Welcome to a brand new episode of the VR Health Insider Podcast!

Be a part of us as we welcome Cix Liv of LIV, YUR and REK. He’s a digital health pioneer utilizing XR applied sciences to enhance the world of sports activities and health.

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Episode 4 – Cix Liv

Preston Lewis: [00:00:00] Welcome to the VR Health Insiders podcast, for the creators who’re constructing the way forward for the VR and AR sports activities and health industries that may revolutionize the way in which the world will play sports activities, work out and get match along with your hosts. Preston Lewis and Ryan DeLuca, the founders of Black Field vr, who’re constructing the world’s first full health VR health club and convey a long time of expertise from creating a few of the largest health know-how firms on this planet.

They’re bringing collectively the very best and brightest minds that can assist you and your organization succeed within the VR health revolution.

Alright. Welcome to the VR Health Insider podcast. We’ve a VR, AR, XR guru and pioneer right here with us at the moment, Cix Liv. Cix, thanks for being right here.

Cix Liv: Thanks. Thanks a lot.

Preston Lewis: So why don’t we begin off, with you simply giving our viewers a fast intro into who you might be and your background.

Cix Liv: The story of San Francisco, why I got here up right here is definitely a humorous one. I’ll inform it actual rapidly. After I initially got here to the West coast, I used to be initially from the Midwest. I used to be from Minnesota, [00:01:00] Colorado, Minnesota.

And what introduced me to the West Coast is I used to be promoting pc {hardware}, and I stored delivery it again to a spot referred to as Metropolis of Business. I heard that identify and I used to be, like, “wow.” You already know, like, Metropolis of Business, proper? I used to be simply so fucking bored with how chilly the Midwest was, and I’d all the time joke with my associates that sometime I’m gonna get in a automobile, I’m gonna drive to the West Coast and also you’re by no means gonna see my ass once more. And I did that. I did that at some point, and I confirmed up in Metropolis of Business, which is exterior of Los Angeles, and it’s simply, the warehouses, proper?

Yeah, I confirmed up there and I used to be like residing in a fucking warehouse. Undoubtedly not like a heat starting to California. However truly that’s after I began calling myself Cix. So, it’s not my delivery identify. My delivery identify is totally different. I believe lots of people, after they make enormous life selections, they often wish to change themselves and who they had been and every little thing. And Cix was my on-line [00:02:00] identification.

However yeah, a brief story about why I got here as much as San Francisco is I used to be working in know-how, in a rudimentary sense. I didn’t perceive all of the tech lingo and all this VC nonsense that we have now up right here. However I used to be in California on the time and I heard about this app referred to as Yo. And it was a push notification app, and all of the app did was whenever you press your buddy’s identify and it will do a push notification and stated, “yo”. And that raised thousands and thousands of {dollars}. And I used to be like, “I don’t know what the fuck they’re smoking in San Francisco.”

Preston Lewis: Like a Silicon Valley, a Silicon Valley episode.

Cix Liv: They’re out of their fucking minds. Yeah, in order that’s why got here as much as San Francisco, and now I’ve been caught right here for eight years. However, that’s the story of how I made up right here “I used to be like, wow, these guys are nuts.” And I need be a part of that as a result of…

Ryan DeLuca: That’s proper. That’s superior.

Preston Lewis: I find it irresistible was like Metropolis of Business. I might simply think about what you had been like envisioning was identical to [00:03:00] this Utopia of companies and stuff after which simply to indicate up at a warehouse is hilarious.

Cix Liv: Skyrises and I confirmed up and it’s actually simply warehouses. It’s referred to as Metropolis of Business, it’s the Industrial District. So undoubtedly not a rosy entrance to California, let’s put it that manner.

Preston Lewis: Sounds such as you’ve had some actually experiences in California, with the Yo app, and the street journey, and leaving all your mates behind and transferring to the Metropolis of Business. However, inform our viewers how you bought all for VR. Uh, why’d you get all for it? What first drew you to it?

Cix Liv: Yeah, so the primary jobs I had in San Francisco had been IT jobs. So, I used to be mainly fixing shit for individuals; whether or not it was firms or excessive internet price individuals. I fastened one of many co-founders of Google’s, like private Wi-Fi.

I arrange Justin Kahn’s Wi-Fi. He most likely doesn’t know that I used to be that Taskrabbit dude organising his fucking Wi-Fi, however you understand, sometime, [00:04:00] sometime I’ll inform that story.

Ryan DeLuca: Nonetheless have his password?

