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Why The Metaverse Matters

May 2022
Jan-Bart Smits
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Answering key questions about the future of virtual reality in the business world

The Metaverse is new. Why does this medium of interaction matter to us? It depends on how we define ‘new’. There are parallels that can be drawn between the past and the future. In many ways, role-playing games were the first metaverse. I won’t list all of my favorites, but they share several elements: amazing worlds with incredible landscapes populated by fantastical characters. Looking at the groundwork that’s been laid for virtual reality to really take off in the mainstream, countless articles have been published on the subject of the Metaverse. Looking at the sheer volume of qualified voices authoring content on the broader subject, several key questions come to mind:

As a new way of working (input), does the Metaverse improve the quality of the results (output)? 

When we integrate the next generation of VR/AR technologies into our daily work and personal lives, the quality of the interaction should be enhanced, not diminished. It will not replace our current forms of communication but rather add a new dimension of possibilities.

Do the companies developing products and services for the Metaverse understand people’s needs, or are they dictating them? 

An entire technical ecosystem will inevitably drive companies’ product development and position adoption. Meeting customer needs is the key to their hearts and hard-earned money, and this ecosystem will only win over customers once the products serve a tangible purpose. It also can’t be entirely ruled out that something else could come along – for example, Elon Musk’s Neuralink combined with another futuristic platform yet to be created – that represents a whole different set of products and customer demands and which renders the Metaverse obsolete.

Early adopters of bleeding edge technology consider themselves trendsetters. Are they truly the first of their kind, or are they simply taking up the latest tech? 

There are countless examples of technologies that seem silly by being too early for mass consumption. The first electric and later hybrid cars were viewed with disdain, and their owners where viewed as rejecting our beloved gas-guzzling chariots of success and status. But now electric and hybrid cars are well-integrated in the mainstream and are largely viewed as the conscientious choice.

How will Stanton Chase practically implement Metaverse technologies? 

We at Stanton Chase are actively exploring the opportunities that exist thanks to the Metaverse. We’re looking into what these opportunities can mean for our clients as well as candidates, with a view to never compromise the close relationship that our consultants have with them both. Our goal is to continue – and continue to improve upon – the advice we give our clients in matters of executive search and leadership.  

About the Author:

Jan-Bart Smits is the International Chair of Stanton Chase.

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