The Web 2 vs Web3 fallacy
I was in a Twitter Space last night titled “web3 is a VC rug pull” in which people (including Aaron Levie, founder @ Box) were debating the merits of web3 vs web 2 in front of 900+ people, and I have to say, the entire space (from the people that I heard – I was in there about an hour or so) got it completely wrong.
The key factor most people seem to be missing: web3 doesn’t mean web 2 doesn’t exist. In fact, both web 2 and web3 can co-exist in harmony. Not everything in the world has to be completely decentralized, as was noted in the space, sometimes some amount centralization can be beneficial.
Let’s take a look back in time (not even that long ago):
The year was 2007, the iPhone just came out. The iPhone by the way, is largely responsible for the web 2 shift in computing, in which we’ve gone from mostly desktop computer usage to now mostly mobile smartphone usage, giving way for apps and web services to thrive. That being said, most of us still use computers for certain tasks (hell, I still prefer using a computer a lot of the time). Apple is continuing to make more powerful Macs despite the leaps and bounds made on mobile.
- Because a computer is still useful.
- Even before the iPhone or web 2, we had web 1 which brought us "websites” – a common form factor for navigating the web that we still use today.
- The only difference is the underlying technology has evolved since web 1 into web 2 and now web3.
Web 2 companies have provided the tools and building blocks that have enabled the web3 space to come into existence. Let’s be clear though: web 2 companies will still be in existence tomorrow, though, maybe they won’t be as powerful (which isn’t a bad thing). Competition is a good thing.
Web3 gives us more options
What web3 offers people is a paradigm shift in the way we think about using the internet. It gives us options. Who’s ever been against options? Which is why I didn’t understand last night’s conversation in which people were arguing over whether Twitter makes sense as a blockchain/web3 company.
News flash: it doesn’t have to make sense in web3, we have it in web 2. Why are we so concerned about reinventing the wheel instead of creating new experiences? That’s what web3 does. It gives people who aren’t your traditional Silicon Valley type the ability to create and build communities – while providing value to both the creator(s) and the community as a whole. But at the same time, it also gives the traditional Silicon Valley types the ability to build something new too. Web3 doesn’t discriminate.
I’m working on an NFT project (crypto cackles) right now to bring more laughter, joy, and jokes to the world. I can tell you if I brought this concept to a VC firm on Sand Hill Rd. I’d be laughed out of the room. Pun intended. haha! By building on top of the blockchain, I have the unique ability to build out my idea, grow a community, fund it, and execute on it. And I can do all of this while giving the people who like what I’m building ownership in the entire process. It’s a creator’s dream.
On a separate note, we have a huge underemployment problem in the U.S. and likely around the world, through ownership in web3, creators, entrepreneurs, and others can build out their dreams while compensating themselves (and their supporters). This is magical.
Look I’m not saying every business makes sense in web3 (to be honest, not every business makes sense in the context of web 2 either), but it’s an option for people to consider when building. The adoption from major organizations is good to see, we should all be curious about new technology. Curiosity is human. At least that’s why I’m working the crypto cackles project, I’m extremely curious about web3 and what it has to offer. I’d encourage everyone to experiment, build out a small project, join a DAO, ask questions, learn with us. We’re all learning together right now.
Ultimately this isn't a zero sum game and we would all be wise to remember that.
These are some of my current favorite web3 resources, projects, and people:
- Gaby Goldberg’s Web3 reading list
- Mason DAO is exploring all things DAO related
- Illuminati NFT is half NFT/half DAO
- Ric Burton’s “Why Wallets Excite Me Again”
- What a really strong community DAO looks like (FWB)
- The first Solana project I bought into: Shrimp Society
- Chris Dixon on Twitter
- Packy McCormick on Twitter
- Arianna Simpson on Twitter
- Greg Isenberg on Twitter
- vgf.eth on Twitter
- rssi.eth on Twitter
- gokunft.eth on Twitter
- Gaby Goldberg on Twitter
- Tatiana DeMaria on Twitter
- Mike Dudas on Twitter
- Alex Taub on Twitter
- Drew Austin on Twitter
- Avery Akkinen on Twitter
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