Today we are talking to Riz Virk, the author of The Simulation Hypothesis and Startup Myths and Models.  And we discuss the parallels between video games and a simulated world, Startup advice that you won’t learn in business school, and a preview of his upcoming book “The Simulated Multiverse”

All of this, right here, right now, on the Modern CTO Podcast!

Check him out now at!

About Riz Virk:

Rizwan (“Riz”) Virk is a successful entrepreneur, investor, bestselling author, video game industry pioneer, and indie film producer. Riz received a B.S. in Computer Science from MIT and an M.S. in Management from Stanford’s GSB.

Riz is the founder of Play Labs @ MIT, a startup accelerator held on campus at the MIT Game Lab.   He also runs Bayview Labs and is a venture partner with two VC funds, Ridge Ventures, and Griffin Gaming Partners.

Riz is a prolific Silicon Valley angel investor, having invested in many startups including Tapjoy, Telltale Games, Discord, Funzio (sold to GREE), Pocket Gems, Moon Express, Theta Labs, Bitmovio, and many others.  His video games have included Tap Fish, Penny Dreadful: Demimonde, and Grimm: Cards of Fate.

Riz has produced many indie films (imdb link), including Thrive,  Sirius,  Knights of Badassdom, starring Peter Dinklage and Summer Glau, The CW’s The Outpost, as well as adaptations of the works of Philip K. Dick and Ursula K. Le Guin.

Riz’s books include Startup Myths & ModelsThe Simulation HypothesisZen Entrepreneurship, and Treasure Hunt: Follow Your Inner Clues to Find True Success. 

Riz has been featured in Inc. Magazine, The Boston Globe, The Wall Street Journal, Tech Crunch, Gamasutra, Venture Beat, Hackernoon,, NBC 

He speaks regularly on subjects such as startups, video games, meditation, and career success both in person and online. He has been interviewed extensively ranging from The Daily Show with Jon Stewart to Inside Edition Digital,  Coast to Coast AM, and CBC’s Tapestry.

He lives in Mountain View, CA, and Cambridge, MA. 

Joel Beasley

Joel Beasley founded the Modern CTO Podcast in 2017 while writing his book, the Modern CTO book, with the goal of interviewing CTOs and sharing their experiences with others in the tech community.

Joel’s conversational style and insightful questions quickly gained traction, attracting high-profile guests such as Microsoft’s CTO, Kevin Scott, and T-Mobile’s CIO, Cody Stanford. With each episode, the podcast’s popularity continued to grow, and soon, Joel found himself with a waiting list of future guests.

Today, the Modern CTO Podcast has become the number one leadership and tech podcast in the world, with over 150k active listeners, including CTOs, lead developers, and rising tech leaders. Joel’s commitment to creating a conversational atmosphere for his guests to share their experiences has inspired a new generation of leaders and innovators.

As the success of the podcast grew, Joel founded ProSeries Media, a podcast production company that helps companies worldwide create their own podcasts. With a team of producers, content creators, and podcast bookers, ProSeries Media produces over ten shows, providing a platform for companies to connect with their audience and share their expertise.

Through his work on the Modern CTO Podcast and ProSeries Media, Joel Beasley has become a respected voice in the tech industry, inspiring others to share their knowledge and insights with the wider community. His passion for creating engaging content that informs, inspires, and entertains has made him a sought-after speaker and advisor on all things tech.

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