UP052: Seek // augmented reality on the web for eCommerce

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Jon Cheney 0:00
When somebody sees something in augmented reality, there’s a few things that happened. One, they get a lot of their questions answered. Right? When you’re shopping for something online a couch, you know, especially furniture, right? That’s tough, right? You just don’t know if it’s going to work, but if you can see it, okay, hey, it looks good. I like that that questions answered. So that’s going to increase conversion and reduce returns. Right? You know, it fits, you’re gonna, you’re gonna eliminate that does it fit return problem. And that will be true in the future of clothes as well, which will be pretty awesome.

Jay Clouse 0:31
The startup investment landscape is changing. and world class companies are being built outside of Silicon Valley. We find them, talk with them and discuss the upside of investing in them. Welcome to upside.

Eric Hornung 0:58
Hello, hello. Hello, and welcome to the upside podcast. The first podcast finding upside outside of Silicon Valley. I’m Eric Hornung, and I’m accompanied by my co host, Mr. freelancing school himself. Jay Clouse, Jay, how’s it going? Man? You are a business owner once again.

Jay Clouse 1:17
Oh, wow. And I didn’t have to pay you for that ad.

Eric Hornung 1:19
No, you didn’t. yet.

Jay Clouse 1:21
freelancing school freelancing dot school. Did you know they have dot school domains? Now? Eric?

Eric Hornung 1:26
I did not. Do they have dot side domains? because that’d be cool to have up.side?

Jay Clouse 1:31
I don’t think they do. But there’s probably a.de for some country like Denmark, so he gets upside.De.

Eric Hornung 1:39
I think that’s actually Germany to Iceland.

Jay Clouse 1:42
Could be I can see that being also true. But yeah, freelancing school, my new project that I’ve been spending way too long on probably six to eight months, teaching people how to make a living freelancing.

Eric Hornung 1:54
What makes you qualified to do that?

Jay Clouse 1:56
I’ve been doing it for last three years, and I’ve been working with over 100 people. We’re also doing it. So it actually can’t came from a course that I did for LinkedIn. Last year, I took that content, and I flush it out even more, it’s probably three times the amount of content divided into three courses selling for freelancers, business, or freelancers and marketing for freelancers. And yeah, I think it’s probably the best work I’ve ever done. Besides the podcast, of course,

Eric Hornung 2:21
besides this podcast, this is the best work you have ever done. Unless you buy freelancing school, and then this podcast is second. Look at us just plugging away here. I get a percent of this. I don’t but it would be nice. Jay do i get a percent of this?

Jay Clouse 2:33
I can make you an affiliate but you’d have to go sell it yourself.

Eric Hornung 2:36
Upside doesn’t count?

Jay Clouse 2:37
No.

Eric Hornung 2:38
Well, in that case, I am out.

Jay Clouse 2:41
Well, speaking of buying things online, today we are talking with Jon Cheney, the founder and CEO of seek. seek is augmented reality on the web for e commerce, they have a cross platform web based augmented reality, which allows the consumer to visualize a product in their life before they buy it.

Eric Hornung 2:59
Do you think when augmented reality becomes available enough, you would augment reality yourself into a classroom and like teach freelancing school in a virtual space?

Jay Clouse 3:09
I don’t know, it depends on the tool set of how I would be able to do that. Online Education is a really interesting subject we could talk about at length, because there’s a lot of different ways to do it. And a lot of it is ineffective. I mean, frankly, online courses to completion rate is like 4% difficult. A lot of people buy online courses and don’t finish now I would argue, it’s because the majority of online education is done through platforms like Khan Academy, or you to me or skill share, where they really can monetize its information. And the learner is not that invested in the course, literally financially. And so it’s easy to not do things when it’s hard. And when you’re not invested in getting it done.

Eric Hornung 3:48
Do you think engagement rates will be higher, if there was a Jay in my living room, just teaching me

Jay Clouse 3:52
for sure. I think engagement rates will be higher if there’s a Jay in every household teaching

Eric Hornung 3:57
a Jay for every living room

Jay Clouse 4:00
for every household, a little more on seek, they were founded in 2016. They’re based in Lehi, Utah, our first company in Utah, Eric, they’ve received about $2 million in funding to this point. And they’ve worked with some big names,

Eric Hornung 4:15
some of the largest names in e commerce, some massive brands, I’m excited to see what this is really all about, because they’ve been around for a while. Seems like there’s a lot of pivots seem like there’s gonna be a big up and down story here.

Jay Clouse 4:30
As we go through that story, folks, if you have thoughts, you can tweet at us at upside, FM, or email us hello@upside.fm. Without further ado, we’ll get into that interview with Jon.

Jay Clouse 4:43
Jon, welcome to the show.

Jon Cheney 4:44
Thanks so much good to be here.

Eric Hornung 4:46
On upside, we like to start with a background of the founder. So you tell us about the history of Jon.

Jon Cheney 4:52
Yeah, definitely. So originally from Houston, Texas, now currently close by Lehi, Utah, but you know, grew up in Texas, really. And then actually moved down to South America for a few years and ended up here in Utah when I went to college, ended up graduating from BYU in Chinese and business kind of always been into entrepreneurship and, and thought I could do some good things with the Chinese language as well as that’s obviously a big market that that’s been in the news a lot lately. Anyway, long story short, ended up joining a couple tech companies after straight out of college. And then here I am having started my own, I’m also married have four kids. And that’s me.

Eric Hornung 5:29
Where did you go in South America?

Jon Cheney 5:31
We were down in Paraguay. And live there when I was a teenager.

Jay Clouse 5:35
And what what brought you there was that like? Was your dad like an army brat? Or were you an army brat? or?

Jon Cheney 5:39
Yeah, no, no, I was a lot nicer than that. No, my dad was a mission president for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. So he supervised about 180 missionaries down there. And, and me and my four sisters, and our whole family got to live down there during that time.

Jay Clouse 5:55
That’s fascinating me, I would love to hear how entrepreneurship entered your worldview with that type of upbringing.

Jon Cheney 6:01
Yeah, you know, my dad’s, from an early age always encouraged us to, to find opportunities to, you know, make a difference. And he said, one thing that always stuck with me, which was, you’re never going to get ahead in life, if you’re working for somebody else, you know, you have to have control over your over your own earning potential. And that didn’t mean that he didn’t want me to ever go work for another company, you know, but it pushed me towards kind of the sales end of things, where if I work harder, I’m going to you know, shoot, I’m going to kill more, I’m going to eat more, right. I mean, that’s, that’s really what what it came down to. And so I mean, when I was eight years old, living down in Houston, during the winter, the trees kind of all, you know, lose all their leaves, except for, there’s big bunches of mistletoe that are just kind of way up high to climb up and you just use a little saw and chop them down. And so I’d go and do that. And cut them up into little, you know, little pieces that would look good in your, in your living room, put them in Ziploc bags, and then walk around door to door and sell them as an eight year old, right with my little sister six year old, tagging along and we’d sell them for five bucks and make a few hundred dollars during the Christmas season. And so I’ve always just kind of been an entrepreneur and you know, having experiences like being able to, you know, move to Paraguay, you know, see another culture become fluent in Spanish um I later had an opportunity, I served a mission myself, and actually in Taiwan for a couple years and learn Chinese. And so being able to see lots of the world and really understand that there’s a lot more to what we see in our kind of little bubble here in the US, you know, made made me realize that there’s there’s a lot of opportunity to do good in the world. And entrepreneurship is the way that I see I can make a big difference.

Eric Hornung 7:36
You said that your dad said that you’re never going to get ahead working for someone else. When you graduated college. Did you go work for someone else? Or did you go right into starting your own thing?

Jon Cheney 7:45
Yeah, good question. So while I was in college, I actually ran a couple small businesses kind of more, call them side hustles. I guess I ran a kayak school. And you know, I was DJ when I could and did just little things where I could make money, right? While I was in college, I did the entrepreneur program there, BYU, you as well. And I heard from three or four founders of very successful companies in the area come in and say, Look, just go work for somebody else. If you want to start a business go work for somebody else, see what it looks like, see how it works. See what you like see what you don’t like, right? If you just kind of go and try to start it from nothing, you don’t really have a base, you don’t know what you’re trying to do. And that just little things like, how to send an invoice. You know, learning how a business works really helps. And so and so I decided to do that when I graduated from college, I had this Chinese in business, I actually got on at the time, Craig Craigslist, and I just typed in, you know, Chinese, you know, jobs or whatever, right. And a little company out of Provo that had been founded out of BYU popped up called Zench. And it was a startup out of BYU that, right after I joined got got acquired by a larger company out of Santa Clara, California called Chegg, you know, big, big acquisition there. And then a couple years after I joined, chegg, chegg IPO’d. And so got to, through that experience, be part of an acquisition, and then part of an IPO. And you know, what that meant for me how it changed, you know, my life as you know, somebody way down the totem pole, right. And so, yeah, I think that having those experiences and was right after those experiences that I went off and started, you know, the end of the entrepreneur world where I was really doing my own startups. But I think that I learned a lot of very valuable lessons that I’m using today, from that experience.

Eric Hornung 9:27
So I want to dive into Chegg in a second. But first, the more important question, you were a DJ, tell me what what kind of music were you DJing, were you like, deep rushing house? Or is this like party music?

Jon Cheney 9:39
Probably more party music? Yeah, no, none of the none of the crazy deep beats, I don’t think I’m cultured enough for that or something. I’m a musician. Actually, I’ve been a pianist for years. You could look me up on iTunes and, and enjoy some good piano music. But I’ve always loved music. And you know, it’s really fun to buy some big speakers and turn the volume up loud and have someone pay you for it.

