Episode 10

full
Published on:

31st Jan 2022

10. Musk McDonald's Dogecoin, Roblox Rules, Blockbuster NFT, Metaverse Privacy, a16z

In this episode, we discuss Elon Musk saying he will eat a happy Meal on TV if Mcdonald's accepts Dogecoin, Roblox emerging as one of the leading organizations in the metaverse space, Blockbuster filing trademarks for NFTs and cryptocurrencies, how people will maintain privacy in the metaverse, a16z investing in BreederDAO, and so much more!

Episode 10 Keywords: Elon Musk, Dogecoin, McDonald's, Roblox, Blockbuster, NFTs, cryptocurrencies, privacy, a16z, BreederDAO

Transcript
Unknown:

Welcome to the metaphysics podcast. The Metaverse and web three are bringing about the

Unknown:

biggest revolution since the internet itself. With your hosts Paul the prophet Dawalibi And Jeff the

Unknown:

juice Cohen. We will be bringing you the latest Metaverse, business news and insight into what it

Unknown:

all means. The meta business podcast starts now.

Paul Dawalibi:

From the boardroom to the metaverse. This is the meta business podcast. I am

Paul Dawalibi:

Paul Dawalibi. I'm joined today by my friend and co host, Jeff the juice Co. And for those of you

Paul Dawalibi:

who are new here, welcome. What we do is we cover all the most pressing, Metaverse, topics and news

Paul Dawalibi:

of the week. But we look at all of it through a business and C suite lens, we dissect, we analyze

Paul Dawalibi:

the business implications of everything happening in this very exciting industry. For those of you

Paul Dawalibi:

who are regular listeners, thank you guys for tuning in every week. This is episode 10. If

Paul Dawalibi:

you've listened to every episode, thank you so much for that would love all your feedback would

Paul Dawalibi:

love a rating and review on Apple podcasts or Spotify or wherever you get this podcast. And at

Paul Dawalibi:

the very least hit that subscribe or follow button. And hopefully tell your friends and family

Paul Dawalibi:

about the podcast if you are enjoying it. Jeff, how you doing this week?

Jeff Cohen:

Doing good episode 10. I can't believe we made it to double digits. It's a big milestone,

Jeff Cohen:

I guess now the next triple digits? Well, I can't believe it. But you know, it's still pretty cool.

Jeff Cohen:

10 episodes in a it's been a good week. I mean, I'm a little disappointed. We didn't have the

Jeff Cohen:

largest transaction in gaming history this week. That seem to be, you know, a couple of weeks in a

Jeff Cohen:

row we did. I was hoping that we got some, you know, Nintendo bought by Apple or something or

Jeff Cohen:

Disney for 100 billion. Seemed like that would have been apropos. But I guess not this week. We

Jeff Cohen:

still we do have times during the month we record this. It's Wednesday, the 26th. So there is a few

Jeff Cohen:

days left in the month for that to happen, but didn't happen yet this week. So we'll just have to

Jeff Cohen:

talk about other news, but there is a lot of good stuff going on.

Paul Dawalibi:

There's a lot of good stuff. I will say there's also 48 weeks left in the year for

Paul Dawalibi:

bigger news to happen. I don't know. I don't know if we'll see a bigger transaction than that. But

Paul Dawalibi:

we'll see. I mean that Metaverse is a hot space. No reason why, why we couldn't. I will say, you

Paul Dawalibi:

know, of course we cover all the sort of the big stories coming out of the business side of the

Paul Dawalibi:

metaverse. But I thought we have to start with something totally silly, totally left field, maybe

Paul Dawalibi:

two silly stories, actually. And I don't know if you saw this this week, I won't even call this a

Paul Dawalibi:

story. I'm going to put it on screen. But I won't even call it a story. If you're listening. I'm

Paul Dawalibi:

going to read the headline. It says Elon Musk nudges McDonald's to accept Dogecoin he says if

Paul Dawalibi:

they do, he will eat a happy meal on TV. Is this? Well, you know, I don't know if it's a metaphor

Paul Dawalibi:

story. It's a little bit of a crypto story more than anything. But is there a world here where

Paul Dawalibi:

this is now Elon Musk, you know, enriching himself through his tweets very directly here.

Jeff Cohen:

I think he's kind of He just likes, you know, trolling people and kind of getting off

Jeff Cohen:

on and kind of seeing what happens when he puts something out there into the universe. Yeah, I

Jeff Cohen:

mean, it's it's utterly ridiculous. Having said that, McDonald's probably should, you know, spin

Jeff Cohen:

something up and maybe, you know, use it for the publicity, although they probably got 90% of the

Jeff Cohen:

buzz they would get from from him actually doing it by him just saying he would not the McDonald's

Jeff Cohen:

needs much more branding, knows what to be done. Okay, but your McDonald's good.

Paul Dawalibi:

Do you accept Dogecoin tomorrow? To get Elon to eat a happy meal on TV?

Jeff Cohen:

No, I don't think so. Because I think it would be actually pretty difficult probably to

Jeff Cohen:

go about accepting Dogecoin I mean, less. And maybe I'm not familiar, maybe there's like square

Jeff Cohen:

pay, you know, something like that actually already allows you to accept those coin. It's

Jeff Cohen:

really easy. If they do the fee out to Dogecoin can can currencies which in that case, I would do

Jeff Cohen:

it otherwise yet. No, I'm not going to spend development resources and millions of dollars

Jeff Cohen:

because you already got what you need in terms of the little brand buzz you know, that was in the

Jeff Cohen:

New York Post. I'm sure it's probably blowing up Twitter. So I don't think if you're the CEO of

Jeff Cohen:

McDonald's, it makes sense to waste money, excepting dog money,

Paul Dawalibi:

and it's a silly story. But But I thought there was an important kind of underlying

Paul Dawalibi:

message here and you hit it like I couldn't. I couldn't have planned this better. We didn't even

