The well-regarded founder of HubSpot recently wrote: “Companies ignoring web3 in the 2020s is like ignoring web1 (the OG web) in the 1990s. Sure, there are flaws and it’s hard to connect all the dots. The flaws will get fixed and the dots will start to connect. Build on it, build for it, or be left behind.”
That’s some endorsement of a technology which most people are clueless about. So what is Web 3?
Well, ‘Web 1.0’ is the simple, original World Wide Web, with lots of static pages. ‘Web 2.0’ saw the web move beyond the PC browser, with software applications built on the web, and interactivity. Web 3.0 (or Web 3) is still a bit hazy, but it involves moving to decentralisation, including the use of blockchain technologies. It’s an internet owned by its users, not by controlling entities, but one which can still be trusted.
We don’t need to worry about how all that works, or even what those terms mean. But we should be aware that change is coming, particularly where intermediaries are involved. If businesses are suddenly given the ability to interact directly and reliably, they will. Here’s an explainer on Web 3 and here’s an interesting comparison of the web as we know it and Web 3, both on the Ethereum website. There are a lot of good TED Talks to watch, like this one. And this article gives Web 3 ideas for B2B marketers.