The Founder Formula
The Founder Formula

Episode · 2 years ago

Jack McCauley, Co-founder Oculus VR - From Guitar Hero to Oculus VR: Surviving a Start-Up


What happens when you get the chance to sit down with someone who was the co-founder of Oculus VR, and was one of the chief IP leads for the famed Activision franchise Guitar Hero?  


Someone who has made a career out of innovation and knows what it takes to succeed in the startup world?

You drop everything and have that conversation.  


On the Season 2 kick off episode of The Founder Formula, we sat down with Jack McCauley to talk about: 

- The story of the development of Oculus 

- The soft skills needed to survive in a startup environment 

- Advice for folks who want to hang on to their IP 

- So, so much more 



Listen to this and all of The Founder Formula episodes at Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or our website.

So, in my view at the time, I mean, the best option was to sell it and and walk facebook and Mark Mark Zuckerberg. But our company, the founder formula, brings you in behind the curtains and inside the minds of today's brave executives at the most future leaning startups. Each interview will feature a transformative leader who's behind the wheel at a fast paced and innovative tech firm. They'll give you an insiders look at how companies are envisioned, created and scaled. We hope you're ready. Let's get into the show. Hey, everybody, welcome back to the show. We are here. We are coming to you live via recording, via podcast for season two of the founder formula. We're super excited to kick things off again with what we're calling episode thirteen. My Name is Todd Galina, and with me, as always, is the chief innovation officer at trace three, Mark Campbell. Mark. Welcome back, Hey, todd. How you do it? How you doing? I'm doing great. You and I spent a lot of time here in the offseason working on our list of guests for season two and I'm just throw the kind of get things going again. I kind of missed talking to you on a regular cases, as we were doing with season one. Yeah, no, I missed you. It was it was a little bit, little bit of an offseason lull there. But boy, when we started talking about season two and some of the guess that we were thinking about lining up, got a guy runs a tiger zoo out in Oklahoma. You're going to love this guy. That's going to be coming up in season two. I totally made that up, thought so that you had to edit it out, but anyway, now we've got some drumid guess. It's going to be a lot of fun. We've got some folks from the Cyber Security World, we've got some folks coming from the enterprise I side. We've got folks that have been VC's, we've got folks that have been founders and VC's. It's going to be really exciting. Yeah, and today's guests is someone who's definitely been even on the consumer side, on the avention and design side, so we're really excited to kick off with him. Now I have to double click on what you mentioned earlier. You're obviously talking about the Tiger King Netflix show, which is like the number one show on Netflix, and to run it for anybody, but I'm four episodes in and I can't. You know, people say they can't turn away from a car accident on the freeway. This is like not being able to turn away from an accident involving three or four fuel trucks. Yeah, it is true that I'm not going to talk anything about show. Could be a spoil all, you know, spoiler alert. I don't want to get into any of that stuff, but all I can say is I've just gotten a tattoo of by bullet holes on my chest. You know, you already already did too much. What else have you been doing with with the offseason? Reading any good books? Talking to any cool customers? What's been yeah, yeah, we had a really nice offseason, my family and I, and it's not like I had to stop my day job, you know. So we still had a lot of work that went on. Yea. And also one of the cool things I know that you are involved in is there was a AI in healthcare forum. I know you're able to attend that and speak at that. Heard that event went amazing. You want to talk a little bit about that? Sure, I'll tell you what, especially given a you know, recent developments, what a what a timely seminar that was. Yeah, we pulled together a lot of trace threes, top healthcare companies, the tech exacts and tech leaders within those companies, specifically digging into how artificial intelligence changing the healthcare industry, and it's been quite a fascinating right. I am seed and spoke at our first and second installation of those and the customers that we had their first off top, you know, the tops... their industry, and then bringing in these new startups that are making some radical, radical changes, not just on the informational side of healthcare but also on the clinical side. It's just absolutely stunning what some of these developments are and certainly now that healthcare is top of mine for our nation and planet in general, it's reassuring, at least to me, to know the intelligence is being put behind some of these solutions out there. And, good grief, if there's a solution, the folks on this planet that are trying to chase it down that they are certainly the ones to pull this off. So little bit of a encouragement there from peeking behind the clinical curtain, so to speak. Yeah, I think it's always a little bit of magic when you have these companies that are relatively new in the market place that get an opportunity to share what they're developing with the folks on the front line, as you mentioned, these see sows and these cteos that work for hospitals. Yeah, I heard a lot of magic happen there and we're lo looking forward to doing more of those. Yeah, absolutely, and that creativity spark our guests today is a very good example of someone that's kind of taken that into several different disciplines and I'm not going to spoil anything for the show, but yeah, kind of excited to get into this one. Hey, that's a really good segue, buddy. I think we're ready to get into it. How about you? Yeah, pretty excited. Let's go. Our guest is a true American inventor and innovator. He's the cofounder of Oculus Vr, but also designed and built the acclaimed oculus Dk one in dk