Eric Hornung 10:00
What’s your go to song? If you’re going to like, work a playlist? Like, what’s the one that you’re like, all right, this is going to get the people going

Jon Cheney 10:07
Cotton-eyed Joe, man, everyone goes nuts for that.

Eric Hornung 10:10
That’s such a Midwestern answer. I wasn’t expecting that.

Jon Cheney 10:13
You know, there’s all kinds of good songs but I don’t know people. People seem to love the line.

Jay Clouse 10:18
So john, you’re sitting in Lehi, Utah, and you joined Zench, acquired by Chegg, what does the startup scene in Lehi or in Utah broadly look like? At that time?

Jon Cheney 10:31
Yeah, you know, six or seven years ago, when I first kind of joined the workforce, and you know, in the startup world, it was definitely kind of cranking right, you had, Adobe had just moved in here due to the big omniture acquisition, which was about $2 billion. And so, you know, Josh, James had a big win there, and he’s now founded Domo, which is, you know, making all sorts of, you know, waves here, and it’s definitely one of the big companies around but, you know, just this year, I mean, in the last year and a half, they’ve been, you know, plurual site IPO, and call tricks acquisition by SAP for $8 billion. And, you know, when things like that happen, you know, a billion dollars is a big number, that that changes, you know, the cities that, you know, that there’s so many people, and I think we haven’t even begun to see the effects of that really, right, you’re gonna have all those people that that, you know, take that cash, and then say, Hey, I can do it, too. And they’re going to go start their own companies. But I mean, I was just, I was just saying, you know, from five minutes from here, there are six or seven unicorns, you know, there’s a company down the road called divvy pay that officially started about a year and a half ago, they were kind of, you know, in a basement before that, but they’ve raised about five or $600 million since they started last year. And there’s just stories like that left. And right now, I was just saying, we work in a space, you’re called Kiln, which is a co working space, we work competitor type thing. And there’s about 50 companies in here. And in every day, it’s Hey, we raised 3 million bucks, we landed Walmart, as a client, we did this and you know, it’s really, really fun to see, you know, all these different, all these different companies popping up and having a lot of success kind of feeding off each other.

Eric Hornung 12:07
Where’s all that money coming from? I’ve heard that Salt Lake City and Provo. And that’s like, where venture capitalists go to vacation. So that’s like a rumor that I’ve heard is that true? Is this Silicon Valley money kind of pouring in? Or is this self contained within Utah and feeding back into itself?

Jon Cheney 12:23
Yeah, you know, that’s a topic of discussion that I’m, I’m very passionate about, I would love to see, the Utah homegrown VC world really grow more, most of the money that you talked about tricks, ball tricks, actually was bootstrapped for a very long time, they made the decision to stay in a basement until they had 400 clients, which was just amazing, huge respect for them. And they pushed off these spurned advances from these VCs from all over the world for a long time and then finally, couple little companies called Sequoia and Excel document to you know, they you know, they get some money right and then inside Venture Partners jumped in and then they sold for a billion dollars and so all that money went to insight and excel went to nobody here right and and I would have loved to see you know, some of the some of the you know, there’s some decent size feces here. Don’t get me wrong, there’s some great coming up Peterson ventures amazing. Peterson capital, you’ve got peak, you’ve got Kickstarter, you’ve got a lot of really good groups around here. But I feel like the big wins are going to the outside capital Utah’s a very well kept secret. But the you know, the people that know what they’re doing know, what’s up what’s going on here.

Jay Clouse 13:33
So when did you decide, okay, I feel like I have a base, I feel like I know what I’m doing. I’m going to now take my father’s advice and be my own boss.

Jon Cheney 13:42
You know, it really actually. So when I left Chegg so a check is, you know, an education company tech company. And I was offered an opportunity to become vice president of an early stage startup at about five or six employees in the education tech space. And I had, you know, a huge Rolodex, you know, from jag and that was awesome, I could call up pretty much any university in the country and say, you know, we’ve got something cool for you, let’s talk and, and so I helped build that up. That was a company called English three. And we sold language software. And so it made sense to me, right, I speak Spanish and Chinese, and we’re selling English language software to international students coming in. So it’s good fit. For me, I thought it was a good opportunity, the CEO of that company, was in private equity. And he was, he had about five or six portfolio companies that he was fully engaged with. And so, you know, aside from a call, or two a week, I was kind of on my own to figure out how to make this thing run. And it was a great learning experience, right, I was I was given a lot of free rein, and, and was able to try things that worked and try things that didn’t work. And, and, and, and learned a lot. Ultimately, we came to a point at that company, where I believed we needed to raise capital in order to grow at a much faster rate, you know, I was saying it’s going to take 20 years, to get to anywhere substantial. You know, the CEO just said, Hey, you know, what, I don’t really want to give up any more equity, let’s just grow. And I said, that’s fine. And you know, I think maybe I’m going to go do my own thing. And so I had gained this amazing experience of, you know, about three years, building a company, not completely on my own, it’s kind of already there, they had the idea, I just helped build the product in the market. And that was great. So I kind of had this stepping stone. And then at that time, quite frankly, I was bored of the education market. It was really, really slow moving, if you’ve ever sold to the education and just just think about this, walk into Harvard and try to convince them that they’re doing something wrong. Right? Or there’s a way they can do something better. It’s really, really difficult. And so you know, long story short, I stepped away and and started seek and that’s a pretty fun story that I can share as well.

Jay Clouse 15:49
Yeah, I mean, I’m interested just to hear I mean, we talked about in the intro so you guys an augmented reality for e commerce play seems miles away from education. So tell us about where that inspiration came from.

Jon Cheney 16:02
Yeah, you know, if you if you think that, you know, an English company is miles away from that it’s even it’s even further away from what, what actually happened. So, like I said, earlier, I’m a I’m a big I’m an out of a big outdoor guy, whitewater kayaker while I was in college and shortly after, I was a sponsored whitewater kayaker, you know, doing the waterfalls, and all those big things. And really, really love the outdoors, love to hike, mountain bike, golf, anything I can do to be outside is just pretty much that’s where that’s where I want to be. So I turned to one of my college roommates and said, Hey, you know, let’s, let’s do something fun, right? He had worked with me some English three some at Chegg. And so Mike Snow he’s my co founder. And I said, Let’s, let’s do let’s do something in the outdoors, right? And so we looked around, and we and we saw this, this kind of trend of all these event companies like color runs and the dirty dash and mud runs, and you pay 30 4050 bucks to go have some fun experience for a day. And we thought, hey, let’s do that. But we said, let’s, let’s put on treasure hunts. So that’s where we went, we started a company called treasure Canyon. And that started basically January one of 2016. It was New Year’s Day, and I had this, you know, New Year’s resolution to, to create more, that was what I wanted to do. I said, You know what, I’m just going to do more. And that day, I said, All right, we’re doing the treasure hunt. I jumped on, you know, some website and bought and paid 89 bucks for an LLC, you know, and all the documents and treasure Canyon was a real company. And so about three weeks later, on January 21, we did our first treasure hunt. And all we did was we went to a local Canyon here. But Provo Canyon beautiful waterfall in there called Brattleboro falls, we had gone to the bank, and we got this really cool looking jar, kind of a mason jar, but was some extra things that made it look a little bit older. And we got 100 of those, you know, Susan B, Anthony’s, you know, dollar coins, and we put it in there, and we hit it up in this little place. And we had for the previous week, then putting on inviting all our friends to like our Facebook page, treasure Canyon, and we’ve been putting clues up, hey, there’s going to be some treasure in the canyon will release the final clue on Saturday. So we did that. It took about 30 minutes for there’s a bunch of people that showed up. And it was probably about 20 people at you know, and so that was that was fun. But a dad and his two sons, one, they found the treasure and I came and took a video of and it was awesome. And seeing the adventure that in the the experience, the bonding that we created for that dad and his kids was just very satisfying to me. I was really, really excited that, hey, this could be something let’s make it bigger. What if the prize wasn’t $100? What if it was $10,000? Right. And so we set off. And by the way that dad eventually was an employee of seek, he’s moved on to Florida now but but it’s very, very cool story there, we could tell another time. So the next month, we said let’s do $200 Then let’s do $500 and $1,000. And by September of that year, about nine months, we we did a $10,000 treasure hunt. And we had Gatorade as a sponsor, ultra shoes, gold zero, all kinds of adventure companies had about 10, you know, pretty, pretty good sized sponsors of that event. And that hundreds of people showing up paying, you know, 50 bucks for this event. And everyone ran off and, and a team eventually won that treasure. So really, really cool. We were to be started doing some corporate events as well. But my co founder and I sat back and we said okay, this is really cool. We’re getting requests to do this in Vegas, and Denver and everywhere else. And it’s not really scalable, right? It’s really hard. We were you know, we, we go to some antique store, find something on Amazon, we buy a treasure chest, we’d fill it with stuff, we’d literally take that log it up into the mountains and hide it build the clues. And he’s like, man, super fun. We were in great shape, because we’re climbing all these mountains, right. But we knew that we couldn’t really scale that maybe Yeah, we could we could make a lifestyle business, we could turn it into a couple million dollars, you know, that’s fine. But both of us, you know, had bigger sites in mind. We said, Hey, you know how we do the hundred million dollar deal? How do we do something that you know, can can blow it out of the park there. And so we said, let’s make an app, let’s make a digital. So we can just push a button and place a digital treasure. And not too long after that happened, a phenomenon known as Pokemon GO came to the world. And I looked at that I wasn’t ever really a Pokemon fan. But I saw this just craze and I knew that Pokemon drove some of it. But what really got me interested was the augmented reality piece. I said, I think people love this not just because it’s the nostalgia of Pokemon GO but because you’ve got this technology that people have never seen before where you’re interacting with the world in a new way. And I said, let’s let’s do that. Let’s show treasure chest and augmented reality you go to a place and find stuff to follow clues and things like that. So we did that we launched an app called the app originally was called seek rewards through adventure. And and so basically, you would open up the app and there was a map there just like Pokemon Go and you could walk around your neighbors in every treasure chest in your neighborhood. There were better treasure chests up in the mountains and it parks and on trails and things like that. And it was kind of a game of chance you’d open the treasure chest and you could win a gift card to McDonalds or a Samsung phone or a Universal Pictures, you know, a movie ticket or something like that. Right? And, and we started some of those brands were some of our clients, right? We started getting some big clients that they were saying, Hey, we want to use Pokemon Go, right, we want to use we want to do our own version of this. And I mean, we were signed in $200,000 contracts to do advertising, you know, augmented reality advertising. And we’re like, hey, we’ve got a company here, right? This is awesome. You know, we recruited a great tech team, neither me nor my co founder developers. And so we had to go find a recruit that talent, we found some great people to join, and we were off to the races. So we went raised a little bit of money. And that’s what got us into augmented reality. And then we’ve pivoted quite a bit to get to where we are now. But that’s how it started all from $100, you know, hidden by a waterfall.

