Episode 6

full
Published on:

3rd Jan 2022

6. Metaverse Fashion Week, Metaverse Christmas, Technology Adoption Curve, Ready Player Me

In this episode, the metaverse wins Christmas, we look at the metaverse in the context of the technology adoption curve, Ready Player Me raises $13 million in a recent funding round, Decentraland and UNXD are planning to host the metaverse's fashion week, and so much more!

Episode 6 Keywords: Metaverse Christmas, Technology Adoption Curve, Ready Player Me Funding, Metaverse Fashion Week

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 the Prophet Dawalibi. I'm joined today by my friend and co host, Jeff the juice Cohen. For

Paul Dawalibi:

those of you who are new to the meta business podcast welcome. What we do here is we cover all

Paul Dawalibi:

the big Metaverse news and stories of the week. We look at all of it through a business and C suite

Paul Dawalibi:

lens, we dissect, we analyze the business implications of everything happening in the

Paul Dawalibi:

metaverse. For those of you who are new to the podcast, welcome. If you've come here from the

Paul Dawalibi:

business of esports also welcome. We encourage you guys to subscribe to the metal business podcast,

Paul Dawalibi:

leave a review. If you love the content we put out every week, we really would appreciate a five star

Paul Dawalibi:

review. Wherever you get this podcast on Apple podcast, Google Play Spotify, wherever. Jeff, how

Paul Dawalibi:

are you doing this week?

Jeff Cohen:

I'm doing well. We are we're recording this. It's the week between Christmas and New

Jeff Cohen:

Year's. It's always the weirdest week of the year. You know, everyone's sort of off from work, but

Jeff Cohen:

not really. You know, basically sitting on the couch watching Netflix or doing whatever they do

Jeff Cohen:

spending time with family. But the news never stops and the metaverse never stops. So here we

Jeff Cohen:

are excited to get going.

Paul Dawalibi:

It doesn't and I can tell you I said this on the business of esports podcast.

Paul Dawalibi:

Everyone thinks this is the slowest week of the year, we are crushing it literally all of our

Paul Dawalibi:

content is hitting like record highs, whether it's met a business or business of esports or met a

Paul Dawalibi:

woman or literally everything this is the best week ever for all of our content. So I don't know

Paul Dawalibi:

if there's a business lesson in there but

Jeff Cohen:

everyone will everyone's just telling you what people are doing listening to podcasts. I

Jeff Cohen:

would say you know I listen to most of my podcasts when I work out which is why I don't get around to

Jeff Cohen:

listening to many of the episodes that were recorded because you know I don't work out enough

Jeff Cohen:

but after the new year you know that's going to be a big a big push in the Cohen household. So the

Jeff Cohen:

juice of the count off on all things podcast

Paul Dawalibi:

that's not totally fair for our listeners they should know that the juice himself

Paul Dawalibi:

is a is a record holding like all star lacrosse player so like, it's not totally fair to say you

Paul Dawalibi:

don't work out so Alright, let's let's I don't want to waste any time here. Let's jump into some

Paul Dawalibi:

news because believe it or not, even though this is the week between Christmas and New Year there

Paul Dawalibi:

actually was a ton of Metaverse news. I mean, the hype has not stopped, the activity has not

Paul Dawalibi:

stopped. And let's start here with an article. You know, you found this one Jeff and and I think the

Paul Dawalibi:

headline was very catchy here. The headline said, how the metaverse one Christmas, this may end up

Paul Dawalibi:

being the title of this podcast. But But fundamentally, it has three key points in this

Paul Dawalibi:

article from CNBC. And here they're talking about Mehta, which is Facebook's parent company. They

Paul Dawalibi:

have the most popular app in Apple's App Store on Christmas. And that is the Oculus VR app. That's

Paul Dawalibi:

like the companion app if you own an Oculus VR headset. And the second point here says it's a

Paul Dawalibi:

sign metas VR headset was one of the most popular technology gifts over the holidays. This This

Paul Dawalibi:

gives Mehta more opportunity to show customers the possibilities of its vision for the metaverse. So

Paul Dawalibi:

Oculus having huge success, right. The article basically says Oculus one Christmas, and you know

Paul Dawalibi:

they've generalized to the metaverse, but let's call it like it is Oculus, that one Christmas

Paul Dawalibi:

here. What do you make of this, Jeff? Is it you know, is this a turning point is this? Are we not

Paul Dawalibi:

there yet? Like the metaverse hardware.

