Tl;dr: I will focus on incubating non-games experiences in VR by serving developers and founders building for VR. My goal is to bring amazing apps to Quest and other cool devices for experiences such as productivity & collaboration, creativity & design, programming, meetings, education, B2B and industrial apps.
Who are the smartest founders, developers, executives working on VR apps that you know?Would love to help them in their product and company-building journey.
If you are working on VR apps, ping me. DMs are open!
Big thank you to all my mentors, friends and Workplace colleagues. Excited to work with Mike Verdu and the amazing Facebook Reality Labs team!
I used a computer for the first time in 1997. We couldn’t afford to own one. But thankfully my parents spared me the 45 rupees it took to rent one for thirty minutes at one of the internet cafes that had sprung up in our small town in India. It was a windows 95 machine with a dial up modem. It took a while to connect to the internet and pages loaded slowly. I set up an AOL messenger account and chatted with people all over the world. I hardly knew some of these places; Google Maps was still 8 years away. But this first experience is deeply etched in my memory because sitting in that small internet cafe, I defied distance. I connected with someone thousands of miles away. For a moment, that computer was a portal to an entirely different world; a new way to experience reality. I was hooked.
Fast forward to 2012, Brett showed me a new kind of computer. One that did not reside in the desktop. He called it Cloudtop; a computer in the cloud. It stored files and content in the cloud and I could create/read/update/delete them in the browser. It was great not having to lug my laptop around or worry about my computer crashing.
Cloudtop tried to make the laptop & desktop redundant. Along w/ Liyan, we founded Cloudtop. Cloudtop evolved into Filestack which is now used by 100K+ applications and developers. The ups and downs of that journey is a story for another time :-)
Then in 2016, Facebook bought Oculus. The team set up a hands-on demo lab for employees in building 18 to experience the Rift. When I played with First Contact, I felt the same rush that I experienced in 1997 and 2012. I got a Go (Tx Neal!) and then the Quest1. I took my parents deep sea diving w/ Ocean Rift and took my wife to the ISS. It was a new kind of computer that defied reality and delivered media and gaming experiences. But in 2020 the team pushed that vision even further.
At Connect 2020, Oculus showed a concept of the Infinite Office — a collection of new capabilities designed to create a virtual office space that will feel more productive and flexible.
It is a new kind of computer that can bridge the distance between talent and opportunity. Talent is equally distributed around the world, but opportunity is not. Allowing people to work from anywhere without sacrificing economic opportunity and productivity is a goal worth fighting for. My hope is to nudge that goal forward.
My goal is to drive VR adoption by supporting developers and independent software vendors. Especially those that are building creative tools, design tools, programming tools, collaboration, meetings, productivity apps, education, B2B/industrial apps for VR. The journey from here to there will not be straight and will be an exercise in peering through the fog of possibilities and placing bets on experience that people might want.
So, if you are a developer or a founder or an exec building a VR experience that is not a game, I am keen to hear from you and support you in your journey. DM me!
To my mentors thank you for shaping me, To my friends who helped me land this opportunity, thank you. To my colleagues at Workplace, we have at least 5M reasons to celebrate! Thank you.
For partners who joined me on the Workplace journey…thank you. I’ll see you in VR.