About the Frontier3 Podcast
Welcome to Frontier3 by PatSnap!
This series is dedicated to unpacking the innovation ecosystem of Web3. Featuring our Co-Founder, Ray Chohan, and various industry experts, Frontier3 explores how Web3 will fundamentally change how we live, work, and play.
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In This Episode of Frontier3
In our premiere episode, we discuss the impact of Web3 and NFTs. Specifically, we look at how the web evolved from something we view to something we now control.
- The differences between Web1, Web2, and Web3
- How Web3 is transforming the user experience
- The rise of NFT millionaires and the introduction of physical items in the digital world
- The biggest issue with NFTs
- How to bring cryptocurrencies into balance sheets
- Get our #1 Amazon bestselling eBook, The Definitive Guide to Connected Innovation Intelligence (CII). In this white paper, we explore what CII is, who it’s for, and how the world’s disruptors are using it to win in hyper-competitive markets. Download your FREE copy.
Founder West & VP New Ventures, PatSnap
Ray is Founder West & VP New Ventures and the founding member of PatSnap in Europe. He started the London operation from his living room in 2012, growing the team to 70+ by 2015. Prior to PatSnap, Ray was BD Director at Datamonitor where he was an award-winning revenue generator across various verticals and product lines over an 8-year period. This journey gave Ray the unique insight and inspiration to start the PatSnap ‘go to market’ in London. Ray now leads corporate development where he focuses his time on creating new partnerships and go-to-market strategies.
Ray Chohan: Welcome, Diego… We’re really excited to have you join today. First, I’d love to kick off with this, we absolutely love some of the work you’re doing on LinkedIn at the moment, in terms of trying to educate the Web2 and Web1.5 world about Web3, so firstly, welcome. Diego, would love to kick off with just your background and how you ended up in the world of Web3 and just your genesis story in terms of your career, Diego.
Diego Borgo: Thanks, Ray. I appreciate the time and appreciate the invite, really stoked to be here. Yeah, I’m just trying to share my experiences. I’m by no meaning, not an expert or anything. I feel we are in a moment where we are the forefront of a whole new technology, if you want to talk about Web3 or NFTs specifically or even metaverse that whoever’s claiming to be an expert right now is definitely lying, because we don’t know where this is heading. There are a lot of people that have been within the space and are OGs that have gained respect and knowledge through being and sticking around for a long term, but we are learning. I’m sharing my experience and appreciate that it’s bringing value to other people, so yeah, stoked.
My experience, yeah. Within crypto itself, I joined the space about 2017, end of 2017, the crypto space. I was really, really excited about the technology. I got introduced by a couple friends that were really into tech and they start talking about decentralization, blockchain, the different applications, the different and use case of blockchain as a whole, not necessarily just as a currency or a manner of exchanging value between either people or potentially machines in the future. I was excited about the whole thing, like the fact that it’s being decentralized, the fact that you could impact society, you could impact supply chain, you could impact so many different sectors. I really got excited about it in 2017.
I’ve really, really, really dipped into the learning all I could about it. By Jan-Feb 2018 is when I started wanting to put my money down, which is funny because 2018, as a lot of people may know, was the all-time high on the market, so I bought the top and that made me holding a couple bags for a couple of years. Because of that situation, and obviously, crypto back then, for me at least, was a lot about charts and reading through white papers, those potential things that could happen. ICOs were a big thing as well, which ended up being quite like a hyped on the space.
I lost a little bit of traction within it. I kept up reading and learning about the technology just because I’m curious by nature, but became very analytical to me. When you start looking, I’m not a day trader, I’m not a trader. My brain works really well on the creative side, that’s what I do for a living. I’m a digital strategist, so for work on digital marketing, digital strategies. I work with companies launching campaigns and building journeys, user experience and all of that. The creative side of my brain didn’t allow me to go too far into the analytical aspect of day trading in charts. I got a bit discouraged from that, which obviously looking now, I regret a little bit, because if I would have stuck around enough, I would be in a creative place because once NFTs or metaverse were starting to become a thing, I’m sure that if I would be around back then my brain just would go like, “Whoa! Like that’s what I was waiting for.”
Yeah, that’s the crypto and tech background, I’ve been around for a while, learning about those things. From a more professional background, I graduated in, basically in Marketing and then I did a Master in Digital Marketing. Basically, that’s what my actual background was. I’ve been working since I was 14. I’ve been going around and learning and trying to create stuff, creating a small business here and there, worked on the agency side, as I mentioned before, and worked a lot on the client side as well. Majority of the time, I was happy to be in a place that I’ve seen trends or I was early enough to be there. Like 17, 18, I was already pretty deep into digital marketing, pretty deep into performance marketing.
Back when social exploded, I was there as well, creating Twitter campaigns for brands. I was working for Microsoft, [Redbull 00:05:13], Samsung on the agency side and helping them to get into that new way of doing things. That’s in a nutshell from both sides, from the professional side and from the crypto, NFT side where I’m coming from.
Ray: Yeah. It’s interesting. You got this classic digital marketing journey and you got bitten by the bug in late 2017, and then decided to have some skin in the game in 2018, which is great. It’s great to have skin in the game to feel part of the community. For you, I’m seeing a whole army of digital marketers coming across to Web3 and in various form factors. Was it something in specific that you observed in 2017 and 2018, which made you energized and go, “Wow! I want to spend hopefully, the next journey in my career in Web3?” Could you unpack that further on what specifically caught your attention?
Diego: Yeah. No, that’s definitely interesting, and I think, rather probably the opposite of what a lot of people from the same journey than I did. When I start digging really deep into performance marketing and working really deep into the background or the backend of platforms like Facebook or Google, my first glimpse into it was – I’m talking about ads platform, right – How do you create an ad campaign? How do you start looking into building personas or lookalike audiences? Looking at those things and the amount of data you could click around and the amount of data that was being collected and being supplied for a marketer to work with to then choose very, very precisely the audience you want to work with, or you want to display your ad to, from a professional point of view, that obviously made my brain just explode because it was like, “This is the future of advertisement a hundred percent.”
But then, from a personal point of view and from a more ethical point of view was, what is going on here? I’m not supposed to have that amount of data in front of me. I’m not supposed to be looking at those things. I even felt like, “This is wrong.” If you look from Web1, Web2 and Web3, the actual way of … the way I see it, is that Web1 is basically the information economy. Now, we can read. We’re looking at stuff and we can read, we can consume. Web2 is basically the platform economy. That’s where all the social media stuff came in and Amazons and Googles and other companies like that where you can read, but now you can also take part as a writer, you can add information to it.
