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🔭 Looking at the web through a longer lens

The Fūtch
The Fūtch
This is the first issue of what I intend to be a weekly collection of my thoughts and research on the web and how it will change the world, for better or worse. Expect a fair bit of discussion on Web3 as I try to untangle where it’s at and what aspects of it may make their way into the mainstream, as well as various musings on marketing, media and culture. Thanks for being here.

Be Curious, Not Judgemental
Back in 2006, when Twitter was brand new and Facebook was still cool, I vividly remember trying to explain social media and how it would change the future of business and society to some 40-year old boomer in a conference room.
“Why would I want to look at pictures of other people’s lunch?”
That statement - a combination of dismissal, proud ignorance, and a complete lack of curiosity - stuck with me. I don’t know how to predict the future, but I know how to be completely caught off-guard by it, and being judgemental about something you don’t even know enough about to understand that you don’t understand it is a good start.
Now that it is I who am the boomer, I found myself dismissive of a bunch of things I didn’t understand, like web3, and “the metaverse.” Remembering the reaction I got in that conference room and how wrong they turned out to be, I made the conscious decision to be curious, to explore the space, and try to learn without judgment.
Despite my fondness for Ted Lasso, Walt Whitman almost certainly never said the words I’ve started this inaugural issue of this newsletter with. But provenance aside, it’s a good reminder, especially when things seem so outwardly stupid (looking at you, NFTs), that there might be a good reason that isn’t immediately obvious to you, or that hasn’t yet revealed itself to the world.
So here's the plan...
The Fūtch
The Fūtch
Since this is the first issue of The Fūtch, and I’m still figuring it out myself, I want to start with my current hypothesis about what this will be. Every week, I’m going to send you some quick thoughts on web3, the future of marketing, media, and/or society and why it matters.
I’ll include some links to what’s going on in the world, and to people smarter than me, who have explained things better than I ever could. Honestly, you should probably just subscribe to their newsletters instead.
What I'm thinking about this week
This week, DAOs have been on my mind for a lot of reasons. DAO is an acronym that stands for Decentralized Autonomous Organization, and despite sounding like something straight out of a cyberpunk dystopia, is a fascinating concept that I think could upend a lot of traditional business models we take for granted. DAOs allow large groups of people to work together toward a common goal, with democratized leadership managed through votes and discussion. Governance tokens, which carry both financial value and a proportional vote on the future of the organization, distribute leadership among those who contribute to it.
Jeremiah Owyang explains them as a “digital cooperative,” and I think that’s probably the most succinct way to put it. 
The Generalist has published an excellent primer on DAOs, their promise, and their challenges. If your perspective of Web3 is limited to crypto, this is a great introduction to the possibilities that lie beyond it.
This Week in The Fūtch...
Get in loser, we’re buying the constitution
Speaking of DAOs, one thing you can do with them is (try to) buy the constitution. With one of the last surviving copies of the US Constitution going up for auction, a DAO was established to crowdfund enough to purchase it. In less than a week, they raised $47 million in Ethereum from . They were ultimately outbid by a hedge fund billionaire, but it shows the potential for regular people to own extraordinary things. Undeterred, a new DAO has even cropped up to buy an NBA team.
Defining the Metaverse
“The Metaverse” is one of the most confusing aspects of web3, mostly because everyone is rushing to define it in a way that makes them more money. (Hint: it’s definitely not sales meetings with a VR rig strapped to your face).
Bankless, a media DAO that focuses on web3 and crypto news, has a great episode of their podcast where they go on a deep dive into what the metaverse is, and what it might look like.
Web3 comes with ownership
ENS, which is the equivalent of a Domain Name Registrar for crypto wallets and web3 identity, recently made news by air-dropping its earliest adopters governance tokens worth several thousand dollars. This not only provided the first users a direct, ten-plus-fold return on investment; it also gave them a say in the future of the organization and how it will deploy its multi-million dollar treasury.
I want to hear from you.
I want to hear back from you. What are you most excited about or terrified by in the future of tech? What needs more explanation? Email me at, or respond to this email and let me know.
Yours from the fūtch,
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The Fūtch
The Fūtch @ryananderson

I write about the future of the web and how it may impact business, media and culture.

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