Last week I was talking to a brilliant man. I was telling him about some of the projects that we are working on at Ignis Studio. All was going well until I mentioned that we are participating in the development of a decentralized operating system for virtual reality platforms. When I mentioned this, he became visibly worked up.
He asked me a great question: What business do I have building a VR operating system? What value can I bring to this process?
This was not the ideal response to my announcement, but it was not a completely unexpected answer from him as I often tend to dive first and look later.
Here I was talking about the coolest decentralized project I had ever heard of, only companies like Google and Facebook are even attempting something comparable. What’s more, I think we have a shot at pulling this off; there is enough interest, we have several decentralized communities coming together to figure out the logistics, and soon, we will also have the resources needed to make this happen. So why was he so adamant that I should not be pursuing this?
Well, as he later explained, it has been rumored that Google might have just hired one of the most creative and talented people on earth to build a VR operating system. Add to that their vast pockets and this equals a compelling case for my friend’s point of view.
Thus, if it is true that Google and Facebook are out there collecting talent and resources to build a private VR Operating system, then attempting this project could easily be considered a fool’s errand by traditional standards, but we are not traditional people and these are not traditional times.
VR, Artificial Intelligence, Decentralization and the Middle Class
To be clear, what Ignis Studio brings to Decentraland are Systems Engineers and significant experience in artificial intelligence to help design and develop small little bits and pieces of the overall operating system.
Logistics aside, and whether or not one of us is right or wrong, or we are both right or we are both wrong, the reason why I am telling this story is because his elevated response seemed to me reminiscent of the response that a loving father would have if his daughter came home and told him that she was thinking of eloping with the cute drummer she met last month.
What a curious response to a casual conversation.
The reason why I found it curious is because we, as a society, put a lot of pressure on people to marry and have kids and buy houses and cars and go on vacations and go to university, etc, yet, when it comes to taking calculated risks to help advance a vision, we are quick to put on the breaks.
This societal point of view seems counter-intuitive to me!
Getting married and having kids, those are serious decisions with life and death consequences if done incorrectly, yet we rejoice when 20-year-old kids who have never left home get married and have kids of their own.
This is a selfish response that we as humans have; we want to see our family grow and be safe and secure so we rejoice as the wedding heralds the kids to come.
But what happens to the couple? To the individuals? To the kids? How many marriages end because they were just kids when they got married and they had no clue what they were getting into? All you need to do is look at the divorce statistics to see this trend and the jail systems to see the consequences.
So, if we, as a society favor young couples getting married and having kids why don’t we favor adults chasing dreams that seem improbable to achieve?
We are trying to beat Google to market with our decentralized VR operating system and we are diving into this torrential waterway head first. Is that something that should raise more or less concern than bringing a life into this world?
I don’t know the answer to that question, but if I was to give an honest accounting of my thoughts and feelings on the matter, I would have to say that we, as a generation, have reached a crucial fork in our lives. We no longer need be bound by the currency, industry, or priorities that were superimposed on us by our elders; we are the connective tissue between the old world and the new world.
Is our responsibility to follow our conscience to a freer more decentralized future, or our hearts to a more sentimental and traditional future? Can there be a merging of the two?
Fall in Love with Your Ideas!
Can we fall in love with an idea and see it come to fruition even if we have no business falling in love and pursuing that idea? These are the questions that we need to start asking ourselves because if we do not ask ourselves these questions, we will never figure out what we are actually capable of doing.
Understand something, Mark Zuckerberg and the Page brothers are actually very smart people, but so are you and I! The difference is that they asked themselves different questions than the ones we were taught to ask ourselves.
Finding equitable and sustainable solutions to global challenges should be our primary duty as this new society’s inaugural generation.
Let’s put our thinking caps on and our reproductive systems on hold!
Let’s build an operating system for our lives that will realign our values and ethics with sustainability and community building and place that above politics and economics.
I believe that if we can do this we will achieve a large measure of the peace, stability and hope that has been lost for an entire generation.
And, when asked what business we have deep diving into a project to compete with Google or some other massive conglomerate, let’s stand a little taller and remind these individuals that it is our human right to stand up to corporations and dictate to them what we expect from them, not the other way around; because it is our world, our time and our future that we need to secure, not theirs.