SM: What about Iran? What is happening there and what is your relationship with Iran today?
SP: There is so much talent there. Sharif University is like MIT, and they send a lot of their students to Stanford. We are blocks away from Stanford, so I am recruiting students who have grown up in Iran and immigrated here for their PhD’s. Hopefully Obama can find a way to solve whatever is happening between the countries. That would open a huge pool of talent.
SM: Looking forward is your plan to build and add more layers of games and experiences?
SP: Exactly, and to use that to enable social gaming network for global agendas. We are essentially doing that with our teams, and I want to scale it. Money is not that important to me personally, although it is absolutely important from the perspective of building a business. If I can build a $100 million gaming company, then my capacity to build global pools of talent and transfer knowledge around the globe becomes greater. That to me is more important that money.
SM: What is driving your desire to build up pools of talent in different parts of the world?
SP: I love innovation and invention. I have always had a constant flow of ideas in my head since childhood.
SM: Invention and innovation is plentiful in Silicon Valley. It sounds as though there is something else driving you towards a global development process.
SP: Ultimately, I think that most of this innovation is going to happen everywhere. I don’t think Silicon Valley will get a monopoly on this.
SM: I detect something that is propelling you to do this as well.
SP: It is a little mysterious. I have an innate drive to engage with the world. I came from somewhere and feel blessed to be here, but I get so much out of connecting to other groups. The folks in Buenos Aires are so passionate. They are working constantly. They are so driven that it gives me passion for life.
One of the things I learned when I came to Silicon Valley was that there is a sense of entitlement. There is not much of a sense of a higher cause.
SM: Silicon Valley has a very high sense of entitlement as a population.
SP: Exactly. That entitlement is gone. It is not leaving, it is gone. A lot of folks in the Valley do not understand that. There are great talent pools throughout the world with people appreciate the opportunity to work on great projects. Right now we have a small advantage on product and market execution. The rest of the world is going to catch up to that soon. Ultimately, the biggest brands that will bring innovation into the world will come from around the world. This is not because the rest of the world is going to manufacture less expensively, but rather because they can work harder, think faster, and have more passion to a cause than to a sense of entitlement. If that is the case, then I would rather invest in building that capability up versus being on the wrong side of the table.
SM: Great. I like your story.