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17. Bored Apes Buys CryptoPunks, Yuga Labs Pitch, Forbes Clueless On Metaverse, Bob Iger Avatar, Adobe AR VR Tools
Episode 1721st March 2022 • META Business • Holodeck Media
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In this episode, we discuss the Bored Apes Yacht Club acquiring CryptoPunks, insight from the Yuga Labs pitch deck, Forbes incorrectly claiming that interest in NFTs and the metaverse is on the decline, Bob Iger, former Disney CEO, investing in metaverse avatar company Genies, Adobe creating a suite of augmented reality & virtual reality tools, and so much more!

Episode 17 Keywords: Yuga Labs, acquisition, Bored Apes Yacht Club, CryptoPunks, investors, pitch deck, Forbes, NFT, metaverse, Bob Iger, avatar, Genies, Adobe, augmented reality tools, virtual reality tools

Transcripts

Unknown:

Welcome to the metaphysics podcast. The Metaverse and web three are bringing about the

Unknown:

biggest revolution since the internet itself. With your hosts Paul the prophet Dawalibi And Jeff the

Unknown:

juice Cohen. We will be bringing you the latest Metaverse, business news and insight into what it

Unknown:

all means. The meta business podcast starts now.

Paul Dawalibi:

From the boardroom to the metaverse. This is the meta business podcast. I am

Paul Dawalibi:

Paul Dawalibi. I'm joined today by my friend and co host, Jeff the juice Cohen, those of you who

Paul Dawalibi:

are new here, welcome to the official podcast of the metaverse. What we do is we cover the most

Paul Dawalibi:

pressing, Metaverse, stories and news of the week we look at all of it through a business and C

Paul Dawalibi:

suite lens, we dissect, we analyze the business implications of everything happening in this

Paul Dawalibi:

amazing space. If you're new here, welcome. Thank you so much for tuning in every week. This is

Paul Dawalibi:

episode 17. If you haven't yet, share the meta business podcast with the friends send it to your

Paul Dawalibi:

colleagues. leave a review on Spotify or Apple podcasts or wherever you get it. And make sure to

Paul Dawalibi:

hit that subscribe or follow button. Guys because this is how more people discover the podcast.

Paul Dawalibi:

Jeff, how you doing this week?

Jeff Cohen:

I'm doing good. Like the weather here in New York seems to be getting nicer finally. So

Jeff Cohen:

like, get out, go for some walks, which is nice.

Paul Dawalibi:

None of it matters in the metaverse. It's always nice.

Jeff Cohen:

There'll be weather in the metaverse. I mean, you got to break up the seasons. Nobody

Jeff Cohen:

wants to live in St. Virtual SAN DIEGO worth. It's just nice. Not all the time.

Paul Dawalibi:

Do you actually think there's gonna be weather in the metaverse the metaverse?

Jeff Cohen:

I think there will be weather in the metaverse. That would be ridiculous. It'll be

Jeff Cohen:

whether there'll be night a weekday. Otherwise, it's just it's just too bland.

Paul Dawalibi:

I think you could have different zones, right? You can go to a place to go skiing

Paul Dawalibi:

in the metaverse. But why would it snow in like, just randomly in a place where you know, there's

Paul Dawalibi:

no set?

Jeff Cohen:

It's I don't know, it's just creating variability. I think if the world becomes too

Jeff Cohen:

steam, like if it's just too bland, there's nothing to it. I think you want you know, and

Paul Dawalibi:

this is one area where we will have to disagree, because that's one area where I don't

Paul Dawalibi:

want to see the metaverse you know, a follow our real life universe. And I just I don't think

Paul Dawalibi:

there's a place for the Weather Network inside the metaverse he just someone's some executive is the

Paul Dawalibi:

Weather Network is listening to this. You know, mad that they're all there. Metaverse plans I just

Paul Dawalibi:

poopoo them but I probably would be I you know, like I agree. I know there's a lot of people who

Paul Dawalibi:

would agree with you so we will have to see we do have a lot of news this week. I want to get to it

Paul Dawalibi:

because there's some really fun stories. And I want to start Jeff with you get labs. So you get

Paul Dawalibi:

labs in the news and let me just put the the story here up on screen. The headline from the defiant

Paul Dawalibi:

here is you get labs acquisition of crypto crypto punks, IP sends board apes soaring. The sub the

Paul Dawalibi:

first line here says it's not every day that the hottest two projects in an explosive asset class

Paul Dawalibi:

merge. That's what happened on March 11. When you go labs the company behind board apes Yacht Club,

Paul Dawalibi:

announced the acquisition of the IP rights of crypto punks. The market responded dramatically as

Paul Dawalibi:

you'd expect board apes floor jumped 18% Almost nine Aetherium punks is down 6% to 72 Ethereum.

