Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
We are currently witnessing a migration from Web 2.0 to Web 3.0. While most people have no idea what that even means, a number of entrepreneurs are already busy capitalizing on the transition.
The hallmark of Web 2.0 was technological service providers, such as Microsoft, Google, Facebook and other firms. A company offered a service to customers and stored their information in a database.
Decisions were voted on by company executives who had to inform the shareholders and comply with regulations. Customer service representatives were employed to make sure the customers had a good experience, so they would keep subscribing.
With Web 3.0, none of the above applies. There are no shareholders, no customers, no personally identifying information and no centralized profits. Decision-making is done by community governance and voting, through DAOs (Decentralized Autonomous Organizations) and staking. It’s a completely new paradigm.
Some entrepreneurs have understood what was happening a long time ago and moved to position themselves for the inevitable future, built on distributed ledgers. They are currently converting their Web 2.0 wisdom into Web 3.0 gold.
Related: Web 3.0 Is Coming, and Here’s What That Really Means for You
From Deloitte to crypto-enhanced online shopping
Luxury goods are not for everybody, but Web 3.0 shopping is definitely made to be. Cyrus Taghehchian is a Deloitte alumni with a focus on using distributed ledgers to make a better planet rather than better profits. His CV is extensive, having worked with Intel, Deloitte, Bank of America, PayPal, Charles Schwab and Cisco.
Apart from this, he founded Flyt Technology, Cartrev, Krypton Ventures and SHOPX. These experiences have given him insights into multiple levels of the e-commerce industry, particularly PayPal and Cartrev.
SHOPX is his latest brainchild, where he is translating his prior expertise with Web 2.0 firms into a platform that will democratize and decentralize the e-commerce experience. (Disclaimer: As shown in my bio, I work at SHOPX on the core team.)
SHOPX acts as a bridge between blockchain and e-commerce. Everything that can be done through existing e-commerce platforms can be streamlined when goods are converted to NFT assets. It allows for increased ownership, tracking and control for merchants, as opposed to paying third parties for this functionality.
Decentralizing e-commerce is vital to the development of our society. The ability to buy and sell online has become a necessary utility. Just like the internet became a sort of utility for communication and connectivity. For a small handful of companies to gatekeep what humanity requires to survive is a key factor in our struggling economy.
From private equity to token launchpads
Entrepreneurs and investors are often more interested in getting in early on projects as opposed to setting them up. Web 3.0 offers incredible potential for those who spot trends when the project is just beginning. It is in many ways a dream come true for ambitious entrepreneurs.
Scott H. Weissman is a serial entrepreneur with experience in a wide range of industries. He began building his first NFT platform, CoinCopyright, in late 2016 as a free dapp (decentralized application). It was meant to protect creative work on the CoinFilms platform, which was also developed for the purpose of funding films in foreign markets using blockchain and cryptocurrency.
In 2021, he founded TokenSociety.io, an NFT project launchpad for entertainment and metaverse projects. This is a transformation of his original CoinCopyright concept, which was meant to protect the ownership rights of creators. The new platform takes a step further to help finance entertainment projects through NFT sales. The concept has already proven to be successful through “Men of the House,” a TV show financed with NFTs they call Snippetz. “Gay Aliens in the Metaverse,” a second TV show, is coming soon.
This is a clear and organic evolution of the ownership and distribution of content away from studios and investors, and towards individuals and creatives. By controlling the flow and facilitation of funds, centralized entities can maintain power over a large group of people. Gig-type platforms owned by a small handful of individuals like Spotify and YouTube make the rules and force millions to obey. Simply because they are on that side of the computer. But it’s a creator-economy now; the power needs to be in the creators’ hands.
Related: Web 3.0: The Gateway For Financial Inclusion And Freedom
From Microsoft to luxury NFTs
Individuals from premier Web 2.0 firms like Microsoft are taking their experience with them into modern markets. Damon Nam has over 23 years as a technology executive and entrepreneur, including 17 years at Microsoft (he is also a Microsoft alumnus). After this, he spent six years engaged in the emerging blockchain industry with a focus on DeFi.
He then became the founder of Privé, a community-owned DAO for luxury lifestyle goods and services. He is using his previous network connections, combined with blockchain technology, to build an ecosystem combining the best of both worlds.
Private NFT owners will receive a bottle of specialty champagne annually as well as invitations to VIP events, among other benefits. Special edition bottles of Private Réserve from Avize, France will feature art that is sourced directly from the community. It will be the first spirit in the world that is powered by a global community of members.
DAOs are particularly interesting to me because of their power to break up established powers. When centralized agencies gatekeep services, including luxury services like this, they create a narrative and charge extremely high prices to keep up the facade. Often, the products and services they sell are the same or worse than you could find for a fraction of the price. Creating a DAO for luxury services will de-emphasize the profit motive and focus on the quality of the experience. I hope this leads to a less wasteful consumer mindset.
There can be no more doubts about Web 3.0
The clear trend is that the most experienced and qualified professionals are rapidly moving to Web 3.0 in droves. Unlike the early days of blockchain, it is now relatively easy to take part in the rapidly expanding ecosystem of projects created on distributed ledgers.
Key executives from Microsoft, Amazon, Google and Facebook are leaving to create Web 3.0 projects. These are more lucrative and allow more creative freedom, compared to the Web 2.0 environment, which can be somewhat stale and stifling.
It’s obvious from the numbers of talented entrepreneurs moving to Web 3.0 that the industry provides superior outcomes across practically every conceivable category.
And the ecosystem needs these individuals in order to move forward.
Related: 3 Tips to Take Advantage of the Future Web 3.0 Decentralized …