to virtual reality headsets. In addition to that, he was the chief engineer and hardware developer and intellectual property lead for the famed Guitar Hero Franchise. He's currently spending his time building new automotive technology at his private R D facility and hardware incubator in livermore, California. Please welcome to the show, Jazz mccaulay. Hey Jack, Hey, hey, how you doing? We're doing great. Hopefully, Sam sound out there and in livermore I am everyone around me is healthy and and that's serendipity and good luck, I think, in some ways. So well, Jack Mark here, it's certainly a thrill to have you on the show and thanks. I know this is going to be a very educational, think highie entertaining for our audience, so thanks for carving time out of your busy schedule to come and chat with a couple of buffoons like todd night. Come on, thank you. Thanks both of you. I'm going to kick things off a little bit. So you know oculis. I'm certainly a big Fan. Past couple weeks I think my wife has become a beat Saber expert, so that's big hit around the house, but I'm sure that it wasn't always that way. He tell us a little bit about the oculis bounding team and what made that special and brought that secret sauce, that Special Mojo? Oh Great, thanks. So I can delve back a little bit into the history of oculist to tell you how that sort of evolved and how the team came together. But essentially, at my prior job I worked at activision, or kind of guitar hero, and I was after guitar hero was sort of the hardware, sort of button up. I've moved in the intellectual property department structuring their intellectual property, or its defensive intellectual property, around a video games and I was working with a guy named Greg Deutsch there and Greg was the chief legal council at activision. And this is the thing about my career, and I'll get into a little bit later in the questions, is that maintaining contact with people. It's very important and if something doesn't work out and in where you're working, don't burn your bridges, you just leave and I say thank you. So Greg calls me and says, Hey, I got this guy a brandon e Reba, and he's working on a start up and he wants to come talk... you, and I said okay, so brandon, schedule appointment with me and here he here he is standing at the door to my rd facility in the East Bay of near Soakon Valley, and I opened the door and he walks and he's holding the thing in his hand and this thing was Palmer lucky's VR prototype that Palmer had intended to put on a kickstarter and then, from kickstarter, build tenzero copies of this in his garage and Selby's as a kickstarter campaign. And he had been working with this guy named John Carmack, who's a pretty famous game developer for doom quake, you see, originated that founder and he found in software and he would been working with him and he met him on a r forum and met Carmack on a r form. So these two guys got together and Carmack says, Hey, I'll write the game. You sent me a prototype. So Palmer's building these things out of basically like cardboard with lenses he found on Ebay and he puts these things together and he sends into current CARMACK CAR REX starts writing a game. And what Brendan Eribe showed up at the door was a very early prototype of the OCULUS DK one headset, for which Brendan proceeded to show up Demo to me and I put it on and I thought it was amazing. I don't get easily swayed by Demos. Because I've done him myself and I there's a lot of smoke in mirrors sometimes in those cases. But so that's basically the beginning of Oculus, as Brendan Myself and Palmer and these two other guys got nimmate Mitchell and Mike Anton off were. These were the founding members of OCULUS. One other guy who is a founder also, would passed away unfortunately during the formation of the company. But that was the start of it. So Brennan comes in here and says we need a guy. Greg says you're the guy to talk to you to make hardware and China and because Palmer can't make these in his garage. And I said Yeah, I can do that. And then so we went back and forth a few ties. Brendan was her up and palm were up here quite a bit and my in my facility here in their silicon valley and we were basically kind of started the company here and I was on the fence really with with Oculus. We didn't have a name for in the beginning. Palmer came up with that name, but we eyes on the fence kind of like it should I get engaged these guys and what's their background. So I started looking at running background and Brendan is a very, very accomplished and Brennan had another startup that made middleware for video games and he sold that for thirty million to out a desk. So here Brandon's got a track record. Palmer doesn't have one. Palmer's just nineteen years old, nice young man. The other two guys also worked at Brendan's start up and their eggit was pretty good. So he says, running says to me, let's let's start this thing out. We find someone to make this in China, and I said I can to just the person who owes me a lot of favors, and because this person, who own a factory in China, also built a guitar hero ours in myself and another guy brought that work indoors. So she owed me, and I had a good track record, whether I had already had the relationships tablet established in China to manufacture these things. And one of the things that people screw up on when a hardware start up is actually a production part of it where actually manufacturing the thing is pretty hard. It's difficult to do, there's communication problems. You're going to know how to deal with the culture. So that's what they hired me to do. So first I was a head engineer and then John Carmacks on board. He's the chief engineer. So all these guys are kind of working together to produce this prototype and there's probably only ten or fifteen people there at the company. I grabbed Brennan, we foo to China, we met our Elane Chan or contract manufacturer to be. She agreed to do it if we paid her up front, which we had to scramble around and get money to do that. But so he managed to be able to scramble the money together and and and start the tooling and all the engineering. So essentially dk one, which is the first Dev kid,...