The issue for me with the way that things developed with Web2, apart obviously from the incredible amount of value that those platforms brought, from bringing mainstream media control to people actually having control of the information and the content they are creating, apart from that – which obviously has been extremely positive – What we were doing as users were basically exchanging the most valuable things we have, which is private information and personal data, in order to use a free product. That’s when that bug hit me and the bug got me, as you said. I was like, “Wait, wait, wait. There must be a better way of doing this. This isn’t sustainable, this isn’t right. This is really, really, really centralized.”
Then, when I first heard about blockchain (and not even Web3 – blockchain), just the decentralization aspect of it and the redistribution of information, no one owning that information in the back and users then moving to Web3, is for me, the ownership economy, where now you can read, you can write, but you can also create, execute and own. That, for me, was exciting. I was like, “Whoa!” Imagine if you live in a world where instead of having two or three companies that own this data that is being input into systems. [Those companies] obviously make an incredible revenue from it, but the user, the end user isn’t getting anything apart from the free product. Imagine we live in a world where I, as end-user, can choose what I want to do with my data if I want to sell that data, which type of data I want to sell, for how much I want to sell.
[The user’s] stake on playing the game is actually creating revenue for something that I’m on, I own it. That whole thing was really hot and I’m boiling in my brain. I was like, “Yeah! But when would that happen? How is that possible? Will never be possible, right?” Then I started diving more into Web3 and all those things, and I was like, “Oh, there’s some change here. There’s some things happening.” I got very excited about it and the rest is history. I’ve been spending a lot of time hanging around and trying to help and trying to build and trying to be part of it. I feel we are at the foreground of a new paradigm and a new shift where technology and culture are getting together exactly the way it did in the 90s with the internet, exactly the way it did in 2000s, 2010 with social media.
I think we are passing through that cycle once again. That’s where we are right now. We are early. I feel that the difference is this time that we have a technology that will enable us to do things in manners that we have never done before. Since I grasped that concept, I’ve been spending quite a lot of time awake at night researching and figuring those things out.
Ray: It’s interesting, Diego. You mentioned during your Web2 journey, you felt some fiduciary and ethical, not responsibility, but you obviously were looking at data and you probably took a couple of steps back and thought, “God, this isn’t right, because this is really valuable data.” That’s probably the scariest part of Web2 for us here at PatSnap. The way I’ve always observed it is you’ve had Web1, which is the innocent phase, where it’s basically read-only, it’s like a beautiful online magazine. Most of Web1, from the way I observed it and Web 1.5 was, I think Chris Dixon from A16Z says it really well, he calls it skeuomorphic ideas. Ideas in the analog world, which just became read online, so like an online magazine, or my dad back in the 90s would read his favorite newspaper just online. Same thing, it’s just online. That was a nice innocent phase of the web.
But then Web2, it seems like all the big names and we know who they are, the big social media platforms. I like to think on the good side of it. I don’t think it was their original intention when they started rolling out in what? 2004? And started really scaling between ’06 and ’12. But that’s what they became, just huge vacuums of really valuable data and the actual users in return got likes, hearts and probably some mental health problems along the way, innocently. I don’t think anyone could have planned for this. It all just happened in Web2. That responsibility and that fiduciary sentiment, are you seeing that with many digital marketers who are Web2 guys and girls with a similar career track as you? But who also see that, “Holy shit, this is wrong.”? Having access to this data, and I like Web3 -Web3 is the technological frontier to balance power back to users and builders – Are you seeing that happening from a sentiment and cultural level within your profession?
Diego: Yeah, I have had a similar conversation on the journey. That’s what I meant when I said I might be coming from a different angle. What I hear a lot still, because again, we are early, is that a lot of people are looking at NFTs right now as the next channel, the next traffic driver, the next way you can build this thing, and that everybody’s going to be excited. Brands will be like, “Oh, I want people to perceive my brand as tech-edgy,” so you’re going to jump on this thing right now, do a quick project and then generate some revenue and then, “That’s it. Let’s call it a day.” I feel that education has been a little bit of my intention and role within LinkedIn, where we got to talk to each other. It’s just trying to show the depth and the different angles that we can take into it.
We probably know, if you’ll be sitting right now in the 90s and trying to figure out what the internet is, we would be ginormously wrong, even though we would be looking into the craziest possible scenarios. I think we are doing the same right now. If you look at the internet back there in the 90s and think, “Oh, that’s going to be a way that I can sell more products.” For sure, you’re right. That’s one way of looking at it. But what the internet has done is just bringing social connection to entire new level, just creating entire new layer of how humans communicate, interact, create, build, distribute with each other. I feel that similar approach from a cycle perspective is what’s happening right now. I’m very, very, very bullish on it, obviously, because I’ve been around for a while and I’m seeing it happening. But I haven’t seen, apart from great leaders and great minds like Gary Vaynerchuk, very few people seem to have got a very good understanding of where this is heading within the space.
I think Gary has done a great job by coming in early, joining with putting his money where his mouth is, which he’s really great at. He asked permission to come into the space to the OGs, join, hang around. Then he went there and dropped his own project, became one of the most successful projects within NFT space. Now, because he has done that journey, now he can talk about it, and he gets it inside out. I feel within the wider marketing space, because the essence and the disruption that NFTs and Web3 and all of it will bring, I feel we’re still looking at it from a very isolated way, from a very ROI [return on investment] type of mentality. I keep getting that question asked whenever I’m talking to senior leadership and high up hierarchy. People are like, “But what is the ROI? How do we measure ROI? What are we selling here?”
That’s not the right way to see it. When social media was the same, everyone was like, “Oh, what is the ROI? What is the ROI? What is the ROI?” Everybody started to understand that the actual impact you can create by connecting, giving value, sharpening the conversation, bringing consumers and users to the foreground and using your brand as a platform for them to create, to build, and to get together on. Yeah, I think I’m seeing that from a little bit of a different angle. I’m not saying that I’m the only one, by far not, but I feel the space within the marketing and digital marketing community, at least, the people who interact and follow and consume content, they’re not there just yet, apart from Gary, who is genius when it comes to understanding attention and where the trends are heading.
Ray: It’s interesting, Diego, the way you described that, the time mark. This reminds me of, and in a really funny way. If you go back to, and with it digital marketing leader, you would’ve lived through this. But if you remember between ’07 to ’08, you had large incumbents, and we know who they are, who all were going, “Holy shit, we need to figure out digital.” What do we do? Shall we engage one of the big three consultants, which they probably did, (and we know who those guys are), or should we hire an independent consultant who can help us navigate this thing called digital, to take our ad spend to another dimension or figure out a better ROI? All these companies spent a small fortune, didn’t they, with really talented advisors who did a lot of good work on educating them on, firstly, what digital marketing is and what it means in terms of their business, and the future of their product sales and their market.
It seems, right now, from a Web3, NFT, social tokens, call it what have you, we’re experiencing the same thing. You’ve got large, great names, great companies with great products all saying, “Wow! We need to get some of the frontier minds in the doors, get them in-house to educate and execute this whole Web3 thing, because frankly, we bloody don’t have a clue, but we know it’s going to mean something.” Would you say we’re at that cycle now?
