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Thought Leaders in Mobile and Social: Doyon Kim, CEO of Pangalore (Part 1)

Posted on Saturday, Jan 7th 2012

Video games are popular with people of all ages. The popularity of  games like “Farmville” and “Angry Birds” is proof of that. Pangalore, a San Jose, California–based universal social games developing company  launched its Universal Play HTML5 technology in December 2011, further satisfying the public’s desire for more games to play online and making it easier for them to play those games. With Pangalore’s new technology, users can play games on any platform at any time and provides continual saving and updating of their progress.

Sramana Mitra: Hi, Doyon. Please give us some context about you and the kinds of things you’ve been involved with, what you’ve been around, and then we will start exploring trends.

Doyon Kim: Right now I’m working for Pangalore. This is the fourth startup I’ve started. Prior to Pangalore, my journey as an entrepreneur started 10 or 12 years ago. The first company I started I did was a company called Dial Pet Communications. We were one of the pioneers of Voice over IP (VoIP).

SM: Was that in Boston?

DK: No, we were in this area. What we did at the time was we were the first free PC-to-foreign call. People could come to our website and make a free phone call to anybody in the U.S. Now, they know that there is Skype, but we were way before Skype. With VoIP, there was potential, but nothing ever realized because people had to download, like, a five meg file, which was pretty big with the dial-up connection. We eliminated all the barriers to people trying. We made it as a chop-up applet so that people could just go to the website and make a free phone call from there.

There were some ups and downs, but eventually (Dial Pet Communications) was acquired by Yahoo. After that, with the co-founder of Dial Pet, I founded a company called Opinity, an online reputation services company. It was about the that time that people started talking about Web 2.0.

SM: Mid 2000?

DK: Right. It became more dangerous to get information. There were more people able to communicate with other people and get advice from one of those people, but what did they know about the people they were getting advice from other than their online IDs. So, we wanted provide some more background information about the person – not necessarily about their offline ID. It was more like they could get the history of the person so that each person would be accountable, not necessarily to penalize bad people. It’s more like people with good intentions can be rewarded.

SM: So, a reference check, then?

DK: A reference check and also, for example, in e-commerce, say you’ve been a good eBay seller. You can import your reputation from eBay to Amazon or some other site so that you can verify you are the person in the online ID XYZ on eBay with a 1,000 rating.

SM: How did the eBay to Amazon reputation transfer work? Because Amazon does not provide an API into eBay, right?

DK: Right. eBay could do it. EBay had the API so that people could access their websites from a third party. So, using that API, we verified that an owner was the real owner of an ID at eBay.

SM: Where did that show up, from a user experience point of view?

DK: They could put some sort of emblem on their posting that says, for instance, “Power Seller at eBay.”

SM: On the Amazon profile?

DK: On the Amazon profile or any other retailer.

SM: Interesting.

DK: So, that’s what we did. It was OK. We also created a product that services other community sites like Cnet. It was a third-party tool to manage the health of the community so that people don’t control these kinds of things. It was acquired by another small company, in security. They wanted to do IP reputation [checking], so I sold it to them.

In 2007, I founded a company called Spotplex. We did online content aggregation. In other words, people could come to our website and see what the most popular articles of the day are based on the number of page views.

SM: Across different sources? And across different categories?

DK: Yes, right. Now, there’re still doing OK, but Digg was the destination site to get information. But it was about people’s ratings and votes.

This segment is part 1 in the series : Thought Leaders in Mobile and Social: Doyon Kim, CEO of Pangalore
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