...was the Hillcrest d a censer, which is for head position, Palmer lucky's lenses and some plastic bits that we managed to tool and put together in China and a nice plastic case and the hit the kickstarter thing is what I stumbled with because we actually fell in the kickstarter video here in my shop, my facility here and and I couldn't get my head around that because I'm used to working at traditional companies and these are young, bright guys and this is the new way of doing things. So I said, okay, I'll kind of rolled with that. But the problem was we had sold. We launched and we sold like a lot and eventually we're selling a lot in a lot and it had a great buzz to it. It was a great story about Paul and Lucky and in his started the company's garage and this is the story and it just caught on and it was actually really good. I don't know about for gaming. I mean by so I was on the fence about that too, because video games are played in a communal social capacity. Now they're, you know, you're playing against people all over the world and the ours kind of solitary. It's just it just doesn't work with games. The most video games are played on the D monitor, you know, the guys sitting on with a I NPC or the Gaming Ring Underneath this desk, and that's how they're played. Or call the soul is to make a long street. Yep, make long swords. Started INTERRUPTEX. So, yeah, didn't actually wind up going through with the kickstarter. Nor did you, yeah, need any VC or or was this kind of BOOT stop funded? How that one? Well, yeah, we went through the kickstarter was successful campaign. We sold tenzero on kickstarter before we stopped selling and then we followed to produce through our e sales on the website. was sold additional Seventyzero. Soon a sixtyzero old, seventyzero total. So you ask me about boots strapping a hardware company. Just when you sell something on Kickstar, you don't get the money right away. You get it when the atom actually ships. So we have to come up with the capital to produce this and and pay our contract manufacturer up front, which is unusual, but we had to do that. So the founders put money into a pool and I put money in and Brendan put lots of money in and then we had some BC funding. This is the key to a start up, hardware start particularly, is getting someone, a competent person, to secure funding. Now this guy, a rebay is a brilliant salesman. He is unbelievably good. He can read people unlike anyone I've ever known. He can read your face, you can read what you're thinking and he can structure his pitch while while you're he's reading your face. He's really, really good. He's the guy that put together all the funding. We did a series a and a series B. We did series B with in recent Horowitz, a big VC firm. He secured that and so we had cash. We had about ninety seven million and investment total to get the thing off the ground and that was enough at the time. So we had we had pretty good funding and we had a lot of interest the VC guys and we're showed up at our office in Irvine, down Irvine California, down there, you know, these slick looking young guys showed up and and at that point I knew that the thing had legs. I was still skeptical about the video game world because I worked in the world my entire career and I knew how I know how it kind of how it works. But there was enough interest that maybe this thing could take off, and so that's kind of how the company was formed. That's the backstory of oculus. Pretty soon we're in a twos, two fours on a big modern office tower in Irvine California, full of people doing it game development, hardware development, injuring, prototyping,...

