Miron Bykov London - 12/08/2019
Today we spoke to Ben Barker co-founder & CEO of Run an Empire
Run an Empire, founded by Ben in 2014, is a free location-based strategy game for runners and walkers. This game requires users to be active in order to win territory and is available on the App Store and Google Plays.
Tell me about the day the idea was born.
Where all ideas are born – in a pub! Sam (co-founder) and I were discussing things that interest us, including fitness, exploration and games.
Towards the end of the evening, we talked about how fitness was difficult, people like ourselves want to be active but haven’t found the correct route.
We soon realised that a product could be made for people with modern life technology where fitness was an outcome, yet secondary –
“having fun was the most important this time round!”
What was the biggest turning point in the life of Run an Empire?
The pivot point was understanding who our users were, surprisingly the younger generation, this was a big moment as then we knew how to change the marketing, how to shape the product and what features to build. This then allowed us to move into profitability.
Three top tips for aspiring entrepreneurs…
What gets you out of bed every morning?
Making a product that people have an emotional engagement to, I want people to feel that they connect with the product and get something out of it.
What did you want to be when you were little?
Depends on what day of the week it was! I definitely remember wanting to be a film director at one point, but I always wanted to work with something people had an emotional connection to.
This desire probably came from my early childhood when my mum would make treasure maps for my friends and I. Remembering the bright emotions experienced from these treasure hunts due to its aspects of creativity and exploration I knew I wanted others to feel the same way.
Favourite Disney character…
Mufasa (Lion King)
What is Run an Empire planning for the world next?
The next step would be to get our product in the hands of millions of users so that more people can become active. The increase in users will then build a global community and with the increase of popularity more features would be introduced.
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