In light of the recent Facebook AR glasses interview confirmation, today we get new insight on Facebook’s inner workings. The company has decided to reorganize its human resources for a more effective, technology-lead research. Rather than having split teams for each AR or VR gadget, Facebook is going for a more holistic approach to its long-term Oculus development path.
Reorganization doesn’t necessarily mean laying off in this case, only reshuffling of focus. Rather than being product-oriented, the Oculus development team will be more tech-oriented. It represents the internal strategy reflecting and anticipating Facebook’s further endeavors. For one, it is a message that the company believes that Oculus team could, and will become more effective. By digging deeper into Facebook corporate structure, Oculus is positioning itself to be the next big thing from its AR/VR combined effort team.
Facebook tried to stay quiet on the matter of Oculus development staff reorganization. In a hardly dramatic manner, came the announcement that ‘We made some changes to the AR/VR organization earlier this week’. It further played down the affair: ‘These are internal changes and won’t impact consumers or our partners in the developer community’. All true. In fact, what Facebook is doing with the reorg is trying to optimize their resources towards a more holistic headset lineup development.
Optimizing resources often means reducing redundancies. As Facebook is stretching its expertise to various different products, the problems engineers are encountering are largely the same. Isolated, the teams can have a hard time communicating the new advances between them. Uniting the parceled-out teams will result in less energy squandered. Having them, too, focused onto long term Oculus development will create a unified path for any future products. Lastly, the successful reorg may result in a company signature so necessary to corporate brands these days, particularly the one of Facebook’s stature and current position.
And the current position is nothing new, just as the reorganization around Oculus project has long been coming. It is an ambitious project, that, which requires more than a passing trial-and-error effort. The air around Oculus development has shifted several times by now, each shift marking a refocus. First there was genuine goodwill with Oculus Rift plans following the partnership with Samsung. Marred by delays and competition, the mixed feeling about Rift refocused Facebook’s resources more towards PC VR. Then an earthquake came along, Xiaomi executive Hugo Barra replaced CEO Brendan Iribe to VP of VR position, with Bosworth in charge of additional structure layer as the VP of AR/VR. It is against this backdrop that we ought to understand Facebook’ newest decision.
The corporate structure of Facebook’s consumer products efforts underwent multiple reshufflings. The latest is just an extension of what the company has been trying to do – create more holistic atmosphere where the information flow would not be mitigated by staff divisions. It is a reflection of very real – and very true – observation that in order to compete with the likes of Magic Leap, Facebook has to top the efficiency charts. The reorg starts as an Oculus development path, but has stakes much higher indeed.