February 5, 2023

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

Be 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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Transcript: 

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 can revolutionize the best way 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 produce many years of expertise from creating a number of the largest health expertise corporations on the planet.

They’re bringing collectively one of the best and brightest minds that will help you and your organization succeed within the VR health revolution.

Alright. Welcome to the VR Health Insider podcast. We have now a VR, AR, XR guru and pioneer right here with us right this 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’re 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. Once 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 laptop {hardware}, and I saved delivery it again to a spot referred to as Metropolis of Business. I heard that identify and I used to be, like, “wow.” You recognize, 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 sooner or later, and I confirmed up in Metropolis of Business, which is outdoors 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 really that’s after I began calling myself Cix. So, it’s not my start identify. My start identify is totally different. I feel lots of people, once they make big life selections, they often wish to change themselves and who they had been and every 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 expertise, in a rudimentary sense. I didn’t perceive all of the tech lingo and all this VC nonsense that we now have 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 if you press your buddy’s identify and it will do a push notification and stated, “yo”. And that raised tens of millions 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 would like 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 positively not a rosy entrance to California, let’s put it that method.

Preston Lewis: Sounds such as you’ve had some actually experiences in California, with the Yo app, and the highway journey, and leaving all your mates behind and shifting to the Metropolis of Business. However, inform our viewers how you bought occupied with VR. Uh, why’d you get occupied with 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 corporations 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 establishing his fucking Wi-Fi, however you recognize, 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 variety of tech individuals in San Francisco. Loads of tech individuals in San Francisco had been engaged on cell purposes, 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 obtained into VR, as a result of I used to be working as an IT man and I obtained entry to the DK2. So I wasn’t OG sufficient to say DK1. Sadly, I wasn’t that early into VR. So I obtained 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 number of the experiences the place I used to be sitting down utilizing a controller and I used to be shifting my head round. I used to be like, “yeah, that is fairly cool.” The racing stuff, I actually obtained into. However then I obtained entry to the Vive Pre, you recognize, the dev package earlier than the VIVE got here out. I obtained the Vive [00:05:00] Pre and I had an early construct of a House 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 might 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 really 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 House Pirate Coach. And I bear in mind a second the place I used to be capturing 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 those 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 recognize 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 pondering, 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 one in all 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 recognize? And it was just like the convergence of every 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 obtained me into the house.

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

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

You’re clearly totally faraway from it on a flat display. And it’s the dream that we all the time needed. We all the time pretended we had been that factor after which hastily VR , now you’re 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 not likely certain the place you’re at in actual house, however then when you do it, it’s fairly magical.

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

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

Audio Defend was one thing that our CTO at Liv completely beloved. It wasn’t seen as like a really apparent use case to start with 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 recognize?

Ryan DeLuca: Individuals 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, in the event you solely had two. You couldn’t even transfer all the best way, uh, in a circle. And so it did appear to make sense. And we now have the identical story, like, we heard him say that.

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

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

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

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

Cix Liv: You recognize, I used to be tremendous occupied with VR, after which there was this co-working house 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 variety of optimistic experiences there. [00:09:00] Particularly with some members of the workforce. The man who authorised me to be a part of this co-living house 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 room and he was doing blended actuality the place he was placing individuals within the sport and exhibiting everyone outdoors of VR what it was wish to be in VR. And after I noticed him doing that, it answered one of many greatest elementary issues that we had in our house, which was , “what the fuck are you doing?” Proper? For those who see somebody in a headset they usually’re sitting down they usually’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 recognize? Um…

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

Cix Liv: To your VR. I’d say that was most likely true. Let’s be sincere. However you recognize, after we moved to love full physique monitoring, in the event you had been to have 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 individual tripping balls or [00:10:00] one thing?” ” What the hell are they doing?” However then if you took the digital world and also you, and also you confirmed individuals the context of what was occurring, it went from dorky to chill.