Jeff Cohen:

Before we go on why demo confused why would the punks be down? If board eight acquired

Jeff Cohen:

punks? Wouldn't you think punks would go up particularly because board apes. I, as far as I

Jeff Cohen:

know is the bigger brand more well known, like I would have thought you'd get the halo effect where

Jeff Cohen:

people would be saying like, wow, this is gonna be so great for crypto punks. Let me go out and buy

Jeff Cohen:

them. Um,

Paul Dawalibi:

maybe I mean, just one one point of correction. According to this article, at least.

Paul Dawalibi:

Board apes actually has the second largest sales volume of all time at 1.4 billion crypto punks has

Paul Dawalibi:

actually sold more at 2.1 billion so well born apes may be the more well known brand and even

Paul Dawalibi:

that, you know I'm sure we'll get we'd get a lot of pushback from our listeners. Crypto punks is

Paul Dawalibi:

clearly outsold maybe it maybe you know the crypto punks community doesn't want to be part of the

Paul Dawalibi:

board. AIPs community right there's a little bit of like, if we're not going to be independent, I'm

Paul Dawalibi:

going to sell or for you know, we don't want them in our backyard or you know, managing our house. I

Paul Dawalibi:

could see a little bit of that, right. It is unusual though because usually in if it was one

Paul Dawalibi:

company acquiring another you're right like Usually the value of the acquired stock would go

Paul Dawalibi:

up. 6% is also relatively, you know, minor in the grand scheme of things here. So we'll see what it

Paul Dawalibi:

does over time. But yeah, I'm curious, just to get your thoughts besides that on this, in terms of,

Paul Dawalibi:

you know, seeing these two projects merge and come together, what's what's the reaction?

Jeff Cohen:

It's pretty interesting. I mean, I'm definitely pretty surprised you usually don't see

Jeff Cohen:

consolidation in an industry that this nascent when there's this much growth, usually you see

Jeff Cohen:

consolidation, when you have markets that are mature and market share has very much solidified

Jeff Cohen:

and you have companies going to do acquisitions to kind of cut out synergies and maybe, you know,

Jeff Cohen:

squeeze out costs. Typically, that's where you see acquisitions, I think, kind of across the market

Jeff Cohen:

landscape. So it is interesting, these two, arguably two of the biggest, most well known

Jeff Cohen:

brands kind of in this space, whatever, struggling to think about you even want to call this space,

Jeff Cohen:

like the NFT, Avatar, branding IP space coming together. It's a bit surprising, it's interesting

Jeff Cohen:

to see kind of in the context of some of the other news that we'll probably get into, in terms of

Jeff Cohen:

what you go Apps has planned. So maybe we want to talk about that.

Paul Dawalibi:

Yeah, but just before we get to that I want to mention and this is another call it

Paul Dawalibi:

if we're comparing mergers of NFT projects to mergers of traditional companies. Another thing

Paul Dawalibi:

that stands out as unusual to me and I'll read directly from the article here it says, Indeed,

Paul Dawalibi:

larva labs so this is the the owners of the parent I guess of crypto punks. Larva labs itself tweeted

Paul Dawalibi:

that the company was ill equipped to continue to grow crypto punks and me bits at this stage in the

Paul Dawalibi:

project's maturity, right? Like we talked on on our sister podcast right on business of esports.

Paul Dawalibi:

about Microsoft acquiring Activision Blizzard, it wasn't like Activision Blizzard came out and said,

Paul Dawalibi:

you know, what, we know, we're not like really well equipped to grow beyond this stage. So we

Paul Dawalibi:

need Microsoft. It's a remarkable amount of like, self awareness, almost to a point that you don't

Paul Dawalibi:

see it. And apparently, yoga Labs is going to loosen crypto punks, restrictive IP. So that in

Paul Dawalibi:

some ways, I think is something the community has been asking for. That does any of this change your

Paul Dawalibi:

mind or initial opinion? I guess before I jump into the other stuff,

Jeff Cohen:

you know, I think it is interesting that they would have that kind of humility,

Jeff Cohen:

particularly for a project that's been wildly successful. We said it was 2.1 billion. Yeah. 2.1

Jeff Cohen:

billion in sort of GMV. I mean, that's, that's not two guys in a room creating a business plan like

Jeff Cohen:

that. That's a massively successful, you know, IP launch. Yeah, I'm surprised that they would say

Jeff Cohen:

that you probably wouldn't hear that, like you said, from a company kind of in the public

Jeff Cohen:

markets, who maybe had more fiduciary duty or just corporate governance, but it is, I appreciate the

Jeff Cohen:

sort of humility and honesty to kind of say that.

Paul Dawalibi:

Yeah, and in some ways, you know, we you see this in other Metaverse, contexts

Paul Dawalibi:

where, with gaming companies with with, you know, Blockchain based gaming companies without without

Paul Dawalibi:

any of these sort of entities under the metaverse umbrella. I've always had this feeling that

Paul Dawalibi:

there's a lot of relatively inexperienced teams. To me, it's amazing to see a team, you know,

Paul Dawalibi:

essentially generate 2 billion in sales and say, Hey, we don't think we can take this any further.