...hundred fifty people. Very quickly, within about a year and a half it was a viable company and for a startup company that's doing hardware you usually lose money. In the first four or five years we were actually in the black. We sold enough stuff on kickstarter to keep the company and float, which meant to me that there was possibility of this thing working pretty well. So that's D K One. Dk Two comes along, we decided to do a different version of the developer kit, still calling in a developer kit for developers, and this had positional tracking, which was able to fix your head in space using a camera, and so you had a camera sit in in front of you, you had these led markers inside the headset and the camera would track The lady markers and get your head position. And we had at that same time we had been making key hires from places like valve, software and so forth to push our technical expertise further. So Dk too is different. Again the same sort of schedule. Dk One, we had ninety days to produce it and get it shipped, which is seems insurmountable. When we managed to pull it off, the team to a really good job at Oculus of doing that, especially the team in China. The participation and the enthusiasm by the young Chinese people working on k one made it happen. And this startup is like you've got. I mean you're you're going to work a lot of hours. You're going to work twelve, fourteen hours a day. In my day started at five am. I'm on the phone to China. I took a nice long three hour break during the day and I'm back on the phone to China at night doing emails and make sure everything's heading in the right direction. I'm on flights all the time going to China, I'm back forth. It's not it and I'm not young and it's not for old people can do it. I can do it. I know old people can do that, but it'll beat yet. And so that's that's the nature of these. But we were making money. Dk to not so much, but we had the investors involved, spark and recent providing capital to grow the company and then pitch it to sell or launch it with an Ipoh. Those are two options. At that point. The IPO things very dangerous territory to get in. I can give you several solid examples of how that didn't work very well for investors. And so in my view at the time, I mean the best option was to sell it and and walks facebook and mark, Mark Zuckerberg, but our company I found. Yeah, now, I'm sorry, Jack. We all we are all familiar with with that story. Than a just a huge, huge win for you. I want to ask you a quick question. I would really appreciate the history that was that. That's amazing. But one of the things you mentioned earlier is you know, you're not a big fan of Demos. You believe that they're they're smoking mirrors. But you know, when someone has natural curiosity like you, you still have to take a you have you still have to go from curiosity to a Beta product and we've had some people on the show that talk about processes around design sprint. But can you share with our listeners kind of how you you traverse that, that little journey from curiosity to to a final a product in general or terms of Oculus? I would say in general, because a lot of our you know, you've done it more than once. So we heard a little bit about how occulus was built. So maybe it's in tolneral. Sure. So it has to do what again with hiring and experience. When I was selling video game controller intellectual property, I made chipsets for light guns and and like gun is something you play like duck hunt with or area fifty one. It's a it's a toy you put point at the screen and you shoot objects on the screen. I pretty much cornered the market with that. This is going back in two thousand, twenty years ago, and I was able to sell my chipsets... various vendors, Microsoft, trust master. The reason you asked me the question about how you know what's the sort of magic bullet about going for an innovation? To you know, a win is the fact that you can get it done fast. There's no way that you can survive and start up environment or her environment if it takes a long time to do something, because by the if it takes a long time, by the time then Mick Technology is finished, it may be extinct by something else that's beaten it. So you have to move fast and has to do with hiring, has to do with getting the key people in place to to produce the product and get the engineering done very as quickly as possible. And so that's the key. You have to get it done fast. And when I was hired by guitar hero and you know activision and and we founded Oculus, I already had those pieces in place, it's just a matter of putting the relationships together in China or wherever to produce it. So answer question, going from innovation, I just have a lot of experience and I and I have to can, can't sing enough accolates to the people I learned things from and taught me along the way, especially younger people. In regards to tred printers and rapid prototyping. These are new tools that are available now. There weren't available in my early on in my career, and I pick up things and I will learn new things all the time, not as quickly as I did before, but I'm always learning from other people. I will listen very carefully to to what they say and what they're doing and follow through on it and follow their ideas. So that's kind of what I've done in my career and in essence, and also trying my best to get along with people, to which, in a hardware startup come business or startup business, very tough, very stressful. And so, in a nutshell, going from rapid protect innovation, it's just because I have a lot of experience and I know how to do that and I can actually get it produced in China and I have all those contacts down from my twenty five years or thirty years and doing that kind of thing. So That's how well Jack you had talked a little bit about kind of leaving your day job and obviously those twenty five or thirty years of experience there's probably been a lot of hard knocks and starts you along the way. So when you see a new opportunity, let's say you're you know, you're you're working at activision or wherever, and you see another opportunity coming down the Pike, is that super easy for you to go, Oh yeah, pull in the pull in the rip cord, we're going for this, or is it kind of, you know, you alluded with Oculus. You kind of had to wait and see or whatever. What's that trigger that says, you know what we're doing, this, this is where I'm going. So I never left a company or project that wasn't finished. I finished the work first. But I'm always I'm always intrigued by new things that I see, our curiosities that I find that I want to pursue. And a couple years ago, I know own a camera company that went belly up, but we made accessories for the GOPRO camera. So I will. I will go and do things that I think are are interesting to me and I'll find those interesting things and do further innovation with it and for experimentation and modifications to it to get it to the way I think people will you'll be able to easier to use as a better utility. So far. So to answer the question they're about, you know that you leaving the day job. I have never had any problem finding another job and I was never concerned about you know, what I'm going to do to make put bread on the table or something like that. I always did pretty well, so it was no problem for me to leave, but I always made sure I finish things up and left on good terms. So, but if I see something that's very treating like Oculus I was I had my camera start up become any we abandoned tech ad work on an Oculus. I just dropped it and I spent a lot of money on that. We had all the tooling finished, all the engineering, the radios, everything sec everything was finished...

