On the 17th of February 2018 I made myself on the way to Berlin/Germany to participate in some events about VR movie making that happened around the Berlinale Filmfestival 2018.
I have to admit that over the last two years I lived a bit in a friendly bubble of being able to explore VR video while being backed by a client that gave us everything we needed to experiment and achieve results.
But of course in return our client expected to be profitable at some point, otherwise the whole venture would be moot.
Now color me surprised when I discovered that basically the whole VR industry at this point more or less openly admits that nobody makes money (yet).
Besides companies selling things to each other maybe.
But a profitable VR product that is being sold to the end consumer?
Not so much.
Instead everyone is living on seed money, VC and government grants.
Now don’t get me wrong, I really need to find out where I can apply for government grants as well and I also don’t blame anyone for taking money when it is given to them.
And many things in AR/VR are still experimental and far from being a product that is ready to be sold. And we definitely need these experiments to move forward and get to a point where these experiments can be turned into real world products.
But as somebody who has been in sales for the last 25 years, my real world experience has always been: if your product is not profitable, it is either something people don’t need or you are bad at selling it.
Which brings is to the inevitable question: Is VR something people don’t need? Or is everyone just really bad at selling it?
I guess time will tell.