CEO of GoVYRL.io

July 3, 2017 — 3 Comments

Hehe, you can never guess what’s next…  I think that was the secret to our Earthworm Jim game all those years ago!

I like to keep things interesting, when starting Gaikai with my co-founders Rui & Andrew I knew nothing about high-performance computer networks, so had to learn fast. I built our first USA server on my dining room table and remember driving to Los Angeles to place that server into a rack. Gaikai was launched. Fast-forward a couple of years, we had found an amazing group of team members and leaders and we had built one of the fastest networks in the world.  I was in Brighton, England to give a speech and was handed a Guinness World Record for the network.  Sony then bought the company for $380M. I have to say it’s changed my mind forever on what we can accomplish if willing to embrace new challenges and learn new things.

What did I learn from this?

#1 Our investors were incredible, they stood behind us every step of the way, even when we had very aggressive competitors.  I could write paragraphs on just how much respect I have for the investors that supported us, I learned so much from them.  I feel the same way for the seed investors that have supported GoVYRL to date, or that are now signing up to support GoVYRL.io to show it’s game-changing potential.

#2 Our Gaikai team evolved an amazing culture and that came from the incredible team members we somehow were able to find and get to join us on the adventure. When you’re the CEO of a company, it changes everything when you walk into a room or give a keynote speech and know that the team behind you are rockstars.  These people can make what seems impossible possible, they jump every hurdle placed in front of them and they make the job really inspiring.  I was in tears when I gave my final goodbye speech to my team.

#3 Selling your company can be a good thing.  It was 1+1=10 at Sony. PlayStation is the best place to play and I’ve known most of the executives since they started at the company.  The passion, quality and vision has been rock-solid and if you read my two previous blog posts, I don’t think there’s a future for the video game industry that doesn’t include Cloud Streaming.  Sony has so much experience in this space now, that’s going to be tough for anyone to compete against.

#4 If you have a company idea, don’t talk yourself into not trying it.  If you are very passionate about the idea, then just start climbing the mountain.  Companies fail when they stop climbing, or when they get lost in the fog, just keep climbing.  A friend of mine Lloyd Charton took Rui and myself to Mt. Whitney when the trails were treacherous, and we just started climbing, I had a thousand reasons to stop, but we just kept climbing, at points I was being held to the mountain by a single finger, but we kept climbing until we stood on the summit.  That passion to complete the project fuels me.

#5 What do I do in my spare time?  I keep learning.  For example, I funded an indie movie just to learn about the movie industry, it stars my daughter Emmy and she’s a mermaid.  What the heck do I know about making movies?  Zero.  What do I know about making movie deals?  Zero.   Yet with that same attitude of “start climbing” we’ve ended up with a fun movie for 7-12 year old girls that won “Best Family Movie” at a local film festival.  We then signed Global distribution deals (hard for indie movies), and now it will be in select AMC movie theaters next month!  (REALLY REALLY hard for low-budget indie movies.) Did I learn a lot, oh heck yes, but now I see the box on Amazon.com it’s fun to know making movies is really just a case of going and doing it.  We have a killer new trailer coming for it, I will post it here when I get it.

SCALES on Amazon

SCALES at AMC Theaters

#6 Keep your mind wide open.  I’m on the Board of Trustees at my Daughter’s school, I do all I can to help students with entrepreneurship as it’s changed my life.  I met Jason and Cade from GoVYRL, they were also there helping the students by giving a case study on building a real company.  I was asked to help advise the students to consider the possibilities for the company, and just like Gaikai it made me realize this is yet another massive space I need to learn about.  Advertising is the backbone of Google and Facebook, yet it’s changing and there’s definitely room for innovation.  So I’m about to drive to GoVYRL’s office and start climbing the mountain.

I’m going to be hiring full-stack web developers and web architects that can build multi-dimensional social graphs that don’t exist today.  I’ll need advertising sales people that have direct connections to lifestyle brands, and I’ll need millions more influencers around the world to join us.

Wish us luck!

 

Well there you go…  Two of the top CEO’s the in video game industry talking about streaming games…  Today it’s Yves from Ubisoft.

“Streaming will totally change the way we create and play games, and will again positively disrupt how we think about gaming.”

Find the interview over on GameIndustry.biz here:

http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2017-06-14-ubisoft-ceo-streaming-will-be-the-next-big-thing

Saw a really interesting interview with Andy Wilson the CEO at Electronic Arts, he’s someone who I have a lot of respect for.

As you can imagine this part brought a smile to my face…

“If you think about every form of entertainment media that we have, the one thing that’s been most disruptive is streaming. Books to your Kindle, TV through Netflix, music through Spotify. It’s changed everything. Ownership, engagement, and it’s absolutely changed the enjoyment model. There are lots of things that are going to change. Scale, in a networked world, is extremely important. You are going to have to have the core digital platform, the engine, the talent. At the core, you’re going to have to have to be able to get experiences to players at any time, anywhere, on any device they own. Streaming tech is going to play a really big part in that.

Andrew Wilson – Full Interview on Glixel.com

 

The 6th Annual IEEE GameSIG Intercollegiate Computer Games Showcase
is providing student game developers the chance to present their best
student developed video games for judging by an elite panel of video
game industry leaders.

Come out in support of your favorite colleges as student development
teams go head-to-head for school pride, bragging rights, and this year’s
GameSIG Cup. Finalists will demonstrate their games for a growing
number of students, alumni, and sponsors representing Orange County’s
internationally renowned video game industry.