Jeff Cohen:

It's interesting. I mean, it's, it's too early to call this necessarily an inflection

Jeff Cohen:

point, because I feel like we've had too many stops and starts in terms of VR, to really know if

Jeff Cohen:

this is the true kind of, we're coming up the adoption curve we sort of saw, I remember, during

Jeff Cohen:

the pandemic, like the very early stages of the pandemic, when HalfLife Alex came out from Valve,

Jeff Cohen:

and everyone was like, Well, this is it. Finally, there's a killer app. There's a game on VR that

Jeff Cohen:

everyone wants to play, it's exclusive to VR, this is it, there's going to be mass adoption boom. And

Jeff Cohen:

and that sort of never really happened. And I'm not sure the exact postmortem to that maybe it was

Jeff Cohen:

the game just wasn't good or the platform wasn't ready things were too expensive. You know, that's

Jeff Cohen:

kind of a different subject that we don't necessarily want to get get into. But we've seen

Jeff Cohen:

this before. So I do think it's a little bit too early to say, you know, the VR market. It's a

Jeff Cohen:

classic, you know, platform problem where you have, you know, it's a two sided platform, you

Jeff Cohen:

need users, and then you need developers, and you don't really get developers in till there's a big

Jeff Cohen:

enough user base for it to be worthwhile to develop games for. And you don't get people to buy

Jeff Cohen:

the Oculus until there's good games or kind of a killer app, if you will. So, it is good right now

Jeff Cohen:

that you're starting to see this user base, consumer electronics are always a popular gift on

Jeff Cohen:

Christmas. So this year, you know that that was the case with Oculus. The question I have is, is

Jeff Cohen:

there really a killer app yet? Have we seen enough developers adopting this? And I guess the question

Jeff Cohen:

moving forward will be what is usage look like? Because it could be very easily be, hey, everyone

Jeff Cohen:

got this. This, you know, the Oculus for Christmas from grandma, and they're going to use it for a

Jeff Cohen:

week realize, hey, there's really just not that many games on here now, and then it's going to get

Jeff Cohen:

put in the closet. So I think it'll be interesting to kind of monitor how usage tracks and stuff like

Jeff Cohen:

that. So I would pose that question to you. And then I think the bigger question that, you know,

Jeff Cohen:

you're probably leading me towards that I didn't really cover is sort of how, how do we tie this to

Jeff Cohen:

the metaverse like, is this? What if this is the you know, the kind of the coming? Coming out party

Jeff Cohen:

for VR? Is that sort of important for the metaverse? I'll pose that I guess to you?

Paul Dawalibi:

I'm going to get to the answering that question. I just I want to put this up on the

Paul Dawalibi:

screen. And for those listening, I'll try and describe it. But this is like your standard

Paul Dawalibi:

technology adoption curve. Okay. And at the bottom, sort of It's a it looks like a bit like a

Paul Dawalibi:

bell curve, right? It's a it's a, what is this an inverted parabola. And then at the bottom, you've

Paul Dawalibi:

got enthusiast. And there the statement is I have to be the first to try this. Then you have

Paul Dawalibi:

visionaries further up the curve. I want to show you this helpful tool I found, then you have

Paul Dawalibi:

pragmatists further up the curve. Why should I start using this technology? That's what they ask

Paul Dawalibi:

themselves. And then conservatives on the other end, right. This is after his peak adoption is

Paul Dawalibi:

piqued. I was skeptical, but I should have tried this earlier. And then finally, skeptics are the

Paul Dawalibi:

toughest right to get on board. And they'll they'll tell themselves, I guess I can give it a

Paul Dawalibi:

try. But I need help. Where do you think with Oculus and VR? We are on this adoption curve in

Paul Dawalibi:

your mind?

Jeff Cohen:

I think we're probably maybe in the second second quadrant. So visionaries. Yeah, I

Jeff Cohen:

think we're probably their mid pragmatist. I don't like the name like I don't. I'm not sure. Let's

Jeff Cohen:

see, why should I start using this technology? Hmm. Maybe between somewhere between two and

Jeff Cohen:

three? I think we have moved past the I have to be the first to try this. Because those were the

Jeff Cohen:

people that were buying Oculus 3456 years ago. Yeah, I think we're kind of in quadrant two

Jeff Cohen:

quadrant three.

Paul Dawalibi:

I don't know. Do you agree with that? I do agree with that. I think you know, the

Paul Dawalibi:

the question you asked those a good one, Jeff, which is, what is the impact on the metaverse

Paul Dawalibi:

here. And, and I'll just also mention, you know, the guests we had on the business of esports

Paul Dawalibi:

podcast this week, is a software developer. And his feeling was I asked him sort of something

Paul Dawalibi:

around this. And he had this sort of interesting perspective where it's a pendulum between software

Paul Dawalibi:

and hardware. And we've been in this software mode, right where you have Roblox and you have

Paul Dawalibi:

epic and fortnight and unreal, and you have you know, Minecraft and there's a whole bunch of

Paul Dawalibi:

software being built for the metaverse and if T's and blockchain and blockchain based games and

Paul Dawalibi:

right everyone's writing code, but there's this feeling like the pendulum is gonna swing back

Paul Dawalibi:

towards hardware. And there's going to be sort of this era of hardware innovation, where software

Paul Dawalibi:

might be relatively stagnant, but where you're gonna see a ton of innovation on the hardware

Paul Dawalibi:

side. And, and and I don't know if Oculus is the one that's going to lead that. But I think what

Paul Dawalibi:

Oculus has done from a price point and marketing perspective is they've made VR truly accessible to

Paul Dawalibi:

anyone, right? So anyone who wants to experience the early days of the metaverse, if you want to

Paul Dawalibi:

call it that can write there's really no barrier anymore. That it's not complicated, right? You

