My name is Sean Blanchfield, and I am a technologist and entrepreneur from Dublin, Ireland. I’m currently busy as CEO and co-founder of PageFair, helping web publishers stop revenue loss due to adblocking. I organize Techpreneurs, an informal but invite-only monthly meetup for Dublin startup founders, write occasional columns for Sunday newspapers, try to help young startups where I can, and very occasionally invest.
You can keep up to date with me on Twitter. If you need to get in touch with me, I’m not hard to find through the usual social channels, both virtual and IRL.
I’ve been starting companies since I was 19, beginning with a web 1.0 consultancy in the mid 90s, and graduating through Phorest (then specializing in SMS groupware apps in early 2000s) to DemonWare, which I co-founded with Dylan Collins in 2003.
We specialized in online video gaming. As Chief Technology Officer I had an amazing time hiring geniuses, inventing new technology to solve hard problems, throwing wild parties on double-decker buses in LA, and getting to work with the best companies in the business on popular Playstation and Xbox games like Guitar Hero and Call of Duty.
DemonWare was acquired by Activision Blizzard in 2007, and I moved on in 2008. Apparently unhindered by my absence the company has gone from strength to strength, growing to over 150 staff in Dublin, Vancouver and Shanghai, and operating the most successful video game of all time, Call of Duty. I see this as a great culmination of our original vision: In 2003 we had a lone conviction that games like Counter Strike were going to catch on, and multiplayer was going to be big. Eight years later, that conviction has been borne out in Counter Strike’s spiritual descendant, Call of Duty, which not only features ground breaking tech from DemonWare, but is a multiplayer game first and a single player game second.
After DemonWare I immersed myself in web-based social gaming, a continuation of the arc of multiplayer gaming, distilled down and gone mainstream. With Brian McDonnell I re-engineered and run Utopia, which is a massively multiplayer team-based online strategy game. I believe it to be oldest running game of its kind, with an extremely dedicated base of users, many of whom have been playing since the game’s launch over 15 years ago.
As a management consultant I took over the role of CTO in Jolt Online for six months in 2010. Jolt made social games, and was founded by my former collaborator, Dylan Collins. After it was acquired by GameStop, Brian and I were brought in to rapidly build a technology team, and establish a new and effective culture that would support their work.
After Jolt was Front Square, with Brian McDonnell and Geoff Beggs. We created an enterprise learning platform, with an initial focus on using social gaming to teach the principles of Lean Manufacturing. This scalably solved a very difficult education-delivery problem in the large enterprise.
In September 2011 Brian McDonnell and I regrouped as Scale Front, a venture lab in which we perform rapid-execution of multiple Lean Startup projects. In our first 18 months we investigated 50 business concepts, launched 5 products and produced 2 businesses. One of these businesses, PageFair, is now our core focus.