The Net VR
Gabriel Flores 0:00
Hello, everyone, and welcome to the shades of entrepreneurship. This is your host, Mr. Gabriel Flores. Today I'm here with Kyle Duran.
Kyle Doran 3:21
How are we doing? Doing great doing great.
Gabriel Flores 3:25
I'm excited. I'm really stoked, dude, I was looking at this website, the net VR really, really cool stuff. We actually met at the Oregon entrepreneur network event. But before we get into that, Kyle, give them a little background who is Kyle?
Kyle Doran 3:43
Whose car I am? I am Oregonian period that's, that is who I am. Born and raised here. Grew up here. Went to the Beaverton side, the west side of Portland. have had a wonderful time. In the Pacific Northwest. I've moved around a lot. A lot of my family has actually moved out of Oregon, just due to the recent climate of everything. And I have stayed I love it here. I've tried other areas. I am a warm weather person. I don't know why I still stay 32 degrees out right now. Or close to and yeah, that's me.
Gabriel Flores 4:30
Nice. So let's let's what is the NVR give us folks a little bit about what it is and how you created it.
Kyle Doran 4:36
So the net VR is a platform. It's a social platform. It's a new way to socialize, basically in a 3d environment. We created a first product, which is the net VR theater and it kind of cashes in on a niche a very niche market in a live content creation space. So Twitch is our number one first application that we're kind of attaching ourselves to someone goes live on Twitch, and we provide a 3d space for all of the viewers and all of the entertainers to engage on a different level, directly with themselves more than just also with the content creator. So then it kind of adds this space. It's almost like creating like a concert type atmosphere where the content creator is still up there doing their content, but now you can have maybe a little sidebar conversation with you know your friend like you would do in like a concert. Interesting. So
Gabriel Flores 5:41
I kind of envision it similar to like the old Nintendo Wii. Right? Yeah, and that that's really cool. So you can actually also as an attendee, so for example, your avatar as a guest, you're not the creator. So you're in the audience. Could your avatar also have conversations with other avatars that are in attendance, kind of, like engage with other other attendees?
Kyle Doran 6:03
Exactly, exactly. Exactly. Now, now you can kind of like, you know, like inside of so specifically to our little niche product here. Most people it's a chat wall and the chat wall just kind of goes off and people now you can actually associate, you know, you have a reference, you can say, hey, it's that avatar over there that's talking I want to go I want to go talk with that individual, specifically, maybe more in a little more private conversation, but you meet in this public setting of you know, hey, the content creator can bring 9000 people together. How can I then talk to one individual on a private one to one conversation, and then go from there.
Gabriel Flores 6:42
You mentioned product, how would you define the product that you're selling?
Kyle Doran 6:48
The product that we're selling is it's very niche. So it's a lot of different things. So like we're not necessarily a video game. We're not a fully a social platform. We're not like a Metaverse type like sales experience. We're kind of all three blended together. So it kind of puts us in a very specific predicament of trying to be able to who do we pitch to who do we find funding from because we don't really quite fit in any of these boxes specifically. You know, we apply to a lot of like, places and they're like, what are what? You're not a video game. Get out of here like you're you're not it you're not headsets, you're not virtual reality. You're not quite Metaverse, you're not blockchain. Because you don't have any kind of blockchain aspects. So it's, it's kind of funny where our product fits, because it kind of pulls in a lot of the specific aspects. And then really focuses in on making conscious connections, I think is directly where our product really lands is being able to say hey, you and I are making a conscious connection right now in zoom. We can see each other right now, maybe, you know, vocally we're able to connect. But then as the new states and as computers get better and better and better, you know, 3d avatars and stuff are coming to light
Gabriel Flores 8:05
Yeah. And I you know, I follow individuals on Twitch often as well. And it's kind of interesting, because I remember in particular one gentleman I was watching create a keyboard, right, one of my former guests building out a keyboard, and I noticed there's other individuals on this link, but we're only able to chat and you're kind of feel like you're missing something a little bit because it's twitch and very interactive. And so you kind of just felt like you're missing a little piece, you know. Now, one of the things you also mentioned was financing. You're having difficulty. How what has been your experience with the financing for this venture?
