If you’ve kept up with BadVR on Twitter or LinkedIn, you’ve probably seen a LOT of exciting activity here at BadVR. While it’s been difficult to keep up sometimes, we are truly grateful to be actively building such a passionate, dedicated, and talented team. And of course — beyond excited to be building the future of data! 🎉
How many teams get to work with purpose, on a mission they LOVE, every single day?! We are all honored and excited to be living the dream.
As a team, we try to remember to step back from the excitement, the work, the long hours, and celebrate the why behind BadVR. The why… as in, why we are here and why it matters. Understanding the why helps us (and you, our readers) understand the how. Our mission, our goals, and our dreams help us determine how we go about realizing them.
All of our successes, small or large, are a credit to the people who make up our team. The humans behind the screen, the creative thinkers, the ones who have taken the leap to join us in building a company that we think will change the world, are the heart and soul of BadVR. As such, we want to take a minute to celebrate and recognize them, one at a time.
Last month, we sat down with Brian Wong, our Senior Engineer. This month, we caught up with BadVR’s Director of Strategic Partnerships, Adam Caplan. Which was not an easy thing to do, let me tell you! He’s been traveling around the globe, telling the world about BadVR, but we were able to find some time in his busy schedule to get his thoughts on everything from immersive data to his amazing pets and we’re so excited to share his story with the world!
Let’s get started!
Adam, tell me a little about what you do in your role as Director of Strategic Partnerships here at BadVR.
Adam: I joined the company about two and a half months ago. Basically, I lead the charge in connecting with our potential customers. This includes running the gambit of cold calling new leads, to in-person meetings and demos. In essence, my primary function is to evangelize our Immersive Data Analytics Solution to the masses.
Director of Strategic Partnerships is such a large role to take on, what motivates you to rock the position in the way that you have?
Adam: Aside from the rush of landing a deal or having a great meeting, I have always been at my best self in front of an audience, whether on the stage or in a room with key stakeholders.
I look at my role as a conduit between BadVR and the rest of the world. That’s why I talk in terms of partnership and not “sales.” Sure, we do have a product that we are “selling,” but since we are looking to revolutionize the data space we are really looking for partners that will evangelize and work with us to promote change.
It sounds like you have so much passion for what you do, which isn’t surprising, given the team you work for and their desire to change the world! So Adam, take us back… how did you end up in this position?
Adam: So after graduating from U of M (GO BLUE) in theatre, I moved home to LA to “make it,” however after a few years of grinding and working multiple “day jobs” I was given the advice to move into sales, so I started working for a Xerox re-seller selling copiers. I was wanting to move into the 21st century, and with some inside knowledge of the digital advertising world (from my future sister-in-law), I started the journey into digital advertising sales… This led me to USAToday where I was first introduced to Virtual Reality. I was hooked.
There came an opportunity to follow my boss and mentor to a VR broadcasting company, and I jumped at the idea. Fast forward to 2019 and I was again looking at the next place to call work home.
I knew I wanted to stay in the immersive space but didn’t know where I was going to land. Then a mutual friend reached out saying he had met with this “amazing team” at BadVR and they were looking for someone to head up their sales department. Honestly, I had little to no idea what an immersive data analytics platform was, but it sounded interesting and so I came in and met with Suzie and Jad.
There was an immediate connection with the team, I think I came in for an hour initial interview and left almost 2 hours later, so there was a definite visceral connection. I could see the vision once I put on the headset. I was sold.
Sometimes you just know when something feels right, and this just felt right. In essence, BadVR checked off all my boxes. Great team, Amazing Vision, Immersive Tech, an opportunity of a lifetime for me.
What goals do you personally have for this role?
Adam: I have been in the immersive space for going on 3 years now and I see such a potential to change the way humans interact with each other on a myriad of levels.
My goals focus around partnering with people that also share that vision of a brave new world. I am so blessed to be a part of this unique company that is pushing forward to that future each and every day. In a more tangible sense, my main goal is that the BadVR Immersive Data Analytics Platform is the go-to solution for companies large and small across the globe.
