What happens when a sci-fi enthusiast with a passion for cutting-edge technology sets out to revolutionize the future of work and collaboration? Meet Stefanie Palomino, CPO and general manager of Room3D and former CEO of Red Lab Group, as she shares her journey from a love of science fiction to the creation of a groundbreaking metaverse platform. In this captivating conversation, we explore how Room3D combines 3D technology and video streaming to create a functional metaverse space that fosters emotional connections and safe spaces, transforming the way we interact online.
Diving deeper into the world of Room3D, we discuss the importance of emotions and innovative design in creating an atmosphere that encourages creativity and productivity. Touching on topics such as the shift to game worlds and the significance of having safe spaces in the Metaverse, Stefanie offers a glimpse into the endless possibilities of digital collaboration. Don't miss out on this fascinating episode as Stefanie Palomino shares her vision for a more creative, productive, and enjoyable digital world.
This episode was recorded through a StreamYard call on May 30, 2023. Read the blog article here: https://webdrie.net/work-collaboration-in-the-metaverse-with-stefanie-palomino-room3d/
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Joeri: Hello everyone and welcome to the CMO Stories Podcast, which actually has changed its name to the Web3 CMO Stories Podcast, and today we are kicking off season 3. And for this first episode, I have invited Stefanie Palomino. Hi, Stefanie, how are you?
Stefanie: Hi, Joeri, so great to meet you, and thank you for kicking it off with me.
Joeri: Yeah, I'm excited about this too. You know again a number of different guests from every aspect of Web3. So, guys, but if you don't know, Stefanie. Stefanie is the CPO and general manager of Room3D and that's a TMRW Foundation company. She's a former CEO of Red Lab Group and she's one of the top 50 German creatives, according to Business Bank magazine. She has also written a book like I have. She has written the book The Lean Back Perspective. She's the art director of Logic iOS Game, Queenrulesgame-com. She was born in Frankfurt and I think you are living, or you are actually based, between Berlin and Barcelona. Also, to mention, guys, we have a sponsor for this episode, which is Metastack, and Metastack and Power's creators and brands to launch the most meaningful Web3 experiences. They allow you to easily create unique NFT programs in minutes with their no-code dashboard. So, Stefanie, the first thing I would ask you is because, of course, you have an impressive background in tech and entrepreneurship Can you share something about your journey and what led you to become the CPO and general manager of Room3D?
Stefanie: How far should go backward?
Joeri: You just start where you want to start. Can you share a bit about your background and how you came in touch with Room3D?
Stefanie: Yeah. so when I started, really it's like okay now, really really, when I was really tiny, my mom worked in a video club and I was really obsessed with science fiction movies. So I have always loved this idea of what human stories can be and what it can lead us to in technology, what it will be able to let us do, and so Star Trek, and Star Wars I was really obsessed. I really, early on, I started building little spaceships with my wood pieces and buttons. I was obsessed with buttons. I actually thought for my sixth birthday I really wanted a calculator. but not because I wanted a calculator, I really wanted to push the buttons and imagine it's like a transporter or something else you know. And with this, yeah in my mind, I was always excited about what was coming up next. So I was never a developer or really learned to program, but I was always more about the ideas and how ideas can be born and then brought to reality. And the first thing, what we usually do for this is like driving a story and telling a story to people and then seeing their reactions towards it, seeing if people think it's plausible, and then what are the steps I require to make it really come true. So that's really my background.
Stefanie: I was working for a long time at the publishing house. Then I was basically starting actually my first startup in 2006. This was a location-based social network on the mobile phone, but it was also multi-platform. Here we used all that stuff. So we were the first step of the whole project we were to write a blog article and see what people said about it. Then we were making a movie a tiny one, to show how the idea should work in reality. Then we showed it to people and then we were winning the Bitcoin Association of Technology, of the Internet. We were winning the innovation prize. So things were okay, that people seems to like the idea and we always took it from there. I was with Room when I heard about Room and I was so excited because it brings everything together. what I really love It's that from a technology perspective, we are cutting edge. we are looking into video, streaming cinematography, bringing 3D and unseen ways together, and also bringing people together. What does that absolutely my passion?
Joeri: Right, it's nice that you say things that are coming together because actually, that's a bit the same with me with Web3. I had a business analytics company before, already some years ago, and then I also had an investment club, so I was analyzing graphs and stocks and so on. I've been into marketing already for some time too. These things came together for me in Web3. Then, of course, I came in touch with Room3D. For me, as you mentioned, cutting edge, that's what for me is really interesting to see these companies that are building something new and stand out from a technological standpoint. So my question would be whether Room3D is described as a new way to meet, work, and collaborate in the digital space with top-level security standards. Can you share a bit more about what makes Room3D unique and how it's transforming the future of work and collaboration?