...and I just dropped like work because some nine year old kid brought a prototype in my shop and I just loved it. So that's what I'll do. I'm probably less in class. You know, that's what eight years ago. I'mless inclined to do that now, but you know I will. If I won't work for another startup company out whenever work for another company again, but I will do something that I'm very interested in. Monetary reasons are not just because I want to do it so well, and certainly at this point you've got a lot of options open to you. But one of the things you said earlier I kind of want to circle back on. So you obviously talked about business contacts and networks and technical skills and you know tons of experience and kind of working through this. But on the flip side of that there are some soft skills that I think round out the deck of bed. And you tell me a little bit about some of the personality traits? You mentioned one earlier about getting along with people. But what are some of those? They didn't teach me this an engineering school traits down, you'd think her you just startups. Yeah, so engineers aren't known for I mean in general, aren't the most outgoing people. They have a tendency to enjoy isolation a little bit and they tend to be that way, and it's just because of the nature of the work. I think the first person I ever used heard use the words saft skills as a guy. You see Berkeley, where I'm currently a faculty member, excepts it who and it's often forgot how important human factors are in an endeavor such as Oculus, versa or guitar hero, and it takes a quite a bit of from a management side to keep people in line, keep them working together in a productive fashion so that they're getting along. In terms of my career, there's been people you work with you don't get along with through a well and I can think of one guy in particular. I've known him. I've known him for thirty years. He recently passed. When I work for I didn't like working for me. I liked him, but I didn't like working for him. But I knew his of his value and he's a brilliant guy and I always stayed in touch with that guy. I would drop him an email a couple times a year. Ord Collum, we've got the lunch. More recently we spent a lot more time together, but and and that relationship led to one more relationship, because the guy would say you know MacAulay has this skill set and he's also good to work with. Wanted to call mccaulay like much like Greg Deutsch did's with Oculus, and that is how I built my career. I can do the work, I can program and I can do the hardware and I know the contacts and up, but the key reason in all of that is the people and the people you work with. There are lots of engineers with really great ideas who sit in their office at their house and fiddle with their stuff and it may be a great idea but they have no idea how to carry that for because they don't know who to talk to and they don't have the confidence and faith in them that other people might have. So that's that doesn't been the key to my career and activision. Working on Guitar Hero. I'm still in touch with a guy that brought me on board, hired me to work in there. I'm not a founder of guitar hero on it, but he brought me into do all of hard word of homent on it and to build the drums and so forth. So it's a guy worked with, but the prior seven or eight years I've known that guy and he hired me to do other stuff. Hired me to work at activision and I'm sure that guitar who would have probably turned out okay without me, but him bringing me in there was a big I think is a big help to the company, and that's just because I knew the guy and he is in the youth from the UK. I'm not. I work with him in the UK, you know, and s so that whole contact list and video gaming is very small. There's not very mean people work in it and if you make a mistake, it's okay to make mistakes. You can screw something up, but you know, you gotta, you...

