Ones that do not dictate your destination, but choose your path anyway. We might own our homes, our cars, even our identities, but we certainly don’t own our opinion. We do not even own the spectacles that show us the world. Can we remember the first time we started believing what we did? Or what did we originally believe in and why?
Web 2.0 carries information to its veins to anybody and everybody that is connected to it. But there are few who dictate the nature of information, the quality, and correctness. There are very few who dictate how and for what we use the amazing machinery of Web 2.0. The world has chosen democracy. The world needs a bigger decision to achieve this choice. Web 3.0 will be the long tunnel leading to that door. With the promise of open, trustless, permissionless internet, Web 3.0 promises a new world order.
With and post the dot com bubble some companies could be now called digital gatekeepers. By virtue of the digital layer they serve, or the eyes they have accumulated, FAANG and Twitter together hold the deciding power to the number of eyes on a piece of digital content. The digital gatekeepers not only control the power to show you what they want but also the ability to erase your voice off the internet.
The disparity of power between the gatekeepers and the rest of the internet is fairly large and ever-increasing.
Decentralized internet will lay the power of the Internet in the hands of the people.
5.9 million people depend on what Android decides developers could develop on and 2.8 million on IOS. How much value, the millions of applications could provide to its users, is controlled by just a few minds?
The number of developers in the world exceeds 40 million. A trusting community of developers pushing together towards the sole goal of technological advancement obviously has a huge potential. Decentralized networks will generate a consistent stream of “Sparks Of Innovation”. I however would like to add a tinge to my brand of pessimism.
Whether big groups of innovators and developers can achieve big things without the guidance and leadership provided by bigger organizations remains to be seen. Decentralized systems tend to move towards low entropy centralization. A new group of developers will choose a leader. A newly formed country immediately chooses a leader.
Our own personal data fuels the Free Internet today. We know all there is to know about is already known. Sometimes it feels like a violation.
But so what?
Google owns the best Email, and Maps and not to mention the Search. Facebook owns Facebook, Instagram, and even WhatsApp. We, the general consumers, are not in the best bargaining position. We take what they give, and give what our Tech Giants take.
The open internet lures us with the promise of a stream of products, one better than the next. Maybe we get to choose.
An army of proactive developers working towards the common goal of “Value Creation” to humans is not without its problems. The problems of decision paralysis, selection, and the problem of plenty.
If there are twenty products doing what Facebook is doing today, ten search engines, and too many browsers to count, it can not be good news. Not everyone is equipped to handle this kind of decision-making. I am sure you can relate to spending hours on Netflix just looking for something to watch. And then repeat for other platforms.
Today, I forage for news in the morning. I visit all my usual News sites, then Twitter feed, then Techmeme.
Imagine there being tens of thousands of products to select from.
Not the most ideal use of time, or our attention.
Options aren’t bad, the absence of a sane selection mechanism is.
The marginal utility each new Product will add will tend to Null.
By virtue of the presence of only a few selected Gatekeepers, we are both protected (privacy) and robbed (privacy). The current authority that makes the rules of the internet — the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has its chairs filled with people worried about their own pockets and business models. Assuming that the problem of privacy and trust, which pose the bigger roadblock, is won, the next focus will be on User Experience.
As Ben Thompson ’s Aggregation Theory on Stratechery illustrates, the availability of the internet removes the constraint of limited distribution channels, making User Experience the foremost point of differentiation for any product.
The Trend will do nothing but continue.
With millions of more developers openly collaborating to redefine the terms of the internet, adding innovation on the decentralized network at a break-neck speed, distribution of content is simple and ample.
With a high supply of objects on the internet (content, products, etc.) and a superfluous availability of a way to distribute them, all the more emphasis has to be on the User Experience.
How do you and I maintain sanity with decisions to be made every waking moment of the day?
Humans, intelligent as we might be, are not equipped to do that.
The notion of User Experience per product will undergo a paradigm shift.
Every organization today makes immense investments to ensure that the “Experience of Users” interacting with “their Product” is delightful and flawless.
The next new “Unit Of Care” could be “User Experience per User”
What do I mean by it?
It just means that we would be moving from “User Experience of a Product” to “User Experience of Every User” on the web.
The new question becomes “How do I experience the Web?”
The need for an added layer of aggregation comes directly as a result of the increased supply in the Supply chain.
The contributing community can retain control of what's and wheres on the internet, but the end-user deserves the control of what they see and how they see it.
They also need to be able to control aspects of privacy like who they share their data to, how much data, and for how long.
The three facets of personalization of the new user system will be:
And the power to control residing with the end-user.
The world doesn’t look the same to all of us. Why should a Product?
User choices vary. People respond to an experience differently.
We currently design our User Experiences by studying and focusing on a chosen segment of users. i.e. We build for the masses? Or niche.
But can we target to build for everyone? Both Decentralized networks and decentralization of power aim to give more power in the hands of individuals.
A consumer of the internet will be no different.
A user should be able to determine and eventually customize the experience that works for them.
Every user will be able to decide What and How they use the internet
With the number of objects (Apps, Content, News, etc.) floating around the internet freely, the problem of selection will become all the more apparent and critical to solve.
Users need ways to determine what deserves their attention.
Currently the big players hold an important role in determining what to put in front of the eyes of the users. And they do it well, but with selfish objectives in mind.
Unfortunately, that leaves low to no choice to the user to be able to fairly pick and choose what they want to. Awareness is a strong problem.
With Decentralization and explosion in the debris floating around the web, it will become all the more critical to provide users the control they deserve.
The future will add more control to the users to be able to determine the content they decide to interact with.
There would be a need for a personalization bubble that takes into account only a user’s choices and fetches the desired information off of the web.
Whoever builds the Personalization bubble leaves the race behind
Facebook knows what we do when better than we ourselves know.
So does Google.
Big Tech invests a lot of money in trying to predict what we are interested in at any given moment. Business models thrive on putting the correct content in front of a user in a way to maximizes the probability of intended interaction.
And users have low to no control over what information and when these data points are needed to form the judgment.
Apple has taken the first step already in the right direction of providing users control with who they share their data. But new players could rise in no time to provide this service on the decentralized networks.
The movement to Web 3.0 may be slow but inevitable.
Tech is long overdue for another disruption.
Organizations — both big and small have a foot in the present but eyes on the future. Companies focusing on defending their current Business Models will never survive.
In the race to Web 3.0 companies innovating for the future will win the race leaving behind a wide majority of carcasses who won’t even reach the finish line.
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