AMA #4: Jing Dai, Founder at Immersive Square

This is a transcript of an “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) session with Jing Dai, hosted by the IGDA Student SIG. If you’re interested in doing an AMA with students, you can sign up here.

Jing runs a VR startup in Seattle called Immersive Square.


Time to start!

Jing, when you’re ready, please give a brief intro about your career and your company (Immersive Square)

Hi all

thanks for having me here. I run a start-up called Immersive Square located here at CoMotion

we aim to bring VR, AR and MR experiences to the general public through events

think about it as Fandango for VR

I came from a combintion of tech and art, and business. I used to be in consulting and then worked for a fortune 200 company as a digital product manager

hope that gave you a good background, asking away!


How was it like for you to transition into the VR/AR space? Was it challenging, confusing? (Immersive Square)

good q, I came from web and mobile background, so I basically created a product that can bridge between web and VR

It was a lot to consume in the beginning, however , going to meet up and immerse myself with the startup in Seattle VR space, I got familar quickly


Do you code? (Immersive Square)

Yes, more of a LAMP stack person

backend is always difficult for me but luckily Unity has more GUI


heh I thought I was the only one left still on PHP (Immersive Square)

no, fb and airbnb are both still using php

Rob (Younghand)

@ (Immersive Square) What were your biggest hurdles in transitioning to VR/AR work? (Immersive Square)

Hi Rob, the biggest chanllenge is the new volcaburary

AR, VR, MR, XR, that’s the name. aspect of volcaburary, then getting a bit deeper into the creative circle , is the difference between traditional web mobile product life cycle vs, game

in web, mobile, you get to make it polished very soon, but in gaming, it’s very costly to focus on the creative. the basic building blocks have to be right

Rob (Younghand)

Gotcha. Get the foundation down and I’m guessing you iterate as you go. (Immersive Square)

Yes, story-board is important , it’s more difficult to do user research for VR products

I found folks from film production background has a good learning curve to VR

Rob (Younghand)


Yeah, I’ve only been working with Unity 3D for about a year and C# about the same… A bit less, but I want to get into VR, AR and MR gaming/entertainment. (Immersive Square)

welcome to the VR land. I think looking at A frame will be helpful

WebVR has a good future

Rob (Younghand)



So your company sounds like it’s pretty agnostic about which platform ends up becoming the biggest VR platform. Do you have any opinions about which platform you have the most faith in (Immersive Square)

Immersive Square focus on what’s right for the end user, biggest friction for users to consume VR content is the hardware, space and technical difficulty. So to answer your question, yes, the discovery journey for users to find out about VR is mobile and web.

with that said, the most natural way to “transport” user into VR is WebVr

I’d bet on that.


I’ve seen a lot of WebVR betas, like Oculus’s experimental browser, the Firefox and Chrome beta versions including WebVR support, but are there any platforms that have consumer-ready support for WebVR today, or is this all in the future? (Immersive Square)

For consumer ready, my personal favorite is Vive

WebVR is not ready for a true immersive experience ,


I see, so you’re making a distinction between what’s the most consumer-ready today and what will be the most consumer-friendly tomorrow (Immersive Square)

yes, I came from a product managment background, the roadmap thinking is important

for content creation, focus on Vive, for platform creation, don’t miss out WebVR


That’s interesting. I keep working for startups that have really small runways so our most urgent need is usually “it has to work NOW” so we don’t get much time to think about where users will be in the long term. I’ll definitely stop ignoring WebVR now, hehe (Immersive Square)

So what the content focused Start-up focus on how to sell the game in the next holiday. The question is are today’s VR gamers already large enough to feed the demand


What were some of the companies or products that you’ve worked on in the past? (Immersive Square)

in the B2C space, I worked on dealbox, rewards platform

in the B2B space, I worked on dashboard


for those who don’t know,
B2B =Business-to-business, basically your customers are other businesses and enterprises, rather than consumers

and B2C is consumers (Immersive Square)

I also started a few sites / apps that aggregates reviews and experiences for travellers

I want to also mention that Augumented Reality important to get into

So, if you want to get into immersive business, picking up ARkit (Apple) and ARcore (google) is smart


What do you think of people who say that VR is just a fad (Immersive Square)

When I hear people say that, my first reaction is to push back… however, think about why they are not adopted ? it’s quite valuable to ask why they think it’s a fad

I ask that why question every single time when people are cold to VR, and I ask a lot of what if question to learn what need to happen to convert them

it’s not a popularity contest, it’s really about wheter a product has a good market fit


