The metaverse is now real:
With a class at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, one of the top ranked business schools in the country (and the alma mater of this writer); at least in the eyes of the Ivy League educators. Over the span of 50 lecturers, 6 case studies, 6 weeks, and 8-10 hours of take home homework, the course costs $4,500 payable in many ways including Crypto of course.
Wharton is focused on the augmented and virtual realities of the metaverse and says that the opportunity could be north of $13 trillion dollars. In a McKinsey survey, executives relate their top three concerns to incorporating the metaverse into their firm’s operations as uncertain return on investment, inability to design a suitable business model, and the lack of managerial capability to implement a related strategy into their business.
Looking at the curriculum, the course aims to firstly define what the metaverse is, what markets are available and use cases for them, how innovation and management works in the metaverse, marketing and strategy, business models and Web 3.0, and finally challenges and ethics. The Business in the Metaverse Economy program is now open for limited enrollment for its first cohort, which begins on September 12, 2022.
What is the metaverse entail though?
Is the metaverse the same as web 3.0? As we previously mentioned, there is still not much information out there as to what these new platforms look like. The metaverse is most likely driving the most interest after Facebook changed their name to Meta, while Web 3.0, the technology most likely to change the economics for creators, is a bit too generic.
People may think the metaverse is similar to Roblox or (dating myself) Second Life and to some extent it is. However, in my opinion, the most exciting thing about this, in theory, is the interoperability of worlds. Imagine taking some of the “likes” from your Instagram post and brandishing that onto the same LinkedIn post.
Play to earn video games are experimenting with letting you take certain things out of the game but game portability is challenging without a governing body (and part of the beauty of Web 3.0 (and the metaverse, by extension) is that it is decentralized, sorry Zuck).
Many creators have been working for peanuts to make the platforms wealthy like YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok. Without a centralized platform, the hope is that creators take a larger cut of the pie, and that they can be sustainable as creators, which is obviously not the stance that Meta wants to take.
What about companies?
IBM once held a number of meetings in Second Life but people found Zoom to be much easier. However with the Work From Home revolution perhaps virtual worlds can recreate the serendipity and camaraderie of the office. Putting a water cooler in your virtual office could be interesting, as could a company happy hour or office party, to help younger employees climb the corporate ladder and rub elbows with the “higher-uppers.”
Some brands are truly doing interesting things including creating NFT products, sponsoring concerts and shows, and having hybrid (metaverse and real world) interactions. But in the end, corporate interests may just be to attract eyeballs to one’s brand by sponsoring something truly artistic and interesting.
Are you an executive eyeing the metaverse? Or thinking about taking the Wharton class? What is your take on what the metaverse even is? Are there unknown negative factors that we haven’t thought of yet (the answer is yes, but we just don’t know what those unknown unknowns are)? Drop us a note and let us know your thoughts on the … metaverse!