Recently, the appeal of the metaverse seems to be waning among some prominent figures in the tech industry, a marked change from the great enthusiasm of just two years ago. While some of the metaverse’s investments and projects have stumbled, Sandra Helou, CEO of MetaMinds Group, argues that a lack of tailored and effective business models is at the root of these failures.
During a presentation at the Cardano Summit in Dubai, Helou emphasized that the lack of well-adapted, business-tailored business models is the main reason for the failure of many metaverse projects. She warned against chasing short-term gains, explaining, “When it comes to applying technologies similar to the metaverse, this in itself requires a massive overhaul and change in business vision, teams and business models… The biggest problem we see is that people haven’t got their business model right, which is why many of them have failed.”
Helou’s observations are in line with a recent report by KPMG, which found that only 29% of executives in the UAE and 37% globally believe that the metaverse will be important to the short-term success of their organizations. The survey shows that most tech executives prioritize artificial intelligence (AI) in the next three years.
It emphasized the long-term nature of metaverse development, describing it as a vision that requires significant effort, strategic planning, dedicated teams and adequate funding.
Despite some claims that the metaverse is losing its appeal, developers in the industry remain optimistic about its potential to revolutionize the user experience.
In terms of how to ensure the longevity and relevance of metaverse projects, Helou emphasized the need to improve accessibility and interoperability. She pointed to the existing fragmentation within the metaverse, where users often have separate avatars and identities for different platforms. She likened this to having to change your wallet and clothes every time you enter a different store, describing it as impractical.
Helou advocated tailoring the metaverse’s product lines to the needs of users, customers and the market, including choosing the appropriate blockchain network, assets and ensuring the security of digital identities. She expressed the belief that such alignment would lead to an interoperable metaverse that allows users to seamlessly switch between different platforms.
Dubai and the UAE have actively courted global crypto companies through crypto-friendly policies, positioning the region as an emerging center for Web3 technologies. Helou praised the region’s approach, stating that Dubai’s regulations and business-friendly environment have favored tech innovators and developers, which could boost the success of the metaverse in the region.
She also predicted that it was unlikely that the UAE would adopt a regulatory approach similar to that of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (“regulation by enforcement”). The establishment of the Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority in Dubai was seen as a positive step, as the regulator will focus on developing necessary guidelines without overly controlling the web3 industry.