It’s no secret that VR hype has been in high gear throughout 2016, fueled by quarterly hardware launches and market size previsions that went through the roof. VR was everywhere in the media and was about the save the world.
And then the first hardware sales figures started to roll in and everyone realized that this was a marathon and not a sprint. Or to be more precise, everyone knew this was coming, but now we’re starting to experience it, and that’s an entirely different beast.
If you’re the CEO of a VR startup, your mission is now to survive until you are able to deliver sustainable revenues.
There are more options than ever to raise funds from VCs to hardware manufacturers. But even if you have VC money, you need to be cautious more than ever. Stay learn, be agile and don’t burn through cash. Raise more money than you think you need and generate revenues early.
Let’s hear it one more time: VR is not a fad and is here to stay. Consumer satisfaction of early adopters is sky high. But there are still a lot of hurdles on the way to true mass market adoption.
First, there are obvious and much needed hardware improvements (yes, wires, you need to go now). But a lot of evangelizing and education remains to be made both on the enterprise and consumer fronts. VR is still largely a bubble, and once you step outside of NY, California, London or Singapore, the majority of people haven’t had the opportunity to even try a VR headset yet.
Everyone is still in experimentation phase, and it’s a great opportunity to start fresh and imagine new models that have been specifically designed for VR (in this article Digital LA summarizes the most popular ways for B2B and B2C VR companies to make money). It’s especially true in the gaming world where it’s a great time indie games.
But at the same time it’s also a problem because not all the pieces of the ecosystem are in place to make a VR killer app. Or to give an example: without a “Netflix for VR” (monetization) there can be no “VR House of Cards” (content).
Still, if despite of those challenges you manage to build the absolute best experience in VR people WILL fund it / buy it.
It is the best of times, it is the worst of times.
But the question remains: how do you survive the next 1-2 years until VR becomes truly mass market?
Competition is increasing and you need to show off the coolest innovations and build a strong brand presence today. According to a riveting survey on the state of the VR Industry in 2017 by VRX, the priorities of VR companies this year are product development (71% of respondents) and marketing (46% of respondents).
So, short answer: you need to stay lean, be creative and build the absolute best tech or content, and you need to be seen and make sure your message is out there.
We can’t really help you with tech or content (after all that is your gift to this world). But if you have an amazing technology or a great story to tell, and you are not sure of how to reach your ideal audience, fear not for you are not alone.
We can definitely help you have a laser focus on your ideal clients, get that qualified traffic to your website and educate and convert that traffic into hot leads. Leaving you free to work your magic and create amazing VR!