Hope everyone is having a great start to the new year. In 2022 and beyond I want to spend time on further developing some of my thought processes and ideas through writing, so expect more quick, high-level streams of dialogue in future posts, such as this one. Agree, disagree, or remain neutral, I appreciate everyone reading, engaging, and challenging me on my thinking as the web3 revolution continues to play out.
I recently had a guest on my podcast (episode to launch soon so I don’t want to give away any spoilers) where in our discussion we stumbled upon the idea of “The Great Migration”. I don’t know if I randomly thought of this term, or if my subconscious mind stored it from something I read, so by no means am I trying take credit for this idea. The Great Migration is the idea that talent and consumers from the “traditional” web2 world will flock to both work and consume this new technology, exponentially. This might not be a new revelation, but there are reasonings for why I think this may be happening, and will continue to accelerate in an exponential fashion. This article will explore those ideas further.
The connotation of a ‘FAANG’ company is not what it once was.
I don’t think this is news to anyone, but people don’t like Facebook anymore. I mean they really don’t like it. Almost to the point where Zuck is public enemy #1 on some people’s list. Facebook and the rest of these companies used to be where aspiring developers, ivy league talent, Stanford grads, Wharton MBAs, all went to establish their career at some of the top technology companies in the industry. Have Google on your resume? Your career path is a lot easier, you can move anywhere because of the reputation that came along with it. This might be a hyperbole, but I think the point is clear.
The decline might not be happening overnight, as some of those companies are still the best in the business, however, I think we are starting to see kinks in the metaphorical armor. We are starting to see the dominance of some start to wane. Why work at a company where your role is to optimize machine learning for ad revenue? Where innovation is lacking, or non-existent (when was the last good Facebook update?)? Where political and regulatory pressures are piling up? Where one of their main goals is to extract as much data from you, the user, as possible? And where there is a lack of purpose?
As a result of these questions, some companies, like Facebook, might not be ‘peachy-keen’ after all. Maybe that is why Zuck wanted to change the name of Facebook to Meta in the first place? To move away from the negative connotation that people now have when they think of ‘Facebook’.
Where are the incentives for people to spend their lives working for these companies?
While all this is happening, we have the emergence of a new technology, still developing in its infancy, where the values are totally flipped. There is a completely new technological wave happening, with new possibilities, new capabilities, new job opportunities, new narratives, and new purposes. The majority of web3 companies (outside of most NFT pfp projects) are built with a higher purpose of ‘bigger than myself’ in mind. This isn’t a direct FAANG comparison, but take Axie Infinity for example. Traditional gaming companies have a 100% take rate, Axie’s is 4.25%. Traditional gaming companies own the in-game assets, Axie has NFTs. Traditional gaming companies don’t allow/ban users for secondary marketplace trading, Axie designed for it. The traditional way of thinking is totally reversed, with the community/players at the forefront, these new web3 companies are being built for the people, by the people. What is more exciting: doing the same thing everyday, or working on the bleeding edge of technology? I think the answer and the implications are evident, top talent will flock to web3 companies, and users will quickly follow suit.
As more and more builders enter the space, product iterations will be much quicker, UI/UX complexities will drastically decrease, and adoption will become more exponential than we have already seen. As applications become more advanced and easier to use, the same external factors will entice consumers/users to adopt these new technologies as well.
The degradation of old ways colliding with the emergence of new ones: The Great Migration.