February 3, 2023

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.

Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Subscribe on Spotify


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 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 gymnasium and produce a long time of expertise from creating among the largest health know-how firms on the planet.

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

Alright. Welcome to the VR Health Insider podcast. Now we have a VR, AR, XR guru and pioneer right here with us at present, 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 shortly. 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 saved delivery it again to a spot known as Metropolis of Trade. I heard that title and I used to be, like, “wow.” You understand, like, Metropolis of Trade, proper? I used to be simply so fucking uninterested in how chilly the Midwest was, and I’d all the time joke with my mates that sometime I’m gonna get in a automotive, 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 someday, and I confirmed up in Metropolis of Trade, which is outdoors of Los Angeles, and it’s simply, the warehouses, proper?

Yeah, I confirmed up there and I used to be like dwelling in a fucking warehouse. Positively not like a heat starting to California. However truly that’s after I began calling myself Cix. So, it’s not my beginning title. My beginning title is totally different. I feel lots of people, once they make big life selections, they often need to change themselves and who they have been and the whole lot. 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 now have up right here. However I used to be in California on the time and I heard about this app known as Yo. And it was a push notification app, and all of the app did was while you press your buddy’s title 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 need be a part of that as a result of…

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

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

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

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 folks behind and transferring to the Metropolis of Trade. However, inform our viewers how you bought fascinated by VR. Uh, why’d you get fascinated by it? What first drew you to it?

Cix Liv: Yeah, so the primary jobs I had in San Francisco have 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 mounted one of many co-founders of Google’s, like private Wi-Fi.

I arrange Justin Kahn’s Wi-Fi. He in all probability doesn’t know that I used to be that Taskrabbit dude organising his fucking Wi-Fi, however you realize, 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 loads of tech individuals in San Francisco. A whole lot of tech individuals in San Francisco have been engaged on cell functions, and SaaS merchandise and issues like that. They have 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 received into VR, as a result of I used to be working as an IT man and I received entry to the DK2. So I wasn’t OG sufficient to say DK1. Sadly, I wasn’t that early into VR. So I received the DK2 and I used to be attempting it out and I used to be like, “that is actually fucking cool”, however it wasn’t fairly sufficient to get me to commit my life to it.

I attempted among 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 received into. However then I received entry to the Vive Pre, you realize, the dev equipment earlier than the VIVE got here out. I received 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 dwelling with fifty individuals on this co-living, sort of hippie-ish factor the place like individuals would come collectively to attempt to survive the outrageous prices of dwelling in San Francisco. They’d cook 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: Positively 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 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 whole life. I like to inform folks that video video games raised me greater than my dad and mom 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 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 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 realize? And it was just like the convergence of the whole lot 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 good connection of who I used to be. And that’s what received me into the area.

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 truly really feel like I used to be falling.”

And like, while you actually [00:07:00] understand that you simply truly really feel such as you’re there. And I feel it makes whole sense that video video games all the time have been a controller or keypad the place you’re pondering 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. And it’s the dream that we all the time needed. We all the time pretended we have been that factor after which unexpectedly 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 area, however then when you do it, it’s fairly magical.

Preston Lewis: House Pirate coach was wonderful for its time. It was one of many earlier titles and I nonetheless assume they’ve among the greatest graphics and mechanics in there.

Cix Liv: Yeah, it was unbelievable. I feel the primary recreation that may get the crown for the primary health recreation 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 to start with of digital actuality.

You’re sporting 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 realize?

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, should 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 received the forearms and the whole lot’s, like, these are Beat Saber arms, you realize?

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 just a little bit about co-founding that and the way that went and what you realized from that?

Cix Liv: You understand, I used to be tremendous fascinated by VR, after which there was this co-working area in San Francisco known as Add, which it was an awesome place for individuals to come back collectively.

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

And after I met Oz, he had this inexperienced display room and he was doing combined actuality the place he was placing individuals within the recreation and displaying all people outdoors of VR what it was prefer 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? For those who 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 understand? Um…

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

Cix Liv: To your VR. I’d say that was in all probability true. Let’s be sincere. However you realize, after we moved to love full physique monitoring, should you have 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 particular person tripping balls or [00:10:00] one thing?” ” What the hell are they doing?” However then while 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 powerful believer that know-how shifts occur while you make one thing dorky, cool. It’s so simple as that. And so, should you take a look at the evolution of electrical automobiles, Elon Musk actually known as his line “horny”. Proper? As a result of, electrical automobiles as much as that have been like good automobiles and stuff like that, the place all people thought electrical automobiles have been fucking dorky. Proper?

