The End of Web3
Pop any venture firm’s website into the wayback machine, peruse the bios from the late 90s, and you’ll see statements like “I invest in Internet companies.” Or Web2.0 or SoLoMo. At the time, it made sense. But not anymore.
Why isn’t time kind to these types of proclamations?
Novel infrastructure often enables new software. We refer to each wave by its architecture advance: internet, mobile, cloud, data lake, single-page apps, containers, serverless.
At some point, startups tinker enough with the new technology to discover the applications customers value most. Then the infrastructure innovations disappear beneath the delightful application and we move onto the next wave with its own buzzwords.
Web3 will disappear just the same.
In a few years, data startups, consumer apps, and software vendors will rise and grow - the same as today.
Some of them will employ the four fundamental innovations of web3: permanent ownership, paying customers with “equity,” regulatory arbitrage, and new governance models (DAOs).
For example, a gaming company might build an app on a classic cloud stack on AWS and offer a decentralized peer-to-peer NFT exchange.
Then companies will surge that test the definition. Is a CRM business serving NFT market places a web3 company?
This is the great exciting and invigorating puzzle today. How does a successful company leverage decentralized databases, their novel capital structure (token cap table), their different regulation, and fresh ways of acquiring users into a massive business?
I don’t know yet, but I do know when it comes, we won’t call it a web3 company.