December 4, 2018

Beyond Tickets: Putting You Smack Dab in the World of Beyoncé

By Laukik Watve, Head of Engineering


Imagine putting on a headset and instantly finding yourself in the front row of a Beyoncé concert. With dozens of VR cameras positioned around the stage, you can look up, down and all around, immersing yourself in a rich experience as you watch the show alongside other fans who are actually there. Through augmented reality you can place Beyoncé in your physical world and enjoy her performance from the comfort of your living room or backyard.

At StubHub, our mission is simple: To bring the joy of live to fans globally. Today we operationalize our mission by enabling fans with access to events through our ticketing marketplace. And yet, in a rapidly changing world, we keep asking ourselves how and where we can add value.

How can we move beyond tickets? We don’t just want to execute this. We want to lead the way.

Here’s how we are making it happen.

Investing in Talent

Talent is at the heart of everything we do. We are forming full-stack, balanced engineering and cross-functional teams who uniformly operate with a “fan-first” mentality. Balanced, autonomous teams are empowered to own end-to-end holistic user experiences across product, tech and business metrics.

We are investing in our managers and individual contributors. In doing so, we enable them to be the force multipliers who can align and operationalize our broader mission and vision.

Generally speaking, I think about our investments as a 70–20–10 ratio: 70 percent core, 20 percent strategic, and 10 percent venture. To date, our focus has mostly been on building and sustaining our core. However, as our investments in talent and technology start to pay off, we will be diversifying our focus beyond our core into the future.

How We Build Software

We have embarked on a comprehensive modernization journey that focuses on four main pillars:

  1. Organization and Culture
  2. Platform
  3. Applications
  4. Data

On the organization and culture pillar, we are moving towards a product-focused mindset. From a platform perspective, we are building a scalable, secure and global platform which can be deployed on a hybrid cloud. On the applications pillar, we are redesigning our applications into cloud-native applications, with scalability, security and accessibility as first-class design principles. Finally, we are building a secure and scalable data platform. This democratizes our data and enables us to truly unlock its power.

Building a Concierge Experience for Customers

As we move forward, we will continue to expand our core capabilities to add value and ensure every step of the fan experience is a memorable one.

This means helping customers find a ride to an event or locate a great place for a pregame meal. At the event, we can guide them to the refreshments or even predict the memorabilia they might want to buy. Afterwards, we can help them with directions to a fun place to hang out for a post-game drink.

We’ve only just begun to scratch the surface on how we can optimize these features, and we are super excited about what lies ahead.

Embracing AR and VR

This brings us to AR and VR — a space ripe with opportunity.

Today with AR/VR integration, our fans are able to view their seats in 3D. Right now, our most successful example of VR integration is the work we’ve done for the Super Bowl. By helping fans see and interact with a 3D model of the stadium and surrounding area, we’ve given event goers valuable signals that help enhance their live event experience.

And yet, there’s much more to explore in this space.

Why push the boundaries of AR and VR as they relate to live events? Not all fans have the financial freedom or the ability to physically be present at the events and venues they love. How might we disrupt and democratize this space?

By thinking about the right streaming VR solutions, we can extend the reach of live experiences to our fans right where they are, be it in their living rooms or their own backyards. This is the type of innovation that will allow us to continue to be true to our mission of bringing the joy of live to our fans globally.

This article originally appeared on the StubHub Product & Tech Blog on Medium