And so one of many massive issues that I all the time take a look at on this area is, how will 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 in addition permit individuals a window into VR, so you could possibly see what the particular person was doing in actual time.

And so, Ozwas doing this. I used to be like, “that is wonderful.” [00:11:00] After which how will we create a product out of this? And in order that grew to become the large query. A number of the folks that I used to stay with on this fifty particular person co-op had moved into their very own house. Their names have been AJ and Pierre.

So that they have been my two mates. I like went to them and I mainly co-oped their lounge into a giant combined actuality inexperienced display. And I used to be sleeping on the sofa and like setting this up of their lounge. And we simply received obsessive about it. I like to think about it sort of like, you realize, as youngsters you’ll report your self in a cassette participant and faux you have been radio jockeys or one thing?

I really feel like we have been sort of having that second the place we had this inexperienced display after which AJ went in there with a brilliant saiyan hat on, and there was this recreation the place you could possibly have mini weapons. It was known 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 immediately and methods to communicate to traders and no matter. And we received into Techstars from there. And, Liv is doing fairly nicely 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 should you see it even on a flat display, it might even actually be troublesome. We battle with that loads 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 sort of inexperienced display sort of environments, however it’s simply so troublesome and such a giant drawback that Liv with fixing, which remains to be an issue and other people nonetheless battle with that, however simply how nice it’s been to see what Liv has executed to, to assist with that.

Cix Liv: I want they might make like a one click on combined actuality associate with a digicam firm, and simply press the button and go for it. However, uh…

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

Preston Lewis: Yeah, to piggyback on that, one of many cool issues that we actually respect you doing all through your profession up to now has been taking this platform strategy to constructing your tasks and merchandise. And yeah, the entire business has massively [00:13:00] benefited from these efforts. I in all probability enterprise to guess that Liv is possibly the primary piece of software program used for combined actuality movies. And I’d in all probability say it’s most, if not all, of the viral VR movies have been in all probability 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 big because of you and your staff for doing that, as a result of I feel it’s been superior for the business.

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

We have been working with somebody who’s a hearth spinner, her title 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 the whole lot. 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 have been simply creating movies and it was often simply me, or simply some individuals I do know, and I positively amp it up, however, you realize, 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 have 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 just a little bit, however nothing like outrageous. I fell asleep, and I awakened and I regarded down my cellphone, 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 Sport Cease, and also you’re on the entrance of that and in all places.

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] shopper occasion of VR. Earlier than then we have 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 do not forget that second. It was positively a mixture of a bunch of issues. And you realize, the largest studying that I had from Liv, that I take to the following firms after, which is necessary 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 combined actuality or a video of somebody like sitting there doing one thing, nobody gave a shit. However while you had added physicality and other people have been like dancing and concerned within the content material, it will, it will carry out like 100 occasions 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 sort of like eliminated and farther [00:16:00] away. Um, so it’s a must to be loud and expressive. And since our face is roofed and also you’re not like speaking, you realize, the nuances of your face, it’s a must to use physique language.

And it’s the identical factor that occurs in sports activities, proper? Like while 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 received 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 have been like, okay, somebody’s being dorky in a headset. No. You understand, I don’t care.

Ryan DeLuca: It’s such a great level. Yeah. I imply, simply the best way you place 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 good mixture of that Beat Saber video got here out. I feel all of us have been just a little bit shocked. “What is that this factor with, like, it’s one thing to do with lightsabers and music?” Yeah, it was simply in every single place. After which that’s after we had our non- early adopter or non- VR like professional [00:17:00] mates asking us about it. Like, “oh, that’s like recreation with the lightsabers”, you realize? And it’s like all people 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 and marketing within the early days. I feel 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 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, so that they mainly took the bottom fundamentals of Beat Saber and allowed you to place no matter tune you needed in there. And I feel 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 feel these have been the three massive, like, moments that you could possibly say that linked 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 biggest VR discord on the planet of lots of 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 received across the copyright subject the place most builders needed to license each single tune, which will get extremely costly. So they’d this entire group 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 among the points that among the different VR video games had. Like Survios, for instance, couldn’t port loads of their video games to the Quest due to the constancy that was essential to port it.