This year’s showcase will be held at California State University,
Fullerton, CA at the Titan Student Union pavilions A,B & C. Free Parking in the
State College parking structure (SCPS) adjacent to the Titan Student
Union. Park in # 36, and walk to # 31 on this Campus Map at:
http://www.fullerton.edu/campusmap/

Following the showcase enjoy a reception featuring local gourmet food
trucks, game demonstrations by the student developers, and networking.
Put on your game face and come to cheer your favorite school, watch
demos and play games. Click here to RSVP for Free tickets.

The public is invited to attend the annual intercollegiate competition
among the major universities of Orange County and the surrounding area.

* 12:30PM – 4:30PMCompetition Among The Chosen (Finalists)
The greatest student game developers in the SoCal Empire’ universities
will compete for honors on the Big Screen before our panel of Local
Game Industry Leader judges in an American Idol format. Each Student
Game Developer Team will have ten minutes to shock and awe the judges.
* 4:30PM – 6:30PMReception & Game Demos (food & play)
We will have a casual game demo session, networking, and reception.
The audience (you) will have the opportunity to get some hands-on time
with the games created by the finalists and semi-finalists, enjoy
refreshments, and network with industry professionals.

Warning: Seating is limited. RSVP for Free tickets here:
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/sixth-annual-ieee-gamesig-intercollegiate-computer-game-showcase-tickets-30183138580

Apple has posted a really cool page on how to use the iPhone Camera system better.

Well worth a look:

https://www.apple.com/iphone/photography-how-to/

 

Woodworking is tough as it’s easy to start a project, really difficult to get it over the finish line.  (It’s just like the video game industry!)

So, I (on impulse) decided to make a wooden bench at the William NG – School of Fine Woodworking.  It can’t be that hard, right?

What’s 3D joinery?  Well, by my count there’s over 30 different wood surfaces that all need to align absolutely perfectly, all simultaneously touch to get everything to fit together.  Let’s just say it’s a 30+ dimensional problem. If you get it right, you don’t even need glue!  (I needed a lot of glue!)

The instructor insisted that all the joinery HAD to be done with traditional Japanese hand saws and hand chisels, so imagine starting some of the days knowing you have 6 hours of hand sawing!  (It took 4 days to make it.)

Let’s just say, I know how to saw now. I’m pleased how it turned out.

PS. Woodworking is interesting to me as I’ve pretty much led a digital life, so either my grandchildren will need to be happy with my old Powerpoint’s and Excel Spreadsheets, or I’d better learn to make something physical!  (That they would maybe want.)

So, that’s my challenge to you, if you are also just going to leave a digital footprint!

I’ve been watching the evolution of computer vision closely and things are getting VERY interesting right now.

We’ve always wondered when computers can think like humans, and it’s always remained that elusive “20 years away”. To really interface with us, they need some KEY things:

#1 TO REMEMBER (STORAGE & RECALL)
#2 TO LISTEN & COMPREHEND (MICROPHONES & COMPUTE)
#3 TO SPEAK (SPEECH GENERATION)
#4 TO SEE
#5 TO THINK (COGNITION, EMOTION & CREATIVITY)

Of those 5 things, the first three are pretty much nailed, #4 is next.

The evidence that #4 is elusive is Siri on the iPhone, or Microsoft’s Cortana don’t ask to see what you’re talking about. Siri should say “Can you show me that?“.

When given the chance to see, the data reveals the number one question people ask a seeing computer about is problems on their body. They worry about rashes etc. It’s interesting as it shows how most companies are working on the wrong problem, learning Starbucks, Mercedes and Nike logos from all angles won’t get you there.

Starbucks

Looking at a simple coffee cup… Algorithms today focus on the Starbucks logo, and respond with offers of Starbucks products like “Starbucks iPhone Case”.  Huh?  At least identify it as “a white Starbucks Ceramic Mug”, why are you just showing me iPhone cases?

The step that all the companies fail at is when you break the mug… Even a kid would say “A broken mug”, but after countless millions of dollars every research tech fails to nail it.

coffee-16787794

I’ve seen multi-multi-million dollar systems analyze this kind of image above and return the word “Creamy“.  What?

I have friends at Cloudsight.ai that have avoided the typical “buy data sets and crunch them” model as they knew they need cognition (understanding & comprehension) of image concepts.  They have an open API and are being used in numerous 3rd party applications today, processing countless millions of images from real people.

Most companies are working on straight “recognition” and I get it, I’m a programmer and I also love to think that programming can get us there alone, but it can’t.  It’s like the visual researchers are following the old path of audio researchers by trying to recognize individual words, that have no context.

I remember Bill Gates talking about voice recognition once, he explained just how difficult is is to understand “Do you recognize speech?” vs “Did you wreck a nice beach?” Even if a computer gets the words right, getting it to understand the question was a massive problem.  So only when researchers focused on understanding context did things start to leap forward for the cloud being able to listen.

Cloudsight Logo

The reason the CloudSight.ai solution is interesting is because they’ve spent years working on the parental teaching loop that human brains require to grow. The reason the kid can understand the broken mug is because they understand the concept BROKEN, they broke things and saw how they break.  They will see more and more evidence of this idea growing up and can recognize BROKEN in any form.  There’s lots to learn…  “Those glasses are broken“, “Those glasses are old“, “That person looks ill” etc.

Every single major corporation (Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Pinterest etc.) will need to either have the cloud see or to understand the billions of images and videos they are handling.  It’s a certain future and it’s fun watching the progress.

http://cloudsight.ai/api

I just gave it a fun image to try…   It nailed it.

Fish Bike

Here’s someone testing all the top solutions:

http://www.business2community.com/brandviews/upwork/comparing-image-recognition-apis-01836977#7xoZcux6ybpe9FHM.97

So keep an eye on this space, it’s about to get very interesting.