I wanted to take this week’s DAOnload back to a more foundational conversation about web3. After all, DAOs are the community manifestations of web3 technology.
Testing the Boundaries
The first cycle began with the technological capability to draw a border around a digital asset, automate ownership and establish permissions for its interaction with other things. What followed was some groups truly testing the boundaries of this new capability and its intersection with culture, while other groups looked to merely capitalize on the latest trend with minimal consideration for value creation or community building.
What’s more, these groups are a small segment of the overall population that is wrestling with curiosity and skepticism. Hell, even I was the victim of a phishing scam. To be clear, there were massive amounts of money made and lost in cryptocurrency markets, which on one hand, led to blindly funding projects that lacked real value, and conversely sparked a distrust of anything related to digital assets.
The next phase took a page from the Uber framework, where ventures sold their vision as the “Uber-of-X” industry. In this case, you can replace Uber with “on-chain”. Early on, I heard so many ideas presented this way, I began to ask why blockchain was required for a particular idea. In most cases, it wasn’t. I love creative thinking, and I’m living proof that you need a few bad ideas to sharpen that one really great idea.
Inside the Innovation Cycle
We are living in the messy middle of an innovation cycle. The technological capability comes first, then use cases of that technology unfold through experimentation and iteration. Like new colors for the painter or fresh sounds for a synthesizer, they require a spin cycle with other ingredients for something magical to happen.
The early go-to-market strategies focused on the technology alone rather than the innovative application of that technology. It’s like coming up with the idea for email and telling everybody how exciting it is to watch bits flow up and down the OSI model.
Guess what? The general public doesn’t care about the OSI model, but they did backflips over being able to type a message into a computer and, with one click, send it from Atlanta, GA to Reykjavik, Iceland in a millisecond.
Using Web3 to Reinvent the Human Experience
Web3 is a bit different because there are multiple technologies weaving together to reimagine the human experience. How we meet, how we transact, how we interact, and how we tell stories are all in various stages of reinvention.
At this point, it’s kind of like philosophers and physicists exploring the realm of quantum mechanics, where the subatomic world doesn’t really make sense. In fact, it’s counter to our traditional understanding of the world. It is built upon a hazy view of potential governed by probabilities of certain instances occurring within that potential.
I’m not comparing the complexity of web3 to quantum mechanics, but rather, web3 requires a similar approach of technical understanding with translation and application of that understanding. We can’t miss that step. Otherwise, it’s technology for technology’s sake. The potential to change the world lies in the murky cloud of all possibilities, and manifestation requires observation.
Beyond Bear Markets
Today, while financial pundits spend all of their energy describing bear markets and cryptocurrency dips, one thing remains clear. Bear markets are no match for pure innovation and creativity powered by genuine curiosity.
On top of that, factor in a community of thoughtful builders that have been waiting for this moment to redefine archaic systems that no longer serve their participants. We are on the cusp of something special, and, for those of us that can see it, it’s going to be one hell of a ride. Keep building, help others build, and help others learn, even if you have to turn your back on the bear.
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