We Live in an Age of Distributed Innovation
Tokens are allowing innovators to capture economic value in open ecosystems. Therefore, Web 3 is creating the incentive structures required to solve the world's biggest problems.
A few weeks ago, a colleague reached out to one of my networks to share her Analysis on How Blockchain Technology Could Facilitate Citizen Disruption of Innovation. I took the opportunity to chat with her about how to leverage distributed innovation.
More recently, after listening “5 Mental Models for Web 3.0” I had an Aha moment. My daughter who loves writing, told me that she learned that “if you want something to exist, write it down.” I decided to write my insights about distributed innovation.
Everyone is sharing more knowledge at faster speeds and has more broadband at a lower cost. "The world is getting faster, and the power you have to change the world is getting greater."
Our lives are changing and will change even more: not in twenty or thirty years but now. Our future is arriving faster because technology continues advancing at an exponential pace. Due to abundance, not only nations or corporations, have access to plenty of talent, capital, data, and communication. As a result, we are increasing our capabilities while collaborating with people and machines.
The Internet is evolving into a third phase, the Web 3. During the coming years, even successful digital companies and platforms created as part of the sharing economy will be disrupted by the new decentralized peer2peer based business models.
To understand why digital companies will undergo disruption it is important to know that during Web 1, we made information available everywhere and instantaneous; personal and content websites, and user consuming information disrupted news media, music, among other industries. In Web 2, we enabled creators and individuals to participate and share their creations and content via podcasting, blogging, social networking, and social media in mobile-first platforms.
Now, in Web 3, developers are creating digital property, decentralized finance, and unique non-fungible digital assets. As a result, we are disintermediating industries, protecting our data, and evolving networks and platforms into economies where all participants receive part of the value they contribute to creating.
Digital trust is enabling abundance and bringing back scarcity to the digital world. More precisely, Bitcoin is the first scarce digital object the world has ever seen. Furthermore, NFTs and blockchain technology managed to bring scarcity in the digital world by giving value to the original file rather than by trying to prevent (and prohibit) copying that file.
Web 3.0 is the Internet of value already disrupting the banking industry, the internet of energy, and the logistics internet altogether. The conjunction of technologies such as blockchain, AI (Artificial Intelligence), sensors/IoT, 3D printing, combined with other economic and cultural phenomena such as the sharing economy and crowdfunding mechanisms are driving our new world.
We are at a turning point in how we harness technology and innovation.
A new phase of innovation is upon us. It is much faster than the rapid adoption of smartphones and social networks during Web 2. Nowadays, most of the population has access to information, distributed gig-workers, and experiences via their smartphones.
Web 3 projects use staff on demand, community, and a crowd-based mechanism to fund and support their ideas via crypto tokens. These tokens have been used as means of exchange, store of value, access to services, and more recently they have been used to govern projects, incentivize behaviors, and recognize community members. Furthermore, the NFTs (not-fungible-tokens) now represent digital collectibles in art, music, and games. For example, participants of the Axie game perform tasks that add value to their ecosystem, and they are rewarded with a digital asset in the form of NFTs that can be sold and converted into an income stream. Tokens are allowing innovators to capture economic value in open ecosystems.
Therefore, Web 3 is creating the incentive structures required to solve the world's biggest problems. The access to technology and resources not previously available is unlocking intelligent and innovative people worldwide to solve their biggest problems, moreover these people have dealt with the problems they are trying to fix for years and are therefore more motivated than companies or governments who have pledged to fix them. Additionally, very soon we will have trillions of machines and individuals connected to the Internet that will, in many cases, communicate and transact among them without human interaction.
Fluid Chains has been launching high-impact businesses with exponential scaling on top of the distributed innovation trend during the past five years. We have embraced open-source movement and we have enabled cities and communities to co-create token economies. In addition, we have built distributed ledger platforms for the creator’s economy, launched decentralized services, and built Proof of Concepts within fintech, energy, logistics, health, and other industries.
We know that successful blockchain or distributed ledger projects are Exponential Organizations by design and require a distributed innovation approach. They harness Community, Algorithms, and Engagement attributes to connect with abundance, and scale through Interfaces, Experiments, Autonomy, and Social ExO attributes.
In the new world of Web 3.0, no one can afford to be self-sufficient. We need to bring together more and better resources than those we can have inside our organizations. We should attract the best people to collaborate in our projects. Thus, to attract elite members to participate and create value, it is essential to offer them a fair share of the value created.
To succeed in an era where networks are becoming economies, and where it is challenging to negotiate based on differing objectives, risk appetite, and power, we need to be open and learn new models and approaches.
We need to be agile, learn fast and fail fast; we need to organize work effectively in communities and Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAO) through Massive Transformative purposes (MTP).
We need to leverage a culture of autonomy driven by a growth mindset and a clear purpose. It is essential to embrace social tools and decentralized governance as vehicles for asynchronous collaboration, and decision-making among diverse groups of individuals working online with no centralized leadership.
Web 1 websites started as news-boards, catalogs, and directories; then became portals, mail services, and e-commerce. Today they are social networks, Software as a Services (SaaS), and sharing economies platforms. Web 3 digital tokens are the new website in our wallets’ addresses the new access credentials, moving forward, we will see more and more use cases we are not imaging today.
How can you help your business tap into this unprecedented access to innovation and harness it for benefit?
Based on my experience, I recommend educational and experiential learning. The leadership and the functional teams need to gain a new mindset, leadership skills, and capabilities. I strongly suggest participating in one of the thousands of Web 3 projects solving specific problems related to your industry or your personal passions. You can start by joining their communities and experimenting to learn with everyone else.
Another good idea is to bring experts to help you and your team identify transformational initiatives that enhance your organization's current business model. They can also help to identify distributed innovative projects that could potentially disrupt your business and your industry.
You should be open to partnering with incubators and accelerators and even investing in Web 3 projects that have already found market-fit for a problem/solution aligned with your organization's purpose.
We are writing down our future, be the first to write it. Those who arrive first will be rewarded, the laggards will fall behind. This thought was brought by a teaching my grandfather passed to me many years ago "el que pega primero, pega dos veces."
Are you planning to leverage distributed innovation in your business today? How will you do it? I'd love to continue the conversation.
About the Author
Cesar Castro started his professional career in Web 1 building networks and connecting people through telecommunication services. During Web 2, he connected a billion mobile users to cloud-based services. In 2014, he adopted Exponential Organizations framework to his work to manage the new wave of innovation. Today, he is an active participant of the blockchain and Web 3 with his own company focused on making distributed ledger applications a reality.
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Disclaimer: The views expressed here are not those of OpenExO Inc., its members, affiliates, or associates. The content is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be relied upon as legal, business, investment, or tax advice. You should consult directly your own appropriate advisors and professionals as to those matters.
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