Phase 1

Focusing on the Original Intent, and Rebuilding the Team

When I first got involved with The Void, I met a core team that was clear about its “Why”. The goal was to deliver virtual experiences so immersive that they feel real. In other words, create memories for moments that never really existed. The Void’s uniqueness is deeply rooted in its understanding of illusion theories and misdirection/redirection of the brain. A fundamental differentiator from the rest of the VR marketplace at The Void is that VR is only one of the tools that contributes to the superior quality of the experiences.

Furthermore, The Void has built proprietary tools that allows highly profitable scaling of its locations by managing large numbers of “travelers” in a small footprint. This translates in a industry leading throughput, a key measure of the experience’s profitability.

The organization had gone through numerous leadership changes and the environment was dysfunctional. The operating plan was overly aggressive, the company wasn’t properly capitalized and was under-resourced in a couple of key areas (Engineering, Marketing, Supply-Chain). Various functions were working in silos pulled between original intent, recent leadership changes, too many office locations and an overall lack of clear vision.

As I got involved, I refocused the organization on what made The Void what it was. A relentless focus on innovation, tricking the brain and making virtual reality feel as real as possible. This involved bringing the heartbeat of the Company back to Utah (and closing a couple of remote office locations), stopping uncontrolled spending, hiring talent to support the core team and start building The Void as a global iconic brand. With energy and engagement back, we built a solid brand identity and visual language to prepare for a roll-out in premium locations. Phase 1 was about bringing joy back to The Void, building a strong foundation to scale from and articulating a clear 3 year roadmap.

Oculus, World Trade Center 2019
Phase 2

The Global Expansion of the Brand 

With the right team in place and strategic alliances with studios second to none (Disney, Sony, MGM) we launched “Avengers: Damage Control” in a pop-up specifically designed to be in the middle of the Oculus at the World Trade Center in New York. This was followed by additional locations in San Francisco, Mall of America, Atlanta as well as the launch of our Jumanji experience which instantly sold-out.

Choose your character (minus Nick Jonas) and go save Jumanji! Photo by Frank Masi/Sony Pictures

Laurent is the reason I am still at The Void, working on a product I love and believe in. When he arrived, I had been preparing to leave to escape a bad culture and toxic environment. He quickly inspired my devotion, creating a much healthier environment, a people-centered culture, and unlocking us to do what we’re good at and passionate about. He seemed to innately understand the essence and promise of our product and built a team around that vision. He is a remarkable leader, an intelligent and considered partner, and a good person. I am grateful to know him.

Farrell Edwards, Chief Technology Officer at The Void