Watch This: Web3 Amplified With Lori H. Schwartz
- We’re now in the third connected age of the Internet. Web3 is a part of this age, but is more ideology and philosophy (less of a literal technology).
- Web3 and its underlying technologies will have a major impact on all kinds of M&E careers in the next two years (per Tobaccowala). Don’t expect to retire before dramatic changes are apparent.
- Token technology is empowering talent. That’s both an opportunity and a threat to traditional media companies.
In the first edition of a ~ brand new ~ NAB Amplify video series, Lori H. Schwartz sat down (virtually, natch) to chat about how Web3 is impacting the business and creativity of M&E with Rishad Tobaccowala. He shared his thoughts about where we’ve been online, and why everyone, at all stages of their career, can’t afford to ignore the sweeping changes Web3 is ushering in.
Tobaccowala is a founding member of the NAB Show Web3 Advisory Council, and Schwartz serves as the group’s engagement officer.
Web3 and the Third Connected Age of The Internet
First, let’s get something straight: Web3, according to Tobaccowala, “is an ideology and a philosophy”—and it is just part of what some tech observers, Tobaccowala included, consider the “third connected age of the internet.”
Second, if you’re decrying Web3 or the metaverse as hype, Tobaccowala is betting differently (and his predictions have a good track record, FYI!!!). The amount of interest demonstrated by consumers and major companies is a good indication that this is definitely something. (And I’m thinking NFTs are not just the next Beanie Babies …)
If you accept that the way we connect is changing our personal and professional lives, Tobaccowala suggests that you don’t go the “I gotta create myself a metaverse!” route. Instead, he advises us to approach the challenge by asking creative or abstract questions that might, ultimately, identify a business purpose for a Web3-native product or place.
Tobaccowala suggests, “Think about what the future of customer relationship management might look like. What will the future of identity look like? What will the future of creativity look like?”
Remember is also an opportunity to reimagine the world: “Don’t be held to your current business models. Think about new ways of making money and new ways of engaging.”
Web3 Opportunities (and Threats)
About the present/future of Web3, “What is a media company? How will creative and content be created and how will it be monetized?” Tobaccowala cautions, “All of that is up for discussion.”
Media companies, Tobaccowala notes, are in are actually “in the business of three different things.” First, they are “creating world class content,” which is to say content that consumers engage with. Second, they are making money, monetizing that engaging content. Third, media companies are content distributors, and to be successful requires doing this at scale.
All of this applies today and will continue to do so in 2030. But Web3 is changing all three aspects of the media business.
Media companies need to think about this today because the talent certainly is. Web3 poses a threat that is also an opportunity: “These new technologies, especially token technology, actually change things so the talent gets much more power.”
Tobaccowala says, “Talent is now trying to figure out how they can monetize all the intellectual capital and enable their own messaging and delivery directly with their fans — and you don’t have to be Taylor Swift to do that anymore.”
How to Succeed at Web3
From his vantage point as a self-described “seasoned” member of the workforce, Tobaccowala advises media companies (present and future) and managers to keep in mind what makes companies succeed in times of change.
‟Organizations transform, change, differentiate, and become really good because of the people in the organization,” Tobaccowala says.
Therefore, his advice is decidedly simple. For a start, ‟Remember that you’re only as good as your talent, and you’re not as cool as you think you are.” (The last bit is directed at senior leadership, but is probably applicable to more of us than we’d like to admit.)
Of course, acquiring, managing and retaining talented employees is not always an easy proposition.
‟I spend more time with boards of directors and senior leadership on talent issues than I do about the future of technology, marketing, or anything else,” Tobaccowala notes.
However, there are some basic principles to consider. Employees, Tobaccowala explains, ‟want money, fame and power,” but ‟they stay for purpose, values and connections.”
‟Freedom and flexibility” are also crucial to happy talent, and opportunities for growth are crucial for retention. Specifically, employees want ‟to grow their reputation; to grow their skill sets; to grow their networks; and, obviously, to grow their bank account.”
You can get more insights from Rishad Tobaccowala via his Substack newsletter, The Future Does Not Fit in the Containers of the Past (FYI no paid tier) or his book, Restoring the Soul of Business: Staying Human in the Age of Data (which costs money unless you dig out your library card).
Next, Listen To This
Does Web3 offer the promise of a truly decentralized internet, or is it just another way for Big Tech to maintain its stranglehold on our personal data? Hand-picked from the NAB Amplify archives, here are the expert insights you need to understand Web3’s potential and stay ahead of the curve on the information superhighway:
- The Web3 Dream vs. Digital (and Economic) Realities
- What Needs to Happen for Web3 to Go Mainstream
- Web3 and the Future of Work (Oh, Guess What? It’s Decentralized.)
- Web3, Free Will and Who Will Own the Future
- Taking Those First Steps Into Web3