In the first panel session, Akio Tanaka, Partner of Infinity Ventures Crypto, Chris Wang , CEO & Co-Founder of ThunderCore, Kun Gao , Co-Founder & ex-CEO of Crunchyroll and Patrick Lee , Co-Founder & Founding CEO of Rotten Tomatoes held a discussion. Coming from Web2 companies with highly involved communities, these speakers hold unique insight into how the transition of our current internet might happen. We all know that community is a major element of the upcoming Web3 internet. But what exactly does that mean? For Web2 companies, general expectations are that only 1% of their users will create content, 10% will somehow interact, and that the remaining 90% merely consume. It might be important to stay conscious on what this percentage would be for Web3 companies and products, and would such expectations be practical? This would also tap into the “native-ness” of internet companies in the future. Like all technology, one can adopt and utilize only the parts most suitable for them, thus different companies can adopt various degrees of Web3 technology, and it should work out totally fine for everyone. At this moment, Web2 companies can easily integrate Web3 features into their products, such as offering true asset ownership via NFTs (for NFTs, technology is ready for many use-cases, the major problem blocking adoption is the branding of the NFT concept, especially with its associations to scams). But be clear that this is not a full transition to becoming a Web3 native product, to do so they need to give up the majority of control over both governance and economics.
In another keynote session, Mr. Hironao Kunimitsu , Founder & CEO of Thirdverse pointed out insights on entertainment in the Web3 era. For gaming, he states that the main problems of blockchain gaming right now are: 1) first, the lack of use cases for utility tokens, which leads to financial disaster after initial success, 2) second being the lack of social aspects & multiplayer gaming experiences, and 3) finally being the quality of Gameplay itself. For NFT & PFP (which stands for “profile picture”) projects, he points outs an intrinsic business model problem; since PFP projects mostly succeed because of their close and closed communities, so intrinsically it is a small business. To expand business, they create new IPs, but IP creation historically has never been distributed and community-led, but rather centralized and led by great artist individuals. How would this all work together to form a sustainable business model? As the new frontier, the problems of Web3 are the opportunities for growth and innovation. As an investor he believes in new innovative games such as Labrado to lead the next-generation blockchain gaming, and as an entrepreneur he is launching NFT projects such as SUPER SAPIENSS to tackle new business models of IP creation and distribution.
A highlight moment within the 2-day conference was the keynote session of Yat Siu, Founder of Animoca Brands, promoting big ideas around the disruptive power of NFTs and gaming. Referencing gaming in its earliest arcade days, the digital gameplay experience was so powerful that it drove the rise of entire industries such as the GPU, consoles, and arcade spaces. With NFTs, the gaming industry itself will continue to grow, and on its way up more industries will be created and grown. One way to understand Gaming is a rental industry, think in terms of gamers renting content experiences from the game design companies, rent and use IPs that are licensed on their avatar, and buy rights to use props and tools owned by the gaming platform. However, with blockchain and NFT technology, everyone can become an owner of games, IPs, or props and other digital assets, effectively transforming debtors into creditors and expanding gaming into a much bigger industry. Another reason why then gaming industry is destined to grow is because when creators make money, they invest back. When big tech makes money, they don’t. Currently most mobile game revenues go to the big tech platforms because one needs advertisement to get traction. However, economies are built on widespread property and profit ownerships. Thus with NFTs giving creators ownership and profits, that will help grow the overall market. Also, with NFTs and Airdrop practices, indie creators can decrease dependency on advertisement, effectively dropping customer acquisition prices, allowing more people to launch, and more innovation can happen. Finally, we stand with Siu when he addressed the FTX crisis, stating it is good to wash out bad actors, and that the crisis affected the west more than Asian counties, which are actually dealing with crypto much better.
Another insightful panel was from Hugo Chou, Founder of The Partner, Keegan Huang, Co-Founder & CEO of UNH3O & Passion Labs, Kyoya Okazawa, Co-Founder & COO of Animoca Brands Japan and Daniel Feucht, Marketing Director of Porsche Motors Taiwan, discussing the concepts of Brands and IP in more depth. First, Web3 technology and practices can bring visibility and measurements to intangible assets such as IPs and Brand, which are also listed on the corporate balance sheet, thus is part of the value creation of a corporate. For this reason, the Web3 transformation is a total financial disruption which will touch all corporates. Then, in terms of brand and community management, the ideal is hybrid; the freedom of natural human connections and communities combined with the power of digital such as no geographic limits, records & verification, and quantitative data. Web3 brings us closer to this vision, allowing more community mechanics in the digital format. Currently, tight communities already find social media platforms are too general and not enough. They often find it not enough to be in the “official clubs”, but rather they want to make their own clubs and use their own creativity, and Web3 supports these emerging needs. Finally, they proposed the idea that managing brands with the aim of controlling consistency will not work in a Web3 environment where the community is native, urging Brand and marketing personnel to rethink the ethos of management in the Web3 era.
Web3 is in its infancy. Although the business models in Web3 come with intrinsic challenges such as defining the involvement models of communities, general market education and onboarding, and functions for technologies such as the utility token, MADJOR believes new products, services and business relationships will continue to arise from Web3 and Metaverse. Business leaders should begin to formulate a Web3 and Metaverse strategy and begin experimenting with the framework.