Your Place to Talk
Every healthy relationship relies on effective communication.
Effective communication was tested during the COVID-19 pandemic. Most people working during the mandatory quarantine stayed home, interacting only with their families face-to-face.
Many people are becoming more adept at using communication technologies; as the world progresses to digitalization, so is communication.
As the saying goes,
Jason Citron made effective communication possible to all as your safe place to talk.
Early Beginning of Jason Citron
Originally from San Francisco, Jason Citron was born into a big business family on September 21, 1987.
Jason Citron began his entrepreneurial journey at a young age and has demonstrated an interest in computers and video games. With a highly creative and intelligent mind, Jason’s life had always revolved around technology and the gaming industry since Citron was a young child.
Jason mentioned playing his Nintendo DES when he was five sparked his obsession with mobile games. At a young age, he taught himself how to program computers. His father's unwavering encouragement helped the tiny flame of his interest in coding grow. Thus, making him an expert on programming.
By the time he was thirteen, he had created a video game and had self-taught the programming language QBasic. By sixteen, Citron was already writing code for various technology companies as a freelancer.
Jason Citron’s Education
Jason Citron decided to follow his interests, which allowed him to focus on using his skills to create video games in college.
Jason Citron studied game design at Full Sail University. After graduating from college, Citron began working for a couple of game studios creating iPhone apps, where he got several awards for the design of mobile games.
Early Career of Jason Citron
As an entrepreneur, Jason knew he could build something gamers would enjoy, which is the first key to his success–being a relentless builder.
After graduating, Jason Citron developed and released many video games. Citron developed his coding abilities by working on Stormfront Studios' video game, Eragon. After that, he joined Double Fine and developed console software for games like Brutal Legend.
In 2008, he co-created Aurora Feint, a mobile puzzle game with role-playing features, with Danielle Cassley.
Because Aurora Feint cost more than most other games, it could have been more successful. Citron was forced to alter its business strategy to survive since the game needed to make more money to support the operation of the company that created it.
He created a software development kit to enable other game developers to easily incorporate social features such as linking users' social networks. As a result, he needed more time to build the necessary technology before his company went bankrupt.
Jason Citron’s First Ventures
To jump-start the development of his new concept, Citron developed a landing page for the product OpenFeint that sold the idea but had no accompanying product. Four hundred developers signed up almost quickly after a TechCrunch article describing the technology appeared.
This made it possible to create the program, and it was successful after being introduced in March 2009.
GREE bought OpenFeint for $100 million two years after its introduction. Due to differences with the new management, Citron was asked to resign even though he intended to stay with the company. In 2012, OpenFeint was shut down. Citron founded Hammer & Chisel, a game production studio, in 2012 after selling OpenFeint to GREE in 2011 for US$104 million.
Citron started the game development company Hammer & Chisel in 2012. The company's first mobile game, Fates Forever, a multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game, was released in 2014. Online gamers team up into trios to compete against other trios in an environment with a medieval theme. At the end of 2013, Citron unveiled it during a TechCrunch Disrupt event. It eventually failed and was shut down in 2015.
Citron claims that he observed how challenging it was for his team to devise strategies in games like Final Fantasy XIV and League of Legends utilizing the available voice-over IP (VoIP) software throughout the development phase. This prompted the creation of a chat service with an emphasis on user usability and minimal performance impact.
Although Citron aimed to add a social component to a gaming application, he chose to focus on the PC gaming market for his next venture instead of the mobile gaming business. His creation of Discord, as a result of this, immediately became well-known among gamers.
Jason Citron, the founder of the social gaming platform OpenFeint for mobile games, and Stanislav Vishnevskiy, the founder of the other social gaming platform Guildwork, are credited with the idea for Discord.
Discord was chosen for the product name because it "sounds cool and has something to do with chatting," was easy to say, spell, and recall, and was also easily accessible for trademark purposes. They also wanted to address the "Discord in the Gaming Community" issue.
The platform was different from other existing group chat platforms at the time, which often required the installation of software programs. It is a browser-based tool that allows one person to set up a server, which is shared with people who can join the channel with a few clicks.
In collaboration with Stan Vishnevskiy, Citron created Discord. According to Citron and Vishnevskiy, Discord was launched on May 13, 2015, when strangers began using the platform under the domain name discordapp.com.
The creator can share access to a Discord channel with as many or as few users as they choose. Discord has expanded beyond the gaming community and is now used for various communication purposes. Many of these changes can be attributed to the Covid-19 pandemic, which resulted in a shift to remote work and virtual communication methods.
The World Health Organization's first announcement of the pandemic happened in March 2020, when only 8 percent of those surveyed regularly used Discord, according to a March 2019 survey from Statista Global Consumer Survey.
According to Citron, they made no specific moves to target any particular audience, but some gaming-related subreddits quickly replaced their IRC links with Discord links. Discord became widely used by esports and LAN tournament gamers. The company benefited from relationships with Twitch streamers and Diablo and World of Warcraft subreddit communities.
