The Startup Playbook

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Ep096 – Tom Crago (CEO – Tantalus Media) on balance and prioritisation

My guest for Episode 96 of The Startup Playbook Podcast is Tom Crago, the CEO of game development studio, Tantalus Media.

With an initial passion for athletics, Tom spent a few years at university, holding arts, business and law degrees as a way of buying himself some more time to keep training

After graduating and working at a Law Firm, Tom quickly realised that this wasn’t what he wanted to do long term and left to join a creative agency.

While he was over there, he found Tantalus Media and was deeply impressed with the technology they were building. So naturally as a 25 year old, he arranged a meeting with them, told them they needed help with the business and pitched to become their CEO and own 10% of the business. 

Much to his surprise the owners agreed, only for Tom to later find out the company owed over $500,0000 to the Australian Taxation Office.

Giving himself 6 months to turn it around, Tom flew to Japan and sealed a deal to make a game for Gameboy Advance that would be launched by Nintendo.

Since then Tantalus has gone on to develop successful franchises such as Top Gear Rally, Spongebob and Pony Friends as well as in more recent times focusing on console games such as Zelda and Sonic Maniac.

We covered a lot of ground in this interview including:

  • Building products and hiring tech talent as a non-technical founder
  • Balancing short and long term goals
  • The future of gaming
  • Selling through relationships

This podcast was produced by the awesome team at Playbook Media. If you would like to launch your own personal or business podcast, say hello to Rohit@playbookmedia.com.au.

Show notes:
Tantalus Media
Ratbag Games
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
Jupiter and Mars
SEGA
Nintendo
Materials – National Gallery of Victoria Triennial Exhibition
Flashbacks from the Flow Zone

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Credits:
Music: Joakim Karud – Dreams

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