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Why We Do What We Do!

We are officially a week and a day from Techstars Chicago’s Demo Day. We could not be more excited about the product that we are building, and the immense progress that we have made through these trying last three months! As I was reminiscing on our Medium publication, I realized we have a lot of great content that we are building, and today I want to dive deeper into the “why”.

Meet Daniel

Being a distributed team has its benefits and detriments. We have amazing talent on our team, but communication, collaboration, and even building company-culture all suffer when working remote. Let’s take for example Daniel. Daniel is one of the beastliest iOS developers that you will ever meet. Before Techstars began, the entire team (Daniel included) traveled to Kentucky for a weekend company retreat.

I remember having an impromptu hack session while all of us huddled around a kitchen table blasting through tasks in our backlog. Daniel essentially coded our entire complex iOS app from scratch in the matter of a few hours. In fact, we had hired an experienced iOS developer before Daniel who wasn’t able to complete a tenth of what Daniel had accomplished in just a few hours. Daniel was able to ask the team questions and get responses immediately getting on-the-fly feedback and make changes near immediately. Being able to collaborate and communicate effectively allowed Daniel (and the rest of the team) to complete tasks quickly and thoroughly. That night, there were no extra code-fixes necessary since there were no misunderstandings or communication lapses. We worked like a well-oiled machine blasting through a ton of tasks!

Throughout Techstars, I have personally witnessed the downsides of remote work. Since Daniel is in Cincinnati finishing up his CS BS/MBA, we have had to work exclusively remote. Because of this, we have communication lapses. When the team discusses important topics at the Techstars office, we have to go back and fill Daniel in on the latest updates. This process is slow, and Daniel cannot be an active participant in these discussions, leaving him disconnected and disengaged. Collaboration has been much more difficult because I physically cannot turn to Daniel to ask him a question or visa versa. We have to go through Slack and email, and with a highly iterative process where we are building fast, any time-lapse seems like an eternity. This is one of the reasons why we are building Immersed.

Unconventional Backgrounds

We are not a group of researchers who tinker in a lab for years before they publish their leaf to the tree of knowledge in a scientific journal. We could certainly pursue that path, but we would much rather build something that everyday people will use. We love to learn fast, build fast, and deploy fast, following in the footsteps of great founders like Steve Jobs, and Elon Musk. Understanding that time is a luxury not to be squandered, we are an unconventional team comprised of skilled “night-hackers” who have come to Immersed with a deep background to build a platform that will unify remote teams under one collaborative virtual workplace; a task that some have undertaken but none have solved.

We want to do more than what getting a PhD could do for us. We are a passionate team that wants to bring change by building. From finance, to medicine, to sales, we are a group with one common talent: hacking. We are keen on building a great customer-focused product by pulling together our vast array of experiences to create this mobile VR workplace platform.

What makes us qualified?

Just as we are a team diverse backgrounds, we are a team who is also geographically distributed. We have members of our team spanning Atlanta, Cincinnati, Chicago, and Philadelphia. Some of us have felt the pain of moving away from our friends and family while at Techstars, and others have had to endure through the agony of living away from their spouses. Those of us on site have all made sacrifices to be here but why? We knew the value of Techstars for our company, and we knew that we could only leverage this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to its full potential if we were physically on site. In so doing, we are able to collaborate in person, but we had to separate from people that we love. Those of us who were remote, missed out on key conversations, lectures and discussions that happened on-site.

Once the program is over, we must go back to our respective states. This exact situation has placed us in an interesting predicament. We want to collaborate and have in-person productivity as if we were in an office together, but we will be scattered throughout the country. This is why Immersed is so important to us. We are not just building a product because we are interested in VR, or because what we are building is “cool” technology. All of those things are cavalier. We are building this solution because we have an agonizing pain that we as a team need solved.

When you build a product with a vision to solve your own needs, every waking (and frankly, sleeping) moment is devoted to building the best solution.

Take for example Mark Zuckerberg. Before the inception of Facebook, Zuckerberg built tools at Harvard to solve everyday problems that he encountered. Building tools to help himself allowed him to create a platform that was comprised of all his modular applications, such as Zucknet, CourseMatch, Facemash, and even Harvard Connection.

We are passionate about the problem that we are solving, but moreover, we are building a solution that we desperately need. We understand the problems of remote work because we live those same issues on a regular basis, so our mission is to bridge the gap between remote and onsite.

Are you on a distributed team? Do you have some of the same problems we have faced? Sign up for our free private beta here!



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