Toby Rowland is the former co-founder of King, the company behind instantly recognizable games like Candy Crush, and classic websites like mangahigh.com and clickmango.com. We recently spoke with him about the expertise he’s amassed in his long entrepreneurial career–which he brought to the latest Web3 programming and coding space CRANQ.io. He’s also one of our new judges to join our judging body of over 2,000 industry experts. He shared his perspective on responsible tech, the issues that tech can address in the coming months, and emerging tech he’s most excited about.
For those who don’t know, tell us a little about your background.
I’m an entrepreneur who has been lucky enough to co-found the unicorn King.com (now Candy Crush Saga), the successful edtech company mangahigh.com (sold to Westermann Publishing), and bubble era pinup Clickmango.com. On the way, I was Marketing VP for uDate.com, the online dating service we sold to Match in 2002, a Board Director for the games company eRepublik, sold to Stillfront, and I started a hydrogen-for-transport business for a large UK industrial family. I’m currently co-Founder and CEO for CRANQ.io, an amazing new programming environment focused on Web3.
What particular expertise are you bringing to the Academy?
I have an unusual insight into the extreme ups and downs of life at a digital startup, and love to help others to surf these storms if I can.
What emerging trend or technology are you most excited about in your industry?
I’m very focused on low-code and crypto, but in my spare time I play a lot of VR games.
Do you think technology as a whole should have a “responsibility” to be responsible?
I do think so. I have two daughters and it is very clear to me that they are exploited by some social networks and communication apps in particular.
What do you believe is the most pressing issue that technology can help solve right now?
Climate change. After my hydrogen experience, I’m curious about digital tech that can motivate and empower consumers to sponsor or use greentech.
What does it take for technology to create real-world impact for social good?
Regarding greentech, the hydrogen bus parable that I was part of shows that you can give consumers what they want, more cheaply, and in a sustainable way. No real change in consumption will happen without a pricing advantage for green alternatives.