Here at Munzee we’re constantly encouraging our players to meet and greet and build the personal relationships that make this game so great. Over the next few weeks we’ll be showcasing members of Team Munzee so our players can get to know us a bit better. So each Munday (see what we did there?) check in to see a new member of Team Munzee and you decide if you trust the game in our hands. This week we take a peak behind the veil at co-founder Scott Foster!
Name and Title:
Scott Foster, Co-Founder/VP of Technology
Where are you from?
I am from San Rafael, California, USA which is on the North side of the Golden Gate Bridge, south being the beautiful city of San Francisco. I lived there until I was 15 and then moved to Texas with my mom and step-dad. We moved in the middle of July and I would call my friends back in California and say “You wouldn’t believe this place. It’s 2am and it’s still 102F outside.” I still hate the heat. HATE IT.
Tell us about yourself:
About me? Let’s step back a bit …
I have always been interested in programming. I remember being fascinated with computers as a child. I feel like this is very cliché, but I loved being able to type something into the keyboard and things would appear. My dad bought me a C++ book when I was 7 and I didn’t understand a single word of it, but I felt much smarter that I had that book. “Look at me, I’m a REAL programmer!” I remember my house had two phone lines and two computers. So one day I played Warcraft 2 with my friend in the other room via dialup (56k baud modem) and was so amazed how that worked. I lost the game, but it was amazing how it was possible that I could play a game with somebody in the other room. It almost felt like Bell talking into the phone to Watson for the first time, “Mr. Watson – Come here – I want to see you.” … ah, something that is so taken for granted nowadays.
In middle school, I learned Hypercard and would make the teachers impressed that I could make a button on the screen that when you click it, a sound would play on the computer. The girls in my class were not as impressed as my teachers (surprising, I know). My school also had a website that they had no idea what to do with, so I asked if I could play with it – and I thought it was so cool that I could make changes to a file called index.html and people all over the world would see it. Things like that were always a delight.
Once I moved to Texas at 15, it was time to grow up. I just wanted to learn programming and make my 7 year old self proud. Once I graduated from high school and tried a few attempts at college, I decided to join the United States Air Force because they were willing to teach me programming, or so I thought. Basic training was “fun” as was technical training school. I kept asking when I was going to go learn real programming. I got stationed at RAF Lakenheath, England and was excited to learn … which I never did. I bought a PHP book which, like when I was young, I thought that it made me a real programmer. I learned the basics, created a website, and just had fun. As the great historian band Bone Thugs-n-Harmony once said, “You know nothing come easy, you gotta try real, real hard, I tried hard…but I guess I gotta try harder.”
I got out of the USAF after 2.5 years because the military was done relying on people to do programming and switched to using companies. I then moved back to Texas where I married my high school sweetheart, got my college degree at University of Texas at Dallas in Management Information Systems, and my wife and I moved to Philadelphia, PA to start our lives. I worked for a few companies, learned a lot about real programming, and then one day got a Facebook message from Aaron talking about this game he thought about called Munzee which has all lead to this.
Now, my life is not completely boring. I love all kinds of things. I have a Barry Bonds jersey in my closet. I will fight to the death at the notion that he ever did steroids. I also still love playing video games – Final Fantasy and Counterstrike: Global Offensive are the two that I play the most. I also enjoy nature, bike riding, 90′s west coast rap music, and hanging out with my family. A wife and 3 kids keep me very busy outside of work, but I love it.
How long have you worked for Munzee?
I have been around since the almost beginning of Munzee, but have only been working on it full time for about 1.5 years. Most people don’t know, but the first year when we created Munzee… nobody got paid. Everybody thought the idea was stupid, but we wanted to prove them wrong. All the money we earned, which wasn’t much, went back towards the servers or things to grow the game. Myself, along with the three other founders, would sit on Skype from about 8pm – midnight every night coming up with what Munzee was. We all had families and full time jobs so it was all done on the side because players, like you, kept playing. There were many debates on things like what it’s called when you scan a munzee. Everybody now knows it’s called capturing, but back then we had to come up with the terminology.
How did you come up with Munzee?
I actually did not come up with Munzee. Aaron approached me with some ideas he had along with mockups of the website. When I moved back to Texas, the 4 founders met on a cold February 2011 evening at a Mexican restaurant where we all agreed to start Munzee. The rest is history.
What do you enjoy most about Munzee?
The two things I love most are the abilities to prove to myself that I am a real programmer, that my 7 year old self would be proud of, and talking to people all over the world. Most people just go to work, do their job, think the work that they do doesn’t matter to anyone, and go home. Not me. My job is to make sure there is enough coal in the Munzee engine so that people can use it and Rob can steer where the boat needs to go. I have met a lot of interesting people via Munzee and realize that people from all over the world have the same hopes, fears, doubts, inspirations, and goals.
Famous last words?
I got 3 quotes. Dylan is mad that I couldn’t just pick one.
“I want to put a ding in the universe.” – Steve Jobs
“Everyone has a plan ’till they get punched in the mouth. ” – Mike Tyson
“When my time on earth is gone, and my activities here are passed, I want them to bury me upside down, and my critics can kiss my…” – Bobby Knight