The Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality & Mixed Reality Industries are so exciting. What is coming around the corner? How will these improve our lives? What are the concerns we should keep an eye out for? Aside from entertainment, how can VR or AR help work or other parts of life? To address this, we had the pleasure of interviewing Justin Hochberg, Co-Founder and CEO of Virtual Brands Group.

Justin W. Hochberg is the CEO and co-founder of Virtual Brand Group (VBG). VBG consults, builds, operates, and monetizes global brands and celebrities across the Metaverse leveraging all Web3 technologies. The company develops 360 strategies, go to market plans, builds immersive experiences, games, virtual fashion collections, marketing programs and new customer acquisition funnels. Hochberg’s team of global designers, technologists and billion dollar Hollywood box office storytellers developed VBG as a way for brands in all sectors (B2C and B2B) build new revenue streams and customers while empowering consumers of every age to virtually play, socialize, shop, create and earn new revenue.

Put more succinctly, we put “you” in the metaverse (fast). And we make you money in the metaverse.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit. Can you tell us a bit about your backstory and how you grew up?

I’m a city kid — capital “C” — who grew up on the subways and buses of all 5 Boroughs. I have three very NYC childhood memories that I feel deeply shaped how I arrived here today. One of my fondest, is eating with my dad every Sunday at a hole-in-the-wall dim sum spot on Mott St. in Chinatown. The place is long gone but there at ten, I conceived my first entrepreneurial venture. I liked the food so much that I approached the owner to sell it in grocery stores. This was decades before Dim Sum was in every freezer section. My father introduced me to grocery retailers and manufacturers. He helped me think about costs, marketing, and logistics. I never launched the business, but I vividly remember how much my dad believed in me and let me figure out what one must know to convert an idea (everyone has one) into a business (very few can build one).

Another legendary, only in NYC, memory was going to the 1977 World Series, where Reggie Jackson hit three home runs in a row off of three consecutive pitches from three different pitchers. This stands out beyond the improbable statistic (which can always be bested). What I took away from that was ‘timing’ is everything. Reggie was not an amazing all season player. He was ‘Mr. October’. At the right moment, at the very end when it was all aligned he was there. Many years later when I worked at Microsoft Bill Gates said to me as I started working on interactive TV, “remember being early is the same as being wrong”. Timing.

The third memory, and one that likely put me on a specific path to the metaverse, was visiting my first video arcade four blocks from my house. I scrounged every quarter I could to play Donkey Kong, Space Invaders, and, of course, Pong. From then on, I was hooked. I still have my original Atari logo hat.

Is there a particular book, film, or podcast that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?

I earned my undergraduate degree in History at the University of Pennsylvania, so I’ve always been hooked by stories and the “why” behind them. I read biographies as often as possible to not just understand what people were thinking in dramatic situations but to connect the dots among their mistakes, which is infinitely more useful. However, the modern-day author that’s had the most significant impact on me is social economist Malcolm Gladwell. I’ve read every one of his books, so it’s not any singular one that gets my top yelp review. It’s how he thinks about thinking about things that I try to internalize to guide me on a day-to-day basis.

For example, in The Unheard Story Of David And Goliath, the core message is that what seems obvious to everyone is often not the truth. Everyone perceived that Goliath would win the battle because, by standards of the day, he had all the obvious winning attributes. He was bigger, stronger, and able to wield a huge sword, and that’s what mattered most up until that moment in battle tactics and technology. David, who was much physically smaller, had no sword, and was only armed with a slingshot and pebble, was perceived as the weaker of the two with no weapon. What you learn from reading the book is that Goliath didn’t just lose, he was destined to lose and David was always going to win even before the fight.

Nobody understood at the time — except for perhaps David — that hand to hand combat was outdated and a new way of fighting was actually more efficient and about to disrupt the status quo. In Gladwell’s book, he cites a modern day research report from Israel in which a pebble from a similar slingshot demonstrated the power of a 38-caliber bullet, which could be launched from hundreds of feet, so far away that Goliath could never reach David with his sword. It’s the perfect analogy of the constant evolution of old vs. new, with the people who see the new before others often laughed at (slingshot or metaverse) until everyone realizes the earth really isn’t flat. And never was.

Is there a particular story that inspired you to pursue a career in the Metaverse industry? We’d love to hear it.

