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AIArtificial IntelligenceComputer VisionDeep LearningMatt Bell

Matterport Co-Founder Matt Bell Leaving5755

WGAN Forum
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DanSmigrod private msg quote post Address this user
Hi All,

Here is Matterport Co-Founder Matt Bell’s Facebook post today, Thursday, 9 November 2017.

Dan

-
I’ve decided to leave Matterport and start something new.

Dave and I founded Matterport six and a half years ago with a vision of building a digital 3D copy of the world. We didn’t know how we’d get there, but we knew that if we made it easy for people to capture spaces in 3D and view them remotely, we’d make the lives of people in a wide range of industries easier, and that would bring a lot of value to the world.

Thanks to the effort of a large group of people (over 200 employees now, and many thousands of independent professional camera owners!) we’ve actually made a difference. Over 4% of homes on sale in the US now have a Matterport 3D model, and we’re becoming a general purpose tool used for everything from construction documentation to virtual shopping to remote experiences of travel destinations. Over 750,000 spaces have been captured in total, and we’ll reach a million before too long. 3D content is a new form of media, and we’re forming the foundation that enables app developers to build a wide range of industry specific apps that bring more value to this 3D content.

So why am I leaving then?

Ultimately it comes down to human incompatibilities. The CEO we brought in and I have had a number of disagreements over the last couple of years. These disagreements weren’t huge – they mainly centered on questions of the boundary between our roles as well as minor differences over company strategy or execution. However, they were exacerbated by work style incompatibilities that worsened over time – our two personalities turned out to be incompatible, and despite our best efforts to sort out these differences in working with a professional coach, we continued to not be able to improve. I stayed for a while because there were serious gaps in the team, and I felt I was uniquely able to fill some of them. However, at this point the team is much more built out and our product is solidly in the lead. I now feel comfortable stepping away, and I’m excited to start something new. I’m wrapping up full time work this week, but I’ll be staying on the board of directors of Matterport.

So what’s next?

I took a bit under 2 years off after my previous startup in 2009-2010. I had some amazing adventures – I traveled the world for 6 months, I learned to rock climb, snowboard, and hang glide, and I improved my diet and solved a number of health issues like the persistent insomnia I used to deal with. I also spent many months playing around with interesting new technologies, which led to the creation of Matterport.

This time I’ll be doing somewhat less travel and probably taking about 6-12 months off, but I want to enjoy the same experience of exploring what can only happen when I have large uninterrupted blocks of free time. My main goal is to become extremely knowledgeable about AI and deep learning; it’s going to affect the world even more than the internet did, and I say that without exaggeration. My next startup will come out of my experiments with AI technologies. On the side, I’d like to visit a few unusual places that are hard to reach, have some more peak experiences, and perhaps learn to paraglide. I want to do the things that will be hard to do once I have kids. Finally, I have a wedding to plan, embryos to freeze for when Helen and I have kids in a couple of years, and a lot of books I’d like to read in order to level up on various skills. It’s going to be an exciting time.

If you have suggestions of things I might particularly enjoy (whether it’s travel, skill development, social experiences etc) that involve a somewhat serious time commitment, please let me know!

(photo is from the first camera we ever delivered to a customer, in August of 2012)


Source: Facebook
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jfantin private msg quote post Address this user
I just published the link in another post. I will delete it so everybody can concentrate in yours.

Interesting news.
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Richierichks private msg quote post Address this user
Interesting that the founder leaves instead of the hired CEO. Sounds like he is ready to move on to something new. His outlook and plans sound very exciting and very healthy mentally.

I don't have any real experience with him as a person or in business, but I certainly wish him the best of luck and look forward to what he will create in the future!

I only wish I could be in his position!
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3dVuz private msg quote post Address this user
Very unusual way to announce this news.
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Metroplex360 private msg quote post Address this user
Matt Bell is a visionary and in a way he has changed the world and our lives! Not only do we know each other because of his invention, but we are succeeding faster in our individual businesses!

Matt does remain on Matterport's Board, so perhaps in a way, his influence will remain quite the same. As this was a very candid posting - it's wonderful to hear that he feels that the product is in capable hands and that there's a very talented team handling his invention.
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aerialpixels private msg quote post Address this user
Just like when Steve Jobs got ousted from Apple.

Not unique when founders leave.

Matt sounds like a dynamo!
Post 6 IP   flag post
adigolds private msg quote post Address this user
$300 Off Matterport Pro2 Camera and now also Co-Founder Leaving, i hope the company is in good shape and can support costumers for a long time.
Post 7 IP   flag post
WGAN Forum
Founder
DanSmigrod private msg quote post Address this user
Hi All,

Related WGAN Forum discussion:

Over 4% of US Homes on Sale use Matterport

Best,

Dan
Post 8 IP   flag post
Queen_City_3D private msg quote post Address this user
It appears that announcement has been deleted from his Facebook feed.

Perhaps it was too candid?
Post 9 IP   flag post
mori private msg quote post Address this user
What???? Wow. Hope he joins Europe for this new journey.