Jay Clouse 22:00
What were these these $200,000 type contracts in the treasure seeking context? What was that like? Like? What were they expecting as a return to that?

Jon Cheney 22:08
So every single time the user would open up a treasure chest? There was they could they could you could actually tap on a treasure chest and see inside of it. What were all the potential prizes, right? So you might see, okay, there’s a, there’s a Lyft gift card, or there’s a Best Buy gift card or there’s a Samsung phone, or a there’s a trip for for to Disneyland, right. And so every single time someone tapped on a treasure chest to open it up, you know, they see all these all these cool prizes here that were that were options of things that they could win. And that’s a brand impression, right? And so when we had hundreds of thousands of users using this in over 115 countries, yeah, that’s valuable to Samsung. And so we could produce millions of impressions for them by having people going around and looking for these, you know, ultimately, only one person maybe know Samsung actually provided about 400 prizes, Gear VR is and about 20 phones, and all kinds of cool stuff. And so we met lot, lots of people were winning prizes, and then they would post about it on social media that helps it grow. But ultimately, these brands were saying, Hey, we want to do something really cool. We want to use augmented reality. And this is a way that we can get you know, traditional impressions out there in a cool new way.

Jay Clouse 23:22
How do you plant these discoverable, augmented reality? Like flags or checkpoints all over the world from one place? How do you plant that in a very specific place? Or do you kind of generally place it in this area? And it lands somewhere? geographically?

Jon Cheney 23:36
Yeah, so we had the ability to? That’s a good question. It’s actually a pretty, pretty fun development, you know, originally, we had to go in and get on Google Maps. And we’d grab a GPS coordinate, and we’d have to go into our back end and copy paste manually into there. And then he said, Hey, can you build this, you know, talking to our tech team, Hey, can you build some map interface, where we can just, you know, push a button and place it. And so they built that out. And eventually now we have a huge dashboard that, you know, just does things almost automatically. Then we got to the point where we wanted people, I mean, there’s a lot of people in the world, and it’s a big place, right. And so what we didn’t want to happen, which we had, there were a couple other treasure hunting apps that were really they weren’t augmented reality that they were supposed to be kind of like a location based geocaching type things, right. But a lot of people complain, we saw in reviews that they would open it up, and they’re in the middle of Kansas somewhere, and there’s no treasure around them. So they can’t play it, it only worked in big metropolitan areas that they’d, you know, taken care of. And so we created a feature where as somebody signed up, we pinned to their location, and automatically dropped the chest right on top of them so that they would be able to immediately have something cool to do. And beyond that, they could then say, hey, request a treasure chest in this area, right? So they could say, you know what, there’s a park here, and, and then we would receive a request, we manually review it, and then and then go in and put those things there. So that was fine, but still very, very manual. So then we said, okay, how can we make this even better? So then we decided, our tech team, just absolutely off the charts brilliant, that that’s taken us to where we are today, created an algorithm that could detect parks all over the world, or universities or residential streets or hiking trails, things like that. So they would they could identify different landmarks, and then randomly generate chess in those areas. Right, so it looked like it was random and manually placed. But we now we currently have about 72 million places in the world where you can open a treasure chest, right? And this app, by the way, you can’t even download it anymore. We’ve we’ve Sunseted the app, it’s gone. But we potentially have somebody that’s gonna buy it and might bring it back to life.

Eric Hornung 25:45
So you’re making all this money, you get these $200,000 contracts, everything sounds good. why whY, sunset the app.

Jon Cheney 25:54
Yeah. So we did that a couple years ago, or maybe a year, year and a half ago, Pokemon GO drove a lot of our sales, the craze around that this was a brand new thing, very cutting edge. Definitely coming out of those experimental budgets that these brands have, which a lot of brands don’t have, right, you know, you talk to small businesses around the you know, they just don’t have that kind of money. Yeah, the Samsung’s and the Universal Pictures and big companies that have, you know, hundred million dollar marketing budgets or billion dollar marketing budgets. Yeah, they can, they can afford to throw 200 grand at some new experimental thing and try it out. But long story short, we were just a little too cutting edge. And as Pokemon GO died, we went right with it. Right. And, you know, interest from advertisers, the users loved it. That was the thing that was really tough is that, you know, we had this very passionate user group, the US and the UK, were just absolutely on fire. And quite frankly, as we’ve thought back on it, we probably could have made it work with a with a very engaged fan base like that, and a growing audience, we could sell that to somebody to the right, people will just keep cranking over time. But what happened was our clients kind of, and this was maybe a mistake, maybe not. I mean, I’m really happy that we got to where we are now, which will, which we’ll get to, but we kind of let our clients drive the ship. They say, you know, Samsung came back to us and said, hey, I’ve got another 200 grand. But can we do something a little different? We said absolutely. But they said, Hey, you know, we don’t want people to have to get up and walk around. And to find this cool augmented reality content, can we create something that’s maybe a little more engaging, but that they can do anywhere they can do it in their home, their office, whatever, and share it and make it fun? And we said, Sure, and this is before or kind of right, as Snapchat was just starting to do some augmented reality ads, and it was very new, very expensive, and very limiting. Snapchat, you pay 500 grand for an augmented reality ad, and it would last two days, and then it’s gone. Right? And so that didn’t make sense. So we had this idea, hey, you know, there’s really not a platform out there like YouTube. But for AR, where a brand new could have a channel, publish a our content, gain followers, shares, likes, things like that. I’m a social network with, you know, content driven social network, around augmented reality. And our company went away on a retreat for a few days just to kind of talk about what should we do. And we came up with this idea for the YouTube of AR. And we all said, Man, that is a big idea. If we can pull that off, we will be so rich, we will be so wealthy, and this will just be awesome. And so we said, All right, let’s do it. But we made the decision to we didn’t want to alienate our existing users. But we wanted to add all these new features. So we said all right, let’s, we’ve got the map, let’s just create some new tabs will create a newsfeed and then a discover tab and these things, right. And so we create, we had to literally start over from scratch because how we were doing what we were doing now required a lot more visual effects that weren’t as easy to do outside of unity. And so we said, All right, we need to build a unity app that’s going to be cross platform is going to work and, and allow us to do a lot more on the on the visual and kind of gaming side of things, which augmented reality push towards. So we got busy, we raised another half million dollars and, and and crank that out in about six months. And in December of 17, I think we launched seek XR, and seekXR you can still download today. On iOS, at least we don’t have it on Android right now. But it’s it’s still actually the largest collection of interactive AR content really fun. You can go in there and play a Star Wars game where you’re shooting, you know, spaceships all around with Star Wars music, and you can see dragons flying around and you can you can interact with different things from movies have contracts that we had, and and we started selling contracts again, right? Hey, we’re back in business, this works awesome. About six months go by. And actually, let’s say about four months go by, and all of the initial hype that we had had around, it’s really easy to hype something before it exists, right? Oh, we’re going to be the YouTube of AR and we’re going to have 10 million users by next summer. And if you don’t deliver on that hype, then all the advertisers say, you know, I can’t if you only have 100,000 users, I can’t put money there. I got to put it into Facebook, and Snapchat and Instagram and these other places that are that are killing it. Right? what we realized is that they’re just like today, if you just go down the street, and you say, hey, average Joe, what’s augmented reality? They don’t know. They can’t tell you right? So they don’t even know what it is, then that means they’re definitely not looking for it. Right? there just weren’t enough people searching for augmented reality content. And and we realized that that was a problem, right? And there’s another issue we said, Hey, you know what, augmented reality content is really, really hard to create, right? Instagram’s easy, because, you know, creating contents, just you know, pick up your phone, take a picture and boom, you’re done. Same with YouTube, you can take a video and there’s there’s 1000 video editing apps on your phone. And it’s easy to download premiere, and the people are tech savvy enough now that making a video is an easy thing. But augmented reality is very difficult. You need 3d modeling and physics and usually game engines and most of the time, you need to know how to code. So so we wanted to fix that problem. So we set out and we created a kind of an add on product called seek studio, that would allow an average user to use templates that we created for them to create augmented reality content. And so we made it possible within minutes to jump on create an AR firework show or something, you pick your song, and then you you kind of get to choose, you know, when the fireworks go off and what color they are and what style they are and, and then you could publish it, and it would take just a few minutes, and people could create really cool things. And so that was that worked well and got a little bit of press, and it was exciting. But still, it just weren’t enough people looking for augmented reality. So then we ran into a cash crunch. Right now we hadn’t delivered on the huge vision, we realized a fundamental flaw in our business, which was there just aren’t enough, there’s not a big enough audience. For this to really be worth a lot right now. Maybe in five years, you know, enough people will get it, Apple glasses will be out you know, things like that augmented reality be a part of everyday life. And so maybe the YouTube of AR could exist and maybe seek does that maybe it’s somebody else. But we needed a business plan that was going to actually make money, right. And that’s where our final pivot to where we’ve got now. And now we’re just taking off big time. But in building the YouTube of AR, there were a lot of things that we had to solve a lot of problems we had to solve. One was cross platform, right? We know that if a brand spends a lot of money, your time to create content, and they publish it to seek, it’s got to work on iOS and Android. And we already knew at the time that Apple glasses were going to be a thing. And you know, you’ve got magically raising $2 billion plus, you’ve got you know, all these kind of AR goggles and VR goggles and things. And we wanted to make it easy for a brand to publish something once and then have it work cross platform. So we created a lot of really cool deployment technology for that. It also had to be easy to create content had to be easy to manage content and we’d created That with seek studio. The one thing that we that we also knew was it’s really, really hard to get people to download an app. Right? If you look at the stats, it’s actually pretty interesting. 51% of people download an average of zero apps per month.

