The next Amazon and Coinbase will probably emerge from a game

I think a lot about ecosystems. Mostly as a mental hack to get around those odd cognitive blockers which humans have when conceptualizing really big things. Especially that category of really big things which everyone agrees will probably be pretty big anyway but which could be really big. The best examples are entirely obvious: Google, Microsoft, Amazon-you get the idea.

Dean Takahashi just wrote a great status piece about the emerging metaverse ecosystem(s). He describes what’s happening as a content Big Bang and I feel the universe analogy is spot-on: there is a whole new internet of content being created e.g. Roblox, Fortnite etc. Core is the latest interesting example of a worlds generator (built on Epic’s Unreal engine). Jon Radoff’s (excellent) market map of the metaverse is another way to visualise what’s going on. Game engines (and more specifically their content) are truly eating the world. This metaversification trend is clearly going to be a big thing but I think maybe also a really big thing.

I’m particularly interested by the services which emerge from within the ecosystem of really big things. If you think about how AWS and AMS stemmed from Amazon (albeit as first-party solutions), you can begin to grasp the opportunities embedded in the scale and (theoretical) interoperability of these games/content universes. Discord and Twitch are the best known gaming examples but they’re ultimately artifacts from a much earlier environment (when games were worlds rather than universes).

Somewhere around the world, a handful of centacorns whose business models are symbiotic with today’s game universes are being born. But this cohort will go far beyond just games functionality, in <10yrs I fully expect one of the pervasive consumer internet services (ecom/search/food delivery/wallet/etc) to have bootstrapped its growth from these connected games universes.

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