Paul Dawalibi:

don't need stay like base stations in your room, the setups easy, it's totally portable, you

Paul Dawalibi:

recharge it like a phone, right? Like there's literally nothing that that my own grandmother

Paul Dawalibi:

couldn't figure out, right. And so I think that's a major accomplishment that we have to ascribe to

Paul Dawalibi:

Oculus, which is why it's sold like hot like hotcakes during Christmas. And it's also probably

Paul Dawalibi:

the only console if you want to consider it a console that was in stock, right? Like people

Paul Dawalibi:

couldn't get an Xbox or a PS five, I think you could still get an Oculus. Even if people put it

Paul Dawalibi:

away, like try it and put it away, like you said might be that sort of worst case scenario. The

Paul Dawalibi:

fact of the matter is there's going to be this massive install base of VR headsets. And from a

Paul Dawalibi:

coming of the metaverse perspective, I think that's a requirement. Right? Like even if people

Paul Dawalibi:

aren't actively using it day to day That's fair. But install base.

Jeff Cohen:

I guess I would pose 100% Having the install, but it's a chicken and egg problem.

Jeff Cohen:

Having install base is a massive prerequisite. But I'm almost thinking to myself, is it better for

Jeff Cohen:

people to not have tried it yet and have just this idea of what the metaverse is? Or try it and have

Jeff Cohen:

it not be what they think it is? Because it's not the technology's not there yet. And I think you're

Jeff Cohen:

the guest on the pot like the the hardware software kind of pendulum. I actually love that.

Jeff Cohen:

Like, I think that that makes a ton of sense. But yeah, I'm wondering if maybe it's worse if people

Jeff Cohen:

try it and are like, Well, that just wasn't that good. And then you sort of set you set yourself

Jeff Cohen:

back, because now it's even harder to get those people because they're like, I already tried that.

Jeff Cohen:

It's just not that interesting.

Paul Dawalibi:

I mean, I see your point, right, like they, they fire beat Sabre, and they're like,

Paul Dawalibi:

this is this is like it I mean, I see your point, I think I probably disagree in the sense that and

Paul Dawalibi:

I know you're making the point to create discussion here. But like, I feel like better

Paul Dawalibi:

expose people to it, even if it's not the end game. Because this creates more discussion. I

Paul Dawalibi:

think they're more likely to buy next gen Oculus or whatever the next thing is, right. Like, I feel

Paul Dawalibi:

like if you expose people to it, even if there's somewhat, and I don't know if anyone has in their

Paul Dawalibi:

mind, sort of this grand vision of the metaverse like I don't think anyone buys an Oculus thinking.

Paul Dawalibi:

This is going to be Ready Player One. Do you think yeah, like that's what?

Jeff Cohen:

No, probably not. I guess from a more fundamental level. I don't know if we've ever

Jeff Cohen:

discussed this yet on the podcast, like, do you think the metaverse? Is VR a requisite of the

Jeff Cohen:

metaverse? Or is it just immersion? Is it something you know? Could you could argue playing

Jeff Cohen:

a game of Grand Theft Auto you can be immersed in that game? You're not in VR, but you can be you

Jeff Cohen:

know, by definition, immersed where it's like, you feel like you're in the world or do you need that

Jeff Cohen:

presence? Where you're, you know, you're in VR.

Paul Dawalibi:

This is tricky, because it's a it's a word definition problem, right? Like, if we

Paul Dawalibi:

define VR as a headset I'm wearing with screens built into the headset. That's to me, that's not

Paul Dawalibi:

the end game, right. Like if we're thinking 2030 years from now. No way. That's the endgame. I

Paul Dawalibi:

think I've always been I've always described it as is Star Trek's holodeck. Like even Ready Player

Paul Dawalibi:

One to me is not the end game for humanity when it comes to meta versus Star Trek's holodeck truly

Paul Dawalibi:

is, in my mind, basically the end game where

Jeff Cohen:

and for the people who never saw it? It's I mean, I'm just saying there might be some

Jeff Cohen:

of our listeners. It's true. It's

Paul Dawalibi:

a room.

Jeff Cohen:

Not me. Definitely. And the room

Paul Dawalibi:

can create any reality you ask of it. Right? And, and it's totally indistinguishable

Paul Dawalibi:

from reality. So it's

Jeff Cohen:

a requirement from Harry Potter, I get it.

Paul Dawalibi:

Which, which is a reference item get but Star Trek's holodeck makes sense to me.

Paul Dawalibi:

But know that like where it's where you you're, there's no hardware other than the space you're

Paul Dawalibi:

occupying? To me, that's the end game right? And where space sort of loses all meaning also right?