And I’m a powerful believer that expertise shifts occur if you make one thing dorky, cool. It’s so simple as that. And so, in the event you have a look at the evolution of electrical vehicles, Elon Musk actually referred to as his line “attractive”. 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 massive issues that I all the time have a look at on this house is, how can we make this cool? After which Zuckerberg is available in there and makes it essentially the most dorky shit on the 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 individual 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 those who I used to reside with on this fifty individual co-op had moved into their very own condo. 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 a giant blended actuality inexperienced display. And I used to be sleeping on the sofa and like setting this up of their front room. And we simply obtained obsessive about it. I like to think about it form of like, you recognize, as children you’d file your self in a cassette participant and fake 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 after which AJ went in there with an excellent 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 an excellent saiyan factor.

It was simply us doing ridiculous stuff. And AJ had [00:12:00] expertise within the startups, extra instantly and find out how to communicate to buyers and no matter. And we obtained into Techstars from there. And, Liv is doing fairly properly proper now. I feel 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 in the event you see it even on a flat display, it may possibly even actually be tough. We wrestle with that a variety 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 kind of environments, but it surely’s simply so tough and such a giant drawback that Liv with fixing, which continues to be an issue and folks nonetheless wrestle with that, however simply how nice it’s been to see what Liv has accomplished to, to assist with that.

Cix Liv: I want they might make like a one click on blended actuality associate 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 recognize you doing all through your profession up to now 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 possibly 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 properly.

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 big because of you and your workforce for doing that, as a result of I feel 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” once they have like 1,000,000 views or one thing. This shit hit a billion views, like globally throughout every thing. There was one video on Fb that hit 2 hundred million by itself. That degree 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 positively amp it up, however, you recognize, 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 pondering 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 bit bit, however nothing like outrageous. I fell asleep, and I awakened and I appeared down my telephone, it was like 300 notifications and I used to be like, “what the fuck is occurring?” And I opened it up, it was like, you’re on Recreation Cease, and also you’re on the entrance of that and all over.

That they had taken our fucking video, and we had a watermark on the underside proper, they usually had identical to, blurred it out. I’d name that second the [00:15:00] shopper 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 positively a mix of a bunch of issues. And you recognize, the most important studying that I had from Liv, that I take to the subsequent corporations after, which is essential for this podcast, was that physicality was so important to speaking to individuals why VR was fascinating. 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 if 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 way in which 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 recognize, 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 if you watch a sport, you’re not their face, you’re their physique, proper? And so the most important studying from Liv that obtained me into understanding the significance of physicality past my very own ardour with it, was nobody gave a shit in regards to 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 recognize, I don’t care.

Ryan DeLuca: It’s such a very good level. Yeah. I imply, simply the best way you place it, the physicality. And other people like to look at 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 feel all of us had been a bit bit shocked. “What is that this factor with, like, it’s one thing to do with lightsabers and music?” Yeah, it was simply all over the place. After which that’s after we had our non- early adopter or non- VR like skilled [00:17:00] associates asking us about it. Like, “oh, that’s like sport with the lightsabers”, you recognize? And it’s like everyone knew about it.

Cix Liv: Yeah.

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

Cix Liv: I used to be in there serving to them lots with advertising within the early days. I feel that the success of Beat Saber, was not essentially simply Beat Saber itself. It launched with just a few songs, six to seven songs. It was the content material that made it fascinating, after which there was a really massive modding group that got here out of it of about 4 hundred thousand individuals. And that modding group made it, in order that they mainly took the bottom fundamentals of Beat Saber and allowed you to place no matter music you needed in there. And I feel realistically, if it weren’t for these movies, after which subsequently that modding Discord to keep up its relevance.

After which the ultimate piece of that was that it grew to become the flagship for the Quest. I feel these had been the three massive, 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 sincere. 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 most important VR discord on the planet of a whole lot 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 obtained across the copyright challenge the place most builders needed to license each single music, which will get extremely costly. So they’d this entire group basically making infinite content material.

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

So there have been a variety of builders who created actually superb experiences who had a very arduous time porting it right down to the Quest. So there have been like three [00:19:00] massive issues that basically pushed the success of Beat Saber to the purpose the place it hit fifty p.c gadget penetration of all the VR market. It was on over fifty p.c of all headsets on the 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 one of the best half about it, proper? It’s like, there was so many alternative songs and maps, like infinite quantity, proper? And you may discover any songs that you simply favored and all kinds of loopy stuff.