Paul Dawalibi:

It is quite remarkable. Now, the second story related to this, which is interesting. The

Paul Dawalibi:

headline here leaked Hugo labs pitch deck outdated and old, and this is in quotes. They say leaked

Paul Dawalibi:

earlier today, a pitch deck that was allegedly shared by Hugo labs to potential investors, has

Paul Dawalibi:

been deemed outdated and was old by some board ape founding members permit announcement in the board

Paul Dawalibi:

ape Yacht Club discord, the leak comes after last week's wild news which saw the brand acquire the

Paul Dawalibi:

IP of crypto punks and me bits. Now, allegedly, the deck revealed that yoga Labs is planning to

Paul Dawalibi:

generate net revenue of 455 million in this year 2022. And it's said to contain their 2022 roadmap

Paul Dawalibi:

with projections for their upcoming Metaverse initiative, as well as a plan token drop and a

Paul Dawalibi:

virtual land sale, which we can talk about that the the expected sale they were exposed to sell

Paul Dawalibi:

200,000 plots to raise $178 million. The document also has a valuation for The brand and it's in the

Paul Dawalibi:

$5 billion range. Does this now that sort of this is leaked? And yes, the board eight Yacht Club has

Paul Dawalibi:

come out and said this is old and outdated. But they also didn't say we didn't write this right.

Paul Dawalibi:

So at some point it was up to date. At some point, this was their thinking. Curious, your thoughts on

Paul Dawalibi:

that?

Jeff Cohen:

Well, there's a lot to unpack, I guess we can go there. Maybe piece by piece. I mean,

Jeff Cohen:

first, I'm very impressed with the net revenue, obviously mean scaling to 450 million in 2022. You

Jeff Cohen:

know, that's in the context of, you know, like, I remember when I used to cover Glu Mobile as a

Jeff Cohen:

public company, you know, that was their revenue. So we're talking about large scale, organic mobile

Jeff Cohen:

gaming organizations doing the same amount of revenue. And I like that, that kind of leak,

Jeff Cohen:

because if we had been talking about this story, and they've just thrown out a $5 billion valuation

Jeff Cohen:

without any other context, I think you and I would have been like, oh, that's ridiculous. But when

Jeff Cohen:

you put it in the context of almost 500 million in revenue next year, it's still a really high

Jeff Cohen:

multiple, but at the same time, it doesn't seem outrageous, when you kind of put it into context.

Jeff Cohen:

Maybe he'll you'll disagree with that. It's not crazy.

Paul Dawalibi:

It's not crazy here, here. We'll we'll do this. Here's the tinfoil hat. Question.

Paul Dawalibi:

Right. Which is this outdated version of the deck, the current version? Does it have a number bigger

Paul Dawalibi:

or smaller than 455? million?

Jeff Cohen:

I think it's gonna be an interesting one, because I guess volumes have probably slowed.

Jeff Cohen:

When you're doing this with this acquisition, maybe the combined number I would assume should

Jeff Cohen:

better be higher. That's a good, that's a good question.

Paul Dawalibi:

Because they also came out and said, This is old and outdated, which makes me

Paul Dawalibi:

believe the real number is higher, right? Otherwise, you would probably be like, Yeah,

Paul Dawalibi:

that's cool. Guys, like believe what's in that deck?

Jeff Cohen:

Right. Well, I don't know. I'm just thinking more like, uh, you know, it seems, hasn't

Jeff Cohen:

the whole NFP market, like kind of the volumes have dried up? Or not dried up but but have

Jeff Cohen:

normalized relative to, you know, what I think was happening four or five months ago?

Paul Dawalibi:

Yeah, I mean, a lot of this revenue, so like half of it, or a little less than

Paul Dawalibi:

half of it is coming from these virtual land sales. Right? If anything, though, that gave me

Paul Dawalibi:

less confidence in the story. Because I'm starting to wonder, maybe in the same way, NF T's in the

Paul Dawalibi:

beginning, it wasn't clear the utility, right? What is the utility of all of these virtual land

Paul Dawalibi:

sales at this point, like, We're selling a lot of virtual land, but to what end?

Jeff Cohen:

I 100% agree. And and it's to your point is a lot of virtual land. It's not like

Jeff Cohen:

they're selling 15 plots. They're selling 200,000 slots, right. So effectively, the way I always

Jeff Cohen:

think about this sort of virtual land, and maybe this isn't the right way to think about it, I

Jeff Cohen:

almost think about it, like the metaverse is an app store. And then each, each piece of virtual

Jeff Cohen:

land is almost like an app in the Apple App Store. And maybe that analogy is just terrible. Maybe

Jeff Cohen:

it's not I'm not sure. But that's sort of the way I always think about it. And so if you kind of go

Jeff Cohen:

forward with that analogy, there's a ton of apps on the Apple App Store that get almost no

Jeff Cohen:

downloads. And I think that's what's gonna happen with these land sale. No one is gonna come into I