Diego: 100%. When you look at what companies are doing already, the ones that are testing the waters, and by companies, I mean corps, huge corps. Coca-Cola has done an NFT. They started for a million, it was an auction. McDonald's has done an NFT the other day, which I’ll question the way the education went because it’s for US residents only. And also, nobody knows so far what the utility behind this. The way that they communicate, the campaign they ran was basically, it was a social play. KPIs behind it were basically rich to its view and brand hit, if you will. Visa has bought CryptoPunk. Haven’t done anything with it, it was a way for them to like, “Look, we’re cool. Right? You guys think we’re cool?” So far that’s how I’ve been seeing it.
All of this, you see, again, this is repeating itself and it’s exactly what you just said, the consultants that have been within their paychecks for a long time. Just because the nature of it, they won’t understand, or they don’t understand just yet, because to understand NFT is down deep and to see where this is coming from and how this is developing, you have to spend hundreds and hundreds of hours on the Twitters, on Discord channels. You have to be within the community and that you need to connect with the community, you need to understand what’s going on there, you need to understand the lingo, you need to understand why people value what they value, where all this crazy money is coming from. Why people are buying JPEGs at the price they’re buying those JPEGs? To do that demands time.
Because it’s such a “new thing”, obviously we know that it has been around since 2017. But since 2019, end of ’19 is when things really, really got bigger and bigger. It’s really difficult if you haven’t been around to now know where this is heading, or how to come in with the right way. The difference though from the digital, let’s figure out this digital thing, because you said before, which is the briefing, that probably a lot of corporations are giving away right now to agencies. Is that if you want to talk to diehard NFT community members or even OGs, it’s not about the money right now. Because if you’ve been long enough around the space and you know, no matter what you have bought or no matter what you have invested or no matter how much you’re putting down, just because the way everything is going solely from an investment point of view, there is millionaires being made every day.
If you bought a crypto punk in mid-2019, which was probably costing between $50 to $300, now you don’t buy that under $300,000, $250,000. What I’m trying to say is that the way companies, corporations, projects, celebrities, artists, athletes, the way everyone that has got budget and wants to be part of this space should be looking at, it is not how you can actually financially reward someone in order to get their expertise as you usually do with consultants, because that’s not doing it right now. The way you should be looking at it is onboarding, getting those people on board and giving a platform for them to help you and to help the community, making this space a better space and making Web3 a better space than Web2 and Web1 was. It’s a lot about the cause, it’s a lot about how can we create win, win, win, win, win situations.
If you look, for example, when VISA bought the punk, the CryptoPunk, it’s one of the very few financial transactions where everyone involved wins. VISA got brand hit and showed a little bit of an edge in a space that we know who the players are and who is conflicted by crypto developing a lot. Larva Labs, the creators of CryptoPunks got, obviously, their cut as a creator. The owner of that CryptoPunk sold for profit. The community that is the CryptoPunk community has got value because there’s more attention, and where there’s more attention, potentially there is more upside.
The overall NFT community also got exposure because now more people are talking about NFTs. The way, from a consultancy point of view and from a, “Hey, let’s try to figure it out this NFT thing,” those companies should be looking at is add value? How can we add value? Should be looking to playing the long term, should be looking to partner with either OGs on the space that have been around for a long time and has got skin in the game and respect within the community and deeply understands how we can make it sustainable or use it as a platform.
Money won’t do it. It’s not about budget. It’s not about how much it costs to get consultancy right now. It’s much more about how can we actually build something together? I feel knowing, being a consultant for almost 15 years right now and have worked with several different brands and corps, it’s really difficult for senior leadership to understand and have those conversations, because obviously, they aren’t as deep. They’re very on the high, high, high, high, high level. I feel the natural aspect right now, and again, going back to what I’m doing in LinkedIn, it’s just trying to educate and trying to help and trying to show my point of view on how we can make it sustainable together, because it’s a new space, it’s a new world. Right?
Diego: Building for the community with the community in a situation that’s a win-win for everyone, there is no better way of doing it.
Ray: Diego, you covered some key items there, which I would love to unpack. Things like utility, it’s interesting how NFTs are being purchased by the big names, as you mentioned, MasterCard, McDonald’s. But then they manifested with Web2 metrics because they probably don’t know how to measure them.
Ray: But before we go down that rabbit hole, obviously, we hear different definitions all the time and I’ve heard some brilliant ones, but let’s face it, most of this audience still won’t to have a bloody clue what NFTs really are. Have you got a 30-second definition of what NFTs are or what Web3 is?
Diego: Yeah. The way you look at it, from a movement standpoint, from a shift standpoint, this is one of the very few moments where culture and technology got together, so artists, musicians, creators got together with tech-savvy people to build something really exciting, and that’s what caused all of it. What it is for me is, we’ve been within the digital space and living our digital lives for quite a while right now, but we haven’t had digital ownership of anything before. Now, through NFTs, we are being able to own, prove ownership and transform and bring physical items into digital items as well. You could potentially apply NFTs to housing, to real estate, to products, to any type of exchange of information, exchange of data. Everything that exists, membership programs, everything that exists could be and will be disrupted by this technology.
That’s, for me, a very simple way of putting it together. For us, I might assume obviously that your audience is also within potentially the same age range as us, between 30 to 40 to 50 years old, let’s say 30 to 50, we are not used yet with the idea of owning something digitally, because we’ve experienced the digital revolution. We’ve been there when all of it started. Internet, social media, Google, all those things happened. But we haven’t really experienced owning digital assets or owning something purely digital. In the other side, the upcoming generations have been experiencing it since day one. If you play rubber blocks or Fortnite, you’re buying a skin on Fortnite for $200. That has absolutely no utility. It’s not changing the way your character look in the game, they’re used to it.
If you’ve been playing RPG games that you pay a membership to be part of the game, or you can purchase certain weapons that make you stronger, those are purely digital assets that have been purchased, that have been pushing revenue through the roofs in the gaming industry for a long time. This generation grew up like that. As soon as they start looking into NFTs, rather than the way we look at it, which is trying to understand why there is the value there is behind it, they get it in a second, and there will be no question that, as soon as they come on board and as soon they start looking into those things, they will get in a second and the rest is going to be history.
Diego: I think that the parallel of digital gaming, when you’re buying something to get you into the game or to give you more access or just to look better is one-to-one to NFTs is the best analogy I think you could come up with.
Ray: What’s interesting now, I think NFTs, I think in the next six months will continue to just be in the public mainstream media, people talking about it in different form factors, just capturing click bait and headlines, but that’s good because it supports the education curve we’re all on and the journey we’re all on. But I think the key thing, especially looking into Q1 of next year, is the big U word, utility. Obviously, you are one of the trailblazers in the market working with some world-class brands, working with currently a world-class organization like Adidas, who I’m a massive fan of, I think it’s an amazing company, very innovative company.