Jay Clouse 33:17
Wow.

Jon Cheney 33:18
Yeah.

Jay Clouse 33:18
I mean, that’s me, I get that.

Eric Hornung 33:20
Yeah, it is the complete opposite of me. I’m always trying apps.

Jon Cheney 33:23
I know I have thousand apps on my phone, man. I just always like we always cool and then yeah, but but you know, that’s a pretty big stat and, and and if you go up, you know, when you get all the way up to 75%, still people are downloading less than three apps a month. And so getting them to download anything is just really, really difficult. And so we had talked about it, and we knew that the web was getting more powerful, but web based AR is is where we knew we wanted to get to. And as we kind of ran into this cash crunch, I mean, we ran down to we had 25 employees, we had a second $70,000 payroll every two weeks. And and we just we had $6,000 left, we were out. It was done. Right. And so we went to our investors and our employees. And we said, All right, guys, let’s dig deep here. What do we do? How do we make this happen? How do we how do we survive? Right? How do we how do we not disappoint our investors? What do we what what does the market want that we have? My CTO came to me and said, you know, if we all thought about he just came in one day just said, Hey, Jon, I’ve got an idea. I think our technology is good enough now that we can do web based AR for e commerce, right? To let brands show a couch or a shoe or whatever it is they’re selling in AR on the web without an app. And I said Nah, that’s not exciting. I don’t wanna do that. And he’s like, all right, you know, whatever. So I just, was thinking about it. A couple more hours later that afternoon was like, thing get back in here. Let’s talk about that smarter. Tell me about this. What does this mean? You know, can you show me an example. He’s like, I can’t show an example yet. But give me some let me do it. He whipped it out in a day. And I was like, I can sell that. So we went to our employees, we said, here’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to sunset, the first app, because at this point, we’re a startup, we have no money left, we have three products, seek rewards, its location based seekXR, the YouTube of AR and we considered seek studio to be its own product. So that required Facebook posting and emails and different users image it requires so much work. And so we had we went through our boys that are Alright, guys, about 13 of you, we gotta let go. Right? And you know, so we let them go. rest of them. We said Hey, are you willing to stay around and not get paid? And everyone said, Yes. Everybody hundred percent.

Jay Clouse 35:50
It was that the mostly like the technical team that kind of stuck around?

Jon Cheney 35:53
Yeah, we needed the development team, we needed our VP of Marketing, because we had to keep some semblance of a company ya know image going. And then, and then I’m the primary sales guy, my coo and co founder helps with that as well. And so so that was it. Yeah, we had about seven tech guys. And then we had, we had our VP of Marketing couple of us. And then and that was it. And so for about six weeks, we went for we had about 12 people. And eventually we had to cut that down to five people on the payroll, right. And the rest of the people stayed hoping that we would get enough money to do it. And so because we went to our investors, and they said, Look, guys, you blown through this money and and we it’s not like we were going and buying, you know, Diamond crusted ping pong tables. But Had we been more experienced with using capital, we would have seen this coming before we had $6,000, we would have said, Oh, we only have $200,000. And that’s only three months, two months at 140 150,000 a month. You know, we got to cut now. And we should have right in hindsight, you know, it’s easy to learn those things. But we had to learn those lessons. And long story short, we got the we got the investors just to agree to provide about $20,000 a month to keep going forward. And so we had to figure out how to fit everything that we needed into that $20,000 a month. So we canceled everything. Our landlord, one of the companies that went public portal site, we were subleasing from them a $15,000 a month space. And we just told them Hey, guys, we’re out of money will pay you soon we’re trying to raise some money and they’re like, okay, five months went by $75,000 of rent, you know, debt accrued and owed. And they finally said, Alright, guys, we got to let you go. But we were in your position at one point. pay us when you can if you can?

Jay Clouse 37:37
Wow.

Jon Cheney 37:38
Yeah,

Jay Clouse 37:38
that’s good to them. Especially if you said they got the IPO or they got acquired.

Jon Cheney 37:42
Yeah, IPO.

Jay Clouse 37:43
Okay, so they still have some of their own control. They can make that decision. It wasn’t like,

Jon Cheney 37:47
exactly, so yeah, no, that was it was awesome. You know, they’re going to get a high five for me when we sell in a $75,000 check plus interest, and, and a steak dinner. But the point is they were they were really, really cool about it. But we were we were out right. And so we went we found a place that was just $3,000 a month and jumped in and said, All right, guys, let’s heads down. Let’s make this happen. You know, all of our salaries were bare minimum enough to not, you know, die.

Jay Clouse 38:13
What time frame is this?

Jon Cheney 38:14
This was actually a little over a year ago. Yeah, so we did that. So now we had a new product, right? We called this product seek view, we decided to just be ultra focused. And this was the first time where we were our other products were both consumer facing products. And so we had two sided market problems. We had to get users and get advertisers. Right? And and that’s very expensive and time consuming to do. And really probably would have required more like $30 million to successfully do, we had only raised up to this point up to that point, I guess we had raised about 1.5 million, maybe 1.4. So all from angels around the area. But we built this product. And we said okay, September 15 of last year was the launch date, because there was a conference called shop.org, the big e commerce conference in Vegas, and we said, Hey, we’re gonna go out to this and we’re going to, we’re going to officially launch it there. We go there. And people just flocked to us. It was awesome, huge brands, everybody coming out, we went away with about about 45 really solid leads. And about 20 of those are clients today.

Eric Hornung 39:21
What’s the value of like one of those leads or clients?

Jon Cheney 39:25
So you take someone like vans Corporation right there, initially, but about 120,000 a year, but they’re part of the Vf Corporation, which owns you know, Wranglers and all kinds of other huge brands out there north face and and you know, so when you when you look at the value of what their entire organization as we roll out fully, it’ll be worth millions of dollars to us a year. But the total value of all of those all those clients on an annual basis was half a million dollars, right. But now we’re in a new game. b2b SAS recurring revenue we were out of the project based game right, which is what everything else was Samsung’s like here’s $200,000, do something cool. Here’s 200,000 do something cool, you know, Lionsgate comes along here’s, here’s $100,000 do something. But as soon as that projects done, it’s like okay, well, we have to start selling again. With these guys. We install this on their website becomes a core feature, and it just rolls every month. Right. So since then, we have landed now our clients are you know, some of the ones I mentioned, you know, vans, Nestle, overstock, overstock is our largest customer and is the largest augmented reality installation in the world. You got you know Bosch, and Crutchfield, which is a big Best Buy competitor. We have clients in Spain in the UK and Amsterdam, we have five or six, we went to a conference in Australia last month. And we’ve already landed six deals from that. And we are growing very, very fast. About 30% per month since September of last year, we raised some additional capital, we’re now raising a series A to really blow it up now,

Jay Clouse 40:58
what is the selling proposition? Like what does these these brands that come to you? What are they expecting the user to feel or do differently after seeing this in their home? And maybe you could explain visually for the listener, what this product kind of looks like in the user’s hand?

Jon Cheney 41:14
Definitely. So the big difference here, you know, augmented reality will back up just a little bit and explain this. augmented reality has been used by IKEA wayfare, Amazon, you know, L’Oreal and as a lot of a lot of big brands have launched augmented reality within their app in the last couple years. And a lot of studies came out and said, Hey, you know, augmented reality has a pretty big impact, right? 30% increase in sales conversion. That’s a huge number. Right? some stats that we saw said, 80% increase, some said, 120% increase. We’re measuring 150% increase with some of our large retailers. That’s part of why we decided to get in this business is because when my CTO came to me and showed me this, he said, Hey, you know, we can do this, I look, I started, you know, research into the budgets. And actually, that is a very provable ROI. Right? If you can ab test show, this makes 150% or 30%, heck, a 10% increase, I could sell this all day long, and renew it all day long, because the numbers are there, right there making more money, we’re adding more to the top line. And the experience is simple. But with what we do, you know, with someone like IKEA, you know, if you found something that was viewable in AR, but you know, without us and even today, right? You go you go on their website, or you go on Google and you land on IKEA and it says View in AR it says okay, download our app, and then go you know, create an account and then find this product again, and then learn how to use our custom AR, whatever, it’s too complicated, right? with us. And I know that some of you are listening here, but I’m going to demo it right here just so that we can see it on screen a little bit. But basically, you go to the website, right, I’m just, I’m just on, you know, overstock.com, as this example here, and you can try it for listeners at home, just go to overstock.com click on anything, click on any any category, and then head down the list and say you see a little 3d symbol, when you find that 3d symbol, you can click on the on the product. And then inside of that, there will be a little button that says 3d Interactive viewer, just kind of right in the middle of the picture, right you impossible to miss. And if you click on that, then it’s going to open up a 3d view of that object, right. So this is a couch, the sectional that I’m showing here and playing with, right. So I can zoom in on it, I can look at it, that’s cool. But then I can actually point this at the ground and click this AR button here. And it’s going to it’s kind of measuring the ground and trying to find a place to put it now I just put this huge couch, I’m actually going to shrink it down. But it puts it puts this huge item here in the space. And you can look at it right here. And this was a bad product to use for this demo. But again, the listeners can’t tell. If it’s just go to the overstock

Eric Hornung 43:45
I think a couch looks really good in your office, man. I think you definitely need one.