Jeff Cohen:

don't even know what metaphors the thin I guess they're going to create their own sort of

Jeff Cohen:

Metaverse that people can interact with. But nobody's going to come in and go into 200,000

Jeff Cohen:

different pieces of land plots of land within their metaverse. So it's going to be the

Jeff Cohen:

distribution, as always will have massive fat tails, right? So the top 5% of land plots will

Jeff Cohen:

probably get 90% of the usage. So anyone buying one of these, like you have to be confident you're

Jeff Cohen:

going to build something that's going to be the best of the best on this. And then you also have

Jeff Cohen:

to hope that this Metaverse becomes one of and I think we probably agree, at least for the time

Jeff Cohen:

being, there will be many of these various meta verses that are fairly popular. But you have to

Jeff Cohen:

believe that this will be one of the winners. And now we're seeing there's hundreds of these meta

Jeff Cohen:

verses popping up. So not only being one of the winning meta versus you're doing one of the

Jeff Cohen:

winning land plots in the winning metaverse. It's a tough game, like a lot of money burn. Yeah,

Paul Dawalibi:

I mean, the last thing it mentions is it says not only was yoga planning on selling

Paul Dawalibi:

virtual land, but there were plans to release a gaming focused metaverse. I mean, this that whole

Paul Dawalibi:

phrase I hated because it's like every MetaPhorce is gaming focus, right? The Metaverse is basically

Paul Dawalibi:

the gamification of everything right. Everything we do, it just it feels without having seen the

Paul Dawalibi:

deck, that it's a lot of like lip service, but everything's sort of half baked, right? You've got

Paul Dawalibi:

this core IP in this core asset here, which has generated all the revenue, right? The the board

Paul Dawalibi:

apes and crypto punks, which they're acquiring. And now it's all now it's like, well, how do we,

Paul Dawalibi:

how do we drive growth? And so it's well, virtual land and games and but like, how does that tie

Paul Dawalibi:

back to your initial the IP that you've acquired, and the IP you've built? is not clear to me,

Paul Dawalibi:

right? Like, a board a game says nothing to me at least Right? Like, that doesn't.

Jeff Cohen:

And another thing about this, I think this is where you're what you're driving towards.

Jeff Cohen:

It's like, it feels like these people are coming to have to gaming very haphazardly, where it's

Jeff Cohen:

like, oh, we've got this cool IP, we've got this, you know, follow it. Let's just make a game as if

Jeff Cohen:

it's like, that's the easy part. That's the incredibly hard part. Like you can't do it. Well,

Jeff Cohen:

we've got a game mechanic on top of this and build a quote, unquote, Metaverse, like what, like that

Jeff Cohen:

is, that is incredibly hard. And they're making it seem like that's just the easy part.

Paul Dawalibi:

So true, but it's especially funny because they just spent I feel like, at least a

Paul Dawalibi:

couple years convincing everyone that these NF T's were art, right. And it's like buying art. I mean,

Paul Dawalibi:

I don't see the art gallery here or across the street from me going like, Hey, we're gonna open

Paul Dawalibi:

an amusement park to like, it just doesn't translate for me. And I don't know if there's

Paul Dawalibi:

enough enough depth in the IP, right? It's not like board apes are Harry Potter or Lord of the

Paul Dawalibi:

Rings, right? Like, it's it is art. I'm not debating that. I don't want anyone to be angry and

Paul Dawalibi:

send me angry messages. It's art. But it's, that's about all it is. Right? There's no, we don't have

Paul Dawalibi:

any lore. We don't know where the board apes, you know, came from or there's no, there's nothing

Paul Dawalibi:

around it to build a game off of. And so I agree that it's a little flippant, to just be like,

Paul Dawalibi:

Yeah, we're gonna build a game. And you know, it's all gonna be good. So the interesting one to

Paul Dawalibi:

follow and watch, I think we'll we'll have to see how that acquisition ends up, I think worth

Paul Dawalibi:

discussing in the context, though, of that acquisition. And you alluded to this, Jeff, is

Paul Dawalibi:

this article from Forbes? And you know, obviously never like seeing headlines like this. But this

Paul Dawalibi:

headline was interest in NF T's in the metaverse is falling fast. You know, I think it's a little

Paul Dawalibi:

misleading because I actually believe it's really much more focused on interest in NF TS because the

Paul Dawalibi:

principles of the metaverse are still very much front and center. But if you look at some of the

Paul Dawalibi:

charts here, it says, interest in some of these terms peaked when Facebook changed their name,

Paul Dawalibi:

started evangelizing NF T's peaked at the end of January and have been dropping since then. You

Paul Dawalibi:

know, there's some comments that really, you know, the Russian invasion caused the drop, people are

Paul Dawalibi:

liquidating their assets, right? They're trying to have cash or things like that. But it's been a

Paul Dawalibi:

pretty smooth decline. If you're listening, obviously, you can't see the chart if you're

Paul Dawalibi:

watching this. You can see the chart here. Pretty smooth decline over time. Nothing precipitous, but

Paul Dawalibi:

a pretty smooth decline.

