Why Web3 Matters


The video features a discussion between Chris Dixon, a general partner at Andreessen Horowitz, and Pachy McCormack, a writer and investor at Not Boring Ventures. They delve into the significance of Web3 and its impact on the internet.

Chris Dixon’s Introduction to Web3

Chris Dixon shares his journey into Web3, starting with his initial interest in Bitcoin and crypto around 10 years ago. He joined Andreessen Horowitz in 2013 and invested in Coinbase, recognizing the potential of the Web3 vision. He highlights how Web2 brought centralized companies that changed the architecture of the internet, leading to concentration of power in a few big companies. The core idea of Web3 is to combine the best of both worlds, enabling entrepreneurs and users to build, own, and control their creations.

Evolution from Web1 to Web2 and the Promise of Web3

Dixon describes Web1 (1990-2005) as the era governed by open protocols like HTTP and SMTP, allowing entrepreneurs to create and own things on the internet. Web2 (2005-2020) introduced centralized companies like Facebook and Google, offering free services but concentrating power and influence. Web3 aims to restore the balance by leveraging decentralized protocols and giving users more control over their data and creations.

The Power of Protocols in Web3

The conversation shifts to the power of protocols in Web3. Dixon explains that Bitcoin initially attracted him as an independent protocol, but Ethereum and other blockchains expanded on the concept. They discuss how Web3 protocols have the potential to enhance and extend various applications, including social networks, by aligning incentives and empowering users.

Bootstrapping Infrastructure in Web3

McCormack raises the topic of bootstrapping infrastructure in Web3. Dixon highlights the economic and technical differences in the current landscape compared to Web1 and Web2. Web3 protocols can secure funding through methods like airdrops, making them economically powerful and enabling rapid development.

Avoiding Centralization in Web3

The discussion addresses concerns about recentralization in Web3. Dixon points out that network effects contribute to the monopoly-like position of companies like Facebook and Instagram. However, the key difference in Web3 is that network effects can accrue to public resources and communities instead of being controlled solely by private entities.

The Role of Narrative and Community in Web3 Adoption

McCormack emphasizes the importance of narrative and storytelling in driving Web3 adoption. They discuss how effective narratives can align incentives among large groups of people, making them care about and participate in Web3 projects. McCormack highlights the need for clear explanations that bridge the gap between technical insiders and curious individuals.

Lessons from Earned Secrets and Product-Market Fit

Dixon shares insights from his experience as an investor and entrepreneur. He mentions the concept of “earned secrets,” which are insights gained through dedicated exploration in specific areas. Additionally, he touches upon the importance of product-market fit, where successful startups understand their core community’s needs and intensity.

Looking Ahead in Web3

In the closing remarks, both Dixon and McCormack express their optimism about Web3’s potential to solve significant problems and create innovative solutions. They highlight the mission-driven nature of the Web3 movement and the excitement surrounding the development of tools and primitives that can shape the future.