I believe every founder has two stories they tell about why they’re doing what they do. One is their public slide drcj pitch to investors about market size, MOATS, strategic advantage, return on equity, etc. At the same time, every founder also has a story that comes from the heart. You may never hear that one but it’s their raison d’etre — because creating a company is so hard, there is so much stacked against you that one must have it to survive the gauntlet. One has to have the personal why that has touched you so deeply that you’re willing to risk everything to do it — financially, reputationally, time with your family, etc.

My personal “why” is that I have two kids. At the start of the pandemic, they were nine and twelve. Before then, my wife and I were extremely unpopular for running a household that didn’t allow screens during the school week. When the pandemic hit without any warning, all of a sudden, what went from zero screen time turned into an 8-hour-a-day Zoom day.

My wife and I were frustrated because after those eight hours on screens, the kids would jump back online to play three hours of Roblox and Fortnite. Our first reaction was no way — ‘you just spent the day on a device. It’s time to do something outside’.

It was such a struggle to get them to stop, so instead of fighting them, I joined in. I played hours of Roblox with my daughter and Fortnite with my son. I quickly realized they were not playing a video game like I knew as a child — whether Donkey Kong or Call of Duty, which was simply to play the game and get to the end of it. What was so different about these early Metaverse platforms is that they are “social” worlds. Play patterns are open and creatively driven by the player, not the platform designers. Kids feel empowered, talk, build, make new friends, and even role-play (my son won’t pick up his shoes, but he has a job at a virtual pizza parlor — explain that to me?!). Often, I saw they weren’t even playing the game; they were hanging out, like one does at lunch or the mall. In short, I realized my kids were recreating the social and emotional infrastructure ripped from them by not being in school or surrounded by their friends.

Over the last 25 years, I have been at the intersection of three sectors: technology, storytelling, and brands. I have also been either fortunate or foolish — I’ll let you decide — to be early in new markets and new technologies. I founded the first private telecom in Eastern Europe based in Prague, Czech Republic when the wall came down. Then I spent five years with Microsoft developing all the interactive TV features that we now take for granted followed by working on streaming media that eventually broke the music business and enabled Netflix to disrupt Hollywood. Speaking of Hollywood, after years in Redmond and Silicon Valley I became a TV producer in Hollywood, helping launch the first billion-dollar reality franchise, “The Apprentice”. I created a team that partnered with hundreds of Fortune 1,000 brands from the NBA to Procter & Gamble, and Pepsi when reality TV was thought of as a fad. My innovation in 2004 was understanding digital video recording (DVRs) was scaring Madison Avenue and every advertiser that all of their ads would be skipped with the touch of one button. I knew everything about this because I worked on that at Microsoft. This was an inflection point that had a brand chokepoint. To solve it I built brands into the TV show format you could never skip. This not only showcased a company and products more in depth, but liberated them from a mere 60 seconds to create a truly engaging story. And we did it in a way that viewers didn’t view it as a distraction, but rather a curiosity revealing something they had never seen before. Who doesn’t want to know how the Coke formula is made? Or how the NBA thinks about expanding into China?

Did it work? We charged up to $6 million for each brand to be each episode, every week, every season. So yeh, I think it worked. After years creating about 30+ TV formats with Ron Howard, Kurt Warner, Marcus Lemonis and Zoe Saldana for dozens of networks I noticed a new shift. More precisely, the new shift was thrust upon me and everyone with Covid and we all went virtual overnight.

I jumped into the metaverse with VBG when I realized two of three legs existed of a metaverse stool. I saw how sticky new gaming platforms like Roblox were because it wasn’t a ‘game’ that had a traditional beginning, middle, and end. Then I realized that the technology was globally accessible (anyone can play from their iPhone, PC, Xbox, anywhere in the world — with no special tools, hardware required. Last, I realized how players were making up their own stories — the play patterns. Imagination was driving the story, not a designer at Activision who worked on a script for ten years. That covers two of the three key legs: tech + storytelling.

The missing piece was brands. At that very moment, I realized if I could be the bridge between global IP and this new behavior pattern, I could become a very significant player in shaping how companies engage with consumers and people enjoy brands differently in 3D worlds.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began this fascinating career?