Jeff Cohen:

I mean, I have a lot of audits or thoughts on this. Yeah, I think this is a classic

Jeff Cohen:

example of, you know, a games industry journalist and a very good one at that. I think, Paul Tassie

Jeff Cohen:

is very well respected in the kind of RPG looter shooter, gaming kind of press community, but

Jeff Cohen:

taking a preconceived notion and sort of molding data to find the narrative that they want to find.

Jeff Cohen:

I think there's a lot of problems with using Google Trends to sort of have this kind of

Jeff Cohen:

narrative. You know, Google Trends are very good at kind of comparing different things at different

Jeff Cohen:

times. But you know, I don't think that's the this is the perfect way to look at it, I would be

Jeff Cohen:

looking more at, you know, VC funding, which we've seen a ton of VC funding come into the space.

Jeff Cohen:

That's way more forward looking. I think we've seen a ton of developers just moving from web two

Jeff Cohen:

companies to web three companies. That's also very forward looking. This is something we talked about

Jeff Cohen:

on last episode, how, you know, it takes a long time to build the game. So I think we were at a

Jeff Cohen:

point in the hype cycle where a lot of capital was pointing to the space, a lot of talent is pointing

Jeff Cohen:

to the space, the games are going to come. You know, so I don't necessarily agree with with sort

Jeff Cohen:

of the premise of this, of this article. I'm so glad you said that before you got it. I saw

Jeff Cohen:

someone responded with a tweet that this guy where it shows if you do Google Trends For just the word

Jeff Cohen:

gaming, you see a very similar like, trend line is down, like 2000, like 14. So it's like, it's just

Jeff Cohen:

not a good way to look at things.

Paul Dawalibi:

I'm so glad you said that. I mean, I was hoping I wasn't gonna have to disagree with

Paul Dawalibi:

you on this one. Like the term is not what matters. It's the business that matters, right?

Paul Dawalibi:

The in the the success of the industry that matters, a word becomes popular, obviously peaks

Paul Dawalibi:

in popularity, unless people are googling it and searching it, it doesn't mean that the dollars

Paul Dawalibi:

aren't being made dollars aren't being invested. And, you know, dollars aren't being extracted from

Paul Dawalibi:

efforts within that industry. Like, to me, this is the worst, the absolute worst analogy to use to

Paul Dawalibi:

try and draw conclusions about the health of an industry because it says nothing, right. This is

Paul Dawalibi:

it's about how many Google searches did people do? And it could be that forget about the meta

Paul Dawalibi:

announcement, it could have been that ninja went on ln a bunch of people Googled gaming right to

Paul Dawalibi:

your point. So you have this huge spike. And then it goes back to normal and you go well, gaming is

Paul Dawalibi:

on the decline. Well, no, like

Jeff Cohen:

Firebase is, you know, read us look at

Paul Dawalibi:

it's just not a good metric. And it's a I think remarkably tone deaf kind of

Paul Dawalibi:

article it's an article that's extremely misleading and I sort of hate seeing it right like

Paul Dawalibi:

we can be critical of a board apes trying to extend into gaming and things like that but like

Paul Dawalibi:

saying interest here is falling fast is is like alarmist for no reason and just blatantly wrong

Paul Dawalibi:

like just blatantly blatantly wrong. I mean, all yet all Paul Tassie has to do is walk around

Paul Dawalibi:

Silicon Valley for a day or two and look how many dollars how many billions are being focused there.

Paul Dawalibi:

That's not going away fast, right? Like when you when you have billions and billions of dollars

Paul Dawalibi:

being invested in an industry it doesn't just disappear overnight. Right this we're gonna see

Paul Dawalibi:

these companies building over the next five to 10 years with just the capital that's been put into

Paul Dawalibi:

date. Know that it's definitely not going anywhere fast. So here's the good counter to this right,

Paul Dawalibi:

like you have maybe one of the you know, the smartest guys in all of entertainment. Bob Iger.

Paul Dawalibi:

So this is an article from deadline comm. Bob Iger makes post Disney foray, investing in Metaverse

Paul Dawalibi:

firm genies and joining avatar makers board so Bob Iger former former CEO of Disney, he's joining the

Paul Dawalibi:

board of this avatar technology company genies and he's making personal investment in the company. He

Paul Dawalibi:

left Disney last December. He's this company evidently has a pretty good board Mary Meeker,

Paul Dawalibi:

Rick gang from NEA and the co founders. And the idea is he's going to help genies navigate its

Paul Dawalibi:

mission to empower humans to create their own avatar ecosystems in web three. So I want to say

Paul Dawalibi:

we saw what was the name of the other company that we talked about that was doing this Ready Player

Paul Dawalibi:

me or something like that, right? We don't know how much this company raised genies, but this is

Paul Dawalibi:

the second one now I've seen dedicated to sort of avatars, right? Like, this is what you're going to

Paul Dawalibi:

use to create dress up, customize your avatar, and then that avatar somehow is going to be

Paul Dawalibi:

transportable, I think is sort of the pitch of all of these. What do you make of Bob Iger, his foray

Paul Dawalibi:

into the metaverse? What do you make of sort of this being his first full sort of salvo?