Cix Liv: Humble first, uh, beginnings right here. So, however my background was very totally different than a number of tech individuals in San Francisco. Lots of tech individuals in San Francisco had been engaged on cellular functions, and SaaS merchandise and issues like that. They had been very deep on that finish. I used to be working in IT stuff my entire life, both on the {hardware} facet, or simply fixing stuff on a regular basis.

So I had that distinctive perspective. I bought into VR, as a result of I used to be working as an IT man and I bought entry to the DK2. So I wasn’t OG sufficient to say DK1. Sadly, I wasn’t that early into VR. So I bought the DK2 and I used to be making an attempt it out and I used to be like, “that is actually fucking cool”, but it surely wasn’t fairly sufficient to get me to commit my life to it.

I attempted a few of the experiences the place I used to be sitting down utilizing a controller and I used to be transferring my head round. I used to be like, “yeah, that is fairly cool.” The racing stuff, I actually bought into. However then I bought entry to the Vive Pre, you understand, the dev equipment earlier than the VIVE got here out. I bought the Vive [00:05:00] Pre and I had an early construct of a Area Pirate Coach, and I used to be taking part in it in the lounge.

So after I moved to San Francisco, I used to be residing with fifty individuals on this co-living, form of hippie-ish factor the place like individuals would come collectively to attempt to survive the outrageous prices of residing in San Francisco. They’d prepare dinner one another meals and stuff. So I lived with fifty fucking individuals after I got here to San Francisco.

Ryan DeLuca: And it wasn’t a bunch of homeless tents. It was truly a spot

Cix Liv: Undoubtedly very humble beginnings after I got here to San Francisco. However I had the Vive Pre and I set it up in the lounge there, and I performed Area Pirate Coach. And I keep in mind a second the place I used to be taking pictures out the drones. And a drone shot at me, and the laser was coming in the direction of me, and each single second in my gaming life previous to this… I’ve been obsessive about video video games my total life. I like to inform people who video video games raised me greater than my mother and father did. Which, I don’t know in the event that they’re gonna respect me saying that publicly, however Zelda raised me greater than my dad. [00:06:00] We’re not gonna get too far into that.

However, I had this second. The laser’s coming in the direction of me, and each single a part of my gamer mind is considering, press down on the thumbs stick and that is the way you’re gonna dodge it. However then I used to be like, wait a second, my physique is the controller. And I did certainly one of these Matrix strikes, I went like again like this and the laser went over me, and I got here again and it was like, fuck.

That’s the way forward for gaming. I’m the controller now. Holy shit, you understand? And it was just like the convergence of every little thing that I believed in as a human being, about personifying your individual new identification, about physicality and about video video games all coming collectively.

That excellent connection of who I used to be. And that’s what bought me into the area.

Ryan DeLuca: I believe all of us have that second, proper in VR, in fact everybody does like Richie’s Plank Expertise and “oh, I truly really feel like I used to be falling.”

And like, whenever you actually [00:07:00] understand that you simply truly really feel such as you’re there. And I believe it makes whole sense that video video games all the time have been a controller or keypad the place you’re considering that you’re truly in that world and pretending that you simply’re that character.

You’re clearly totally faraway from it on a flat display screen. And it’s the dream that we all the time wished. We all the time pretended we had been that factor after which hastily VR , now you might be in there, such as you stated. Like the primary time you even have to maneuver and also you don’t wanna transfer, since you’re probably not positive the place you’re at in actual area, however then when you do it, it’s fairly magical.

Preston Lewis: Area Pirate coach was superb for its time. It was one of many earlier titles and I nonetheless assume they’ve a few of the finest graphics and mechanics in there.

Cix Liv: Yeah, it was unimaginable. I believe the primary sport that may get the crown for the primary health sport in VR, I’d say might be Audio Protect.

Audio Protect was one thing that our CTO at Liv completely cherished. It wasn’t seen as like a really apparent use case at first of digital actuality.

You’re carrying this factor in your face, why do you wanna run round, too? Like, even Carmack, even John Carmack, the CTO of Oculus on the time, he wasn’t satisfied in any respect on [00:08:00] energetic motion in VR. He’s like, “why the fuck would I placed on a headset and run round”, you understand?

Ryan DeLuca: Persons are gonna wanna sit down. And even the primary expertise with the Oculus, it was like an Xbox controller and it was the 2 cameras in entrance, if you happen to solely had two. You couldn’t even transfer all the way in which, uh, in a circle. And so it did appear to make sense. And we have now the identical story, like, we heard him say that.