Paul Dawalibi:

discuss this one in advance. The wallet situation with crypto and and I'll I'll expand this to sort

Paul Dawalibi:

of the metaverse. Paying for anything in the metaverse with crypto is a problem if you can't

Paul Dawalibi:

make wallets simple enough. Simple enough for absolutely everyone. Right. And so there's sort of

Paul Dawalibi:

this interesting point, which is, if McDonald's can't accept Dogecoin because wallets are not

Paul Dawalibi:

pervasive enough and simple enough for literally anyone to go in and use and buy, you know, a Happy

Paul Dawalibi:

Meal with Dogecoin then I don't know if we're fully ready yet, right? Like there's still a

Paul Dawalibi:

hurdle then to get to that universe where we have hundreds of millions of people all sort of living

Paul Dawalibi:

working in a Metaverse that. Is that not fair to say?

Jeff Cohen:

I think it is fair. I mean, the while the crypto wallet space is a massive one and

Jeff Cohen:

definitely needs a ton of innovation in terms of user experience and usability. Part of that is

Jeff Cohen:

somewhat by design. I mean crypto is meant to be decentralized part of it. It is a hard problem to

Jeff Cohen:

fix because it is supposed to be a hard problem. Like you, you sort of want that if you're you know

Jeff Cohen:

a crypto maximalist, you want that decentralization if it ends up being where your

Jeff Cohen:

coin base wallet is effectively the same thing as having a credit card or having, you know, a debit

Jeff Cohen:

card, you've kind of lost the the, the essence of crypto and in some sense, but I do think that

Jeff Cohen:

probably is where this heads because for 95% of people who aren't hardcore crypto enthusiast, they

Jeff Cohen:

kind of don't care about the decentralization aspect. They care about things working. So I do

Jeff Cohen:

think you'll see sort of a centralized, decentralized wallet and or blockchain. You know,

Jeff Cohen:

and I think that's diverting a little bit from what we're talking about you kind of, you know,

Jeff Cohen:

the, what you asked, but I definitely do agree with that. The bigger question for this is why

Jeff Cohen:

would anyone want to pay in their wish coin? Unless you're, you know, what, like the 2% of

Jeff Cohen:

people on earth that happened to have like, a billion dollars and Dogecoin. When I say 2%? I

Jeff Cohen:

mean, literally, actually two people. I misspoke. So probably like only Elon Musk, basically.

Paul Dawalibi:

It is a good question right there. Other than other than the philosophical exercise

Paul Dawalibi:

here, there's probably not much good business reason for McDonald's to accept it. I don't think

Paul Dawalibi:

it's going to increase their customer base in any significant way. Let's talk about a company

Paul Dawalibi:

though, Jeff, that has been increasing their customer base in a significant way. And I think

Paul Dawalibi:

this is, you know, how bullish I am on this. This one. You know, we even have on our sister podcast

Paul Dawalibi:

on the business of esports. We have a little bit of a side bet, you know, going on growth of this

Paul Dawalibi:

company.

Jeff Cohen:

Yeah, I thought you were gonna go I thought we're going to the blockbuster story that

Jeff Cohen:

was that was a great leader. We'll get to that when we

Paul Dawalibi:

get to that. But this is Roblox in the news. And the headline here was Roblox is year

Paul Dawalibi:

and data reveals its Metaverse advantage. And before we get into the contents of this article, I

Paul Dawalibi:

want to just give you one first thought, which is this headline sort of implies what I've been

Paul Dawalibi:

saying for almost at least a year now, Forbes had sort of a similar article, which is Roblox seems

Paul Dawalibi:

to have the edge in terms of Metaverse, you know, where fortnight was kind of leading that

Paul Dawalibi:

conversation for a long time. ROBLOX seems to have leapfrogged. But they give some numbers in this

Paul Dawalibi:

article, which I think are interesting, which we can also discuss. During 2021, the Roblox

Paul Dawalibi:

community grew from 32 point 6 million daily actives in 2020 to nearly 50 million as of

Paul Dawalibi:

November across 180 countries. So, you know, not 100% growth, but pretty close, you know, pretty

Paul Dawalibi:

substantial growth, you know, sick, what is that 60%, something like that. And a lot of new

Paul Dawalibi:

developers, obviously on the platform, Roblox said 26,953, user created experiences reached more than

Paul Dawalibi:

100,000 or more visits from players, and over 100,000 experiences, reached 10,000 or more

Paul Dawalibi:

visits, which is, again, huge numbers, right, that 100,000 Different mini games, experiences,

Paul Dawalibi:

whatever you want to call them, got over 10,000 visits,

Jeff Cohen:

actually be the next line. Yeah, this is the most interesting one to me. The

Paul Dawalibi:

median user on Roblox have visited 40 unique experiences over the course of 2021. You

Paul Dawalibi:

know, there's more data in here. I don't know if you want to stop there. And I don't know if

Jeff Cohen:

there's other interesting data. But let's touch on now. I mean, the 45, you can just

Jeff Cohen:

keep going up. Nobody wants to look at our faces anyway. The 40 unique experience is interesting,

Jeff Cohen:

because it shows like, just the breadth of how much people are different experiences. People are

Jeff Cohen:

playing on Roblox to me. I think that's pretty cool that, you know, if you think about the

Jeff Cohen:

typical App Store, usually like someone who downloads a mobile game, I would be willing to bet

Jeff Cohen:

that the average mobile game user probably plays less than five games. Now, someone can correct me

Jeff Cohen:

if I'm wrong. I sort of that's my intuition. I don't have any data on that. But I think the there

Jeff Cohen:

is a much, much more concentrated number of games that people play, certainly on console and I think

Jeff Cohen:

probably largely on on mobile as well, like the average console gamer, I would be surprised that

Jeff Cohen:

they played more than five or 10 games. So the fact that the average Roblox users in 40 unique

Jeff Cohen:

experiences, to me says something about the platform. And also leads me to, to kind of like

Jeff Cohen:

that, I think for the eventual Metaverse, that is an important requisite, that there are various

Jeff Cohen:

different experiences that you're going in and out. I actually think that's pretty important that

Jeff Cohen:

it's not just one thing that people are going into. So I'll stop now was sort of my my first

Jeff Cohen:

thoughts. I'm curious, do you agree with that? Or did you think what the other numbers there was

Jeff Cohen:

more? So?

Paul Dawalibi:

You know, I think you took it to an interesting place, Jeff, like, You're right that

Paul Dawalibi:

it feels like there's a prerequisite that event like whatever eventual Metaverse is built, whether

Paul Dawalibi:

it's, you know, the the metaverse, or one of the meta versus, like a variety of experience feels

Paul Dawalibi:

like something that would win the day, I would be curious to see data like around like, to your

Paul Dawalibi:

point around mobile applications, right? How much variety do people on average? Do? I agree with you

Paul Dawalibi:

that this feels like a large number? Right, that's literally trying something new almost every week,

Paul Dawalibi:

basically, right? Take out whatever weeks people, you know, are on vacation with their family or

Paul Dawalibi:

whatever. But, you know, it feels like a lot of variety. And I'm curious, you know, I'm trying to

Paul Dawalibi:

think of what is the cause here? Is it something inherently that Roblox is doing? Right? Is it? Is

Paul Dawalibi:

it the nature of the platform? Is it the nature of the kinds of people on the platform like, like AR

Jeff Cohen:

is being I guess, if you want to be if I want to be like a negative cynic, I could say

Jeff Cohen:

that you could always twist data. I mean, that could mean that a lot of there's a lot of crappy

Jeff Cohen:

experience and robots that people go into that also, I think it's the median user, it's not the,

Jeff Cohen:

you know, it's not the average. So, you know, playing with numbers, I mean, there's any equal

Jeff Cohen:

number on each side, it's not skewed by people going into like, 8000 experiences. But yeah, I

Jeff Cohen:

mean, I, I guess if you wanted to be negative, you could say that maybe it's it's because people try

Jeff Cohen:

quickly and then leave. But I don't know

Paul Dawalibi:

the shadow variables. Right. There's a shadow variables, right. Like, it

Paul Dawalibi:

couldn't be just the nature of the kind of people who use Roblox, right, maybe trend a bit younger.

Paul Dawalibi:

And so they're a little, you know, that they things keep their attention for less time that

Paul Dawalibi:

it's a generation more used to, like snackable content, and, and so they they're on to the next

Paul Dawalibi:

thing, but fundamentally, what I think I come away with is, this is a platform that, at the very

Paul Dawalibi:

least, is succeeding from a discovery standpoint, and I think we massively underestimate how

Paul Dawalibi:

important that is, in terms of eventually which platforms when kind of the metaverse race or game,

Paul Dawalibi:

right, fundamentally, if we can't surface this to the users and there are platforms, I think that

Paul Dawalibi:

struggle with this a lot. Like I think Roblox you know, I'm not a huge user of either platform, but

Paul Dawalibi:

I think Roblox does do discovery way better than fortnight does, for example, right fortnight,

Paul Dawalibi:

unless you're a real power user, you know, finding some of the experiences that us other users have

Paul Dawalibi:

created is not that simple. And, and so I think discovery is Why is why tick tock has caught on so

Paul Dawalibi:

quickly, right? Like, discovery, I think is at the core of the success here. And And to your point, I

Paul Dawalibi:

think becomes a core part of what any platform will need to be successful in this Metaverse game.

Paul Dawalibi:

It's not just variety. It's the ability for users to discover that variety and find something that

Paul Dawalibi:

appeals to them. Communities that appeal to them experiences, places, whatever that appeal to them.

Paul Dawalibi:

100% agree. I just I don't know if there was anything else in that article that stood out for

Paul Dawalibi:

you. They thought

Jeff Cohen:

there was one thing Yeah, there was something else I wanted to go there.

Paul Dawalibi:

There's some good data here right. They talked about the top genres, role playing

Paul Dawalibi:

action, you know, some of the the genres that are that are most popular.

Jeff Cohen:

Let me see, are there any differences versus you know, what you would typically see in

Jeff Cohen:

PC console? Are they fairly similar genres? That's one thing I'm interested in.

Paul Dawalibi:

I mean, somewhat what fairly similar. I think what's interesting is where the

Paul Dawalibi:

surge happened right in the last year, because I think that is mirrored in the in the gaming kind

Paul Dawalibi:

of sphere in general, right. Anime horror. You know, you had Phasma phobia. You had resin and

Paul Dawalibi:

evil you had like, these things. I think it what it shows to me is Metaverse and gaming are

Paul Dawalibi:

continued to be intimately linked, right? Like what's popular in one culture is going to be

Paul Dawalibi:

popular in the other gaming is at the heart of what the metaverse is. And so the fact that you

Paul Dawalibi:

saw the surge in places that are huge growth areas for gaming in general, like anime and horror, to

Paul Dawalibi:

me that's not surprising. You know that They had it's just some of the numbers that are staggering

Paul Dawalibi:

for me like it says prominent new examples created in 2021. This experiences in the simulator genre

Paul Dawalibi:

include pet simulator X, and strong man simulator, which respectively racked up over 200 over

Paul Dawalibi:

2,470,000,000 visits. Which is, right. Even with 50 million daily active users 2 billion visits is

Paul Dawalibi:

a lot. It's a lot. And, you know, the most visited experiences I haven't I haven't used any of these

Paul Dawalibi:

so I can't talk to them. But you know, maybe our listeners will find this interesting. Brookhaven

Paul Dawalibi:

was at the top then tower of hell adopt me MEPE city Royale high Bed Wars blocks fruits, piggie,

Paul Dawalibi:

murder mystery to an all star tower defense,

Jeff Cohen:

I'd be curious to see an analysis on that around like, I know, one of the things with

Jeff Cohen:

mobile free to play, you know, for the last number of years has been the the top games really stay

Jeff Cohen:

the top games for long periods of time. Like it's incredibly hard to get a new top 10 game it

Jeff Cohen:

happens like once every two or three years on mobile. It'll be interesting to see if that's the

Jeff Cohen:

same thing with Roblox. Like, I know, adopt me, I noticed, you know, that I know has been around for

Jeff Cohen:

a long time. But I wonder if we're seeing more, you know, changes in the top 10 Because the

Jeff Cohen:

platform is so nascent. You know, I also know Roblox doesn't have an Unbeliev they have a ton of

Jeff Cohen:

advertising that you can't advertise your way up to the top of the store at this point. So you

Jeff Cohen:

know, it is interesting to see what will happen in terms of there's a lot of developers and public

Jeff Cohen:

professional publishers now on the platform, how they start to game that system and kind of get

Jeff Cohen:

their get their games to the top 10 of the charts will be actually a pretty interesting thing to

Jeff Cohen:

watch over the next couple of years.

Paul Dawalibi:

I think it's also interesting, Jeff, the demographic data here, right, like, it

Paul Dawalibi:

says Brookhaven, which was the number one for users 17. And older Brookhaven was still number

Paul Dawalibi:

one. And, and like the a lot of the growth was happening. It says the fastest growing demographic

Paul Dawalibi:

for Roblox is 17 to 24 year olds, which like that alone to me, we could we could end the segment

Paul Dawalibi:

here and say Roblox is winning, right? Because this is a platform that everyone thought this is

Paul Dawalibi:

for 10 to 13 year olds, right. They're never going to be able to age up. They're never going to be

Paul Dawalibi:

able to keep customers past like 15, or whatever the number was. And here we're seeing growth in

Paul Dawalibi:

the demographic that I think very few people would ascribe to Roblox. And that's the 17 to 24. Yeah,

Jeff Cohen:

this next one actually was pretty. This was something I sort of wanted to talk about.

Jeff Cohen:

And it's one in five daily active users. Were updating their avatar on any given day. I think

Jeff Cohen:

that's that's pretty interesting as we start thinking about fashion and personalization and

Jeff Cohen:

avatars within the metaverse. Now, that doesn't necessarily mean that every day, you know, 20% of

Jeff Cohen:

like, 20% of people are changing their avatar every day. You know what I'm saying? But it does

Jeff Cohen:

mean that every day a significant portion of people are. And to me, that means that people are

Jeff Cohen:

caring about fashion and sort of interacting with their avatar the way that we do in real life with

Jeff Cohen:

our person, like I don't wear this, although I do wear this black hat, pretty much every stream out.

Jeff Cohen:

I don't wear the same shirt. I don't wear the same pants, obviously. So the fact that people are

Jeff Cohen:

doing that is pretty bullish one that they're treating their digital self the same way and

Jeff Cohen:

caring about their appearance in their digital self as they would in their physical self. I think

Jeff Cohen:

that's a key sort of component to the eventual Metaverse and it's super bullish for a lot of

Jeff Cohen:

these Metaverse, fashion players that I think are pretty cool. Also, you can bring in NF Ts, there's

Jeff Cohen:

a whole rabbit hole, we go down with that. Um, but I think it's just a cool little stat that I

Jeff Cohen:

actually thought was probably the one of the more interesting pieces of this of this article.

Paul Dawalibi:

You know, I feel like if we were building a framework, right, to try and predict

Paul Dawalibi:

the success of would be your potential meta versus I feel like this would be one of the components of

Paul Dawalibi:

that framework, right? Because it's like, does the user care about their digital avatar? Do they care

Paul Dawalibi:

about their representation in the metaverse and I think this would it's one of the stats, I think I

Paul Dawalibi:

would track and look at it as a predictor of success in terms of a Metaverse platform

Jeff Cohen:

100% It also makes your users more sticky. I imagine if you buy 20 outfits, you're

Jeff Cohen:

going to stick around a hell of a lot longer than if you only have one, just because you've already

Jeff Cohen:

spent and you have that personalization.

Paul Dawalibi:

I'll just mention a couple of other stats here that just that I thought were

Paul Dawalibi:

interesting. In 2021, the number of new female creators using Roblox studio for the first time

Paul Dawalibi:

grew 353% year over year. And so seeing, you know, equal growth to to the male creators, which I

Paul Dawalibi:

think is very interesting. You know, it's a platform that's clearly very accessible to all

Paul Dawalibi:

which is, you know, key to its success. And then they mentioned, you know, the countries with the

Paul Dawalibi:

most engagement time, obviously the US, top of the top of the pile, but Brazil, UK, Philippines, I

Paul Dawalibi:

don't know, if you you would have predicted sort of two, three and four in that order, but I

Paul Dawalibi:

thought they were interesting.

Jeff Cohen:

I would not having in Brazil is a pretty large gaming country. I know, you know,

Jeff Cohen:

free Fire and Karina has done really well there. The UK sort of makes sense. But the other is, you

Jeff Cohen:

know, Philippians Philippians is seems like it's a Metaverse type country. And there that's the

Jeff Cohen:

biggest all the XE players are from the Philippines. Right. That's true. They get into

Jeff Cohen:

gaming there, it's you wouldn't have guessed that. I would guess it always.

Paul Dawalibi:

Look, I think I think the conclusion I just want to I want to move on here.

Paul Dawalibi:

But Roblox continues to impress. And maybe, you know, I know, I know, we have that side. But I bet

Paul Dawalibi:

about the growth of Roblox is de use compared to you know, Twitter, for example. But I still,

Paul Dawalibi:

despite I think, not growing as fast as I maybe have predicted or had predicted. There's there are

Paul Dawalibi:

other forces at work there that I think are putting Roblox in A League of Their Own at the

Paul Dawalibi:

moment, though, interesting data, and also interesting that they published all this data,

Paul Dawalibi:

right. But fundamentally, they don't have to be that transparent. And I think that's interesting

Paul Dawalibi:

that they are. So it's total side question. But do you think this is gloating? This is like, What is

Paul Dawalibi:

this for them? Is this them taking a victory lap?

Jeff Cohen:

I think it's just, I mean, they do they, interestingly enough, do publish monthly,

Jeff Cohen:

like active like month, they publish daily active users monthly, which is incredibly rare. And

Jeff Cohen:

honestly, I don't really understand why they do because it just creates a lot of volatility every

Jeff Cohen:

month, it's like, oh, it was really good. It's up rose really bad. It's down when you have these

Jeff Cohen:

hedge funds trading the stock round. So I don't know why they do that. It's great for

Jeff Cohen:

transparency, but doesn't seem necessary from a public from like an investor relations

Jeff Cohen:

perspective. In terms of this, I think that their CEO or founder had done a talk at GamesBeat

Jeff Cohen:

Summit. And I think, you know, someone in PR probably just wanted to put together like a nice

Jeff Cohen:

little flop presentation. And it's great. They're getting us to talk about it. So they're, you know,

Jeff Cohen:

good for them.

Paul Dawalibi:

True. You know, you know who else is going to get us to talk about them, which I

Paul Dawalibi:

never thought we would. This one, maybe I'm not so bullish. But it's good old blockbuster in the

Paul Dawalibi:

metaverse news. And the headline here is, Blockbuster could be launching NF T's and a

Paul Dawalibi:

cryptocurrency soon, what investors should know it says the comeback for video game rental company

Paul Dawalibi:

blockbuster could come soon via the crypto market. They filed for trademarks around downloadable

Paul Dawalibi:

software for NF T's online marketplace for NF T's virtual currency for members, online gaming

Paul Dawalibi:

services in the nature of Metaverse and use of non downloadable web based decentralized applications.

Paul Dawalibi:

So blockbuster, which is now owned by Dish Network. I

Jeff Cohen:

did not know that was probably the most interesting thing in this article.

Paul Dawalibi:

And so it seems they want to get into the metaverse slash NFT business. Maybe both.

Paul Dawalibi:

And And I'm curious if you're because this is a brand that dish owns I, as far as I know, I don't

Paul Dawalibi:

think there's blockbuster has any business beyond just the brand name, right? Why wouldn't dish do

Paul Dawalibi:

this themselves? First question. Second of all, does lending the blockbuster name to any of this,

Paul Dawalibi:

like make this more interesting?

Jeff Cohen:

So this is really telling about where we are as sort of a society in 2022, where I kind

Jeff Cohen:

of think, crazily enough like, I am much more Bush, if dish actually goes through this under the

Jeff Cohen:

blockbuster trademark name than under the dish name. Because there's this weird thing in society

Jeff Cohen:

right now where like, memes are cool, and things that are like we started this whole podcast off

Jeff Cohen:

talking about should McDonald's except dog money. Were the founder of this dog money literally

Jeff Cohen:

credited eight years ago was like as a joke, created dog money. And now all of a sudden the

Jeff Cohen:

richest human being on the planet is tweeting at one of the largest food companies on the planet to

Jeff Cohen:

get them to accept this fake money. So like, we have long since crossed the Rubicon. So to me,

Jeff Cohen:

like, if your dish and you want to do something in Metaverse, it actually isn't that crazy to use the

Jeff Cohen:

blockbuster data because people, there was a bunch of them. I think there was a Hulu show and a

Jeff Cohen:

Netflix show recently about kind of like the last blockbuster standing, there's been a lot of like,

Jeff Cohen:

nostalgia about old brands and look just last year, like the the, the quote unquote demise of

Jeff Cohen:

Gamestop led to a bunch of apes going and bidding of GameStop. And I know it's not exactly

Jeff Cohen:

analogous, but like, there is something right now in our culture where, you know, the zeitgeist is

Jeff Cohen:

very nostalgic, and like these things from people's youth, like, people associate with that.

Jeff Cohen:

So like, do I think it's gonna work and anything will come of it? Honestly, probably not. But like,

Jeff Cohen:

if you're creating a new brand, you could do worse than a brand that everybody on Earth, where not

Jeff Cohen:

everybody, everybody in the US knows and has immediate name recognition. It's kind of like, Oh,

Jeff Cohen:

ha, that's like a meet if this just created NF T's we would not be talking about. So. From that

Jeff Cohen:

perspective. It's kind of savvy.

Paul Dawalibi:

Do you think? I mean, it's not clear to me what what assets resources blockbuster

Paul Dawalibi:

has, right, like, other than just making NF T's that people will buy for nostalgic reasons. Do you

Paul Dawalibi:

think there's the ability here or any chance that they move? The Metaverse conversation forward?

Paul Dawalibi:

Right, like one of the trademark applications? I guess they're they're filing trademarks for the

Paul Dawalibi:

blockbuster name, as it relates to for example, it says online gaming services in the nature of

Paul Dawalibi:

Metaverse, right? Is there a world you think where dish says, Hey, we're gonna put millions of

Paul Dawalibi:

dollars to go build some kind of blockbuster metaverse? And, and really put, put money and time

Paul Dawalibi:

and resources behind this? Or is this just pure PR fluff? Like, let's get a headline, you know, maybe

Paul Dawalibi:

we sell a few million dollars worth of NFPs to the stategic people. And then you'll never hear about

Paul Dawalibi:

blockbuster again.

Jeff Cohen:

To be fair, they could probably float a digital token and raise like $5 billion. So

Jeff Cohen:

there there is that I mean, it's ridiculous. But I actually think that would happen. The one that

Jeff Cohen:

jumps out to me is interesting. He's actually one we talked about last last week, or two weeks ago,

Jeff Cohen:

he's a V GameStop. That's the online marketplace for NF T's. I have no idea. If dish has the

Jeff Cohen:

technical capability to build that out, I imagined they would probably buy something. And then maybe

Jeff Cohen:

rebranded blockbuster. And like when you're talking about NFT marketplace landscape where

Jeff Cohen:

there's a ton of players going after this, and none of them are really dominant yet, maybe open C

Jeff Cohen:

but I guarantee you if I asked my mom or most people on the street, they've never heard of open

Jeff Cohen:

C, but they've heard of blockbuster. So it is possible. If you're going after a large network

Jeff Cohen:

effect driven, two sided marketplace type business, you want to have a great brand name

Jeff Cohen:

attached, or at least a well known brand name attached to you. And there's some shock value,

Jeff Cohen:

where I guarantee you if it said hey, blockbusters coming back and it's a marketplace for NF T's

Jeff Cohen:

every website on the internet is going to cover it. Whereas if it came out, well dish networks

Jeff Cohen:

creating an online marketplace for NF T's. Everyone's gonna be like, cool. There's 30 Other

Jeff Cohen:

companies doing the same thing. And you know, we don't really like dish. It's a shitty TV, you

Jeff Cohen:

know, cable company, right? I don't know, maybe all my crazy or does this make sense?

Paul Dawalibi:

I don't think we'll ever see blockbuster come back in a brick and mortar retail

Paul Dawalibi:

way. Although I think it'd be cool to have brick and mortar blockbusters that sell NF T's in the

Paul Dawalibi:

real world. Right. That might be interesting. Like, you know, true digital art galleries, I

Paul Dawalibi:

guess in the form of of blockbuster stores. But I could see bringing that retail experience to the

Paul Dawalibi:

metaverse like I could see that if blockbuster is the place to go buy NF T's in the metaverse, the

Paul Dawalibi:

metaverse, right capital T capital M, and they have a retail presence there for NF T's. The

Paul Dawalibi:

question is, you know, what does blockbuster bring to the table that no one else can or that all the

Paul Dawalibi:

other, you know, dozens of marketplaces all do, other than than the style Joy factor. I don't know

Paul Dawalibi:

if they really bring anything unique to the table. I have a funny feeling this was you know, a little

Paul Dawalibi:

bit PR fluff piece to test the waters and see if there's sort of an easy score for them here. But

Paul Dawalibi:

it'll be interesting. It's an interesting one to watch. Because I think you're right, there's an

Paul Dawalibi:

attachment, a weird attachment to this brand. And I think a lot of the buyers are in this age group

Paul Dawalibi:

where blockbuster is a brand that is meaningful to them, right? It's not it's not unknown. And so you

Paul Dawalibi:

know, it'll be interesting to see if they actually follow through with this. I want to I want to get

Paul Dawalibi:

to the story, Jeff, because it's something we haven't talked about much on the show and this is

Paul Dawalibi:

from the Wall Street Journal. And the headline here is come the metaverse can privacy exist. And

Paul Dawalibi:

they make an interesting argument here. It's in the sub headline let me just read it it says in

Paul Dawalibi:

immersive worlds New technologies will siphon up data at an increasingly granular level, a person's

Paul Dawalibi:

gate AI movements, emotions and more, putting far greater strain on existing safeguards. So, you

Paul Dawalibi:

know, in the web two world, there's been this call it ongoing battle, right between the people who

Paul Dawalibi:

want the data to sell. And the people like us who provide the data essentially, sometimes

Paul Dawalibi:

inadvertently, and who desire some form of privacy. And, you know, I have feelings in terms

Paul Dawalibi:

of how that battle is going, which we will touch on in a second. The question is for you in this in

Paul Dawalibi:

this Metaverse, right in the metaverse, we talked about, regardless of the platform or the form it

Paul Dawalibi:

takes, if you buy this sub headline that there's just a massive amount of additional data that you

Paul Dawalibi:

get by creating digital versions of ourselves right and living and working in this place and

Paul Dawalibi:

playing in this place. Is it a privacy battle that is lost, essentially from day one? Or do we think

Paul Dawalibi:

we will see an entire sub industry, you know, pop up to try and stop this before? It's unavoidable?

Jeff Cohen:

I think it's unavoidable. I think it's your kind of the the nature of how the plot you

Jeff Cohen:

interact with the platform to like what the article says, I mean, it is almost impossible for

Jeff Cohen:

data not to be collected. Now, the one thing I would say is, I think these detect the tie between

Jeff Cohen:

the app, the data that they're getting on the avatar, and the actual person sitting behind the

Jeff Cohen:

avatar made that time may be severed, right? So I may be sitting here, and my avatar might be doing

Jeff Cohen:

something on the screen and going into the virtual Blockbuster and buying whatever NFT is, you know,

Jeff Cohen:

in the metaverse, so they'll have that data and they'll be selling me stuff. They however, may not

Jeff Cohen:

know that behind that avatar is you know, Jeff Cohen, the 31 year old with a one year old son

Jeff Cohen:

living in, you know, in Manhattan, but they may not get that, that layer that does that make

Jeff Cohen:

sense?

Paul Dawalibi:

It does. I mean, there's an interesting example here, which I thought was

Paul Dawalibi:

somewhat frightening. And I'm not trying to be alarmist at all, I just do think there's an

Paul Dawalibi:

interesting sort of data conversation to have and a privacy conversation to have. It says here, all

Paul Dawalibi:

at any given time, the way you move, the way your gait is the way you're gazing, your pupil dilation

Paul Dawalibi:

is giving away information to developers, right? The assumption is you're wearing a headset, they

Paul Dawalibi:

have cameras, they have, you know, lenses, The Hobbit, all these tidbits could give companies

Paul Dawalibi:

greater ability to deduce users traits define current notions of privacy and security and

Paul Dawalibi:

straining corporate policies to protect them. It says, for instance, an insurance company might

Paul Dawalibi:

obtain information that suggests a user has a health problem, before the person noticed any

Paul Dawalibi:

physical changes, or saw a doctor right? Like it could be looking at your eye movement. And they

Paul Dawalibi:

realize oh, he's, you know, his eye, his eyes are moving a little slower than usual. He's had a

Paul Dawalibi:

stroke or something. Right? And yeah, maybe I'm exaggerating.

Jeff Cohen:

Example they're using it that feels to me like a little bit of a bridge too far. But

Paul Dawalibi:

do you think this is too dystopian? We'll never get there.

Jeff Cohen:

I think that it is to Yes. I think that example goes probably a bit further than

Jeff Cohen:

that. I'm willing to accept the the more the privacy issue that I am much more concerned about

Jeff Cohen:

as it comes to the early stages of the metaverse is, how do you when you're, you know, we see the

Jeff Cohen:

toxicity that exists online, when people are able to hide behind anonymity? How much worse does it

Jeff Cohen:

get when you're in a virtual digital space? You know, and you could be hiding behind an avatar and

Jeff Cohen:

sort of doing nefarious things with, you know, people that are underage? How do you prevent, you

Jeff Cohen:

know, adults from communicating with children like that kind of stuff that I think Roblox is

Jeff Cohen:

currently starting to deal with? I'm much more concerned about that from a privacy perspective,

Jeff Cohen:

then, you know, 30 years from now, like, the insurance company knows I have cancer prior

Jeff Cohen:

before. I know, like, I don't see that as a very realistic, near term concern.

Paul Dawalibi:

It's interesting, because you're almost saying like, you're concerned about too

Paul Dawalibi:

much privacy. Right, that the metaphor is, yeah, too much privacy. And so, you know, I do think

Paul Dawalibi:

from a pure business standpoint, though, it's an overlooked opportunity because of the vast privacy

Paul Dawalibi:

and security implications that a digital world presents, right. And I don't think I haven't seen

Paul Dawalibi:

companies sort of pop up addressing this directly. Like, I haven't seen a lot there yet, and I have a

Paul Dawalibi:

funny feeling. This is one of those areas that sort of goes overlooked. And then there's

Paul Dawalibi:

discussion around it, but you don't see a lot of business around it initially. And I think people

Paul Dawalibi:

will have their eyes open like something will happen, right? There's always there's always Some,

Paul Dawalibi:

some events that is the you know, the thing that that is the impetus for for people to actually do

Paul Dawalibi:

something about it. And I have a funny feeling we'll see quite a few companies

Jeff Cohen:

makes sense. If we if we take the premise that the metaverse is the eventual

Jeff Cohen:

successor to the current, you know, internet and in some form or fashion, I mean, cybersecurity is

Jeff Cohen:

a probably, you know, 100 billion dollar industry, if not, if not bigger. So it makes sense that some

Jeff Cohen:

form of Metaverse, cybersecurity would also exist where almost too early to know the problems that

Jeff Cohen:

they're gonna have to solve. So it's like, the bad guys have to come and infiltrate first and then

Jeff Cohen:

you have the companies that start up the disorder STOP THAT bad behavior.

Paul Dawalibi:

Jeff, I want to finish on this last story. And it was a quick one. It's the headline.

Paul Dawalibi:

Here's from TechCrunch. And it says breeder Tao, or breeder do just raised funding from a 16 said,

Paul Dawalibi:

and others to generate NF T's at scale. a16z is Andreessen Horowitz, by the way, and it says,

Paul Dawalibi:

well, certain titans of tech have argue over how different or not decentralized web outfits will be

Paul Dawalibi:

compared to their unabashedly centralized, centralized predecessors, an ecosystem of

Paul Dawalibi:

companies is fast emerging with ties to each other, including backing from the same investors.

Paul Dawalibi:

And what they mentioned is Andreessen investing in yield gild games, which I think we touched on on

Paul Dawalibi:

the business of esports podcast, right? Where they invest in NF T's from block blockchain based

Paul Dawalibi:

games, then they loan them out to people who use them and generate revenue and essentially pay back

Paul Dawalibi:

those loans. Which I think we concluded felt a little bit like they entered servitude.

Jeff Cohen:

We did. A little dystopian.

Paul Dawalibi:

But they mentioned in this article xe infinity, right, and one of the problems xe

Paul Dawalibi:

infinity is facing is there's huge demand for axes, which is their currency, right? And not

Paul Dawalibi:

enough supply. And breeder, Dow, which closed on, you know, this 10 million in funding, which was

Paul Dawalibi:

led by Andreessen Horowitz, who also is an investor in sky Mavis, which makes Axi infinity.

Paul Dawalibi:

To me, and I'm putting this in my own words, is like a contract manufacturer for NF T's like xe

Paul Dawalibi:

infinity can't make enough of them, or fast enough, don't want to be bothered to make enough

Paul Dawalibi:

of them or fast enough. And so they've outsourced the creation of axes to breeder Dow. And my

Paul Dawalibi:

question to you is, you know, one of the things they mentioned in this article is that one of the,

Paul Dawalibi:

the backing of and recent thesis on this, they've said is demand for NF T's, according to them is

Paul Dawalibi:

beginning to outstrip supply, that we can't that companies can't keep up with the demand. Do you

Paul Dawalibi:

think there's these are transient opportunities? Or do you think this is a long term like the in

Paul Dawalibi:

the same way, we have contract manufacturing in the garment industry? Right, that we will have

Paul Dawalibi:

contract manufacturing for NF T's also. So this is something that is just part of the ecosystem

Paul Dawalibi:

forever?

