When I was in College, I met a guy named Sean. Sean and I became HUGE friends. He ended up being the best man for my wedding. Sean is also short. It must be the Abbot and Costello factor.
You know who reminds me of Bryce and Sean combined? J. Todd Coleman, who is also short. Now, these guys aren't midgets or anything we're talking about here, and since I'm 6'2", I'm not really a giant myself. It's just when you put these guys and me together, it's kind of an Abbot and Costello thing.
Bryce . . . Bryce was a gamer kid like me. Bryce and I loved Dungeons and Dragons, but we also loved boardgames. We'd play Clue and Monopoly a lot. I remember sitting out in Bryce's family trailer outside his house and just playing games and talking for hours. We'd goof off outside as well, but Bryce and I shared this affinity for games that weren't video games. He was a good childhood friend. Wicked funny too. We shared that in common.
I've lost contact with him now, but that's mostly because in high school we went down different paths. I was more the student government type, and he was more the parking lot crowd type. I saw him about ten years ago at a breakfast restaurant, and it was like meeting my old friend again. We still shared those childhood memories.
Sean . . . Sean, on the other hand, is a musician, an artist, a poet, and a deep thinker. He had a year on me at college, so he also knew his way around and had some good advice about the school. We hit it off instantly. I gave him a tape of songs that I had been writing and working on, and that led him to inviting me to play with him and his band. Sean was a bit of a troubled soul. He'd call me on the phone and wouldn't be done talking to me for a couple hours later. It was exhausting sometimes, but his method of speaking and expressing himself is very similar to how I speak. He said that for some reason he was just able to talk with me--unleash the floodgates as it were.
But, that isn't really what I want to emphasize here. What I want to emphasize is that Sean had a flim-maker's eye. He saw the world through a camera lens and communicated that in his songs and music. We're still friends on Facebook, but we've fallen apart. I'm more the videogame father type, and he's more the Buddhist Monk father type. We'll always be friends though.
J. Todd . . . When I think of J. Todd, from the surface I see a really warm personality that is fiercely creative, energetic, successful, and artistic. I think I could learn a lot about business from him. Bryce and Sean both had a kind of mentor quality about them because they were both really well read. I see the playful gamer of Bryce in J. Todd, and I see the artistic genius of Sean in him as well. I also know that he's funny and is one of the best communicators KingsIsle has in their pocket. (Aside from Jeff Toney, but that's another blog topic all together.)
I've had the chance to interview J. Todd twice . . . and even *be* interviewed by J. Todd once (for a job at KI I didn't get). We've also talked quickly on the phone once (for another job at KI I didn't get--just not in the cards). I watched him and Josef Hall talk at GDC Austin. These were all business interactions. I passed him a couple times in the hallway at GDC Austin and complimented him on his presentation. I even sang the words "J Todd Coleman" to him just to be funny because of that whole video thing. ;p He seemed amused and said he had seen the video.
After all those interactions, let me tell you, I can see a strange combination of both my old friends Bryce and Sean in him. Of course, he's his own person and I really have no idea what he's really like . . . I would love to sit down with J. Todd someday and talk without talking shop. Most likely impossible, but hey! Stranger things have happened. ;)
Absolutely one thing J. Todd has that neither of my friends had is business savvy. For proof, I'd have to point to Austin's Top 40 businessmen and Beckett's 10 most influential people in MMOs.
I have a lot of respect for him! Anyone successful in business also means they took a big risk and had a vision, and it paid off instead of bankrupting them. I see some definite leadership qualities in him, and of course, as Vice President and Creative Director and as co-creator of Wizard101, he's proved he's worth his salt. I can't wait to see what's next for J. Todd Coleman. The man has his own Wikipedia page for crying out loud. LOL. I wish him nothing but the best! Here's to you, Mr. Coleman sir! Keep up the good work.