We thought that it would be nice to let you know a bit more about the people working at myTrueSound. Therefore this will be the first in a series of interview type posts to help you get to know us better.
Who better to start with than David, myTrueSound’s CEO and founder.
Let’s get into this!
Hi David, please introduce yourself.
Hi my name is David and I've been living in Turku, Finland, for over 15 years now. Even though my blood is 100 % Spanish, I consider myself as half Finnish. I really like it here.
How did the idea of creating myTrueSound come about?
It all started about two years ago. After 15 years working in acoustics, and always for the same boss, I felt like I had to do something different, like a project where I could decide myself how to do the things. I was very interested in bringing my academic expertise, of room acoustics and sound perception, into video gaming and VR technology. The goal was to work with immersive audio algorithms and find out which algorithm, and which settings would produce the most truthful audio experience. For four years I had run psychoacoustics tests in a lab, and it was clear that in that project I would need the better and more accurate hearing sense of blind people. I think I always have cared about others, so I also enjoyed the idea of providing a professional career to blind people as audio experts. In the name of my current employee, Turku University of Applied Sciences, we applied for research funding from Tekes, but it didn't go through. My boss suggested to me that I forget about that idea entirely, but instead I asked permission to make my own company. Thus, the concept of myTrueSound was born.
It sounds like the initial idea was born, so what was the key turning point that drove you to start the company?
It was a process that took months. Turku is a small city, but it has very interesting gaming and startup ecosystem. I asked around, and I ended up meeting Jussi who had a strong background in game audio, and Mikko who was blind and had a passion for gaming and audio production. With Mikko I could talk for hours, and I think at that moment is when I started to believe in all of this.
What inspired the company name?
Before we founded the company, I met some people from the Finnish Federation of the Visually Impaired. We visited a local millionaire, who was blind, to ask for some support. He liked our idea and tried to help us by sending an email to Supercell’s CEO. Our concept was referred to in that email as “aitoääni”, which means “truesound” in Finnish. I liked how the concept I was aiming for was explained in only one word. The part “my” in the name was then a personal touch, based on what domains were already taken.
What’s your role at myTrueSound?
The CEO in a big company is the boss, but in a startup is the person that does a bit of everything. Some tasks I enjoy quite a lot, but others, like accounting and legal aspects, took me really out of my comfort zone. Currently I take care of looking for funding from public instruments and private investors, recruiting, marketing, strategy design, and supervising some things at an overall level. On the other hand I’m also learning a lot from all the things the other guys know, and in some of those aspects I can only give my opinions and ideas. From a technical standpoint, the team members are the key decision makers on how we move forward and what can be done, or not, when implementing our software.
What challenges have you had to deal with?
The entire journey has been a challenge, but perhaps the biggest has been how I structure my time. I keep working as a researcher in Turku University of Applied Sciences, on a full-time basis five days a week, so all the work for myTrueSound is done in the evenings and at the weekends. However, I take care to not burn myself out, and find the time to do physical activities to keep my mind clear, as well as giving enough time to my wife and two kids.
What would you say has been the most rewarding part of starting myTrueSound?
One of the best satisfactions is to demonstrate to myself that I can. Back in high-school, my physics teacher said that there was no way for me to pass his course. It’s true I was not a good student then, but eventually I passed that course after some extra studying. A few years later I graduated in Theoretical Physics from university, so I know about working a bit harder to reach milestones others thought I could not achieve. When I started all this, my wife came and talked to me very seriously. She said, “Look dear, I love you very much, and I don’t want to ruin your hopes, but you know very little about entrepreneurship and all the effort that it would require”. Two years later she still loves me, and knows how serious I am about this thing.
What are your future ambitions and plans for myTrueSound?
We have lots of plans and we don’t consider ourselves as “just another game company”. Our impact goes beyond that. Our plan, while we keep producing very fun games, is to develop further our own audio game engine, IMAGE. Additionally IMAGE will be made accessible for the blind, so they can really pursue a professional career in the gaming industry. This tool is a cost-effective solution for audio games implementation, and it should enable other indie developers to create their own audio games faster and cheaper than before. The strategy for three years from now is to become publishers of the games created by other developers using our technology.
What else do you enjoy doing?
I basically enjoy a bit of everything. Life is just too short and most probably I will not have the chance in another life to do things I don’t try in this one. Music, nature, video gaming, family, meeting friends, red wine, to name a few are some of my favourite past times. I also love hiking in mountains, travelling to amazing landscapes, sea-kayaking with my friends, surfing back home on the blue ocean. I don’t especially enjoy going to the gym, but I do it two or three times a week to keep my belly under control.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
If you have read to this point, then it is because you were interested in our products. We are really working hard to satisfy your demands. If you enjoy our games, please like, share and follow us. We need your help to grow and make this true.
Well thank you David for taking the time to provide this information.
Best regards and long life to you all! David
Well there you have it, the first of a series of interviews introducing you to various team members at myTrueSound. We hope you enjoyed reading about David’s story and come back to see what we have in the future. Help us to grow by liking, sharing and following us on Facebook and Twitter to keep updated about more interviews and other goings-on at myTrueSound.