Scopely CEO: To excel at business, create a narrative; There’s no need to knock a creative writing degree when it comes to honing business acumen

Scopely CEO: To excel at business, create a narrative

By Fortune Editors December 3, 2013: 2:48 PM ET

There’s no need to knock a creative writing degree when it comes to honing business acumen, Scopely founder and chief executive Walter Driver says.

By Chanelle Bessette, reporter

FORTUNE — Walter Driver is a longtime social gaming entrepreneur whose company, Scopely, works with independent gaming studios to co-develop, distribute, market, and monetize multiplayer games. Prior to Scopely, Walter founded and served as CEO of O Negative Media, where he developed social network gaming applications. Before that, he co-founded Ignition Interactive, one of the first developers of third party applications on the Facebook platform.In 2012, Driver was recognized by the World Economic Forum as one of its Young Global Shapers, and in 2013 he was a finalist in the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year awards. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from Brown University. After he attended Fortune’s Brainstorm Tech conference, we picked his brain about his accomplishments, technology, and the surprising thing he learned in school that has helped him as an entrepreneur. 

1. What business or technology person do you admire most? Why?

My father, Walter Driver Jr.  He’s had a very successful career in law and now finance and showed me that doing everything the right way all the time pays unforeseeable dividends over time — shortcuts rarely take you where you want to end up.

2. What other companies do you admire? Why?

Valve and Vice are two companies I think are very cool — they have an identity that means something to people who work there.

3. What technology sector excites you most?

I’m pretty thrilled to be coming of age at the advent of the smartphone era. Having a connected device in the hands of billions of people is going to create fundamentally new opportunities that are just beginning to take shape yet and are easily taken for granted in the U.S.

4. Is business school necessary for entrepreneurs?

I’ve never had any formal business education, so I honestly don’t know how useful it is, but it’s definitely not a requirement. From my perspective, most people who start companies do it because they either a) are wired that way and can’t imagine doing anything else, b) they have a unique insight into a particular market, or c) there’s a problem they are insanely passionate about solving. Business school seems like a more useful training ground for being an executive than an entrepreneur.

5. What is the best advice you ever received?

Most people overestimate what they can accomplish in the short-term and underestimate what they can accomplish in the long-term.

6. What is your greatest achievement?

The friends I’ve made. Life wouldn’t be very much fun without them.

7. What was the most important thing you learned in school?

I studied creative writing in college. I was writing poetry when most of the folks that are now my peers were writing code. How to create a narrative was the most valuable thing I learned in school — it’s how humans make sense of the world.

8. What is one goal that you would like to accomplish during your lifetime?

My aspiration is that everyone who works at Scopely to view it as one of the highlights of their professional career.

9. What was the last book you read?

Spent by Geoffrey Miller. Any entrepreneur doing something consumer-facing should read it. It’s a very interesting take on the real reasons we buy the things we buy.

10. What is one unique or quirky habit that you have?

I don’t eat any condiments. No sauces of any kind. People ask what kind of diet I’m on, but no, I’m just weird like that.

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (, the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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