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July 3, 2020
Meet the Team: Mickey Maher on Early Crypto Adoption and Neck Beards
Meet the Team: Mickey Maher on Early Crypto Adoption and Neck Beards

Who are you?

Mickey Maher, Head of Flow Partnerships. I grew up in and around Chicago, IL. I moved to Los Angeles right after undergrad. Speaking of undergrad, I graduated from Purdue University with a BS in Computer and Electrical Engineering. I did my MBA at USC and that was when I started my career in tech startups.

What lured you into the world of blockchain?

I was an early adopter of Bitcoin. Don’t get too excited, it wasn’t very much and I sold it before it really exploded. However, given that experience I always kept my eye on crypto. I was always a partial believer, unsure whether crypto would have a long term impact on commerce and the world. The 2017 crypto craze confused me even more. Litecoin?

How did you get hooked on Flow?

Speaking of 2017, I started to see this thing called CryptoKitties pop up all over my Twitter feed. Seems I was following a lot of crypto folks. I found it to be really, really interesting and it opened my eyes to new blockchain use cases other than crypto. Fast forward a couple months to March 2018 where I was to meet up with my old friend Mik Naayem at the Game Developers Conference. I had no idea what he was doing, but once I found out, the rest is history. Credit also to Benny Giang, who was also in attendance.

Tell us about your experience working in games? How do you think legacy gaming companies are looking at games and what do you think the future of gaming will be?

My experience in games has been all about the new platforms or paradigms. I began with Facebook which really brought free-to-play gaming to the west and pioneered the concept of virality in games. Mobile took each to a whole different level. As I look at mobile today, it seems to have completely matured as a platform and closed to newcomers. Console is extremely expensive and the incumbents win with existing franchises. Gaming is always as much about the indies or small creative shops as it is about the corporate behemoths. You see it time and time again: a small studio with creativity and nothing to lose takes advantage of  these new technologies and become the winners on those platforms, this becoming a corp behemoth. The rest are looking for what is next. I believe blockchain is next and what happens on Flow will prove that out

What are some exciting Flow partnerships that you can share with us?

We are excited about all of the hundreds of developers and projects building on Flow. We are especially excited about our 4 Flow Accelerator developers: B-side Games, Round Labs, TryCrypto and Vortex Rising. I hope to be able to announce more very soon.

We also have many exciting node validator partners which span universities, game companies, tech companies, influencers, non-profit organizations and so on. We hope to be able to announce a full list shortly.

What should I read next?

I just finished Range(okay) and The Breakthrough: Immunotherapy and the Race to Cure Cancer(very good if you are interested in that sort of thing). If you are looking for a strong recommendation, Man’s Search for Meaning is a potentially life changing book.

Mustache or neck beard, which is more stylish?

Neither is stylish and both are awful. However, if I’m choosing, I’m choosing neck beard. It is the better Covid-19 quarantine look.