Welcome to The Yellow Summarin - collecting the most interesting ideas, topics, and tweets from the past week at the intersection of tech, media, and commerce.
In today's edition (25.12.2021):
Debating fandom and social tokens
Cashierless stores as a service
Meta’s metaverse intentions
Read and listen (in the spirit of the times):
Fan tokens and the financialization of culture
By Marin Gerov, 25.12.2021
This thread caught my attention earlier this week for two reasons. First, it presented a very simple to grasp real-world example of how a social token set up around a creator can be used to unlock value for both the token creator and the token owner. Some argue this is going to be the future of branding and talent - fan relationship. That is an exciting thought.
The second reason I took note of this thread is that it got me thinking - does this really make sense? Out of a very small, select group of people with already established following (such as those used in the example, like the Kardashians and Taylor Swift) I am having a hard time seeing this scale for the majority of creators that are lacking the exposure and scale. In this case, owning social tokens becomes pure speculation and betting. Tokens will be going up and down in value and there will be those that gain an advantage and those that are taken advantage of. Do we need more tokens?
In my opinion, there’s something very interesting in social tokens and for some use cases they can be deployed to serve a purpose. Entities with a big following who are in the business of entertainment and rely on keeping their fan base actively engaged, football clubs, for example, seem to be well-positioned to benefit from such a token scheme. However, a starting musician, with just friends and family as the base of their fandom, will probably end up with a token buried in a sea of “unknown” tokens. Should we financialize all aspects of culture?
If you are interested in learning more about social, community and platform tokens, this article provides a good primer.
An evolution of the self-checkout counters, Amazon’s “Just Walk Out” technology which enables supermarkets to implement software that automatically tracks each item being picked up by shoppers and removes the need for cashiers is now coming online in more and more stores. Amazon has turned the technology into a SaaS (software as a service) business that it licenses to grocery stores in the US and UK. This automation can end up saving tons of money to stores and is an appealing solution that will get more and more trials across the world in the next few years. Read story
If you’ve been following the newsletter for a while, you might have noticed that topics about NFTs have featured a lot. For those that are interested in starting out a project or simply want to understand better how a collection of NFTs comes to life, this guide is a good starting point. The NFT space is only going to grow next year and I expect more and more brands and creators will experiment in the space. Read guide
Andrew “Boz” Bosworth, head of Facebook (Meta) Reality Labs, published a summary of the launches the company unveiled in 2021. Looking through the roster of smart glasses, video call software, VR workrooms and developer tools that came to life this year, it is apparent how serious Meta is pursuing the opportunity to outgrow social networking as a business unit and go hard after the VR/AR field. Despite all the hate and criticism the company gets left and right, I am very bullish on the pairing of Zuck and Boz to actually make this work and end up a dominant and important player in the field. Time will tell. Read story
$ETHan @ethanlin_cryptoCommunity is a buzzword in NFTs; easy to say but tough to execute. Most NFT projects proclaim 'community' but all we see is a bunch of flippers pretending to care about the project. Here's why @AdamBombSquad community is the best and a list of the grassroots efforts: 1/16
That’s a wrap… for this year 😯
Have a good one!