Besides that my hope was always that the CEO would leave as the decisions MP made in the past will not help to sell their products better IMO.
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Metroplex360 private msg quote post Address this user
Maybe all of us should move to Europe. We could all scan things there and go camping with Matt Bell. Dan could teach us Salsa and Mori would show us all of the local hotspots for having fun and meeting new people.
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Metroplex360 private msg quote post Address this user
So I've been thinking about Matt and what he may be up to, and here's my theory:

9/20/17 - Matt Bell Announces Matterport 3D Research Data Set:
https://matterport.com/blog/2017/09/20/announcing-matterport3d-research-dataset/

11/1/17 - Matt Bell Announces Open Sourcing of its implementation
https://github.com/matterport/Mask_RCNN

11/9/17 - Matt Bell Announces leaving Matterport.

--

It could be that Matterport is not an incubator for passion projects like Google is (Googlers dedicate 80% of time to their primary job and 20% working on passion projects that they believe will help the company.) I could imagine Matt's interest in this area not aligning with other priorities and the vision that Matterport currently has.

But even if that were note true, I believe that Matt has these above building blocks to take and build the next project with -- just like how he built Matterport with knowledge gained while at Reactrix (Ref).

Matt will likely 'travel the world' for a year while a non-compete wears off and launch right into his next venture.

--

OR... he's going to mass produce the world's largest koosh ball.


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mori private msg quote post Address this user
@Metroplex: maybe he will travel europe and capture all cultural heritage sites ... 2018 is the european year of cultural heritage -> https://ec.europa.eu/culture/european-year-cultural-heritage-2018_en

Besides in munich we have a great base for a future open source solution:
- https://github.com/niessner/Matterport -> works now at TUM munich university, did also work on http://www.scan-net.org
- https://www.bim-world.de/augmented-reality-googles-arcore-tango/ -> Speaker Jürgen Sturm (Google Munich)
- Team of NavVis
- Several car manufacturers working on LIDAR, AR and VR for autonomous driving
- Holodeck VR-Team
- Hologate-Team
- nVidia working on a journey to holodeck with Dominic Eskofier

Not to speak of what´s possible with a city collaboration between Vienna, Zurich, Amsterdam, Berlin & Munich ;-)
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JuMP private msg quote post Address this user
I want to know in the past of years who in charge MP's decision on its markets. There are lots of wrong ideas.

With the founder leaving his company what will be changed in the coming future of MP's eco-system.

MP is entering China and has contract with one of China biggest house agent company already in last week.
https://matterport.com/matterport-news/strategic-partnership-centaline-property-agency-limited/
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WGAN Forum
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DanSmigrod private msg quote post Address this user
Among the thinks that makes Matterport have a competitive advantage over 70 other cameras/platforms is the use of the data that the camera captures.

Computer Vision and Deep Learning are two examples of the technology road map for Matterport.

I could imagine that Matterport is focused on 4Q17 camera sales (short term thinking) - including rolling out initiatives like China – rather than the data.

While Matterport has job openings for Deep Learning Engineer and Computer Vision Researcher, I could imagine that it will be harder to recruit these positions – pursue these initiatives – without Matt Bell - the visionary and cheerleader for how to leverage the data. (automatically generating videos from a Matterport Spaces 3D Tour is just one example).

Your thoughts?

Dan
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Montreal3D private msg quote post Address this user
I think it's only good news to see Matt Bell move on to focus on things he likes. Creative thinkers simply don't fit well in a big companies where money is the only focus. The release of the open-source algorithms last week is awesome, and it's hopefully just a teaser show how great his next solution will be. Congrats for the work Matt Bell, enjoy your well deserved vacation !
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DanSmigrod private msg quote post Address this user
I wonder if Matt Bell disagreed with the pricing plan for MatterPak announced this week?

Dan
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Metroplex360 private msg quote post Address this user
I think Matt Bell is an open source crusader. Completely my guess -- Matt Bell wanted Matterport to be a place to incubate products that were irrelevant to the corporate goals of Matterport.

My opinion? Matt believes that Matterport is in VERY good hands and Matt's future endeavors will be best explored in a different sandbox! It's a win-win situation all around. (Plus, he's still a board member!)
Post 18 IP   flag post
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DanSmigrod private msg quote post Address this user


@Metroplex360 Wish we could have been flies on the wall to hear the "It's not you, it's me" conversation.

I enjoyed this interview (above) with Matt (and learned a lot).

Enjoy your weekend,

Dan
Post 19 IP   flag post
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DanSmigrod private msg quote post Address this user
Hi All,

I wonder if Matterport Co-Founder Matt Bell's decision to leave Matterport was a result of the Matterport Ecosystem announcement yesterday (Wednesday, 21 February 2018)?

The timing seems aligned.

I could imagine that he was upset that:

✓ automatic opt-in with no opt-out for photographer (copyright holder)
✓ process not handled as an optional opt-in (All, one or folder of Spaces)
✓ photographers not offered compensation for the use of their tours (buy-out? Royalty? Per use?)

Matt is still on the Matterport Board. I could imagine that he is not happy reading about his baby being dragged under the bus.

What do you think? Is this dystopian world of "Matterport Ecosystem Gate" the reason that Matt left?

Dan
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Metroplex360 private msg quote post Address this user
I think Matt would like anything that leads to an open platform but leaves power in the user's hands. I don't know Matt, but he seems to be that type of developer.
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