Web3 Revolution: Escape, Faith, Great Migration
"Just waiting for Byte's year-end bonus to be paid out, I'll go (to Web3), and my friend from another department of Byte will join me." Byte employee Zhang Beihai said to Tiger.
As the youngest and the only Internet factory that is still growing rapidly and has great opportunities, many employees of ByteDance have chosen to give up "jumping" and start exploring new industries. Some of them are technical employees in charge of Fishu, some are visual designers, some are in charge of TikTok business, and some are "technical bigwigs" who joined Byte in 2014 ...... They are all post-90s, most of them are post-95s. They enjoy 18 salaries, options with huge value-added potential, free meals and snacks and drinks.
However, this series of top-quality treatment of domestic and even global enterprises can not retain their determination to switch to other industries.
Unlike Zhang Beihai, Plato, a senior product manager at Tencent, is not even willing to wait for a year-end bonus. "I'm not small anymore, and I don't want to live a life of seeing the head at a glance." At the end of 2021, Plato resigned from Tencent's headquarters, selected the recently hot creator economy track, and officially opened his own Web3 entrepreneurial path.
Tiger observed thatAli, Ant, Tencent, Byte, Netease, and Meituan, at least six Internet majors have "high P" (senior managers or senior technical personnel) who have given up stable high salaries and substantial options to actively explore the Web3 world.
The former big factory "high P" who joined the Web3 track is becoming more and more, including: Meituan co-founder Wang Huiwen, Ant technical director Zhao Feng, and the 90-year-old programmer Guo Yu who joined Byte 2020 in 2014 and retired with nearly 100 million options.
Wang Huiwen changed his instant app signature to "learning Crypto" in April this year, and as a founding member of Meituan, he is much later than Wang Xing, who was already bullish on Bitcoin and invested in it back in 2013. However, "there is no order in hearing DAO", and Wang Huiwen has some new perceptions about Web3. He believes that blockchain has torn up the Chinese Internet andThe main conflict of China's Internet has shifted from the conflict between giants and startups to the conflict between classical Internet and blockchainIn 2020, he retired from the USG and started a new track.
The first group of Web3 practitioners, Guo Yu, has been concerned about Web3 since 2011 when he joined Alipay and shared his experience at the weekend sharing session of Alipay Experience Technology Department. 2020, after he left Byte Jump, he seldom studied the classical Internet and started to concentrate on blockchain technology and application. Zhao Feng, on the other hand, is all in Web3 like Guo Yu. as a former Tencent mobile QQ architect and Alipay product director, he has been in the game since 2018, and pulled on many colleagues from Ant and Tencent.
From big executives to big young people, the Web3 industry is attracting a steady stream of Internet talent. And for the first 20 years of the 21st century, the Internet was perhaps the most friendly industry to the vast majority of young Chinese, although people now complain more about its various problems.
Web3 refers to a decentralized online ecosystem based on blockchain technology, which many believe represents the next phase of the Internet. A partner at a traditional investment house told Tiger, "The current Web3 industry, is very much like the Internet in 2000."And this phrase is being mentioned more and more frequently to.
Recall that in 2000, Baidu Ali Tencent was just established, Alipay was 3 years later, QQ Music was 5 years later, BOSS was 14 years later, KEEP was 15 years later, and Jitterbug as the "last Internet national product" was born only after 16 years. Most of the Internet companies we know were born in 2000-2010. Many of these companies and their products were accompanied by great controversy at the beginning of their existence, but this did not affect their business value, far exceeding that of a number of traditional enterprises.
So, as the "new generation of Internet", has the latest version of Baidu, Ali and Tencent emerged yet?
In fact, theIn the Web3 industry, some products already have the "prototype" of national-level mobile productsFor example, MetaMask (the decentralized Alipay), STEPN (the decentralized KEEP), Audius (the decentralized QQ Music), OpenSea ...... They already have millions or even tens of millions of users around the world, and three of them were even named the 100 most influential companies in the world by Time magazine this year.
Rich products, high valuation, large number of users ...... All these remind people of the Internet around 2000, in the reckless era.
"A glance at the head." Today this phrase has actually become the voice of many Internet people.
Twenty years ago, a group of entrepreneurs introduced various innovative models of the Internet to China amid policy uncertainty and risky compliance. At that time, there were no factions in the Internet, hundreds or even thousands of companies competed in each segment, and new companies IPO'd every month, and cases abounded where a small company developed in three to five years and surpassed the scale of traditional companies by decades.
However, it is no longer the same today. In the past three years, there have been few Internet companies that have been able to increase their valuation tenfold and one hundredfold as frequently as the current Web3, allowing investors to gain a hundredfold return. This may also be one of the reasons why many capitals fled the classical Internet and flocked to Web3.