Jon Cheney 43:48
Yeah, we do need one, we wouldn’t be able to walk through it. But But anyway, so so that’s the that’s the process, right? It’s all it all happens. You can be on Chrome on Android on safari, and and you just just tap it and open it up and boom, you know, it’s right there in front of you. And the object is true to size. So you can actually say, does this fit? Does it not fit? Does it go with my decorations? Does it work? And so furniture is a very, very obvious use case, you know, someone like vans have been able to see the shoe and turn it around and almost be able to hold it right is very valuable, where it will get even more valuable with someone like Van’s as we roll out try on right a virtual try on so that you can actually say, hey, what does this look like and, and again, everything we’re doing, we want to be web based, you don’t have to download an app, you don’t have to do anything other than Click, click on it, do it in tap on it, and you’re out right. And then as soon as you click x out of the viewer, it takes you you know, you never left the webpage you added to cart and so it’s no different a journey for the buyer than then clicking on a picture or a video already is. And so that becomes something that’s really, really easy doesn’t interrupt the buyers journey, but when not when somebody sees something in augmented reality, there’s a few things that happened. One, they get a lot of their questions answered. Right? When you’re shopping for something online, a couch, you know, especially furniture, right? That’s tough, right? You just don’t know if it’s going to work. But if you can see it, okay, hey, it looks good. I like that that questions answered. So that’s going to increase conversion and reduce returns, right? You know, it fits, you’re going to you’re going to eliminate that does it fit return problem. And that will be true in the future of clothes as well, which will be pretty awesome. Another thing happens psychologically, when you see something in your space, you start to want it more, right? It starts to become yours, you get that sense of ownership, because you see this even and we we have we have companies that are supplement companies. And so all we’re doing is looking at a bag of protein powder, right sitting on the desk here. But hey, now that bag of protein powder sitting here on my desk, and even though they don’t care if it fits on the desk, it still increases conversion. Because there’s that added benefit of Hey, I’ve got all my questions answered, flip it around, I can look at the nutritional facts in a way, almost as if I was in the store, I can look at those details really well and make that happen. So there’s a lot of very pronounced benefits to the to the retailer, mostly around consumer confidence and trust in their product. And in their process.

Jay Clouse 46:17
Is this kind of now a land grab? Like are there a lot of competitors in the space trying to do the same thing? And it’s just a race to get your software on this retailer side before the next supplier?

Jon Cheney 46:27
So yes, yes, I know. There are some other companies out there that are trying to do this, of course, which we love, right? I’ve learned that competition is good. First of all, it makes us like dang good. Because our solution is the best, we are kind of top of the line. And that’s why we’ve been able to land some of the clients I’m talking about here. But yeah, it’s definitely a land grab. Right, what we’re doing is there’s there’s some proprietary things, but there’s a lot of things that can be done differently in ways to make this happen. The cool thing is, though, it’s a fairly integrated product. And so it’s not something that will be easy to switch to one of our competitors, right. There’s not just the technology that we install on the website, but there’s the management of the 3d assets and the creation of the 3d assets. And, you know, being able to manage them cross platform, we’re the only ones that can do it completely web based on Android, and iOS. And magically, and we have a partnership with Google that I could talk about it’s pretty cool. And lots of really, you know, we kind of bring all the premium features, you know, we actually had inside venture partners come out to us, in January of this year, really, really early in this product cycle before we had a lot of these really big clients. We had, you know, the successful conference, but we were just landing those deals, and none of them were really live yet. But they said, you know, if you’re going to win, it’s going to be the way that twitch did it. Right. I said Twitch, right. We’re not we’re not Twitch. And what does that mean? She said, Look, twitch wasn’t anything special. There’s streaming company, right? And when you think of video streaming media, think of first YouTube, right? I mean, YouTube owns that space, How on earth did twitch come in and beat YouTube out on this, right? Turns out that the streaming piece was was good. And there’s probably 100 companies that could do the streaming just as well as twitch does. But what twitch did is they built tools all around the core product that were just perfect for their niche, right. If you’re a gamer, and you go into it, you have every tool you need all the add ons, all the things to let people donate to you and comment to you and engage with you and, and make the experience just feel nice for a gamer. That’s why Twitch, one, twitch provided all the extras that made it the complete package, and now their billions of dollars, right, which is awesome. And so we’ve kept that, that we’ve kept that advice in our mind. And so seek studio, which I mentioned before, is now we’ve Sunset at it for the consumer side of things that it’s now six studio enterprise, right. And it does so many incredible things. And so companies like Lego or overstock or actually Walmart, that are coming to us are choosing now over some of our competitors that are out there, because of the tools that we’ve built around it, we have that really that full solution.

Eric Hornung 49:08
So say upside wants to hire seek to we want to do our whole digital asset thing we want to like come on as a customer. Let’s say we have 100 skews of swag. We don’t have any 3d models, we don’t have any augmented reality capacity at all, what does startup and integration look like in terms of steps and time for a customer to get on boarded to the point that consumers can do exactly what you just did with overstock looking at trying it fitting in?

Jon Cheney 49:37
Yeah, good question. So that that is actually a fairly big issue. If you don’t have 3d models, which a lot of companies don’t many do, there’s, there’s a couple things that can happen. One, if I’m working with somebody, you know, maybe let’s say a manufacturer like Bosch, right, they make their own stoves and kitchen things, and, you know, whatever. And, and so they have CAD files of all of their products. And if you have a CAD file, they can output a 3d file, or they can send us their CAD file and will convert it into a 3d file, and then, you know, compress it down to be able to work on mobile, you know, those CAD files are usually, you know, 1.5 gigabytes, and it’s got to be three megabytes for it to work for what we’re doing. So that’s part of our proprietary technology actually, is being able to compress those down. So if you have a CAD file, great, we can do that. But if you just have shirts and swag like that, we actually can send so we have, we have a network of hundreds of 3d modelers, out there, just all over the world, right, Bangladesh, and Russia and everywhere in between. and we can send them actually just pictures of your products. And within a few hours, they’ll send back a 3d model that they’ve basically built from scratch, and it works really well, the cost is quite inexpensive for the brand, it can be anywhere from $50 for a model up to $300 for a model, if it’s a really, really complex, you know, piece of machinery or something. But we try to keep that cost as low as possible. Because it’s a barrier. We don’t want want to our businesses not creating 3d models, right, our businesses hosting and enabling AR technology through a SAS product, right. And so yeah, we could charge a bunch for 3d model creation, we actually are the cheapest out there, a lot of brand or a lot of companies that do this charge 200 to $1,000 for 3d modeling. And that’s how they make their money. We’re just like no, we’re going to basically do that at cost. And we’re going to be because because think of think about it, if we’re a 3d modeling business, that’s just a services business, right, we’re going to get a half to two x multiple, when we sell and, you know, if anybody wants to buy us, but if we you know, so if we sell $100,000 of 3d modeling services in a month. Okay, cool. So we added almost no value to our company, right? Maybe 50,000-100,000. But if I sell $100,000, of hosting products, that’s recurring, okay, you know, on an annual basis, just $100,000 on an annual basis, that adds a million dollars, of a value to my company, right. And so, we’ve just said, Let’s remove every barrier possible to do that. So you can do that you can also actually have them physically scanned either wearing them, you can go into a booth and, you know, have the scanner just scan you real quick and and outputs a 3d model, there’s booths called Shapify booths that are there’s probably about 10 of them in the US. And you can go to Vegas and do it in New York and California. And we’ve thought about opening one here. But again, we’ve just said, You know what, we’re not a 3d modeling company. That’s not what we do. So we haven’t we haven’t gotten into that. And then you can buy scanners from a company called Artek. They’re the best of the best. They’re about $25,000, though, where you can physically scanner product and get a very, very photorealistic, you know, version of that product. So there’s a lot of different ways we found the cheapest, fastest way is to build it from scratch. But that will get better. I actually, if you look on if you just Google, you know, iPhone 11 leaks, you know, you try to find cool information about it. They’re taking, you know, if you look at the back of your iPhone right now, or you know, an iPhone 10 or 10 s, there’s two cameras, the new one actually has third one. And it’s been rumored that that is a very, very capable depth sensor. And we believe and other people do as well, that that depth sensor will be usable to allow your phone to start becoming a 3d scanner, which will really accelerate you know, now all of a sudden, we don’t have to just deal with the over stocks and big huge retailers who have massive budgets to do this. You could be selling one of your old, Nintendo’s on eBay, you know, and scan it really quick and enable that on eBay to work.

Jay Clouse 53:31
How far ahead? Do you have to try to think with the speed of technology? You know, I have to think that sometime in the next decade, I’m not even holding a phone like this.

Jon Cheney 53:41
Yep.

Jay Clouse 53:42
So what does that look like for the way that you guys think about AR and e commerce?

