Entrepreneurs

How the mastermind behind 'Pokemon Go' got his start

John Hanke
Shahar Azran | WireImage | Getty Images
John Hanke

It wasn't luck that propelled "Pokemon Go" to become one of the biggest gaming phenomenons in recent years.

It was John Hanke, an entrepreneur who has been innovating in the digital world for decades. Hanke is the founder and CEO of Niantic Labs, the gaming company behind "Pokemon Go".

Information designer Anna Vital created an infographic for the website Funders and Founders that maps Hanke's path to success:

Before starting a game that would garner more daily users than Twitter and launch an international craze, Hanke built a long track record as an innovator at Google.

It all started when Google became interested in one of his start-ups, a geo-spatial data company called Keyhole. Google acquired Keyhole in 2004, giving it some key functionalities that would make Google Maps a success.

Hanke joined the company that same year to lead Google Earth and Google Maps, but he remained an entrepreneur at heart. He later launched a gaming start-up in 2011 within Google called Niantic Labs.

One of Niantic's games attracted the attention of The Pokemon Company's CEO. Fast forward to July 6, 2016, when "Pokemon Go" was unleashed into the world, and the rest is history.

Hanke's company is now valued at more than $3 billion.