Jeff Cohen:

I think it's super interesting in the context of what I think we know about Bob Iger

Jeff Cohen:

historically, where at least as I understand from an outsider's perspective, historically, Bob Iger

Jeff Cohen:

was was never very bullish on Disney being heavily involved in gaming. Obviously, under his

Jeff Cohen:

leadership, they sold off their gaming assets and kind of outsourced everything to third parties.

Jeff Cohen:

And I think that was, you know, probably a foolish decision in hindsight, and that's kind of argued

Jeff Cohen:

that for for a while, so it's interesting now for him to leave Disney and kind of be immediately

Jeff Cohen:

investing his time and his capital into the gaming space, or at least the metaverse. And so the

Jeff Cohen:

question I have that actually, you know, I posed on Twitter is, is this Bob Iger changing his

Jeff Cohen:

opinion on gaming? Or is he viewing the metaverse is something bigger than gaming? And not really

Jeff Cohen:

equating the two or maybe I'm curious if you have any thoughts on that question?

Paul Dawalibi:

It's a good question. I mean, I I think we have to give a guy like Bob Iger, the

Paul Dawalibi:

benefit of the doubt, right, that he understands that these avatars are tied to gaming in a pretty

Paul Dawalibi:

fundamental way, right that they will have to be used for the mote in some kind of gaming context.

Paul Dawalibi:

It's it's sort of impossible to have a business like this and not talk or touch on gaming, right?

Paul Dawalibi:

Even in this company's pitch deck, I'm assuming they would have pitched something around gaming as

Paul Dawalibi:

part of their business plan. And so I don't think we can say Bob Iger is just like, he's seeing this

Paul Dawalibi:

as something totally different than you know, he's still bearish on gaming for sure. Like I think,

Paul Dawalibi:

clearly his mind has changed. If historically, the view was he doesn't like gaming, or he's not

Paul Dawalibi:

bullish on gaming.

Jeff Cohen:

Or I guess to be fair, I don't want to put words in his mouth. It could have always been,

Jeff Cohen:

you know, he likes gaming, but didn't think Disney had a competitive advantage. Fair, somewhat

Paul Dawalibi:

fair. I'll take the flip side and go. A guy like Bob Iger, right posts Disney,

Paul Dawalibi:

again, one of the most powerful people in all of entertainment, could have chosen to do anything

Paul Dawalibi:

right. put his money where which, you know, he has tremendous wealth, his time, which, you know, post

Paul Dawalibi:

Disney, arguably, he probably has more of could have allocated that anywhere. Right? The fact that

Paul Dawalibi:

he's chosen to allocate it here, I think is telling now, I don't know genies business. I don't

Paul Dawalibi:

know how I can't comment on how, you know, bullish or bearish I personally am. But to me, there is a

Paul Dawalibi:

signal here that is that can be applied to the industry as a whole when a guy like Bob Iger puts

Paul Dawalibi:

his time and more importantly, his money to work and says, you know, this is the first thing I'm

Paul Dawalibi:

going to do post Disney. So whether he buys into the bit like, clearly he is bought into gaming, I

Paul Dawalibi:

think it's impossible to argue that he hasn't, but clearly buys into the sort of that Metaverse

Paul Dawalibi:

future, which, you know, makes this article around, you know, the one we just talked about,

Paul Dawalibi:

even more kind of ridiculous in this context.

Jeff Cohen:

100% and good for these guys that GE needs. I mean, talk about a their, their board is

Jeff Cohen:

already stacked, but talk about getting, you know, an absolute hitter, like like you said this, he

Jeff Cohen:

could, you know, spend his capital and you know, his time anywhere you can to join the board of

Jeff Cohen:

epic or really pick a company, I'm sure you could literally happen, any company that you want it to

Jeff Cohen:

be. So to kind of jump on board, a company that I personally hadn't heard of prior is, you know,

Jeff Cohen:

kudos to them, obviously.

Paul Dawalibi:

Here's the question for you on the company, specifically, Jeff, is this I don't even

Paul Dawalibi:

know we call them avatar makers. Like, what's the category subcategory? Right?

Jeff Cohen:

Is that a universe fashion?

Paul Dawalibi:

Is this a winner take all market? Because it's not just Metaverse fashion, it's

Paul Dawalibi:

like, this is your one stop shop for an avatar, right. That's the idea. And your avatar is you.

Paul Dawalibi:

And so like, you probably shouldn't have like there's not more than one you and and so like once

Paul Dawalibi:

you've made an avatar with one of these platforms, if they all are connected into the same places?

