In honor of UC San Diego Extension’s first 50 years, 50 Voices of the Future asks thought leaders about the trends, breakthroughs and social advances they foresee over the next 50 years.
Reid Carr’s life goal is happiness and work fulfillment – not just for him, but for his employees and the consumers he markets to. Carr is the president and CEO of Red Door Interactive, a San Diego-based marketing firm which also has offices in Carlsbad and Denver.
(1) Why is the work you do important?
I love understanding consumers and I love the psychology of it all and the tactics and putting plans together and that sort of thing. It’s highly engaging work. It’s creative, it’s inspiring – being at an agency and working with lots of different companies and understanding where their challenges are and what they’re trying to overcome.
I think that translates well to the people who work with me at Red Door. I think it’s what the company is built to do, just have a good day at work. I think it creates growth. I think it creates a lot of opportunity for people, which is important to the community at large because we can then serve the greater good with what we learn. A lot of us serve on community boards and non-profit boards. I think we’ve learned a lot of things that can apply to helping to make the world better.
(2) What are the influential/exciting developments happening in your field now and why?
It’s called mixed reality – which is augmented reality and virtual reality. Augmented reality is this mix of the real world and virtual world. You can hold up a phone, for example, and the phone layers on stuff with the real world and puts virtual stuff on top of it so you could see what a house might look on a piece of property that’s actually still just a landscape, and the house doesn’t yet exist.
Another example of this is teaching someone, somewhere where they don’t have access to the equipment we have here, like how to perform a surgery, or how to fix a car. You can actually see that this thing should go there and the thing may not exist, but you would see where it would go and you would see it in practical real world vision and manipulation.
(3) What’s the next big thing?
Again, it’s all about mixed reality. What that will do in retail in the physical world is theoretically you can try things on, you can see your new room – like if you stand in the middle of the room – and see what your room might look like if you bought all this furniture or rearranged it in certain ways. Or what your house might look like as it’s being constructed in a certain area, looking and seeing what it might look like completed despite not having all the things there yet.
(4) How big of an impact will your field play in shaping the future of the San Diego region and beyond?
San Diego is just in this fascinating place that I don’t know that people recognize what our potential is relative to that world. We’ve got the huge prevalence of mobile, with Qualcomm. We’re the birthplace of analytics in many ways; Google Analytics was created here by a company called Urchin. You’ve got mapping the human genome here as a form of analytics.
We’re in this really unique area of the world with some really unique talent. We’re sitting within all of that, as the conduit to put the pieces together. The talent we have access to and the things that we have access to, I think we’re in a really exciting and interesting place to do all of that.
(5) Hop into your time machine…what does the future look like for this field in 50 years? How can individuals/companies get prepared for what’s next?
Where we’re at now with our expectations is, “I can have that item delivered to me within a day, two days, with time I should have it tomorrow,” type of thing.
The future expectation will be: “As soon as I think of it, I want it now.” So you’re able to say, “Yeah, I really love that pair of shoes,” and have them printed for you right then and there.
It’s hard to wrap our head around what that’s going to be like, but we need that spirit of creativity, that hopefully I believe will still live on, and give people the right message at the right place and the right time that motivates the kind of behaviors and impulses that we want.
Learn more about the future of marketing as Reid Carr imagines it, as well as the future of data science, in a range of courses and programs offered by UC San Diego Extension including Web Analytics, Front End Web Development, Marketing, and User Experience (UX) Design.