Makers of The Metaverse: Nick Donarski Of Ore System On The Future Of The VR, AR & Mixed Reality Industries
An Interview With Fotis Georgiadis
Don’t back down. You’ve got to be able to stand strong against the wind and take it as it comes. Don’t be scared and afraid to fail.
The Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality & 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 Nick Donarski of ORE System.
Nick Donarski is the inventor of the multi-part ecosystem that’s the ORE System, comprising the ORE Token, the ORE Forge, and the ORE SDK. Holding a number of certifications together with MCSE+S, MCSA+S, MCSE, MCSA, MCP, and CEH, Nick is a cybersecurity expert and has been a featured speaker at a number of cybersecurity conferences and labored for a few of the greatest names within the trade. He’s fluent in several programming languages and blockchain applied sciences together with Web3, Ethereum, Polygon, Binance, BSC, and Sensible Contract Safety and Testing. Nick is a gamer at heart with an ardor to create video games for customers and assist game builders to notice their goals. The suite of instruments throughout the ORE Ecosystem is the means to that finish.
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?
Sure! I grew up in Chicago. I grew up at home living with my mom because my parents were divorced. My dad was into computers, so that was where we connected and that’s where I got my start. I like to say that I was born and bred on the Internet. I was always a gamer at heart and still remember my first 56 K modem.
My dad was awesome. He was a fireman and paramedic, and my mom was an emergency room nurse. My dad always had a passion for computers and we had them at home. My generation is the last one that actually saw the early stuff and used it.
The very first program that I wrote was a Halloween-themed chess game all the way back in 1989. Instead of knights, there were horses that were pumpkins. That was what got to me where I am today, to where I am making video games for a living. That’s one of those things that helped me in the cyber security industry because people in that industry will never see those things happen as they did back then or live in the Wild West of the Internet.
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?
One of my favorites was a made-for-TV movie by TNT called “Pirates of Silicon Valley.” Most people have no idea that this movie ever even existed, but it’s the story of Bill Gates and Steve Jobs and was made long before they became the cultural icons that they are today. Noah Wyle played Steve Jobs and Anthony Michale Hall played Bill Gates. This movie dives into their lives before they were cool, and you get some of the seedy stories of what really happened in the early days of Apple.
One interesting tidbit is the story of the mouse. Most people don’t know this, but the mouse was actually developed by engineers at Xerox. Xerox declined to market it because marketing something called a mouse was beneath their corporate image. They gave away the tech because they didn’t believe that ordinary people needed computers and that marketing something called the mouse was beneath them.
Is there a particular story that inspired you to pursue a career in the X Reality industry? We’d love to hear it.
It was just something that I love to do. I lived the big corporate life and I’ve worked for various different alphabet agencies in my time. I’ve worked for some of the biggest corporations all the way down to mom-and-pop companies and startups all through my career. I’ve traveled and taught at conferences, but at the end of the day, I love creativity. I love the ability to go in and play a video game. I’m fortunate that I got the opportunity to jump in and live my dream.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began this fascinating career?
I would say the fact that we are still kicking and still here because honestly, the blood, sweat, and tears that every person on the team puts into this is really the story behind our success.
We are self-funded and we have no outside investors. We do what we believe is right. We do right by ourselves and what we believe in, and we really do right by the clients that want to work with us. That seems to bring the cool projects in the door.
For example, we have projects where we’re working with car collectors and insurance agencies. We do projects working with metaverse and virtual reality creation. NFTs are also huge right now. Our goal as an organization — and our tagline — is “White-collar tools for blue-collar folks.”
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?
The biggest mistake we made was that we tried to answer all of the questions instead of focusing on one question at a time. In the early days, it was hard for us to find ourselves because we didn’t really know who we were at that point. As we grew, and as we started to figure out exactly what we were trying to do, we’ve been kicking butt ever since.
My advice is don’t get frustrated in those early days. Having the idea of the dream is the first step, but don’t get frustrated when it doesn’t quite go your way. 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?
My dad is the only reason that I have been able to do as much as I have done in my life. He was into sci-fi and having computers at home in the 1980s when nobody else had it was important.
His motto was “If you hack into my stuff, just know how you broke it.” The rule was to never hack from home. It was the fact that he was cool about allowing it to be a learning process. If you made a mistake, it was fine as long as you learned from it; success or failure, just learn from it. Without him, I wouldn’t have had the career that I have today.
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?