Paul Dawalibi:

Why would you need the other platform?

Jeff Cohen:

I agree. I mean, I think when you put it that way, it probably is winner take all and I

Jeff Cohen:

think when we did the Ready Player me story, you know, you talked a lot about sort of the

Jeff Cohen:

technology and the standards and how it wouldn't be a private company or anything like that it

Jeff Cohen:

would be sort of a set of develop standards. I wonder if a you still believe that. And that's one

Jeff Cohen:

of the things I love about this podcast is we come back to like recurring themes, and are in our

Jeff Cohen:

opinion do often change, which I think is healthy.

Paul Dawalibi:

No, I actually, you know, I asked a bit of a thing a trick question in the sense that

Paul Dawalibi:

I actually don't think it's a winner take all market because I do think I still believe that

Paul Dawalibi:

it's going to be some set of agreed upon standards that multiple companies will implement. All right,

Paul Dawalibi:

and maybe I go with genies because they, their avatars adhere to those standards, right? They're

Paul Dawalibi:

all compliant, that allows me to be that avatar to be portable, but they have a better selection of

Paul Dawalibi:

shoes, right? And I like, I like messing with my shoes on my avatar. And genies has, you know,

Paul Dawalibi:

deals with Gucci and you know, LuBu Tay and so I want to I make my avatar on genies, because those

Paul Dawalibi:

that's where I get the cosmetics that I like. I think that's going to be the differentiating

Paul Dawalibi:

factor. That's how these platforms are going to compete. It's with deals outside of Metaverse,

Paul Dawalibi:

companies, right? And the metal the plugs into the metaverse will all be standardized hopefully. I

Paul Dawalibi:

know you'd like that. I threw a Gucci shoe reference in there.

Jeff Cohen:

I didn't hear you pronounce that. That one French word. I don't even know what you said.

Jeff Cohen:

Let's, let's finish it. Great. Perfect, perfect pronunciation.

Paul Dawalibi:

Let's finish with a story from GamesBeat. Here, Jeff. This is Adobe in the

Paul Dawalibi:

metaverse news, and the headline Adobe sticks its claim in the metaverse with AR slash VR tools. So

Paul Dawalibi:

this The story talks about, Adobe says believes the metaverse is going to blur the distinction

Paul Dawalibi:

between the digital world and the physical world. And it wants to provide the tools to enable that.

Paul Dawalibi:

That was one of their big messages from their Adobe Summit. It says, Adobe sees meta versus

Paul Dawalibi:

virtual worlds and other immersive experiences as the new wave of digital interaction. And so their

Paul Dawalibi:

tools include like 3d and immersive collaborative content creation products, such as Adobe

Paul Dawalibi:

substance, 3d and Adobe Aero. And they want those products to be sort of the fuel of this Metaverse,

Paul Dawalibi:

right? It's like 3d modeling kind of products. To make 3d creation and sharing easier is again, the

Paul Dawalibi:

quote from this article. So what do you think of Adobe getting in the space? And what do you think

Paul Dawalibi:

of sort of tools? Companies in general?

Jeff Cohen:

Well, I mean, tools, companies are often, you know, great investments a lot, you

Jeff Cohen:

know, investing in things that are like digital picks and shovels or infrastructure plays, Adobe,

Jeff Cohen:

obviously has, has been one of those for many years, I think, you know, for people who aren't

Jeff Cohen:

maybe in the software investing world and don't, you know, just know, Adobe, as a consumer, people

Jeff Cohen:

don't realize just how big an impressive of a company, you know, Adobe, really is. And I think

Jeff Cohen:

they highlighted in the article 75% of the Fortune 500, you know, uses their Adobe Experience cloud

Jeff Cohen:

toolset, which is obviously pretty remarkable. So my hot take here is that I think Adobe is going to

Jeff Cohen:

buy unity. Wow, get bigger into this space thing. It makes a lot of sense. You know, Dobies become

Jeff Cohen:

over 100 billion company. And you know, Unity's around 20. So the size kind of makes sense. And

Jeff Cohen:

they just have a really good, you know, enterprise sales force they could sell into, you know,

Jeff Cohen:

they're both b2b software companies. And, yeah, I mean, it's, obviously, just my tinfoil hat, you

Jeff Cohen:

know, do the music, but that's my

Paul Dawalibi:

I like that. That is a that is a very hot take. And I will say, you know, this

Paul Dawalibi:

article, again, I'll try and describe for those of you who are listening, this is how Adobe looks at

Paul Dawalibi:

sort of the metaverse stack. So there's devices at the top, then experience engines below that, then

Paul Dawalibi:

orchestration, then creative ecosystem, and then infrastructure at the bottom. Like I what I love

Paul Dawalibi:

about your hot take is when I look at this, like oh, wait a second, like Adobe has infrastructure,

Paul Dawalibi:

creative ecosystem, I could argue even orchestration, but the experience engine, which is