Stefanie: Yeah, so all that we do is built basically on the vision of our founders. So Shiva Jilli, who was actually 20 years ago, was inventing the modern standard of 3D technology. how we see it now, it's like real-time engines what you see, what you get. And in this time he built everything for cutting edge like always, for the best chips, for the best hardware out there. And after he got his kids he really shifted his paradigm and he understood what he can do to make the world a better place. So what is his contribution actually to society? And he really believes that there is more to the internet out there. what is just 2D, what's flat, and what is actually? and it's also only entertainment and escapism based.
Stefanie: And so he was for years in the game industry made like super hits And I think he wanted to adjust, achieve more and have a better contribution. Not only the escapism part And the idea he causes. The Internet of Life is bringing together basically the best of what gaming technology has built and brings it into our everyday life. And so we combine the cutting edge 3D with the video streaming So we're cutting out basically your video person and we bring you in with our algorithms into the 3D context. As it looks, like it's a real cinema photography experience where we sit all together and watch our own Netflix life, and I think that the beauty of it is that we can really change actually not the background, change semantics, we change scenery, but we also change actually functionality.
Stefanie: So the rooms are now set up in a way that different rooms can have additional functionalities. At the moment we are it's not live already, but we are building a campus where each room has different features and contributions to our daily work life. So a workshop room with multiple whiteboards. We have a stand-up room where we'll have different kinds of timing functionalities, also with the camera together, so that basically the next person who has to speak, the camera goes onto him and prompts already that he's the next up to speak. We will show how many times somebody has spoken already, but we will give some little visual impacts to actually make it more simple to live together in the 3D video conferencing experience Instead of like we're both in this kind of engaged boxes and we can have this kind of like experiences because the 3D environments they can set us free, they can let's be together wherever we want to be with like superhero powers, right, and that then it's kind of starts to become magic.
Stefanie: And yeah, this is, I think, what we want to bring as a contribution to the world, like making our everyday life much more fun, more collaborative And so, in the end, also more creative and productive.
Joeri: Right, yeah, yeah, I like the aspect of, I think, all these different rooms. I think it was a couple of days ago I was at the round table in room 3D organized by your colleague, talking about community and so on, and you really feel close to those people down other sites from the world. I am in Belgium and then there were people from everywhere, so that was really interesting. Also, the fact that you can. It's really like you're at the round table and for me, it's interesting because there are different metaverses and I actually was in San Diego in the social media marketing world. I did a table talk around Web3, so I really really at the round table, but there are also events that can take place in the metaverse. So, if I understand you, so we can already. We already have these rooms with this round table, like the Paris room, the London room, and the New York room. But could you know if an organization that organizes events also has different rooms in room 3D for an event? Could that be an option?
Stefanie: Yeah, definitely. I mean we offer already two different kinds of organizations, branded rooms, right? So, and it's not, I mean you can make for different segments, you can make different links. So there are ways how you can build around it. But we have already in our prototypes basically a spatial area, right? So at the moment, we are limited to 16 people.
Stefanie: In our R&D we are doing 25, but the plans will be. We will expand that and we will make it very easy to walk between rooms and the. I'd say the campus is already built for that so that you can go through a door and go to the next room. So that's actually what's in the plans. It needs a little bit more time, but this will be all there and it's like you may. The possibilities will be amazing because there are no limitations. Whatever you can do in the game, you will be able to do it in the browser with Room 2. And yeah, we have a long, long list. This is actually more the thing. We have to be super focused to get things on the street, because the wish list is Super long, you know. So especially have. We have already some games now in the room. So we have this kind of game and we made experiments with kids and they really love it.
Stefanie: Now I think what's the difference is that people really don't switch off their camera because they're really like, oh, I don't want to be the ghost sitting in the room, And everyone you know. It's like it's much more natural to be there and be really present, and I think we need to come back to this kind of like, like an agreement that we are working time and usually when we would be in the office we would be also socially present. Why we are switching off the camera when we are actually in a business context and actually for communication? It's so important to read my professional expressions, and to see the guestress sound is only a little part of communication and all the other kind of hints. We need to really have a complete picture of what someone wants to say also we want to create memories together, right? So and I think you can, she that loves to talk about the memory palace, so it's like this term, how you memorize things and we memorize basically who sits to your left, who was sitting to your right, and which context we were talking.
Stefanie: So I think you had a round table in the material terrarium room. So when you think back about that one was my Italian room. I think we saw each other once in the Switzerland boardroom. So always when I think back on that Metaverse conversation we had, it was for me the Swiss boardroom. I remember how everybody was organized on that table And that's like a good experience for a human should be. We have actually spatial memory. We are not like a flat memory where people are sitting in these little grits and then memorizing the grid How everyone was placed in a suit.