On a hundred-thousand-foot overview, and it doesn’t have to be the fashion industry or the sports industry, where do you think we’re going to start seeing compelling utility next year? Compelling enough that some of the folks with gray hair who, let’s face it, the slightly younger boomers who controlled the balance sheet at the moment in terms of most of the capital, start really leaning in to NFTs and the promise of Web3? What do you think needs to be done from a utility standpoint to get that kind of ripple effect, stroke, aha moment in the market, Diego?
Diego: Yeah. I think the way we will shift creation of products or services in a manner that will be a win-win-win situation as I mentioned before and will drive numbers and growth and all of that good stuff that we know is appreciated within a capitalistic market, is by shifting the creation process, the creative process. Let’s stick with the sportswear industry or fashion industry just for the sake of an example. Imagine if brands, I’m talking big brands, get together with their consumers and bring them on board using, for example, very well-known IPs of products that they have created and they have transformed that those products into culture-relevant products that have gone through different generations, they own the IP of the product and now they’re getting consumers to come on board with them to create the future of that product. That can be an NFT gated experience.
Imagine you’ve bought into an NFT that has been released by a brand. This brand, this NFT is basically a membership access, it’s giving you access to the club to be part of it. One of the utilities of that NFT is to bring you closer to the brand from a creative aspect, so you can create what consumers want you to do and want you to be the future, want to be the future from a product view. Then, let’s say that there’s 20,000, 30,000, 40,000 of those consumers getting together and co-creating the future of the brand together, whether that be in physical, digital or both. Now you already have an audience, which you can market that product from, you can market that product to. You know the insides where they’re coming from, and once you put that product out there, we’ll have entire new story on how brands are now getting together with consumers and pushing products out of the door.
The way it’s interesting for consumers is not necessarily just the speculation on NFT and being part of something really dope. But also if you start looking into the redistribution of wealth instead of that company just using you as a data point to actually get information to create that product. Now you have infractionalized ownership of the revenue and that specific product as someone that has been part of the creation process. How mind blowing it would be if you put a DAO, which is a decentralized autonomous organization where companies throw their IPs into it, get a bunch of creators together and say, “Let’s make the next five years of these product into a whole different way, and let’s do a very exciting story behind it from the people to the people, from consumers to consumers.” On top of it, because you’re putting the time and you’ve been part of it, now you’re going to have fractionalized ownership of the revenue.
Ray: Okay. Let’s look at an example of it. Say, one of my favorite soccer trainers, football trainers were the Predators. I had the first version, I think, when I was a kid. Big fan. A theoretical example might be is, you might have Adidas, Nike, any brand, for example, pick their favorite football shoe or a new shoe version one, V1, of that shoe. But the actual design, the IP, the engineering, they throw that into a DAO and then say, “Look, you can buy the trainer with the trainer, you get the associated NFT, but V1.5, V2 will be composable by the community who have the NFTs.
You get to co-create and build on top of V1, to then hopefully manifest V1.5, V2. If you deploy that time and energy as a creator to enable that brand to create something fantastic, because it’s being created by the actual users and the true fans, they have ownership. They have fractionalized ownership in the sales of that specific apparel, be it a football boot, be it a revolutionary T-shirt used in weight training, for example. Is that a future you see? The actual innovation is done in partnership with your customers and your most passionate fans, and that that helps build the brand, the story behind a specific product.
Diego: 100%. The conversation is not, “I’m telling you what you want now.” The conversation is, “We get together and we create something really exciting for everyone.” That’s why I see there is a lot of value. Is that what I think will happen next year? Is that what I think will happen in two years from now? Probably not. Is that what I think could revolutionize the way we do business and create new revenue streams and create new models and create new ways of creating products? I definitely think so. Now, if you want to say something short term for the what is the ROI question, by taking part into projects that are already out there, imagine a big brand that has a very, very, very strong leverage through the brand as a platform, coming out and partnering with already existing projects within NFT space. I’m saying partnering, I’m not saying buying it. It’s not like what VISA or what other brands are doing just say, “Oh, I bought this thing, look at me.”
I’m saying, you come in and you join the party, you ask for permission to be part of the community. Ideally, those projects will be supporting your core values as a brand. Let’s say that you want to support sustainability, you want to support woman empowerment, you want to support inclusion and diversity, whatever your brand stand for, come into space and be part on helping those projects to scale and create value and adding into it to them. Automatically, by just coming into space by that way, you will acquire a quite large number of new diehard consumers just because the way you came in. That has, if you drop a, let’s say, a physical or a digital product a little bit down the road, that will have a direct impact because people are seeing the value bringing to it. That’s a manner of how to have a short term impact, but being community first and partnering with either projects or creators that are already in the space rather than trying to do your own thing because, “Look at me, I’m doing NFTs now.”
Ray: Oh, okay. You are saying in the short term, say next 24 months, you might have big household name brands go, “Let’s go the reverse.” There’s all these DAOs there anyway, doing cool stuff in different discords out there. One could be doing something around gym apparel, for example, and having discussions and doing creative designs with NFTs, blah, blah, blah. You could have a big brand join that Discord, join that DAO and to look, we’re here at the party, we love what you’re doing as a community, we want to sponsor, actually we want to throw in a bit of IP free, you guys compose on top of it and we want add value to your community.
You want to contribute content, would love to do a podcast, would love to write articles, do videos, maybe short movies on different platforms to beat the drum about this specific DAO and then add value to the people in that DAO and give them probably a specific project to work on, and that just builds momentum around that community and I’m guessing people who deploy the time and energy to accept the project from the big brand, then that potential value cruise back to just all the original OGs in that DAO. Is that how it could manifest next year and the year beyond?
Diego: Yeah, that’s what I think there is value to it. That’s what I think is the right way to come inside. Doesn’t have to be a DAO because they understand the complexities of legal liabilities and finances and all those aspects when you start talking about DAOs and all of it, but can be as simple as a project. Can be as simple as an artist, can be as simple as a community. It doesn’t have to be like, that’s why I’m talking short term, because the other vision I mentioned before was the long term bullish scenario on how we will change the way business are being done through NFTs. But on a short term, you can definitely do that with an artist or you can definitely do that with a project that’s already out there and consolidates and resonates a hundred percent, one-to-one with your brand. Why there are so many NBA players jumping into a board aid community right now? Because they feel represented by the artwork, if you’re represented by that community. They feel they’re talking to people that are saying they’re exactly the same people. Why not doing that as a brand?