Kyle Doran 8:40
So I mean, we started in 2019 is when we started, this was pre COVID, pre Metaverse, pre, pre any kinda like stuff like that. And we sat down, we're like, Hey, we're gonna build a mall. We're gonna build a shopping mall who hasn't built a shopping mall before. And so that's where we started. And once we got there, we started noticing Hey, that's not that's that's not quite gonna work. So let's get in and let's, let's, let's focus on see what what we can do. And then we came to our current conclusion of where we're at in building a building a platform that focuses in on live content creators. I'm sorry to get back to your question. funding funding was been a big challenge. Just with that whole kind of grasp for that whole segment. Pre 2020 in the Portland Pacific area there there really wasn't we didn't know who to go to like, Hey, you want to do a startup? Where do you go? You know, OPN was kind of like, falling out, you know, was falling out everyone just kind of going by the wayside. I mean, even in in SSF. And LA and not that, you know, the hubs for getting our product up and going kind of all went away. Right at the time when we really started Hey, this is the product that we want to go and get funding for right after that all kind of crashing, fell apart.
Gabriel Flores 10:11
So I gotta ask you, you mentioned Do you were you trying to build a physical brick and mortar mall and then you decided to pivot to virtual or were you trying to build a virtual Mall?
Kyle Doran 10:19
We're trying to build a virtual mall originally. So that was kind of the idea and we had a little bit of, you know, our own funding to get it started. We realized that we wouldn't be able to break that off ourselves. Like just with the small team that we had of three individuals, only one of us was a real coder. We wouldn't be able to accomplish that. So it wasn't a feasible idea to build them all ourselves. So we kind of scaled the product the project back to something that we could complete ourselves.
Gabriel Flores 10:48
And let's let's talk about the vision a little bit because you mentioned you, you have a product, right you have a vision, but more importantly, how did you get to the vision because you're you're such an innovator right now because you're again, this is before Metaverse, this is before the pandemic. And so folks if you're listening you know you think about what the world was like before the pandemic. We didn't have Metaverse, we weren't talking about web three. We were crypto was around. Sure. But how did you kind of get from the vision to the product?
Kyle Doran 11:15
So what's interesting is the product actually drove the vision which is kind of like backwards, maybe the vision kind of came around with the entire vision. It's we focus in on time, space and matter. So it's we focusing on the definition of reality. And then when we focus in on the definition of reality, it kind of gave us this aha moment of what's missing in these Metaverse projects. So there's decentraland out right now, there's all these crypto projects that have the 3d space. But they they're missing something and every single time you go into them, you're like, what is it missing? You look at the projects that are successful, and we've done studies on the projects that are successful. So VR chat. Second Life was pretty successful. They all incorporated an element of live connection. And so we focused in on okay, what is live Oh, thats time related. So what is it about time relation that makes these atmospheres so much more engaging and pulls people in? So that gave us that aspect of time? Then we started looking at reality. What's the definition? Oh, it's time bound. Oh, okay. Well, that all makes sense. So what's the best time to communicate? It's live it's it's right now you want to be able to be not in the future. Like, I don't want to write an email where you read it in the future. I want to write an email where he talked to me right now like if you've ever been or sent somebody a text message, you're like, Oh, my God, why aren't they responding me right now? You start getting frustrated, right? Yeah. So so we focused in on on time as an aspect of reality. And so that's live. So then we went out we found, oh, there's live content creators that are live. So how do we get them into the 3d space? You know, there's not very many live content creators out there. Sorry, there's not there's not many. How do I say this? There's not many people. broadcasting live content. Can't make sense. Like a lot of there's a lot of YouTube videos. There's a lot of past content that's out there that we consume in the VR space, but not a lot of it's, it's predominantly live. Yeah. So then we went back down to a space you know, everyone's on YouTube. We're all on our phones on the endless chats on a shower. Why not bring in a 3d space technology is getting there. You know, Zoom still to D. But to bring in the 3d space like it's coming. It's it's graphics get better and computers get faster. Our phones now have the ability to do 3d games. So that was kind of dissipate that that was the space aspect of it. And then it was matter. And this was, this is where we're actually hopefully coming out soon with our no VR VR. So it's hashtag no VR VR. So it's virtual. It's reinventing virtual reality in the wake of the metaverse. And it kind of goes through and it describes time, space and matter and then the matters where the matter doesn't matter because people don't care about it. But it's really the meat and potatoes of understanding that there's a reality and then there's a conscious level and the conscious level is not what we're about. We're about creating a virtual reality. But it starts to make comparisons and when we started doing studies and understanding a lot of things started to make sense were like, people in virtual reality have phantom limb syndrome where they actually feel like their arm is actually being you know, hit with a hammer but it's not actually being hit with a hammer but because their eyes sense it. So it gets to this like, conscious level that we're not about but we're really focusing in on making virtual virtual reality. A little bit more real.
