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Rishi Dean

Rishi Dean

8 months ago

Coinbase's web3 app

Use popular Ethereum dapps with Coinbase’s new dapp wallet and browser

Tl;dr: This post highlights the ability to access web3 directly from your Coinbase app using our new dapp wallet and browser.

Decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) and decentralized finance (DeFi) have gained popularity in the last year (DAOs). The total value locked (TVL) of DeFi investments on the Ethereum blockchain has grown to over $110B USD, while NFTs sales have grown to over $30B USD in the last 12 months (LTM). New innovative real-world applications are emerging every day.

Today, a small group of Coinbase app users can access Ethereum-based dapps. Buying NFTs on Coinbase NFT and OpenSea, trading on Uniswap and Sushiswap, and borrowing and lending on Curve and Compound are examples.

Our new dapp wallet and dapp browser enable you to access and explore web3 directly from your Coinbase app.

Web3 in the Coinbase app

Users can now access dapps without a recovery phrase. This innovative dapp wallet experience uses Multi-Party Computation (MPC) technology to secure your on-chain wallet. This wallet's design allows you and Coinbase to share the 'key.' If you lose access to your device, the key to your dapp wallet is still safe and Coinbase can help recover it.

Set up your new dapp wallet by clicking the "Browser" tab in the Android app's navigation bar. Once set up, the Coinbase app's new dapp browser lets you search, discover, and use Ethereum-based dapps.

Looking forward

We want to enable everyone to seamlessly and safely participate in web3, and today’s launch is another step on that journey. We're rolling out the new dapp wallet and browser in the US on Android first to a small subset of users and plan to expand soon. Stay tuned!

More on Web3 & Crypto

Matt Ward

Matt Ward

2 months ago

Is Web3 nonsense?

Crypto and blockchain have rebranded as web3. They probably thought it sounded better and didn't want the baggage of scam ICOs, STOs, and skirted securities laws.

It was like Facebook becoming Meta. Crypto's biggest players wanted to change public (and regulator) perception away from pump-and-dump schemes.

After the 2018 ICO gold rush, it's understandable. Every project that raised millions (or billions) never shipped a meaningful product.

Like many crazes, charlatans took the money and ran.

Despite its grifter past, web3 is THE hot topic today as more founders, venture firms, and larger institutions look to build the future decentralized internet.

Supposedly.

How often have you heard: This will change the world, fix the internet, and give people power?

Why are most of web3's biggest proponents (and beneficiaries) the same rich, powerful players who built and invested in the modern internet? It's like they want to remake and own the internet.

Something seems off about that.

Why are insiders getting preferential presale terms before the public, allowing early investors and proponents to flip dirt cheap tokens and advisors shares almost immediately after the public sale?

It's a good gig with guaranteed markups, no risk or progress.

If it sounds like insider trading, it is, at least practically. This is clear when people talk about blockchain/web3 launches and tokens.

Fast money, quick flips, and guaranteed markups/returns are common.

Incentives-wise, it's hard to blame them. Who can blame someone for following the rules to win? Is it their fault or regulators' for not leveling the playing field?

It's similar to oil companies polluting for profit, Instagram depressing you into buying a new dress, or pharma pushing an unnecessary pill.

All of that is fair game, at least until we change the playbook, because people (and corporations) change for pain or love. Who doesn't love money?

belief based on money gain

Sinclair:

“It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.”

Bitcoin, blockchain, and web3 analogies?

Most blockchain and web3 proponents are true believers, not cynical capitalists. They believe blockchain's inherent transparency and permissionless trust allow humanity to evolve beyond our reptilian ways and build a better decentralized and democratic world.

They highlight issues with the modern internet and monopoly players like Google, Facebook, and Apple. Decentralization fixes everything

If we could give power back to the people and get governments/corporations/individuals out of the way, we'd fix everything.

Blockchain solves supply chain and child labor issues in China.

To meet Paris climate goals, reduce emissions. Create a carbon token.

Fixing online hatred and polarization Web3 Twitter and Facebook replacement.

Web3 must just be the answer for everything… your “perfect” silver bullet.

Nothing fits everyone. Blockchain has pros and cons like everything else.