...ought to be able to maintain a good personal relationship with people and I've always, have, always done that throughout my career. Doesn't mean when I was working there I got along with them very well. It's stressful, you know, and politics and all that stuff that's seeps in. You know, that's just the that's just comes with a two legged species. But main tinting and relationships very important and exact said who nailed that. When he said that to me, I said, you know what, that's the word I've been looking for for all these years to explain what it is. A kind of encapsulates everything. So I hope that answered the question. It did. It did. Thanks. We have a go. So there's a famous story coming out of the Silicon Valley and everybody knows it and it's that. It's that story where STEWAS YAK is working at HP and he and he creates basically the Macintosh and he goes in any double checks with, you know, HP legal to make sure that this Macintosh invention it is his, and surprisingly HP granted him the ability to go ahead and and license it and own it. We've also had some some other people on our show that kind of experience the same thing. You have a tremendous amount experience around Ip protection. Can you tell us what? For example, there's someone out there and they happen to be working for a company but they do create something very unique that they want to keep. Do you have any advice for those folks? Well, in general, when you work for a company you sign a contract with them that all the intelectual property that's develop while you're working for the company in terms of you're getting salaried and paid to that. That kind it belongs to the company. I generally did the inventing on my own and when I went in and was working at a company, of course I was working for a company, I'd be doing stuff on the side from with my my own ideas. I would inform them that what I was working on and say I'm working on this on the side. Is that okay with you? I haven't had in a personal experience where I was able to walk out with something that someone paid me to develop and then in turn market that and turn it into a soluble product. I haven't had that experience, but I'm always very careful with an electual property, being an inventor and having patents and so forth and being very cleared on that. When I went to act division and when I went to before activision bought guitars, a company was a studio called red octane. We had a de facto licensing agreement to use mine electro property and guitar hero and then when activision bought us, they said well, we'll just buy Mr mccaulay's patents at the same time. Good for me, and so I sold them my ane electra property. When I sold the intellectual property, it no longer belong to me and it was theirs to do with as they wish, which kind of later on I realized that there was somebody out there in the world who was copying what I had been at, but activision on the patent. So I really couldn't do anything about I could have turned it into a financial win for myself and they said, well, I belong to activision. I guess it's theirs now and but it always bugs me when I look at that product out there and I see know that they stole my idea. So I'm on a different side of the defense the electro property. I'm strong believer in that that you go to work for a company, it belongs to the company to work for. We have in the just recently in the past, gotten a lot of trouble with another company, and where the company I work for, the famous V our come company, by not being careful of an electual property and not being care of with legal things. You got to make sure you're legal ducts in a row. I will say another thing about startup company. You need a good lawyer. We had a great lawyer at Oculus. We had one of the best guys around. You have to work with an attorney. It's all part of the group. When you start up company, either hire or law firm or bring someone in who can work pro bono. For stock. You got to work with a lawyer and you got structure your Ip twist defensible when the company, when someone goes to buy Your Business and buy your Oculus or, you know, buy your guitar, they want to see the elucto property is secure and good and we did a reasonable job, a good job of that. At OCULUS and other places I've done. We've always been very...