Paul Dawalibi:

You could be you could you the reality you're in could occupy a vast space. Now, I don't know if

Paul Dawalibi:

you saw the Elon Musk interview with the Babylon be, you know, he sort of made fun of, of, you

Paul Dawalibi:

know, I don't he didn't cease. He basically said, I don't think there's a future where we're going

Paul Dawalibi:

to where TV's on are like on our faces. So he I think also doesn't believe that there's this sort

Paul Dawalibi:

of VR headset long term future. But I think where he's putting his bets from, from the interview, at

Paul Dawalibi:

least from where I think he thinks it's heading is more just like electrical, like where we plug in,

Paul Dawalibi:

right? Where we can feed electrical signals to your brain to create the reality. You don't even

Paul Dawalibi:

need a room at that point, right, we can create the reality in your own mind. If we can control

Paul Dawalibi:

those electrical impulses, you know, precisely enough, you can create smell and sight and sound

Paul Dawalibi:

and the whole bit so you know, those brain computer interfaces maybe are where we end up.

Jeff Cohen:

The challenges are connecting your brain to because I could understand you or you can

Jeff Cohen:

connect something to someone's brain and it's like, you can control what they see. But it might

Jeff Cohen:

be hard, it'd be really hard to take it the next step where you're controlling everyone is, you

Jeff Cohen:

know, controlling everwell brain if

Paul Dawalibi:

everyone's plugged into the same system, you could see how that works. Right? Yeah,

Paul Dawalibi:

it's an interface fundamentally. But anyway, so I think good on Oculus good on meta to me that

Paul Dawalibi:

Oculus is metas greatest strength, right? Like, I think it's where they have clear leadership from a

Paul Dawalibi:

Metaverse perspective because I think their metaphor strategy otherwise is basically so far

Paul Dawalibi:

all just talk right like there's nothing really there that gives them a Some serious competitive

Paul Dawalibi:

advantage other than Oculus 100% Agree. All right, we talked we mentioned Ready Player One. I think

Paul Dawalibi:

it's worth talking about this next story because just because of the thing it's got a clever title

Paul Dawalibi:

here in the company's called Ready Player me, blatant knockoff, obviously of the movie or the

Paul Dawalibi:

book. And and here, the headline is ready player me a Metaverse avatar platform raises 13 million

Paul Dawalibi:

in funding. This is a company called Wolf 3d. They have created or they're they're creating a

Paul Dawalibi:

Metaverse avatar platform called Ready Player me. And their goal is to offer a customized avatar

Paul Dawalibi:

that supposedly will carry over across the entire metaverse. So players build their avatar from

Paul Dawalibi:

pictures or from scratch. And according to this, they can use them across. I don't know where they

Paul Dawalibi:

got this number 900 Plus apps and games. And they're going to use the funding to establish

Paul Dawalibi:

their place as the default avatar system for the metaverse. According to them, 2021 they grew their

Paul Dawalibi:

adoption grew from 25 to 900 partner companies, where essentially they're partnering to be able to

Paul Dawalibi:

use those avatars in those games. I mean, Jeff, are you are you excited by this? So you know,

Paul Dawalibi:

we've talked a little bit, we've alluded to standards and things like that being important for

Paul Dawalibi:

the metaverse, right capital M. Is this one of those essential building blocks? Do you think this

Paul Dawalibi:

is a, you know, $50 billion company because they're there first, I'm curious how you're

Paul Dawalibi:

thinking about this.

Jeff Cohen:

It's hard to kind of pass judgment on the the like the specific company without kind of

Jeff Cohen:

seeing their tech and whatnot. But I am very bullish on kind of digital fashion and sort of

Jeff Cohen:

direct to Avatar commerce, just because if you think about it, people's appearances in real life

Jeff Cohen:

are so important and kind of what we buy what we wear. If we take that to the logical extreme,

Jeff Cohen:

where we're going to be spending more and more of our time in the metaverse and caring more and more

Jeff Cohen:

about what our digital presence is, you're going to have digital fashion. So to me like that, that

Jeff Cohen:

is 100% happening. The bigger question is, what is the tech look like? And how does the

Jeff Cohen:

interoperability work? Because it's easy to say, hey, we're going to create a fashion company or,

Jeff Cohen:

you know, a tech platform that allows you to, essentially, hey, you're wearing a skin and Call

Jeff Cohen:

of Duty, all of a sudden you want to go play Battlefield, you go take the skin to Battlefield

Jeff Cohen:

like that. In theory, I think we all agree like that is a world that makes a ton of sense and

Jeff Cohen:

should exist. But there are a lot of logistical challenge like not even just like real world

Jeff Cohen:

development challenges, things are built on different engines. There are different companies,

Jeff Cohen:

if I buy a skin and Call of Duty that goes into Activision Blizzard's bank account. How does that

Jeff Cohen:

work? When I bring it the battlefield, which is owned by Electronic Arts, which is a separate

Jeff Cohen:

legal entity like that, there are very, I guess I'll use the word legit. Maybe logistical is the

Jeff Cohen:

right word for it like that is a that is a challenge that is a big hurdle to overcome. And

Jeff Cohen:

maybe the answer is it will it will. This kind of interoperability will only work in blockchain

Jeff Cohen:

games and quote unquote, these Metaverse games, because that's just the DNA of these companies and

Jeff Cohen:

everything won't be owned by the company, it'll be in the blockchain. And maybe there'll be when you,

Jeff Cohen:

it's entirely conceivable when you transfer an item from one game to the other, you either pay a

Jeff Cohen:

small fee, or maybe the developer from the first game pays the second developer or vice versa.