Blockchain's viral, ponzi-like nature has an MLM (mid level marketing) feel. If you bought Taylor Swift's NFT, your investment is tied to her popularity.

Probably makes you promote Swift more. Play music loudly.

Here's another example:

Imagine if Jehovah’s Witnesses (or evangelical preachers…) got paid for every single person they converted to their cause.

It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy as their faith and wealth grow.

Which breeds extremism? Ultra-Orthodox Jews are an example. maximalists

Bitcoin and blockchain are causes, religions. It's a money-making movement and ideal.

We're good at convincing ourselves of things we want to believe, hence filter bubbles.

I ignore anything that doesn't fit my worldview and seek out like-minded people, which algorithms amplify.

Then what?

Is web3 merely a new scam?

No, never!

Blockchain has many crucial uses.

Sending money home/abroad without bank fees;

Like fleeing a war-torn country and converting savings to Bitcoin;

Like preventing Twitter from silencing dissidents.

Permissionless, trustless databases could benefit society and humanity. There are, however, many limitations.

Lost password?

What if you're cheated?

What if Trump/Putin/your favorite dictator incites a coup d'état?

What-ifs abound. Decentralization's openness brings good and bad.

No gatekeepers or firefighters to rescue you.

ISIS's fundraising is also frictionless.

Community-owned apps with bad interfaces and service.

Trade-offs rule.

So what compromises does web3 make?

What are your trade-offs? Decentralization has many strengths and flaws. Like Bitcoin's wasteful proof-of-work or Ethereum's political/wealth-based proof-of-stake.

To ensure the survival and veracity of the network/blockchain and to safeguard its nodes, extreme measures have been designed/put in place to prevent hostile takeovers aimed at altering the blockchain, i.e., adding money to your own wallet (account), etc.

These protective measures require significant resources and pose challenges. Reduced speed and throughput, high gas fees (cost to submit/write a transaction to the blockchain), and delayed development times, not to mention forked blockchain chains oops, web3 projects.

Protecting dissidents or rogue regimes makes sense. You need safety, privacy, and calm.

First-world life?

What if you assumed EVERYONE you saw was out to rob/attack you? You'd never travel, trust anyone, accomplish much, or live fully. The economy would collapse.

It's like an ant colony where half the ants do nothing but wait to be attacked.

Waste of time and money.

11% of the US budget goes to the military. Imagine what we could do with the $766B+ we spend on what-ifs annually.

Is so much hypothetical security needed?

Blockchain and web3 are similar.

Does your app need permissionless decentralization? Does your scooter-sharing company really need a proof-of-stake system and 1000s of nodes to avoid Russian hackers? Why?

Worst-case scenario? It's not life or death, unless you overstate the what-ifs. Web3 proponents find improbable scenarios to justify decentralization and tokenization.

Do I need a token to prove ownership of my painting? Unless I'm a master thief, I probably bought it.

despite losing the receipt.

I do, however, love Web 3.

Enough Web3 bashing for now. Understand? Decentralization isn't perfect, but it has huge potential when applied to the right problems.

I see many of the right problems as disrupting big tech's ruthless monopolies. I wrote several years ago about how tokenized blockchains could be used to break big tech's stranglehold on platforms, marketplaces, and social media.

Tokenomics schemes can be used for good and are powerful. Here’s how.

Before the ICO boom, I made a series of predictions about blockchain/crypto's future. It's still true.

Here's where I was then and where I see web3 going:

My 11 Big & Bold Predictions for Blockchain

In the near future, people may wear crypto cash rings or bracelets.

  1. While some governments repress cryptocurrency, others will start to embrace it.

  2. Blockchain will fundamentally alter voting and governance, resulting in a more open election process.

  3. Money freedom will lead to a more geographically open world where people will be more able to leave when there is unrest.

  4. Blockchain will make record keeping significantly easier, eliminating the need for a significant portion of government workers whose sole responsibility is paperwork.

  5. Overrated are smart contracts.

6. Tokens will replace company stocks.

7. Blockchain increases real estate's liquidity, value, and volatility.

8. Healthcare may be most affected.

9. Crypto could end privacy and lead to Minority Report.

10. New companies with network effects will displace incumbents.

11. Soon, people will wear rings or bracelets with crypto cash.

Some have already happened, while others are still possible.

