Meet-a-Member | Tyler Drenon

June 13, 2018 | Kyle Drenon

Tyler Drenon recently returned to Springfield after living in Atlanta for several years. He was born and raised in Springfield and decided to come back to be closer to his family. He’s the director of marketing and business development for Self Interactive, an interactive studio based out of the eFactory. He’s also running a spin off of Self called Tacit that provides virtual and augmented reality training software to businesses in the area.

What do you do?

I’m a businessman. Busyness. Gotta stay busy. We all go to work and do lots of things. Run around, type on computers. You know, the state of being busy.

I’m the director of marketing and business development.

Why did you decide to come back to SGF?

Got engaged to a real squirrelly woman and we both have family here. We lived in Atlanta for a while, and it was great, but ultimately Springfield is home. Plus, Atlanta is plagued by packs of wild dogs that viciously roam the streets at night. In fact, every city in the country has that problem — except Springfield. So, it’s pretty sweet here.

How did you start working at Self?

I actually found the job through SGFC. I messaged a bunch of people with job postings, and then after about a dozen emails, I saw the Self logo. They didn’t have a posting, but I emailed Charlie anyway — just to introduce myself, ask for advice. Since I had sent so many similar emails, I mixed it up and made the subject line “Laser-trimmed, zero gravity portal frames.” So he gave me a job.

What’s it like to work at the efactory?

It’s great. Can’t say enough about this place. So many great resources and networking opportunities. The SBDTC (Small Business and Technology Development Center)
has done market research for us and helped us workshop our elevator, among other things. Lance Coffman, Sandra Smart-Winegar, Chrystal Irons, and Tara Horton are amazing. Jeff Schmedeke of MDI (Management Development Institute) has also been awesome. And of course, Paige Oxendine, Rachel Anderson, and Sarah Davis are the greatest three people on Earth. It has been great for our business.

What kinda of things does self do?

We call ourselves an “interactive development studio.” Basically, if you can swipe it or click it or pinch it, interact with it; we can build it. Web development (everything from simple marketing sites to complex web apps), mobile apps, and AR/VR development — or XR development, or spatial computing development. We put people inside computer programs, essentially.

What’s a misconception about VR?

There are a lot, really. Some people think it’s futuristic, but it’s happening right now. It’s practical, contemporary technology. It’s novel, for sure, and we’ve found that it’s really useful in a lot of new ways that the technology that preceded it is not; but it’s not too ephemeral to be applied currently. A lot of people think of gaming, and it’s really great for that, but we’re applying it to business operations.

What is Tacit?

It’s our XR training platform, VR and AR — which means we’re both immersing the user in a completely virtual environment in some instances (VR; where all they see are pixels, all around them), and overlaying graphical information and instruction on top of the real world in others (AR, or augmented reality). We have built a library of modules that help companies teach and refresh their employees in a way that can’t be duplicated with other media.

Tell us about your new position at Tacit.

I’m going to be handling the day-to-day operations. We’ll be seeking investment, continuing to develop new training modules, and then we’ll launch it as a subscription-based platform. 

What’s your creative process like?

Usually, I just let it fly. I’m a gunslinger, baby. Brett Favre (minus the weird stuff).

What’s your favorite twin joke?

They are all extremely hilarious. Hard to choose. My favorite twin question is, “What’s it like to be a twin?” As you know, I’ve been a twin since before I was born, so I like to answer, “What’s it like not to be?”

What’s something you love about the creative community in SGF?

It’s pretty cool. I mean, no one’s any good, but we have fun.

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