If there is, let’s say, you as a brand stands for, we want to give woman a voice in tech, for example, very specific. But we know how the bro culture within crypto NFTs is. If you feel that there’s a place where you want to leverage that message, partner of a project like, word of woman is a great project. Beauty Boss is a great project. Those are projects made from a woman, for a woman within the space to bring newcomers, to educate, to make it easier for a woman to come into the space. Imagine if you as a brand understand that’s one of your core values and you’re coming in and you partner with them and you build on top of it and you help to spread the word through your platform, which is huge, and your mission is to help educating and supporting women on getting to the space by partnering with the project, for example.
That simple. It’s a simple use case of how you can start leveraging a community by a very authentic way, by adding value to it, by being community first, not coming in and cash grabbing, because everyone within or majority of the people within the NFT space, has been in crypto before. It’s a very niche thing still. The entry level is really, really complex because UX is horrible and because you need crypto to purchase and go through the process. People have been around to, since by miles, whether there is a cash grab coming or if whoever’s coming through the door is coming either for the money or for the tension rather than supporting the community long term. People smell it, there is no way. If you want to sell it in a sustainable strategy on how to come in and then start looking to results, meet to long term, I would definitely recommend that one.
Ray: Have you got any, obviously, again, a hundred-thousand-foot overview, it can be any industry, Diego, any specific examples and some of the nuance and detail on what that might look like next year, where you’ve got a big brand who goes all-in on a specific community? What industry and what will they be specifically contributing to that community, which then manifests into some Web3 form factor? What do you think it’ll look like next year?
Diego: Yeah. I obviously can hope that what I’ve been bridging around is resonating and hopefully, it’s the right approach and hopefully, will be executed by different brands. But I think, if you want to summarize that in a word, it’s co-creation. I think the last 5 to 10 years, we’ve seen a lot of co-creation, a lot of brands getting together with individuals, the brands getting together with smaller projects, through, I don’t know if you can call it influencer marketing, whatever it is. There’s a lot of things being built within already existing communities and already existing audience. A lot have, obviously, focused on driving revenue and traffic, but a lot have also focused on building strong collaboration, strong change. I’m not being just heads on the clouds and saying, “Yeah, let’s change the world and everything,” because I know we need to drive revenue and all of it, but I think both things can be complimentary.
Yeah, I think co-creation is the manner, the way that brand should be coming in. I hope that will be the way. From being in the space and seeing what’s going on, I see a lot of signs and moving parts of brands being mindful of that specific audience, because the ones that aren’t are getting roasted big time. One really cool example of someone that could just have come in and said like, “That’s the thing I’ve got for you,” is Tarantino. Quentin just launched an NFT where unseen scenes of Pulp Fiction are NFT. He came in and he went into different panels. He was sitting with OGs and people that have been around for a long time, and he was quiet, he’s learning, he’s listening, he’s open, he wants to be guide.
He’s one of the best or most important creators and filmmakers in history, which could do whatever he wants, but when he noticed that there is a new thing and a new technology is coming in and he’s open to listen. I think that’s what is exciting about it. I think the aspect of decentralization and all of it is that he elevates the playing field in a manner that everyone now can be a creator or can partner with different projects, no matter how big or no matter the size. If that’s truly done and truly focused on the community and adding value, I think there’s such a huge upside because NFT is not going anywhere, the community is growing day by day. We’re talking right now about 500,000 active wallets compared to the amount of internet users around the world.
Everybody’s talking about NFTs right now, and we are just 500,000 active wallets. People have more than one wallet for sure, I have about five, so it’s much less than that. There’s a lot of noise around it already. Growth is coming. Coinbase is a great example coming in with their NFT platform and bringing about 68 million active users to the space. Let’s say that 1% of it will actually stick around. If 1% does, that’s exactly the same amount of active wallets that we have right now, or a little bit more. I’m trying to say is, the space is growing, so this will last hopefully a long time and it will shift a lot of things within different industries, so being very mindful of how you come in right now and what is your strategy is really important.
Ray: Yeah, it’s interesting. This is mind blowing. While you were talking, Diego, I’ve got so many things spinning around in my mind. What you shared reminds me of it, there’s a chap called Jeff Kaufman. Actually, we’re going to have on the podcast, he runs an agency called Parachute, and he described it as, obviously, marketing’s viewed as typically a cost center, sadly still. Revenue center, it’s like really a marketing department will become a compounding asset creator, where it’s actually generating revenue and compounding revenue, because the things that they’re doing, the tokens they’re creating, the communities they’re building into slowly become a creative. On the balance sheet, it’s a revenue generator, so potentially revolutionizes the way the C-suite and the board view marketing bets and bets within Web3, so that’s pretty cool as well and how that could unfold.
But that statement seemed very futuristic and slightly blue sky. Where’s it at at the moment? Obviously, you are a leader in this space working at a world-class brand, but has great experience at other big brands. In terms of hearts and minds with the real decision makers, the people who controlled the balance sheet, pull the trigger on big decisions, out of 10, where are we on the curve in terms of getting it and willing to put their, let’s face it with large company is, reputation, political capital, public reputation sometimes, I’m really going all-in on this. Where are we on that curve in your opinion?
Diego: Yeah. To comment on your first part, I don’t think it’s blue sky. I don’t think we’re far from it. I think that’s one of the most exciting times to be a marketer and understand the space and hopefully have the leverage to pull something off to show the possibilities. Because if you think from a marketing point of view, depending on how you partner and how you get together with projects or DAOs or whatever you want to do within the NFT space, you don’t really need a lot of capital. You don’t need to create something mind-blowing, crazy campaign, because the audience is already there. The audience is part of that community. Depending on how many projects you partner, you can enlarge that audience by a quite big number, still niche, a hundred percent, but if you look from ROI point of view, I definitely, definitely think what we’re going to be start seeing is exactly what you just said.
We will start seeing marketing becoming a tool or a platform that, instead of spending, we’ll start generating revenue. If companies are smart enough about it, that revenue will be directly re-invested into building brand and building and solidifying either presence on the space or just building on top of it. I’m a thousand percent with that thinking. I’m a thousand percent bullish that that’s the way we’re going to start going towards. Then on the second question, on the second part of it, there is a really good meme that basically is a Trojan horse, and then, it’s trying to get into the castle. The Trojan horse are NFTs, inside of the Trojan horse are basically crypto and it’s knocking the door of the castle and companies are just saying like, “Yep, come in. You look cool.”
I think that the actual issue with NFTs has been the understanding on how to bring cryptocurrency into balance sheets for public traded companies, for example, or how you can help investors or shareholders to understand the volatilities that come with that. I think this is one of the major issues for big corporations on understanding how to get into the space. Obviously, because it’s a fairly new space and crypto is a wild, wild west by itself, the legal and legal implications to be involved within the space obviously is something that raise some eyebrows here and there.