As we enter 2022, some capitalists have been investing in Web3 companies like "crazy". According to the incomplete statistics of Tiger, from Jan. 1, 2022 to Apr. 26, 2022, Sequoia Capital, one of the world's largest venture capital investors, invested in 17 Web3 companies at the rate of one investment per week.Sequoia is considered the most successful early-stage venture capitalist of the Internet era, but it is facing stiffer competition in the Web3 track. Its rival Coinbase Ventures invested in 71 companies in the first quarter of 2022 alone, almost one investment a day, excluding rest days. The "war" between the capitals is heating up.
The big factory people and the predecessors as hard, but has missed the company and the industry's most rapid development period, more terrible is each big factory layoff action like a plague, one after another, no stop trend.
"The Internet is getting slower and slower, and retirement is okay." An employee of a large factory told Tiger. She compared the Internet company to a "retirement home" for young people. On the one hand, they are paid a much higher salary than traditional industries and enjoy a good working environment, while on the other hand, many employees are endlessly in-rolling, increasingly lacking innovation and doing a lot of repetitive and meaningless work.
A former project leader of a large domestic factory said to Tiger: "I just came in to incubate innovative projects, however, as time goes by, the project is getting heavier and heavier, and the whole system lacks innovation, and it starts to engage in politics, our boss came from a bank and likes to engage in politics and bureaucracy, and the style is also more serious, I am used to the previous Internet set of free and flat I was used to the free and flat working mode of the Internet, and now the company's environment has no way for me to get a sense of achievement."
The classical Internet has existed for more than 30 years since Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web in 1991.The classical Internet is still "young", but compared with Web3, its "old" is not only reflected in its age, but also in its system, culture, spirit and other aspects.
Web3 world has a "black saying" called OK Boomer (OK, old man), this phrase can be said to anyone over 22 years old but disagree so. If you are in a government position, 35 years old is properly young, 50 years old is the starting point of your career; if you are in the management post of a large state-owned enterprise, 35 years old is the age when you can just show off your skills; if you are in the Internet industry, 35 years old is the age to be optimized; and in Web3, 22 years old may not be absolutely young.
At Web3, experience is the least important thing, the spirit of innovation is the most important. After all, it is built on blockchain technology, which was born only 14 years ago, without so many rules and shackles. These qualities make him more suitable for young people.
The Web3 trend has gradually become so obvious that no Internet powerhouse dares to ignore it, but they can no longer get on as easily as they did 20 years ago.
In the article "Internet giants "overseas battle" Web3", Tiger Sniff mentioned that Ali, Tencent, Byte, Ant, Jingdong, B station, Netease almost all Internet majors have set up teams to explore Web3, and the head three majors: Ali, Tencent and Byte have already laid out investment overseas. In a domestic public recruitment channel, Tencent is directly written to require candidates to understand Bitcoin, Etherrum and other blockchain framework.
But still more and more people are choosing to leave the big factories.
A "Great Migration" is being staged on the Internet.
Zheng Xiaoyue was one of the entrepreneurs who worked hard like stubborn ants to "move" Web2 (classical Internet) products to Web3 one by one.
He is the CEO of a small to medium sized internet company in China. He used to lead a team of nearly two hundred people at NetEase and now he develops a product called MetaNotey, all in web3.
This product is a bit like a Web3 version of Weibo, and a bit like a Web3 version of Tencent Docs. He tries to "move" Internet products such as Weibo or Tencent documents to Web3, making it more decentralized. "We want to become a bridge between Web2 and Web3 for Internet users, and a community platform for aggregating NFT content and user subscription exchanges." Zheng Xiaoyue said.
Plato is doing the same thing as Zheng Xiaoyue, who worked at Tencent for eight years and decided to quit late last year with the goal of "moving" WeChat Reader and Kindle to Web3.
As a veteran of Goose Factory, Plato has started two ventures within Tencent in the past eight years, and has grown up to be a senior product manager himself. Perhaps because of his love for reading, Plato's two ventures in his spare time were both related to "books". Once in 2014, he pulled hundreds of authors from Douban to make a paid reading website; once in 2017, he made an intelligent bookshelf with Tencent and Tsinghua partners. Compared with the library's self-service lending machine, his intelligent bookshelf is twice as large in capacity, only one-third the size of the library in appearance, and only about 20% in cost. You can see the intelligent bookshelf developed by their team in Kexing Science Park, where Tencent IEG is located.
Perhaps his first two book ventures were not "sexy" enough, so he did not choose to go all in until he met Web3.
