HFA Padded
Brian Langis
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The buzzword of the hour.

Q4 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more


What is the metaverse? It’s whatever you want it to be.

What does it mean? It means whatever you want it to mean.

Right now, more than anything else, the metaverse is a conversation shifter.

Your stock is in the dump. Just mention metaverse.

You’re conducting your business in a shady way? Change your name to Meta and your past is erased.

You are not going to hit quarterly numbers? Just add the metaverse slide to the deck.

The NYT reported that Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard is a major breakthrough for “the metaverse.” Nice, everyone likes a major breakthrough. What is it? I’ll settle for a tiny breakthrough.

Microsoft’s Nadella says the buy pushes it further into the metaverse even if what the metaverse is has not been fully fleshed out yet. Maybe you should have a clearer idea of what you are pushing into because you are about to spend $75 billions.

Mark Zuckerberg says he hopes to spend the next several years elevating users to “an embodied internet.” Hurry up because we can’t stand the disembodied Internet.

The “metaverse” is the granddaddy of all the buzzwords because it links all the other hot words, like VR, AR, cryptos, NFTs, blockchain, Dao, Web3 together. Take all these words, dump it in the blender, and you get the metaverse. What is it? Well we are still trying to figure out the meaning of the “ingredients” like NFTs. Imagine you have a wife and everybody gets to drill her and you can’t do shit. But it’s ok because you have the digital marriage certificate that says she’s your wife. That’s a NFT.

The metaverse has been described as a virtual space where you can hang out with your friends, colleagues, play games, and shop. But don’t we have that already with Roblox and Fortnite? Wouldn’t the platform Second Life fit the description? What happened to the good old bar? My favorite un-VR spot that offers great offline whisky.

Look I get it. This post is a little bit on the negative side. There’s a part of me that’s not very patient with being b-sing around. “The masses are poking around? Tell them about our metaverse strategy, that will buy peace.” It gets nauseating to hear all this nonsense about the metaverse. We are still at the stage where we are working out what it even means. The word was coined by Neal Stephenson in the book Snow Crash, published in 1992 (did Facebook steal that too?) and it’s the idea we have been working on since. But right now “metaverse” is a parody of marketing bullshit. It’s nothing more than a nice label on a whiteboard.

I’m positive about new technology. We need big dreams. We need things to believe in. A big fat goal to aim our energy towards. And that’s what the metaverse is. We are pushing the edge of technology.

I look forward to the next big innovation wave. I look forward to seeing where AR/VR takes us, or what will come out of the next big trend in computing. How it will help us and progress the human race.

And right now I look forward to seeing what emerges from the wreckage of the metaverse buzz.

Article by Brian Langis