But there are obviously already companies out there specialized in providing exactly debt service either SaaS or consultancy companies or you name it. Once that layer is started and figured out in a mainstream level, I think it’s going to become easier and easier and easier for companies to start getting involved and getting a little bit less concerned about it. When it comes to the actual strategy of NFTs, I won’t lie that the amount of growth and the way the market is behaving right now is clearly the same behavior as you know ICOs were back in the day or crypto bubbles were back in the day.
Will this crazy bull run end at a certain time? Absolute yes. Will smaller or in certain levels, will a bubble pop? A hundred percent yes, nobody can deny. The amount of capital that is being made within the space is crazy. We cannot just be romantic about it. But will the technology and what comes with the technology and the possibilities of the technology go somewhere? Definitely not. It’s a lot about being strategic on how to come in right now and being really mindful of where we are and where we are heading.
I think the overall sentiment within big corporations right now is a lot of curiosity. A lot of agencies are reaching out and just like, “Hey, our client doesn’t know how to brief. They just say we should be doing some metaverse stuff because Facebook just changed their name to Meta. We in the agency don’t know what this is about, and we’re trying to figure out how educate them. I feel right now we are in a very big stage of education. By far, CMOs and people high up don’t really even grasp a lot of what’s happening just because it has been so quick and so specific, and it’s so difficult to onboard people because of the nature of it. It’s not a conversation you have in 10 minutes and people are like, “Yep, got it. Next thing.”
I couldn’t have less than an hour with someone and one-to-one to try to explain what this thing is about, what I think this thing is about, because obviously there’s way more than it. I feel, if those two layers of complexity are left behind, one is obviously the more analytical side of it, securities and finance and all of it, and the second aspect being education, I feel once that is cleared up and if someone within an organization can do a really, really good job on getting that into senior leadership, in front of them in a manner that they understand, I feel the potential of doing something really big and really relevant that can add up value to the brand and add up value to the balance sheet is immense.
The difficult part is, obviously, going through those conversations, because whoever is up to do that is someone that is really passionate about the projects and the space and everything that’s happening. There’s just a certain amount of passion that can be driven, because if you, as I said before, are sitting on paved territory and having 10, 20, a hundred times gains on your initial investment, becomes really difficult to be patient to teach corporations on how to do things. You rather go out and do your thing or scale down or become investor or become a creator or anything.
Ray: Yeah. It’s interesting. Thank you, Diego, for those different vectors. It seems like it’s this cocktail of some of the boring, but important stuff. Often it’s gap accounting compliance. Let’s face it, with public companies, which is key for any CFO and board to sign off, and then it shifts education examples and in a way hearts and minds, getting people going, “Wow! This is a winning strategy. This is going to be critical to my brand moving forward.” It’s table stakes, that type of mindset. I think we’re, yeah, as you say, we’re on that journey. It’s interesting with Web3, the reason why I feel it’s so tense and controversial, but in a good way, it’s got this really, lot of nervous energy around Web3, because this time round, obviously, Web1 relatively, let’s face it, Web2, read-write, cool, so okay. But it says read-write and the big scary word, own.
Ray: Then you’ve got traditional platform saying, “But we own all of it, are you kidding me? We’re not giving this up”. And then you’ve got this struggle now, because this is money and value. That’s the big elephant in the room I think everyone’s trying to wrestle. Let’s face it, there are some slight cold wars happening right now against Web3, which people are trying to navigate, and I think there are some key players trying to represent the entire community to do that well. Yeah, it’s going to be a fascinating next 12 to 18 months. Just to wrap up, Diego, what are some of your exciting predictions for next year in terms of Web3, NFT, social tokens? Have you got any specific things that you think we should keep a close eye on, which is really exciting?
Diego: Yeah. For me, what is going to be exciting now on the next level is the expansion, basically more and more people coming in. If you spend enough time within the NFT community, because the size we are at right now, you can know by name almost everyone involved still even though it’s a pretty big community. The thing that excites me the most is that everyone is, or like a lot of people or majority of it, the overall feeling you have, people are really, really exciting on building something that was never possible before. A place that is diverse, a place that is inclusive, a place that everyone is part of, can be part of and can create and can do stuff together. Because now, because all of this is being on the metaverse, or all of this is being online and all of this is being on Twitter, Discords and all of it, everyone from all over the world with internet connection can basically join the party.
What has been truly inspiring is how much the space has been holding people accountable on we have to make this place the most inclusive and the most diverse place as possible just because we cannot afford going routes we already went in the past with Web1 and Web2. This is the new way we should be looking at. I think that comes a lot as well with the new generations and the new ways of thinking and we being more connected as humanity. I’m really excited about that. I’m really, I’m hoping and I’m working hard and I’m being part of communities and I’m interacting and I’m involved with projects to make sure that the more people that come in, we can still having that flag if you will or mentality if you will within the space, because that’s what will truly shape the new way our society can be and can connect with each other right. That’s really exciting from a community and people point of view.
Now, from a more professional point of view, I’m really excited to see how companies will come in, how artists will come in, how big creators will come in. Everybody has seen the value when you talk, for example, about music. Right now, creators have the power of disrupting a very, very old model, which is if you are not part of a certain label, it’s really hard that your music going to be heard. Now, because you can use a community as a kickstarter in a way that you can buy an NFT of a certain upcoming artist or new artist and these artists now can have enough fans to go independent, but because you’re an nearly adopter, you can take utility like every time that music’s being played somewhere, you get a cut or every time there is a new release, you’re the first one to get it, or every time there is an event it’s going to be an event just for people that are holding this token.
This applied to every single other sector existing when it comes to people creating stuff like artists and any creator really, I think this is going to be so exciting. Anyone with an idea that has been trying to make money with it, but just doesn’t get enough traction now can put it out there and build community and get people excited and build it together. It’s one of the very few, if not the first time that big artists or mainstream artists are making money before they die. Beeple is a great example. He sold for 69 million a piece of art, and every time that piece of art change hands in the future, he’s taking a cut as a creator. How incredible is that?
Ray: Thank you for that, Diego. I think that was a really thoughtful encapsulation of what we should keep a close eye on and some of the macros in the next 12 to 36 months. Another thing I was reflecting on while you were talking, Diego, which ignited my imagination, when we were talking about, it’s some of the boring stuff, but it’s important, let’s face it, winning hearts and minds, having CEOs, CFOs get their governance and accounting, plumbing, Web3 possible, so it reflects on the share price, blah, blah, blah, which, I’m just joking because I know that stuff is all important.
It is important to get things going, we have to get that work done. The way I’ve also observed it is most people have no freaking idea of the GDP possible in the metaverse or in the complete digital world. You might have some companies saying, “Oh, I don’t like this. I feel like I’m letting go control, revenues. Am I sharing too much?” They’re used to hoarding the profits and not fractionalizing and democratizing the value, because they’ve never worked that way. It’s been pretty much they claim 99.99% of the revenue and the users get likes, hearts and some dopamine hits, but this is flipping the model on its head. I think you’ve got many folks who don’t understand actually if we do flip it on its head. The upside is actually exponential in terms of revenue and shareholder value because the unknown, unrealized, unimaginable revenue in the digital world stroke metaverse is probably a thousand times bigger than the analog world, but they just don’t see it yet or believe it. Does that make sense?