After which now in fact he’s speaking about exercising in VR on a regular basis with Beat Saber.

Cix Liv: The final time I see him, he’s bought the forearms and every little thing’s, like, these are Beat Saber arms, you understand?

Preston Lewis: “These are Beat Saber arms”, that’s superior.

Ryan DeLuca: In order that then led you into beginning firms within the XR area. First one being Liv. You wanna inform us a little bit bit about co-founding that and the way that went and what you discovered from that?

Cix Liv: You already know, I used to be tremendous all for VR, after which there was this co-working area in San Francisco referred to as Add, which it was an ideal place for individuals to return collectively.

I do know there’s been controversy about Add, however I had a number of constructive experiences there. [00:09:00] Particularly with some members of the group. The man who authorised me to be a part of this co-living area was a man named Oz. Ouncesran all of the blended actuality stuff on the location.

And after I met Oz, he had this inexperienced display screen room and he was doing blended actuality the place he was placing individuals within the sport and exhibiting everyone exterior of VR what it was wish to be in VR. And after I noticed him doing that, it answered one of many greatest basic issues that we had in our area, which was , “what the fuck are you doing?” Proper? Should you see somebody in a headset and so they’re sitting down and so they’re identical to, going like this, like the primary inclination lots of people had is “are they watching porn?” Like, what the fuck are they doing in that headset? You already know? Um…

Ryan DeLuca: And it turned out fifty % of the time, that was true.

Cix Liv: In your VR. I’d say that was most likely true. Let’s be trustworthy. However you understand, after we moved to love full physique monitoring, if you happen to had been to take a look at somebody taking part in Beat Saber and never have any context in any respect, proper?

You’d be like, “what?” Like, “is that this particular person tripping balls or [00:10:00] one thing?” ” What the hell are they doing?” However then whenever you took the digital world and also you, and also you confirmed individuals the context of what was taking place, it went from dorky to chill.

And I’m a robust believer that know-how shifts occur whenever you make one thing dorky, cool. It’s so simple as that. And so, if you happen to take a look at the evolution of electrical vehicles, Elon Musk actually referred to as his line “horny”. Proper? As a result of, electrical vehicles as much as that had been like good vehicles and stuff like that, the place everyone thought electrical vehicles had been fucking dorky. Proper?

And so one of many huge issues that I all the time take a look at on this area is, how can we make this cool? After which Zuckerberg is available in there and makes it probably the most dorky shit on this planet? Anyway. Little little bit of a tangent, however Liv was in a position to talk one thing that was inherently dorky and make it cool. And likewise enable individuals a window into VR, so you may see what the particular person was doing in actual time.

And so, Ounceswas doing this. I used to be like, “that is superb.” [00:11:00] After which how can we create a product out of this? And in order that grew to become the large query. Among the people who I used to reside with on this fifty particular person co-op had moved into their very own condominium. Their names had been AJ and Pierre.

In order that they had been my two associates. I like went to them and I mainly co-oped their front room into an enormous blended actuality inexperienced display screen. And I used to be sleeping on the sofa and like setting this up of their front room. And we simply bought obsessive about it. I like to think about it form of like, you understand, as youngsters you’ll file your self in a cassette participant and faux you had been radio jockeys or one thing?

I really feel like we had been form of having that second the place we had this inexperienced display screen after which AJ went in there with a brilliant saiyan hat on, and there was this sport the place you may have mini weapons. It was referred to as Sirius Sam. And he had this video the place he would go in and he had mini weapons in his arm and he had a brilliant saiyan factor.

It was simply us doing ridiculous stuff. And AJ had [00:12:00] expertise within the startups, extra straight and the right way to communicate to buyers and no matter. And we bought into Techstars from there. And, Liv is doing fairly nicely proper now. I believe they only raised eight and a half million, and that’s the story of Liv.

Ryan DeLuca: That’s so true what you’re saying although, it’s so obscure what individuals are doing contained in the headset. And if you happen to see it even on a flat display screen, it may possibly even actually be troublesome. We battle with that a number of Black Field. Like how do you present individuals? We nonetheless do, how do you present individuals what you’re doing?

And we create some totally different form of inexperienced display screen sort of environments, but it surely’s simply so troublesome and such an enormous drawback that Liv with fixing, which continues to be an issue and folks nonetheless battle with that, however simply how nice it’s been to see what Liv has completed to, to assist with that.

Cix Liv: I want they’d make like a one click on blended actuality companion with a digital camera firm, and simply press the button and go for it. However, uh…

Ryan DeLuca: It’s coming, it’ll come out finally.