Gabriel Flores 14:55
Yeah, and you know, I gotta say, listening to this product. One area I think you might see yourself that you're probably haven't thought about yet is health care. And the reason I say this is because conferences, healthcare conferences, with the pandemic it's taught us getting a lot of providers in a room with no mask on isn't probably the best idea in the world. And so, we're starting to do these hybrid models, right? We're doing virtual slash in person. However, the cost of the AV for virtual is pretty exponential sometimes. And it's still has like we're missing a piece right? You're missing that interaction, that engagement to your point, and I really, really like this opportunity to be able to engage with individuals that are virtually in that space. Right, but then their 3d feel as well.
Kyle Doran 15:48
Yes, so it's funny you say that so I actually have a family member. That's in the healthcare space. And they've said that that same kind of thing, like I've done these kinds of online virtual workshops, but they just don't, they're missing something. They just don't quite work. And so what we've noticed is there's there's a big limitation to the amount of people that can connect to one server and one individual server. And so this is where the the content creators can kind of build until we're able to get better networking protocols that allow more people to get into it. So my backgrounds in gaming, and so I understand a lot of this stuff like so it's called an MMO mass multiplayer online where everybody connects. And you're, you're really limited to about 100 real live connections, anything more than that, and you start to the product starts to break down. Technology is getting there very rapidly, I think. A lot of the crypto guys are pushing, you know, for mass concerts with you know, 40,000 people, but you want to see the 40,000 people, you know, you get that attraction, where really if you have more than 100 people, the space is going to collapse and break. So there's still a little bit of technology that needs to be to come around to really get to those full atmospheres. But yeah, we have ideas on how to try and get to conferencing, for sure, for sure, specifically in healthcare.
Gabriel Flores 17:18
And I'd say for those folks that listen, I think a great example of what you described would be like Call of Duty. Yes. Right. Getting out there kind of thing. Yeah. Now, is this your first business?
Kyle Doran 17:29
This is my first. Yes. This is the first business that I've tried to start. Yes.
Gabriel Flores 17:33
What has been hard about this starting this first business?
Kyle Doran 17:37
Funding is really been our biggest challenge. I mean, we were able to find developers, we're still able to find developers somehow. A lot of them are starting to become easier and easier to find. With the layoffs from the big guys, but funding has been the biggest challenge put specifically in the Pacific Northwest. Advisors and stuff did told us leave go to San Francisco. You know, you read online geography isn't really a thing with the with the the the new Metaverse and everything going digital I tend to disagree. I think a lot of investors are pulling back because they want when they invest in a company they want that company to be local. And that goes back to space. If you look at it and it goes back to one of our definitions like people if I'm I want that person to be close to me. And I don't want them in the virtual space. If you look it's kind of like we also look at time bound like your age is another big factor if your age a little bit older, a little bit, you know able to invest, you're not going to trust the virtual space at all. If you're younger, you're going to trust the virtual space more than you're going to trust the real reality space. So our products kind of like stuck right in between these two generations. Where Hey, we need the money from the elders we can't build it for the young ends, and how do we get that flow? But to go back to it, funding in the Pacific Northwest, you know, we just don't have it here. You know, our biggest funds around here are considered micro funds to Seattle. And then Seattle's biggest funds are micro funds to SSF we we can't get traditional financing because we're our products in the digital space. But if you look at it, you know an entire city SSF has been able to expand exponentially because they are primarily a digital city. You know, all the applications come out of there. They're all SAS platforms, which technically we are a software as a service. Yeah,
Gabriel Flores 19:33
yeah, it's good. Good point. Now what has there been anything easy about this entrepreneurship venture that you're going down?
Kyle Doran 19:40
I'm starting so I have my own kind of funds and what's been easy is might not be easy for everybody, but just just just do it. Kind of the Pacific Northwest. You can you can just do it and how do you do it? That's that's a good question. The internet is right there. Yeah, start Googling it. If you got a question. You got you got to be a problem solver. If you're an entrepreneur, and the internet is right there. So you got a problem. Google it. So that's been the easy part.
Gabriel Flores 20:13
You know, one of the things it's kind of interesting, because you mentioned at the very beginning, you are targeting a very niche market. How do you market to that niche market?