Diego: 100%. You can get a very, very simple example of that, but displays exactly what you’re saying. Art collection. Back in the day, he’s an art collector. You bring very, very valuable piece of art inside of your house, so whenever you are in, you can look at it and appreciate, or whenever someone comes into your house, you can show them. The amount of people that come in through the door of your house to actually look while you were owning what are true on a appreciated perspective or on a flex perspective, whatever you need and whatever is the motives why you buy those things, you collect it. It’s very, very, very, very limited. You don’t bring everyone to your house, you don’t bring hundreds and hundreds of thousands of people inside your house.
But as you said, on the metaverse, where it’s a digital world where everyone with connection to the internet in planet Earth and beyond can basically see whatever that collection you have and have access to it, that brings it to an entire new level. Imagine like that applied to anything. Will people need clothing in the metaverse? Or will people be excited about owning certain things for flexing on the metaverse? Will people be excited about consuming different products in the metaverse? Will people use different services? Will we connect digital with physical and expand and create augmented realities or augmented experience on it? Buy something digitally that has an expanded experience within the metaverse, a hundred percent.
You’re building an entire new layer, which before was impossible because physically we can’t do it all. But now, since it’s digital, it’s within a digital platform, there is absolutely no limits on what you can potentially do. That will open an entire new field of possibilities, of creativity and it just creates an unimaginable, I cannot even imagine, as you said before the growth opportunity or the GDP opportunity or the revenue opportunity, or how much value can be generated, financial value can be generated within the metaverse, for example.
Ray: It’s the same thing in Web1. If in 1996, and I’m old enough to remember this, if you ask someone to manifest in their mind, Airbnb, Uber, even Spotify, because that’s pre-Napster ’98 or that was in ’96, they couldn’t imagine it, but I think Web3 places that unimaginable world to another dimension. Because once we are adopted and we’ve got the boring stuff, like the picks and shovels and accounting compliance and all that stuff done and regulatory and have governments feeling comfortable, what that will then evolve to, we can’t even imagine of the use cases, the services, the revenue opportunity, the growth for people in that community. I can’t even imagine it right now.
I’ll give a really boring example, but it’s very true. Again, I’m old enough to remember this, Diego. Back in the mid-90s and in fact, even early 2000s with an SMB mainly, people didn’t even understand e-commerce properly. They didn’t. They’re like, “Oh, I’ve got a physical store. Do I really need an e-commerce backend? Or is that an extra waste of budget? I know I need a landing page and a website, but do I really need to enable bookings online if I’m a restaurant or people to buy stuff online, if I’m a mobile accessory seller?” Even in the early 2000s, people were questioning that decision. I don’t know if you remember that, if you’re old enough to remember.
Diego: Yeah. For sure I do. But the thing is we cannot forget that we are just going through almost two years of pandemic, which the entire world has experience and has changed. Now people get digital because they were forced to. If you’re going to big cities right now, London, Berlin, Tokyo, New York, the centers are dying because people are just buying stuff online. You don’t need a big, massive flagship store anymore. It could become an experience shop, where people come to experience physically the brand, the smell, the touch, a hundred percent. On the short term, a hundred percent. But the actual transactional volume or transactional value, it’s going to happen online more and more and more and more. We’ve seen it, we’ve experienced it. I feel the difference from the time it took in the past for people to get digital was much longer than the time that it’s taking and will take for people to get the metaverse, to get Web3 because we are forced to now.
We were forced to rethink the way we are and the way we spend our time and how things are as society, because we just had to sit home and we couldn’t go out and we couldn’t do much on the physical world and we were forced to use the internet and the digital world more and more. Now we realize, “Whoa! That that can actually make my life much easier.” I feel that change just happened and that accelerates everything.
Ray: Yeah. I couldn’t agree more, the black swan event of the pandemic was definitely, I feel a five, six-year accelerant of what was the inevitable anyway, so that’s kind of fast tracked parts and minds of habits.
Diego: Yeah. You’ve seen that on e-commerce, you’ve seen that on remote working, you’ve seen that on almost every single segment. You’ve seen that on supply chain. Why so exciting? You’ve seen obviously Meta’s announcement. They’re going to invest $10 billion this year within the next year on building whatever is the metaverse for them. Those guys are one of the smartest out there. They understand socioeconomics, they understand attention, they understand technology. This is not a small bat. They change their company name. That displays, whether you in favor or not in favor, that’s a separate conversation, but that by itself displays where are we heading and all of that. Again, accelerated by the current socioeconomic situation we are facing around the world. That, for me, is a huge flag that there is no going back. Now it’s a matter of being open mind and understanding how we can profit from the situation, and build on top of it and be early and be in front of it to help creating and shaping whatever we think the future should be.
Ray: I can’t agree more with the areas you’re covering, Diego, and you mentioned one thing so great. This one’s going to be faster, obviously, with the pandemic, we already had momentum anyway through Web2 where people get it. But I would say the Web2 digital marketing sphere, that journey was, oh God, you no better than me, but what? 8 to 12 years for really juicy adoption, is that fair, Diego?
Diego: Yeah, yeah, for sure, depending on where you are. I’m sitting in Germany, I’m based in Germany and I have a lot of clients in Germany. I would say there took up a little bit longer just because the way the culture is. Massive companies that are on the e-commerce side, they didn’t have a website till 2010. They didn’t have an application till 2015, 2016.
Ray: Okay, wow.
Diego: It depends where you are and depends where you’re coming from. Yeah, it did took a ton of time till people understand that digital actually can move the numbers.
Ray: Yeah, yeah, I know, yeah, because certain parts of Europe obviously links to GDPR and just culture.
Ray: I forgot about that. They were late to even having a backend or in terms of basic eCommerce, wow. But I’m hoping this stage is faster because I’ve seen Web2. Back to the point, you mentioned that this is going to be quicker. How much quicker? What year do you think where we’ll say we’re going to be hitting the stride of the S curve in European world? What do you think?
Diego: If you would have asked me that like two weeks ago, I would say probably 10 years. But because what has been announced lately from companies going full remote, biggest companies in the world are going full remote, people not being really interested on going back to a physical place to work every day. That by itself, by the actual fact that physical stores, supply chain has been impacted all over the world and we need to now figure out any of making business and making products and services, that’s already like a need and a financial motivation to change things. Then on top of it, you look at, again, what Meta has announced, what Microsoft has announced and what all other big tech players are looking into right now, which is whatever metaverse is for them again, that’s where their heads down focus on building. Facebook has bought Oculus, I think, seven years ago.