I had a conversation early on with a CEO who works for a global, very cool, in my opinion, brand that any child might be interested in. I was pitching why this CEO’s company should have a presence on Roblox 2 years ago at a time before companies were even considering activating in virtual worlds — so the decision wasn’t obvious. We couldn’t get past the idea that the executive “just couldn’t get it“. I was used to this because it’s hard to get anything if you’ve never seen it or used it. So to break the log Jam I made it personal. I suggested — instead of deciding himself — he let his son decide. The CEO went to his 12-year-old and asked what he thought about a brand experience on Roblox, to which the kid responded: “Dad, that’s awesome….tell me again what you do?.” The CEO said it was the first time in his life his son ever showed interest in his job, He thanked me profusely. Needless to say, we signed the deal. Never underestimate the power of making something viscerally personal, and not just business.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you first started? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

I get constant feedback aka criticism from my 12-year-old daughter about my personal avatar style. No matter what I buy, the way I wear it, it’s “lame”. After being on many virtual platforms for the past several years, I have quite a sizable virtual closet (I might be the virtual Cher from Clueless). Because I’m in the business, I get early access to merchandise, much like celebrities get free goods from famous brands in the real world. At first, my daughter was jealous, but then she saw how I was wearing it, and apparently, I was never on trend, even if I had the hottest clothing.

In response, I challenged her to work for me. So, now she — and her bestie crew reviews every new experience across platforms to advise what’s cool. You’ll find I often share their valuable insights on LinkedIn.

None of us can achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful for who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

Being an entrepreneur comes with both never-ending confidence and bouts of self-doubt. When you’re trying to do something that hasn’t been done before, one of two things is true: you’re either right or you’re wrong. And you never know which it is until it’s often too late. Most people’s brains are literal and cannot perceive what can not actually be physically seen. Intrinsically, being an entrepreneur means you’re somewhat irrational because you need to pursue things others tell you will never work. In that context, I think it’s essential to have people you trust to help refine your ideas and gut-check both your confidence and doubts. Triangles are nature’s strongest structure, which is why the Egyptian pyramids still exist and the Roman aqueducts have disintegrated. To that end I have a three sided support structure.

First and foremost, the best consigliere is my wife. An entrepreneur herself building a company called that is disrupting the sports content and consumer product business by focusing on stories not statistics. We’ve been together for 23 years. She has an off-the-charts EQ and separates noise from signal better than most C-suite executives. She knows my strengths and how I process experiences. More importantly, as a leader in unproven businesses, I have to be way out in front of others which can deliver phenomenal results but can also be perilous because one is never always right. What I value most is she is very effective at giving feedback in a way I can deeply hear it and use it (wanted or otherwise). I call her the Keyser Söze of criticism — you don’t even know it happened, so you listen and don’t resist.

The second leg of my consigliere trifecta is my long-time M&A lawyer, a partner at Paul Hastings, David Hernand. He has worked in media and entertainment for 35 years. More importantly he is a kinetic connector, so one small idea I have is amplified by many people very quickly. ‘Speed to impact’ is fundamental as an entrepreneur and David is a big part of increasing my idea’s velocity.

The third leg which has been most directly related to the Virtual Brand Group’s rapid growth is the virtual community. Six months before we launched, VBG committed the entire team deeply to being part of the many micro-communities of designers, builders, and influencers on each of the major platforms from Roblox to Sandbox, blockchain to decentraland. To each community’s credit and the spirit of web3, we were fully embraced. Each showed my team how they built their businesses and rooted for us to build ours. In fact, we got so deep into the community DNA one of the most senior partnership executives on one of the largest public metaverse platforms paid us the ultimate compliment — saying “no brand she had worked with had ever put so much effort into understanding and building up the community”. We even dedicated a section of the Forever 21 experience to Roblox community creators so they could show off their fashion designs; the first brand to ever do that. Building on that we now have over 30+ community works builders in seven countries.

Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?

3 things change the marketplace — each one attacking diff perspective.

VBG is working on three projects now we think will transform the virtual marketplace. First, we’ve been working with Forever21 to create its first ever real fashion line that was designed, tested and sold first virtually on Roblox that is now a real world collection in stores. It all started with just one virtual item in the collection which sold over 2M units in one year. Think about that, virtual items have no supply chain issues, no refunds and emit 97% less carbon than real clothing. The “Forever 21 Metaverse collection” went on sale December 1, 2022 available in stores, e-commerce, on Roblox and was featured on their Time Square Jumbotron. In addition, as the next iteration, at the same time we created a new limited edition virtual holiday collection where each item was only sale for only 24 hours. In short, we are at the forefront of creating the physical + virtual (aka “phygital”) retail environment that delivers new products and more revenue faster than ever that’s sustainable.