Jeff Cohen:

Because it's like, Hey, maybe I can see the developer in the second game, paying the developer

Jeff Cohen:

in the first game, because theoretically, you'll probably, once you're playing the second game,

Jeff Cohen:

you'll be very likely to buy a second skin, which then they'll make money from. So it's a little bit

Jeff Cohen:

of customer acquisition kind of thing. There's a lot of different rabbit holes, we can go down and

Jeff Cohen:

discuss. But at the highest level, I think this kind of organization will exist, it's just a

Jeff Cohen:

matter of how it how it will logistically shake out in terms of the value chain.

Paul Dawalibi:

Well, let me let me ask you one question before I sort of give my thoughts on this

Paul Dawalibi:

because I, I think this will help frame my own thought. Do you think Ready Player me can be

Paul Dawalibi:

successful? If they only have some of the companies like like fast forward five years or 10

Paul Dawalibi:

years, right? Like, if only 10% of the games and companies call it operating in meta versus are

Paul Dawalibi:

signed up with Ready Player me? Is this a success? You think like, is this good for the industry? Or

Paul Dawalibi:

do you think they have to have everything like is this an all or nothing? Kind of? No, I

Jeff Cohen:

don't think I don't. I don't think they have to have everything. I do think once they

Jeff Cohen:

hit a threshold, it be once they become big enough where certain portion of games have this. I think

Jeff Cohen:

you're going what you're going to see is other games are going to want to get onto the platform

Jeff Cohen:

because their users are going to want to get onto the platform. So imagine if you Have 10 games

Jeff Cohen:

where you could, you know, bring your digital gun or your shirt or whatever your shoes from game to

Jeff Cohen:

game to game. And then there's 11th game where you can't. So anything you buy in the first 10 games

Jeff Cohen:

you can use in all those 10 games, but the 11th game, you have to buy something separate and you

Jeff Cohen:

can't bring it into your other 10 games, I think that 11th game is going to be in theory, they're

Jeff Cohen:

going to be try to be paying to get into that network, because it's going to be a barrier like,

Jeff Cohen:

it will be a friction point for their users, where they you could see a world where they could lose

Jeff Cohen:

users, because it's like, hey, well, I already bought this really expensive pair of shoes that I

Jeff Cohen:

could wear in these 10 metal verses, but I can't wear it in that 11th. One, why would I go to the

Jeff Cohen:

11th? One? So I do think there's a you know, to use the classic chart, but it's network effects,

Jeff Cohen:

right, like at a certain scale you you do get those network effects.

Paul Dawalibi:

Yeah, I just, I mean, the other question I sort of asked myself is, is this good

Paul Dawalibi:

for the industry? Right? Is it good to have essentially a monopoly, potentially controlling

Paul Dawalibi:

avatars? And, you know, if you look at, call it the web two equivalent or internet equivalent,

Paul Dawalibi:

right, like, identity, basically is like an email address, right? For the most part, how you log in

Paul Dawalibi:

how you get into different sites, and what sort of represents you on those sites. I'm trying to think

Paul Dawalibi:

of another better analogy for identity in the web to universe but like, the way

Jeff Cohen:

I'm understanding it, and just kids it's not, you know, it's sort of this whole web

Jeff Cohen:

three ethos is that it's not they're going to have a monopoly, they will be providing tools, or they

Jeff Cohen:

will be providing, essentially, the the rails where the things will transfer over. It's not

Jeff Cohen:

like, like, I don't see them becoming a monopoly.

Paul Dawalibi:

That's sort of what it sounds like, right? Because you go and you create your avatar

Paul Dawalibi:

in their system, right? And then that avatar is portable to these up 900 apps and games. Okay,

Paul Dawalibi:

like, to me, that's definitely a barrier. It's a it's a, it's a monopoly of sort on a, on a digital

Paul Dawalibi:

avatar, how they interoperate between all the apps and games, I don't know whether you know, goods

Paul Dawalibi:

and things, or they make them portable, I don't know, fundamentally, it still feels like, they're

Paul Dawalibi:

gonna own a critical piece of the infrastructure. That to me should be more of a standard, rather

Paul Dawalibi:

than an owned walled garden. Even if their goal is to write like, I, their, their playbook is going

Paul Dawalibi:

to be obvious, right? They're gonna go to every developer under the sun, they're gonna say, hey,

Paul Dawalibi:

instead of letting use the building code writing code to allow users to make their own avatars in

Paul Dawalibi:

your game or your app, right, you just integrate our code, our system, all the functionality is

Paul Dawalibi:

there, you don't need to worry about it. And users love it because they can bring their avatar from

Paul Dawalibi:

the other things they're already signed up for. Right? Yeah, that's an easy argument to make. Long

Paul Dawalibi:

term though. I don't know if that's good for the industry, right? Like, I think I've continued to

Paul Dawalibi:

espouse the benefits of open standards. If we want to see a true Metaverse, right. In other words,

Paul Dawalibi:

some kind of definition of what an avatar is, right? A structure a framework that companies like

Paul Dawalibi:

Ready Player me can implement. But 10 Other companies can also implement if they want as well.

