Carey DiJulio, VP & GM Casino, Big Fish
What was your very first job and can you remember how much you got paid?
My first ‘grown-up’ job was working the front desk at a hotel near the Sea-Tac airport in Seattle. I don’t remember what I got paid, but you can’t help but leave with a few good stories.
What would you say is your best attribute/quality?
I tend to be pretty humble, which I think is a big asset in finding the best path forward and enabling other people to be their best. You need to have confidence to make decisions, but, if you have any ego caught up in what you were thinking a week ago, you’re probably moving too slow for this industry.
How did you get started in the gaming industry?
I started playing online games back in 1994 but I didn’t enter the gaming industry until I joined Big Fish after a career in streaming video at Real Networks. A mentor had made the transition and I decided to follow her, even though I was leaving a strong team with good career progression. It was one of the hardest and best decisions I’ve made in my career. Big Fish has been a great place to work, I feel very lucky.
How did you arrive at your current role?
I’ve been with Big Fish for over three years working in Product Management across all our business lines. My experience with all of Big Fish's different businesses, including spending a year scaling our premium mobile games business, has translated well into my role integrating and managing Big Fish’s Self Aware Games studio and Big Fish Casino after our acquisition in March 2012.
What has your biggest achievement been since starting in your current role?
Managing the talented Self Aware Games team and achieving a substantial growth for Big Fish Casino, the top grossing social casino game on Apple’s App Store, has been extremely rewarding.
What has been the most challenging time in your career and how did you overcome it?
I started my tech career in a technical operations team, which is a very male dominated area of the industry. Initially I faced some challenges in being recognized for my work, but I’ve found consistent high performance and a good support network have a way of sorting those issues out over time. My best advice is to focus on the people who support you - bonus if they give you constructive criticism, and simply ignore people who’s main motivation is not supportive, even if they’re in your way at the moment… it won’t last, so don’t waste your energy. Oh, and don’t be afraid to take risks and make mistakes!
Who or what has been your greatest source of inspiration?
I’m inspired by people who never stop learning and who want to be better at what they do every day… especially against adversity. My partner and some of my good friends are musicians. There probably isn’t a harder career out there, but you do it because you love it and you pursue improvement despite it all. It’s very inspiring to me.
What was the most fun you have ever had whilst working?
Oh man, that's a hard one. I have fun affecting improvement, making a great product and making it successful. My co-workers make it extra fun. There’s a lot to be said for surrounding yourself with people smarter than you. Having a number #1 product to manage isn’t bad either.
What has been the proudest moment during your career (so far)?
I’m in it, right now. It’s awesome to have the #1 social casino in the US App Store and to have customers write in telling you how much they love your games. I’m looking forward to the next year and all the new territory we have to explore and grow in, like real money gaming, and new products and platforms.
What are your goals for the future?
I hope for a lot of learning with some fun along the way.
Carey will be speaking at the upcoming Monetising Social Gaming conference, taking place on Wednesday 6th February 2013, which will explore the deepening convergence of social gaming with the gambling industry and provide delegates with the tools required to bring clarity to their corporate strategy.