Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Now that we’re well over halfway through 2022, it’s safe to say there’s definitely been a rapid pace of change surrounding Web3 this year. In the month of March alone, there were 41,000 new articles published referencing “Web3.” We’ve had the grand opening of the Meta Store in early May, not to mention the influx of renowned global brands racing to claim their stake in the new space. With Lego, Emirates, Adidas, Starbucks and Gucci (just to name a few) pioneering their way into the Metaverse, it’s no wonder there’s talk of the Web3 economy being worth up to $13 trillion by 2030.
Yet while every passing week there’s a new high profile company making their move into the Web3 world, on the other side of the coin, there’s the rest of us. Insert here your startup founders, small business owners and non-tech industry entrepreneurs. How are we supposed to navigate this new virtual landscape?
The truth is: The majority of us are facing information overload when it comes to Web3, not knowing how or what we can do to enter the space, let alone comprehend the thought of completing in it one day.
We need to start somewhere to break down the barrier into the Web3 world, and we may as well start right now. Read on to learn of three easy and actionable steps you can take today to become involved in Web3:
Step 1: Change your perspective of Web3
The first step is to not be disheartened if you don’t yet have a clear vision of how your business will adapt to Web3. When we’re bombarded with daily media updates of multi-billion dollar companies entering this new virtual world, it can quickly start to feel overwhelming and unobtainable from a small business standpoint. However, the lessons we will learn from these early pioneers will be invaluable.
The old saying of “slow and steady wins the race” directly applies here, with even Mark Zuckerberg acknowledging the transition into Web3 is going to be a marathon, not a sprint. In fact, Zuckerberg has publicly stated that Meta’s Metaverse project, which has already spent more than $10 billion designing it’s new Web3 world in 2021 alone, will continue to bleed money for the next three to five years, with elements of his Metaverse vision having a projected timeline of 15 years. In other words, you’ve still got time!
While we may have more time than we thought to wrap our heads around Web3, this doesn’t mean that we should ignore the new space altogether right now. The truth is, we are in the most exciting time of Web3 — a.k.a. the building phase. It’s time to use our entrepreneurial mindsets to stay ahead of the game. If you’re feeling confused or overwhelmed about Web3, this is a clear sign that you need to pivot your thinking. We need to shift our perspective from “I’ll wait until it’s mainstream” to “How can I learn more about Web3 now?” If you’re up to doing this, you’re now ready to tackle step two.
Step 2: Find a simplified way to stay informed on Web3 developments
When embracing a new phenomenon, especially one as big as Web3, finding ways to simplify the experience will be the key to your success.
To avoid feelings of information overload, it’s important to first narrow down how you will learn about Web3. You could aim to listen to one podcast each week on the topic, or subscribe to a roundup newsletter that reports weekly on the latest Web3 developments.
The aim here is to not solely rely on googling Web3 once a week, but instead to invest your time in finding information sources within the sector that you can easily relate to. Once you find one that clicks well with your learning style, be consistent and set a goal to learn something Web3-related weekly from your chosen source. A great example of this is Metavise, a Web3 agency with free tools such as podcast episodes and weekly blog posts that help to break down the current business news and key learnings from industry leaders at the forefront of Web3. Collective Shift is another reliable resource with a core focus on cryptocurrency education to help investors build a portfolio in the new space.
It’s also a good idea to be aware of any tech platforms you already use within your business and how they are planning to incorporate Web3. For example, Shopify has recently just added Web3 functionality to its ecommerce platform. So, if you’re within the ecommerce space, head to Shopify support to learn more about their current and future planned offerings for Shopify merchants within the Web3 space.
Once you have your main resources you can rely on to discover new Web3 learnings and stay regularly informed, you will soon be eager to explore further. This leads us to our third and final step to navigating Web3.
Related: Entrepreneurs Should Embrace Web 3.0
Step 3: It’s time to personally enter the Web3 space
Before you make any plans to adapt your business to Web3, it’s important to first enter the space personally, as a consumer. This does not mean you have to put your entire life savings into crypto and buy a block of land in the same Metaverse as Snoop Dogg.
Instead, pick an area of interest from your overall learnings (within your financial means), and delve deeper by setting a goal to sign up and participate in that ICO (Initial Coin Offering), or take your first steps towards purchasing an NFT. Getting involved in a Web3 community may seem daunting now, but after an extended period of consistent learning about the various offerings in step two, you will feel ready to take the leap.
A great place to start is by browsing the largest NFT marketplace, Opensea, and deciding on an area of interest — whether it be art, sport, fashion or virtual worlds — that may already align with your existing passions.
If you’re still not convinced where to invest your time and money, an easy tip to narrow down your search is to look out for NFTs that also have an alternative purpose outside the Web3 world.
STEPN, for example, is a Web3 lifestyle app with Game-Fi elements. Users can purchase NFT sneakers and download the STEPN app that uses GPS to record how many steps you do during your daily workout. In other words, whenever you walk, jog or run outdoors, you earn GSTs (utility tokens) that can then be used to level up your NFT sneakers. The more you earn through your daily walk or run, the more you can buy, trade, mint or even rent out your current sneakers to other users. With this “Move to Earn” feature as the core mechanic of the STEPN world, it’s clear a Web3 app like this has the potential to encourage millions to embrace a healthier lifestyle — which means investing in this kind of NFT can carry great benefits for your personal health beyond the Web3 realm.
Yet regardless of where in the Web3 world you choose to become involved, the main takeaway here is to simply start joining some Web3 communities in small ways to help consolidate your learnings.
Over time, from following these three easy steps above, Web3 should begin to feel a little less foreign for you. And when the time comes to implement these new digital offerings into your own business model, you’ll be ready to go!