Rev. 1 Updated April 9, 2023
Dear Mr. Zuckerberg and Jeff Bezos:
It’s time to get your sh*t together. The metaverse land grab is a speculative venture, and its consequences remain unclear. It could lead to a new world order or a new world of opportunity, or it could just be techies playing games and profiting off the easily distracted. Unfortunately, the current state of the metaverse land grab is one of trickle–down economics, where big players are rewarded and those at the bottom of the digital realms are neglected. This lack of diversity and cash flow to the lower levels could have devastating effects on the development of the metaverse and Web 3 as a whole.
Billions have been spent so far in the metaverse land grab, yet the wealth and opportunities are only available to a select few. While some of the major companies have offered “opportunities” such as selling virtual goods for tokens, these are not enough to sustain a livelihood for marketers and early adopters who spend massive amounts of time and money working to build and market these spaces in the metaverse. Imagine for a second if a company like Meta, Roblox or Opensea opened up an affiiate program. But it seems the powers that be would rather suffer a slow and painful demise than to share the wealth beyone their annointed few.
The gated–community approach of the metaverse space is antithetical to Web 3 and prevents smaller creators and networks from getting a foothold. The promise of trustless partnerships and smart contracts remains, but they remain out of reach for the big tech players when it comes to rewarding people with actual money for helping to build their brands. Until the wealth is shared, Web 3 will remain a gated community of elites. Even on the smaller networks, like those selling virtual plots of land on Mars, reward programs are scarce. It‘s sad that Mars might be developed before American metaverse spaces are, but it‘s not surprising given the current state of the metaverse land grab. Maybe what American companies are waiting on is a Chinese company to do for the Metaverse what Tiktok did for social media? In the opinion of Brego, that‘s what this is all about. Control, and benefiting a few.
Tiktok opened up their platform and allowed everyone to flourish, express themselves and to profit, not just with airtime but with followers and money that can actually pay bills. Perhaps Mark Zuckerberg or Jeff Bezos is listening. America‘s tech companies have to do more than have their lobbyists beat up on Tiktok, they have to compete and they have to give those who are trying to improve their lot, fair and equal access to markets. This isn‘t a zero–sum game, but it‘s often treated as such.
The metaverse land grab could be a massive opportunity for creators, marketers, and early adopters to prosper and help shape the future of Web 3. However, as it stands now, the reality of the metaverse land grab is exclusion, neglect, and trickle–down economics. If America‘s tech companies are serious about their commitment to Web 3, they should open up their platforms to outsiders and start actually rewarding those who help to build their brands and the metaverse. Doing so would create a more equitable and collaborative environment and could spark a new wave of innovation and opportunity.
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