Varwin streamlines VR project development
Please introduce yourself and your startup Varwin to our readers!
My name is Alex Dovzhikov, I am a serial entrepreneur. Together with my partners I’ve founded eLama, one of the largest ad automation services in Europe, also Dioram, the SLAM company and iVariant, a VR studio that creates projects for business. Recently I launched the Varwin platform — a Reality Management System that streamlines VR development process, allowing dev studios build VR projects faster while their clients can manage VR content with zero coding skills. We launched a beta version globally this May and we have already been chosen as finalists of the Auggie Awards 2019, featured by VRScout, VRFocus, and have presented the platform at more than 5 shows, such as AWE, Live Worx Boston, NY TechDay.
How did you come up with the idea for Varwin?
While working at iVariant we had to power through all the limitations and face the pain that’s part of every VR development process. Imagine VR training production for a big corporation. If anything in the training scenario changes (say there is a new model of equipment used in the training program, or a new button or switch you have to push or place in a new location), the customer can’t alter the content themselves. Clients depend on developers even for small edits like changing object orientation and how employees interact with them, so there is a good reason that VR production remains expensive and time-consuming.
It really makes the workflow more complicated than it should be and serves as one of the main reasons for why businesses haven’t yet adopted VR as massively. The same was true with web sites some years ago before Content Management Systems appeared. The Varwin Reality Management System started as a tool to simplify and streamline our own workflow and eventually we decided to make it available for all VR studios and businesses.
What vision is behind Varwin?
I believe that the world changes when people gain control of the information they own, instead of relegating it to a programmer. One day creating VR experiences will become as easy as creating websites with WordPress, Tilda or Wix. And I am talking about difficult projects with complicated scenarios and logics: in some years everyone will be able to create a professional VR training, an educational course, an adventure game or a new world with its own rules and storylines.
How difficult was the start and what challenges you had to overcome?
We are still overcoming challenges. It always happens when you are thinking and building around innovations. VR/AR market is still very narrow, people hardly understand what to expect from it and the problem areas are not very evident at this point. Besides, working on such an innovative product means hiring the best of VR developers and 3D designers — who are rather difficult to find these days.
The market development depends on many factors, such as the price of hardware, overall tech culture and, of course, the VR content itself. We are doing our best to solve the content problem, simplifying VR development process, and believe it will help boost the entire VR ecosystem.
Who is your target audience?
At the moment our target audience is VR studios and internal IT departments of companies that create professional VR projects for businesses. Our end goal is to be useful to both VR professionals and their clients. Developers can produce reusable VR solutions while their clients can manage multiple VR projects in real time, without applying programming skills.
What is the USP of your startup?
It is simplicity that allows to build and manage any professional VR project. There are various VR tools on the market: engines, drag-and drop tools for casual users, SDKs and plugins. Unlike engines, Varwin allows developers to produce reusable VR projects, which makes it an easier and faster tool. Unlike simple drag-and-drop tools for casual users, Varwin allows to manage and create a much more difficult scenario with much more interactivity.
Can you describe your typical workday?
I wake up around 8 am and handle most of my calls on the way to the office. Until 12 pm I respond to questions, messages and emails, finish tasks from the previous day and schedule new ones. Starting from 12 pm I usually have up to 4 meetings. On the way home around 7 pm I make calls and and plan the next day.
Ideally, I want to plan 4 weeks ahead, but every day is, of course, different, and the schedule becomes flexible depending on business trips, urgent requests and unplanned meetings.
Where do you see yourself and Varwin, your startup, in five years?
In 5 years we plan to have a product that stays ahead of the XR market with a decent % of the global VR content market and a huge network of VR developers — partners that use Varwin. Until the end of the year the projects created with Varwin will be working not only with VR headsets, but also mobile phones and desktop computers using 3D mode, without the need of a VR headset. In 5 years projects made with Varwin will be easily used with any AR hardware.
I hope that Varwin will boost the VR/AR market thanks to User Generated VR/AR content growth. It will truly be a Reality Management System with the best user experience.
What 3 tips would you give to other start-up founders?
- Planning is way more important than plans themselves. This process brings a lot of insights and creates a knowledge base that is even more important than plans. If you haven’t planned it, most probably it will not be done.
- Work with people, not companies or projects. When you see your clients, investors and employees as partners and find the right people, everything works out better than you would normally expect.
- Try and test: it’s better to fail once than stay in doubt forever.
More information you will find here
Thank you Alex Dovzhikov for the Interview
Statements of the author and the interviewee do not necessarily represent the editors and the publisher opinion again.