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Community Highlights: Meet Justyn Eddins of Mr Augmented

Today we’d like to introduce you to Justyn Eddins .

Justyn, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
I’ve always been a bit of an outsider. I believe people always looked at me and assumed “athlete” or “entertainer”, no one really knew my passion was tech and entrepreneurship. I grew up in the San Fernando valley. Shout out to the 818 zip code.

As a boy I was fascinated with video games and learning about how things were built technically. I found gaming to be a way to see new worlds and experience things I would never experience in my reality. I wanted to pursue a path in gaming or tech but all my friends and family members were either athletes, law enforcement or in the entertainment business. I closeted my passion for games and tech and focused my efforts on playing in the NFL. I got a full-ride Division 1 scholarship to play at the University of Texas at San Antonio. After college, I struggled deeply with an identity crisis, I had no clue which path I was supposed to take. It was either follow in my father’s footsteps in law enforcement, work at Enterprise or get a typical 9-5. Ultimately, all of those options didn’t pan out. I remember being in this place of complete chaos and pressure of getting a job. I was 22 with a newborn baby and no job prospects. I faced rejection by over 300+ jobs easily. I remember it was very late one evening and I saw a random job posting for EA Sports Madden 18 as a QA in Austin, Texas. I laughed and said “that would be a dream” I applied and went to bed. The next morning I got a call from an EA recruiter. He asked me all these specific questions about Madden and my experience with football. They told me they had a crazy amount of applicants and it would be a month till I heard back. 20 minutes later, they called back and told me I got the job. Little did they know that a QA job would be the rocket fuel to journey into tech and gaming professionally. From EA, I learned the ins & outs of tech, I sat directly with the developers and learned basic coding syntax. It was like learning a forgotten language that had been in my head the whole entire time. Everything was making total sense.

After EA, I moved back to Los Angeles to start my life. Thinking EA on my resume would change things for my job prospective futures, to my surprise EA had little to no effect on all my applications. I was back in that dark hole of rejection and jobless once again. I remember sitting outside staring at the stars frustrated, depressed, upset pretty much all the emotions that reflect sadness and anger. When I heard a voice… It told me to go inside, look up at the ceiling, to open the fridge… which I did… it then told me to go look at my bed. The voice told me I have a roof over my head, food in the fridge and a bed to sleep on. The voice asked me, to reflect “Justyn why do you complain when you’re this blessed?” That perspective completely changed my outlook on life forever. From that moment, I told myself no matter what happens I will only speak positively and only spread love (no more being negative). I also discovered my purpose that night. The next day I got a call from a close friend to come meet him at his buddies office. His buddy was starting a new water company called JUST Water. His buddy happened to be Jaden Smith. When I spoke with Jaden he said “Justyn I heard you need a job” I said, “Haha yeah I’ll do just about anything.” Jaden replied “Bro I got you”. The next day, I was working for JUST Water which introduced me to a number of mentors and people who have made a lasting impact on my life. After working for JUST I ventured into a number of jobs. I found my passion for a specific type of technology, Augmented Reality (AR) while I was interning for Faceware Tech. The founder Pete Busch one day asked me to find any business use cases with this AR headset called the Microsoft Hololens. Once I put the Hololens on, it was like everything made sense. I became utterly addicted to finding out everything I could about AR because I knew AR would be the future.

From there, I founded a company called Zave where we built an AR deals & coupons company. While I was creating Zave, I got offered a job at Google working on Google Brain as Technical Recruiter. It was the first time in my life where I met people that understood my crazy AR ideas. For the longest time while I was in LA, I would talk about AR and tech and everyone thought I was crazy. I remember meeting an Engineer by the name of Andrew Lookinbill. I approached him at an event and asked if I could have 15 mins of his time. Andrew is currently the Head Engineer for all things Google Maps. I spoke to Andrew nervously of course about my startup and my passion for AR. He asked me why I wasn’t an engineer and why he had not met me sooner. That was the first time in my life where I finally received validation for my ideas. At that moment I realized I am not crazy and I am actually on to something. Andrew introduced me to Justin Qumiby the Head of Google Maps AR where he gave me crucial advice in my approach to startups. After leaving Google, I ventured back into gaming working at Machine Zone and then Rockstar Games in the Technical Talent fields. In the background, I had been working on building another AR startup, Mr Augmented. My journey is now just beginning as we have just raised close to half a million with one of the biggest tech companies in the world and will be hosting a Digital AR NFT Art Exhibition in 2022.That night I found myself staring at the stars, hearing that familiar voice saying – to spread love and positivity relentlessly and to create positive tech innovations for the masses. I am living in my purpose now. I want to continue to inspire individuals from my community and show them you can truly do anything with the right exposure and motivation.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
Every journey of success is a journey filled with turbulence and turmoil. I told myself in my early 20’s that I was willing to sacrifice pretty much everything to be successful. I tell people before you start your journey what does success really look like to you? Not the version of success that you see on tv or you mirror on social media. What does “TRUE” success look like to “YOU”? The road of being successful whatever it may be, you will find challenges and hurdles that seem impossible. Ultimately if success is that important then you will conquer and find the motivation to push through. That’s the mentality I’ve had on this road: real success. I’ve lost friends, family members, had a failed startup, been rejected multiple times, lost relationships, lost jobs, been broke, been sick… pretty much any obstacle one can imagine I’ve most likely dealt with.

The question really for those reading as I assume you have gone through some of my similar struggles or even more difficult ones. The question I ask for those that are thinking of doing this journey is how bad do you really want something and will you let the bad stop you? For all those things I went through, I am positive somebody was going through something worse. Who am I to complain and break down for a hurdle on this road? I know when I fall down the mountain because I didn’t see the loose rock, I can positively recognize and find a different route because the gravel is weak on that side of the mountain. Never stop going up the mountain… never be okay with being okay… I refuse to let any bumps deter me from living my passion and purpose out.

Appreciate you sharing that. What should we know about Mr. Augmented?
Mr. Augmented is the future of AR. We’re a collective of tech outliers passionate about building the future of AR tech. We’re focused on building practical AR solutions to push the AR space forward. There’s no single individual that drives Mr. Augmented we’re all Mr. Augmented. Those that are passionate about this tech and space that see the true potential are Mr. Augmented. Our goal is to really push the bonds of AR. We’re challenging ourselves and passionate about providing an experience that evokes emotion. We care about the details and want to see the future of this tech be an equitable and diverse one.

We’re currently focused on building a private AR NFT Digital Art Exhibition. We just received funding and will be announcing our tech partner in the coming months.

For anyone interested in learning more about us please contact us @ mraugmented.com or email us at contact@mraugmented.com.

Are there any apps, books, podcasts, blogs or other resources you think our readers should check out?
I like to mix it up. I relax to Lo-Fi music (My playlists are fire) or play video games. If I’m reading, it’s usually Reddit, blog posts, discord or random articles. I limit my social media use and I practice being present mentally to help me with staying focused.

Contact Info:

  • Email: contact@mraugmented.com
  • Website: mraugmented.com
  • Instagram: @ Mr. Augmented
  • Twitter: Mr Augmented


Image Credits:

Emily Kuhar

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