They’ve been building the future of metaverse and all of it for about seven to eight years now. They’re out there. They’re not just starting. All of those things combined give me the feeling that in five years from now, it’s going to be really funny to have a conversation like we are having, trying to understand and explain and introduce and onboard people to what this thing actually is because everybody going to know because everybody’s part of it. By everybody, obviously, I’m talking about the very, very privileged part of society that has access to the internet.
Ray: Your, in a nutshell, 2027, 2028, where we’re right in the meat of it and then obviously, that’s still a long way to go.
Diego: Yeah, yeah. If you look at, do you know Sandbox, the platform?
Ray: Yep. I know the guys at Sandbox and obviously, they’ve received a lot of public online noise. They’re moving quick.
Diego: Yeah. Look at how much pieces of digital land are being sold and look at the name of the brands that are within that space right now.
Ray: But is that speculation more from a price action standpoint? Or do you think it’s meaningful long-term building?
Diego: I think as a retail investor, it is speculation, because you see the upside and you want to have your money down there to get exposure to that type of asset class. But from brands’ point of view, I think you can speculate on such a thing. If you’re like Tesla, they’re there. If you’re like a lot of gaming brands, they’re already in there, or other type of creators as well like Snoop Dogg is in there. That by itself for me shows the appetite because again, it’s where the money is and also obviously the VC investments behind it, which has been ginormous. The appetite of building those things and they already, Sandbox has been building for about seven years as well. They aren’t live yet, but if you look the game plays and the walkthroughs and watch whatever Sebastien, the CEO is talking about, you know what they’re up to and it’s going to be huge.
That’s one platform. You have a lot of them out there, I don’t know which one is going to be the one that’s going to make it. Decentraland as well another one. But that, for me, just the speed that those things are picking up and also the name of the creators and companies and people involved just show me there is something cooking there. Once the infrastructure is there, the mentality is there, the need, which is one of the most important things, being the need to do, which I feel we do as a society right now to go more and more digital and more and more connected on the digital scheme rather than on the physical, but when it comes to locations and all of it, just because the current situation we are at, I think there’s no going back.
I can’t imagine companies now asking people to go a hundred percent back to work physically. That just won’t happen anymore. It won’t happen anymore not to have this conversation, we need to fly over and meet you in London or whatever in the world you are. We do that digitally. Will that change? No. Can that become better? Can this experience we having right now transcend the screen and the boring, whatever Zoom interface? Absolutely. Can we see it in a crazy metaverse planet around a campfire? I’m an alien and you are whatever you want to be and just drinking some digital tea and talking? Yes. That’s where I think we’re heading because we need that now. We need to transcend and elevate the experience because the social connection is digital and won’t go back from there, would just evolve.
But now, how can we get a better experience? How can we bring the human aspects of a digital connection? How can we just connect in a different manner? That’s like, wrapping it all to go back to your initial question. That’s why I’m so bullish that this can take more than five years. Because we always see it on Teams and Zoom call for the next five years. Of course not. Well, the same with Slack, do you send emails? I barely send emails anymore. I’m using Teams, Slacks, all types of communications. Those are channels. But to experience something together, we need better interfaces, and for me, that’s a glance and a small part of what the metaverse can be.
Ray: Yeah. You mentioned Sandbox, Decentraland and that no going back, I would share that sentiment, Diego. Actually, the fang stocks do play a big part of this, let’s face it. Like for example, Meta, FB changing the name to Meta. Come on, that move is Sandbox and Decentraland. Let’s face it in terms of people jumping on it, that did help.
Diego: The token went 4x in a day.
Ray: Yeah. It’s crazy. They’re going to be part of the gang, let’s face it. We’re not going to walk away from them.
Ray: They’re actually a huge influencer. I think even the OGs accept that. They do, they know. Any intelligent, logical OG in this space will go, “Of course.” [crosstalk ]
Diego: Yeah. I mean, you can be romantic about, is that the right company that should be building it because what they’ve done in the past? I don’t know, I’m not romantic about it. Will that bring more mainstream? Will that bring more people? Will that accelerate the development? Will that expand on the possibilities? Will that help make everything faster? A thousand percent. Who will decide whether they are the ones that should be doing it or not is the market. The market decides. That’s up to the market to decide and because the system we live, if the market decides that they are the one, they’re the one.
Ray: Yeah. Another big moment, because when you mentioned Meta, I think another interesting moment for next year, which I’m keeping a keen eye on is if Apple launch their long-awaited Apple Glass product, say in April or May, I think that will have a huge accelerant in terms of perception, hearts, and minds. It just is, let’s face it. I know, obviously, I know they’re still part of the fang crew and some of the OGs from a philosophical standpoint will go, “Oh, they shouldn’t be owning the metaverse.” It doesn’t mean they own it, it’s just accelerating it. But if, obviously, Tim Cook’s been there over 10 years, everyone’s saying, look for him to have a signature play to mark his tenure, it has to be something like that. If he does leave, go out on a proper high, that’s what they’ve been secretly working on for the last five, six years, so that’s going to be fascinating if that actually happens.
Diego: 100%. We need to transcend the phone as a platform of connecting digitally with the rest of the world. There is no question about it. How analog feels to be holding a screen on your hand as we’ve been doing for the last 10 to 12 years? It’s dead, we have to face it, the phone is dead. What is next and how next will look like that’s what is exciting. There is not much more you can do with this thing from an experience point of view. Is augmented reality through glasses, contact lenses or whatever the next step? I don’t know, but we need another platform. Yes, as soon as this platform is out, what does that do is play back into the metaverse, play back into how we’re going to experience the digital world.
Ray: Yeah. I think we’re completely aligned on this, Diego. Also, it’s interesting, the actual iPhone what? 10 onwards, enables the glasses because what rumors are is actually your phone will be the edge compute to really support the glasses in terms of the glasses’ capability. Just to kind of fast track V1 and V2 and then I’m guessing by V3, all that compute will be possible in the frame of a pair of glasses. But obviously, we’re spinning off completely here, but yeah, I couldn’t agree more. I think that’s going to be a fascinating moment next year, if that does get announced.
Ray: Diego, we’ve gone … today’s been a brilliant conversation. We’ve absolutely loved having you on board, Diego. Amazing insight from your perspective on Web3 and NFTs and everything linked to that world, so thank you so much for your time today and hopefully we can do part two in maybe July and August of next year and go let’s see where each one played out.
Diego: Hit me up, I’m up for it. I can be wrong with a lot of what I’m predicting, that’s where my gut is at. I’ve been wrong before, but I’ve also been right before. I’m excited to come back and review laugh or just go over it once again, Ray. I appreciate your time, appreciate giving me the space and I hope I could add value to your community.
Ray: Take care, Diego. Take care, my friend, and hopefully, see you again soon.
Diego: Speak soon.
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