Compared with Internet products, Web3 products have more common features, such as: decentralization, non-tampering, every data belongs to the user, data can be bought and sold, etc. Taking decentralization as an example, whether it is Weibo, WeChat reading or Tencent documents, they have the common characteristics of Internet products: all data are collected, stored and used by one Internet company alone. Such centralized Internet products often have only one or two nodes, and once they are damaged, these data will also be at risk of disappearing.
In the Web3 version of Weibo or WeChat reading, every "Weibo" and "book" that people post can be minted into NFTs (non-homogenized tokens), and these NFTs are on blockchains such as Ether. Blockchain is equivalent to a collection of millions of databases with countless nodes, so it is difficult for data to be stolen or destroyed.
The utility of Web3 goes beyond that.
Take Web3's hottest track of last year, NFT, for example. When a tweet, an article, or an e-book is cast as an NFT, they become an asset. When you write a tweet, you no longer have the same inability to know the price of the content you created; every tweet you post is equivalent to a commodity, and it can be bid on and bought as long as someone finds it valuable.This may give birth to a highly developed digital property rights society, where each section of data will have its own value and price, just like houses and cars, and everyone can display, trade and profit very conveniently on the data they generate.
Twitter founder Jack Dorsey's first tweet was sold for $2.9 million after it was made into an NFT in 2006, but recently people are less likely to recognize the value of the tweet, so the latest offer for the tweet's NFT has now fallen back to $280, a drop of more than 10,000 times. It should be noted that the current NFT market is in the early stages of development, so some works are pushed to inflated levels, which is in line with supply and demand, and as more and more works enter the market, prices will naturally converge to normal levels.
The two products mentioned above are the latest attempts made by two Chinese Internet practitioners to transform Web3, but they are only the tip of the iceberg.
STEPN (Web3 version of Keep), Metamask (Web3 version of Alipay), Braintrust (Web3 version of BOSS Direct) ...... Thousands of Internet products have been moved to Web3 by entrepreneurs, and it is foreseeable that there will be more in the future.
Social, Music, Writing, Finance ...... Every Web3 track is now crowded with a large number of startups.
This scenario had occurred frequently in the Internet industry.
Internet takeaway platform "thousand group war", finally leaving only a few companies such as the United States, hungry. Mobike, small yellow car competition period has also emerged overnight hundreds of bicycle business. Once the Internet industry was born every year countless new tracks, now is no more than then. But the Web3 industry is recreating this lively scene.
Just like there are countless APPs on everyone's phone now, perhaps in the future everyone will use countless DApps (blockchain versions of APPs) every day.
Break the circle! Break the circle! Break the circle!
The decentralization of Web3 is essentially in pursuit of an extreme equality, which is one of the roots of why more and more people are drawn to participate in it.
The equality of technology, however, may not be true equality, and sometimes it even creates greater inequality. The quality of each person is completely different. There is no doubt that certain professionals are better suited to Web3, although Web3 is constantly breaking the circle to attract more forms of expertise.
A researcher from OKX, Brock, told Tiger: In 2013, the birth of ethereum, blockchain and smart contracts were closely integrated, and many DApps (blockchain applications) were born; in 2020, the lending agreement Compound launched "liquidity mining", which exploded the Defi market; in 2021, NFT Summer came out of the circle of "Crypto" at the circulation level. In 2020, the lending protocol Compound introduced "liquidity mining" to explode the Defi market; in 2021, NFT Summer came out of the small circle of "Crypto" at the circulation level. All of these have contributed greatly to the Web3 industry in terms of infrastructure and audience attraction.
From the invention of Bitcoin, to the creation of Ether, to Defi, NFT, and now DAO, each wave that blockchain has made for over a decade has attracted and screened a group of entrepreneurs.
The emergence of Ether has additionally attracted a large number of programmers to participate in it, the emergence of Defi has attracted a group of Wall Street financial professionals, the emergence of NFT has attracted a large number of artists to be in it, and the emergence of DAO has attracted professionals from all aspects.
"We have been in contact with cryptocurrencies for a long time, and Tencent employees have created two WeChat groups dedicated to the study of Web3 investment, and the groups are full, but before that, we just observed and did not go deeper until the recent emergence of NFT and DAO, and we have the opportunity to do some projects that can promote the industry." A former Tencent employee said to Tiger.
People who are new to Web3 have the same mindset and a strong sense of wariness; while those who decide to ALL in web3 have different reasons. Some people like to cut leeks and run after a wave; some like high-risk investment; some are simply attracted by the innovative financial model, while some hope to change the traditional industry through new technology and business models.