Joeri: Yeah, that's right The thing about memories, is because also I see people who like to share experiences on social media, for instance, like I did to, like others did when they were in the room. It's different to show a picture if you want a screenshot from people sitting at the round table with you know, with the view then being on the zoom meeting, because in the beginning when everyone stuff, do you zoom, it was like, ok, zoom meeting, then it was kind of fun. But now everyone, all these zoom screens, you know, you know them, it's not, it's not interesting anymore. So definitely that's a good point.
Stefanie: Yeah, and it's like it's so beautiful our design process also. So we really think about emotions. So when we think about a new project and we really try to convey functionality, of course, but also emotion, and so the colors and the proportions, the dynamics in the room are built actually with this emotion in mind, and this functionality it should support. And the workshop room, for example, we are now with more bright colors, with different kinds of heights of seating positions, with a bit more. You could say it's a great set.
Stefanie: But it's just also to break actually conventions and free up your mind and like having this impulse of everything is possible and it's not so linear thinking like and the whole thing is like we break the grid. We have a circle already also on our logo and I think that's all that we really believe about that. It's like like life is also more, so right, life is also more. We work in iterations, we try to improve together. It's more a collective year, more like a creative tribe that wants to do really like a game-changing thing in the industry. That's not what you don't achieve, so it's just kind of hierarchies or linear thinking.
Joeri: That's right. But what I also love about Room is that compared to, I would say, the bigger metaverse if we can call Room to the metaverse that it's there is not so much friction. You just enter the room and you see each other's faces and you can just have the meeting. You don't need to create an avatar first. You know what I mean.
Stefanie: Yeah, yeah, the metaverse conversation is a difficult one, you know, when you look into the name and where it comes from and the vision that was more like one platform rules them all, and I think we have the times of little microverses right, so One upon a time may be also connected until we or if we ever will have like one platform rules them all. I think that humanity has only made this possible once with the internet, the caps, and the illusion we are on the same internet. At least Let's see how we do this with the game world and if they will be the first to rule this. But I think what's much more important than the platform we're at once on is if the people are on it feeling connected and can make valuable connections and they feel represented like how they want to be. And I think that avatars are, for a lot of use cases, a good choice. It's like it gives you diversity advantages, because everyone is who he wants to be and can feel also safe in a specific way, but also, on the other hand, it creates anonymity, which is also always the gateway to not nice behavior. So it's a trade-off and it was like with Twitter and Facebook. Twitter was not a real-name network and then Facebook was a real-name network and you saw how people behave differently and it's like YouTube comments. You know it's not the best place in the world, so we have to see that we find a way that we respect the boundaries of others. You know, respect Taro.
Stefanie: That also needs kind of like space, you know, space in between, and also has also something to do with not being shared everywhere. There needs to be, like, safe spaces, right, and a company set up is often a safe space where it's like so the people come together, it's already like okay, this is the people I invited, this is the people I want to be around with and then building something. What is, for this situation, the best context? So this is what we are the first step focusing on. We are not focusing on public places. That's not the room job. So the room job is basically creating safe spaces for people you invite. You know, the public spaces where whoever can meet whoever he wants to meet. That's not in our short-term plans at all.
Stefanie: So we really want to focus on a very clear use case and that makes it also easier to design and to focus.
Joeri: Right, yeah, for me it's clear the place that you have in this metaverse landscape And it's also, you know, like for businesses that want to meet and want to have an alternative on Zoom. I don't know if I heard this from you or your colleagues, but someone said to me when I was talking about a Room that's Zoom on steroids. That's what they said to me.
Stefanie: I didn't say that, but I think that's fun.
Joeri: Someone said that to me. Yeah, it's like it looked like, because I've you know, I'm giving myself sometimes stocks in and outside the metaverse And I in one of those sessions we were comparing different metaverses and I said, do you know already room 3D? and this was the remark that someone had given. So yeah it's, I think it's a good marketing message.
Stefanie: Definitely, definitely, no good one, yeah. Yeah, I think it's fun, it's different, it's. I think it has a huge, huge, huge potential to shift the way how we meet in the future, and I think it's also the second best way to meet after real-world meetings, right? And I think the real world is always will be the number one. But it has advantages, but it has also disadvantages. Right, we have the travel costs. It has also energy costs right?
Stefanie: So when you, when you meet, it's like lots of times And I don't know. We have these regular management meetings and it's really great to see everybody and connect on an exchange and that creates trust and that creates collaboration, but it's also extremely exhausting. Yeah, and everybody after three or four days they're really tight, oh my God. And I really appreciate our remote first culture in the room.
Stefanie: So we my personality. I'm an introvert. I have developed some extrovert skills over the years but I really had to take care of my energy level I'm like eight to 10 hours basically in the conference, in calls in the room, lucky in the room, and I have to say it really does really much better for me than a Zoom. So I really was a little bit of a victim of video conferencing fatigue And I really felt it during the COVID time when I was so exhausted. I needed extra sleep. I needed an eye to close my eyes in between here and there because it was taking so much of my energy, and so it was.