In WarnerMedia (then TimeWarner) invested $20 million in Discord in January 2016. AT&T acquired WarnerMedia Investment Group and sold its equity in 2019.
In December 2018, the company reported receiving $150 million at a valuation of $2 billion. Greenoaks Capital led the round, which included Firstmark, Tencent, IVP, Index Ventures, and Technology Opportunity Partners.
In March 2020, Discord introduced server templates and changed its tagline from "Chat for Gamers" to "Chat for Communities and Friends". Their response to increased users brought on by the COVID-19 outbreak included this.
The Twitter handle for Discord was changed from @discordapp to @discord in April 2020. Discord switched its primary domain from discordapp.com to discord.com later in May 2020.
Discord stated in June 2020 that it was turning its emphasis away from video games and toward a more general-purpose communication and chat client for all functions.
The company also unveiled a new website and its motto, "Your place to talk."
In-jokes about gaming will be used less in the client, user onboarding will be improved, and server capacity and stability will be increased, among other things. The company disclosed that it had obtained an extra $100 million in funding to support these improvements.
Tomasz Marcinkowski, former head of finance for Pinterest, was named Discord's first finance chief in March 2021. Earlier in the month, co-founder and chief executive officer Jason Citron said he wasn't thinking about taking the company public, but insiders call this one of the first steps to an IPO. In 2020, Discord's monthly user base doubled to about 140 million.
Bloomberg News and The Wall Street Journal reported that several companies were interested in buying Discord, with Microsoft as the likely lead buyer, estimated at $10 billion. Ultimately, they decided to stay independent and ended negotiations with Microsoft.
As a result, Discord launched a new round of investment in April 2021. Among those investing in Discord was Sony Interactive Entertainment, which stated that it would integrate a portion of the company's services into the PlayStation Network by 2022.
Discord rebranded its controller-shaped logo "Clyde" as part of its sixth-anniversary celebrations in May 2021–a more "bold and playful" color palette. Discord also changed its slogan from "your place to talk" to "imagine a place," believing that this would be easier to attach to other taglines; these changes met with backlash and criticism.
Before receiving new funding in August 2021, Discord reported $130 million in 2020 revenues, a threefold increase over the previous year, and had an estimated $15 billion valuation. The COVID-19 pandemic and the transition from "broadcast wide-open social media communication services to more small, intimate places," were also factors in the increasing price. Because of privacy issues, they also got customers who deleted their accounts on Facebook and other websites.
Citron states that they are still discussing with several prospective buyers, including all major game console producers. In September 2021, the business obtained more investments totaling $500 million due to this.
Groovy and Rythm, two of the most famous music bots on Discord, received cease and desist letters from Google in September 2021. These bots were installed on an estimated 36 million servers worldwide. These bots allowed users to request and play music in a voice channel while using ad-free versions of the songs from YouTube.
Two weeks later, Discord and YouTube collaborated to develop a "Watch Together" feature that lets users of the messaging app watch YouTube videos with one another.
In November 2021, Citron published mockups of Discord based on the proposed Web3 principles with support for integrated cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens. This drew outrage from its user community. Later, Citron clarified that they have no plans to release the internal concept you may have seen in a tweet earlier this week.
Investments and Collaborations of Discord
Superhuman, ClassDojo, Campuswire, and Backbone are a few of Discord’s investments and collaborations. It was announced in April 2018 that Microsoft would support Discord for Xbox Live users, allowing them to connect their Discord accounts to their Xbox Live friends lists.
Discord acquired Sentropy in July 2021. Sentropy uses artificial intelligence systems to monitor online networks for abusive messages, highlight problematic users, and provide recommendations on how users can block them. As a result of the acquisition, Sentropy's tools will be used exclusively for monitoring Discord servers to help Discord prevent user harassment.
Awards and Recognition of Jason Citron
One award was presented to Discord in 2021. In 2021, Discord won the award for Best Company Outlook.
According to 2,757 ratings and 312 participants, Discord employees are satisfied with their work environment. Employee feedback on the overall culture, compensation, team, and more forms the basis of the general culture score, 76/100 or B+. Discord employs 600 people worldwide as of March 2022.
In 2022, Discord continued to grow with new features and various ways to access its excellent voice chat, making it more critical than ever, no matter what kind of gaming you enjoy.
For this reason, Discord won the Gaming Tech of the Year award at TechRadar Choice Awards 2022, sponsored by Sky Broadband.
Jason Citron’s Personal Life
Jason Citron prefers to keep his personal life a secret, aside from his professional life. But everyone is aware that his family's entrepreneurial spirit inspired him to improve the gaming industry.
Jason is currently single and continues to live with his family while having a successful career. Such characteristics distinguish how much he values and cares about his parents. Additionally, he visits Florida frequently for business and to see his friends.
Key Takeaway: Jason Citron
“Sometimes we’re tested, not to show weakness, but to discover strength.”
And this is what Jason did.
Jason Citron became the person he is today due to his passion and enthusiasm for entrepreneurship and technology.
You can learn a lot from Jason Citron on how he conquered the chat app world with Discord, which has over 300 million users and is currently one of the most popular gaming social networks.