Paul Dawalibi:

something like a unity, you know, that's potentially where they buy where they make a big

Paul Dawalibi:

splash. I could see that what I didn't realize, and it came out in this article that like,

Paul Dawalibi:

obviously, Adobe supports all of the 3d standards that people use today. But, you know, Adobe, has

Paul Dawalibi:

said that games like fortnight, Halo, Final Fantasy, and flight simulator are all created with

Paul Dawalibi:

their tools, substance 3d in this case. And their tools have driven the content, it says for big AR

Paul Dawalibi:

experiences like the Smithsonian and Amazon. I am extremely bullish on this, right? Like someone's

Paul Dawalibi:

gonna have to create and power like the creators who are going to make the metaverse happen and all

Paul Dawalibi:

of the content that goes in it, all of the stuff that goes in it, Adobe, probably better position

Paul Dawalibi:

than anyone else. I love that how they're thinking about it in a very smart way. You know, in terms

Paul Dawalibi:

of sort of what the stack looks like, I think they know exactly where they play, and what their

Paul Dawalibi:

strengths are. I even love some of the language, right, like in their announcements where they

Paul Dawalibi:

know, they're saying, like brands need to get on board with this. Right? They need to be thinking

Paul Dawalibi:

about making content around these things. And, and, and so I don't know, like, I'm going, Adobe

Paul Dawalibi:

seems to get it. Adobe has dominated in the video world, right? Like usually when there's a huge

Paul Dawalibi:

shift, this is the opportunity for competitors to come in and, you know, take market share, or or

Paul Dawalibi:

encroach on the big guy who has been sort of dominant for so many years. I mean, Adobe

Paul Dawalibi:

Premiere, how many youtubers on the planet use Adobe Premiere? Has it has Adobe potentially

Paul Dawalibi:

already run away with the metaverse tools, like with the web three tools already just in how far

Paul Dawalibi:

along they are in terms of thinking and how far along they are on product?

Jeff Cohen:

I guess it's probably early to say but the fact that they already have their hooks into

Jeff Cohen:

all these brands, all these brands are already using them for calling web two development. It

Jeff Cohen:

stands to reason that if Adobe has a good product set for web three, which it seems like clearly

Jeff Cohen:

they're forward thinking and they're they're in there sort of disrupting themselves. It it makes

Jeff Cohen:

sense these brands would Go with what they know. So, yeah, I mean, I think they're they are

Jeff Cohen:

definitely incredibly well positioned.

Paul Dawalibi:

Yeah. And you know what else plays to their hand but also actually, I think plays to

Paul Dawalibi:

the hand of the industry as a whole is the they sell a subscription that's like an all in like an

Paul Dawalibi:

all or nothing for the most part subscription, right? Like, you subscribe to Adobe Creative

Paul Dawalibi:

Cloud, you get everything right, you get audition, you get premiere, you get Photoshop, you get

Paul Dawalibi:

Lightroom, you get the whole suite. And what I found personally, is I subscribe for like one

Paul Dawalibi:

thing, or maybe two things. And then every so often, like, I'll mess around, I'll open

Paul Dawalibi:

something, and I'll mess around with a, you know, one of their products that maybe I haven't used

Paul Dawalibi:

before, you know, to get my creative juices going or to flex that creative muscle by I think if they

Paul Dawalibi:

end up bundling all of this in that same subscription, right? We could end up seeing, I

Paul Dawalibi:

think, a huge explosion of Metaverse, 3d content, right stuff that's built, call it for AR and VR

Paul Dawalibi:

experiences, just naturally, right? Someone who's already a creative person who's working with

Paul Dawalibi:

Premiere may open that up and go wait a second, like, Oh, this is cool. Like, let me experiment.

Paul Dawalibi:

Let me play with this. And it puts the tools in the hands of the people who are most likely to be

Paul Dawalibi:

building that next generation of content.

Jeff Cohen:

100% agree.

Paul Dawalibi:

Cool. I mean, that's the the Adobe story is an interesting one. I love that take

Paul Dawalibi:

though on unity. I think that is That's spicy. I hope you put that out on Twitter. You know, I did

Paul Dawalibi:

add Jeff Cohen 23. There you go. If you want to follow the juicing advice, you know. That wraps up

Paul Dawalibi:

this week's podcast guys, don't forget, make sure to subscribe to the podcast, hit the Follow button

Paul Dawalibi:

in whatever app you're using to listen to it or watch it. Tell your friends about it. Leave a

Paul Dawalibi:

review or rating five stars. It helps other people to find the podcast and go subscribe to our sister

Paul Dawalibi:

podcast met a woman which you can find everywhere and business of esports if you if you found us

Paul Dawalibi:

directly. Business of esports is the same podcast but talking about the business of gaming

Paul Dawalibi:

primarily. It's a lot of fun also. So go check those out. And Jeff, thank you as always. Remember

Paul Dawalibi:

guys, the future is fun. We will see you next week.

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