Three weeks in and the new year is really getting underway now: exciting new projects popping up and the trash products of 2022 have been left out with the garbage and the obligatory Christmas tree. Will 2023 be another experiment in recycling the same old crap? Let’s see.
Shrink To Fit
There's always something happening in digital fashion when it comes to web three, the metaverse and, NFT but the big thing that's missing is always interoperability. Though I hoped it would, it doesn’t look like SYKY (pronounced Sy-key) is going to figure it out either. One of the key issues in this space is the reality of accessibility and utility of digital fashion: it is imperative that we can take fashion EVERYWHERE with us. Not just the places that you, the latest product developer, want to.
I love Alice Delahunt, she’s ex-Ralph Lauren. I really admire her will to go further than say Aura Blockchain has, but pioneering digital fashion really means going further than Bitmoji and Roblox too. This is low hanging fruit. Ok, ok, SYKY is in its very early stages. According to TechCrunch. It's buoyed by a $9.5 million series A investment led by Seven Seven Six, the most well known of whom includes one Alex Ohanian who says that “the attraction to SYKY came from his obsession with the intersection of technology and culture.” What I would love for Alex to do is get a little bit more excited about interoperability because that way profit lies. I figured it out. I'm just waiting for everybody to catch up. I certainly don't have Alexis Ohanian to support me financially, but I do have Nak3d and that’s even better.
Get The Juice
MetaJuice has hit a million web3 wallets and has sold out its digital collections in IMVU. You know IMVU don’t you? Those well-known Together Labs peeps, well they’re saying that they’ve distributed more than a million web3 wallets with digital collectibles in the last two years. That's fantastic. But what would be more interesting to know is exactly what these stats and figures really are? In this Venture Beat article, they cover a multitude of what they’ve sold but the figures don’t identify active users of the wallet, only the monthly active users of the popular social media platform itself (and that’s a tidy 4 million).
Here’s what I love: street wear items are priced between $3 and $100, the NFTs have sold out in an average of 7.5 minutes per release. This is really big, and also really inaccessible as a news story. This should be much higher on the metaverse news agenda thanks to some of the crap we’re forced to read about this tech bro and that crypto project. These guys have been in operation since 2004 and although the actual facts are pretty difficult to pin down, this is still no mean feat.
Looking at their list of top 10 NFT sales, I can see that nobody's actually buying fashion in IMVU. That said, the hottest item collections in IMVU that aren’t NFT actually do contain finished sets of actual fashion. My take on this is once again a complete lack of interoperability. An estimated $54billion will be spent on digital fashion annually according to an analysis by JP Morgan, but if people were buying a bit more fashion, then we might be able to talk about why interoperability is missing from this project too. This feels like a massive walled garden that just happens to be with a web3 lean and digital fashion focus, guys. You need to try a little bit harder. Then I can get even more excited about the possibilities that IMVU has on offer.
Warriors Of Web3
Web3 is tough. On the one hand you’ve got a bunch of web2 douches naysaying the whole thing and on the other hand you got a box of mystery and surprise filled with intuitive enterprise tech. Like that IMVU story, it’s so unlikely that these little treasures will break the Wireds and the Venture Beats of the world, which is why Metacrun.ch is giving these applications some love.
As voted for by Analytics Insight, the top 10 most popular web3 applications for 2023 are out and they're interesting. I love to explore the opportunities in web3 that will really diversify and leverage how we do absolutely everything, giving us much more open and accessible technology than the dreaded albatrosses of the Silicon Valley Big 4 (can you tell that I deregistered my Microsoft account? It’s poo). From creating decentralised apps on a new blockchain platform to providing decentralised encrypted cloud storage; new tubes, an open platform, and how about a brand new Zoom? A super safe browser, a social blogging site, and the most private messaging app powered by Solana. Go go 2023.
Speaking of Wired, it’s great to see that they’ve been following Metacrun.ch closely and have even written their own version of our virtual landowner story from your newsletter a few weeks ago but with added class war shenanigans. Ever forward, guys.
Lower Your StandARds
Apple has reported to have shelved its AR project. They've had some “technical challenges”. Oh, I wonder what they could be? Maybe it's the fact that everybody knows that devices are having a wobble lately. Popping the AR glasses project on the back burner to focus on a cheaper MR device seems better because Apple needs to become more affordable. Could 2023 be the year that big tech stops doing stupid launch events for associated crapware? Meta is a prime example of how little we care about your stupid company updates. We’re not your shareholders, well, some of us are, but we’re your consumers, just give us what we can afford, would you? The days of Steve Jobs thought leadership and messianic glimpses of the future are utterly worthless and forgettable. Why not put your energies into the end user and what they can afford, and what they can do, before you even start going in the direction of creating yet another piece of device hardware?
What Is The Metaverse? Part 347
An “ongoing digital transformation”. Is that just another way of saying “we don’t know what we’re doing with the metaverse?” I was in Davos this week, and apparent leaders in the web3 space came together at the WEF to bore the living daylights out of most people who are, you know, just out there, building stuff and not looking for a guru.
Thanks for defining and discussing the first outputs of the metaverse, none of us asked for it. Yat Siu and Cathy Li (who?) whose names were spelled wrong in the article, to Huda Al Hashemi (who?): one of the panellists and the deputy minister of Cabinet Affairs for strategic affairs in the United Arab Emirates. Again, I'm really looking for people who are ACTUAL leaders in the web3 space rather than bags full of hot air. Yat aside, who I really respect and admire, I'm disappointed by the evidently dry old lineup of mouthpieces who also just read books and articles and do very little to move things forward.
Isn’t anyone amped by Seoul going fully metaverse with their city-wide project? Why doesn't anyone report on that? So I’ll close this week by laying on the maximum amount of praise to South Korea for bringing it every single goddamn day.
That’s enough Metaverse for this week.