Makers of The Metaverse: Bryan Colin Of View Labs On The Future Of The VR, AR & Mixed Reality Industries
An Interview With Fotis Georgiadis
Be a team player — Lastly, is to be a team player. The above are not possible without having a strong foundation of people you can rely on and bounce ideas off, but you have to be willing to get in the trenches with your team as you’re building your business in order to succeed.
The Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and Mixed Reality Industries are so exciting. What is coming around the corner? How will these improve our lives? What are the concerns we should keep an eye out for? Aside from entertainment, how can VR or AR help work or other parts of life? To address this, we had the pleasure of interviewing entrepreneur Bryan Colin.
Bryan Colin is Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of View Labs, today’s leading software provider of cutting-edge video and digital technologies that revolutionized the 360° video sector, enabling companies to shape real, mixed, and virtual reality to achieve critical business goals. Bryan has guided strategy, business development and sales for View Labs since its founding in 2016. The company now employs more than 40 professionals and supports leading businesses in real estate, construction, entertainment, retail, hospitality, technology and enterprise services. An early innovator of augmented virtual reality and virtual reality technology, Bryan has guided View Labs in the development of five interconnected products that help businesses collaborate more effectively, create interactive and immersive marketing experiences, increase user engagement and gain insight into customers.
Bryan earned his bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Skidmore College and holds a patent for Immersive Capture and Review.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit. Can you tell us a bit about your backstory and how you grew up?
I grew up the oldest of two boys in a town in New Jersey. My parents were both academically advanced and experts in mathematics, and operate a 4th generation family fashion business. This really helped to shape my path, as my parents gave me a glimpse into entrepreneurship at a young age and what it takes to run a business.
Is there a particular book, film, or podcast that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?
A favorite book is Zero to One by Peter Thiel, the Co-Founder of PayPal. The book changed my perception of how entrepreneurship and startups operate. It creates a view of all the problems that startup companies solve, and then simplifies it into a digestible format that is easy to understand. I highly recommend anyone who is interested in pursuing their own business to check it out.
Is there a particular story that inspired you to pursue a career in the X Reality industry? We’d love to hear it.
As an entrepreneur, I’m always on the lookout for pain points within an industry and developing a big-picture idea to solve them. I co-founded View Labs as a solution to one of the major problems I saw as a renter in New York City. The apartment search process relied on low-quality images and clunky virtual tours, if they were even available at all. I knew there had to be a better way to virtually tour units before seeing them in-person, which sparked the idea of how View Labs was born. Today, we’re on a mission to change how the built world is viewed in digital form. The company has evolved to serve far beyond the real estate industry. Our proprietary technology provides end-to-end solutions that blur lines between online & real experiences that transcend several industries, whether it’s hospitality, retail, entertainment in the built world, or creating metaverse experiences.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began this fascinating career?
We’ve been fortunate to work with various professional athletes and musicians over the years since founding View Labs. I’ve enjoyed watching and meeting people that are world class in their respective skills, and the in-person experience gives such an appreciation of how talented they are. Trying to develop technology to recreate and immerse people into those experiences is our vision.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
Not quite a mistake per se, but a learning curve along the way was when we first started and were looking to capture high-quality 360° video, we tried to imagine how to get the smoothest content possible and hired professional ballerinas to operate the cameras. While this was a good idea in theory, we quickly realized that creating consistent, exact paths was not a job for humans — no matter how graceful, because it was nearly impossible to get the same speeds in motion each time, and moved on to robots, which are far better for our purposes. We realized that we needed to make robots that are capable of emulating the same motions without the deviations between takes.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
I work with a small contingency of incredible advisors and confidants that have guided my journey, and in their own way, each has provided tips and advice that has helped View Labs become what it is today. For example, one advisor insisted I have a conversation with our now CMO, Kailey Magder, and without them, we never would have been connected.
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?
We’re constantly working on new innovations and have a lot of exciting and innovative projects in the pipeline. Currently, we’re creating the first metaverse that fuses real, mixed-reality, and simulated content. Through our work, we’ve digitized nearly 1 billion square feet of the built environment in hyper-realistic and immersive virtual tours, and we’re now applying our technology to the development of an all-encompassing metaverse. Our metaverse will feature immersive entertainment, shopping, and socializing in a photorealistic world — driven by original content and e-commerce experiences, creating a virtual world where enterprise partners, brands, creators, and talent will be able to monetize, grow, and prosper. This metaverse will provide endless opportunities to blend the real and mixed-reality worlds, and in turn, help to create new ways for companies to continue to innovate and expand.
