Inside Web3 💎 | Introduction to Web3
The word Web3 is very trendy at the moment but very few resources address the micro & macro changes of Web3 business creation. This is the purpose of this first edition, to look back on the evolution of the web with the Web1, the Web2, and then the arrival of the Web3. I want to highlight the technological transition but especially the social & cultural transition behind the development of Web3. This will put forward a new spirit and new codes to understand to launch & develop a web3 company.
This newsletter is addressed to both people who are already in Web3 & those who are discovering it. This first edition will allow you to understand the other topics we will address as we go along.
Here is the plan for this edition
· What is Web1
· Introduction to Web2
· Web2 is more and more criticized.
· Web3 is the next stage of the Internet
· Web2 vs Web3, a new look at entrepreneurship
What is Web1
It’s probably most helpful to think about Web3 in the context of previous internet paradigms, Web1 and Web2:
Web1 was the first version of the World Wide Web, it was the first phase of the Internet.
In 1990, the Internet was a bunch of connected computers, the web was its first application, created by Tim Berners-Lee. In Web1, everything was static, users could only search and consume content through web pages. Web1 was designed as a “hyperlinked information system”. A giant library of data collected on a screen, from computers all over the network, which users can browse by clicking on linked texts and images.
· Decentralized — Powered by regular computers from regular users
· Open-source — Anyone could build on the web (but not easily)
· Read-only — Publishing content required some technical skills, so most users were readers
Introduction to Web2
Web2 was a step up from the static web pages of Web1. Web2 is the version of the internet most of us know and use today. The internet has become more usable, Web2 is dynamic and users can now interact with the content published on websites. They can upload videos to YouTube, post photos on Facebook, or comment on other publications.
There are three major changes that have shaped Web2 as we know it today. The first is the development of mobile (smartphones take us from a few hours a day in front of our desktops to “always-on”). The cloud (instead of having to buy and maintain expensive hardware infrastructure, you can now rent it cheaply from vast data centers spread around the world). The social side (you can now create, share and interact in a new way, via your online activity).
Web2 is :
· Centralized — Participation in the network is controlled
· Monitored open-source — Users must follow rules to build on the web
· Read-Write — You can create/interact with the content of websites
Web2 is more and more criticized.
When Web2 arrived, the web became accessible and useful to more people, new large markets opened up and central platforms multiplied. After 10 years, we have seen centralized platforms have a monopoly on others and this has created a real imbalance in what customers expect from the web.
The big centralized companies like Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon (GAFA) now have control over our conversations, our searches, our content, our media, and our data. Your self-expression = their market cap. What was initially an open forum in Web1 has become a walled garden where each centralized company imposes its rules and controls its users. Today’s Internet is seen by many as an oligarchy.
Internet users are starting to criticize more and more this evolution of the web, they criticize several aspects:
· The attention economy — The attention we give to something has become the native currency of the Internet
· The Internet is owned — Platforms own everything you create online
· De-censorship — Nearly 90% of the web is stored at four hosting providers.
Web3 is the next stage of the Internet
There is no single definition or strict rules that define it, but some values emerge from the majority of Web3 applications. In general, Web3 refers to an Internet made possible by decentralized networks, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. In Web3, the user can be the user & creator (as in Web2) but also the administrator or at least the actor with a distributed architecture.
The main innovation of these networks is the creation of platforms that no entity controls, but that everyone can trust. Being associated with a blockchain, each user and operator of these networks must follow the same set of hard-coded rules, called consensus protocols. Another innovation is that these networks allow the transfer of value or money between accounts.
One of the main advantages of Web3 is that it attempts to address the biggest problem that has resulted from Web2: the collection of personal data by private networks which are then sold to advertisers or potentially even stolen by hackers. The openness of the decentralized web means that no single party can control data or limit access.
We talk a lot about the technological transition, but it’s above all a cultural transition.
Web2 is saturated with offers, do the exercise yourself, look for something on the web and you will see that for the majority of your requests, you will find several solutions more or less similar to your search. The consumer now wants more than just a solution to his problem/need, he wants to consume and be an actor to benefit in another sense.
Web3 promotes a distribution economy, and transparency in its governance, data, and security management.
This vision of the Internet of all seduces the consumers more and more and participates in the development of the Web3.
Web3 is still under construction, it’s quite confusing not knowing what will happen or how it will evolve. Many compare it to the arrival of the Internet in the early 2000s. It’s up to us to move forward with the elements we have today, which is the first quality of an entrepreneur. So I hope my thoughts will help you get started in Web3 entrepreneurship.
Web2 vs Web3, a new look at entrepreneurship
By introducing the changes between Web1, Web2 and today Web3, I hope to have made clearer the technological transition but especially the cultural and social changes behind it.
When you start a Web3 project, you need to look for economic models of distribution. This can be done through tokenization with distribution based on each person’s contributions, shared governance, and direct profit-sharing…
As a concrete example, we are building NOVA Game, an NFT platform for influencers.
We have three main missions. The first is to convince the biggest influencers to collaborate with us exclusively for the creation of their NFT. The second is to convince designers to create the NFT — or 3D character — of these influencers, in large quantities and in a short time. The third is to create a platform used by our customers in which they can buy/sell/get benefits from the different NFTs of each influencer. Of course, we need this platform to be adopted, used, and appreciated.
Our main challenge is to realize these 3 missions without a treasury, being at the stage of launching the project, and not wanting to raise money in Seed unnecessarily.
The solution? We created a DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization) where we “sold” our creator economy opportunities vision, our team, and our NOVA Game project. We collected, on the one hand, money from external investors (friends, family, business angels) and the workforce on the other hand. We managed to incentivize influencers, designers, developers to work with us on the basis of token remuneration, in proportion to their involvement.
As a result, the DAO owns a large portion of NOVA Game’s tokens. Thus, if NOVA Game works, the NOVA Game token will increase, and therefore, the DAO value will increase. Potential employees were easily turned into co-founders through an excellent win-win strategy.
The key when launching a Web3 business is to attract as many people as possible who can contribute to your project.
The reality is that it’s a bit the same in Web2. Entrepreneurs are not necessarily good at running a company, they are good at motivating and incentivizing co-founders to create a common project. In Web3 it’s the same thing, but instead of incentivizing 2/3/4 co-founders, you incentivize an army of people who will be your investors, your employees, your customers…
Beyond the mindset and values to have when starting a web3 project, there are many other differences in Web3 business execution, product creation, marketing, legislation... We will talk about it in the next edition.