...sustidious and very detailed about the electoral property. Is Very important. That's what they're buying. They're buying your your Ip portfolio and your people and everything. That the product, of course, but you're buying the IP port where. They got to be able to defend it. You don't want legal problems. You're probably going to get sued no matter what. When you do a big sale like Obculus. It's going to happen. So but make sure you do your best, your best job at keeping all the eluctor property that you've developed in legal and a legal sense, you know, in good shape. So I think that's that's really wise and I I have seen a pattern where these startups are bringing on their own attorney relatively early, and so obviously that that's very wise. I wanted to move really quick to to something that's a little more fun. You obviously have been involved with tremendous consumer facing products like guitar hero and Oculus, and you there are just probably a ton of fans that you interact with. Can you share with US maybe the most gratifying moment you've had interacting with with somebody who's just had a blast with one of your inventions? I would say that the one I get the most at tensioned for and the one that Rings People's Bells is Guitar Hero. I think people think Oculus is cool and you know, as far as wow factors, got the wilefacer, but I hear the most about guitar hero. Wherever I go in people know that I work on that. They said, I just love that game and to be honest with you, I thought it was an okay game myself. I like driving games. I'm kind of in Forza and grand turismo arena. Those are two driving video games. I'd like that kind of stuff. That's how I got started in this business, but you know, that's the one I get the most feedback from the best feedback from his guitar hero and Guitar Hero. I mean look at the sales, sixty four million pieces and and it's a phenomenal success. Who would have thought? I certainly didn't think it would do that, but that's when I get the most recognition for and positive feedback. I think people have a hard time getting their hands around occulus because in a certain percentage of people it causes negative artifacts. It causes vestibular issues with them and makes them busy. So people do. If you get a group people and they you got how you like Oculus to go? Yeah, I'm the guy. Guess it makes me Dizzy. I've never heard that about. Never heard that about guitar hero. Doesn't make anyone dizzy. And interestingly enough, my mom is now passed away, died in two thousand and nine. I have a picture of her playing guitar hero right after we launched ghone it. I kind of tear up when I look at that. Up there she is playing one of my things. You know, so that you world, the world, Went Bananas With Guitar Heo. Everyone planted it, played it in my office. I mean everyone played it. I mean it was a phenomenon. You know, here's a great story about that, is that one musician out of all the people that's that was exposed to gh one saw what it was, and that's Dave mustain from from Mega Dad, this guy. I mean he's got his issues right, but he's a brilliant musician. He's really, really, really like he's the Mozart of metal. For Guitar Hero One, they are all covers, you like. We had it. There's like an inhouse band called the wave band that did all the covers for it because I think the but I heard, I didn't hear this directly, but from other people, that they thought it was dumb. Why don't you just learn the Real Guitar? You know? But this guy saw the beauty. We got his Masters for Guitar Hero One, simply of destruction and you know, I just I like that kind of recognition in and that's just that's so cool. And then after that we had no problem getting masters, you know, for guitar here. We got it from everyone because everyone wanted to make revenue off of it. METALLICA, you know those guys. One of the guys I know is it. It's a long story, but he's a relative of one of the guys in metallic and he says said De Guys Love Guitar Hook because all the money they made on it. Who would have thought that would have been led by by the band mega death? They would have been the first floor. And well, he saw the art in it, I guess. And he knew that. I guess he knew that people...

...wanted to play Air Guitar. That's because essentially it's an air guitar game, you know. and and so I like Dave Misstan. That guy's great. The music, I don't know about that. I like his music too. So anyways, I just thought that was a cool story. And and some of the people did not. Musicians did not like it at all. You got to mix bag. Most of them liked the money. So and you know, if we had stayed in that in that sort of Grungy, you know, sort of stuff like that, the music wise, I mean if we'd stayed in they were probably had a better legs on it. But when you start throwing Miley Cyrus version is so I don't know. I'm not a marketing guy, but sate it's me that kind of ruined it. But I don't know. Yeah, well, you know, you're kind of mentioning all these various endeavors that you're you're on and your interests are certainly the word eclectic doesn't quite cover it, but the ricocheting bullet that is your interest, from what I know, has taken you into the car industry and you've built an electronic or I'm sorry, an electric vehicle. Tell us a little bit about your new baby. Well, I have in my history cotton sort of, I would put it in the sense of burned out. I like to do the creative part of engineering and like to do the art. When I have to deal with the production schedules and managing people and and you know, problems and all the time, it kind of burns out. So I would take a couple of years out from my gigs at gaming companies and build a car, and I finished one in two thousand and ten and I put a V twelve engine in and I made all the parts were made. Built a car from scratch and then after I left Doculus, I did another car, and this is a lot lew hundred and seventeen. This is it's not electric vehicle, but it's an environmentally friendly supercar and by that I mean it's emissions compliant. So we built this car started in two thousand and fifteen. It's just about finished now. Took me four years, but it's built from scratch. We made the wheels in my in my facility here, we have a big, huge CNC machine, which is a computer controlled grinding machine that can grind out a part out of aluminum. I've got D printers, I've got all that stuff. So I bought, I'll spend a lot of money on equipment to build something that for the art sake of it. Now, this is a car that I won't drive. I just build it for the building sake so I can look at it and I will put it in my garage and put a cover on it and then pull it out once a year and start it and drive around the block and put it back. So that's what I like to do, and this is the fifth car that I've built. The six cars. So when we're starting now is an electric vehicle and it will be a car with new battery technology in IT. It won't have breaks. I will put a crick motors on every wheel and I will use a battery system which provides all the breaking recovers all the inertial loss losses which would normally be in the by brakes. So I'm working on that now. I'm doing the engineering now and I'm going to turn to a teachable thing. The goal from myself and the College of Engineering at Berkeley, which is what I currently work is work in part time, is to build and teach students how the technology works, because I really view electric vehicles as the new future. I'm pretty good at spot in this kind of stuff. I can feel the VIBE and society about it and I can feel that like a video game. I can feel it like that's a good game. I can feel, I can see how people are react to to I can feel that and so I'm working on that now. I'm going to do a new battery layout, new battery technology, higher range. Is it going to be a car that I will drive? No, like the other cars, I'm going to park in in my garage with my eight or ten out the cars and and so it. But it's an exercise to teach myself and teach and electric vehicle the INS and out. So I will lot to discovery in this and I'm a take that discovery and give it to the students at Berkeley. That's my what I want to do. So this is my second ev. Actually it's not the first. I don't want to s but this is this this one that had does...

