As Web3 continues to ripple through culture, I’m thinking about what history can teach us in this moment.
Similar to the internet’s first two booms (Web1 and Web 2.0), Web3’s growth will be about adoption and usability. The public won’t care about the blockchain or the metaverse until they need to, and that will only come with undeniable use cases.
Napster upended the Web1 entertainment world and Spotify revolutionized streaming in Web 2. In many ways, music is again becoming the trojan horse as music NFTs lead the way for Web 3 adoption.
What’s missing right now are dominant players which, as we all know, is kind of the point. Companies like Google (for search) and Amazon (for shopping) have defined the online experience for two decades. Once adaptability came and trust was established, people started putting their credit card info online and the internet’s first boom revolutionized commerce.
In the social era of Web2, platforms like Facebook and Twitter transformed communication between artists and fans. D2C flourished during the era of Web2, which is how a sock company like Bombas could turn into a multi-billion dollar brand without needing a big box retailer or blockbuster partnerships.
Web2 led to the explosion of influencer marketing and reduced reliance on traditional gatekeepers. The platforms, however, still own the content and control the algorithm in Web2.
Looking at Web3, where the wisdom of the crowd not only propels brands but aims to own them, who will the revolutionary players be? Sure, there’s Board Ape Yacht Club. But is that the Google of Web3? I doubt it.
It’s even more fascinating – and more complicated – when you consider the Metaverse. What’s the next App Store look like? Will Apple and Google glasses finally catch on? Can we truly develop a “Direct-to-Avatar” economy?
I fear that Web3 won’t work if it’s fully decentralized and purely built on blockchain technology (spoiler alert: it’s not). It’s currently riddled with scams and complicated user experiences. But the market is coming, the use cases are mounting, and the momentum is undeniable.
Someone just needs to fill the void. It feels like each week there are revolutionary breakthroughs, but as Brock Pierce, the actor turned Bitcoin legend, said this weekend at The Blockchain Conference: “the early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.” It will be interesting to see what brands make it and what new industries emerge as a result of Web3.
Speaking more on this subject and the state of music, we have our rescheduled NFTalks with Water & Music at 630PM on Monday in LES. I can’t wait to talk shop with these Web3 research pioneers. It’s not too late to check it out IRL. Hit me at RSVP@NueAgency.com to confirm your spot.
Also published on Medium.