In today's world, it feels more important than ever to be disruptive. Tech, communication, business – they are all changing faster than ever before, and those who don't change with them are at risk of being left behind.
At its core, being a disruptor means shaking things up and doing them differently. It's about looking at the status quo and saying, "There has to be a better way." The ideas, actions or events that follow this often cause a significant shift in behaviour.
Disruptors challenge traditional thinking. They are change-makers and trailblazers who anticipate changes in the market and adapt their businesses accordingly.
Disruption or rebellion?
Delve a little deeper into the boldest examples of disruption, and what we’re really talking about is an alternative movement for progress.
An obvious example is Surrealism within the history of Art. The Surrealist movement began in the early 1920s as a reaction to what its members saw as the stifling rules of traditional art. Surrealism sought to break down those barriers and allow the subconscious mind to express itself through art. The movement was characterized by its use of dreamlike imagery, unusual juxtapositions, and absurdist humour. Some of the most famous Surrealist artists include Salvador Dali and Rene Magritte – disruptors to their very core.
Punk Rockers followed a similar narrative when Punk Rock emerged in the mid-1970s. A response to the bloated and self-indulgent prog rock of the day, Punk bands like the Ramones and the Sex Pistols were characterised by their DIY ethos, simple song structures, and anti-establishment lyrics. Punk wasn't just a musical movement; it was a complete rejection of mainstream culture.
As consumers, disruption often precedes the requirement to adopt something new. The smartphone, Online Shopping, Social Media – these are three examples that have revolutionised the way we communicate, consume, plan our days, and find gratification.
But who remembers the iPhone 1, or shopping on eBay in 2002? These tech advances have required iteratively improved user experiences (UX) to obtain mass adoption. And, in turn, it was only when the critical mass of adoption was achieved, that the negativity surrounding them turned into a positive ‘what did we ever do without them’ viewpoint.
Progress can be stifled if UX isn’t at the forefront of the priority list following early adoption, and this is where market disruptors are worth their weight in gold. Consider the conversations held in most boardrooms at the advent of the internet and e-commerce. Many business leaders found the notion of trading online totally nonsensical.
Jeff Bezos didn’t.
He disrupted the entire bricks & mortar shopping experience, and the rest is history…
And so, to Web3
The term "Web 3.0" was first coined way back in 2006 by John Markoff of The New York Times. He referred to the next stage of development for the internet, one that is more decentralized than previous iterations. With Web3, users will have more control over their data thanks to new technologies like blockchain and peer-to-peer networking.
This new wave of technology has the potential to upend industries like social media and finance by giving people the ability to choose what they engage with, and what they aren't interested in. This is progress in the hands of the consumer, but in order to realise its potential – Web3 needs more disruptors.
Metamask, Coinbase, Opensea, Discord, Collabland. At best, the UX for Web3 is clunky, risky, glitchy and outright frustrating.
“It has to be easier than this. Right”?
In a recent conversation with Marion ‘Meela’ Pedroza, co-founder of NFT project Robotos – I asked her what it meant to build communities and innovate in the Web3 space.
“I’m a troublemaker. A little Firestarter. I believe that this talent has given me the perspective and awareness of all the things required to have an idea and build something”.
“As a designer with psychologist parents and having worked in big business – I appreciate talk of the present. But as a creator, I look for signals that show momentum and believe that disruption is essential! I mean building risky initiatives that may affect a lot of people and require lots of investment – but in the end push the industry forward.”
“Projects building things that are different, experimental and cost a lot of energy – I think these projects are moving the space to a better, healthier place.”
Web3 is disrupting traditional centralized models like Facebook and Google and NFTs are disrupting traditional ideas about ownership and value.
What comes next should be the disruption that refines these new opportunities and encourages mass adoption.
Collectively we should be asking ourselves – “How do we move the needle of progress”?
Join Ben as he hosts NFTs BEYOND THE FLOOR on Rug Radio. He and a team of friends delve deep with projects building narratives and delivering change in the Web3 space.
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