Preston Lewis: Yeah, to piggyback on that, one of many cool issues that we actually respect you doing all through your profession to date has been taking this platform strategy to constructing your initiatives and merchandise. And yeah, the entire trade has massively [00:13:00] benefited from these efforts. I most likely enterprise to guess that Liv is perhaps the primary piece of software program used for blended actuality movies. And I’d most likely say it’s most, if not all, of the viral VR movies had been most likely made with Liv software program as nicely.

Black Field VR, after we first used your software program, we noticed individuals lastly perceive, like “oh, wait a minute, you’re in an area” and “oh, wait a minute, you’re interacting with a machine and also you’re doing health actions?” And so, actually enormous because of you and your group for doing that, as a result of I believe it’s been superior for the trade.

Cix Liv: Yeah. The Beat Saber stuff was a loopy story.

We had been working with somebody who’s a fireplace spinner, her identify was Swan. So the story of the viral occasion with Beat Saber, I don’t know if I’ll ever have an occasion like that earlier than, like, some individuals say “viral” after they have like one million views or one thing. This shit hit a billion views, like globally throughout every little thing. There was one video on Fb that hit 2 hundred million by itself. That stage of virality I’ve by no means seen earlier than, and it occurred to me. [00:14:00] We had been simply creating movies and it was normally simply me, or simply some individuals I do know, and I undoubtedly amp it up, however, you understand, males in video video games and stuff, nothing tremendous novel about that.

So I had a buddy named Swan and he or she went in there and he or she was identical to recording movies of herself. And we weren’t even considering an entire lot about it, we had been identical to recording these movies after which posted it to YouTube. The primary one she had the place she had like a Jedi outfit on, after which the video that went viral was the second that we posted on YouTube. And it began taking off a little bit bit, however nothing like outrageous. I fell asleep, and I wakened and I seemed down my telephone, it was like 300 notifications and I used to be like, “what the fuck is happening?” And I opened it up, it was like, you’re on Sport Cease, and also you’re on the entrance of that and far and wide.

That they had taken our fucking video, and we had a watermark on the underside proper, and so they had identical to, blurred it out. I’d name that second the [00:15:00] client occasion of VR. Earlier than then we had been like early adopters that thought this geeky stuff was cool, however at that second it broke out of that restricted market that we had, as a result of movies can attain everybody. I’ll all the time keep in mind that second. It was undoubtedly a mix of a bunch of issues. And you understand, the largest studying that I had from Liv, that I take to the following firms after, which is essential for this podcast, was that physicality was so important to speaking to individuals why VR was attention-grabbing. As a result of anytime that we had blended actuality or a video of somebody like sitting there doing one thing, nobody gave a shit. However whenever you had added physicality and folks had been like dancing and concerned within the content material, it will, it will carry out like 100 instances higher.

The best way that I like to consider that’s the distinction between a film and a play. So in a play, you’re not essentially seeing the facial actions of somebody. You’re form of like eliminated and farther [00:16:00] away. Um, so it’s important to be loud and expressive. And since our face is roofed and also you’re not like speaking, you understand, the nuances of your face, it’s important to use physique language.

And it’s the identical factor that occurs in sports activities, proper? Like whenever you watch a sport, you’re not taking a look at their face, you’re taking a look at their physique, proper? And so the largest studying from Liv that bought me into understanding the significance of physicality past my very own ardour with it, was nobody gave a shit concerning the content material if individuals weren’t energetic, they only didn’t care. They had been like, okay, somebody’s being dorky in a headset. No. You already know, I don’t care.

Ryan DeLuca: It’s such level. Yeah. I imply, simply the way in which you set it, the physicality. And other people like to observe individuals doing bodily actions, proper? And sports activities and health. And so it’s simply this excellent mixture of that Beat Saber video got here out. I believe all of us had been a little bit bit shocked. “What is that this factor with, like, it’s one thing to do with lightsabers and music?” Yeah, it was simply in all places. After which that’s after we had our non- early adopter or non- VR like knowledgeable [00:17:00] associates asking us about it. Like, “oh, that’s like sport with the lightsabers”, you understand? And it’s like everyone knew about it.

Cix Liv: Yeah.

Preston Lewis: I believe Beat Saber owes you some royalties.

Cix Liv: I used to be in there serving to them lots with advertising and marketing within the early days. I believe that the success of Beat Saber, was not essentially simply Beat Saber itself. It launched with only some songs, six to seven songs. It was the content material that made it attention-grabbing, after which there was a really giant modding group that got here out of it of about 4 hundred thousand individuals. And that modding group made it, so that they mainly took the bottom fundamentals of Beat Saber and allowed you to place no matter track you wished in there. And I believe realistically, if it weren’t for these movies, after which subsequently that modding Discord to take care of its relevance.