Paul Dawalibi:

And the the, the nature, the nature of the standard makes it Emperor interoperable, not the

Paul Dawalibi:

whim of a single Corporation,

Jeff Cohen:

I see what you're saying you want them to be like a digital fashion company where it's

Jeff Cohen:

like, anyone can technically anyone can make a pair of shoes. But Nike can make Nike shoes like

Jeff Cohen:

Adidas, makes Adidas shoes. Yeah, Reebok three bucks. I think I agree with that. I think, you

Jeff Cohen:

know, some sort of open source standard, and then you have all these different call them digital

Jeff Cohen:

retailers, or digital fashion companies where it's like, yeah, you know, we're, we're creating this.

Jeff Cohen:

Yeah, I mean, that's possible. And it's just, you know, people generally, people end up gravitating

Jeff Cohen:

towards economic incentives, like who's going to create that open platform? And if they create it,

Jeff Cohen:

why are they not going to want to make money off it?

Paul Dawalibi:

It will be here. This is why I worry about this investment for the investors

Paul Dawalibi:

because I think the natural urge of humans and what we saw if we look at the web two world and

Paul Dawalibi:

how it evolved again, and I come back to this, right, there were some key players who are all for

Paul Dawalibi:

profit commercial entities, right? That decided on a set of standards because it benefited all of

Paul Dawalibi:

them, right, as opposed to benefiting one. And I think we will see something similar, where at some

Paul Dawalibi:

point the for profit entities get together, and it's probably the meta versus right, the the plat

Paul Dawalibi:

Metaverse, platforms themselves, they get together and say, Hey, let's agree on some kind of Avatar

Paul Dawalibi:

framework. And everyone wins in the end, right? And, and instead of competing on all these things,

Paul Dawalibi:

and hurting each other, we can all win, right? And so I think companies like this over time, get

Paul Dawalibi:

marginalized a bit gets squeezed out if they if they're not on that same standard and I think

Paul Dawalibi:

suspect the 900 apps and games that they're partnered with are kind of like nothing burgers,

Paul Dawalibi:

right? That they're like, yeah, they're inconsequential. It's a big number. That sounds

Paul Dawalibi:

nice, but fundamentally, there's not much there. So I worry a little bit from an investment

Paul Dawalibi:

perspective, I probably would not have invested. Just, you know, given that I think the end game is

Paul Dawalibi:

more open has to be for this vision to happen. It's fair, but I see short term how potentially

Paul Dawalibi:

they benefit from this. Alright, let's let's move on. You mentioned you're a big proponent of

Paul Dawalibi:

fashion in the metaverse Jeff so we have to do I think, a Metaverse fashion story here. And the

Paul Dawalibi:

headline here is decentraland luxury marketplace. You NXT to host Metaverse Fashion Week

Paul Dawalibi:

decentraland And you NXT are calling on fashion he says fashionistas to have their virtual

Paul Dawalibi:

collections ready to show in the metaverse the fashion program, which is decentraland. First is

Paul Dawalibi:

going to take place March 24 to 27th. It's essentially a Metaverse Fashion Week, they're

Paul Dawalibi:

going to have catwalk shows, pop up shops, and after parties. They're calling on designers brands

Paul Dawalibi:

to get collections ready. And this environment is going to be you know, what they say is this. The

Paul Dawalibi:

Metaverse may represent a trillion dollars in annual revenue. According to this report. I

Paul Dawalibi:

thought that was an interesting statistic. But this is the first we've heard I think of a

Paul Dawalibi:

Metaverse Fashion Week, like the equivalent of a London Fashion Week or Paris Fashion Week or New

Paul Dawalibi:

York Fashion Week. They also mentioned that you NXT here worked with Dolce and Gabbana to launch

Paul Dawalibi:

their NF T collection. And I don't know, you know, we've talked a little bit about fashion, and the

Paul Dawalibi:

metaverse colliding. Will we see? Maybe this is a stupid question. But you know what? I've been to a

Paul Dawalibi:

few fashion weeks here and there around the world. Will we see Vogue covering decentraland Metaverse

Paul Dawalibi:

Fashion Week?

Jeff Cohen:

I think we I think we definitely will. Just because it's so novel. So you know, like

Jeff Cohen:

anything else. It's the first of its kind will generally get covered. And, you know, I think we

Jeff Cohen:

saw that with with fortnight and some of the concerts they did. It was like the first couple,

Jeff Cohen:

it was covered by like the New York Times. And now it's sort of just occurrence that happens in the

Jeff Cohen:

game decently frequently. And it's not as big of a public news story. But I do think the first

Jeff Cohen:

fashion week in the metaverse is is absolutely going to get coverage because it's just for people

Jeff Cohen:

who aren't as ingrained in this world as we are and listeners of this podcast are it it sounds

Jeff Cohen:

crazy like it that is a headline that is going to catch people's attention. So I do think it will be

Jeff Cohen:

it will be covered. I like this move for decentraland I mean, we I think in prior episodes

Jeff Cohen:

we've given dissenter or at least I know I have given decentraland A little bit of hard time and

