What Web 3 can learn from Steve Jobs

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The legendary technologist and CEO of Apple (AAPL), Steve Jobs, was perhaps better with words than with design. He acknowledged that “every once in a while a revolutionary product comes along that changes everything.” From the printing press to the Telegram to the iPhone, these products have not only changed entire industries, they have changed the world and the way we interact with it.

When Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone in 2007, he emphasized its innovative user interface that replaced the typical smartphone keyboard with a large multi-touch screen. As he predicted, this groundbreaking product decision created a new standard for consumer hardware and led to competitive innovations. There probably wouldn’t be Snapchat or WhatsApp without the iPhone.

Today, enthusiasts hope that Web 3 will change everything. Its differentiating technology, smart contracts comprised of immutable code and data on the blockchain, aims to eliminate the need for intermediaries in finance to help creators retain ownership and more. Similar to the trajectory of the iPhone, enthusiasts posit that smart contract innovation will create new and improved industries and behaviors.

However, products built using smart contracts are more like early smartphones than the iPhone. They are miles away from decentralization, aggressively technical, and made up of discordant user interfaces.

First, you need to research and choose the right wallet for the blockchain(s) you intend to use.

Second, you should write down your 12-24 word seed phrase (password) and keep it in a safe place and never lose it. Next, you need to turn fiat currency into cryptocurrency – watch out for regulatory loopholes, depending on where you live.

See also: Brainwallets: The Bitcoin Wallet You Probably Shouldn’t Use

You can succeed or not. If you don’t give up, you need to learn about gas fees, exchanges, slides, bridges, and other concepts to buy or trade tokens. The reality is that people are used to beautifully designed, frictionless products. Most will give up.

Simply put, today’s Web 3 products aren’t that smart and hard to use. There won’t be widespread adoption until manufacturers redesign and create everything with consumers in mind.

This is where I expect enthusiasts to point out upcoming technical updates that will make Web 3 cheaper and easier. I am optimistic, but these updates are still in progress. In the meantime, builders should rethink three key elements: language, hilt and utility.

  1. Rethinking the language: Crypto-to-Web 3 rebranding has done wonders for how we talk about Ethereum innovation. However, the language used by manufacturers remains inaccessible to most people. What exactly do we mean by composable? Without authorization ? Without trust ? These terms sound more complex than they are. One of my favorite considerably user-friendly crypto wallets calls Polygon “a sidechain with its own consensus mechanisms.” This means nothing to the ordinary person without a thorough knowledge of Ethereum networks. In fact, this language can be considered hostile and impenetrable. We need to change the way we talk about Web 3 products and technology, lest we discourage curious newcomers.

  2. Rethinking custody: 75% of respondents in a 2019 Google study expressed his frustration in the follow-up of their Passwords, which tend to be basic. How does Web 3 expect people to secure and remember 12 or more random words that make up seed sentences? In the short term, manufacturers should explore creative and on-call solutions that gradually adapt and change consumer behaviors. For example, an internet entertainment organization called Poolsuite last year launched non-fungible membership tokens (NFTs) with one key benefit: mobile wallet integration. iPhone users can add their Poolsuite NFT to their Apple wallet and use the app to unlock future experiences. This approach shows how Web 3 can meet people where they are today while working towards a decentralized future.

  3. Rethinking the Utility: Several Web 3 protocols and products introduced over the past few months mimic existing platforms and functionality. Why? We don’t really need another Twitter, skeuomorphic wallet, or Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT derivative. Instead, manufacturers should take advantage of the new technologies at their disposal to create new experiences for consumers. We have only just begun to scratch the surface of generative artificial intelligence (AI) NFTs for storytelling and identity, the bridge between online and physical goods and token economies. How these ideas play out will depend on builders pushing the boundaries of what’s possible with software and hardware.

One could argue that friction is good for innovation. However, there is far too much friction in Web 3 today and it is hurting widespread adoption. Ultimately, Web 3 should feel like an iPhone – an intuitive and essential part of life. Changes in the way we communicate, the way people own and use products, and the realized value of Web 3 will make this reality possible.

See also: ‘Minimum Viable DAO’ product seems to overpower Web 3

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