And naturally individuals would fee one of the 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 by way of 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 recognize, 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 recognize, they usually even made the 360 modes and stuff.

However, you recognize, it form of leads into the subsequent factor is, top-of-the-line components 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 beloved it. After which I spotted I’m exercising.” Like, it might have been another VR sport that wasn’t actually an energetic sport that grew to become the primary massive one, however the truth that the primary massive one had such an train cardio element to it, was additionally actually good for exhibiting health as a robust method to make use of VR.

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

Cix Liv: Yeah, so, I needed to go away Liv for varied causes. One of many causes was, is the workforce mainly grew to become European based mostly and, I had a tough time with the concept of like, shifting to the Czech Republic.

You recognize, I hadn’t began an organization pondering 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 recognize, my roommate method again then. However I used to be itching to, do one thing once more immediately.

In hindsight, I most likely ought to have taken a 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 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 turning into a giant factor, and I used to be looking for a option to work with him. And I’ll say this, we had been looking for a option to work collectively, however he strongly believed within the efficacy of every thing to love an Nth diploma.

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

He’s most likely a 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 thing. And for me, having constructed a shopper firm earlier than, proving in any respect that individuals are doing one thing with the least friction potential is the way you construct a shopper 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 feel health is gonna be one in all, if not the most important use case. Individuals would chuckle 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 those who VR is health and folks would inform him, “no, you’re simply scared, that’s why your coronary heart fee is excessive.” You recognize, 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 fearful of what’s occurring. I’m fucking exercising, man. He was making an attempt to show to those 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 recognize, how can we create a shopper product out of this? I began pondering, okay properly, let’s attempt to clear up this in a method that’s the least friction potential.

I’m quick forwarding a bit bit right here.

So, one other individual that basically believed in VR health, there weren’t many by the best way. I bear 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 a giant factor.” They virtually fucking laughed me out of the room. They had been like, “what are you speaking about?”

And I feel that is primarily as a consequence of the truth that the best way Fb determines product worth relies off present metrics that they’ll go right into a PM assembly and say, “hey, that is occurring, we should always do this too.” They’ve a really tough time with foresight, and I feel culturally that’s the greatest drawback with Fb, is that they solely function on present information they usually 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 they usually’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 obtained into Increase, which was an accelerator right here in San Mateo. Principally it was simply because I feel Adam Draper favored me, and he, you recognize, like, if I’m gonna be actual, I feel that’s what occurred. He was like “Cix, I don’t know what the fuck you’re doing, man, however I’m a guess on you.” You recognize, 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 Increase now, we now have a bit bit of cash.”

So, we needed to create the least friction option to get entangled 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 group and it form of skirted round a few of these totally different platform points that we’d have. Like, might we really combine into Beat Saber formally? In all probability 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 group that we constructed was, initially, the bottom group, a subset of that Beat Saber modding group. And it was so fascinating, as a result of this was a demographic that nobody else ever appealed to within the health house. It was players, a variety of them, tremendous unhealthy that had been exercising by chance.

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 fellows that you simply’ve seen within the memes the place they’re like consuming chips on the sofa kind. That was our most important demographic, proper? Was children who felt apathetic to even the concept of exercising.

And what it was, was a very good Malicious program that made individuals have the boldness that they really might begin exercising, proper? And that was the subset of the preliminary[00:26:00] group in YUR, the subset of the beat Saber modding group that realized, “hey, I can really train.” That was our preliminary product. It went extremely properly. So then we created a Steam based mostly tracker that mainly, would take your motion information and estimate very rudimentary, you recognize, 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 obtained a 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 purpose was mainly to create a Fitbit that didn’t require any {hardware}. And that was form of the underlying purpose of YUR. And, yeah, it labored extremely properly. I feel 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 feels like you’re very related to customers by way of these initiatives and merchandise you’re constructing. Which I feel is de facto essential for our viewers to listen to, as a result of lots of people constructing these experiences, you recognize, individuals strategy it from a bunch of various angles. Whether or not it’s, “hey, we now have 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 other. You after all have the intestine feeling, however feels like you have got actually stayed near your customers all through the journey, and listened to them all through the method. So possibly only a fast little transient hit on that, for our viewers. What would you suggest as individuals are constructing the product so far as realizing which course 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 isn’t a very good factor for a CEO to be doing, and at scale that’s true, is [00:28:00] that each single detrimental overview, I’d attain out to that individual and ask them “why?” And I’d be like, okay, “so why are you leaving us a detrimental overview?”

