It’s been a tough week for the crypto community as major tokens saw massive sell-offs, pushing some in the space to double down while leaving others to take stock of how the industry got to this point. and on widely accepted truths that need to be reevaluated. as the crypto-internet matures.
There haven’t been many tech executives who have repeatedly criticized the idea of what a “web3” crypto internet represents, but Box CEO Aaron Levie has certainly been more vocal than most. . Earlier this week, we had the chance to catch up with Levie on TechCrunch’s crypto podcast Chain reactionpushing him to embrace some of the promises surrounding Web3 that he was most skeptical of.
You can listen to the full episode below:
“I think the philosophy behind a lot of web3 is compelling. I think it would be very hard to argue with the idea that more decentralized innovation isn’t a good thing,” Levie told us. “I think the implementation I’ve seen presents a lot of challenges in getting to the realization of this philosophy.”
Levie isn’t a crypto startup executive and he doesn’t appear to be exploring a web3 pivot for Box, but he tells us he tweets as much on web3 as he does because “by virtue of being a startup founder , you kind of have to figure out where the world is going — and then you have to make choices about whether you believe the world is actually going the way other people are saying or not.”
Some have viewed the high-profile failures in recent weeks of highly centralized players in the decentralized world of blockchain as evidence that more organizations should be collectively managed. However, Levie doesn’t seem to expect DAOs or collective ownership to replace traditional structures in the startup world anytime soon.
“We rely on the people of Cupertino to make decisions to build the iPhone, and then we decide whether we want to buy it or not. It’s our only decision that we can make in the iPhone, we can’t to vote on anything, and if we voted on anything, it would slow the system down dramatically and you just wouldn’t be able to innovate very quickly,” Levie says. “For collective movements, [DAOs] are super exciting, no doubt, but to replace the organizational structure of a startup or fast-paced company – I just don’t think it will work.”
As crypto-VCs push entrepreneurs to consider the idea of replacing traditional ad-based business models with tokens and NFTs that drive consumers to own slices of the services they use, Levie wonders how some of these mechanisms are actually widespread.
“We may be overestimating consumer demand for ‘ownership’, and the reason I can say that is because you get real product trade-offs when you decide it’s going to be a product that you can own the items in. .rather than participating in a network but not really owning much,” notes Levie. “I happen to be optimistic about the power of advertising because it makes products cheaper and allows companies to find consumers. There are those who take the opposite view – it’s quite wonderful. the size of the market that is willing to accept this compromise and is the size of the market large enough to justify talking about a revolution in the way the Internet works? »
You can find out more about Levie’s interview by listening to our latest episode. Subscribe to Chain Reaction on Apple, Spotify, or your alternative podcast platform of choice to follow us every week.