There are scammers, idealists, leeks and doers gathered here. Under the big wave, who is more suitable to grow in the soil of Web3?
A group of venture capitalists stayed behind.
Although the Web3 model has actually caused an impact on early stage venture capital institutions, there are still a group of forward-looking institutions that have stayed, such as Sequoia Capital, a16z, Coinbase Ventures, etc. Sequoia Capital once invested in half of China's Internet, a16z had invested in Facebook, Groupon, Skype, Twitter and other US Internet giants in the early days, and now they openly say all in crypto.These are the most famous VCs of the Web2 period, who chose and almost all in the Web3 track.
And other new power VCs are not far behind, with competition among some reaching fever pitch, such as the aforementioned Coinbase Ventures, which invested in 71 Web3 companies in the first quarter of 2022 alone.
The competition among these investment institutions is extremely fierce, and the "origins" of the VCs involved in them are even more drab and complex.
OKX has invested in hundreds of projects in 2021, covering core tracks such as NFT, GameFi, DeFi, etc. Researcher Brock told Tiger: "Traditional VCs get shares issued by companies through investment, and often can't exit until higher rounds of financing. web3 investment institutions get Token of projects through investment, which can be sold at any period after the lock-in period, making the exit more flexible. Web3 investors can sell the Token of a project at any time after the lock-up period, which makes the exit more flexible. In addition, institutional investment is an important source of funding for startups, so it is the institution that has more initiative. In the Web3 field, the project side has a variety of sources of funding, and ordinary people can participate in the project investment through public offerings, purchase Token and other forms, so it is not only the investment institutions to select the project, there are strong projects will also have some requirements for the overall strength of the VC. "
"Traditional investment has been developed for more than 10 years, and a very mature set of value assessment criteria has been developed for Web2 companies. Web2 is a platform economy, where market share is used to win or lose. Web3 is a third-generation Internet protocol that uses blockchain and other technologies to create readable, writable, and transferable value, returning the value of user creation to users, which may be counterintuitive to traditional VCs familiar with Web2 investments. web3 is built on top of blockchain, and to understand Web3 projects, blockchain technology principles, pass-through economy, and governance mechanisms must be studied first A little bit, with the underlying knowledge structure is easier to see the feasibility of Web3 project." Bullock said.
In addition, the Internet elite and Wall Street elite are also "flocking" to Web3.
These two industries have exported a large number of talents and companies to Web3, and to put it another way, the talents and companies from these two industries are the most active into Web3.
It has become a normal phenomenon that financial giants such as NYSE, JP Morgan Chase and KPMG are trying out Web3's latest play, and SEC Deputy Chief Economist Scott Bauguess and SEC official Justin Slaugher have joined blockchain companies. And financial practitioners, especially the financial elite, are the group of people who value their pedigree and resume the most.
All along, Internet practitioners and financial practitioners have been the largest proportion of Web3 in a group of people, some large Web3 companies more than 70% of employees from the Internet. The channel to enter Web3 seems to be "monopolized" by these two industries, until the outbreak of NFT, people from all walks of life were able to enter Web3 on a larger scale.
Clothes (Nike Adi's virtual shoes) Food (Coca-Cola McDonald's NFT collection) Live (Sandbox) Walk (virtual cars launched by BMW Ferrari and others) Play (NBA Super Bowl Disney Christie's) ..... ...NFT is spreading at an incredible rate in traditional industries and trying to change them. It also allows professionals in other fields, such as painters, sneaker designers, photographers, jewelry designers, etc., to participate deeply in the world of Web3.
"DAO thinking" and "Web3 culture"
Blockchain is a technology, DAO is an institution, and Web3 is a culture.
DAO is a kind of decentralized organization, which can be understood as "decentralized company", and is an economic system built on blockchain, where people with the same idea and consensus can form a DAO. In the Internet world, when people strongly agree with a video or an article, even if it is constantly deleted by centralized organizations, people will store and reproduce it spontaneously and keep it on the network. Such behavior is actually implicit in the idea of DAO and the culture of Web3.
But human spontaneous consensus is fragile, without the guarantee of technology + system + culture, these consensus may exist for one night or one moment, but it is still partial, one-sided and fleeting. People need Blockchain+DAO+Web3 to record and guarantee those behaviors and consensus that we cherish.
In 1915, Chen Duxiu published an article in New Youth, which he edited, advocating democracy (Mr. Te) and science (Mr. Sai). At that time, reformers and innovators at the forefront of the times found that the foreign affairs movement (technology) could not save China and the Xinhai Revolution (system) could not save China, so the New Culture Movement (technology + system + ideology and culture) came into being.