Second, VBG is creating a next generation loyalty programs for all our brand partners that is dynamic, adapts in real time to a consumer’s behavior and reacts to how they purchase, use the items in the real world and virtually. Right now IRL is an utterly disjointed customer experience among consumers or fans. For example today, if you buy a piece of clothing, a coffee, or go to a sports event, that brand has almost no insight into you or how you’ve interacted with it. For example, I live in Los Angeles and went to the Rams game recently. At the stadium, I bought a Rams hat and tacos, and I Ubered to and from the game. When I got home, I watched more football and ordered a gift online for my son. Neither the NFL nor the Rams know anything else besides the ticket transaction, and if a friend bought the ticket for me, they wouldn’t have even known I was in the stadium.

Imagine if all those actions could be connected so that fans were rewarded dynamically for all their touchpoints with the brand. And imagine if that brand knew what their fans were doing and could communicate 1:1 with them based on what their actions were so brand loyalists — like me — could be rewarded for being superfans.

Finally, one of the most exciting metaverse innovations is VBG’s new musical fan journey for the world’s largest TV series, “The Voice” (which airs in 145 territories). The only brand in the world in more countries than “The Voice” is Coca-Cola (and god, can I say that?). VBG first launched the show as an experience in Decentraland’s “Metaverse Music Festival” with NBC and its iconic celebrity coaches Blake Shelton, Gwen Stefani, Camila Cabello and fellow University of Pennsylvania alumnus John Legend. This was the first ever TV show to be part of the global festival (a virtual Coachella) which featured 180 acts from Ozzy Osborne to Bjork. The Voice was one of its top performing experiences with a musical game and our first NFT merchandise drop which sold out in three hours. Bigger picture, we also enabled people to apply to audition for NBC’s The Voice, tune in for NBC’s TV show and empower people to do blind auditions for the first time ever in a virtual world.

We believe Web3 will redefine how entertainment is created, how communities are built, how fans are rewarded, and how TV shows and films are made and distributed. It’ll become much more prominent than even now in the pop culture Zeitgeist.

Ok super. Thank you for all that. Let’s now shift to the focus of our interview. The VR, AR and MR industries seem so exciting right now. What are the 3 things that most excite you about the industry? Can you explain or give an example?

The first is mobile accessibility. One of the core principles of geometry is that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. The current straight line amongst AR/VR/MR is people using devices they already have on them: their phones (as the saying goes, “What’s the best camera? The one you have when you want to take a picture”.)

Second is the increasing interchangeability of virtual and physical worlds — AR/MR are becoming part of our everyday behavior patterns. For example, when I’m at a football game, I can watch the game live and peek at my phone to see the same graphics I experience watching on my TV at home. Or, when browsing in-store, I can take a snapshot of an item on my phone to see what it’ll look like on my avatar and post it to Instagram to get my friends’ POV before purchasing.

Finally, I’m excited about the potential to unlock new business models. AR/MR is already part of our lifestyle. 10 years ago, a filter was color, and now it’s how you make yourself look like a dinosaur. This will only continue to grow dramatically because it’s how anyone under the age of 15 is using their phone.

What are the 3 things that concern you about the VR, AR, and MR industries? Can you explain? What can be done to address those concerns?

If you look at the beginning of social media, it had many great ways to add connectivity. You could share thoughts and be part of a dialog, but we realize now that it’s actually rigged to configure your brain in a completely different way. VR, AR, and MR are much more immersive than simply posting on Instagram.

When the internet became popular 27 years ago, there was an open “ethos” about everybody having equal access. However, years later, it feels like several large conglomerates have created an oligopoly and turned consumers into data like the Matrix uses humans for energy. As we move to Web3, there is a battle brewing — as Morpheus in the Matrix would say — for the soul of the metaverse. Will it be controlled by large corporations like Google, Facebook, and Apple again? Or, will its decentralized nature — the fact that anybody can be on the blockchain and that the cost to do so is so inexpensive — allow individuals to own their assets and not be subservient to these major corporations?

