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Build-Accelerate-Scale: A framework for developing the Open Metaverse

Zach Lorance ⋅


The metaverse is an incredibly exciting and immersive medium that represents an open, real-time, 3d environment where everyone comes together to live, work and play. The metaverse has seen a great deal of media attention and also investments from both technology companies who want to capitalize on the next wave, and brands, who want to stay relevant in an ever changing media landscape for reaching, engaging and converting customers. 

While this is an exciting signal, the birth of novel technologies like the metaverse always come with their own challenges. First, we must understand that the metaverse is not A technology, but rather a convergence of many - to name a few, the full blown version of the Open Metaverse would not be possible without 5G, blazing fast GPUs and CPUs, AR and VR devices, cloud computing and blockchain technologies. The good news is that most of these technologies are reaching the levels of maturity and adoption that are needed for us to enjoy the emergence of the metaverse. 

The infrastructure is in place, and now the focus is on the outer layers of the metaverse stack: metaverse platforms (the virtual worlds where people come together (ie. The Sandbox, Decentraland), metaverse assets (ie. Lands, Items and other Non-Fungibles) and metaverse experiences (ie. the Applications, games, and any other experiences people have when they come into a certain location inside a platform).

Key challenges to consider with the introduction of new technologies revolve around the initial inefficiencies in their construction, development, and scalability. Parallels can be drawn to the initial rise of the internet which experienced substantial bottlenecks. 

In short, although the infrastructure for the metaverse is in place, the platforms are becoming better, and the competitive landscape is growing, we still need more experiences with improving quality to retain daily user counts.


Building, Accelerating, and Scaling the Internet

In the early stages of the internet, the coders who understood how to utilize HTML were building their own websites and hosting them on servers they had access to. Once they had these websites built, getting them discovered was incredibly difficult. The cost for developing great websites coupled with the difficulty of getting people to find that website was a deterring factor for the growth of the internet.

Google came along in the late 90's with an algorithm that would crawl the internet and use contextual information to rank and list websites based on what they were about. This accelerated the creation of websites because builders knew that if they just created something that was niche and able to be picked up by Google, they could generate organic traffic.

Following Google, there was a significant increase in demand for websites as Google had solved the problem of channeling traffic to web pages. Once traffic generation stopped being the bottleneck for the growth of the internet, another bottleneck became apparent: website creation needed to become democratized. This led us to WordPress. WordPress originated as an open-source community project that allowed thousands of developers to make contributions to it, eventually leading WordPress to becoming the de facto content management system for folks looking to build websites with growing quantities of pages and content. This breakthrough has led WordPress open-source software to account for 43% of the top 10 million websites currently on the internet. 

As content rich websites became orders of magnitude easier to build and maintain, the success of Google was ensured further, since their indexing spiders were able to crawl millions of websites instead of just tens of thousands (legacy platforms like Yahoo relied on directories that needed a lot of manual input). The massive performance advantage led Google to launch the Google Ads self-serve platform "JumpStart" in 2005 that allowed users to monetize their websites, including WordPress websites.

Another great example of opening self-serve processes to increase velocity of technology is GoDaddy. Once ICANN made a determination that Network Solutions was creating an environment of monopoly with domain registrations, they decided to open up to other providers to make registrations. Jomax Technologies out of Phoenix AZ quickly changed its name to GoDaddy and began to take innovative steps to boost registrations. Within 3 years, in 2005, they became the largest ICANN registrar on the internet. By giving users and creators self-serve tools to buy, build, customize, and market their new creations, they accelerated the internet economy to the tune of having over 21 million monthly paying customers and almost 7,000 employees today. 


Coupling the democratization of production with discovery and monetization tools created a flywheel effect for the Internet, where more content attracts more users, generates more revenue, which can be re-invested in the production of more content, accelerating the internet economy exponentially. This is the result of multiple solutions allowing for inclusivity in the creation process on top of the internet and is precisely the challenge that the metaverse also faces today.


What the Open Metaverse Economy is Missing for Exponential Growth

Presently, the Open Metaverse Economy is well within its own build phase, similar to that of the early internet. This is LandVault’s current business model. LandVault enables brands and businesses to enter the metaverse by manually onboarding them. In many ways, LandVault serves as a creator aggregator to provide brands missing elements they need to enter the metaverse, whether that is virtual land, builders, or ideas.