Kyle Doran 20:23
We go to them. So we just we pop into their live streams and we we show them their product, we get into their discord and we send them a snippet of you know what we're doing where we ask them if we can do to theater. The feedback is awesome. It's so awesome when you see somebody like oh my goodness is that really is that my theater? Like it's really cool to see customers be able to do that, or you know, get their reactions, their live reactions. And the key thing is it's a live reaction. It's not. You notice the difference between like reactions on like TV or something like that where it's staged and you know, it's staged like a lot of Tik Tok videos like they lose that time, where if you want to see the live reaction, like Oh, that wasn't really cool, you know, it's all in their face. You can see it you can you know, with live content creators, a lot of them stream their themselves. And so yes, so much interaction that you get and miss. But on live streams, you get to see those again.
Gabriel Flores 21:27
Yeah, that's a good point. I was thinking about when you're mentioning the inner the reactions. I'm thinking about how many times you know if you're a Game of Thrones fans like myself, how many times you look at YouTube during that red wedding scene and just look at fan reactions. They're like, Oh, man, this is content gold right here. I'm loved them love seeing how they're reacting, you know? Now. So you're gathering its product right? You're starting to market to it. Where do you where do you envision the brand in the next five years?
Kyle Doran 21:59
Um, I mean, we want to be I mean, we bought we we say we're competing with Facebook. I mean, obviously, obviously, that's not that's not a maybe reasonable or rational, but it could be happening having a platform having a social platform can go from, you know, zero to hero overnight. We've seen a lot of them do that clubhouse is an example of it. That's gone zero to hero. ROBLOX is another example, that's been able to kind of do that in the younger generations. It hasn't spanned multiple generations. One of the key things we focused in on of why why we started with a theater was because of theaters for all ages, for all types of content for all kinds of anything like you can you can get all the way back and you can get all the way good you can get all the way kid you can get all the way adult smarter. It's it's that's why we started in a theater. If you look at most things we kind of generalize about Metaverse, we see through movies, right so matrix is a great example of a movie Ready Player One. We see those movies and we you know, they're they're usually ahead of the future. So and we're just trying to get there.
Gabriel Flores 23:10
Nice. So how does how does this work? So for an individual that was interested, maybe there's a twitch player out there that's interested, how does it work? How do they kind of get involved with this product?
Kyle Doran 23:22
So Twitch content creators right now, they can go to steam. So most gamers are very familiar with steam. They can download the net VR theater, and they can host a theater. So we have a YouTube page. There's a how to host the theater on the YouTube page. And then that's all you got to do as a content creator. That's it for now. We're obviously working to get that better in the future. So it's just a nice, go to a website. One easy click, you're on and it's good to go. But that's that's where we're at right now is we're primarily on Steam.
Gabriel Flores 23:54
And just to is there any cost associated with it or is this free to the creators? No, everything's
Kyle Doran 23:59
free to use right now. So this is we currently basically have our MVP or MVP is kind of maxed out where we can use so we can we can get you a hosted theater, but the rest of the monetization and stuff so for viewers to be able to purchase your digital assets that we set up for you in the background. That's still stuff that needs to be built out and that that is why we're out seeking funding. What if there's coders out there that want to work for free? Come hit me up.
Gabriel Flores 24:26
There you go. And like you said, there's several coders I'm sure that we're probably looking for some some availabilities. Now, what would you say you know, this is your first, first small business what would you say? What some advice would you give to an aspiring entrepreneur that you've learned throughout this process?
Kyle Doran 24:42
Um, so probably one of the biggest for me was getting into a, you don't need to get into like an accelerator like a tech starts or one of those I mean that would be awesome if you can't apply. But honestly, locally here we got a hold of the tie network, specifically, if you're in the Pacific Northwest, carry over at tie Portland did a really good job. It was a quick eight week you could do it after hours. So you can keep you know, maintain your day job. And that program was really really good. I it was $500 we were able to get sponsored. But that that that process, it was super quick, super high level. It kind of showed determination for investors. A lot of people don't really know what it takes to be an entrepreneur, entrepreneur and how hard it is. That was a really good quick crash course on what it takes to become an entrepreneur. And by the end of it, you'll know whether you have the capability of doing it for $500 If I had known I could have spent that money before I would have spent that money before because it gets you through your revision one, two and three at a relatively cheap cost. I mean, there's there's funds out there, you know, there's, you see, hey, I need money. Let me go to this guy. He's gonna promise me $1,000 I'm gonna pay this guy $1,000 He's going to introduce me to all these people in network. That's not how it works. Yeah, but they're out there. There's sharks out there all the time. Really. It's about getting your content together in a way that makes sense for investors but also makes sense for your business. And I think that program did a very good job of making sure hey, here's your one pitch is what you're doing even a viable problem. Does it even solve a proper problem? Does it have legs, and that's what that program did. And I mean, I would recommend that one.