After which the ultimate piece of that was that it grew to become the flagship for the Quest. I believe these had been the three huge, like, moments that you may say that related to the success of Beat Saber. Each, six to 9 months, there was one thing that hit proper on the proper time. It was an enormous quantity of luck [00:18:00] concerned, to be trustworthy. That preliminary launch was completely timed; the sport got here out, with a bunch of fanfare and all these movies; after which it grew to become the biggest VR discord on this planet of a whole bunch of 1000’s of individuals.

They really needed to begin kicking individuals out, as a result of it went over Discord’s restrict. Had been creating mods with like totally different swords and songs and no matter. And that bought across the copyright difficulty the place most builders needed to license each single track, which will get extremely costly. So that they had this entire neighborhood primarily making infinite content material.

After which the ultimate piece of that’s when it got here out on the Quest, it transformed so nicely to the Quest and, it didn’t have a few of the points that a few of the different VR video games had. Like Survios, for instance, couldn’t port a number of their video games to the Quest due to the constancy that was essential to port it.

So there have been a number of builders who created actually superb experiences who had a extremely exhausting time porting it right down to the Quest. So there have been like three [00:19:00] huge issues that actually pushed the success of Beat Saber to the purpose the place it hit fifty % machine penetration of all the VR market. It was on over fifty % of all headsets on this planet, which was…

Preston Lewis: Wow.

Cix Liv: That’s nuts. That’s nuts.

Ryan DeLuca: It, it’s humorous you say that, as a result of it’s so true. Like, the customized content material, the customized songs, like, that was the very best half about it, proper? It’s like, there was so many various songs and maps, like countless quantity, proper? And you may discover any songs that you simply preferred and all types of loopy stuff.

And naturally individuals would fee the very best ones. You’d be taught new songs. There’s so many, a lot music that I had simply discovered about that I’d by no means even heard about, that now I’m a fan of via that. And to me, that’s what sort of ruined it when it went to Quest, as a result of it was an ideal expertise for Quest, as a result of wi-fi, you understand, as a result of I used to be all the time planning on the Vive or the, or the Index. However going to wi-fi was simply so nice, you understand, and so they even made the 360 modes and stuff.

However, you understand, it form of leads into the following factor is, among the finest elements about Beat Saber being the flagship sport, that grew to become like actually the primary mainstream sport that launched individuals to VR, was the factor we all the time hear, proper? “Hey, I’ve tried this Beat Saber sport. It was tremendous enjoyable, [00:20:00] I cherished it. After which I noticed I’m exercising.” Like, it might have been another VR sport that wasn’t actually an energetic sport that grew to become the primary huge one, however the truth that the primary huge one had such an train cardio element to it, was additionally actually good for exhibiting health as a strong manner to make use of VR.

So, inform us about YUR that led you into your subsequent huge factor, your subsequent firm.

Cix Liv: Yeah, so, I needed to depart Liv for numerous causes. One of many causes was, is the group mainly grew to become European based mostly and, I had a tough time with the concept of like, transferring to the Czech Republic.

You already know, I hadn’t began an organization considering I must transfer to the Czech Republic. So I made some selections to make sure that, like, my departure can be okay for the corporate, and AJ grew to become the CEO, which was, you understand, my roommate manner again then. However I used to be itching to, do one thing once more straight away.

In hindsight, I most likely ought to have taken a little bit little bit of a break, going straight from, startup 2 hundred miles an hour to a different 2 hundred miles an hour, form of breaks you. However, I [00:21:00] strongly believed in VR health and previous to that I’ve been working a little bit bit with the VR Well being Institute with Aaron, uh, Stanton? Yeah. So, I’ll give him credit score. He noticed VR Health as changing into an enormous factor, and I used to be looking for a approach to work with him. And I’ll say this, we had been looking for a approach to work collectively, however he strongly believed within the efficacy of every little thing to love an Nth diploma.

Like, we have to have it peer reviewed. We have to have coronary heart fee trackers which can be validated by no matter. I used to be like, dude, “we simply gotta show to people who individuals are fucking exercising.” I used to be making an attempt to determine a approach to work with him. He didn’t wish to co-found it with me.