Jon Cheney 53:47
Yeah, that’s actually at the center of our thinking is what is next and the brands that we’re actually doing that on behalf of our brands, we don’t want them to have to be thinking about that. Right? when Apple glasses come out next year, which is the best rumor, right? They believe that people believe that Apple is going to come out. And when Apple does that, it’s going to make it go mainstream, right? You know, they come out with a watch everyone buys it, they’ve got it, you know, that’s just how Apple works, right? So they’re going to come out glasses, and then people are going to expect to be able to see content, right. And every single one of our brands, one of our customers is automatically upgraded, we built our system in a way so that if we improve the system to now support Apple glasses, then every single model, every single customer that we host, and enable will automatically be ready for that next thing they’ll be ready for magically, they’ll be ready for Google Glass, if they come out again, and actually are successful this time. But the future is wearables with augmented reality. And it’s going to be glasses first, I’m sure eventually, and we might be quite a ways off just because of the amount of computing power you need. Contacts will get there eventually. But AR is going to become a very integral part of almost every activity that you do today, in 10 years from now, almost everything you do will be enabled in part or, or assisted by augmented reality.

Jay Clouse 55:05
So you have you magically breathing like literally billions of dollars. And now you guys seem to potentially be out of the woods of this, like project based fee, you have recurring revenue you might have, you know, it sounds like you have more Predictable Revenue. And you said, you’re looking at raising an A. So how do you think about that fundraise? Are you trying to raise a big a, that’s just going to give you the jet fuel plus your revenue to not have to raise again? Or are you trying to just get to the next step, then you have to raise b? And then a c.

Jon Cheney 55:33
Yeah, you know, I think both are viable path. I don’t think I’ve decided on one or the other, quite frankly, we’re making a lot of money right now. And it’s driving our growth, you know, organically, which is great. We don’t have to raise money. By the way, that’s the best time to raise money. Right? When I could sit there, yeah. When I could sit there in front of the VC and be like, Look, if you want in, here’s what we’re doing. Here’s where we’re going. Come join us help us accelerate that. But if you don’t want to, that’s fine, too. Right? When I’m in a cash crunch, like I was last summer, and that’s the worst time to raise money, right? That’s when, and I’m grateful actually, to my investors that that said, Hey, you know, yeah, we’re going to give you a little bit of a down round, but we’re only going to give you like $100,000, they’re going to take very much right. So it actually didn’t, didn’t hurt the company didn’t hurt the cap table that much. But they just said, Look, we’re going to give you a tiny rope. If you can prove it with this, you know, four or five months of runway, then you’re off to the races, you’ll be able to do it. And so our goal we had to get to 20,000 in recurring revenue. Before we ran out of money. and We did it

Eric Hornung 56:40
recurring software revenue or recurring recurring revenue in general,

Jon Cheney 56:43
recurring SAS, yeah, exact. So we did that within that five month time period from when they gave us that money. And now we’re much much higher than that. But yeah, as far as what we what we want to do, our competitors are a good solid year behind us. And may a little bit more than that, for some of them. But where we have really, really done well is in obtaining the customers, right, we have the big names, the biggest of the biggest in retail, we are working with people I can’t really talk about, you know, but all the big guys are kind of in our pocket. And as long as we just don’t screw it up, you know, those, a lot of those accounts are going to become worth $5 million annually, right, which is a $50 million, add to our to our valuation at a 10 x multiple and so good luck to our competitors catching us, right, you know, if they go out and raise $30 million, right now, I still think they’d have a really hard time coming and catching us. Now, I do think that think about this, our product is applicable to every single ecommerce company in the world that sells a physical product, that’s a market that’s so big, that we will never be done, I think there’s room for four of us. Right, and you know, probably two big winners, you know, will happen. And then there, you know, there might be 30 other little companies that do it to certain degrees, and maybe focus on niche products, like a you know, trying on a ring or something and tracking. And so people can potentially try to take some certain angle, but for general merchandise and things like that, seek is definitely the one to beat. Now,

Eric Hornung 58:14
when you’re talking to all of these customers, you mentioned earlier that a lot of your products were kind of coming out of this experimental budget, it was Pokemon Go. And they were just like trying something, what budget is this like product now coming out of when you go to sell? Is this coming out of? Like, where’s this coming from at the business?

Jon Cheney 58:35
Gonna be user experience? Right, there’s definitely a budget for UX, it’s typically part of the website budget, it starts usually with the marketing department, right? They want, you know, to increase conversion rates, that’s the marketing departments, you know, job part, in part, right, kind of depends on the company, but it’s the marketing department slash the IT department working together to, you know, drive more people to the site, and then convert more people while they’re on the site. And so, yeah, we’ve jumped into mainstream budgets here, which is really, really cool. You know, it’s really fun. I was on a call with vans actually, about a month ago. And they said, Hey, you know, we love this, this is now a standard. So let’s, let’s just get this let’s sign a multi year agreement here, let’s just make this, you know, this is, this is how we do things now. And now let’s talk about some cool project based stuff, you know, what are what are some cool campaigns we can do and, you know, custom development, and you know, making things sparkle more, I guess, right. But as far as, hey, you know, augmented reality is now a way to shop. And that’s starting to happen in the minds of some of our customers and some of these big brands. Now, that kind of all the barriers are gone, right? Everybody’s got a phone now that’s capable, they’ve got iOS 12, they’ve got AR kit. on Google, you’ve got AR core, and you’ve got these things that are now embedded as part of the ecosystem that we can leverage and then add some of our own stuff on top of it to make it a smooth, easy experience that, that you you know, a couple years from now you’re met Oh, yeah. Why doesn’t this have an AR object? Right? I mean, just like when you go to a product page, and you expect to see a picture, or maybe expect, you know, definitely a picture and maybe a video, if you’re lucky, you’re going to say, Oh, I really wish this had an AR, but why don’t I want to see, you know, I’m shopping for this new mountain bike, I’d love to see how big it really is. And I’d love to look down at these features, you know, so I think it’s becoming a standard. And that’s and as it becomes a standard of needs that experimental budget and, and then just becomes something that they forget about install it and like, Oh, yeah, we just renew that every year,

Jay Clouse 1:00:31
I would expect that these clients typically are long sales cycles, type companies. How does that look for you guys? Is it still a long sales cycle? Are they motivated enough to move it real quick,

Jon Cheney 1:00:42
tough, man. That’s the hard part about b2b SAS when you’re going after the big enterprise, right? Part of me wishes we were going after small businesses and just writing writing those $5,000 checks for the year, because they can do it, you know, that week, right? And provide some cash really quickly. And you when we’re closing the $500,000 a year deal, or the hundred and $50,000 a year deal? Yeah, it takes forever, man, it’s, you know, you got to go through security approvals and becoming a vendor and becoming a vendor for Nestle. It was like a 47. page document, man, it took forever to fill that stuff out. And and then they have to process it and whatever. I mean, it’s, it’s three months to get on board as a vendor. And then in their terms, they’re like, Oh, yeah, we paid net 90. I’m like, No way, man. Let’s change that to net 30. Right now. And, you know, so I’m doing everything I can to speed things up, right. And we’re landing huge clients, but we have to wait, sometimes five or six months to see that money from the time they say, yes, we’re in. And meanwhile, we want to solidify that sale. And we want to use that customer as a flag, you know, as a demo. And so we’re like, Look, let’s just install it now. Right, we’ll get the paperwork done, we get it, you can pay us when you can pay us, let’s get it going as fast as we can. So we can, you know, box out, you know, do that land grab. So it’s really tough, because we’re delivering with no cash. Luckily, I feel like I was just talking to my co last week, and I’m like, I think we’re out of the woods, we have enough money that we can deliver for months and for the rest of the year through next year. To and and you know, without receiving any more money, and we’re in we’re in, we’re good, we’re not going to run out. And we have, you know, tons of new clients coming on and lots of receivables and stuff. But we can survive now. But remember, we went from this $20,000 a month budget, to wait, we gotta hire more people to handle all these things. And you know, we’re not spending 20,000 a month anymore. We’re a lot bigger now. But when can we hire those people? How fast can we get that and we started getting into doing some invoice factoring and getting, you know, you know, creative with pulling that capital and faster. I mean, my dad is actually one of our investors, one of the was one of our very first ones and, and we had a contract that we were down to, again, this was in like January or something and we were down like $11,000, or something we needed. I think you’re 35,000 or something like that. Can you write me a check for $35,000 I’ll pay you back in two weeks. We’ve got a big, you know, contract coming in, it’ll easily cover this. And he’s like, show me the contract. And it was like, All right, here you go. So did that. And you know, so we’ve made it, we made it work. But we’ve gotten past the the hard times and learned an insane amount through all that as well.

Eric Hornung 1:03:23
How does pricing work?

Jon Cheney 1:03:25
Yeah, so pricing is based on VIVUS, it’s almost, you know, AWS ish, right? It’s kind of usage based. So if somebody’s you know, doing 50,000 AR views in a month, then they might be, you know, $1,000 a month, if they’re doing, you know, 10 million views a month, and they might be $10,000 a month. So it really comes down to it’s about one to two cents per view that we charge, and it’s done on a tear based thing. And we usually sign a contract for a year and agreed to a set price, based on what we estimate it will be and then we’ll adjust as the as the second year comes around. And then there’s usually a setup fee. And then if there are any 3d model creation needs, then, you know, we’ll we’ll build them for that as well.

Eric Hornung 1:04:04
Are you guys? You mentioned some cash kind of issues in some invoice factoring? Are you guys cash flow positive right now? Are you profitable right now? both or neither? Because you mentioned a lot about cash?

