Web3 and the rise of blockchain-based technologies have investors scrambling, but is Web3 truly the future of technology or just a technological marketing gimmick?
Beware the FOMO Bullies of Technology
Here is my confession: I’m traumatized by a David Letterman clip. It’s from November 1995, and Letterman’s guest is a young, bespectacled Bill Gates. The video starts with a question from the legendary late-night host: “What about this internet thing?” he asks. “What the hell is that, exactly?” Gates, freshly minted as the world’s richest man, gamely tells the host about the wonders of the web—but Letterman isn’t having it. He pooh-poohs a recent announcement that Major League Baseball will broadcast games over the internet: “Does radio ring a bell?”
Gates smiles and looks down before explaining that the internet will offer access to abundant information about everything. “You can find other people who have the same unusual interests as you do,” he says.
“You mean the troubled-loner chat room on the internet?” asks Letterman, chuckling.
Technologists have been sharing this clip around the internet for almost as long as I’ve been writing about technology. Back in December it went viral again as a cautionary example for all those who remain wary, if not willfully ignorant, of the alleged revolution in blockchain technology—what enthusiasts refer to as “Web3.”