Inspiración por Diversity Fest en Sur por Southwest
SXSW was everything I expected and more. Non-stop flow of inspiration with one interesting session after another. ‘Keep them coming’ was a repeated thought in my head. With multiple good sessions at the same hour, making a choice was difficult, always leaving an inevitable feeling of FOMO. Like I may miss an important episode of a show called ‘FUTURE’. Yes, with so many discussions on Web 3, Metaverse and NFTs, it often makes you feel like you are on the brink of a new leap. And this time I get a chance to witness it firsthand with much more awareness.
Let’s start with the big stars of this show; Metaverse, Web 3 and NFT’s.
It’s one thing to know of something, another to really know something. Honestly, before SXSW, I had many inhibitions with Metaverse. How can living in a make-believe world be good? Why cannot we invest in enriching the real world, real experiences? What about our social needs? But when you really understand the various dimensions of Metaverse, you realize that it is much more than an extremely immersive virtual world. It opens unimaginable possibilities for every sector.
And ‘Social’ is an extremely important part of it. Companies like Meta that are anchored on social are focusing on innovations like real-like photographic avatars, real-like virtual meetings; both work and social, eye-tracking that will give the same experience as an in-person eye-contact and so on. They want to achieve every dimension of a physical social experience in Metaverse. What is interesting is that even in other sectors like retail, sports, events etc., social is a critical component that is being planned for in the way we will live these in the Metaverse. “Let’s meet in person” will soon not be restricted to just offline meetings.
And then there are companies whose only mission today is creating ‘Real metaverses’. It’s when you replicate real places like museums, historical sites, gardens, sporting events, fitness centers etc. in the virtual world with very real-like experiences. These companies do not believe in dystopian realities. They believe replicating the real world can bring positive good. It removes limitations like geographies, time, age, abilities, skills, affordability, making any experience accessible to greater numbers of people.
What was enrichening was to look at explorations of Metaverse from diverse perspectives. Rich discussions with multi-dimensional views on metaverse from musicians and artists both known and emerging, game developers, sports, gambling, auto companies, retailers, brands, politicians, highlighted both the obstacles and opportunities. It echoed the dominant sentiment of Web 3, which is to ‘decentralize and be free for all’.
The opportunities this will open for brands will be immense. 30 sec adverts will still have a role, specially during sporting events and political news, as those will be the only genres where TV will be relevant going ahead. But this is limiting. Brands will need to accelerate their thinking in defining and designing its role & play in the new world. Explore meaningful social and individual experiences it can come with in the Metaverse.
While the excitement for Metaverse was palpable across sectors, the conversation around NFT’s still saw most energy amongst creative domains- music, gaming, art, fashion. They are the first ones, positively benefitting with the certified ownership of their creative assets and revenue. It will transcend beyond the creative world but how fast and how much is still unfolding.
Shifting gears to social platforms; the Creator economy will get even more stronger. From being mere influencers, they will become almost like brand sales-agents except it won’t look like they are doing hard sales. They can pick the product based on their belief on what they can most influence, create content, and earn a commission basis the number sold through their videos. This will be game changing.
Every engaging story has multiple tracks, one main and then many sidetracks. For me it was all the amazing sessions of other fields like the future of space, future of work, wellness, sports, auto, even future of cannabis. They successfully tickled my curiosity and I organically gravitated to many of them. Truly mind-blowing stuff with one commonality to gear towards a more free, immersive, and healthier world. Attending the big movie premieres with the stars themselves in venues like the Paramount only elevated my always mesmerized feeling.
It was such a joy to see everyone, young or old, participant or a panelist, in a learning mode. Everyone was taking pictures of slides, recording conversations, taking notes. Even the innovators and founders were humbly discussing their failures, hoping to learn, and course correct. There was so much learning in every session, every experience, and every corner of Austin. The only disheartening thing was that there were very few Indian attendees. Para el próximo año,