Gabriel Flores 26:38
Nice now you want to you kind of organically been stating this. Let's talk about the importance of networking. Because you're talking about getting out in front of the people talking about you're working with all these other business accelerator programs. How important has networking been for you?
Kyle Doran 26:56
I'm so I'm fair to say I'm a terrible network. I'm an introvert. I hate networking. It is. It's very uncomfortable for me to go out and network. However, it's crucial. If you want to be a business and you want to be a founder. It's crucial because you can't do it alone and you'll hear it over and over and over again. You can't do it alone. And if you can't network, you might have the best idea ever. But if you can't network, then you're not going to be able to get your product out there because you can't do it all alone. Maybe there is maybe there is like a really one off case or scenario that you can do it on your own. But that's that's going to be most likely now.
Gabriel Flores 27:39
Yeah. And in fact, that's how we connected right through networking. We met at the Oregon entrepreneur network event award ceremony, and I was like hey, you have a small business. I would love to hear more about you got your card. In fact, the reason we connected is because I was actually talking with a CPA who knew you it wasn't even we didn't even connect. So again, the importance of networking, you know, you just see this into your point. There are sharks out there everywhere to kind of and those not in a bad way. I mean, like a supporting way. You know, I had a one episode where we're talking about, there truly are individuals that you have not ever met before that truly want you to support you. Right? There's an old saying the biggest your biggest hater is someone you already know and your biggest supporter, someone you've never met kind of thing and it's true. There's a lot of individuals that are out there that really truly want to support you but at the end of the day if they don't know about your product, and they don't know you, because investors sometimes are not just investing in the company, but they're investing in the entrepreneur. Right
Kyle Doran 28:40
100% I would just say like on the flip side of it. So for me, I'm not very good. At speaking with other people are first engaging, but just showing up in the space. And that's honestly how I got to your point. So from my side of it, I was talking with a CPA who knows nothing or cares nothing about the net VR is not an investor has absolutely no clue. He came running back. Like I told them about our product and he's like, wow, that's that's actually really, really good. And then he's like, hey, you know, Gabe is and I'm like, Well, I've heard his name before and he's done you know, he's got a podcast, I but I haven't been able to connect with them. But then immediately, we're able to connect there because we're in that same space now we actually know each other you can put face, business card in your hand, a real reality business card in your hand, which is that's that's that is networking right there. And I we didn't really talk there. At the OEM event, we said maybe 234 words to each other.
Gabriel Flores 29:34
It's true. And we're like, I was like, Alright, back on the networking train. We got a meeting. So for the folks at home they want to learn more about this work and they find information on social media or the website. You've already mentioned some of the other locations, where can they get some more information?
Kyle Doran 29:51
The easiest way to contact me is LinkedIn. I post heavily on LinkedIn about the no VR VR concept. So if you ever want to understand kind of our concepts of what what we're doing or what we're grasping when when we say we're reinventing virtual reality in the wake of the metaverse, you can follow me there. DM me on there, I'm always on there or my email is pretty easy Kyle at the net vr.com Same thing as our website, the net vr.com Trying to make as much as possible to contact or reach us that are I met basically any of the Pacific Northwest networking events. I try and make it to any of them. I guess if anybody's listening and they have an event that they have, please Please invite me I will show up.
Gabriel Flores 30:35
Love it. I love it. Yeah, in fact, you know similar if you guys have events out there is please please let me know. In fact, this is another reason why you listen to should subscribe to the shades of entrepreneurship newsletter because we will have the net VR information on the newsletter The week before the episode airs, the weekly episode airs and the week after we will also have a transcription of this episode on the website at the shades of e.com. So you can go ahead and read it if you're if it listening is not your cup of tea or if you have some abilities that prohibit that. We got to actually go ahead and transcribe it for you as well. Kyle, thank you so much. I'm I'm really stoked. I've again I know a few Twitch people so I'm gonna kind of forward this onto them because I really think this is a really smart idea and truly in the healthcare space. I really believe that this is a probably an opportunity as well, because providers are in nurses, you know, the health care they're missing the engagement. They have the burnout and so traveling across the country for required education is becoming a little difficult.
Kyle Doran 31:37
Yeah, yeah, I, I our product can help and solve that it can. We just gotta make it as easy as possible for those individuals. So
Gabriel Flores 31:47
I agree. Awesome. Kyle, thank you again so much for those listening. Please follow me at The Shades of E™ on the social sites where you can visit the at theshadesofe.com Thank you and have a great night.