Skip to content

EP 9 — VirTra’s Bob Ferris on Pioneering Virtual Training for Defense Advancement


On this week's episode of the DIB Innovators podcast, David talks with Bob Ferris, Founder and Executive Chairman of VirTra, about the journey from a team of one—himself—to becoming one of the field's leading innovators and the critical role of strategic planning in VirTra's expansion.

Bob also outlines the hurdles involved in crafting virtual training programs for law enforcement and military personnel, showcasing VirTra's adeptness in overcoming these challenges.

Topics discussed:

  • How the field of virtual training technologies has evolved, and why Bob is the "grandfather" of it all.
  • The strategic planning integral to VirTra's growth and success in the industry.
  • VirTra's groundbreaking initiatives and why the company has consistently remained ahead of its time.
  • Why it's so challenging to create effective virtual training products.
  • How VirTra keeps track of the trends and new technologies in the defense sector
  • Embracing rejection as a catalyst for progress and innovation. How moving forward can sometimes mean saying—and hearing—"no."

Guest Quotes: 

“What we did was we took the advice from instructors and veterans and said, why don't you like simulation? And this was in 2001 timeframe. And they said they listed off the reasons of, it's unrealistic in these ways. And then we just went and tackled it. And we were crazy enough to think that we could actually solve some of those. And what turned out was in 2004, we released a product that was 12 years ahead of its time. It took 12 years before any company created a product even similar.” 

“You can hire great people, but if you don't have strategy, then you're going in a circle or going in the wrong direction. So I think those two things are actually absolutely critical.” 

“We often say content is king because you can have the best headset in the world. You can have the best technology in the world. You can have a lot of dreams and ideas. But if you don't have effective training content ... that is very dangerous.” 

“We have to say no to lots of things, and then focus on where we can really shine. Where can we provide the world’s best service to the market? And that's where we focus. And sometimes it means saying no. And many times it means really embracing and sprinting forward.” 

Get in touch with Bob Ferris:  


Get in touch with your host, David Graff: 


Listen to more episodes: