View this email in your browser

Basic Problem

👋 Hey all

Hello to all new subscribers and welcome back to all recurring readers to my newsletter about product ideas, building side projects, indie hacking, problems worth solving, and interesting things in general.

Without further ado: let's quest.

🌌 The Metaverse, Part 3

Issue #42 introduced the term Metaverse. The last issue gave an overview of a week's worth of reporting on the topic. Today, we finally look at sample opportunities.

In part one, I concluded that there are common themes among every attempt to describe the Metaverse:

  • Diversity and interoperability
  • Collaboration and interaction
  • Personal and shared experiences

Due to the lack of a single definition and the variety of opinions about what the Metaverse actually is, it is unclear what these themes refer to. So let's look at the term itself. "Meta" means "beyond." That means to take a step back or to look at something from a different level. And this brings me to the analogy of "layers."

For me, layers above the real world help me think best about what the Metaverse can be or already is, and how opportunities can be identified. Some examples:

  • Virtual Reality (VR) is a way to go if you want to create a 3D virtual world or a spatial representation of the real world. This is basically the "classic" approach based on Snow Crash and Ready Player One and is what the video game industry pushes.
  • Augmented Reality (AR) is a way to enhance the real world with digital information. This ranges from glasses to mobile phones, to audio (who said that AR has to be visual?).
  • The concept of Digital Twins can generally be used to create a digital copy of an entity. This is not restricted to VR or AR representations. Digital Twins are common in manufacturing, where they capture sensor data from the shop floor, for example.
  • The Mobile Internet can be seen as an enabler for the Metaverse or being another layer, e.g. for collaborative experiences.

The layers are not mutually exclusive and can be combined as fit. Think of it like layers in an image manipulation app. Depending on what layers are active, the way they overlap and interact defines your view on or of the final image. For example, VR and Digital Twins point to your digital copy, your avatar. Whereas the Mobile Internet is a cornerstone for AR solutions.

With this in mind, let's look at some idea briefs after our journey around the Metaverse combined with other signals I caught up lately.

Brief 1 - Make commerce an experience. "Ecommerce took the social, experiential act of shopping and reduced it to transactions." This is a quote from Greg Isenberg on How to beat Amazon with your E-Commerce Company. Earlier this year, Marie Dollé wrote about Retailtainment: a deep dive into the new shopping experiences. Both articles are crammed full of ideas and inspiration, implicitly and explicitly targeting the Metaverse. What I would do: find small designers and creators and give them a novel way to let potential buyers experience their products. I'd most likely drill down further and focus on a single type of product. Digital art and music come to mind first. (Or food.)

Brief 2 - Interoperability of digital assets. If the Metaverse spans several gaming, VR or AR experiences, chances are that users want to appear similar in all of them. Sure, the big players might either build high walls around their gardens or lure you into these gardens with interop tooling of their own. Just read Matthew Ball's Interchange Tools + Standards and the Metaverse and Content, Services, and Asset Businesses in the Metaverse to get an idea. What I would do: find open platforms that use open asset standards or APIs to allow asset creation. Then offer a way to easily create assets for/ share across all these platforms. The solution can be "visual", i.e. an editor/ web app, or low-level as in "a conversion API."

Brief 3 - Digital Fashion. Funny enough, you can think of this as a melange of the two briefs above and the AR layer. And of course, Marie already wrote about it in Digital Fashion: experiencing what doesn’t exist and why it will rock your world! Or look at just one more example of AR fashion. What I would do: find one designer and collaborate with her/ him to solve a pain she/ he has. Yes, this does not scale initially. Which is a good starting point to create something great.

Now go create. The virtual world is yours.

💬 Social Listening

Listen on social networks to find out what people are looking for.

Top "request for product" tweets on Twitter:

Selected "someone invent" tweets on Twitter:

📚 Worth Reading

My local SEO checklist for 2021 - step-by-step guide to help you rank consistently - Back in issue #36, I briefly wrote about ways to support local businesses. Now, this article literally gives you a checklist to work with. And every step can be a product or service.

The creator economy is in crisis. Now let’s fix it. - Another checklist with concrete pains waiting to be solved.

End of the line for Uber - Cory Doctorow speaks plainly: "Uber was never going to be profitable. Never. It lured drivers and riders into cars by subsidizing rides with billions and billions of dollars from the Saudi royal family, keeping up the con-artist's ever-shifting patter about how all of this would some day stand on its own."

Want to support my work? Click here to Buy Me a Coffee ☕

Was this issue useful for you? Help me to improve!

With your feedback, I can make the newsletter better suit your needs. Simply click on a link to vote.

Build your own? 👉

Some housekeeping

Was this email forwarded to you? Sign up here to get your own copy every week.

To make sure you keep getting this newsletter, add its email address to your address book, mark the email as 'not spam', or whitelist its email address.

If you can’t find the newsletter, check your spam folder or look in Gmail's Promotions tab.

Where else to find me
Copyright © 2021 Marco Spoerl, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp