Notes on an interview of Martin Carlesund, CEO of Evolution Gaming.

The interview refers to Evo’s acquisition of Big Time Gaming. More details about the transaction can be found here.

The goal for Martin is to be #1 online casino. He wants EVO to be an innovative hub of game creation.

Direct quotes:

  • “I’m sorry to say, we don’t have much work-life balance. Everyone works like crazy.”

  • “All of us still want to build the greatest company there is. I as a person don’t understand why we couldn’t be that.”

  • “[…] that work hard, that energy to make the company a little bit better every single day. I go to work and I need to do something a little better than I did yesterday. That is the core of Evolution. The hunger, the energy. No one stays forever. It’s hard, and there’s no blame if you want to leave, but you should feel the desire to be here, to contribute, to move the company, to feel like - wow I’m actually doing something, I’m part of something.”

  • “Land-based is still 90% of gaming. When I’m old, land-based will be 30%. And all of this revenue needs to go somewhere. We need to EARN that money. We need to see to it that we have the games that those people want to play.”

Now, just because a CEO says he wants to build the greatest company in the world doesn’t mean we should believe him.

BUT, one thing I know for sure, is that to build a great company, you really, really have to want it. There’s too much entropy out there for this sort of thing to happen on its own.

So the the ambition is necessary, but not sufficient.

And I think this CEO has it.

Update (2022-07-01)

I found a nice (non-corpo) bio of this dude here.

The guy was a programmer, a CTO, oversaw mergers & acquisitions, then became the youngest CEO of a public company in Sweden.

Quote:

But you have to put a team together, a company together and my aim is to build the best company in the world. I really mean that. It should be better than Spotify, Facebook, Google; it should be the best one.

And he goes on:

Sometimes, I think when companies earn money, instead of focusing on doing that [becoming the best company in the world], they buy expensive furniture and offices. That won’t work – that’s not what drives people. It’s nice for a week or two, but you get used to it. I’m not saying you should sit in a basement with no paint on the walls. Our offices are fantastic – but they are efficient. They are just a tool to get what we want.

This mofo might be the real deal.


Until next time, stay cool & stay invested!