Predicting zombie behaviour in Seven Days to Die, embracing the game mechanics of Age of Empires or refining decision-making in COD Warzone, these are all in a day’s work for London-based financial technology entrepreneur Juan Andrade.
Juan is CEO of Rebank, a payments service for small and medium-sized businesses that offers a consolidated and real-time picture of money going in and out across multiple connected bank accounts and is a graduate of the prestigious Y Combinator start-up programme in the United States.
“There’s not more than a dozen core skills in life,” says Juan. “Decision-making, prioritisation, projecting, predicting the future and they are applied both in games and business and life.”
In a recent Game Academy Bootcamp, Juan shared with participants the links that he sees between his life in business and in gaming, a hobby he first picked up in his native Venezuela at the age of four.
“In Seven Days to Die, the basic principle is you have seven days before a horde of zombies comes and tries to kill you. The constant cat and mouse, predicting what the zombies might do, setting traps for them, creating bottlenecks to control their influx is like a Business 101. You’re taking the world, simplifying it into four or five attributes and predicting the future.”
Andrade won expert insight into business after studying for an MBA at the London Business School. His gaming credentials include completing 1300 hours in PUBG and playing in the Warzone tournament on Z League. He is especially keen on strategy games.
“In Age of Empires, there are certain mechanics that if you understand them, you can use them to your advantage. It’s the same in the real world. If you know the rules, you know what kind of rules you can push and pull.”
But Juan doesn’t just think that games offer a simulation of life. They can also act as a guide.
“In strategy games, you have a build order to get to the minimum number of attacking units in as short a time as possible. You’re farming, building the barracks, building one unit, upgrading that unit on the way to an attack - and crashing this into essentially five minutes, to win a game very quickly. In a similar way, in my business, what could I achieve when it comes to prioritizing work or features that we want to build into a product?”