Jon Cheney 1:04:14
Yeah, yeah, we’re, like I was saying, you know, we kind of just hit that point where we’re comfortable, where we’re kind of trying to operate at breakeven, right? We don’t want to be profitable right now. And we’re still we’ve still raised just a little bit of money, you know, a few hundred thousand dollars to just give us a little bit more speed, right, just to kind of bridges to that bigger series A, but yeah, if we were to just slow down and say, All right, let’s just maintain our clients were cash flow positive for sure. We could have a great, great business here. But we’re in growth mode. And so we’re reinvesting. And every time we’re like, hey, we’ve got an extra $10,000 a month, let’s get another great developer, and let’s bring on a new sales guy or an account manager or something like that.

Jay Clouse 1:04:55
So john, I want to go back into that moment in time when you had to make some tough decisions and let people go, and some people stayed on without being paid. I had been a part of a company where we had a similar event happen. And similarly in like the year leading up to that, we circled around to a few different products. And I saw the toll that it took on some people not knowing what are we building? Who are we building it for this thing I just spent months building is now shelved. Can you talk about what that was like, internally? And what that felt like for the team? And the ones that stuck around? Why did they have that conviction?

Jon Cheney 1:05:24
You know, I think it came down to, and I’m going to say this as humbly as possible, but they trusted the leaders, they had seen us do some really, really good things. And I’m not talking about just me, but me and my CTO sane, who came up with this idea that really has taken us to a whole new, you know, world. And my co founder, Mike, it wasn’t the first time that we had gotten low on cash, and we’d been done, done. $10,000. And then hey, you know, we raised $400,000. And now we’re good for another eight months in or whatever, right? So we had been there a couple times before. And we basically just said, Hey, guys, look, we’re pretty good. Sure, we’re going to get this done. But it was about six weeks with no pay, right? Three paychecks? That’s tough, right? When you miss a, you know, a rent payment, maybe or a car payment or things like that. And, and we even had a few people come to us and say, Hey, I know I’m supposed to get paid 5000 a month, but I need 1300 dollars in the 76, you know, 1376 and 41 cents, like down to the penny, can you please help us out? And we just said, Hey, you know, we only have $6,000 left, but we had a few people were like, okay, we’ll write the check. And we gave it to them, they knew that we weren’t going to let them that we cared about them. Right? we cared about the employees, and even just those little things where Hey, Oh, my gosh, I got to pay my health insurance 250 bucks? Can I can I get that? Absolutely. Let’s take care of your health insurance, you don’t maps on that. And then some of the people said, Hey, you know what, I gotta, I gotta get another job. And some of them did, right. And we talked to those people. And that was a very, very good thing, but they just couldn’t afford to miss a month, you know, or miss two months. But all the core people stage and quite frankly, they deserve everything, man, I gave them all more equity, right? And said, Look, you guys, you guys are amazing. And you’re the ones making this possible, you know, I just call people up and tell them to buy our stuff, you guys are creating it making this possible. You know, so will do anything for you. And since then, and and I think we had a track record of having done this in the past where we said, Hey, guys, we need to crunch down and we’re going to go up to 40,000, then we’re going to take it back here. And we had delivered on that in the past. And since we’ve you know, taken these guys down to 3000 a month, we’ve got some of the backup to, you know, 8000 a month, and you know, they’ve seen us do that. And I’m just like, hey, bad news, I just, you know, raise your salary by 20 grand, you know, and, you know, I do everything that I can to, to just let them know that, you know, they’re the reason we’re being successful. And, and I know that money only goes so far, you can give them more equity and give more pay. But being right there with them also, I think makes a big difference. Showing up to the office, you know, 6am sometimes and I’m there been there before them, I’m there after them after before they go home, and I’m sorry. And the scene I think I think them seeing the commitment of their leaders as well made it made a big difference. And and we were we were just all in it together there was there was a very, very strong bond. And we we all just had this big vision and just a feeling that, hey, this one’s going to work, right. And then we started landing some of these big clients from these shows. And now everybody’s just pumped, right? And you know, we couldn’t get them away If we wanted to. everyone’s in a really good place right now.

Eric Hornung 1:08:37
What about those you had to let go? That’s a tough side of things as well. And I’m guessing it’s your first time laying off a significant amount of people. How did you handle that?

Jon Cheney 1:08:48
Yeah, that’s tough. Man. I hate I hate. Nobody likes giving bad news. Right? Everyone likes being the good news guy. You know, when you’re getting the raise, you’re hiring somebody. And I probably do that to a fault. Right? I’m a sales guy. I say things that people want to hear. And and I try to get a try to get, you know, people to get on my side. And but some of the people I sat down and just said, Look, you’re not being fired for cause you’re amazing, right? Here’s what we’re doing. You’re very, very aware of every situation. That’s part of what we did, too. I think that helped. It wasn’t like, it wasn’t a surprise to them. They knew our cash position. They knew what we were doing. They knew the pivots we were having, and we would bring all 25 people in and say Alright, guys, here’s where we are, who has ideas, let’s talk through this. And when the company decided to go this b2b SAS away from the consumer facing side of things are eight people that were doing social media and all kinds of stuff and things related to those consumers had to know, you know, hey, you know, this might be kind of the end here, right? And one of those guys was the was that dad of those two sons that that won that treasure, right, and I just set him down, said, Andrew, I love you like a brother, man. And I will hire you back in a heartbeat as soon as we can. If we can find the right place and get the right capital in place and turn it you know, he ended up moving to Florida, and he’s doing great now, but I think everybody knew that we cared about them. And they knew that we would make good on paying them their paychecks that we missed, as well as delivering on the equity that we made sure everybody had a little piece of so that they could, you know, come away with something.

Jay Clouse 1:10:29
Well, it’s a great story. And we’re looking forward to following seek and seeing your future here. If listeners of the show want to learn more about seek or you where should they go?

Jon Cheney 1:10:37
Yeah, you know, definitely feel free to add me on LinkedIn. Just jon cheney JON spell. My name. Last name is Cheney, just like dick, Uncle dick. And then you go to our website seekxr.com seekxr.com. You know, people always ask why we seek you know, but it’s because of where we started, right? The you know, seeking out the treasures and stuff like that, and we just the names good. It’s a good domain. So that’s what we’ve stuck with. But seekxr.com add me on LinkedIn Connect. Feel free to send me an email. john@seekxr.com always happy to help in whatever way I can.

Jay Clouse 1:11:12
All right, Eric, we just spoke with john Chaney of seek in Lehi, Utah. Fun journey, fun conversation. Where do you want to start today? You want to talk opportunity, you want to talk founder?

Eric Hornung 1:11:23
I don’t know. Where did you come from? Where did you go? Like, I think we start with where you came from here. Because Man, what a up and down kind of experience

Jay Clouse 1:11:34
what a call

Eric Hornung 1:11:34
you like that call cotton-eyed joe by the way,

Jay Clouse 1:11:36
wow wow wow. Yeah, up and down experience. And like I said, at the very end of that interview, I had been a part of a larger team that went through a similar crucible moment, and seems to have also come out the other side. But it was rough. And I can imagine for him how hard that was for him to go through that decision. And like actually go through the actions of making that change. But his words sounds like they may be out of the woods for the time being, which is also got to be a great place to be.

Eric Hornung 1:12:08
But that’s just one of the moments, I feel like, there were so many moments there was this, I mean, I’m projecting here, but you have go, you have this treasure hunting thing that he could have done, he said, probably could have made a couple million dollars doing a lifestyle business and you go into this other thing. And then it looks like it’s going to do great, then looks like it’s going to fail. And you do another thing, it looks like it’s going to do great. And then you lay off more than half of your people. That kind of roller coaster, I don’t think we’ve really had that dragged out as much on upside of the actual roller coaster of continuous like pivots and changes. And finally finding real product market fit, not hype.

Jay Clouse 1:12:44
And it’s different to because most of time when people are pivoting around and really circling and trying to figure out what’s going to stick. They’re not doing that while also signing hundred thousand dollar contracts with clients. In fact, they’re usually just struggling to get any business at all. So it’s very interesting to hear a story of somebody that was certainly around because he was following a significant amount of money. And it wasn’t that it wasn’t working. In some ways it was that this may not be a sustainable model for the company long term.

Eric Hornung 1:13:12
Yeah, it’s like if you put out a really bad tweet, which you’re known to do, and somehow like Russian bots, just were like, Oh, yeah, this is the tweet, we’re going to attack with likes, and all of a sudden you got 100,000 likes on your tweet, you’d be like, Oh, that was a great tweet, I should do this same tweet. And then you did it again. And you got three likes.

Jay Clouse 1:13:30
What a weird analogy that was mostly just a veiled attack on my Twitter.

Eric Hornung 1:13:36
Look, your Twitter is great.

Jay Clouse 1:13:39
Something that I think is understated, I’m going to go into jon as a founder here a little bit, it’s clear that he empowers his people to do a lot of the business. You know, while he may be a product visionary, he gave a lot of the credit for this current product to one of his co founders. But what you heard him saying in the interview, so many times was selling and raising money, you know, he’s really embracing the CEO role of making sure there’s money in the bank, selling customers. It sounds like really trusting his team to create the product market the product, and, you know, implement the sale once it’s once it’s made.

Eric Hornung 1:14:14
Yeah, I would agree with that. I came away very impressed with jon as a leader. I think that he had to make tough decisions multiple times made them and always kept his team. First and foremost, I mean, giving them extra equity. Like that’s just a representation of what he is like, as a leader.

