By Arpit Sharma
Since time immemorial, technology has played a pivotal role in helping businesses expand their horizons. May it be the invention of the personal computer, advent of the internet or the birth of mobile phones, every era has one catalyst that accelerates industrial progress across spectrums. In the present day, that catalyst happens to be the modern marvel called ‘Web 3.0’.
We are experiencing an exciting chapter of the digital age, Web3.0 has the potential to change the way businesses operate on a micro as well as macro level. This is the main reason why a spate of traditional businesses can now be seen entering the Web 3.0 fold. May it be launching their own iterations of the Metaverse, creating special edition NFTs, launching exclusive loyalty and rewards around the Web 3.0 experience or enabling new avenues of digital payments, there have been diverse attempts by companies to set foot in the Web 3.0 world.
Technology innovations have a life cycle of their own. Web3 is no different. Starting as a disruptive technology, which enabled a peer to peer electronic cash system with Bitcoin, Web3 has evolved rapidly. Gaming has been an early adopter and decentralized finance has seen immense growth in recent years. Enterprises are adapting fast. They are exploring what we call “peripheral application”, which may not touch the core of the business, yet enable companies to experience the power of the decentralized web. For instance, a F&B company running a web3 loyalty program is using web3 to improve customer stickiness, while not really altering the core of the business model. Next step in this evolution will be disruptive business models based on web3.
So, if one had to peep through the digital looking glass, what effect will Web 3.0 have on the traditional business models? On a primary level, we need to look at ‘the three I’s’: Individuals, Intermediaries and Information.
Web 3.0 will bring greater clarity and impetus on individual ownership of assets, dilute the need for financial intermediaries such as banking institutions, as more and more decentralized platforms find adoption and enable user ownership of the information, bringing the power back to the end user
While traditional models witness winds of massive change, an array of new business models will emerge onto the scene.
DAOs or Decentralized autonomous organizations woven around active communities will find prevalence. Such communities will not only be incentivised for their participation, but also be handed the power to steer the direction of the organization they are part of.
Secondly, the users will get empowered with the true ownership of their data and new business models will evolve where users will directly be incentivised to share their data. Any brand that wants to study a particular user group will have to engage with them on a personal level.
Web 3.0 will empower creators. Creators will be able to enjoy full control on their creations, receive direct payments for their work and play a central part in platform governance. Last but not the least, many new product categories will be invented and discovered as Web 3.0 grows bigger and stronger.
Traditional businesses will evolve. Successful businesses always know when to pivot and adapt. Seasoned players will quickly form alliances with web3 leaders, invest in technology and capacity building and formulate evolving strategies to ensure a sustained competitive advantage. Many businesses will rightly think out of the box with innovation teams that can help in navigating the ship. Acquisition and hiring will also see an uptick as organizations look for talent that is ready to climb the Web 3.0 mountain. In the end, no matter which business, forward looking companies will want to be where their clients and consumers are, rather than sticking to the traditional models.
Mass scale adoption of Web 3.0 is an inevitable phenomenon. Businesses that treat it as an opportunity to unlock profitable dimensions will stay two steps ahead of the game, while entities who try to oppose it may end up on the diminishing side of the rainbow. The future holds many enthralling adventures, all one needs to do is walk with the changing wind rather than run against it. Web3 is here. Are you ready?
The author is managing director, India, SE Asia & Middle East at Near Foundation
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