As a parent, and just a concerned citizen I’m always thinking about what any child is doing — whether in the physical or virtual world. Obviously, on a platform — regardless of who is monitoring it — if you’re unsupervised at a park or a virtual world, there are many people there. These worlds allow you to mask your identity, so I’m always very concerned about what controls are there as a parent and as a human so people can have a safe experience. This whole shift to virtual worlds won’t work if people don’t have trust in the experience. Regardless of their age, where they live, and gender, you have to know you can be safe. And that’s hard.

I’ve spent a lot of time with people who view the government as a negative in terms of blocking what they want to build and slowing down the technology pace. Still, people need to remember that legislation and government oversight can positively impact new markets.

For example, antitrust laws broke up AT&T in 1984, and out of that came a boom in telecom, fiber optics, hardware, and software that enabled everything the internet and many other tech are built upon. Government regulation was also instrumental in fostering internet companies by ensuring ISPs could only charge the same for every individual or company. Smart government regulation can help consumers and companies have an even and safe playing field.

One of the big problems with technology is that it is dominated by one viewpoint, principally white males based in a few cities — founders of Microsoft, Google, Apple, and Snap — are all white men. Unfortunately, 68% of tech workers are men. Only 8% of venture funding goes to Latin men and less than one percent goes to black women. So, having a more diverse set of people creating experiences and new technologies will be fundamental so every point of view can be represented and different perspectives and technologies can be achieved. If I achieve one thing, equaling the playing field and empowering everybody to have a voice would be my number one success.

For example, there was an exceptional documentary — “Coded Bias” — about facial recognition AI bias. Because the facial recognition technology was created by an all-caucasian team at MIT, it was tested and thus not built to recognize different shades of brown skin tone, so the majority of times it was used, it delivered a false result. The practical impact of that problem is everything from uncomfortable moments to false arrests and people going to jail for decades.

The two crucial things that need to happen are positive government enabling to keep markets competitive and ensuring everyone can have a voice as we develop this next generation of technology.

I think the entertainment aspects of VR, AR, and MR are apparent. Can you share with our readers how these industries can help us at work?

Ten years ago, 95% of people wouldn’t have believed it if you had said that AT&T introduced a video phone in the 1980s, and people hated it. Today, we are accustomed to spending most of our day doing video chats with our colleagues. So, we’re already fully down that path.

If you think about Zoom, there is nothing additive or remarkable about it in terms of the ability to collaborate — you’re just staring at a flat image. Virtual spaces will transform the workplace because they enable a more interactive experience; they create a more emotional experience because we humans react to space, size, structure, colors, and activity.

People have been talking about working from home for 20–30 years. When you start having the DNA of this next generation of innovators, building from a virtual perspective, they’re going to need virtual spaces to have their community and their interaction that are much more sophisticated than a bland Zoom call. The idea of whether to have a virtual workforce — especially amongst companies focused on millennials and GenZ — is not even a question.

Are there other ways that VR, AR, and MR can improve our lives? Can you explain?

The world of entertainment and gaming tends to get too much attention for many of these technologies because they are easily consumable and visually understood.

The truth is all the innovation we’re seeing today from a consumer perspective trickles down from the innovation that comes from the government and businesses pushing the technology further. If you imagine an iceberg, consumers are at the top, and most of the hard work you’re unaware of is happening below the water level.

For example, GPS was initially built as a government-invented technology that they then spent billions on and enabled consumers to use, transforming many different industries. Medical companies working with AR/VR are pushing the boundaries so you can do Pokemon Go. Entertainment companies creating movies like Toy Story in 1996 pushed the boundaries of computing time, and now that technology is being used on platforms like Roblox or Google Search. So, remember that consumer uses are sometimes the last to see the benefit because we’re above the water line.

What are the “myths” that you would like to dispel about working in your industry? Can you explain what you mean?

1.) The Metaverse is not profitable and only good for marketing like social media.

This drives me a bit crazy. Anyone who says that doesn’t know history. Typically every technology, from TV to DVDs, is first embraced by marketing departments. Which is where we are right now with the metaverse. However, if you look at the curve over time people started realizing the Internet was more than just a visual brochure but actually a way to conduct e-commerce which now is 40 or 50% of a brand’s total revenue. Virtual Brand Group’s perspective is why wait five years to figure this out, why not start from the onset with that perspective? Every partner that we onboard or consult with is all about how quickly we can convert your Metaverse business to be $20-$50 million.

2.) Metaverse is not for all brands — only for some brands like retail consumer/fashion, not for ones you can’t taste (alcohol) or smell (perfume) or B2B.

