a16z Podcast

The Challenge of Replicating Reality

Steph Smith and Steve Zhao

Posted February 22, 2023

What would you do if you believed in an idea but everyone said it would fail, nobody would fund you, and the industry was experiencing a nuclear winter?

Despite experiencing exactly that, Sandbox VR founder Steve Zhao doubled down and invested all of his personal savings into the unproven business. 7 years and 1 bankruptcy later, Steve has built the world’s leading full-body VR experience with over 30 locations across the globe.

In this interview, we get to chat with Steve about the many challenges he faced, how Sandbox made it through the pandemic, the future of VR, and the difficult task of tackling hardware, software, a new computing platform, and real estate.