They usually’d be like, “properly, the UI right here sucks”, or “it’s affecting the efficiency of what I’m doing” or “I don’t suppose it’s correct.” Proper? And, I chase after the those 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? Once you begin an organization, in the event you don’t wish to be punched within the face, get a fucking day job, sincere 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 a very good day. You guys know this, like, in the event you wanna be a founder, you have got 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 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 massive impassionate speech on why I imagine 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 complete class. Like, I don’t care. Fuck off, man.

Ryan DeLuca: It’s form of loopy, we see the identical factor. Like VCs, a variety of instances buyers, they all the time discuss their future pondering visionaries, they wanna be part of like issues that individuals haven’t seen but. However if you actually discuss to ’em about one thing that isn’t already mainstream or massive 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 massive corporations. I’d say it’s not simply Fb, it’s virtually all massive corporations. 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 fascinating factor about being laughed in your face is half the time you ought to be laughed at, and the opposite half, it’s the subsequent massive factor. And it’s all the time unimaginable on the time, with out trying again on reflection to know, which course it truly is gonna go.

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

As a result of generally the individuals who you suppose are assholes, are literally supplying you with good suggestions. And generally the assholes are simply assholes, proper? And I feel that it’s actually arduous 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 recognize? You recognize?

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 getting in and being like, “man, your child’s ugly.” And I’m like, “properly, it’s my child?”

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

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

Preston Lewis: That individual was proper. That individual 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 beloved it a lot, after which after we first began getting suggestions, individuals had been saying so many detrimental issues. And naturally the primary response you wanna have is, like, “they’re fallacious” and like all this stuff. However then, you sleep on it and you concentrate on, okay, we have to make these adjustments, and it’s a variety of arduous work to make adjustments, however then you definately return and also you make these adjustments.

Then you definately 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 have a look at what you’re at present doing and say it was not practically 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 feel listening to your customers is totally foundational, as a result of in the event you discuss to your mates, they’re all the time gonna offer you a optimistic spin, or normally or generally you simply have a buddy that shits on every thing, proper? And so your mates are normally actually not a very good proxy for whether or not or not what you’re doing is sweet. And household is even worse. You recognize, household’s both [00:32:00] all the time gonna be detrimental or all the time gonna be optimistic, relying on in the event that they suppose you’re earning profits 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 imagine in the identical issues.

In order that they’re normally additionally not a very good 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 those who use your product. And getting them to really talk and let you know is, I feel essentially the most priceless type of suggestions in the event you’re constructing a shopper firm. Attending to the those who like your product or don’t like your product and “why.”

Preston Lewis: Slightly observe as much as that’s, do you have got 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, establishing a Discord? Or do you have got 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] For those who talk with an individual, like, instantly, it’s form of just like the distinction between speaking to somebody by way of 4Chan and speaking to somebody by way of their face. Like face-to-face, proper?

in the event you’re on 4Chan, you’re gonna shit on every 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 once they discuss to you, they’re gonna be like, “properly, I feel you must, you recognize, enhance this” or no matter. Proper? So, I feel it’s getting each of these views, proper? As a result of what you miss if you’re talking to 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 variety of the suggestions of the those who simply turned immediately, proper? They don’t wanna fucking reply to you. They don’t give a shit, they don’t wish to let you know 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 by way of like Fb posts or dangerous critiques, and for this reason I’d all the time chase the dangerous overview individuals. For those who’re constructing that shopper product to know 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 recognize?

So I, I feel that getting these three views and possibly bucketing individuals in these three issues, is an effective option 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 subsequent 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 neglect 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 subsequent massive factor that can revolutionize the world of health.