Over the past four months, I’ve had a great experience as Pixvana’s Social Media and Marketing Intern. As my internship comes to an end, here are a few of the lessons I’ve learned:

 

The “hype” is real

I started at Pixvana with zero knowledge of XR (augmented, mixed, and virtual reality). The first time I strapped on a headset was after my interview, and the first time I actually tried VR was a month later when I had started interning.

My first VR experience was Tiltbrush, which absolutely blew my mind. Despite the imperfect graphics, clunky headset, and the weird feeling that I had become a floating head and hands, I really did feel immersed in a world of my creation.

A couple weeks later, I watched my first 360 documentary about the genocide in Myanmar and cried at my desk. Every week, I would watch or read about new experiences that challenged traditional media and filmmaking.

It’s such an exciting time because creators are still figuring out how to work with XR. Works are experimental, innovative, and not afraid to fail. I can only imagine how transformative XR will be as the tools and technology for this new medium evolve.

 

It’s all about the people

I took this internship initially because I wanted a job that involved content creation and writing, but I’ve since learned that social media and marketing is so much more than writing good copy. It’s all about connecting with people.

In Pixvana’s case, it’s about connecting with the small but thriving XR community in Seattle and beyond, from independent content creators to techies to media and tech giants. It’s a deeply passionate community that truly believes in the potential of XR. This community is creative, collaborative, and cares about issues like ethics, diversity, and the social good that XR can do.

It’s not just about selling a product. I mean, a huge part of it is. But it’s also about figuring out how we add value to this community and how we can help it grow.

 

You gotta have faith

As my first startup experience, it’s a really exciting environment fraught with uncertainty because XR is still in its nascent stages as an industry. It takes a lot of faith in XR’s potential as a medium and an industry to build this product—but then again, a lot of people and companies are betting big on XR.

As someone very averse to risk-taking, I’ve learned that the fear of failure and of being wrong shouldn’t deter you from doing something you strongly believe in. And failure can help you build something better in the long run.

 

Thanks to everyone I’ve had the pleasure of working with at Pixvana!


About Catherine (Cat) Chiang

If “Pixvana” tweeted at you in the past four months, chances are it was Cat at the keyboard. Cat has a B.A in Physics from Scripps College and is beginning her career in communications and marketing. When she’s not on social media, you can find her hanging out with her cat, Kiwi, or blogging about sustainable fashion at restitchstance.com.

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