The problem with this current business model of developing the Open Metaverse Economy is that it is a slow and expensive process. According to LandVault’s internal data, one metaverse experience requires an average of:

  • 8 Weeks

  • 14 Designers, Creative Directors, Account Managers

  • 55 Email Exchanges

  • $15,000 in Admin Expenses (excluding costs of build or land)

Additionally, the administrative processes to coordinate stakeholders to handle legal and other back-office tasks require equally as much time as the creative and construction processes. 

Building metaverse experiences is therefore extremely labor-demanding and difficult to scale, creating substantial barriers to entry for the millions of artists and builders eager to become part of the metaverse economy.


While Landvault can afford $15,000 to build an experience, the individual creator cannot. Right now, building the metaverse is therefore limited to an elite. This explains why there are less than 2,000 published metaverse experiences across the leading metaverse platforms.  


We estimate that less than 20 of these are active and produce income. At the present pace of production, it would take fifty years to create the first 100,000 experiences required to enroll a critical mass of customers. We need to get to 1m+ experiences by the end of the decade, not by the end of the century.


Accelerating Development

To truly accelerate the rate of development and growth of the metaverse, technology needs to be constructed that streamlines the accessible primitives creators need to build. This is in addition to the creation of self-serve ecosystems (as we have seen with the internet) and protocols that initiate more efficient processes for development. 

As more creators are able to participate in the construction of the Open Metaverse, the time it will take to build the first 100,000 experiences will diminish exponentially. More creators leads to an increase in completed experiences, giving users more content. More content leads to more foot traffic, which translates to generating more revenue, thus leading to greater investment, and the cycle of growth blossoms and continues.

The addressable consumer market, as with the internet, will grow only after there is a similar trend in the rate of development of content. The only difference is that instead of websites with the internet, we're building 3d experiences within the metaverse.

For over a year now, LandVault has led the way, creating over 200 experiences in the metaverse, effectively becoming the biggest builders of the metaverse. We have been passionate and relentlessly manually onboarding brands and businesses into the metaverse and are proud of our building capabilities and accomplishments.


In the coming weeks with several releases planned, we will launch and expand the LandVault platform, which aims to become a unified solution in which experiences will be searchable, helping brands and businesses explore metaverse platforms, virtual lands, and experiences via a single source.

This technology goes beyond just search queries however, as it also will introduce the usage of machine learning technology to identify valuable lands - called Hot Lands - to identify lands that are overperforming existing land price estimates. Introducing Hot Lands helps to elevate the LandVault platform above existing models as users can leverage it to make more valuable investments rather than just scroll to find the cheapest existing lands. 

Additional features will continue to cement the LandVault platform as an Open Metaverse investment accelerator. With more data and information for investors (brands, businesses, and users) to leverage, investments become more successful and less risky, resulting in more development occurring over time.


The LandVault platform ultimately represents the first steps towards a novel metaverse technology stack, taking the initiative to push the Open Metaverse from the build phase into the accelerated phase of its development. A fully flushed out metaverse tech stack will create the ability for the Open Metaverse Economy to experience the same exponential growth that the internet did, scaling to tens of millions of users in the future.


Scaling Development

To successfully scale the Open Metaverse Economy in a similar fashion to the internet, a metaverse technology stack must encompass open technologies that introduce solutions to current challenges with costs and efficiency when it comes to building metaverse experiences.

These open technologies would provide the framework for all participants in the building process to coordinate fluently, providing the means to develop metaverse experiences and ventures in a decentralized, permissionless way. In other words, open technologies bring together all the elements that are necessary when launching a project.

Improving coordination between participants significantly increases the overall efficiency of the building process, helping to reduce total build times per metaverse experience. Over time, this allows exponentially more development to occur, leading to more participants entering the ecosystem, more resources being made available, and further fueling the growth flywheel.

As the ecosystem grows, costs will also naturally depreciate as processes get more efficient. This is what unlocks exponential growth potential, making entering and participating within the development of the Open Metaverse even more accessible to potential stakeholders.


Summary

Behind LandVault’s Build-Accelerate-Scale framework for growing the Open Metaverse, it is expected that the development process for planning, building, and activating metaverse experiences will see drastic improvements in efficiency and cost. In turn, the Open Metaverse can achieve a growth projection that is similar to that of the internet.

While we are still very early into the initial development of the metaverse, we have been able to onboard numerous global brands and businesses into the space and will continue to advance in our goal of creating the world’s first metaverse technology stack that will be utilized to reach exponential growth in the Open Metaverse Economy over the remainder of the decade.

To stay up to date with all of LandVault’s current and future web3 developments, follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn

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