Can I ask how your company is funded? Not how much funding, but what types of funding do you have. (Immersive Square)

it’s self-funded for now

looking for founding members now and VC next


You’re still very early in the startup process, but even at this stage, do you have any tips for any students who might be thinking of starting their own company or studio? (Immersive Square)

sure.. I suggest a few things

first, take a secondary idea and test it out . instead of your first passionate idea

because your passion gets in the way of objective thinking. secondary idea can help build your learning curve without too much emotional cost


I see so you can focus on mastering the craftsmanship and entreprenuer sense on their own without the bias of something you’re super passionate about (Immersive Square)

correct. entreprenership is probabely the only thing needs to be learned rather than be taught

so, take your pet project and learn that. then transfer that knowledge to your real idea

second, take your real idea, and really test it out: talk to your customers, walkthrough the stories, do mock up first. identify end user. If they resist, go back to the drawing board , find the match .

making a product is only 20% of starting a business, at most

market research, salesmanship, good sense of business development, broad sense of connecting the ecosystem, are so important.


have you met other founders who seem to care more about their dream idea than learning how to be a good entreprenuer (Immersive Square)

definitely, but there is a correlation between a person who wants to be entreprenuer and a person who knows how to learn and adjust quickly

most founders I know are very agile once hit a wall


(hehe I’ve met some who aren’t) (Immersive Square)

lol. maybe not hit the wall yet


they tend to be creative types who think of their company as an effort to make a work of art rather than a business that needs to adapt to market forces

they tend to hit walls (Immersive Square)

Gotcha, yeah, so, left brain and right brain need to work together

I have my 3P theory that I hope can be of value to you: passion, purpose, profit


So like a venn diagram, where the ideal dream project is something that covers all three? I’ve also heard people make similar lists and say “choose two” (Immersive Square)

I think venn might work

I’d rather see this as a triagular, which is the one of the most solid structure in the world . well balanced

that’s why when founders are more scewed towards one side, you find a team member that pull the balance to center


ah that’s great

anyone else with questions, I asked so many it feels more like an interview than an AMA 😅

Ian P

I might be back just in time. How would you define or ditinguish between passion and purpose? They aren’t quite the same, but I do feel they’re similar (Immersive Square)

in my view, passion is the emotion as a person

purpose is the traits of the product

Ian P

Okay, so not finding purpose in doing the work, but the utility oif it? (Immersive Square)

in this context, “purpose” is not the sense of purpose as a person

exactly, the purpose of the product is to “enable”, “provide” etc etc

Ian P

Okay, I think I understand. Do you mind sharing what made you decide to develop for VR?


I think I get what you mean. You see passion as kind of selfish, mainly about the emotion that it creates in the creators. But purpose is about actual impact in the world. (Immersive Square)

To Ian, it’s the VR’s transformative power

Human kind continously pursue better experience, digtially or physically, VR is on the upward curve of that line , so I feel comfortable that it’s just a matter of timing for this to because mainstream

*correction: to become


pro tip: you can quickly edit your last message by pressing the up-arrow key

Ian P

I’ve been going through the conversation, and you brought up WebVR. I don’t have too much knowledge about it (or VR in general), but is WebVr making VR more accessible? Has accessibility with other VR products (Oculus, Vive) been improving much? (Immersive Square)

To Livio, think about Passion is the force for you to move a block, the block is your product that needs to move towards itse purpose .

To Ian, yes, webVR makes consumer sense

Facebook has invested in WebVR as well.

so for mobile , ARkit and ARcore establish the connection. for web, WebVR estalbish the connection


Right now you need a 3D engine like Unity or Unreal to render VR. We can already use stuff like WebGL to render 3D graphics in browsers, so the idea is to use that tech to render VR, hence WebVR. Main challenges for it are performance and UX stuff, like transitioning between experiences and content. At least that’s my understanding of it, might be out of date. (Immersive Square)

correct, performance is a big hurdle.


hehe getting chrome to run at 90fps for each eye when it’s already such a memory-intense app without VR


Looks like the hour is up. Any last questions?

Rob (Younghand)

This ama was awesome! Thanks!

Ian P

I’ve been loking through the conversation and can’t think of anything. Thanks for coming @ (Immersive Square) ! (Immersive Square)

thank you all! feeel free to reach out for any questions


Thanks again Jing! (Immersive Square)

cheers , ttyl

Rob (Younghand)

Adios! 👋🏾