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Follow the money…
Global Venture Funding, AI Invests, estimated AI economic potential, BMW Metaride, Starbucks Odyssey, new structure of MadeMeThink, three enriching speaking engagements.
This is MadeMeThink.xyz – A publication with thoughts on disruptive Technologies (e.g. AI | Web3 | Metaverse), their Applications, Opportunities, and Impact. Written by Prof. Thomas Metzler, Ph.D.
This MadeMeThink last week…
Follow the money…
To see what is happening in disruptive technologies in the coming months and years, I am following the global venture funding market. Global venture funding volumes have been declining since Q4 2021. No wonder given the current monetary policy of the major central banks. Money is no longer as cheap. Certainly an intense time for many VC backed startups - even more so if the startup is not in the AI space, as almost a fifth of the investments so far this year have been spent in this sector.
McKinsey on the economic potential of generative AI
“Generative AI’s impact on productivity could add trillions of dollars in value to the global economy. Our latest research estimates that generative AI could add the equivalent of $2.6 trillion to $4.4 trillion annually across the 63 use cases we analyzed—by comparison, the United Kingdom’s entire GDP in 2021 was $3.1 trillion” - McKinsey (2023)
I'm always a little wary when I see studies juggling fantasy trillions in monetary value a technology could bring. In the midst of the Metaverse hype, Bloomberg, for example, estimated the Metaverse market for 2024 at $800 billion, which I viewed quite critically at the time and of course the Metaverse market volume is still far away from that. But obviously AI has massive potential, I just find other questions more relevant (but somehow there is always a consulting firm that has to estimate the market volume / economic potential of a new technology early on; presumably that gives decent PR).
The following figure is for example of more interest to me. The question here is in which area AI will have the greatest impact. I tried to interact with the ChatBot of the Brazilian GOL Airline last week. It was terrible. Customer operations are certainly one of the first dominoes to fall due to generative AI, I agree with the authors of the study...
BMW has built a digital experience ("Metaride") in Spatial. You can check it out here. On the one hand, I always wonder how well these “Metaverse” experiences are received by users and personally I get a little bored playing through them, but on the other hand, I've never been so intensively involved with BMW motorcycles before 😅 🤷♂️
Starbucks Odyssey Web3 loyalty program
At Blockchance, I moderated a panel on loyalty and fan engagement in the Web3 space this year. It was not pure coincidence that I worked on this topic, because for me this area is one of the most exciting in the NFT world. On the one hand, NFTs allow experiences to be "tokengated" (meaning that the NFT is a key to unlock a “gated” experience), and on the other hand, tokens allow a certain status to be tradable in loyalty programs (think of selling / transferring your miles for flights to whoever you want, for example). I'm following with interest the development at Starbucks, which is running one of the most successful loyalty programs in the world and now, even though the Web3/NFT hype has flattened out, is continuing to work on its Odyssey Web3 loyalty program. Read more here.
The following is a slide from my university course on disruptive technologies that resonates with this thought.
New structure of MadeMeThink
Returning readers will notice in this issue that I have restructured MadeMeThink, both in terms of content and structure. In terms of content, I will now address disruptive technologies (e.g. AI | Web3 | Metaverse), their applications, opportunities and impact. So I've broadened the scope of content, which makes it easier for me to publish interesting content, since I also deal with different technological developments on a daily basis in my role as Professor of Entrepreneurship, Marketing & Innovation and in our Startup Center. The structure has also changed. In the past it was difficult for me to publish (long) articles weekly. To make it a easier for myself, I will curate and comment more on articles, studies, examples or whatever made me stop and think during my work week. I hope you like the new frame and I'm happy about feedback.
Here's what else has been going on for me since the last MadeMeThink issue. Lately, I have been busy doing lectures, keynotes or moderations in various settings. Below are three enriching speaking engagements I have done:
Entrepreneurship lecture for kids
A highlight this semester was definitely my lecture on entrepreneurship for 8-year-old elementary school kids. The lecture was integrated in a course of my colleague Dr. Magdalena Meusburger. In the course children are trained on entrepreneurship, they develop products themselves and then sell them at a local marketplace - from idea to market 🤗 I hope we could awaken the entrepreneurial spirit in some of the kids!
“Get Transformation Done” Keynote
I gave a keynote at the Poesis „Get Transformation Done“ series in Vorarlberg. Thematically, the event revolved around the topic of Metaverse and AI. What I really liked about this event is that there was a constructive and critical dialog with the participants. This is especially important with hype topics…
I had the pleasure of moderating a panel on "Loyalty and Fan Engagement in Decentralized Sports" at Blockchance in Hamburg. My focus here was on a critical discussion of current applications of Web3 technologies and their challenges. For a panel moderator, I think it's important to discuss the pain points of an industry. An uncritical overemphasis on the positive sides of a technology is, in my opinion, less appreciated by listeners.
Disclaimer: The thoughts published in this publication are my personal opinions and should not be viewed as investment advice. I am not a financial expert. My specialty is entrepreneurship, marketing & innovation. Readers should always do their own research.