Happy Tuesday! I’m writing this from a Starbucks next to the Hyatt in downtown San Diego, outside a conference. An old buddy of mine from college wasn’t able to make it to the top ed tech conference, ASU GSV here in San Diego and asked if I could represent his new startup at the conference. I was more than happy to oblige.
It’s a little strange to be at a conference and meeting people, but also wearing a mask.
We’re so close to Covid being over, and yet it’s most definitely not over yet.
The Metaverse is heating up as a topic and it’s exciting. So much potential, like the early days of the internet, or smartphones. There’s so much wrapped up in what the Metaverse can be.
But when will it get here?
Some companies claim they already have a Metaverse, it’s here.
Facebook says they’re moving in that direction.
Some people are talking about 50 years out.
That’s a pretty wide spectrum of answers, but the real answer lies in your definition of the Metaverse. I like to think of it this way:
The Metaverse will be an always-on, shared set of virtual experiences that are seamlessly connected. It won’t just be ubiquitous VR, but go beyond that into lifelike, believable virtual experiences. Most importantly the Metaverse will be the connective tissue of the digital world, an important shared digital space for work, play, commerce, and even government.
If you use this definition, then clearly we’re not there. The Metaverse is currently in a state similar to the early, early days of the internet.
I remember one of the very first times I was on the internet. I didn't know what websites to go to, there was no Yahoo, no Google, yet. I went to www.kellog.com because it was the first website I could think of, from seeing the URL on cereal boxes.
We're not even at that point yet with the Metaverse.
The business use cases and ancillary tech -- e.g. google -- isn’t there yet. The technology isn’t there yet.
It's hard to imagine strapping into the Metaverse everyday, because it’s hard to imagine the tech being good enough, the use cases compelling enough.
Part of it is a function of our limited ability to perceive exponential progress of technology. Two years from now won't look much different from today, but 10 years will be a very different technical landscape. Twenty years is impossible to predict - just complete magic from today's vantage point.
Lot's of different technologies are coming together that will make the Metaverse real, some in areas that aren’t directly related to the Metaverse, such as power generation and storage, but that will support the processing needs. Some areas of technology that are still not here yet, but on the horizon, such as quantum computing, could be the unlock for believable simulations of reality. Of course, there’s obvious technology improvements too, such as graphics processing, AI, 5G, and screen technology for the goggles.
Some early version of the Metaverse we’re all imagining will be here within 10 years or less. It will have a lot of the elements we’re thinking of.
The complete, mature Metaverse that I defined above will probably be here in less than 20 years.
The Metaverse will be here sooner than you think, and for better or worse, it will be a major part of our digital lives, if not the central aspect of our digital lives, like the internet is now.
SpaceX’s Starship is the largest rocket ever created so far. It's pretty enormous. Check it out:
Do you think the Metaverse is around the corner? Will it replace the internet? Just a fad? ;)
Let me know. Just hit reply, I read and respond to everyone!
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Have an awesome week and see you next Tuesday!
Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic
Arthur C. Clarke