Jeff Cohen:

it hasn't been clear to me what sort of drives people to that platform versus like a Roblox per

Jeff Cohen:

se. And I think carving out a niche of fashion is an interesting you know, an interesting one I

Jeff Cohen:

think we've seen other Roblox is sort of The Everything Store everything's there. You know,

Jeff Cohen:

maybe fortnight has done a good job carving out the music scene a little bit. Obviously, there's a

Jeff Cohen:

ton of other things that fortnight they've obviously been forward leading with with new

Jeff Cohen:

movies and music, and maybe decentraland can kind of carve out a little bit of a niche of early

Jeff Cohen:

adopters here with fashion. So I you know, in terms of risk reward and a business strategy for

Jeff Cohen:

decentraland I think this is a very good one, you know, in

Paul Dawalibi:

a world with $1,000, Balenciaga fortnight hoodies, right, I'll just, I'm hard to

Paul Dawalibi:

disagree with you on this that, you know, especially going after luxury brands, this may be

Paul Dawalibi:

by far the most profitable strategy of any sort of Metaverse kind of activation, right? If you can go

Paul Dawalibi:

and get big designers, big fashion houses, all these luxury brands, I think you're going to

Paul Dawalibi:

attract an audience who only care to collect Right? Like it doesn't even matter if it has

Paul Dawalibi:

little utility. And an in like something that was first on the runway for Gucci and decentraland.

Paul Dawalibi:

Will have buyers like guaranteed because there are people who will buy anything Gucci, right,

Paul Dawalibi:

anything new, limited novel, whatever. And so your points a good one. I just I'm surprised. No one

Paul Dawalibi:

else has courted the luxury brands in the same way earlier, right. Because the luxury brands have

Paul Dawalibi:

shown an affinity to new technologies, right. They've shown that they have budget to try things

Paul Dawalibi:

the Louie Vitanza the world have done lots of things in gaming, for example, right? Why

Jeff Cohen:

can I give it so is it possible? Sorry. Is it possible that it's just about the

Jeff Cohen:

demographics of the platform? No, I don't I don't know the specific demographics of decentraland.

Jeff Cohen:

But given it's an early adopter kind of crypto gaming blockchain gaming marketplace, I'm guessing

Jeff Cohen:

it's a bit of an older, more affluent crowd. Like, I think some of the collabs one of the criticisms

Jeff Cohen:

we've had of sort of fortnight and robots when they've done collaborations with luxury brands is

Jeff Cohen:

sort of like, is that really the demographic? I know the novelty and you got some press, but is

Jeff Cohen:

putting a Gucci collaboration in a game where the average kid is a nine year old boy, like, what

Jeff Cohen:

does that really do for you besides saying, Hey, we have a metaphor strategy? Like, is that really

Jeff Cohen:

going to sell handbags? And shoes? I'm not convinced. And I'm not sure if the data is out

Jeff Cohen:

there yet that that's convincing the CMOS, that, that that's good ROI on that spend. But if you

Jeff Cohen:

have something like Central and which may be skews a bit of a different demographic, I could see that

Jeff Cohen:

maybe being a reason why you're bringing it in here rather than

Paul Dawalibi:

there. It's a it's a worthy argument. You know, I think the more and more I

Paul Dawalibi:

see of this, the more and more I'm starting to believe, though, that I think we underestimate.

Paul Dawalibi:

And you've I know you exaggerated to make a point, but so I'll exaggerate to make this similar point.

Paul Dawalibi:

We've underestimated like the nine year old audience in the sense that like, they've grown up

Paul Dawalibi:

in this, you know, fashion drops supreme Hypebeast kind of culture, right? The latest, their Jordans

Paul Dawalibi:

or Yeezys or whatever. And, and so, you know, I think the Gucci's of the world, the Dolce and

Paul Dawalibi:

Gabbana is the, you know, these old fashion houses that are burnt been around for 100 years. Right,

Paul Dawalibi:

but they want a part of this. I think, in some ways, maybe they want that audience, right. So it

Paul Dawalibi:

could be that you're absolutely right. It's a question of demographics. And they don't the nine

Paul Dawalibi:

year olds aren't the buyers. That's the you know, this older more, but it could also just be that

Paul Dawalibi:

we've completely underestimated those nine year olds.

Jeff Cohen:

That is, I mean, that is entirely possible.

Paul Dawalibi:

I do think, though, that the I guess here's my question is, does decentraland

Paul Dawalibi:

cornered the market on luxury brands? Right from a Metaverse perspective?

Jeff Cohen:

No. And I think I think it may be in the best interest of these luxury brands to only

Jeff Cohen:

go to one platform. So I think if this is successful, you'll probably see this in other

Jeff Cohen:

platforms. You know, same way we've seen it with music and other platforms as well after fortnight

Jeff Cohen:

kind of popularized it. So I don't think they'll be able to this was kind of the question I was

Jeff Cohen:

gonna pose to you like, even if this is successful, which we sort of both, it sounds like

Jeff Cohen:

think it probably will be in terms of impressions, hype, whatever, news articles, coverage. What what

Jeff Cohen:

then happens, a bunch of people go to the central end for these three days or whatever, probably

Jeff Cohen:

most of them check out check in the first day, and don't go back. What happens after that, like, does

Jeff Cohen:

this grow the user base? Do people do they build like a sort of like a really high end fashion mall

Jeff Cohen:

in decentraland? Like, what's, what's the end game? Or what is decentraland? Getting out of

Jeff Cohen:

this?