The development of Web3 is also the same. It is different from other forms of technology because it is more like a collection of "technology + system + culture". If you only "foreign affairs movement" (only the development of blockchain technology), but not "Xinhai Revolution" and "new cultural movement", then such Web3 is just an empty appearance.
This may be evident from the position currently occupied by Chinese entrepreneurs in Web3 companies. Chinese entrepreneurs can build the world's largest exchanges, but cannot invent culturally focused NFTs such as Bored Ape, Azuki and Cryptopunk.
Decentralization, which is the spirit of Web3, is also the core of the Internet.
Institutionally, a centralized Internet is increasingly criticized. Both Twitter, Weibo and Facebook have the drawbacks of centralized companies, such as browsing users' privacy at will, attributing private data to themselves, and killing cooks with big data. These problems, which are determined by the genes engraved in the bones of Web2 Internet companies, are difficult to be solved by themselves or by a single-minded regulation.
Recently, an employee of a large factory was pointed out for allegedly "peeking" at the work documents of the startup, and nearly a month later, the official response is still not available. Such incidents are common and never possible to eliminate, people do not have any opportunity to resist or choose, even if a small individual is violated, there will not be any statement, and most of the time people do not know that their privacy or data rights have been violated. This is not because Internet companies like to do evil, but its own inherent system decision. And once society becomes a "small government, big company" situation, the severity of these problems will increase geometrically.
How do you dismantle the "evil side" of the big manufacturers? By taking away their overly centralized power.
It is important to note that the Web2 Internet is not a completely centralized world either; in fact it is more decentralized than Web1 and the Internet were when they were not born. It's just that Web2 Internet companies generally believe in the idea of centralization.
The emergence of Alipay, WeChat and Drip actually gave people an additional choice. Before the emergence of these Internet products, people could only use products offered by banks, communicate by phone and other means, and stop cabs on the roadside. The Internet has actually given people new options.
Starting from this logic, theThe decentralization of Web3 is embodied in two layers: one layer is the social scope, the emergence of Web3 provides new opportunities for both ordinary people and entrepreneurs, making this society less monopolistic and centralized; the second layer is Web3 itself, whose core idea is to believe in decentralization and is committed to institutionally decentralizing every Web3 product.
People are used to the classical Internet lifestyle and believe that every picture, every message, every article they post should be freely shared and circulated by people for free. Data is money and power, and this is a truth that every large Internet company knows well. However, this truth is limited to large organizations. Data is money, and large companies can turn it into money and power, but individuals cannot.
Web3, on the other hand, allows for a deeper flow of data, and it allows the power of data to be returned to everyone instead of being limited to the state and large corporations.
Every footprint you have on the web may seem ordinary, but when aggregated, it creates value. And when that data is only available to ordinary people to license to the organizations that need itPeople can earn from their online footprint and even exchange data with others frequently.
Web3, attracts the craziest capital, the most ambitious young people and the most pie-in-the-sky projects. And what connects them is a trust.
This trust comes from a small life scene.
A Singaporean who wants to buy a house in Australia may need to go to various departments and spend a week to apply for success. However, in the Web3 system, it only takes a few seconds. Whereas in the past people needed to set up a company to accomplish a complex goal, now people only need to set up a DAO (decentralized autonomous organization).
Web2 (Internet), which allows everyone to instantly see what is happening in countries around the world even at home, and Web3, which creates an independent global economic system outside the current world system, allows everyone to do a complex business with global consensus strangers anytime and anywhere.
Write at the end
In China, blockchain and Web3 are still one of the most controversial industries. Some CEOs of blockchain companies, even if they are worth over 100 million dollars, have over 1,000 team members, and even appear on the cover of global mainstream magazines, are still criticized as "blind" by their mothers.
This conflict in ideology has been going on for 10 years and will continue to exist. China has evolved from an agricultural society, to an industrial society, and then to a digital society in just 30 years, and looking back, each decade has been a revolutionary upheaval.
The children who planted rice seedlings in the fields in that era would not think that they would work in factories in the future, because they could not see a factory as far as they could see; the children who played in the factories would not think that their future work would be in skyscrapers staring at a screen every day, because there were low-rise houses as far as they could see; and the children who ran between skyscrapers might work in the fields, at sea, or underground in the future. Even the concept of work will be dissolved.
The inherent thinking is still lingering in people's minds, but the world is changing with certainty. People from the Internet, finance, art and other industries are "flooding" into this track, integrating blockchain technology into products, putting DAO thinking into companies, and connecting Web3 culture to digital society.
This is a "migration" that has been going on for 10 years, and the army has only just moved on.
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