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Office Hours

Wed., July 27, 2011, 11:07 a.m.

Following up on Nate Brantingham, a former CEO’s post-mortem

Today's earlier post on Spokane business owner Nate Brantingham mostly floated out of our memory and the Spokesman-Review's news library.

Later today we contacted Nate and asked for a summary of what he's done after leaving startup game company GamerZunion, and before starting a new firm, Safe Trade USA.

Here's his update:

"gZu (GamerZunion) is done as far as I know.  I went back to EWU and got my master's degree ...  While going through the program I taught as an undergrad at EWU and loved that. If there were any openings I would have pursued a teaching route, but this (Safe Trade USA) came along instead!

"I hear from (gZu co-founder) Tye Hooley rarely, and the rest have gone their separate ways.  I'm not even very sure what happened once I left.  I do know that when we hit a rough patch when funding wasn't coming through we discussed various ways to go from there.

"At that time I disagreed with the direction the rest of the board wanted to go and I got the offer from Steve Simmons to come back to EWU, finish my degree and teach, so I took him up on it.  I think at that time the rest of the board was supportive of that.  That was about the last I've heard about it.

"... I'm very disappointed that gZu didn't work out, but I don't blame the very hard working team or board members.  I think the climate wasn't very good and that Spokane wasn't as investor-friendly as they wish they were.  I think there were lots of great intentions that just left us simmering in Spokane when perhaps somewhere else would have been better (like Seattle or Boise). 

"That said, gZu is still a great idea and the industry could still use a service like that; but the timing isn't as good as it was.  More and more mmogs have moved away from subscriptions and into micro-transactions.  I didn't see that working well, but many companies are doing very well with them, so I misread that."

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The Spokesman-Review business team follows economic development in Spokane and the Inland Northwest.