Right now, the biggest thing is trying to break down the technical barriers, especially inside the blockchain world. The biggest misconception that we face is that blockchain is crypto and vice versa — it’s not. The technology of blockchain is closer to a database system than it is just crypto, but they’ve become so synonymous with one another that you assume one means the other.
We’re bringing blockchain to gaming and we’re doing it in a way that there is no underlying, what’s called, the layer-one coin. You don’t need Bitcoin, Ethereum, or anything like that to do transactions. It doesn’t require the user to actually go and purchase crypto or anything to use blockchains of technology.
Breaking those two parts allows us to not only increase the user experience, especially for gamers, but it also allows you to have those robust immutable systems that blockchain brings without the hurdles and the hiccups from the SEC restrictions around crypto.
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?
The cool part about this is that it bridges barriers and breaks down global lines. That’s one of the cool things that the Internet brought together: access.
The metaverse is a middle ground where you can start to build that community out a little bit. Its inclusion of AR and VR starts to break down some of those barriers.
The three things that are most exciting are:
- The technology that’s going to be trickling down is exciting.
- It’s going to be a smaller technology and easier to use. You’re going to see more events and a stronger sense of community because you’re breaking down that barrier.
- The third is the fact that you are in a video game, so the ability to do almost anything that you want is there with more fun and fewer restrictions.
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?
- The biggest concern is going to be security. With any new technology, you have a hurdle of trying to get there first but not doing your due diligence from the development side. Trying to be first to market doesn’t mean that you did all the steps that you’re supposed to. Coming from the cyber security side for 22 years, that is why I still have a job. People rush things to market, so security is going to be key.
- As we go into the future motion of crypto payment-processing, this is also a concern. The transaction of PCI has to be the concern. You still have to use credit card processors and follow rules and regulations. I don’t think a lot of developers are taking this into account as they start to get in.
- As much as I love technology, it does start to build a wedge between the real world and the virtual world. There’s a concern that we are actually accelerating the separation of humanity from interacting with one another by removing the requirement of interacting.
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?
We’re going to see more events and more gatherings. We already have virtual concerts and virtual sporting events. There are virtual meetings for work that break down the barriers, especially with remote working.
The flip side of that is that, for work purposes, I don’t know how much work versus play the metaverse really creates. If you’re in an office environment, you’re sitting there wearing a headset and still typing your emails. I don’t know if there’s a lot of value in that.
For presentational purposes and team-building events, we will continue to build. We’re so spread out these days, and it’s difficult to get everyone in the same place, so this creates an advantage.
Are there other ways that VR, AR and MR can improve our lives? Can you explain?
I don’t know if it will necessarily improve our lives. It’s another way to enjoy your life.
Gaming is not going anywhere and with VR, it grows the fun factor and draws people in, and makes you spend more time. For a developer, this coincides with more revenue generated by in-game purchases and licensing rights. From a business perspective, it’s a fantastic and leading-edge place to be.
What are the “myths” that you would like to dispel about working in your industry? Can you explain what you mean?
Metaverse is just virtual reality. Everybody wants to sell the buzzword of metaverse but virtual reality game events have been around for a long time.
What are your “5 Things You Need To Create A Highly Successful Career In The VR, AR or MR Industries?”
- The first one is creativity. You have to love being creative and think outside of the box because everybody’s going to tell you that you can’t do it. Everybody is going to tell you that it’s hard, but you have to be creative and see things from a different angle.
- Don’t back down. You’ve got to be able to stand strong against the wind and take it as it comes. Don’t be scared and afraid to fail.
- Learn. Go out there and just try this stuff. Failure isn’t a failure if you learned something in the end. Edison said, “I have not failed. I just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
- Find yourself a good team. You can’t get anywhere in this world by yourself.
- Get away from the computer. That’s something I tell a lot of people in my industry. Take time and get away from the computer and spend time with family. Spend time with ones that love you because they’re the ones that end up getting neglected in the end when you spend all day in front of your machine or your computer.
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 :-)
My philanthropy goal is that I want to bring high-tech programs to rural areas in America. They’re not available in those places, and it’s a lost opportunity for kids to be able to have those experiences. It’s not that America can’t have high-tech jobs, it’s just that no one’s giving them the opportunity.
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 :-)
This is probably the hardest question, but it would have to be Adam Sandler. The reason is that throughout his career — from the early days on SNL to his movies — he’s experienced ups and downs, but how he handles it and makes light of it through humor strikes me as somebody that’s real. I love his movies and am a big Adam Sandler fan.
Thank you so much for these excellent stories and insights. We wish you continued success on your great work!