Stefanie: Really it's a room I really feel much more focused. I can leak my eye gaze. I can control it much better. I can look at the one person I want to talk to get the rest. So that helps me a lot. But the remote culture, what it does is really when you finish you can just close the computer and just look at it as a writer and just like calm down and have your quiet thinking time of work and creative work and stuff like that. So when you're a disciplined person.
Stefanie: Remote work can be a super blessing.
Joeri: Yeah, Is that because we had the time when everyone was working remotely? Do you see, like what is the balance that we have now today, like lots of people working remotely or from home but also at the office, that the hybrid, I would say, mode is that also for the future, something that you see?
Stefanie: It might not be like that. Every organization has to see what fits best to their culture And, of course, out of efficiency reasons, a hybrid culture can be very effective, as you have times where you have cups where you can meet and exchange and workshop together. I really like that. We are in every couple of months of a meeting in one of our offices and exchange thoughts. But on the other hand, i really love remote work because I'm a very disciplined person. So for me, it's really good that I can be super efficient and don't waste any time commuting somewhere.
Stefanie: This was changing my life completely like that's like one hour a day where you're just commuting or when you have a lot of meetings. People are not appreciating your stay. Come to my office So you're basically really on the run. Especially when you're in Berlin, you can't be three hours a day just running around the city meeting people. It's like it was a nightmare. This is now really great. I save all this time and can work and I get so much more done than before And I think that's really great. So I spent a lot of time in Berlin, but even there I still try not to tell anybody I'm there because then you're like you have to come here and there.
Joeri: Yeah, sometimes you need to give yourself a break too as it depends also on if you are an introvert or an extrovert. I like to connect with people, but when I'm all the time in front of a Zoom, i get tired too, because I do my mastermind in the evening, for instance, with people from the US, from Canada, but also from Europe, so it's often the evening And then, yeah, those are long days, and sometimes I'm just there as a participant. So I can't imagine for people if they have long days, that they turn off their screen and that's actually one of the good things that Room offers, that you don't do that. You have another feeling of belonging. I would say You have not always the same vision that you are looking at, so that's a Yeah, Yeah.
Stefanie: And then it's very important to create that memory of hello. So I'm really active so we use an actual room for all our video conferencing calls And so I'm really carefully shooting rooms for specific meetings And it's really interesting how this builds up culture and shifts things.
Stefanie: And yeah, I would say it would be hard for me to go back every day to an office. Yeah, I would really prefer not to. Also, we build the product for it. So we build the product for a great hybrid or remote work culture, and so we see that a lot of companies having the hybrid work in place And we see that a lot of people really are building up now infrastructure to not come back to a full-time office, because I think they saw hey look how much money we can save, hey look how much office space we can free up And like, save. There's a lot of money, and not only the traveling but also the office.
Joeri: Exactly So, Stefanie. I think that people that are now listening to the podcast or watching are curious about Room3D. Where would you like to send them?
Stefanie: Oh, that's my favorite room at the moment. I love the Korean room, I have to say So. We have a really great Korean room. I love Timmy's studio, so that's one also of my favorites, and thank you so much for watching New York, my all-time favorite, and the new campus will be Okay, yeah, and we So yeah, but you see already where to go. Switzerland Alps was also quite cool because also the chair has the moving Switzerland bottom. I don't know if you realize that It's like the people on the chair, the chairs will be moving when you go around the table. It's kind of really fun.
Joeri: Okay, yeah, it's. Yeah, I have room to explore. I would say And if people want to connect with you, Stefanie, what is the best way where to find you?
Stefanie: LinkedIn. I always forget to check my Twitter DMs, so don't go after me on Twitter. He will be lost for several couple of years. So, LinkedIn, I checked.
Joeri: Okay. So, Stefanie, it was a pleasure to talk to you in this first episode of the new season.
Stefanie: Thank you for inviting me and yeah, I always love to come back and I wish everybody a great day I hope we catch up somewhere on LinkedIn or somewhere, Or in Room 3D.
Joeri: So, guys, thank you for listening, and if you are now thinking, wow, this is really interesting, this Room 3D metaverse, everything that Stefanie was talking about, and if you know people around you that could also benefit from this information, feel free to share the episode with them, your neighbors, your friends, your colleagues, other entrepreneurs And, of course, if you're not yet subscribed yet to our podcast, now is the moment to do this And, of course, I would like to see you back for the next episode. Take care, bye. Web 3 can take your best to new heights and you're ready to harness its power, but feeling lost and overwhelmed. Therefore, join my W3X Web 3 masterminds. Send me a personal message for more info. You can find me everywhere on social media. There's only one person with my name, Joeri Billast. Talk soon.