radical Insights.

Weekly Research and Commentary on the Future of Business and Technology.

The Metaverse Creator Challenge.

May 9, 2022

Dear Friend,

One of my guilty pleasures is sinking my teeth into Ryan Broderick’s excellent Substack Garbage Day. Ryan is deeply immersed in online culture and dissects many of the memes and trends happening inside of today’s online world in a truly delightful way. Every time I read Ryan’s newsletter I realize how far I am away from what’s going on in Subreddits, Tumblr, and Discord channels — and I consider myself somewhat close to Internet culture at large. A good reminder that we all have huge blindspots which we can only fill by looking at the unusual and keep asking ourselves: “Isn’t that interesting?”

Practical Futurism // Decode. Anticipate. Transform.

The Metaverse is seemingly everywhere — everybody talks about it, everybody seems to have an opinion, very, very few are actually using it. It reminds me of my days at Google when we launched Google Glass — same story: Massive hype, few people using it, and those who did were overall pretty disappointed. I am about to write a column for the next edition of the German fintech magazine fi magazin about this very topic — I’ll make sure to share it here next week. Meanwhile, let me share an observation I see very little discussion about: The ability to not just consume, but create inside the Metaverse.

Every general purpose technology platform (think computers or the Internet) provides easy, robust ways for you to create content — not just consume it. Pretty much all the use cases we see for the Metaverse (including the ones presented by the company which renamed itself to Meta) are of consumption and, at best, communication: The Metaverse as a more immersive version of Zoom, YouTube, and the Xbox. As long as we can’t easily create in the Metaverse, the technology will — in my opinion — be relegated to a somewhat small corner of your daily usage (and thus won’t take over the world anytime soon). What do you think? Just hit reply and let me know! (via Pascal)

What We Are Reading

🤔 Make Better Decisions by Challenging Your Expectations Unconscious bias is often embedded in decision-making processes and therefore the outcomes. Learn about a framework which helps you consider your decisions from four vantage points: your behavior, your information, your analysis, and the structure, or environment around you as you make your decision. JaneRead

🚜 The Landfill of the Future Science fiction and circular economy thinking come together to inspire a fascinating approach to the unglamorous but critical problem of waste management. JeffreyRead

🕙 10 Year Challenge: How Popular Websites Have Changed Having stumbled over a designer’s blog, I found him comparing websites over time. It’s great to see functionalities increase alongside cleaner designs. JulianRead

💯 103 Bits of Advice I Wish I Had Known Legend Kevin Kelly turned 70 and published his 103 bits of advice — it is a gem which is well worth bookmarking and revisiting regularly. PascalRead

Internet Finds

You either like Wes Anderson movies or you don’t. But the artistic craft behind his movies is fascinating either way. This analysis outlines perfectly the refreshing perspective Anderson provides and the movies’ insane attention to detail. 🎥

In Case You Missed It

🏴‍☠️ The Heretic: The Right Time Is Right Now

⚠️ Disrupt Disruption: We return with a whole set of new episodes — next week we will feature our conversation with David Siegel, CEO of Meetup.com. It’s a high-energy deep dive into David’s leadership style, how Meetup pivoted rapidly during the pandemic, and how to make failing not fail. Meanwhile, here are all episodes we published so far.

Radically yours, take good care, friend!

— Pascal, Mafe and the three Js (Jane, Jeffrey, and Julian)