In the early days of PC gaming, I was the world’s first female professional video gamer. I was so passionate about gaming that I built an online life dedicated to play. I met other gamers online and made friends through ultra-simple text chat via in-game consoles. I extended those communications to IRC, forming friendships that transcended our love of the game.
We kept coming back to the content, our engagement strengthened by the friendships formed around it through chat. We built teams, competed online, and even drove across the country to play together under the same roof.
Now 20 years on, I’ve grown up with the gamer friends I met long ago. These friendships formed the basis for my career, focused on passionate communication around great content. I built on this foundation as my career progressed, moving from content consumer to content creator.
I know firsthand that building rich communication experiences is more challenging than ever. New mobile technologies, extreme scale, segmented networks, siloed contacts, and legacy platforms have created a challenging landscape for both users and developers.
Every time I join a game I go through a disjointed experience of importing contacts, trying to figure out who even wants to play with me. I love music more than most. How can I share my love of a great band with friends when a great song goes by? These are important questions and interactions that bring me joy, and they’re exactly why I joined Layer.
We’re building an open communications layer for the internet, enabling seamless connection among users centered on the content they love. We’re making it easier for users to share their passion for games, music, work, and play with each other.
Imagine requesting a ride, and not getting a call from some strange number or jumping out to SMS to coordinate logistics. Or knowing exactly which of your friends can send you that ticket to get to the next level, and asking for it without opening crazy windows into other platforms. Or even a messaging app where I can link an interesting article to a friend, and he can preview it without exiting out to a browser and then message me back to discuss — all inside the app.
This is how communication is supposed to work — unburdened by the complexity of the technologies that lie beneath. Just people connecting cleanly, simply, and immediately. At Layer we’re making this user experience insanely simple for developers to build. We are freeing up developers to dream and design, supported by scalable communications services they can have up and running in a day.
It’s all about communication and connection done right. That’s why I joined Layer.
Editor’s note: Stevie is speaking at Casual Connect today (July 23, 2014) in San Francisco.