What do you do when you run a very successful real estate company? You establish an Internet technology business and set out to create the best web browser available. That is exactly what Virtual World Computing Founder and CEO Jeff Bermant did.
Founded in 2008, Virtual World Computing is working to make your Internet experience safer and more secure. The company’s Cocoon Internet browser was built to filter out “the bad stuff” and to give users more control while surfing the web. The web browser is perfect for major companies, and its protection capabilities will keep hackers from accessing vital information.
A graduate of the University of Southern California, Bermant has worked with major names in real estate on investment ventures. While he continues to work in the real estate sector, it is his work with Virtual World Computing that really excites Bermant today. Totalprestige Magazine caught up with the thriving entrepreneur to talk about his life, career and Cocoon.
Jeff, Can you please tell us about Virtual World Computing and the services you provide?
Virtual World Computing is dedicated to giving Internet users a safer, non-obtrusive, Internet experience. Cocoon, our flagship browser, is the first browser that integrates cloud services to offer advanced security, privacy and accessibility in a simple user experience.
What can you tell us about your company’s latest achievements?
The Internet is wonderful for so many reasons. You can search for anything, buy almost anything online, play music from the cloud and of course it’s pretty addicting. We are so proud of bringing this innovative idea to give users a peace of mind when on the web with virus isolation protection preventing any malicious code or images from ever touching a computer’s hard drive. This is something offered in enterprise and is quite expensive, yet we can deliver this free to a consumer through an innovated approach. We love the idea when you leave the shores of the U.S. you can get U.S. content no matter where you are in the world. Most non-season travelers are so shocked when they go online in a foreign country that you can’t get your favorite websites, but with our browser it’s not a problem.
Jeff, can you tell us what makes your company stand out from competitors?
Well, we are the only company who has built this unique browser. It sort of like we took anti-virus, privacy, security and world-wide access and rolled it into an easy to use browser. It’s quite an accomplishment and, to us, it’s all about giving users something they have not seen in a browser.
Can you tell us how your career began and what some of the highlights have been?
My business career started in real estate, mostly office buildings and some residential. We have a very successful real estate company. But for me it’s always been about finding great solutions to vexing problems. Honestly, eight years ago, I could barely turn on my computer, but I knew there was a problem to be solved when I was online, being tracked everywhere, not able to get access overseas, being hacked, I knew something had to be done about this horrible situation. Don’t get me wrong about the web and apps and all, but you really have so many risks when you login. I wanted to focus my efforts and dedicate myself to solving one big issues.
What has been your most rewarding professional experience?
Without a doubt, it’s Cocoon, as I am happy to see people are beginning to adopt the browser. Of course, many advertisers want to prevent our browser from succeeding since we do not share IP addresses (this identifies you) with advertisers. When I was running the real estate company my biggest joy was tenant appreciation day, having a big luncheon to thank our tenants for being our partners.
How do you find inspiration?
Well, I have a number of people who support my efforts, even when some doubt me, they still support the idea. I think my wife gives me inspiration along with my children. However, I am a very driven person and want to accomplish goals. So, my inspiration is basically my will to succeed under most circumstances.
What is the most challenging part of your work?
Understanding every user’s need for security, privacy and access. A user has a different need in Santa Monica which might be security versus a user in Guangzhou, China which is more interested in access to the USA Internet.
What do you have your sights set on next?
You know, I am so dedicated to seeing a better world for the Internet as I don’t think the bad guys are going away soon. So, it is finding ways to give people a better, safer Internet experience.
Were you ever influenced by other entrepreneurs?
Elon Musk and Bill Gates. Gates, because he is now dedicated to giving back to the world. Musk, because, what this guy can think of, and come up with is truly amazing. I liked Steve Jobs too, but a little too weird for my taste and not much of a family man.
What is a day in your life like?
Well, I love to work. My focus is usually solving vexing problems either for our software company and for our real estate portfolio. However, I know staying in shape is important, so I love to bike ride and I hit the gym twice a week. Of course, there is home life and I never miss my date night with my wife, Paulette.
What makes you smile?
Seeing success, being proud of my family members, helping others.
What scares you?
Failure in a way, but I know it happens, so it’s just part of life. Also, I almost died in a bike accident two years ago.
What is your greatest achievement?
Overcoming many childhood issues as I have a slight degree of Asperger’s and realizing I was able to find ways to not only overcome it, but actually use it to my advantage. You know people who have it, think differently, sometimes this is actually an advantage.
What is your secret talent?
Hah, I don’t think I have a secret talent.
Which historical figure do you most admire?
For sure, the founders of our country. Our constitution is amazing, and to think back then the forefathers could figure this all out. Of course, it’s not perfect, but you have to remember it was written almost three hundred years ago.
Do you have any hobbies?
I love sports. I was a tennis player at USC, but no longer play, now it’s skiing, cycling and the gym.
What are you never without?
My Laptop. It used to be my bike. Yes, I even dragged it to Tahiti, only to crash there and end up with a very painful broken collar bone.
Can you tell us two of your favorite quotes?
“If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster, and treat those two imposters just the same…” This quote is at Wimbledon and I love it because it says to people treat your wins and your losses exactly the same way. It’s not easy to practice, but still great to try and follow.
I also love Patrick Henry’s quote, “give me liberty or give me death”. Again, this is about how great a nation is and despite our pitfalls as a country, truly there is no other country in the world like the United States.
How do you define success?
Well, that’s a difficult thing to define. But success, does not always come in the form of money. You can have success meeting almost any goal you set. Even if it’s your just your own and no one else’s. I was about seven-years old and I ran in a foot race, and came dead last. I said to my dad, “see how fast I ran?” He said, “well, you were last.” I responded by saying, “well, they just ran faster.”
What advice would you give to anyone starting a new business?
Focus on your goals, pivot when it’s not working, seek advice from others, but I hear many say do not give up. I think that’s the wrong advice. Sometimes you have to give up, but never give up working toward success and an inner satisfaction.
For more information on Jeff Bermant’s Cocoon Internet browser, visit www.GetCocoon.com.