He’s most likely a little bit mad at me now, no matter, like, shit occurs within the startup world. However I made a decision to not work with him as a result of, he didn’t wish to be a co-founder with me and he was so centered on efficacy of every little thing. And for me, having constructed a client firm earlier than, proving in any respect that individuals are doing one thing with the least friction doable is the way you construct a client firm, proper?

So my thesis [00:22:00] was, okay, we’re gonna transfer in the direction of a headset that’s not tethered. I believe health is gonna be certainly one of, if not the largest use case. Folks would snigger at my fucking face. Even Aaron had the identical expertise; like, individuals thought we had been a joke, proper? He tells the story about how he was making an attempt to show to people who VR is health and folks would inform him, “no, you’re simply scared, that’s why your coronary heart fee is excessive.” You already know, like zombies are after you. That’s why your coronary heart fee is excessive. It’s not since you’re exercising, it’s since you’re frightened of what’s happening. I’m fucking exercising, man. He was making an attempt to show to people who it was a factor.

I didn’t must be proved, I believed in it, proper? However I used to be simply, I used to be looking for, you understand, how can we create a client product out of this? I began considering, okay nicely, let’s attempt to resolve this in a manner that’s the least friction doable.

I’m quick forwarding a little bit bit right here.

So, one other particular person that actually believed in VR health, there weren’t many by the way in which. I keep in mind a gathering that I had with Oculus throughout [00:23:00] OC-6, the place I inform them, I stated, “hey, VR Health is gonna be an enormous factor.” They virtually fucking laughed me out of the room. They had been like, “what are you speaking about?”

And I believe that is primarily as a consequence of the truth that the way in which Fb determines product worth relies off present metrics that they’ll go right into a PM assembly and say, “hey, that is taking place, we should always do this too.” They’ve a really troublesome time with foresight, and I believe culturally that’s the greatest drawback with Fb, is that they solely function on present information and so they don’t have the foresight to see how one thing can evolve into one thing.

And so, I had that have the place they virtually like laughed me out of a room for pitching VR Health. Anyway, there was one different man who lived in San Francisco who believed in VR Health, and his identify was Dylan.

I met up with Dylan and I used to be like, “dude, VR health is a factor.” I didn’t must persuade him it was a factor. And that was one of many greatest points that I had with co-founding this firm, is I’d go to individuals and so they’d be like, “VR health, [00:24:00] what are you speaking about?”

So Dylan, I didn’t must persuade him. And so we began, YUR from that. And we bought into Enhance, which was an accelerator right here in San Mateo. Principally it was simply because I believe Adam Draper preferred me, and he, you understand, like, if I’m gonna be actual, I believe that’s what occurred. He was like “Cix, I don’t know what the fuck you’re doing, man, however I’m a wager on you.” You already know, a kind of issues, proper? like Dylan hadn’t even dedicated to being within the firm by then. So I got here again to Dylan and I stated, “hey, if you wish to do that, we’re in Enhance now, we have now a little bit bit of cash.”

So, we wished to create the least friction approach to become involved on this. So our very first product was a mod in Beat Saber. And we already had, going again to what powered Beat Saber, was this large modding neighborhood and it form of skirted round a few of these totally different platform points that we’d have. Like, might we truly combine into Beat Saber formally? Most likely not. Proper? Particularly not proper out of the gate. So, we created this mod for Beat Saber and it grew to become extremely profitable. We began [00:25:00] mainly what YUR was, was a subset, initially, of the Beat Saber modding Discord desirous to train.

And in order that neighborhood that we constructed was, initially, the bottom group, a subset of that Beat Saber modding group. And it was so attention-grabbing, as a result of this was a demographic that nobody else ever appealed to within the health area. It was players, a number of them, tremendous unhealthy that had been exercising accidentally.

And it was virtually like Beat Saber made them really feel like, “I’ve an opportunity now to really be match.” These had been the blokes that you simply’ve seen within the memes the place they’re like consuming chips on the sofa sort. That was our most important demographic, proper? Was youngsters who felt apathetic to even the concept of exercising.

And what it was, was a extremely good Malicious program that made individuals have the arrogance that they really might begin exercising, proper? And that was the subset of the preliminary[00:26:00] neighborhood in YUR, the subset of the beat Saber modding group that realized, “hey, I can truly train.” That was our preliminary product. It went extremely nicely. So then we created a Steam based mostly tracker that mainly, would take your motion information and estimate very rudimentary, you understand, initially into what energy you had been burning. After which it developed right into a Quest app that you simply needed to facet load. And we bought a little bit bit extra fancy over time the place we had been utilizing machine studying to estimate your coronary heart fee based mostly off information that we had on coronary heart fee. However, the objective was mainly to create a Fitbit that didn’t require any {hardware}. And that was form of the underlying objective of YUR. And, yeah, it labored extremely nicely. I believe we grew to become the quantity two utility in Quest for a given time. Till it, uh, was de platformed.