So there have been loads of builders who created actually wonderful experiences who had a very exhausting time porting it right down to the Quest. So there have been like three [00:19:00] massive issues that actually pushed the success of Beat Saber to the purpose the place it hit fifty % system penetration of the complete VR market. It was on over fifty % 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 the most effective half about it, proper? It’s like, there was so many various songs and maps, like infinite quantity, proper? And you could possibly discover any songs that you simply preferred and all types of loopy stuff.

And naturally individuals would charge the most effective ones. You’d be taught new songs. There’s so many, a lot music that I had simply realized 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 realize, 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 realize, and so they even made the 360 modes and stuff.

However, you realize, it sort of leads into the following factor is, the most effective components about Beat Saber being the flagship recreation, that grew to become like actually the primary mainstream recreation that launched individuals to VR, was the factor we all the time hear, proper? “Hey, I’ve tried this Beat Saber recreation. It was tremendous enjoyable, [00:20:00] I cherished it. After which I spotted I’m exercising.” Like, it might have been another VR recreation that wasn’t actually an energetic recreation 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 displaying health as a strong means 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 staff mainly grew to become European primarily based and, I had a tough time with the thought of like, transferring to the Czech Republic.

You understand, 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 could be okay for the corporate, and AJ grew to become the CEO, which was, you realize, my roommate means again then. However I used to be itching to, do one thing once more straight away.

In hindsight, I in all probability ought to have taken just a little little bit of a break, going straight from, startup 2 hundred miles an hour to a different 2 hundred miles an hour, sort of breaks you. However, I [00:21:00] strongly believed in VR health and previous to that I’ve been working just a little 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 have been looking for a option to work collectively, however he strongly believed within the efficacy of the whole lot to love an Nth diploma.

Like, we have to have it peer reviewed. We have to have coronary heart charge trackers which might be validated by no matter. I used to be like, dude, “we simply gotta show to folks that individuals are fucking exercising.” I used to be attempting to determine a option to work with him. He didn’t need to co-found it with me.

He’s in all probability just a little 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 need to be a co-founder with me and he was so centered on efficacy of the whole lot. And for me, having constructed a shopper firm earlier than, proving in any respect that individuals are doing one thing with the least friction doable 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 now not tethered. I feel health is gonna be certainly one of, if not the largest use case. Individuals would snicker at my fucking face. Even Aaron had the identical expertise; like, individuals thought we have been a joke, proper? He tells the story about how he was attempting to show to folks that VR is health and other people would inform him, “no, you’re simply scared, that’s why your coronary heart charge is excessive.” You understand, like zombies are after you. That’s why your coronary heart charge is excessive. It’s not since you’re exercising, it’s since you’re frightened of what’s occurring. I’m fucking exercising, man. He was attempting to show to folks that 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 realize, how will we create a shopper product out of this? I began pondering, okay nicely, let’s attempt to resolve this in a means that’s the least friction doable.

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

So, one other particular person that actually 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 nearly fucking laughed me out of the room. They have 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 is predicated off present metrics that they will go right into a PM assembly and say, “hey, that is taking place, we should always try this too.” They’ve a really troublesome time with foresight, and I feel culturally that’s the greatest drawback with Fb, is that they solely function on present knowledge 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 nearly 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 title 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 received into Enhance, which was an accelerator right here in San Mateo. Mainly it was simply because I feel Adam Draper preferred me, and he, you realize, 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 understand, a type 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 now have just a little bit of cash.”

So, we needed to create the least friction option 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 huge modding group and it sort 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 eager 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 area. It was avid gamers, loads of them, tremendous unhealthy that have been exercising by chance.

