Le Journal du Net is a partner in the Mastercard Innovation Forum 2022, scheduled for December 8 in Paris. CEO of production company Sixth Wall, co-created with Mila Kunis, and guest at MIF 2022, Lindsey McInerney reveals to JDN his vision of the web of tomorrow.
JDN. Can you tell us about your background in this Web3 ecosystem?
Lindsey McInerney. I am the co-founder and CEO of Sixth Wall, a media and entertainment company built with Mila Kunis and Lisa Sterbakov. I’m also the founder of Black Sun Labs, which supports brands and celebrities in the Web3 and metaverse. Previously, I was responsible for technology and innovation at Anheuser Busch-Inbev, and in 2020 we launched Stella Artois in the metaverse, one of the first brands and arguably the first consumer product in this space. It was very exciting, because with the metaverse you think about the virtual world, and it’s hard to imagine how to integrate a consumer product into this space.
On December 8, during the Mastercard Innovation Forum, your conference will be titled: “The metaverse will revolutionize entertainment”. Why do you think the entertainment industry needs Web3?
My belief, our belief, is that the entertainment industry will be the factor that will bring the first billion people into the metaverse. Entertainment is what makes things exciting, it’s what makes us human, we’re storytellers, we like to connect with each other. If you remember the first experiences in Web2, it was mostly about connecting with other people, expressing yourself, sharing music, pictures, videos, that’s what made Web2 exciting, and my belief is that it is also what will bring people into Web3.
The Web3 community often engages in a project because of a financial incentive. Many Web3 entertainment projects have so far had difficulty sharing revenue with their community, albeit due to regulation? What is the right model?
It’s a complicated subject. First and foremost, we try to share joy, engagement and bring communities closer to creators. For example, in Discord, we allow users to pitch in front of Hollywood creators, bring them behind the scenes of Hollywood’s TV and filmmaking processes, and break down the barriers between the public and the public.
The Bitcoin White Paper published in 2008 gave glory to the ideas of decentralization and integration of the population excluded from the financial sector. We can now see the arrival of a large number of large companies in Web3. Are you afraid that Web3 will become what Web2 has become, today mainly in the hands of Gafa?
That’s an opportunity, and that’s why right now I’m focusing on not leaving anyone behind and trying to help people understand in simple terms what’s going on in this ecosystem. The jargon used can be a drag for many communities, it’s enough to make people feel clever, but in the end it turns a lot of people off. It’s still early enough to go in different directions, but my feeling is that the more people there are to understand the technology, the more interesting this space will be. My fear is that there are many people left behind by Web2 today, and they may be rightly skeptical of the technology as a whole. These are the type of people I want to reach the most because they have a very strong opinion on how to make the internet better. I want these voices to contribute to this space because the reality is that this ecosystem will move forward with or without them. We really need critical voices at this table.
At the time of this interview, you are in New York, a state with stricter legislation on this ecosystem than California, for example. The USA itself has different legislation than the EU. Can these differences in the perception of the regulators act as a brake on innovation?
I really hope not because crypto is the future of innovation. I think one of the challenges for crypto will be to be seen more as software rather than a currency. There are huge opportunities right now for visionary countries that will really dig into the subject and create benevolent regulation to become a center of innovation and technology. It would be very disappointing if the regulators did not understand how important we are at an important time. Right now the whole industry is crying out for clarity, and this as soon as possible. Everyone I’ve met in this space wants to be compliant and follow the rules, but it takes the clearest framework possible so we can continue to innovate in a safe and healthy environment for the consumer.
successful entrepreneur, Lindsey McInerney co-founded Sixth Wall, the digital arm and subsidiary of Mila Kunis’ production company Orchard. Originally the arrival of Stella Artois to the metaverse in 2020, when she was the head of innovation for the Anheuser Busch-Inbev group, she is considered to be one of the most influential people in the Web3 ecosystem in the world. Notably, she was chosen as one of the 22 LGBTQ+ personalities who initiated change during Adweek Pride Stars 2022.