I recently had the opportunity to speak with one of the RealCo Seed Fund Program Mentors and leading founders in San Antonio, Andrew Trickett from MergeVR. Andrew has been a driving force for tech in San Antonio and he and his co-founder, Franklin Lyons, have grown MergeVR into a shining star within the Virtual Reality space.
What do you hope to see out of the new fund for Merge Developers?
The best case scenario is that the fund helps kick-start the development of some really cool apps that are ready to go when we launch our product. I am hoping to see things developed that I could have never imagined.
What have been the surprises you have seen in the industry so far?
I have been surprised when VR has been used for utilitarian purposes rather than entertainment. For example, education, psychology and cognitive therapy for things like fear of public speaking. Seeing this is when you know that you have something special going on rather than the next great entertainment innovation it has utility in other parts of life as well.
You have been with MergeVR for over 3 years, how do you see MergeVR growing in the next 5 years?
I see us doing a lot more of everything, more products, more hardware, more software. I would also like to see a point where we are involved in educational toys. See also our interview with Matt Reedy, USAA Executive Director of Innovation.
What drew you to a career in Virtual Reality?
I see VR as the next great digital platform. VR is on par from the transition we have seen in the past from the mainframe to PC and PC to mobile. I anticipate that a giant shift will happen affecting how we use VR in our daily lives. Also interesting is our interview with Parker Powers, RealCo Seed Fund Mentor.
How do you define Great work?
One of my favorite words is IMPACT. There can be a lot of ways that you have an impact on the company, selling, contributing to the culture, fundraising. Those are the things that I look at. Aerospace and Aeronautical Engineering is also a field that has drawn my attention. What is the way that I can have the most impact on the company?
What advice do you give others to maximize the amount of Great work that they do?
I advise others that the key is balancing the selection of what they do with doing impactful things. One key book to read is “7 Habits of the Highly Effective People”. In all of the books, blogs, and articles about being productive, one thing is often repeated: that is to do the first things first. You need to really think about what is the one thing that must be done day in and day out. These habits are used in all facets of life.
Even successful criminals think about what is going to make them the most successful. I encourage entrepreneurs to think about what is it that they can do that will impact their company most in the most positive way. You need to think about what that is and be honest with yourself and make sure that you do it. Highly productive people actually do this.
If you focus on that one thing for 1 hour or 2 then you can ensure that you get the most important and impactful thing completed. You will find that it is easy for the rest of the day to get away from you. The things that you feel you have to do can get in the way, interruptions happen, and the most important and impactful things can get overlooked.
What keeps you up at night?
All kinds of things in the startup world. But also in how far Plastic Engineering is a benefit or a threat to planet. What keeps me up varies on a day by day basis but often has to do with things like what are the barriers that interfere with me being able to have an impact. A competitor, something that is a surprise, I don’t tend to worry about small stuff it’s high impact stuff.
What is the advice you would give the Pre-Career version of yourself?
Time is the most precious resource you have. Spend it wisely and on the high impact stuff. I think differently on what would have spent time on that would have put me further ahead, to rocket along early. Success is defined early in life so you have to spend time smartly.