Driven: How Did I Get Here
About This Show
The Driven: How Did I Get Here podcast explores the unconventional path to leadership. Host Justin Gray talks to some of today's most badass leaders about how they arrived where they are today. Discover how they overcame obstacles, navigated the detours, and
learned to trust the journey.
Most Recent Episode
From Video Games to Reality: Piecing Together a Business Idea
Nate Martin, Co-founder and CEO of PuzzleBreak, talks with host Justin Gray about his childhood dream to make video games, lessons learned from his first startup and advice for people considering entrepreneurship –– all on the the latest episode of Driven: How Did I Get Here? Can you explain the escape-the-room concept? At a high level, these are rooms where groups of players - friends, family, strangers or co-workers - are trapped. They have a set amount of time, usually an hour, to work together to find hidden clues and solve puzzles to unravel a mystery and escape that room before time runs out. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? The only thing I ever wanted to do was make video games. There's a huge market for that. Did that come to the light of day? I actually went to the DigiPen Institute of Technology, which had a focus on making video games. After that, I went to work for Microsoft. Over my seven years I got promoted a number of times, but was still eight levels away from the CEO. If ever wanted to become a C-level executive, I was going to have to live to be about 250 years old. I realized that if I really wanted to be master of my own destiny and take the helm of my own enterprise, I would have to do it myself. What came next? After Microsoft, I was an executive at Electronic Arts, which was actually a video game company. This was in 2013. A bit of context: the escape-the-room concept was originally almost a genre of video game. So purely by coincidence, one day my future co-founder and I discovered that people were doing this in real life. She was living in Seattle and I had spent many years in Seattle and it was like, "We have to do this in Seattle. This would be a huge hit." Puzzle Break is not your first entrepreneurial adventure, correct? I had another startup for about 10 minutes. We made every mistake you can mak