Jay Clouse 1:14:34
He also falls in the camp of a founder who is looking for and at opportunity for the company. You know, we received an episode with Eric Shasha of Zive, and he had like, totally contrived his business concept. And jon here, meandered his way into it. But you know, if you would have asked jon, four years ago, five years ago, are you obsessed with AR and e commerce? He would have said, No, he was trying to have fun and do treasure hunting. And yet here we are finding an opportunity and thinking about what is not the several million dollar business that we could have done with like treasure Canyon, and what is the large business that we can build. Now in a massive market, I think this this market falls in your massive market size bucket, Eric

Eric Hornung 1:15:16
we will get to massive market and market sizing in a second. One last thing on john as a founder for me was something was a little more nuanced. And it’s just the way he thought about the business, in that he’s like, okay, we could do this 3d model making but what does that valuation get us it gets us a half of revenue. So that is actually like value to creative to focus resources there. Whereas I can focus resources on what is now like, he said, 10 x. But if you look at Publix, it’s like median, nine x on b2b, SAS sales. So 10 x, if I get one contract for $10,000, that’s worth $100,000 versus one contract for $10,000. That’s worth 5000 to $10,000. So I just love that everything he’s thinking about is okay, how do I optimize the company’s resources to get the highest valuation possible?

Jay Clouse 1:16:05
I don’t believe that the decreative is a word,

Eric Hornung 1:16:08
Jay, I’m known for making up words. So

Jay Clouse 1:16:10
I’m going to tackle my twitter and then you’re going to use the word to decreative.

Eric Hornung 1:16:13
It acreative, Decreative.

Jay Clouse 1:16:17
I don’t know about that. All right. Well, let’s, I won’t dig into that too much. Let’s dig into the market size and the opportunity size here, which I kind of lead off by saying this is probably in our massive bucket if you’re looking at e commerce, but excellent. Just looking at, you know, the total market size. What we’re really looking at here is this marketing and user experience budget that jon was mentioning, in context of that giant market size. So Eric, you’re the math guy. I’ll put you on the spot. How do you think about this market?

Eric Hornung 1:16:47
Look, it’s too big. You want it you want a math answer? It’s too big. here’s here’s how the pricing works out one, two cents per view. I mean, how many products? Have you looked at just anecdotally that you haven’t bought? Think about that people browsing online shopping. That’s so many views. I mean, its massive. I don’t know. Like, it’s e commerce. It’s the biggest Piece will not e commerce, but commerce in general, is the biggest piece of the consumption side of GDP. So yeah, it’s huge. I don’t know like, you want me to come up with an actual number for Tam, I just don’t i don’t think that’s that valuable.

Jay Clouse 1:17:21
Well, think about what I want to dig into a little bit more, you know, on the website, they have a few different plans published that are from $99 per month, up to $999 per month, and then they have kind of an enterprise talk to us version. and jon mentioned that some of those customers were worth about $120,000 in revenue each. So the question is, you know, how many customers are able to pay that $120,000 in revenue per year each? Is it defensible? This is the type of stuff I want to talk about? Is it defensible? How hard? Would it be to rip it out and go to a competitor that could overtake them? Could a competitor overtake them?

Eric Hornung 1:17:56
Yeah. Let’s look at moats a little bit. Like once you get someone signed up? What’s the appetite or ability to switch? It sounds like he said that integration was a competitive advantage. But I didn’t really dig deeper on that answer. Because when he said that we don’t do 3d modeling. It’s like they don’t have a proprietary claim to the 3d models they developed. So you could just go get them made anywhere, and bring them on and then bring in the Seek view platform. So I don’t know how deep that moat runs with. Okay, once I’m in a company, all the integrations done or not, that’s that’s definitely a bit of a shadow.

Jay Clouse 1:18:31
And I’ll take them on as word that they’re a year plus ahead on the technology aspect of being able to do this from a web based system and cross platform. Let’s say that’s true. My bigger question is exactly kind of what about what I asked long term the next 10 years? I think if you’re betting on seek, which could be a good bet, because you’re saying huge market, market leading technology already working with well known brands, the bigger question to me is, how will this market continue to change and will seek continue to be the market leader as the way we move devices and the way we interact with commerce in the world around us as that changes? I think that’s the bet you have to make on seek if you’re betting on seek,

Eric Hornung 1:19:08
I like that. I think that the idea of the tools that he talked about, I think that was hinting at some things that we didn’t really get to see. So maybe seek has some deeper competitive advantages there as well. With seek studio, which is now enterprise facing that maybe we just didn’t hear too much about in this interview, I want to bring up one quick thing about their growth, which I find compelling. So there’s this thing in b2b SAS called the rule of 40. Are you familiar with that? Jay?

Jay Clouse 1:19:35
I’m not.

Eric Hornung 1:19:36
So the rule of 40 is supposed to be this back of the napkin, shorthand math to see okay, is a b2b SAS company doing well? Or are they kind of below this bar or benchmark. And what it is, is you take the growth percentage of MRR And you add in the profitability margin. So let’s say we had a company that was growing 40% every year and was breakeven, that’s meeting the rule of 40 40 plus zero. So we got some information from john that said they were growing 30% per month, since September of 2015. And that they’re operating at about breakeven. That means they’re a little bit underneath that rule of 40. It’s not the worst ratio ever. There’s companies that are doing 20 and negative 10. So but it’s just a good like gut check to see okay, how fast is this thing really growing?

Jay Clouse 1:20:26
Interesting? How do you factor in his decision to not like he said he wanted to operate at breakeven. So if somebody is willfully operating at breakeven, and that is putting them below the rule of 40, is that something that is factored into the rule of 40? Or is that kind of an Asterix that we have to put on that,

Eric Hornung 1:20:41
I think it’s a trade off, I think that the whole part of the rule of 40 is it’s a trade off. So if, as you decrease profitability, you should be increasing growth. So if you are at 10%, profitable, you can be at 30% growth. Again, this is a rough kind of thing. And he might be at 34 36%, you just said 30%. Again, we don’t have all the numbers, but it’s not like it’s super far off. So the idea is, if you’re at 50% growth, you can work at negative 10 margins, because like, that’s just a healthy SAS equilibrium.

Jay Clouse 1:21:13
Yes, interesting number that going to keep that in mind for future b2b SAS companies. He said that this this kind of crucible moment where they went whole hog into the ecommerce AR direction, was just over a year ago. And with the sales cycles that we talked about, at the end of this episode, seems like they’re probably primed for a much higher growth rate. In the coming months, the coming year. It’s crazy to me the number of experiments and products that they built between 2016 really 2017. And now like his tech team has to be extremely talented in a type of technology that is not well, you know, there’s not there’s not a ton of people operating in unity.

Eric Hornung 1:21:52
Yeah, I hundred percent agree with that. Any shadows stick out for you, Jay, before we get into our final question,

Jay Clouse 1:21:58
I think I kind of spoke to my shadow, I do think it is just this market is huge. Yes. This technology is still new and relatively unproven. There is a huge increase in conversion that they’re showing right now, when you add AR to things. But what about when AR becomes table stakes? When it becomes ubiquitous? You know, how does that change the value of the software? How does it change these contracts sizes? does it become commoditized? does it become a see competitor that does this for a fraction of the cost because it becomes commoditized? It really is just you have to make a bet. And I’m not saying I’m not making this bet. But I’m saying you have to make a bet on the future innovation in this space, I think with whoever you whichever horse in this race who’d want to back

Eric Hornung 1:22:42
and one stat that I wanted to just touch on real quick, from my end that I really liked. So was this hundred and 50%? This is their study say that they’re seeing 150% increase in sales for customers, which is there a lot of studies out there that he said were 30 50% when they’re using AR so I mean, that’s a huge stat. that’s a that’s a very large change in sales, like in terms of your conversion rate. So I would just want to, I guess it’s kind of a shadow because I’m so impressed with the stat, I just want to see how that buffers out over the course of another year, two years. Are they still seeing that kind of metric? Or does it come back down to some sort of statistical equilibrium and they just have an anomaly on their hands right now.

Jay Clouse 1:23:26
So six to 18 months? What are you looking for from seek,

Eric Hornung 1:23:29
there are some hints throughout the interview of some conversations that were being had. And I look to see if those conversations turned into partnerships or customers, he mentioned a really cool partnership with Google, I’d like to hear more about that. I’m guessing if there’s something with Google, and that means there’s something with a few other tech companies. So I want to see more on the partnerships and customer side. I think that those are going to drive market leadership even further than that one year gap. Because once you’re the first one in, it’s gonna be very hard for someone who’s a year behind you to kind of break down the door.

Jay Clouse 1:24:01
Yeah, besides the obvious, you know, increasing revenue, increasing number of customers that I always say what I’d be looking for,

Eric Hornung 1:24:08
You sure you don’t want to go with revenue. Are you positive?

Jay Clouse 1:24:10
I did just by saying it just now. What I want to see is a demo or a plan of what this looks like in a pure wearable sense. Whether it’s Apple glasses, Google Glass, Magic Leap, I think a year 18 months from now, we should have something there. Alright guys, we’re excited to hear what you think about this episode. You can tweet at us @upside FM or email us hello@upside.fm. We’ll talk to you next week.

Interview begins: 04:40
Debrief begins: 1:11:09

Jon Cheney is the founder and CEO of Seek.

Seek is Augmented Reality on the web for eCommerce. SeekView allows a consumer to visualize a product in their life before they buy it. Seek has an advanced and powerful system to provide a scalable solution for AR in e-commerce on the web.

Prior to founding Seek, where Jon currently resides as CEO and founder, he provided 12 years of management over several organizations. Jon is passionate about building strong teams and inspiring them to lead their industry. He sees the potential in everyone around him and doesn’t accept anything less than greatness. He is driven forward by his faith and desire to serve others.

Seek was founded in 2016 and based in Lehi, Utah.

Try it at: https://seekxr.com
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