TZ Startup Hot Seat | Brian Mullins & Team Daqri

0 Flares 0 Flares ×

This weeks TZ Startup Hot Seat features the team at Daqri.  Brian Mullins and team agreed to answer our questions and tell us why Daqri will change the Augmented Reality space.

Give Us the Fast Pitch

For over ten years, the software to create amazing augmented reality applications has existed. In 2010, the hardware finally caught up. We were thrilled! We sat back and expected to see uses of AR run free and multiply all over the world. This incredible technology was finally going to get the attention and creativity it deserved! But nothing really happened. The same companies who own the majority of AR technology in the world innovated over the years, but its still only accessible to a very small percent of the population, many times costing hundreds of thousands of dollars for each use of AR. We’d been imagining a world populated by AR for over a decade. We got tired of waiting for the rest of the world to catch up, so we created daqri.  daqri aims to shift the augmented reality industry into the future by making the experience and creative possibilities of augmented reality accessible to everyone. With daqri, anyone can create and distribute augmented reality experiences using technology built from scratch by our own developers and vision scientists. It’s dynamic, it’s different, it’s easy… and the best part? The basic account is FREE. Let the games begin.

What made you decide to begin working on your company?

Daqri founder Brian Mullins wanted to use a simple application of AR while manufacturing granite countertops using industrial robots. He thought that it would have been easy to find the right AR solution, but instead found that none existed to suit his needs. Every AR company around at the time wanted to charge hundreds of thousands of dollars for the use he needed. He thought – “I can build something better.”

What is the market opportunity?

daqri has two main sources of revenue. The most obvious is the freemium model: the basic daqri account is free, the premium account starts at $20 a month, and students can get all the pro features for just $3 a month. There are plenty of industries where augmented reality could have incredible applications and add a lot of use and functionality. Some examples include architecture firms, archaeologists, interior designers, 3D modelers and animators, marketers, engineers, industrial designers, students, filmmakers, and videogame designers.  Pretty much anyone who designs a product or wants to visualize one could benefit from using daqri.

The other revenue stream involves contracts with companies who have a need for a specific, customized AR application or even for us to provide “white label” versions of our technologies.

How big is your team?

10-12 people including part time.

Are you Funded? How did your company get its initial funding? How much funding do you currently have?

Currently we are early angel funded, and have begun fostering relationships with customers in key verticals.  We are also looking for the right investment partner going forward.

What made you want to start your own company?

We didn’t think anyone else was approaching the problem the right way, and it was really annoying that only a few people had access to what we think is one of the most significant steps in human – machine interface.

Have you ever needed to change direction/focus with your company? If so, what was that like?

As an early stage startup we occasionally have to shift our priorities to accommodate demonstrations to key customers and investment partners, its stressful and it impacts the long term schedule of development, but it is sometimes necessary to show important people that your product can do what you say it can, even if you weren’t planning on doing that particular feature for a few more weeks.

How do you deal with competitors? Do you keep up with other companies doing similar things?

We have several competitors, but we don’t worry much about what they’re doing. Ultimately it’s up to us to continue to build a great product and serve our customers’ needs. If we keep doing that, then we can service the other 95% of the market that have been left behind by the current market.

Describe your company’s culture.

On a normal day, we’re at a beach sipping daiquiris and writing killer code.  Ok, there is no beach, and there are only daiquiris every now and then, but the killer code thing is a daily occurrence.

What’s one of your most successful decisions?

Without a doubt the best decisions I have made so far have been recruiting the team members we have today.  The most important thing you can do as a startup is find the right cofounders and make sure everyone has a share to really motivate them.  9 – 5 employees are such a drain at this stage, you need people who really have the hearts in it.  And they have to be awesome at what they do, there is no room for dead weight.

Where have you struggled? What mistakes have you made that you believe other entrepreneurs could learn from?

Don’t wait to get your product in people’s hands.  Cut features if you have to, but get people using it, it’s the only way you can learn what your product is supposed to be.  I don’t mean do everything your testers ask for, you just need to watch them use it, see what they say, and use that to shape your own vision for the product.  I read a great quote, “if you’re not embarrassed when you ship your first version you waited too long.”

Who are your three most influential entrepreneurs?

Steve Jobs – Because quality of the product always comes first, sometimes even at the expense of new features… and you know, showmanship is important too.

Mark Zuckerberg  – When he turned down a billion dollar offer from Google, I thought he was a crazy kid, I learned a lot about seeing the potential of your own product from how wrong I was.

Elon Musk – Because sometimes when someone tells you that you are trying to boil the ocean by revolutionizing the automotive and space industries simultaneously, the best way to respond is by succeeding at both.

What does “failure” mean to you?

Not trying, not innovating, accepting things the way they are when I know the way they should be

What does “success” mean to you?

Creating something new that actually works, from the dream we had 8 months ago.

What is coming up next? Your goals, new products, new direction? (Either for you as an entrepreneur or for the company as a whole)

Sign up for the beta and see for your self, we have some really cool stuff coming down the pipeline, both with the capabilities of our AR, and our content publishing system.

Thank you Brian and Team.  I am excited to see what daqri can do to the AR market.  I just signed up for the beta myself, you can too at

Chris Van Dusen

President of i-FFICIENCY, Director Business Development and New Media at Rief Media,,Tech Enthusiast, Early Adopter, Remote Efficiency Jedi

More Posts - Website - Twitter - Facebook

0 Flares Facebook 0 Twitter 0 Google+ 0 LinkedIn 0 StumbleUpon 0 Reddit 0 Pin It Share 0 Buffer 0 0 Flares ×
0 Flares Facebook 0 Twitter 0 Google+ 0 LinkedIn 0 StumbleUpon 0 Reddit 0 Pin It Share 0 Buffer 0 0 Flares ×