Here are some initial questions to starting a business in the metaverse as we build this post out into an A-Z complete guide.
What is the metaverse and what can I do in it?
The metaverse is a general term used to describe the virtual world that is created by the convergence of the internet and virtual reality. It is a shared, online space where people can interact with each other and with digital objects.
The metaverse can be used for a variety of activities including socializing, entertaining, gaming, shopping, and working. Currently in 2022, when this article was first written, gaming is seen as the main pathway towards bringing new users into this next iteration of the internet. Many people working in the space view it as experiential, meaning you understand it when you participate in it. The first major industry to incorporate real use cases is fashion by bringing in their digital avatars with clothing. Brands such as Nike and Dolce Gabbana are already investing and participating heavily in different platforms.
In the metaverse, you can explore new environments, meet new people, and experiment with new identities. You can also create and own property, build relationships, and participate in economies. The metaverse is still in its early stages of development, but it has the potential to become a powerful tool for creativity, social interaction, education, and business.
2.How do I start a business in the metaverse and what are the benefits of doing so?
The best place to start is research the industry you are interested in building a business in and research how they are starting to dip their feet into the market. For instance in the architecture space there are architects creating 3d models of homes that they minting as NFTs. Once the virtual world or platforms are built out, they will have their designs on the blockchain which can then be integrated. Creating NFTs of their products or designs is a growing trend with businesses looking to establish a presence in this digital space. As we are still early in the evolution of cryptocurrencies, blockchain and web3 development, there are many benefits to setting up a metaverse business.
The first major benefit is market timing, and being the first in any industry to create a business in can have huge potential rewards. An example of this is NFTs of 3d furniture models created by designer Andrés Reisinger which sold for almost half a million dollars. .
The metaverse gives companies the ability to reach a global audience without the need for physical locations but still be able to authenticate their products. In addition, metaverse businesses can operate 24/7 and there is no need to close for the night or on weekends.
Metaverse businesses also have the potential to be highly interactive, engaging customers in new and innovative ways. Finally, metaverse businesses can offer a unique and immersive experience that traditional businesses cannot match.
If you are interested in starting a metaverse business, there are a few key things to keep in mind. First, you will need to create an avatar that represents your business. Second, you will need to choose a metaverse platform that best serves your particular market. There might not currently be platform which fits this description in which case it helps to experiment. The last component is to design NFTs in a way that are both aesthetically appealing and offer some utility. An example of this is NFTs of concert tickets which also serve as backstage passes. Access and fan engagement are crucial elements towards building a community around an NFT project.
What types of businesses can be started in the metaverse, and what are the requirements for each type?
Metaverse businesses are those that exist primarily or exclusively in a virtual world. While there are many different types of metaverse businesses, some of the most popular include avatar creation services, virtual goods stores or NFT Marketplaces, platforms and events spaces.
If you are a 3d artist/ developer, platforms like Unreal Engine or Unity are great places to start and offer a lot of free educational resources. If you are a web 2 developer and want to upskill, learn Solidity or Rust, and build a Dapp, marketplace or collaborate with other founders. All of these skills are in high demand and will put you in a great position to start a business in the space.
If you are just wanting to check it and are completely new to the space, create an account with platforms like Sandbox, Decentraland, Roblox or Second Life. Once you have an account, you will be able to create your avatars, objects, and other content and get a feel for how everything works. Most people who start navigating these platforms get a better understanding of the possibilities and potential for their specific business. Already artists are have virtual concerts in these spaces, art galleries are holding exhibitions and designers are hosting fashion shows.
How much does it cost to start a business in the metaverse?
Many of the platforms are free to join and there is also no cost to create an avatar, or digital version of yourself, to navigate the space. If you are interested in purchasing land or other assets, check out OpenSea and start to follow web 3 influencers on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is the best social networking platform to be onboarded to the space for research and Discord is the application of choice to follow specific metaverse projects.
It’s worth noting that many projects in the space are not yet VC funded and thus are seeking strategic partnerships with brands. You might be able to find a complimentary partnership arrangement that gains you exposure without significant investment capital.
Also, companies like Polygon, Epic Games and Andreeson Horowitz offer significant opportunities for startups through grants and investment capital. Polygon just received an infusion of 450M in investment capital and Epic Games almost 2 billion.
The projects and businesses which have the most success start by cultivating a strong, organic community that is engaged and passionate about what is being built.
What are some tips for onboarding or building a successful business in the metaverse?
The space is moving very fast and the best starting point is hiring a web 3/Metaverse consultant to help you understand how everything works. While the space is developing rapidly it will take time to build a community and interest for your project or business. Most companies entering the metaverse or building new businesses in the space are still in their early stages and are experimenting so it’s important to be open and flexible to new ideas or strategies.
New use cases, platforms, and games are popping up every day. If you are already an established brand it is recommended you set up a dedicated team to start exploring the space. The most successful NFT projects like Hape Beast or Otherland allocated significant resources, time and staff before launch. The sales of NFTs from these projects often serve as investment capital to get major businesses built.
Are there any risks associated with starting a business in the metaverse?
There are certainly risks associated with starting a business in the metaverse. The metaverse is still evolving and largely unexplored territory, which means that there are many unknowns, speculation and hype surrounding various projects. Still, the space offers incredible potential and is projected to be a 10 trillion industry. Here is a graphic illustrating the earning for creators from 3 of the largest web 2.0 platforms versus NFTs/ web 3.
Another option is to join Facebook’s Meta and start exploring the space there. Just as many entrepreneurs built their business from Facebook web 2.0, there is also the potential to build your brand or business in Meta web 3.0.
Rather than trying to build your own platform it is better to stack on top of other platforms already built or are in the process of being built, and researching how your business could onboard into the space.