It’s funny how 2015 feels like 10 years ago already. Do you remember those days when the Oculus DK1 or DK2 were your standard VR hardware, when the Samsung Gear was impossible to find in stores and when Playstation VR was known as Project Morpheus?
Do you remember how back then, everyone had no clue of what Apple wanted to do in the AR/VR world and were scratching their heads wondering when they would show their cards?
Do you remember how selling VR was just about putting a headset on people’s heads, watch them faint, overwhelmed with ecstasy, and then write you a blank check for any type of experience?
I hope you do. Because the glory days are dead and gone. VR is becoming mainstream, and the world is changing. Fast.
The number of VR companies has increased by more than 40% in 2016. In two years, most studios have gone from having zero competition to massive competition already. And often brands or agencies will have 5 or more studios pitch for the same job.
Meanwhile, brands and big agencies are becoming more savvy by the day. The most innovative brands have already commissioned several experiences and/or are building advanced internal VR teams. They have already bought your typical trade show floor experience and need something fresh, innovative, and different from what they have done those last months.
But at the same time there are still a lot of companies who are new to VR. People who need to be educated on tech and content, and taken by the hand while they build their first experience. Often, they are people who are intimidated the complexity of the VR world and take a long time to make a decision.
I am in the unique position of talking to a lot of CEOs of VR companies on a weekly basis, and I often hear the same feedback. Business is slower this quarter, it takes more time and it is now harder to close than ever before.
Make no mistake, I’m not saying that it’s all doom and gloom. In fact, the future looks bright for the industry. But the honeymoon is drawing to its end.
It means that now is the time to step up your game.
A lot of companies have jumped on the VR bandwagon recently. There is a lot of noise out there. And a lot of VR content is of subpar quality at best. At this point of the story, it is pivotal to rise above the noise and make yourself heard. Word of mouth and meeting people at trade shows are not enough anymore. You want to find new ways to connect in a unique way with your clients.
Talking of unique. You don’t need to be all things to everyone. Most VR companies have their story. Some come from a gaming background, other are formed by film makers and storytellers. Others by high end VFX experts. And that’s a great thing! The spectrum of skills that one needs to cover to excel at VR is mind-boggling. And the very definition of what is a VR experience is in constant evolution.
One way of rising above the noise is to find what is unique about you and your company, and work that muscle until no one on Earth can challenge you. Become THE expert at what you do best, instead of being an average player lost in the herd.
Find your uniqueness. Embrace it. Stand out.
You’ll be rewarded soon enough for that.