Ok super. Thank you for all that. Let’s now shift to the main focus of our interview. The VR, AR and MR industries seem so exciting right now. What are the 3 things in particular that most excite you about the industry? Can you explain or give an example?
What excites me the most are the opportunities that lie ahead within this industry. While these industries aren’t exactly “new,” there’s a new wave of creativity and talent taking them to the next level. There’s endless opportunity for creativity, and as more industries continue to tap into this technology, I’m most excited to see what’s next. It’s evident that content is king, and there are so many avenues that are still left to explore, and I hope to partner with the most innovative and creative brands on new ways to market, entertain, and be at the forefront of what’s next for e-commerce.
What are the 3 things that concern you about the VR, AR and MR industries? Can you explain? What can be done to address those concerns?
Some entrepreneurs might not agree with me, but I don’t have any concerns. I have a lot of excitement for what’s to come within the industry, but not many concerns come to mind. As with anything, technology will continue to evolve, and I’m confident that this will be a new way of life. What is concerning about the ecosystem surrounding these industries is the funding required to turn things into a reality.
I think the entertainment aspects of VR, AR and MR are apparent. Can you share with our readers how these industries can help us at work?
Absolutely. While I agree that the entertainment aspect is apparent and one of the more exciting aspects of this technology, our core software products are used by enterprise businesses and have created efficiencies and insight into analytics that haven’t been tapped into before. View Labs’ software-as-a-service suite enables these businesses to collaborate more effectively by increasing user engagement, gaining insights into customers’ preferences, saving time and money, and providing new tools for decision-makers to make more informed choices.
Are there other ways that VR, AR and MR can improve our lives? Can you explain?
These technologies not only affect our business lives but impact our day-to-day lives in ways you might not even realize are VR or AR. Imagine you’re going to book a hotel room and you want to see what kind of mattress the hotel has. Our proprietary AVR software gives more detailed insight than the typical booking experience. For example, users can click on those items and see those details. The same concept can be applied in almost any situation.
What are the “myths” that you would like to dispel about working in your industry? Can you explain what you mean?
I think one myth I’d dispel is the misconception that all AR/AR/Mixed Reality has to do with gaming. While there is definitely a gamification factor involved, there are so many other everyday use cases for this type of technology — whether it is virtual touring, construction planning tools, and more. There’s a business side of this industry that not many see at face value.
What are your “5 Things You Need To Create A Highly Successful Career In The VR, AR or MR Industries?”
- Create a big picture goal — Look to solve a pain point in an industry. From a high-level view, what is your company solving and why is the company’s solution better than the competition? From there, work your way down.
- Expand your network — One person might have the idea, but it often takes a village for that idea to come to fruition. For example, as stated above, I’m a “big picture” person and my expertise does not lie within the technicalities of the technology, but what it’s solving for. But that’s the beauty of creating a network of people with different backgrounds and skill sets. You can bounce ideas off each other and eventually find ways to make them work together.
- Adapt and evolve — One piece of advice I would give to those entering the industry is to be adaptable. Technology is evolving every day, and the needs and use cases can vary in a short matter of time. Since View Labs was founded six years ago, we’ve continued to evolve our products and technology and have connected with and served so many different industries than where we thought we’d be when we started, which leads to my next point…
- Be nimble — As a tech company, things move quickly, and you have to be ready and willing to roll with the punches.
- Be a team player — Lastly, is to be a team player. The above are not possible without having a strong foundation of people you can rely on and bounce ideas off, but you have to be willing to get in the trenches with your team as you’re building your business in order to succeed.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.
I do not consider myself a person of great influence. I hope that our company can achieve influence and success. Through our work, we’re aiming to inspire a greater movement into blending the real, mixed, and digital words. Eventually, this technology will be so ingrained in our everyday lives. It’s now almost impossible to think back to a time before iPhones existed, and yet today it’d be nearly impossible for most to be without them, and that’s what I believe we’re heading towards overall with this technology.
We are very blessed that very prominent leaders read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would like to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them.
I would love to meet Jeff Bezos. His ability to consistently build and execute a vision as a CEO is inspiring. I would love the opportunity to sit and have lunch with him to understand how he is able to be so consistent and keep things on track.
Thank you so much for these excellent stories and insights. We wish you continued success on your great work!
Makers of The Metaverse: Bryan Colin Of View Labs On The Future Of The VR, AR & Mixed Reality… was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.