Representation of the connection of the human brain and technology
Representation of the connection of the human brain and technology

Hyperbole, Hype and Hope? Trillions of Reasons Why the Metaverse Matters

Joe Kornik, Director of Brand Publishing Editor-in-Chief of VISION by Protiviti

Ever since Steven Spielberg put the metaverse on the mainstream map in 2018 with his science fiction adventure film, Ready Player One, based on Ernest Cline’s novel of the same name, there has been a slow but steady drumbeat of momentum building around the potential and possibilities of this brave, new, immersive world. Sure, the metaverse had been talked about long before 2018, but once Spielberg made a metaverse movie, more than just the gamers noticed.

Never mind that the film portrayed a very bleak future of humanity in 2045; Steven Spielberg, of all people, was talking about the metaverse, or at least a facsimile of it. Like sharks in ’75 and aliens in ’82, the metaverse was building a buzz with the Spielberg stamp of approval. For many people, especially those of a certain age, Ready Player One was their first, and perhaps only, foray into the virtual worlds where avatars are the stars, and tech companies jumped in to capitalize on the opportunity.

The virtual world had a reality check in late 2022 when Meta — Facebook’s new, bold name — laid off some 13% of its workforce. More big tech firms followed with similar moves that left many wondering whether the metaverse is more hyperbole and hype than the next big thing.

While it’s impossible to say for sure, most experts, and all the ones we’ve talked to, expect it to be big — game-changing big. Some forecasts have put the metaverse’s overall global economic impact as high as $15 trillion (about $46,000 per person in the U.S.) by 2030. Hyperbole, hype and hope? Maybe, but some smart people and significant brands are betting big on its success, and it’s safe to say Web 3.0 will not be Y2K. There are, literally, trillions of reasons why the metaverse matters.

With all that in mind and more, VISION by Protiviti goes boldly where we’ve never gone before — Into the Metaverse. We set out to answer a host of questions, including the most basic one: What is the metaverse? But also, who is using it, and how? What is its potential? What technologies will enable it? When will it truly be mainstream? Is it being overhyped or underrated? How will companies make money in the metaverse? Should you have a metaverse strategy? And ultimately, how will the metaverse impact global business in 2030 and beyond?

VISION by Protiviti will be rolling out new metaverse content each week through June 2023. In all, we’ll publish more than 30 pieces of content and insights around the metaverse. This is just the first chapter of a story we’re still writing — and researching. We just got a sneak peek at some data from our co-branded Protiviti-Oxford executive survey about the metaverse future, and global business leaders have some interesting things to say. Look for that story and the full VISION by Protiviti-Oxford survey in the coming weeks.

Our goal is to prepare business leaders — and ourselves — for the emerging metaverse with the insights of established metaverse experts and visionaries, so they can make informed decisions about how to formulate both short- and long-term strategies, how much capital and resources to invest, and how to measure ROI, calculate risk and navigate regulation along with the more basic blocking and tackling required with any new product or service.

Predicting the future of the metaverse is impossible, but over the next several months we’ll give it our best shot, and we invite you to come along with us on this journey into the great unknown. Don’t worry, our vision of the future won’t be quite as bleak as the one Spielberg and Kline envisioned for 2045. Let’s explore it together. Are you ready, player one?

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