In my opinion and experience, everything is obvious that has already happened. That’s the trap. Right now, it seems obvious that consumer-facing brands like fashion are made for the metaverse. Historically though, would you say that e-commerce is only made for consumer-facing brands? Of course not. We now realize 25 years later that whether you run a tractor company or a fashion company, e-comm is the way to communicate more effectively. It’s the same for the metaverse. You can either believe what I’m saying, or you can find out after your competitors have believed it.

3.) The metaverse will only be built by large tech corporations that already dominate — Apple, FB, Google — and repeat the same problems we now have.

Big companies are always perceived as market leaders to start a new industry in any sector because, by their nature, they have resources and existing decision-makers know them. However, size does not dictate future success. The world is littered with dethroned incumbents that were toppled by challengers. When was the last time you bought Kodak film, rented at Blockbuster, or purchased a TV set made in America? What do you think of the Internet or social media? Is there any brand that existed 20 years ago? What’s always exciting to think about is how today’s Google will soon be toppled by tomorrow’s start-up. Although that’s a generic statement, what’s happening now more than ever is the cost for infrastructure, talent, and the diffusion of knowledge (coding) has made more competitors in more countries than ever before. It’s the most egalitarian time in the history of knowledge that’s ever existed.

4.) Metaverse is too complicated for consumers and only appeals to young people/gamers.

Today there are approximately 1.5 billion people, or 30% of the world, who use some form of NFTs, metaverse social games, or cryptocurrency. This is increasing by approximately 20%. In addition, more people are using virtual game currencies than ever before. Roblox just disclosed that they’ve increased virtual goods sales by 20% year over year. In some countries that don’t have stable currencies, cryptocurrency is much more effective to hold and own your assets than regular money. Imagine living in Ukraine right now you can’t depend on paper money.

5.) Metaverse is a fad

Our physical world may be beautiful for its wonder & quirks, BUT creatively it’s mundane and constraining. I don’t say that as an advisor, researcher, or agency that quotes some report but as someone in the trenches every day who sees people empowered that were disenfranchised by old tech, communities for everyone, unbridled enthusiasm, collaborations that make me smile, ideas that make me want to be a better person. As Steve Jobs famously said, the bicycle is to human travel as the PC is to the human mind. I say the metaverse is a rocket ship for creativity and community that allows anyone to DEFY the LAWS of GRAVITY.

6.) The final myth I’d like to dispel is that my daughter is correct. I do think my avatar fashion is on point. On a side note, I was recently on Randi Zuckerberg’s podcast, Crypto Café. She recounted the most Illustrative story about virtual fashion as the new spa day. She was feeling a bit blah but didn’t have enough time to do anything about it, so she bought a new virtual wardrobe for her avatar as a glow-up.

What are your “5 Things You Need to Create A Highly Successful Career In The VR, AR or MR Industries?”

To be successful in the VR, AR, or MR industries, you need three things:

  1. Have a passion for being in a developing space.

This is an arena with no right answers. If you’re looking to solve a math equation where you know what X equals, you’re looking in the wrong industry.

2. Be a good storyteller.

Technical expertise is obviously urgent for certain fields, but if you want to be on the business or creative side, it’s no different from any other industry. You need to be able to tell a story. Storytelling is essential. None of the technology matters unless it’s something consumers can use at an endpoint. Nobody cares about the standalone possibilities of AR and VR. It’s all about showing people how it will change their life. Nobody knows what HTML stands for; they know that if they order a book from Amazon, it comes cheaper and faster. Same thing here. You need to be able to convert the technology into a benefit. You’ll always have a place at the table if you can tell that story.

3. Have a combination of both patience and urgency.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)

Be the change you wish to see both in the world and your mirror and while aspiring to that perfection, never let it get in the way of settling for good enough (#voltaire). Also remember that if you’re always trying to fit in, you’ll never realize how amazing you can be.

We are very blessed that very prominent leaders read this column. Is there a person in the world or in the US with whom you would like to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them :-)

Play ping pong with Roger Federer, eat a cheat meal with Dwayne Johnson, design a park with Zaha Hadid, make a virtual pocket square line with Alessandro Michele and create the worlds biggest give away with Mr.Beast (#mars visit).

Thank you so much for these excellent stories and insights. We wish you continued success on your great work!