Palmer Luckey

Text:  Sebastián Lehuedé  @s_lehuede
By age 16, Palmer Luckey owned more than 50 virtual reality headsets – purchased with the money he made repairing iPhones – but he wasn’t satisfied with any of them: their visual fields were too narrow and using them made him dizzy. So this self-taught techie created his own version in a corner of his family’s garage in Long Beach, California, a humble beginning reminiscent of the founders of Google and Microsoft. Luckey’s efforts eventually resulted in the Oculus Rift hardware and in Oculus VR, a company built to introduce his headsets on gaming Websites and forums.

With such obvious signs of success, Luckey could have stopped at being a geek sensation, but instead of just assuming he had a winning product, he kept going. His headsets caught the attention of legendary video gamers and captured more than US$2 million in crowdfunding investments, moving from DIY kit to full-fledged consumer product.
Today, the 22-year-old Luckey is poised to achieve what companies like Hasbro and Nintendo have failed to do. As Mark Zuckerberg observed upon Facebook’s acquisition of Oculus VR for more than US$2 billion, this kind of technology offers possibilities not only for video gaming but also for areas like education and health. Luckey didn’t just hit the nail on the head: he hammered it home.

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