Recode Decode: Jason Citron, Founder of Discord

  • What is Discord? Discord is a voice, text and video chat app for people who love to play video games. Kind of like Skype but designed with all the things someone who plays games on their computer would care about. .We are a communications company focused on gaming. (2:28) 

  • Why can’t gamers just use Skype? If I’m playing a game and a friend sends me a message on skype. You’d have to stop playing and minimize the screen and disrupt your gameplay. Discord is the opposite: It’s like a conference call that is always on. (3:36) 

  • Jason sold his first company for $100 million: It was a company that built software for other game developers. The company made it easy for game developers to add multiplayer features (for an iPhone game) without having to do all the back end management of servers etc. From launch to sale took two years. From 5 employees to 100. (9:34) 

  • Why Jason wants to keep Discord an independent company: Selling my previous company was bittersweet. I thought it was going to continue building the product in the context of the larger company. That didn’t end up happening. (10:57) 

  • The opportunity for Discord: We will show you what games your friends are playing and make it easy for you to buy the game. This is a big opportunity: People bought $33 billion worth of PC games last year. (15:30) 

  • Other ways you can use Discord: We see a lot of companies doing this: Opening a discord server. Then posting the link on their social media or website so fans of their companies or products can jump in. Then you are in a chat room with the people making it. You can talk to them. (26:38)

  • Full podcast here.