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Volume 25 No. 112
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Minding My Business With Twitch VP Andy Swanson: Networking, Mexican Food

Name: Andy Swanson

Position: Twitch VP & E-Sports Evangelist

Age: 44

Where I’m from: L.A.

Where I call home: Redwood City, Calif.

Focusing on right now: Educating people and brands on the e-sports landscape.

Best advice: When entering a new business, always go in open-minded. Spend your time asking questions and listening to the answers before having any preconceived ideas or judgments. It's important to learn from the people who have come before you.

A must for a new hire: I look for passion about the subject matter, and that's something that's always guided me through my career. I've always loved video games and being a part of the video game industry because it's an entertainment platform. There are so many people that want to work in this industry, that having a passion for the industry makes the job itself become less of a job.

Exec I admire most: PETER MOORE who is now Chief Competition Officer at Electronic Arts. Peter is a veteran in the video game space. He actually comes from the sports space, but he led the Sega Dreamcast launch (in the late '90s). He was at Microsoft when the original Xbox launched, and then he moved to EA. Now he's decided to take the lead for legitimizing and expanding e-sports within the EA portfolio. To have him be on board with that and take that jump is something I really admire.

Best book I’ve read this year: The unabridged version of "THE STAND" by STEPHEN KING. It runs about 1,400 pages, and is a fantastic post-apocalyptic story on human behavior, both good and evil. I keep waiting for it to be made into a movie.

First thing in the morning: My phone is my alarm clock, so my iPhone is right off to my side. I click my phone, and I look to see if there are any major updates on CNN. I have a couple feeds that come in just to make sure that first thing in the morning anything that's newsworthy I'm aware of.

Talking tech: My job is to evangelize and network with as many people as possible. I’ve found LinkedIn to probably be the single biggest tool. The proper use of LinkedIn, connecting with folks, utilizing it to make introductions, learning about people and seeing where you might have past connections has been integral in the networking I do. I’m probably actively on LinkedIn for 30 minutes a day in a couple of different sessions, if not more.

Must-have music: I’m a huge BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN fan.

Food for thought: Given the choice, I could eat authentic Mexican food every day of the week.

How I unwind: I built my backyard to be sort of an outside living room where I’ve got a big couch and a firepit and a big screen TV and a barbeque with a bar on it and beer taps. So my perfect day would probably be spent in the backyard with a couple hours of sports on the television.

Day in the life: My main edict at the end of the day is ‘how many people have I spoken to about e-sports? How many people have I educated around how Twitch works? What are the opportunities? What are the challenges?’ I just think of categories and companies and brands that I think are going to be a part of this ecosystem or need to understand it, and then I just go at it. I get on LinkedIn and start making the connections and try to schedule in person appointments or at conference appointments.