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Crypto disaster and metaverse bubble: We are experiencing a soft crash


The tech industry delivered many short-lived stories about Metaverse, blockchain or artificial intelligence in the past year that made investors dream. With their bursting, the Schadenfreude is now great. But therein lies an opportunity.

Enlarge image

With legs!

Meta boss

Mark Zuckerberg

's avatar (right) dances with joy at the feature

Photo: Mata

What drives the world are stories.

One does not have to know his Harari by heart to understand this central idea of ​​his work: collaborative, often unconscious fictions and narratives define central concepts of our reality.

Stories drive societies, the economy, investments, every elevator pitch is first and foremost a story, every annual report not only provides figures, but also forecasts, plans and promises - in short: stories.

Christopher Bornschein

Christoph Bornschein

is Managing Director of TLGG.

The group of companies advises customers from the pharmaceutical, mobility and finance sectors on digital business models and brand transformation.

These include Bayer, Lufthansa and ING.


In an economic world dedicated to the fiction of unlimited growth, this also means that stories must never end and must always be promises.

It will continue!

It's going to be spectacular!

Entrepreneurial growth strategies are also narrative archetypes.

"Being an investor," writes hedge fund CEO

Dan Loeb

(60), "means constantly living at the intersection of story and uncertainty."

One of the greatest story spectacles in the tech world is

Mark Zuckerberg

's (38) Metaverse.

A bet on the future in which the world should work, live and meet virtually.

On October 11th he announced a new chapter: The Metaverse avatars should get legs!

"Probably the most requested feature on our roadmap!"

Zuckerberg skipped through the virtual demonstration - albeit on pre-recorded motion-capturing legs.

A bluff that was blown up quickly and with a lot of comment.

At the end of October, the Meta share fell massively, and at the beginning of November 13 percent of the workforce was laid off.

It's not just the Emperor's new legs: A year after leaving the Metaverse, Meta has little to show for it.

In the first nine months of 2022, the future project burned almost 9.5 billion dollars, turning the metaverse term into a diffuse but effective business story for the competition.

"If you want to keep growing as the biggest social media company possible, you need something other than social media. Then you need something that everyone thinks can become massive. And you need to invest enough yourself to make all of that are convinced of their potential and don't ask any more questions."

This freely translated metaverse analysis appeared on Twitter on Oct. 30, published by one

Sam Bankman-Fried

, the founder and CEO of cryptocurrency exchange FTX.

That Bankman-Fried was quite familiar with this way of developing business stories became apparent shortly thereafter - when FTX fell colossally, taking with it a great deal of capital and trust.

In recent years, the logic of virality in our media world and the narratives of the digital economy have fueled each other powerfully.

The rather cozy "Digital Equity Story", which increased the future value of classic companies, became hundreds of short stories told screechingly loudly - Blockchain!



"To the moon!"





meme stocks!




Anyone who told the bright golden future got fresh capital.

Now that the recession is looming, markets, venture capitalists and the zeitgeist are demanding that promises be kept.

And if you can't deliver, you'll quickly find yourself without legs.

There is a lot of nonsense, megalomania, and outright fraud in virtually all hot markets.

When the air suddenly goes out, glee is understandable.

But the Gartner Hype Cycle teaches us that the end of the hype about new technologies does not mean the end of technologies.

The Metaverse isn't dead just because a story becomes uninteresting and its main narrator is disenchanted for the time being.

NFTs aren't dead just because a few crypto bros make long faces.

Instead of a catastrophic structural collapse, we are witnessing a reasonably controlled crash.

Here falls through an early stress test what the infrastructure of the future wanted to be.

Herein lies the opportunity for technologies and tech companies to stay relevant by delivering more than a story - social value.

Away from the over-told innovation, towards substantial innovation.

It's just a story at first, but it drives me enough.

Source: spiegel

All news articles on 2023-01-01

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