Preston Lewis: So one query I wish to ask [00:27:00] is, simply seems like you might be very related to customers via these initiatives and merchandise you’re constructing. Which I believe is basically essential for our viewers to listen to, as a result of lots of people constructing these experiences, you understand, individuals strategy it from a bunch of various angles. Whether or not it’s, “hey, we have now a intestine feeling, we’re simply gonna do it”, or, “we don’t essentially want the validation as a result of we simply be ok with it.”

Appears like, from what you’ve talked about, and from what we collect, you’re the alternative. You in fact have the intestine feeling, however seems like you’ve actually stayed near your customers all through the journey, and listened to them all through the method. So perhaps only a fast little transient hit on that, for our viewers. What would you suggest as individuals are constructing the product so far as understanding which path to go, validating the issues they’re constructing and issues like that?

Cix Liv: It’s a must to have a suggestions loop along with your customers, proper? One of many issues that I did that you may argue is just not factor for a CEO to be doing, and at scale that’s true, is [00:28:00] that each single destructive overview, I’d attain out to that particular person and ask them “why?” And I’d be like, okay, “so why are you leaving us a destructive overview?”

And so they’d be like, “nicely, the UI right here sucks”, or “it’s affecting the efficiency of what I’m doing” or “I don’t assume it’s correct.” Proper? And, I chase after the people who didn’t like our product to seek out out why they didn’t like our product, as an alternative of simply being like, “oh, man, I’m so unhappy individuals don’t like what we’re doing.” Proper? I assume the distinction between me and a few individuals who work in tech, is I get punched within the face and I simply see it as that is what I’m doing. Proper? Whenever you begin an organization, if you happen to don’t wish to be punched within the face, get a fucking day job, trustworthy to God. Go get a fucking day job. And if the worst factor that’s gonna occur to you is your supervisor is gonna be upset at you, that’s day. You guys know this, like, if you happen to wanna be a founder, you’ve to have the ability to like get punched within the face each fucking day and do it once more. One of many lowest factors I’ve ever had, a little bit little bit of a tangent right here, is I pitched [00:29:00] throughout Techstars, and that is again earlier than anyone actually cared an entire lot about VR. And I gave this huge impassionate speech on why I consider digital actuality is gonna be the longer term.

And it was like, oh, I felt so good about myself. And the second I ended, an investor raised their hand. And he goes, “the second you stated VR I cease listening.” And I’m like, “man, fuck you, dude.” Like, what’s that? Such as you discredit a whole class. Like, I don’t care. Fuck off, man.

Ryan DeLuca: It’s form of loopy, we see the identical factor. Like VCs, a number of instances buyers, they all the time speak about their future considering visionaries, they wanna be part of like issues that folks haven’t seen but. However whenever you actually discuss to ’em about one thing that isn’t already mainstream or huge or that everyone else is already investing into, you’re proper, it simply doesn’t actually compute to them. And it’s the identical factor, such as you stated, with like huge firms. I’d say it’s not simply Fb, it’s virtually all huge firms. Like, they need information that proves it, and that’s actually what creates that chance for entrepreneurs is to get laughed [00:30:00] within the face. And the attention-grabbing factor about being laughed in your face is half the time try to be laughed at, and the opposite half, it’s the following huge factor. And it’s all the time unattainable on the time, with out wanting again on reflection to know, which path it truly is gonna go.

Cix Liv: I believe the toughest factor as an entrepreneur, for me, is having the ability to distill constructive criticism from assholes, proper?

As a result of generally the individuals who you assume are assholes, are literally supplying you with good suggestions. And generally the assholes are simply assholes, proper? And I believe that it’s actually exhausting to tell apart the 2 generally, proper? Like, the place somebody is supplying you with suggestions, however you’re like, it’s identical to, it’s, it’s so private to you what you’re doing. You’re like, “okay, thanks, however fuck you”, you understand? You already know?

Preston Lewis: That’s humorous.

Cix Liv: Like instantaneous…

Preston Lewis: That’s my child.

Cix Liv: Yeah, it’s like your child. It’s like somebody moving into and being like, “man, your child’s ugly.” And I’m like, “nicely, it’s my child?”

Preston Lewis: Yeah, yeah. “What’s mistaken with you?” That’s humorous. Yeah.