And it was nearly like Beat Saber made them really feel like, “I’ve an opportunity now to truly be match.” These have been the fellows that you simply’ve seen within the memes the place they’re like consuming chips on the sofa sort. That was our essential demographic, proper? Was youngsters who felt apathetic to even the thought 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 truly train.” That was our preliminary product. It went extremely nicely. So then we created a Steam primarily based tracker that mainly, would take your motion knowledge and estimate very rudimentary, you realize, initially into what energy you have been burning. After which it advanced right into a Quest app that you simply needed to facet load. And we received just a little bit extra fancy over time the place we have been utilizing machine studying to estimate your coronary heart charge primarily based off knowledge that we had on coronary heart charge. However, the objective was mainly to create a Fitbit that didn’t require any {hardware}. And that was sort of the underlying objective of YUR. And, yeah, it labored extremely nicely. 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 need to ask [00:27:00] is, simply feels like you’re very linked to customers via these tasks and merchandise you’re constructing. Which I feel is absolutely necessary for our viewers to listen to, as a result of lots of people constructing these experiences, you realize, 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 advocate 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 could possibly argue will not be a great factor for a CEO to be doing, and at scale that’s true, is [00:28:00] that each single detrimental assessment, 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 detrimental assessment?”

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 folks that 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 suppose 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, should you don’t need 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 great day. You guys know this, like, should 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, just a little 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 long run.

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 sort of loopy, we see the identical factor. Like VCs, loads of occasions traders, they all the time discuss their future pondering visionaries, they wanna be part of like issues that folks haven’t seen but. However while you actually speak 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 firms. I’d say it’s not simply Fb, it’s nearly all massive firms. Like, they need knowledge 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 have to be laughed at, and the opposite half, it’s the following massive factor. And it’s all the time not possible on the time, with out wanting again looking back to know, which path 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 assume are assholes, are literally providing you with good suggestions. And generally the assholes are simply assholes, proper? And I feel that it’s actually exhausting to differentiate the 2 generally, proper? Like, the place somebody is providing 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 realize? You understand?

Preston Lewis: That’s humorous.

Cix Liv: Like immediate…

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, “nicely, it’s my child?”

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

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

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

Ryan DeLuca: I suppose, 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 have been saying so many detrimental issues. And naturally the primary response you wanna have is, like, “they’re unsuitable” 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 loads of exhausting work to make adjustments, however you then 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 take a look at what you’re presently doing and say it was not practically pretty much 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 completely foundational, as a result of should you speak to your folks, they’re all the time gonna provide you with a optimistic spin, or often or generally you simply have a buddy that shits on the whole lot, proper? And so your folks are often actually not a great proxy for whether or not or not what you’re doing is sweet. And household is even worse. You understand, 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 assume you’re earning money or not. Proper? So that they’re, they’re horrible for suggestions loops. After which your co-founder, you’ll be able to consistently be overly optimistic, since you each imagine in the identical issues.

So that they’re often additionally not a great proxy. How do you get out of the bubble that’s your mind, into market actuality? And the market actuality often simply exists with the folks that use your product. And getting them to truly talk and let you know is, I feel essentially the most useful type of suggestions should you’re constructing a shopper firm. Attending to the folks that like your product or don’t like your product and “why.”

Preston Lewis: Just a little comply with as much as that’s, do you have got any small suggestions so far as the way you go about intelligently amassing that suggestions? Or is it simply straight up scouring the Fb posts, organising 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 amassing the suggestions?

Cix Liv: [00:33:00] For those who talk with an individual, like, immediately, it’s sort of just like the distinction between speaking to somebody via 4Chan and speaking to somebody via their face. Like face-to-face, proper?

should you’re on 4Chan, you’re gonna shit on the whole lot. It’s nearly like straight from mind stem to face, proper? Like “this fucking is horrible, that shit blah, blah, blah, blah.” After which once they speak to you, they’re gonna be like, “nicely, I feel it’s best to, you realize, enhance this” or no matter. Proper? So, I feel it’s getting each of these views, proper? As a result of what you miss while 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 often getting not loads of the suggestions of the folks that simply turned immediately, proper? They don’t wanna fucking reply to you. They don’t give a shit, they don’t need 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 via like Fb posts or dangerous opinions, and for this reason I’d all the time chase the dangerous assessment 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 realize?

So I, I feel that getting these three views and possibly bucketing individuals in these three issues, is an efficient 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 part of us for half two of this episode, the place we’ll dig deeper into Cix’s upcoming XR venture 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. Have you learnt 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 comply with us at VR Health Insider on Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. You may also be part of our Discord channel. Till subsequent time, hold creating and dreaming up the following massive factor that may revolutionize the world of health.