Paul Dawalibi:

All of the above, but like, if the if the, if the analogy is Paris Fashion Week,

Paul Dawalibi:

right? Then you're going to do it twice a year, not once a year, right? All the big houses will

Paul Dawalibi:

have collections twice a year, maybe three times a year, if you throw in a you know, a cruise

Paul Dawalibi:

collection or something like that. And, and, and, and retail, essentially Metaverse retail to go

Paul Dawalibi:

along with it. Like, to me, that's it. And this is where I actually kind of think that if

Paul Dawalibi:

decentraland is first and best with this, it becomes hard to displace a little bit in the same

Paul Dawalibi:

way. Like, I can't go and create. It's hard to go and create a competitor to New York Fashion Week.

Paul Dawalibi:

Right? Like, I just can't start that up. And there's a respect among the designers. It's the

Paul Dawalibi:

biggest show. It's right. Like, no one wants to show at Paul Dawalibi Fashion Week, right? Like,

Paul Dawalibi:

it's just

Jeff Cohen:

you don't know that. I don't know.

Paul Dawalibi:

But I suspect New York Fashion Week will still be the more the more popular

Paul Dawalibi:

destination. So in some ways, like, I think one of the criticisms I've had of some of these Metaverse

Paul Dawalibi:

platforms if you want to call them that is they're not that sticky. Right like I can go create an

Paul Dawalibi:

account on Roblox and in fortnight and in decentraland and and wherever else and everything

Paul Dawalibi:

under the sun we want to call even vaguely a Metaverse and move between them use them all

Paul Dawalibi:

right, there's nothing that really ties me to one Yeah, some network effects because my friends are

Paul Dawalibi:

here or there but friends easily move to right there's nothing really blocking. This to me is the

Paul Dawalibi:

start of starting to see some real stickiness right if you can get all the fashion brands there

Paul Dawalibi:

and this is the only place you can get their goods, their virtual goods and this is the only

Paul Dawalibi:

place you can see the latest and greatest. Maybe there's the start of something, you know

Paul Dawalibi:

relatively sticky there.

Jeff Cohen:

I see your argument but i don't i don't know that sort of thing. I believe it could

Jeff Cohen:

I just think the fashion houses would be incentivized to put their goods in any of these

Jeff Cohen:

meta verses, particularly whichever one had the most user. So I'm not, I'm not as convinced that

Jeff Cohen:

you would get that customer lock in the question I would have for you. So I agree that there isn't a

Jeff Cohen:

ton of stickiness in these meta verses currently. I guess the question I have, obviously that's bad

Jeff Cohen:

for them as businesses. But isn't that sort of what we want as the future we see as the metaverse

Jeff Cohen:

is probably this multi Metaverse type future where it's Hey, I jumped into Roblox, then I jumped into

Jeff Cohen:

decentraland. And I just have this presence that can you know, it kind of comes with me to each

Jeff Cohen:

one. Isn't that sort of exactly what we want, or what we

Paul Dawalibi:

think is going to happen? Yeah, you're in an ideal world. You're right. Actually,

Paul Dawalibi:

it's a great it's a great counterpoint, right. And then ideal world, you don't want them to be that

Paul Dawalibi:

sticky. But, but them being interconnected. And interoperable is not at odds with them being

Paul Dawalibi:

sticky, right? It's like the world has different shopping malls, connected by roads. But I may go

Paul Dawalibi:

to this one mall, because it has an Apple Store and the other mall doesn't right like that you

Paul Dawalibi:

could still have stickiness within a specific platform, even if it's totally interconnected with

Paul Dawalibi:

other platforms. So I see the business benefit of trying to create some stickiness, not just sort of

Paul Dawalibi:

throwing your hands in the air and saying, hey, you know, we could we'll never be sticky because

Paul Dawalibi:

this is all going to be one big Metaverse so like,

Jeff Cohen:

right? Of course, as businesses they have you know, they're they're obviously trying to

Jeff Cohen:

keep people in their metaverse.

Paul Dawalibi:

Jeff, I can't think of a better way to wrap up the surface of that it was just I feel

Paul Dawalibi:

like the these episodes fly by. And I hope they're always enjoyable for the people who listen for you

Paul Dawalibi:

guys who are listening. Just if you love the show, do us a favor. Go leave a review, five star review

Paul Dawalibi:

on Apple podcasts, Google Play Spotify, wherever you get it. And subscribe to the podcast like hit

Paul Dawalibi:

the Follow button or subscribe button wherever it is, costs you nothing. And you make sure you get

Paul Dawalibi:

the episode right when it comes out. I know Jeff and I really appreciate it. Jeff, thank you as

Paul Dawalibi:

always. And we will see you guys next week. Thank you. Yes.

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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