As an actor, venture capitalist Ashton Kutcher became tweeted in November 2021: “#Metaverset is here already, but until today there was no network that could handle it.” It is true that it was not until high-speed 5G and large cloud storage networks came on the scene that truly immersive worlds became a reality.
Finally, technology has made it possible for anyone to work anywhere, and many people will hardly want to return to a physical office after the pandemic. That’s why I’re moving our entire digital experience agency out of Baltimore and into the meta-verse.
I know many of my other CEOs are wondering how to lead a remote team while maintaining the corporate culture, keeping morale up and ensuring that productivity remains strong. At Mindgrub Technologies, we have thought a lot about these issues, and I thought it might be helpful to share some of what we have learned here.
I am refrain move my business to the metaverse to be cool – i do it because above ground shared spaces are the future of knowledge workers. Static zoom call to watch on a screen or IM-based channels on Slack just will not cut it anymore. Widely distributed teams need nothing less than a massive reinvention of the world of work.
The best companies I know have always had a very strong culture. You can feel it as soon as you walk in the door: the energy hits you and is reflected in the design, the names of the conference rooms, the dress code, the cartoon tchotchkes sitting on the monitors and much more.
Do you know what I really miss about our office? Improvised conversations. The essentials physical to be around the different teams. To go for a walk. Watch the team of light-sensitive engineers squeeze into a corner with one turn Magic: The Gathering Arena after delivering a lot of code or putting on VR headsets to hang out in our holodeck. Watch creative brainstorming while relaxing on beanbag chairs, a few dogs sleeping in the nap nearby, and our homemade robot picks up soda.
Listen, I’m realistic. I know the spirit will not go back into the bottle. I know we are not coming back to life as before. But I’m absolutely determined to bring the culture we had in Baltimore back to our new home in the meta-verse.
My recommendation to CEOs considering moving to the meta-verse is to start by documenting your corporate culture. What made it great in terms of images, soundscapes, feel and execution? Map out how people moved around the office, because you want to copy the human flow. That was what we did. In our various skunkworks, we outlined the physical manifestation of our way of working in order to translate it into our new virtual environment and reconfigure our professional lives there.
A warning before you start: Be sure to set up a metaverse committee with representatives from all teams. This is not just another internal technology project, it is a company-wide transformation. Everyone needs a voice, or you can bet not everyone will be excited to dive into the new metavers-based environment.
In his Year in Review blog post, Bill Gates said: “The idea is that you will eventually use your avatar to meet people in a virtual space that repeats the feeling of being in a real space with them. To do you need something like VR glasses and motion capture gloves to accurately capture your expressions, body language and voice quality. Most people do not have these tools yet, which will slow down their adoption somewhat. “
I agree with Gates, but we need to start somewhere, and there are already plenty of metaverse-ready platforms to explore. I recommend CEOs to test some of the following: Monday, Spatial, Horizon Workrooms, Minecraft VR, VRChat and Mozilla Hubs.
If you have already mapped your culture, images, motion streams, etc., you can quickly prototype 3D spaces, invite a group of team members to trick their avatar, host a meeting, collaborate on documents, share files, start a private conference. rooms and decorate virtual stands. Everything can be customized, and some features may be more (or less) sophisticated than what you need.
As CEOs, we need to be at the forefront of history and show others how this new world can benefit them. In this direction, I am deeply planning my virtual office for our metaverse headquarters. I want it to reflect my open door policy to show when I am available for a quick chat. I design virtual whiteboards so I can leave ideas in place, and widgets like a Pandora plugin inside a digital radio on everyone’s virtual desktop. I want my office inside the metaverse to be a living laboratory that shows what we work with and inspires others by giving them exposure to “inside my head”.
What kind of culture did you have at your headquarters? I would bet it has been difficult, if not impossible, to keep it going with everyone working from home for the last two years. I know that’s why many business leaders are desperate to get everyone back in office, but we need to be smarter than that. This is an opportunity to try something new.
I believe that Metaverse is a place where we can recreate the best parts of our culture, where excitement, teamwork, brainstorming, camaraderie and socializing are made possible. No, it will not be like before. I think we can make it even better, really spacious and more innovative. In fact, I believe we can stop the so-called big uprising if we make the work an exciting place.
Todd Marks is the award-winning founder and CEO of Mindgrub Technologies, the groundbreaking digital experience agency.