Blue Trot Group is a friendlier research firm that studies how to make new products and experiences less scary for everyone on this big blue dot of ours.
Cody Karutz, our Founding Partner, comes from a deep background of social science research around emerging technologies. He built his first virtual reality software in 2006 as an undergraduate research assistant at UC Santa Barbara. In 2010, he managed a multimillion remodel of Stanford University’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab. While there, he studied under Professor Jeremy Bailenson and watched VR transform from academic to consumer technology. Shortly after hosting Mark Zuckerberg at their lab for a day of discussions in 2014, Facebook purchased Oculus VR for $2.3 billion dollars. During his time at Stanford, Cody was also a founding member and Chief Technology Officer at Strivr, a leading VR enterprise training startup that has since raised $21 million in funding.
Cody holds an M.S. in Symbolic Systems from Stanford University, where his graduate thesis, “The Crystal Reef,” was the first immersive experience to ever both world premiere and collect research data at a major film festival (Tribeca). This graduate work led him to be named a Pacific Standard Magazine Top 30 Thinker Under 30 for his immersive design work. Cody is also a distant descendant of the Donner Party, yet somehow always forgets to pack snacks.
Piera von Glahn, Principal, joined forces with Cody back in high school, where they worked at a local ice cream parlor and sold frozen bananas at farmer’s markets. Before Blue Trot Group, her eclectic life education includes a decade of wildlife rehabilitation alongside gophers, squirrels, and barn owls. Moving on to larger critters, she studied Japanese macaques and learned how to conduct ecology fieldwork deep in the Brazilian Amazon. Outside of the jungle, Piera worked with human critters at a self-directed learning company. Over 9 years, she helped scale the company from one to nine states across both coasts, serving thousands of families.
Piera currently is an MSW candidate at Portland State University, where she plans to put her social justice passions into practice with reforming the mental health and incarceration systems. Piera holds a deep affinity for asking old questions in new ways by embracing creative curiosity and harnessing her ability to put people from all backgrounds at ease no matter the situation. She is not an Oregon Trail descendent, but her great Uncle Lester was honored as the Corn King of Nebraska in 1955.