Drinks On Fifth: Chris Klaus, Act I

If you’re Chris Klaus and you engineered one of Atlanta’s largest exits, your next move is going to be scrutinized to the hilt. And if you were also the epicenter of the ‘security cluster’ in Atlanta, the next logical move is become an angel investor in the space you just killed. But Chris’ plan had a different flavor. As he describes it, the cat-and-mouse game ISS cracked to beat hackers and save corporate networks wasn’t a huge stretch away from the core ‘level-up’ mentality of a gamer. An interesting pivot point, and clearly he now had the juice to bring Kaneva to life.

In a region where investors are obsessed with B2B and SaaS, a self-funded Chris Klaus may be the only dude who could single-handedly make a significant dent in the online gaming space. With more than 2 million members from across the globe and an open source view of how to build a virtual world, Kaneva is making strong headway in a space that’s still developing. And what Chris defines as his life’s work is also a micro transaction-powered business that gives game developers all the APIs they need to make money doing what they love.

Chris and I talked extensively about the gaming industry and where it’s headed – including how you staff and manage for an ever-growing beast of a company. It was clear to me how Chris envisioned and built ISS, and it feels like Kaneva is tracking along the same success path.

As usual, we’ll feature our Drinks On Fifth interview over three consecutive days this week as we discuss both work and play. By the end of our series, you’ll get to know the man behind the name.

(Watch: Part Two | Part Three)

Enjoy Part One of our video interview below:

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