Building a Web3 Business in a Web2 World with Adi Sideman
Speaker 1: Welcome to the Daily Bolster. Each day we welcome transformational executives to share their real world experiences and practical advice about scaling yourself, your team, and your business.
Matt Blumberg: Welcome to The Daily Bolster. I'm Matt Blumberg, co- founder and CEO of Bolster, and I'm here today with my friend Adi Sideman. Adi is the founder and CEO of Revel. xyz, and he's a multi- time founder and CEO, who I've known through at least three of his startups with some investors in common. Adi, welcome to the Daily Bolster.
Adi Sideman: Thanks for having me, Matt.
Matt Blumberg: Tell everyone first before I get to my question for you, what does Revel. xyz do? It's got the classic X- Y- Z at the end, so we know it's something blockchain- y.
Adi Sideman: So Revel. xyz is a personal media marketplace. Effectively, we all emit media all day long and through Revel. xyz it can be crowdsourced and the best media can rise to the top, get collected, get owned, get co- owned, have additions. And in a deeper way, it is reestablishing the relationship between content creators and their followers, where followers are not just likers and being exploited for their attention. They can also be partners if they own some of the additions of that media and if that media is worthwhile and can go places. So they act as curators, as discoverers, as followers and fans, but also as owners.
Matt Blumberg: As owners. That's so interesting. So you are a Web2 guy, you're a media guy, you're building a Web3 business. My question to you today, and I think most of the people who watch or listen to the Daily Bolster are more Web2 than Web3, although there are probably some that are fluent in both. But my question to you is how do you think about building Web3 products and what is still really a Web2 world?
Adi Sideman: Yeah, I mean, first of all, as a quick just orientation, as we spend more and more time online it will become more critical for us to be able to own and have control over what can be and should be digitally ours, like our media, our money, our personal data, and have the power to decide who can have access to it, who can buy it, who can sell it, who can co- own it. And so it's a very real thing that we're spending more time digitally, and it's a very real thing to have a solution to have ownership online. And that's really what Web3 is all about. And it is becoming possible to introduce some of the benefits of this Web3 ownership to Web2 users. And we can break it into three things. And let's start. One is users don't care about technology.
Matt Blumberg: They care about what they have to do and what they get out of it. They don't care what's sitting behind it.
Adi Sideman: Exactly. They just care about the benefits that unlocks. And Web3 is just another technology stack and who cares. So if you're building and you want to introduce ownership into your business, focus on building something people want, make it simple, deliver the benefits without the pain. And it's becoming possible indeed, through bridging technologies to not require crypto wallet and bridging assets from regular users who don't want to hear about it.
Matt Blumberg: Got it. Okay. Well that makes sense. Where do we go next?
Adi Sideman: Okay, so the second thing is there's a difference between ownership and custody, and people confuse that. So I own a Picasso, even if it's sitting in a safe in Amsterdam. I own Bitcoin even if Coinbase is holding it for me. And so people don't need to hold the digital asset. They can just know that they can hold it. And that is the feeling of ownership. And yes, there is some trust involved, but we've been doing business like that for centuries, and you want to meet people where they are. If they want to take the custody, if they want to bring their crypto wallet, if they want to bridge it to the right chain, great, they can. But foregoing being a crypto purist, not insisting on use yourself custody allows you to cater to a lot more people.
Matt Blumberg: Yeah, no, that makes sense. Right. And part of the magic of the web in general, and certainly crypto, is that things should be portable.
Adi Sideman: Exactly. Exactly. And that's really exciting. And they can be portable today for anyone who has the wherewithal and the desire to make them portable, but we don't want to insist that everybody have the wherewithal because then we will be left without users tomorrow.
Matt Blumberg: Right. Okay. What's the third?
Adi Sideman: The third is that there's a lot of talk about decentralization and decentralization is not your problem to solve. It is a deep and amazing technology that secures this digital media, the money, the assets from being confiscated by the man, by hackers, by the government, by service providers, et cetera. It secures them by removing the middleman, by removing trust. All of it is awesome and has huge ramifications on how digital business is going to be conducted in the next decade. But, these decentralization solutions are not yet commercial on the product and services level. They are available on the deeper technology level. And most people can trust Starbucks or United Airlines to hold their loyalty points and that is just a reality. So don't bother yourself with the deep desire to be a purist and to be decentralized. If you're building today, you want to introduce the benefits of Web3 today. You introduce the ability to have ownership, but don't worry about jumping through all the hoops that would take to make you a pure decentralized, not holding any assets of anybody else because the price is too high. And you can start there and you can decentralize over time. And when the technologies are becoming more and more available on the app and consumer level.
Matt Blumberg: It's such a smart way to think about it. Focus on the customer and the customer's problem. You can swap out the plumbing later.
Adi Sideman: And the reality is that I mentioned Starbucks, Reddit also has tens of millions of users, I think by now. No, I think it's like something like 7 million users who are getting access to Reddit NFTs, those guys are Web2 users, and they have the feeling of ownership. They can access the ownership, but they're getting the benefit of the ownership.
Matt Blumberg: All right. Adi Sideman, Revel. xyz. Super interesting. Thank you so much for joining me. Can I have you back sometime to do my longer form episode for Fridays? You got it.
Adi Sideman: inaudible-
Matt Blumberg: All right. Thanks, Adi. Take care.
Adi Sideman: Thanks, Matt.
Today on The Daily Bolster, Matt is joined by Adi Sideman, the founder and CEO of Revel.xyz. They chat about building Web3 products, online ownership, and focusing on solving customers’ problems rather than selling the technology. Don’t miss this insightful episode!