eav-charles-garcia-nour-kawaEmpire Avenue has updated its website to indicate Charles Garcia is now the Chairman of the Board and Nour Kawa is its Chief Operating Officer.

Congrats to Charles and Nour on their new positions!

Furthermore, Charles Garcia shared in a comment in the general discussion area, “I’m heading to San Francisco tomorrow to Chair my first board meeting, and watch Dups and Nour lay out their plans for the future.”

So, what does this mean for the future of EAv?

Here are 5 ways I believe Charles & Nour will improve Empire Avenue

First of all, let me say that while I have communicated with Dups and Charles in the past, I don’t know them well or have any inside info about what their plans are.  The following are reasonable projections based on my observations of Empire Avenue, the roles a board of directors and COO have, and a few other bits of reasoning.

1) Clearer, more consist direction. Dups is now formally accountable to the board of directors. In last couple of years EAv has swung wildly from idea to idea… “social media rocket fuel…” 6 months off to start GamrCred… premium accounts… Vs… and so forth. Having to report to a board, is going to require more forward planning and more sticking to those plans.

2) More consistent delivery. My observation is Dups is a great visionary, an idea guy, but he’s not as gifted when it comes to execution. We’re still waiting promised features like mission targeting, premium communities, Vs, a mentorship program, and more. A COO’s job is to get things done, to implement the vision of the CEO.  I expect Nour will help EAv deliver on its promises more consistently.

3) More user-friendly. One of the biggest problems with EAv is that no one on the team actually uses Empire Avenue or social media for that matter.  As a result, EAv has often made changes that frustrated users simply because of their ignorance of how people actually use the platform.  Charles Garcia, the new Chairman, has been a consistent user of both for a long time.  He understands the stock market game.  He understands missions.  I believe he will provide better oversight so EAv so it stops introducing changes that the rest of us respond to with head-scratching and, “What the heck were they thinking?”

4) Better collaboration with users. My observation is that in the past, Empire Avenue developed within a vacuum. Recommendations and suggestions from users were politely listened to, but largely ignored. New features were never beta tested with real users.  The API has been left to languish, frustrating many users who attempted to develop 3rd party apps.   My sense is that Charles understands social media and that at the heart of social media is synergy through collaboration. I think he will challenge EAv to become more collaborative.

5) More partnerships.  With a quick look at Charles Garcia’s bio, anyone can see he has been very successful in past business ventures and has lots of connections.  For Empire Avenue to succeed, it needs businesses who will invest in missions.  It needs partners who will provide whatever “digital entertainment” users will be able to receive in exchange for the forthcoming Vs.  I believe Charles will be a great asset towards developing these partnerships.

Personally, I am still a bit skeptical that Empire Avenue will ever become something significant, but  the additions of Charles and Nour certainly give me a boost of optimism, more than I have had at any other point in the last 18 months.

What are your thoughts on the additions of Charles Garcia and Nour Kawa?