In Apps, Wharton MBA Finds Freedom

THE LIMIT OF GAMES

“There’s nothing like betting on yourself,” Okome says. It’s a bet that paid off.

In April of 2013, four months after the offer to buy his app business and after millions had downloaded his games, Okome quit his job at Microsoft.

He set about assembling a portfolio of more than 150 games — titles like Anarchy Monster Trucks and A Bike Race of Ninja Temple, “real highbrow stuff,” he says with a laugh. The downloads continued apace; the money kept coming. But something was missing.

“The gaming stuff, to tell you the truth, I didn’t really play games myself until I had that business,” Okome says. “What was cool about the business was that it gave me a lot of freedom, a lot of time to do whatever I wanted to do, but I was like, ‘I don’t think that there’s much value in this.’ I was just making money on advertising from these games that a lot of people won’t even keep for more than a week. It’s cool in a lot of ways, but I don’t know that it’s bringing me fulfillment outside of not having to go back to Microsoft. Which is big,” he says with a laugh.

Last year, Okome sold his portfolio. He was free. Now he had to figure out his next move.

CREATING A COMMUNITY OF, AND FOR, ENTREPRENEURS

Muoyo Okome

His decision: to do something impactful.

Thinking, “What can I do that’s going to actually help other people?” Okome kept coming back to the idea of helping fellow entrepreneurs.

“I love entrepreneurship, I always have,” he says, “and I wanted to have a way that I could encourage people who are entrepreneurs or who want to be entrepreneurs. I wanted to have a community just about entrepreneurship that was going to be very empowering, so I started to think about how to build that out.”

Okome founded Daily Spark Media and the Daily Spark Entrepreneur Community, an online community dedicated to the empowerment, education, and support of entrepreneurs. “I am blessed to wake up each day and share my story and learnings with over 80,000 friends via Daily Spark and App Breakthrough,” he says, the latter being a virtual mentoring initiative that he hopes will reach 1,000 students this year. Okome also has a podcast, and he is active on LinkedIn. He’s spoken at conferences, done webinars, and launched an interview series to “demystify the current app game.”

Most of all, he has enjoyed the freedom “to control my time, be my authentic self, go for greatness, and help a lot of people.”

‘NEVER STOP LEARNING’

You can’t keep an MBA down. Okome has other plans, including a networking group to do events around the country in 2017. And he has a new pair of yet-to-be-released apps — not games this time, but collaborations with fitness influencer Lazar Angelov and motivational speaker Eric Thomas.

“Beyond any individual and monetary success,” Okome says, “my goals are to impact a lot of people and create tremendous value. With respect to that, I am just getting started.

“Never stop learning,” he says. “Never stop growing. Never give up on your dreams.”

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