...with s batteries and s motors. This is a newer one. I've always been interested in Green Tech. I really like wind mills and solar panels. At My house is off the grid. I don't even use I don't use my gap my electric company. We use gas, but I don't use the electricity, which is the highest part of my bill. I'm totally off the grid. So I've always kind of been in that vein of thinking about it seems wasteful to burn fossil fuels and put the brakes on a car and then it just gets lost in break heat. Why can't you recover the break keep? You know, I had asked these my self, these questions. So, long story short, that's sort of my new mission, is that I want to I want to do this, this ev and I make some really cool discoveries with it. The maybe people have been tried before and you know it's like someone doesn't try something, how are you know it's not going to work? I mean you'vet you can cut data and people say, well, that won't work. You know the new drug for Corona Nineteen, that won't work. I mean we this is a malaria right, won't how do you know? Yeah, try it on, try it and see if it works. But I think I'm going to make some really cool discoveries, especially with battery layout and in the car. Nothing, nothing, probably fundamentally changing with the electric motor part of it, but just had to recover energy and in the car. So that is what I'm going to do and that probably will turn into a class at Berkeley. Well, that sounds super exciting and certainly if you can chain it up with a guitar simulator to act as the drive control, I think you're on to something. No, you've yet. It's funny mentioned that that you're moving into green technology, and I love that. You you mentioned at the beginning. You know, you, you've provided so much fun for so many people out there. It's only fair that you're spending kind of this portion of your life only focusing on the fun, the design in the building and not dealing with the rest. You already dealt dealt with that and we are the benefactors of that we can't thank you enough for joining us today. Jack Is there? Is there anything else you want to share with with the group before we close things out? Yeah, I have a couple things to say. There's a book called outliers out there that talks about people who who may be very bright and very intelligent but they don't do so well in school and early in life. Something happened to them that or maybe the type people that are more in the vein of art work, you know, are doing art and they're not mathematicians, so they're not scientists. They're not going to be scientists. And and what happens to those people? You know, some of them, these outliers, end up being Steve Jobs and Steve Wazniak, Larry Ellison. Bright people, very intelligent and able to do things, which extraordinary things, Mark Zuckerberg included, through grit and determination and there's a lot to be said about people putting their nose to the grindstone and working a lot, and that is the keys of success. I think the other things I mentioned being able to to get people to follow the your leader, follow the lead of what you're doing, in in the idea and the concept. Like mark sucker couldn't have built facebook without the buying of high, really good technical people, educated technical people to go along with it, because if they're not going to buy in, they're not going to do it. And so I think there's a lot to be said for grit determination, and I'm one of those people both, that has a lot of grit and perseverance. I have done things in the past which didn't look like much on paper, you didn't look like a product. That turned out pretty well, and I've done things that have looked like they're going to be a spectacled product. They haven't done well, but in each case I think I've just beared down on it and got it done. That's terrific and, as I mentioned earlier, our listeners are the benefactors of that grit and determination. Jack, thanks so much for being our guest today. Thank you, thank you so much. Thank you. Bye Bye. Trace three is hyper focused on helping it leaders deliver business outcomes by providing a wide variety of data center solutions and consulting... If you're looking for emerging technology to solve tried in true business problems, trace three is here to help. We believe all possibilities live in technology. You can learn more at trace threecom podcast. That's trace, the number threecom podcast. You've been listening to the founder formula, the podcast for all things start up, from Silicon Valley to innovators across the country. If you want to know what it takes to lead tomorrow's tech companies, subscribe to the show wherever you get your podcasts. Until next time,.

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