Web3 vs. Web2: How to Avoid Repeating the Same Mistakes

April 9th, 2020 · 49 mins

About this Episode

What can we learn from the failures of Web2 idealism? How do we build systems that continue to reflect Web3 ideals as business models scale into the future?

In this episode, Joe Petrowski (Research Analyst, Parity) talks with Shira Frank, co-founder of Maiden, the first global user research lab dedicated to forging a path to mainstream blockchain adoption. They explore the importance of building Web3 systems with proper research into possible downstream risks so as to create true change and offset imbalances of wealth, power, information, and agency.


01:25 - From Middle-East politics to blockchain
09:45 - How Maiden started
12:00 - Failings of Web2.0 idealism
14:00 - How Web3.0 can avoid the same mistakes
15:55 - Sense making and the role of user data
22:01 - What is a blockchain “user’?
24:00 - The role of education
29:55 - How to make protocol change decisions
34:49 - Importance of diversity in the space

Key Quotes:

“The biggest problem we have to solve, in so many ways, blockchain or not, is how do we make decisions that are collectively intelligent for the whole?”

“I don’t think the general Web2 or tech community actually solved inclusivity or diversity.”

“We know what happens when decentralized protocols scale. So we have no excuse to not include major threat and risk mitigation at the very beginning of choices we’re making about how we are introducing products, what kind of products we’re building, and what kind of business models and incentives we’re putting into those products.”

“We talk in blockchain a lot about autonomy or self-sovereignty. And I’m always curious, can you be sovereign if you’re not even aware of why you’re making the choice you are?”

“Today institutions make money by taking agency away from people. I would imagine we create something where institutions make money by giving people agency over their assets. So what would it look like if people were making money by giving you agency over your money? Giving you agency over your data? If the more agency you were given the more money and scalability there was in this protocol.”

“I think it’s worth thinking about at the protocol level. Just like with the internet, what should have been done early on to protect against the aggregation of power that happened at the application layer and the company level?”