Robert Otani

Helping people build teams and software

I am a technologist, and I'm taking a bunch of time off away from salaried work! I live in beautiful Northern Nevada.

From 2017 through the Spring of 2019, I helped launch a skunkworks initiative to build fun social experiences that uses Computer Vision for a company in Silicon Valley.

Prior to that, I led the effort to bootstrap the mobile technology stack at Mix, a startup among the portfolio of companies at Expa. It's now in good hands testing in open beta, and I have been enjoying its progression by its talented team.

Prior to Expa, I spent a long time at IMVU, which you may have learned about if you read about any of that “Lean Startup” stuff. During my tenure there, I helped launch the company's first foray into native mobile apps, and continued to launch and develop wide variety of other product concepts like 3D web-based tools and novel user interfaces. The last project I helped out there was IMVU Mobile, an iOS app that lets people do the strangest things.

If memory serves me right, I’ve been through four startups. One of the most memorable was AvantGo, whom Sybase acquired (and now owned by SAP). There, I helped to build services and mobile web apps. Then the iPhone and the App Store happened, and everyone was like… oh yeah, that's it.

I grew up with the family business and learned to be an Auto Mechanic. Then, I became a Physicist. Then, I went bonkers and called myself an artist, did backend and frontend web development, and UX design because — why the hell not? Those dotcom days were glorious!

My kids are really curious about how apps are made. One Saturday, we gathered some markers and paper, and huddled around the computer to create a fun little toy app called Pokey Fish. It turns out that Toddlers (and their parents) love it!

I’m on various networks like Twitter, Github, and Instagram.

Last Updated: May 16, 2019