as he patiently moved his business forward.

Oh, and that Microsoft deal? We talk about that as well with a deep dive into his experiences both developing for the various platforms as well as with the various teams that are supporting him at Microsoft.


Here is a quick reference of what we covered in the show. Click on the link and the video will take you to that clip

1. What is Sylien Games 2:20
2. Why quit teaching to be an entrepreneur? 4:00
3. How does a teacher with 2 degrees end up as an overnight security guard to pay the bills? 7:20
4. Why didn’t you stop at this point? 10:45
5. How did you acquire your first company? 14:00
6. Why build a mobile game company? 16:00
7. When did you start feeling comfortable enough to hire 18:20
8. Why drop the idea that you will build a blockbuster game? 19:15
9. Is your future in the engine or the game? 22:20
10. Was it hard to not deviate from your plan? 26:50
11. When do you stop consulting and focus on Sylien 100%? 31:00
12. How can you run more than 1 company at a time? 32:45
13. How did you grow your community of 50,000 game players? 37:00
14. How did you get connected with Microsoft? 43:00
15. How are you going to port 200 builds to Windows 8 in 4 months? 46:30
16. 2 lessons learned while working with Windows 49:00
17. What has it been like working with Microsoft as a mobile technology partner? 51:00
18. Is the Microsoft ecosystem worthy of focus for developers to generate revenue? 55:40
19. What is your revenue strategy? 61:00
20. Is the mobile game industry still shiny? 63:30

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About Sylvain Rochon
Sylvain Rochon Sylien GamesStarting off with a background in chemical engineering, biochemistry and teaching, Sylvain went on to a professional career teaching science, computer science and math in Ontario and Quebec high schools for 8 years. However, his passions soon led him to teaching emotional intelligence, startup business coaching and multiple early business ventures, including the now known Sylien Games. Experience led Sylvain to discover the secrets of converting any dream to reality through the power of will, the mind and social leverage, which motivates him to start speaking on the subject with enthusiasm whenever the occasion arises.

About the author

Rob Woodbridge

I'm Rob, the founder of UNTETHER.tv 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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