I love that you consider this a life-changing opportunity. Tell me, are there any other life-changing moments that led you to be here today?
Adam: Overall, as I look back at my brief time on this earth, I see a path that in hindsight makes sense, but if you told me 15 years ago that I would be working for a startup in the immersive technology I would have not believed it.
But in terms of life-changing, I think there were 3 moments that really stood out.
First is going way back to when I was 7, we had just moved from Los Angeles to Sacramento. I was in the 2nd grade and while riding my bike down a hill was hit by a truck. I was extremely lucky, and wearing a helmet, but was out of school for a bit of time and actually finished up the year back in the 1st grade. At the time this seemed like a setback, but if I had not had the accident, I would not have subsequently changed schools and met my two best friends.
The second moment is meeting my wife and her family. This is a longer story, but my wife and I had met 5 years prior to us reconnecting in the early 2000s. It was that reconnection and being surrounded by her and her family that gave me the tools to start building my current path.
The third moment I believe I am currently experiencing. This began with the passing of my mother in 2012. Losing her as such a young age just solidified the need to find something I love and minimize the stresses. Her passing and sequentially the passing of my father about 2 years later put a lot of things in perspective and I feel now that I am finally, after a long journey making my own destiny. BadVR is now a huge part of my 3rd life change.
One of my favorite things about the BadVR team is seeing how all of our unique paths and complex stories brought us together and how we are all working toward changing the world. So, no matter how it happened, I’m so grateful your path lead you here! What do you think you’ve learned from this team, and what have they learned from you?
Adam: We are stronger together. By this I mean we all have our strengths and I commend the co-founders by understanding what their strengths are and creating a team that complements those. We are a team of 11 now and as I look back at my brief time as part of this family, I can truly see how we all fit in our respective roles and those roles play to our individual strengths. I will never be a neuroscientist or able to code, but I offer other qualities that complement those individuals that are already part of the team.
If I had to venture a guess as what they have learned from me, I think it goes hand and hand with the previous question. At the end of the day my job, who I am is a connector. I hope that they have learned that if we communicate and really listen, we can change the world.
I think just from these few questions, BadVR obviously has a one of a kind team. But let’s get to know you on a personal level a little bit more. What do you love working on, outside of BadVR?
Adam: What don’t I do? I have way too many hobbies. In addition, to spending time with our two cocker spaniels and cat, (Sherlock 3, Rasputin, 10 & Lady Macbeth 1) I enjoy cooking. I have recently started baking bread and have for almost 4 or 5 years now been regularly making brisket, pastrami, and bacon, among other smoked meats from scratch on my off-set smoker. I am also an avid runner and training for a half-marathon.
My inspiration for all these things comes from a love to try new things and the amazing feeling get when I have mastered (or conquered) something new. There is something to be said about making or building something where you can point to that and say I did that…I love that sense of accomplishment. Also, I am super competitive and like the feeling of mastering new things.
What motivates you to keep up with all these hobbies?
Adam: Good music will energize me! I am a huge rock and roll fan and there is nothing like blasting a rock song to pump you up for the day. I get excited by meeting new people, as I said I love telling stories, and so when I have a great meeting or just strike up a conversation with someone in the line at the supermarket it is an amazing feeling.
Although the number one thing that energizes me, centers me is that time usually on a Saturday morning when I am sitting outside with my wife, the dogs, and the cat and having a cup of coffee. Its times like that that I realize how truly blessed I am.
And lastly, what are you most excited for in the upcoming months and years?
Adam: I am excited for 2020, I truly feel like I have opened a new chapter in my life. My family is doing well. I have an amazing job. I am involved in an amazing industry and it looks like I will have some time to travel and grow in a myriad of ways. I look forward to meeting new and exciting people, going to new and exciting places and being a part of the Immersive Revolution... And yes, I did mean to capitalize Immersive Revolution….
Want to keep up with Adam and see all the amazing, ground-breaking work he’s doing in the data visualization space? Click the links below to stay connected!
Reach out and schedule a demo of BadVR today!