On July19th (GMT+8), InnoKOL had a fascinating conversation with Mr. Teddy Pahagbia (a.k.a Mr. Metaverse), the Founder and Chief Executive Druid of BLVCK PiXEL, talking about his unique work experience and the profound insights on the opportunities& challenges facing the development of metaverse.
Jokia: How would you describe yourself in three words? What’s your motto?
I am all about technology, humanity, and the future.
In the sense that my “raison d’être” is to leverage technology for the greater good.
Jokia: Can you please share more about your educational and professional background? And we’d love to hear what brought you to metaverse.
I am an engineer by training. I’ve work in IT for more than 20years. From infrastructure to product development, service design, business innovation, then digital transformation.
Across industries and countries. For small to large companies, and also government agencies in Western Europe and Africa.
What brought me to the Metaverse in a love for humanity and technology. How the tools we use can help us transcend our ideas, concepts, and the way we interact and create value within our ecosystems.
Jokia: After more than 20 years of a corporate life, what were the core challenges you faced when taking over the role as an entrepreneur?
Teddy: Skepticism from my relatives, friends, family, and colleagues. That was the toughest ones.
I was leaving a comfortable job to jump into the unknown. At a time when the Metaverse wasn’t a thing.
It was more than difficult to convince people than the convergence of emerging technologies will change everything, starting by the internet and the way we experience it.
A couple of years later, things have changed. And this early move put me in the position of a pioneer. But it was through hardship.
I was right to believe in my guts. But more than that, trust my expertise and how it led me to foresee the future of the internet.
Jokia: From your experience as a visionary thinker and a tech geek, why cool technologies sometimes flops?
Most of the coolest technologies flop. It’s all about use case and business relevance. At the end, any technology requires two things to thrive and dominate: Capital, and Business use case. This is the only way to grow and reach mass market.
Blockchain maybe an exception. Both on a financial perspective via crowdfunding (all blockchains are somehow crowdfunded), and also reach and gather a community (we have a great example with the web3 communities as such as Bored Apes Yacht Club, or The Cryptopunks).
Jokia: How do you think technologies are moving the world forward, and who should be the biggest actor on the market nowadays in order to push technology to the mass adoption?
Technology is fused into our daily life nowadays. Imagine it having access to the internet. It the network stops, the world would stop functioning. This is how crucial technology has become. But it just a tool. And as a tool we can use it for good or bad.
The big player is playing a role to bring it to the masses. Let me take the Metaverse for instance. Without Facebook announcement to turn into Meta and build the Metaverse, I wouldn’t be here talking to you. Now the world knows about the Metaverse because of Meta.
So big companies have a role to play to bring technology to the masses. The challenge is to do it with ethics, for the greater good. And not just in capitalistic way.
Jokia: With the metaverse predicted to become an $800 billion market by 2024, it certainly isn’t going away anytime soon. How can you predict the impact of metaverse on the world and the future of technology?
I am 43 years old. When I was young, we didn’t have flat TV, Netflix, or smartphones. I remember the first time I’ve seen a computer. At that time, only 30-40 years ago, we couldn’t imagine that one thing called the internet will be invented and will change the world as we can experience it now.
The Metaverse is way bigger than the internet. If we have to compare to any other paradigm shift in human history, the only thing that come in my mind is the extinction of the dinosaurs and how it changed life on earth.
This is the kind of impact the Metaverse will have on the course of human kind. One of the use cases I am always mentioning is digital afterlife. Metaverse service providers will be able to gather any data about their users, feed AI core agents that will replicate the user behavior better than he could reproduce it himself.
This AI could be incarnate as an avatar and live forever in the Metaverse. Until it gets out into a cybernetic body. Some kind of a pathway to immortality. Not by the body, but by the mind, a manifestation of all our behaviors during our lifespan.
Terrifying. But also, exciting. Historical figures could be saved for future generations. The greatest men and women of our history.
Jokia: How important are NFTs and blockchain in the metaverse?
NFTs are the commodities of the Metaverse. In this new paradigm, everything will be commodities and can be subject to swap, commerce, ownership claim, or simply unique identification in the real world and the digital one.
NFTs can have any kind of characteristics and properties. They can include smart contracts triggers and can be linked to any digital asset or physical one.
This is the power of NFTs and blockchain. Blockchain is the core infrastructure of the Metaverse. Everything will be digitized. And if it’s digitized, it will be tokenized. We will use these technologies as an index for all assets, transactions records, or receipts.
Jokia: There’s no shortage of brands dabbling in the ‘metaverse,’ creating something of a FOMO moment in the industry. Is the metaverse the future of digital marketing?
The Metaverse is the future of everything. Including Marketing. Brand have witnessed what happened with the Web. People didn’t believe in e-commerce back in the days.
They don’t want to miss the next iteration. But they are still yet to understand the true meaning of the paradigm shift, and implement agile and long-term strategies to seize the opportunity and future proof their business model using Web3 tools and Metaverse use cases.
Jokia: How prepared is BLVCK PiXEL to play a leading role to unlock opportunities and create new ways in the digital age for brands?
We are prepared since years. Now we are just executing. Being an early mover into that space gave us a strong positing within the Metaverse ecosystem. We know everybody, and everybody know us (at least if they search a bit).
More seriously. We are very fortunate to be part of the community and collaborate with major brands and leading partners to create the future of digital, at the intersection of technology, business, and anthropology.
But we have yet to collaborate with Chinese brands or companies. I hope that this opportunity will appear soon.
ABOUT THE SPEAKER:
Mr. Teddy Pahagbial a.k.a Mr. Metaverse is one of the most influential people in the Metaverse. As a visionary thinker, a bold entrepreneur and a tech geek, his journey from an engineering background and having worked across many industries and government agencies, managing infrastructure, service design and digital transformation projects, has led him to the forefront of innovation.
After more than 20 years of a corporate life, he launched BLVCK PiXEL, a Metaverse and Digital Innovation Consultancy based in Paris, at a time when the topic was still unheard from the public. The firm operates globally by using an interdisciplinary approach at the intersection of Technology and Anthropology, to unlock opportunities and create new ways in the digital age.
Besides advising the largest and most iconic brands in the world on how to future-proof their business model, Teddy is an advocate of the use of technology for the greater good of humanity.
He regularly speaks at business schools, prestigious universities and global tech events, spreading the word, evangelizing and educating on the future of the internet, commerce and socialization in a hyper-connected reality.
ABOUT THE HOST:
Ms. Jokia Yin is the Founder of Innoverview and InnoKOL, the Vice Chairman of HK International Blockchain Finance Association as well as the Head of Media at United States of America-China Chamber of Commerce. Jokia has over 10 years of marketing and management experience, much of which has been in the Asia Pacific Region within events and PR industry. She has held key leadership roles executing market research and entry, developing sales channels and revenue generation, building marketing, finance and Operations related infrastructure for a more than 20 events related to retail, tourism, energy storage, blockchain, cosmetics domains.