So, you know by now I only keep this blog to ignore it for months or years at a time. I would say it’s doing its job perfectly, and the guys at Dreamhost are doing a perfect job of maintaining this non-record of my life’s story here on earth. Don’t worry I’ve been updating, you can catch me on the Facebook and now the Instagram as well. I even post to Twitter, but I still don’t engage in much tweeting, outside of promotional bulletins for my new business. Really if you want news from me, go click the social media buttons over there on the sidebar, and find me on the other side.
All is well here with me. Here is the story so far:
In October of last year I founded OutlierVR, my own personal LLC to serve my growing research and development inquiries into the new Virtual Reality technologies that just manifested out of the ether two years ago. I was finally going to publish my VR game! Also, we maybe have something to do with bitcoins!
As I built the foundation of the company, the larger purpose of it became more and more clear. Someone needs to build the VR Arcades here in the US, because that hasn’t been done yet. Who better than me? Part time VR developer, and full time business and engineering generalist, former teacher and lifelong video gamer.
So by December of 2017 the focus of my research shifted. It almost immediately led me to what I identified as the industry leaders in VR arcades: a group out of Waterloo, Ontario known as Ctrl V Partners. They were exactly 1 year ahead of me. They knew in January 2016 that this would have to be a thing, and they went and did it. Yes, while I was convalescing from my broken arm and spending most of my time playing Elite Dangerous in VR, these guys were out there constructing the superior business model, costed it out perfectly, did all the normal things like operations and marketing, and along the way they invented at least a few
industry best practices. In January I went to visit these guys with an interest in partnership, and since that time I have been playing a game I call “catch the hell up” with my new franchise partners. They’ve given me a thousand fantastic new ideas, and quietly convinced me to discard at least 20 awful ideas I brought to the table.
Carefully, around New Years Eve, I etched my new business plan into whiteboard ink…
1) Find a town
2) Build VR Arcade in town
4) Profit !
You wouldn’t belong how long step 1 took. OK maybe you would. It took four months. We signed our lease at Howell Plaza on April 20, 2017. It took three months on top of that for the landlord to finish dividing the space. But around the second week of August we were able to get in there to start renovations.
Since agreeing to buy a Ctrl V franchise, I have been occupied much of this time building the business itself. Each new day finds me buzzing around like honeybee, I’ll spend some time doing operational things like setting up utilities, hr, and payroll. I have lot of interactions with my contractors, landlord, and architect to get the space into the shape I want it in. I had quite a fun week going up to Waterloo in July to complete my franchise training. I spent a week up there just working a few shifts at the flagship arcade just to see what it was like. They taught me a lot of what I needed to know, I had fun working there, enjoyed some time pub crawling with my ingress family. August was spent procuring necessary supplies for the rough build out, which should be followed by the complete build out, and then… testing, fine tuning, demo days, soft opening, all which I fully expect to happen in September. After that… we open!
I hope you will all come to Ctrl V Howell and some see me very soon!