Jeff Cohen:

I have some I have some thoughts here. I mean, I It's funny if this wasn't Andreessen

Jeff Cohen:

Horowitz, I feel like I would have a much hotter take, because I almost feel like I'm missing

Jeff Cohen:

something. Because I'm like, Yes, this is the smartest VC around and they're investing. So I

Jeff Cohen:

probably should be positive. But to me, this says two things. One, this is an issue we've talked

Jeff Cohen:

about for a bunch of different episodes. There is a big shortage currently, right now of developers

Jeff Cohen:

for web three. So to me, it seems like xe infinity sky made us can't hire enough good people. And

Jeff Cohen:

this other companies effectively hiring good people and is going to contract manufacture or

Jeff Cohen:

outsource develop for Sky made us. That's what it seems like to me. And maybe in the short term,

Jeff Cohen:

that is a big opportunity, because there just isn't enough skilled people who know how to create

Jeff Cohen:

these smart contracts and build these NF T's and kind of have that skill set. But it's just odd to

Jeff Cohen:

me, because this is something we've seen in the gaming industry and like plenty of almost every

Jeff Cohen:

publisher, triple A publisher uses outsource QA, a lot of them use studios like keyword studios, and

Jeff Cohen:

it was a public company over Europe, where basically, you know, there's different art design

Jeff Cohen:

are kind of like laborious tasks that you don't want your dev team to do. You can outsource it to

Jeff Cohen:

these contract, you know, outsource development studios. Like I remember when I covered glue as an

Jeff Cohen:

analyst, they would do a lot of their work in like the Philippines and stuff like that they would

Jeff Cohen:

just have outsourced, you know, art design, stuff like that. But I don't get the sense that those

Jeff Cohen:

companies were worth a heck of a lot. It's almost like a business outsource company like you know,

Jeff Cohen:

you're outsourcing your your customer service. to a call center in India, but you don't think of

Jeff Cohen:

that as highly skilled labor. So it's a bit of a head scratcher to me, where, you know, I'm not

Jeff Cohen:

sure how much value this company will have in sort of the medium to longer term right now. I mean,

Jeff Cohen:

it's probably a good idea because there's a hole in the labor market and good on these early

Jeff Cohen:

developers because I'm sure they're, they're making a ton a ton of money. But I just don't

Jeff Cohen:

necessarily see this as strategic, longer term. And to me also the comment that demand for FTS is

Jeff Cohen:

outstripping supply. And, and that, that terrifies me to some extent, because these are digital

Jeff Cohen:

items. And you could make NF T's pretty darn quick. So like, my guess is demand is, you know,

Jeff Cohen:

supply was stripped demand, like, probably by the time this episode airs. You know, I don't know

Jeff Cohen:

about that.

Paul Dawalibi:

Look, I'm on like, the Andreessen thing. It's like, there's, they're usually the

Paul Dawalibi:

smartest investors in the room. So like, what are we missing? And then, and then I put my tinfoil

Paul Dawalibi:

hat on, like, maybe this is them just being really clever, right? Like, xe infinity, is there, the

Paul Dawalibi:

probably like a $50 billion exit at some point, right? If it keeps on the trajectory it's on? And

Paul Dawalibi:

so, like, what's 5 million or whatever the of the $10 million round that they put in? Right? Like,

Paul Dawalibi:

what's 5 million to a fund like Andreessen sighs, to make sure that they have a supplier

Paul Dawalibi:

essentially, pay all the attention to them? Right, and potentially get acquired by Axi infinity at

Paul Dawalibi:

some point down the road anyway, so they it's like, double returns their, their jayway returns?

Paul Dawalibi:

Yeah. And so, you know, my tinfoil hat says, this is probably pretty genius on their part. Because

Paul Dawalibi:

to your point, they probably, it's a, it's a clever way of acquiring a bunch of developers and

Paul Dawalibi:

a bunch of time and attention from a company. You know, for your bigger play. That is, you know, the

Paul Dawalibi:

probably the multi multi billion dollar exit for you. But that's really all I could think of in

Paul Dawalibi:

terms of, you know, because I, I'm not sure I believe that long term, this is an issue, right? I

Paul Dawalibi:

guess, I believe in the short term, there's maybe this crunch, not enough people not enough time, so

Paul Dawalibi:

much growth, so many other priorities. But it's the sort of thing that technology feels like it

Paul Dawalibi:

console and long term. This outsourcing may not be probably won't be necessary. It is what it feels

Paul Dawalibi:

like. So, you know, that's one where I think this is just Andreessen being exceptionally clever.

Paul Dawalibi:

And, you know, making sure that their their big investment is really protected here. Jeff, that's

Paul Dawalibi:

all we had for this week. I can't believe that episode.

Jeff Cohen:

Packed in a lot there.

Paul Dawalibi:

We've packed in a lot. For our listeners, guys. Really appreciate any feedback if

Paul Dawalibi:

you're loving the show. If you love the juice. Let us know if you follow me

Jeff Cohen:

on Twitter at Jeff Cohen 23 juices coming in hot on Twitter these days

Paul Dawalibi:

with Chase is coming in hot on Twitter at Jeff Cohen 23 There you go. And make

Paul Dawalibi:

sure guys to subscribe to the podcast. You know, hit the Follow button subscribe button, whatever

Paul Dawalibi:

podcast platform you get this on. If it's on YouTube, subscribe to Metaverse TV on YouTube. And

Paul Dawalibi:

you know hope you guys are enjoying the show. We're loving doing it always open to feedback. And

Paul Dawalibi:

as always, we'll see you guys next week.

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About the Podcast

META Business
From the metaverse to the boardroom...
Meta Business tackles the most important Metaverse industry news. Business experts dissect and discuss all of the hottest topics and happenings, from a unique C-suite perspective.

About your host

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Paul Dawalibi