Immersive technologies are a change of interface, that will have an impact on humanity similar to the printing press or the screen. It is an inevitable transition. However, the current rules of advertising don't apply within immersive media, mainly because of the intrusiveness. Admix aims to solve this problem and maximise revenue for the content creators.
Admix (previously Advir.co) enables non-intrusive, programmatic product placements within the content. Think, a can of coke on a table, or a video playing on a billboard. Our mission is to develop the best tools to monetize immersive content, whether it is through advertising, e-commerce or transactions. This is how we are going to do it.
I am the co-president of the VRAR Pledge, a commitment against intrusive advertising signed by companies such as Yahoo or Orange.
the key is noT to know what will change. It Is to know what won't change.
Over the next couple of decades, we will see more progress that we have seen over our lifetime: artificial intelligence, gene editing, renewable energies, mixed reality and many more. It is nearly impossible to predict how people will embrace those new technologies and to what extend it will change the world.
Instead, I believe it is a better question to ask what won't change. There are a few fundamental values, driven by human behaviour, which will never be altered. For example, humans will always care about their safety and health. They will always prioritize tools that save them time, try to save money, communicate faster, educate themselves and be entertained.
These are things that can't be disputed, and why I believe that companies like Uber (save time), Amazon (save money), Facebook (communicate) will be around for a long, long time. If they aren't, someone else would have executed better on the same idea. Similarly, businesses are always going to want reduce their costs, hire the best people, and reach their customers in the most efficient way. This is why, for example, AI, cloud computing and adtech are not going anywhere.
This certainty is what inspires leaders to relentlessly push in the right direction. For Jeff Bezos, it's knowing that customers will always want low prices and fast delivery. For me, the first certainty is knowing that immersive technologies are our future computing platform. There is no doubt that done right, it will save people time, improve our communications, education, and entertainment, and is the first step towards 'augmenting' our intelligence. Billions of people will eventually use it. The other certainty is that brands will always looks for ways to reach these billions, putting advertising at the center of this immersive revolution. And this is why we are building Admix.
A lot of things will go wrong on the micro level, but at least the macro is right. Some things just don't change.
Previously, I co-founded Kout.io
Wouldn't it be cool if you could win any product from you favourite shop, at zero financial risk? This was the crazy idea we had starting Kout (short for checkout),
With Kout, customers play free games for a chance to win their shopping basket for free. We went from indexing 20 products to over 3 million, signing deals with Amazon, Samsung, Nike, Virgin and many more retailers.
Kout was born in late 2015 and raised funds as a part of Collider.io accelerator. The initial business model was arbitraging our affiliate commission (similar to a cashback) to reward the lucky users with a free product. Recently, the team pivoted towards a B2B model, licensing the technology to retailers..
I've had some success...
RogueTrader was the first arcade trading app in the AppStore - now it's been copied over and over! You trade virtual stock by Buying or Selling and can get real rewards like Starbucks vouchers if you do well (by now have you figured I like gamification?).
Built this on a minimum budget in a few months, grew it (mostly organically) to 8,000 daily players, made it on Discovery Channel at CES 2014 and ended up selling to a development studio that was interested in white labelling it as an educational platform.
... and some failures
Betify was a gamified (surprise!) video sharing platform. Similar to Vine except that you were competing with your friends to do cool stuff (athletic tricks, music solos, drawing contests...) The most popular creators would get rewarded with brand stuff. Our video kinda explains that.
Raised close to a quarter million $$ on the back of an envelope - (beginner's luck at 23), built a 8 people team (too much, too quick) and focussed on the wrong things. Despite that we got a buyout offer from a US media giant :) which fell through :( and we had to cease operations mid 2015.
Lesson learnt: build things people want to pay for.
I come from the F1 world
Working in Formula 1 was my dream job while at Uni, so I hacked my way into a non graduate job at Mercedes. Rumour has it, I was the youngest engine strategy engineer in F1 at the tender age of 21. They used a C-Class 250 AMG car as a bait for me to sign (jokes).
Through damage modelling and computer simulations, I was managing the engine allocation plan for the 3 teams racing a Mercedes powertrain (Mercedes AMG, McLaren, Force India).
I used gamification for the first time to incentivize other team members to follow processes more efficiently.
Left after 2 years to do my own thing. I miss the car.
I started with 'why'
I like to understand how the world works. I decided to study Physics at the Polytechnical School of Lausanne, even though people tried to dissuade me as the success rate was 'only' 30%. I hope they now realise how big of a number that is in life.
Getting closer to my then-dream of working in F1, I got into Cranfield University for my Masters in Motorsport Engineering and Management. Nailed it.
Thoughts I try to live by
"Do what you love. Everything else is secondary."
"Believe you are the greatest. No one else will."
"There is no shortcut to success. Just hard work and talent."
"Take every opportunity. Be all in or nothing. Being 2nd is being the first one to lose."
"Never give up on what's important. Even if the odds are against you."
"Put things in perspective. Remember what really matters."
Talk to me about...
I've spent a lot of time with industry experts to understand purchase behaviour and motivations (read my Manifesto) before implementing incentives through gamification for all of my ventures. I particularly like experiments around irrationality, game theory and prospect theory (all of which are behaviours we observed building Kout).
Hey, I'm still a physicist at heart. I'm particularly attracted by the entanglement phenomenon. The fact that particles could be separated my millions of miles and still behave as a unit fascinates me. Einstein himself was struggling to come to terms with it. I believe that it will eventually be the key to communication and computing. I pledge to contribute to it one day.
I like the idea that DNA is the human source code: we can digitise it and re-program it, in a hope to cure genetic diseases, or increase longevity. Even crazier, the DNA sequence can be sent via the internet and chemically reconstructed somewhere else. This could help stop pandemics before they occur, or bring life to Mars. Just saying.