Drew Olanoff

Head of Communications, River Studios

THIS CHAT HAPPENED ON March 23, 2016

Discussion

Hi, I'm Drew Olanoff. I've been a geek my entire life, have written for The Next Web and TechCrunch, done communications at Yahoo, EyeEm, and now at a virtual reality studio River Studios. VR is something very personal for me, and I truly believe that it's our next big platform.
let's do this, happy #NationalPuppyDay!
Ryan Hoover@rrhoover · Founder, Product Hunt
@drew 🐶
Russ Smith@russ_sm · Product Dude @ Codeq ᕕ( ᐕ )ᕗ
What are your views on the ethical problems of Oculus being run by an ad company and how do you see ads shaping the medium?
@russ_sm super great question. i see the oculus/facebook tieup as a good thing. facebook really does, for better or for worse, want to connect the world. VR is a powerful connecting medium, or will be. Ads will have to evolve. You'll see pieces as ads (ala McDonalds) so I think it'll be a situation where you know what you're getting into. Also, like games, there's in-experience advertising opportunities. if i see a damn popup in vr, someone is getting yelled at lol.
Laura Barganier@laura_barganier · PR and more at Day One Agency
Hey Drew! Two qs: 1) What's the best piece of advice you've ever received? 2) Outside of the tech world, what are some of your favorite resources for inspiration?
@laurakb that's tough, but my dad once told me "fuck it, be happy." so i do that. i really enjoy hanging out with kids and animals, i feel like they're the closest source of truth we have as beings on this planet.
Laura Barganier@laura_barganier · PR and more at Day One Agency
@drew "fuck it, be happy" is EXCELLENT advice. I was reading this Motto story today that shared something similar <3 " Like my son tells his toddler sister when she escapes with the entire bag of Doritos, 'Go! Live your best life!'" http://motto.time.com/4259180/or...
Andrew Ettinger@andrewett · 👟 @wearAtoms // ex @Twitter @ProductHunt
What was the most mind blowing VR experience you've had?
@andrewett when I was in my hospital room i tried eden river on gear vr. it a) got me "out" of the hospital, if only for a little bit and b) told me what i wanted to do for the foreseeable future career wise.
Blake Robbins@blakeir · VC at Ludlow Ventures
What apps are on your homescreen? P.S. Keep kicking ass, happy to hear you're in full remission! Truly inspirational.
@blakeir thanks for the support! slack, river studios app, spotify, 2do, instagram, facebook, snapchat, TWITTER, hangouts, chrome, waze
@blakeir and postmates of course ;)
Alex @alex · Writer, TechCrunch
Real talk: What has been the most interesting part about being married. I know it's only bee a bit, but am curious as a currently-not, but hopefully future-married person.
@alex being lucky enough to call someone my wife, because my entire life i was told that it'd never happen. i'm too difficult, or i'm too this or that...or feeling down on myself like i couldn't be that big a part of someones life.
Emily Hodgins@ems_hodge · Operations @ Product Hunt
April Conyers@april_conyers · Director of Communications, Postmates
Alex @alex · Writer, TechCrunch
@drew Love you like sunshine.
Andrew Ettinger@andrewett · 👟 @wearAtoms // ex @Twitter @ProductHunt
What's the biggest misconception about VR?
@andrewett that it's an "isolating technology." i've experienced the exact opposite. Also, any bar you enter you see 5 people sitting in a group on their phones. VR is an extension, not a replacement.
Dan Flanegan@dflanegan · Co-Founder, Butter
What's the one thing in VR that no one is doing yet someone should be doing?
@dflanegan doing as many demos as you can and gathering as much feedback as possible. there is a bit of brain trickery going on and none of us really have a full understanding of the impact that immersion into these types of worlds have. just gather info, share, create. repeat.
Andrew Machado@machado · Director, ESPN
How is your health?
@machado thank you for asking sir! i'm happy to announce that i had a full body PT scan 2 weeks ago and i'm in full remission. the other day was my one year anniversary of the stem cell transplant. it worked and UCSF is amazing.
Andrew Machado@machado · Director, ESPN
@drew Awesome news.
@machado really appreciate you asking
Jacqueline von Tesmar@jacqvon · Community at Product Hunt ⚡️
What's the last rule you broke?
@jacqvon i tend to jaywalk.
Ben Tossell@bentossell · newCo
What other industries are you interested in other than VR?
@bentossell healthcare. so many opportunities to make people's lives better. insurance, hospitals, etc need to get on the same damn page and put the patients first.
Jacqueline von Tesmar@jacqvon · Community at Product Hunt ⚡️
What's one piece of advice you constantly find yourself giving?
@jacqvon listen first, react second.
Sean@shamel15
Why are you an Eagles fan, that seems like a poor life choice?
@shamel15 Sean. LOL. My dad told me when I was small that the second I became a rabid fan of any sports team outside of Philadelphia, he would disown me. Plus, I really am a glutton for punishment.
Jacqueline von Tesmar@jacqvon · Community at Product Hunt ⚡️
Where is one place you want to visit that you haven't been before?
@jacqvon tough one. i really really really want to go to zihuatanejo mexico because of the movie the shawshank redemption. it's a life goal.
Ben Tossell@bentossell · newCo
If you were locked in a room with no windows and you couldnt get out, what song would you have on repeat?
@bentossell sail away by enya. it calms me down.
Ben Tossell@bentossell · newCo
@drew omg this is the BEST answer ever... @ayrtonbe see this is why I played it in the office
Jeff Needles@jsneedles · Data @ Houseparty & Maker of Things
Hi @drew! If you could be "in" one movie via VR... which would it be? why?
@jsneedles shawshank redpemption. escaping unfair/unjust situations is what i was built for.
Amol Sharma@amol_sharma · Founder, Connect It
I see suddenly lot of VC interest in chatbots. Do you use any? Your favourite?
@amol_sharma funny story, i actually built chatbots similar to aol's smarter child in my teens and early twenties. seeing it come back is nice. AI is interesting from an assistance standpoint. don't want to see it replace real life though, that's bullshit.
Michelle Bixler@shellers2
Start With Why...excellent book!
ALASKANJACKSON@alaskanjackson · Nobody of Consequence
I view oculus as the Betamax of vr. That is timing is everything. When do you think VR will be a true mass market product? Will the winners be companies providing the "guts"/support (cloud) vs the hardware manufacturers? (Spent much of my life working with/for physicians - Healthcare is such an opportunity)
@alaskanjackson it's way way too early to call for winners or losers. i mean, pepsi/coke. android/apple, lyft/uber etc etc etc. Google/HTC/Sony/Oculus/Samsung/Apple? are all pushing boundaries. Having that many talented folks on one platform, VR, is unheard of. Literally unheard of.