Just last week I had the wonderful opportunity to sit and chat with John Vitti who I learned has an explosive personality and a very simple down-to-earth guy but has a wealth of knowledge about the world and his industry! John Vitti is the CEO and Founder of VersusGame based out of the Bay Area of California. VersusGame is a game where you predict the outcome or place your prediction on a proposed question. You can compete against your friends and be rewarded for your knowledge!
“Settle any topic, any debate…once and for all.”
With the way the media works and interviews, we hear a lot about the business or brand but I want to flip that on its head. Can you give me your best ‘elevator pitch’ of yourself, not the app?
OH GEEZ, this is a great question, I don’t think I have ever been asked this. On the professional side, an entrepreneur likes to try a bunch of shit and embraces the grind and various opportunities while attempting to do some good.
What is the future for Versus Game?
Our mission is that knowledge should be rewarded. Putting real money in real people’s pockets. We are doing that through a self-serve model where people can make questions, answer questions and make money while doing it. We consume so much content all day long and from that, we create these predictions and thoughts, it is something natural. When was the last time you were rewarded for those having these random facts and knowledge about various topics?
Was the original idea of Versus what it is now? If not what was the V1?
Gamifying the stock market was the original idea of the app. Studies show that people can retain information when having fun. In another life, I want to teach people about business and about how to start companies by making sure the act of learning is fun. This is rewarding people for their knowledge and making school and education fun is so critical.
Do you know what the most interacted question on the game is?
It was, Kanye vs Trump for the 2020 presidency. I believe the answer spread was, 1.7 million people total with Kanye winning by a landslide with 63%
After that was Biden vs Trump and Biden won out.
What is the demographic for the users and players of the app?
The demographic is heavy consumers, 18-35 years old. Mostly male players although the statistics show that women win more often, that honestly does not surprise me at all!
Who was the first person or group to validate this idea and buy into it?
I had the conviction of running this idea on my own for years. My first two businesses failed miserably and my next two businesses exited flawlessly. The conviction and social mirrors to run this business were given to me by everyday life. This app was designed around the idea of water cooler talk and everybody wants to flaunt their knowledge
Are there any partnerships with other companies coming up?
We are working with Billboard.com for the upcoming big billboard music award show. We have also partnered with Maxim (content for the modern man that promises to seduce, entertain, and surprise readers), loaded.gg (gaming management and advisory firm), and ReKT Global (esports conglomerate),
I feel super lucky getting to know some super amazing people in this space, texting, calling, hanging out at watch parties, and just being friends as well as business partners!
Do you consider anybody or anything as competitors to what you and your team are building?
We are most definitely in the blue ocean for this industry. We stitched together pieces of companies that are successful such as Robinhood, Draft Kings, and many others!
Do you spend more time working on the app or using the app?
I use it a shit ton! I make games, I host, I play, I share, But I work in the app so much that I am on the app 8 days a week. I don’t separate the two as it is all I focus on, while playing, I am constantly thinking of new ideas and bringing them to life with my team!
Do you play games yourself, what is your go-to game?
I used to a lot. I was a big Mortal Kombat fan, these days I’m getting out in nature more, freediving and spearfishing. It is the last quiet place on earth and it’s amazing.
I can’t say I would even think of spearfishing when planning a trip or activities!
I’ve always wanted to do some spearfishing, one day I just want to get in the water and chase these fish around. I’ve always been a surfer and it’s been my love ever since when I started it during quarantine
What is the story of your first paycheck that you remember? What did it do to your thought process and plans for the future?
It was a confirmation of what I shouldn’t be doing. I was super young in high school and I worked at an ice cream shop. I got my first paycheck after a week or two, it was sooooooo tiny. To think that I was working so hard for a small paycheck. The next day or two I got fired for eating the ice cream, ever since then wherever and whenever I worked I would always get fired for eating the food or drinks wherever I went. The only place I stuck around for a bit was my first corporate job doing marketing and sales. When I was at my first corporate job, I was hitting these incredible numbers but I was young and stupid, and that’s when I struck out on my own. My first two companies failed miserably and it got my ego in check, but it felt right!
This is one of the most common questions ever asked but it is so good for a reason. What is the one thing you repeat to yourself or tell younger people that want to be successful?
- Timing is everything
- People are the biggest asset you have
- Embrace the grind
- It’s never a straight line
- Build it and get out of your own way