Aggregators, Web3, and Disruption Theory
Packy: this piece is incredible. My belief is that this particle essay will go on to become a seminal work in the history of the emergence of Web3. As someone who works in the traditional media world, it is my belief that the shift away from the TradMedia model (of aggregators/platforms HOARDING all of the ad revenue) to the DeMedia model (of creators sharing the financial upside/monetization of their creative works with their early supporters, fans, evangelists, and customers), will lead to a class of “consumer-investors,” as you say. Though people like Chris Dixon (and other Web3 champions) keep using terms like the “Creator Economy” and the “Ownership Economy,” perhaps a better term for what will emerge is the “Community Economy.” The TradMedia framing of “creators” vis-a-vis “fans” (or “customers,” “listeners,” “subscribers,” or “consumers”) will be properly reframed as Community Leaders and Participating Community Owners. This is the inevitable future. Congrats on a fantastic piece!
Packy, thanks for the great writing. Great to see 3 of my favorite writers all mentioned here. One thing has been bugging me for a quite a while, which is that early backers or token holders naturally promoting / marketing their tokens. This is a definite alignment of incentive and reward for early backers / users. Chris Dixon in the aforementioned podcast said something along the lines of this being completely normal in capitalism.
But I was wondering whether that is actually true. I thought why many people frowned upon multi-level marketing or ponzi scheme was because of the very model that sellers take a cut whenever the people the seller brings in sell something to someone else. Though not fully equivalent, early backers promoting their own invested tokens, strictly speaking, has an element of that.
I thought the reason why word of mouth was so powerful in making people adopt any product was because people genuinely liked the product, not necessarily because they had financial incentive to gain. All in all, I'm a little skeptical (and scared) about embedding financial incentives to every aspect of our lives.
It would be great if you had some thoughts around here, and I would love to learn more!
Thank you for the post, a great read.
Personally, I don't see how it's difficult for Big Tech to provide the same functionality blockchain would while preserving power and revenue.
- Instagram allowing users to sell ownership of photos (=NFT killer)
- Twitter allowing subscriptions to backer-only content (=Bitclout killer)
- Google indexing Web3 projects (=The Graph killer)
- Substack already allows subscription-only content and Patreon allows sponsoring specific pieces
As far as I understand, blockchain does not provide a cheaper, better alternative to existing technology in 99% of the cases.
Buying a coin and buying stock/paying for a subscription are really equal when breaking it down to bare elements.
I'd love to understand what am I missing here.
and again, thanks for the great content!
I love this content and discussion but I gotta disagree on a couple stuff.
Web 3 or any tech isn’t disruptive by nature. Disruption, like you said is if one company can displace another, so you need to compare one business model to another. Any company with Web 3 isn’t disruptive by default.
There more question to consider like, are presumably disruptive company competing against non-consumption? Do they have a worse product according to the traditional metrics of success? Or is the offering more convenient, accessible or simpler to use?
The Twitter competitor Bitclout does not fit any of these criteria. I agree that Web3 can seed a potentially disruptive company, but Im not sure I’ve seen an example of it.
Awesome stuff! Great conversation, keep up the great stuff!
The new distuptors will share revenues with users as happening in defi & that,s why already distuptors have entered in banking & finance. Same will happen to Google,Facebook, YouTube, Twitter & so on as users in distuptors companies will get share in profit & ownership in terms of coins with appreciation in coin price . Even distraction will be far more easy with cryto finance model & type of cooperative corporation or DAO,s cooperatives will rule the world with community backing.
IMO, VeeFriends is a dynamic example of how an engaged and unwavering community (with skin in the game) is spinning the flywheel to build generational IP tied to unique access - https://veefriends.com/
What is the web3 analog for instagram, only having the icons doesn't help at all :(
I like this piece very much, enjoy the thought process! I never thought from the perspective of: how to disrupt if something is free already
But stumbled over this: "You go negative; you actually pay people to use the product, in a currency that gets more valuable as more people join." That sound either like a Ponzi scheme, or, the inflation (or actually value deterioration) is unaccounted here.
In general, there seems to be a bright believe into technology as a salvation of mankind. Strictly speaking blockchain is not yet disrupting as per Christensen - it just replicates the same use cases "but on blockchain!"
We can argue about the self-governance and DAO, but I so far do not see the benefit of a global decentralization. After all, centralization means (in theory) accountability and some sort of warranty. But DAO? How to make it responsible and accountable for failures?
So I guess, once Web3 solves the puzzle of the "warranty"-use case, then centralized models will be ripe for disruption. Not all of course, pure online-2-online businesses. Maybe some laggard banks (whose CF depends on transactional revenues).
Having said that - how to disrupt Google's services except just by paying for using another mail service?
Question: if i want to optimize for composability, which blockchain should I look at? Ethereum or Solana?
This was a good read. A number of things came up for me: Decentralized governance is fundamentally more trustworthy than centralized-- think of a super duper rule based (rather than person based) corp governance structure that can’t screw people behind closed doors, then apply that to all of the things. Current structures that have power won’t release it willingly, so they’ll be eaten eventually by better options. In the long run, Web3 translates into a better experience for customers and consumers, as people love safety and convenience. Right now Web3 isn’t good at convenience, but that will only get better.
Can't find the podcast version, is it up?
How does these platform creators profit from the use of them? These platforms basically give back the power and money to the people, cutting the intermediaries, so is it just through the value of the tokens they use?
Just came across this today and I am hesitantly optimistic about the new disruptors. Since this is all very new to me, can anyone point me in the direction of how I could invest and contribute?
a great piece. so much that is right on the money.
Is anyone surprised that Comcast has a $250B market cap or that NYT is up 10x from 2008. Reinvention.