Ryan DeLuca: Then years later you look again at footage, you’re like, “man, that child was form of [00:31:00] ugly.”

Preston Lewis: That particular person was proper. That particular person was proper.

Ryan DeLuca: I assume, I imply we’re joking, however like, it kinda is true. You look again on the enterprise you had, like, after we first got here out with Black Field, the onboarding expertise was simply not good in any respect. However, like, we simply cherished it a lot, after which after we first began getting suggestions, individuals had been saying so many destructive issues. And naturally the primary response you wanna have is, like, “they’re mistaken” and like all these items. However then, you sleep on it and you concentrate on, okay, we have to make these adjustments, and it’s a number of exhausting work to make adjustments, however then you definitely return and also you make these adjustments.

You then look again at your child, on the time, and understand, like, yeah, that wasn’t good. And, and hopefully that’s all the time the case. Hopefully you look two years from now and all the time take a look at what you’re at the moment doing and say it was not almost nearly as good as it’s now. In any other case, you’ve been stagnant and hasn’t transfer ahead. Haven’t listened to that suggestions.

Cix Liv: I believe listening to your customers is completely foundational, as a result of if you happen to discuss to your mates, they’re all the time gonna provide you with a constructive spin, or normally or generally you simply have a buddy that shits on every little thing, proper? And so your mates are normally actually not proxy for whether or not or not what you’re doing is sweet. And household is even worse. You already know, household’s both [00:32:00] all the time gonna be destructive or all the time gonna be constructive, relying on in the event that they assume you’re making a living or not. Proper? In order that they’re, they’re horrible for suggestions loops. After which your co-founder, you may continually be overly optimistic, since you each consider in the identical issues.

In order that they’re normally additionally not proxy. How do you get out of the bubble that’s your mind, into market actuality? And the market actuality normally simply exists with the people who use your product. And getting them to really talk and inform you is, I believe probably the most precious type of suggestions if you happen to’re constructing a client firm. Attending to the people who like your product or don’t like your product and “why.”

Preston Lewis: Slightly observe as much as that’s, do you’ve any small suggestions so far as the way you go about intelligently gathering that suggestions? Or is it simply straight up scouring the Fb posts, organising a Discord? Or do you’ve particular issues that you simply do, for instance, create surveys, do focus teams, or how does that course of go for you with gathering the suggestions?

Cix Liv: [00:33:00] Should you talk with an individual, like, straight, it’s form of just like the distinction between speaking to somebody via 4Chan and speaking to somebody via their face. Like face-to-face, proper?

if you happen to’re on 4Chan, you’re gonna shit on every little thing. It’s virtually like straight from mind stem to face, proper? Like “this fucking is horrible, that shit blah, blah, blah, blah.” After which after they discuss to you, they’re gonna be like, “nicely, I believe you need to, you understand, enhance this” or no matter. Proper? So, I believe it’s getting each of these views, proper? As a result of what you miss whenever you’re chatting with their customers are those that didn’t even care sufficient to speak to you, proper? Normally the customers that you simply’re speaking to are someplace between precise customers and professional customers, proper?

And also you’re normally getting not a number of the suggestions of the people who simply turned immediately, proper? They don’t wanna fucking reply to you. They don’t give a shit, they don’t wish to inform you what their expertise was. So that you’re gonna have a blind spot on that class [00:34:00] of potential customers, proper?

So for these, you’re gonna must, like, discover it anecdotally via like Fb posts or unhealthy critiques, and this is the reason I’d all the time chase the unhealthy overview individuals. Should you’re constructing that client product to grasp what’s churning individuals from the start and, what enhancements can I make for these informal customers after which, the professional customers, ought to we cater to them or not, you understand?

So I, I believe that getting these three views and perhaps bucketing individuals in these three issues, is an efficient approach to iterate in your product.

Preston Lewis: Superior. Thanks a lot for that Cix. In order that’s all for this episode, we determined to separate this podcast into two episodes as a result of Cix had a lot good things to share with you all. So be a part of us for half two of this episode, the place we’ll dig deeper into Cix’s upcoming XR undertaking and we’ll hear extra of his superior insights. We’ll see, on the following episode.

Thanks for listening to the VR Health Insider podcast. Are you aware of anybody that ought to be on our present or have suggestions? Don’t overlook to e-mail [00:35:00] us at podcast VR health insider.com and observe us at VR Health Insider on Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. It’s also possible to be a part of our Discord channel. Till subsequent time, preserve creating and dreaming up the following huge factor that may revolutionize the world of health.