Time will tell if they happen.

And finally:

What will web3 be?

Who will be in charge?

Closing remarks

Hope you enjoyed this web3 dive. There's much more to say, but that's for another day.

We're writing history as we go.

Tech regulation, mergers, Bitcoin surge How will history remember us?

What about web3 and blockchain?

Is this a revolution or a tulip craze?

Remember, actions speak louder than words (share them in the comments).

Your turn.

Yusuf Ibrahim

Yusuf Ibrahim

1 year ago

How to sell 10,000 NFTs on OpenSea for FREE (Puppeteer/NodeJS)

So you've finished your NFT collection and are ready to sell it. Except you can't figure out how to mint them! Not sure about smart contracts or want to avoid rising gas prices. You've tried and failed with apps like Mini mouse macro, and you're not familiar with Selenium/Python. Worry no more, NodeJS and Puppeteer have arrived!

Learn how to automatically post and sell all 1000 of my AI-generated word NFTs (Nakahana) on OpenSea for FREE!

My NFT project — Nakahana |

NOTE: Only NFTs on the Polygon blockchain can be sold for free; Ethereum requires an initiation charge. NFTs can still be bought with (wrapped) ETH.

If you want to go right into the code, here's the GitHub link: https://github.com/Yusu-f/nftuploader

Let's start with the knowledge and tools you'll need.

What you should know

You must be able to write and run simple NodeJS programs. You must also know how to utilize a Metamask wallet.

Tools needed

  • NodeJS. You'll need NodeJs to run the script and NPM to install the dependencies.
  • Puppeteer – Use Puppeteer to automate your browser and go to sleep while your computer works.
  • Metamask – Create a crypto wallet and sign transactions using Metamask (free). You may learn how to utilize Metamask here.
  • Chrome – Puppeteer supports Chrome.

Let's get started now!

Starting Out

Clone Github Repo to your local machine. Make sure that NodeJS, Chrome, and Metamask are all installed and working. Navigate to the project folder and execute npm install. This installs all requirements.

Replace the “extension path” variable with the Metamask chrome extension path. Read this tutorial to find the path.

Substitute an array containing your NFT names and metadata for the “arr” variable and the “collection_name” variable with your collection’s name.

Run the script.

After that, run node nftuploader.js.

Open a new chrome instance (not chromium) and Metamask in it. Import your Opensea wallet using your Secret Recovery Phrase or create a new one and link it. The script will be unable to continue after this but don’t worry, it’s all part of the plan.

Next steps

Open your terminal again and copy the route that starts with “ws”, e.g. “ws:/localhost:53634/devtools/browser/c07cb303-c84d-430d-af06-dd599cf2a94f”. Replace the path in the connect function of the nftuploader.js script.

const browser = await puppeteer.connect({ browserWSEndpoint: "ws://localhost:58533/devtools/browser/d09307b4-7a75-40f6-8dff-07a71bfff9b3", defaultViewport: null });

Rerun node nftuploader.js. A second tab should open in THE SAME chrome instance, navigating to your Opensea collection. Your NFTs should now start uploading one after the other! If any errors occur, the NFTs and errors are logged in an errors.log file.

Error Handling

The errors.log file should show the name of the NFTs and the error type. The script has been changed to allow you to simply check if an NFT has already been posted. Simply set the “searchBeforeUpload” setting to true.

We're done!

If you liked it, you can buy one of my NFTs! If you have any concerns or would need a feature added, please let me know.

Thank you to everyone who has read and liked. I never expected it to be so popular.

Ben

Ben

3 months ago

The Real Value of Carbon Credit (Climate Coin Investment)

Disclaimer : This is not financial advice for any investment.

TL;DR

  • You might not have realized it, but as we move toward net zero carbon emissions, the globe is already at war.

  • According to the Paris Agreement of COP26, 64% of nations have already declared net zero, and the issue of carbon reduction has already become so important for businesses that it affects their ability to survive. Furthermore, the time when carbon emission standards will be defined and controlled on an individual basis is becoming closer.

  • Since 2017, the market for carbon credits has experienced extraordinary expansion as a result of widespread talks about carbon credits. The carbon credit market is predicted to expand much more once net zero is implemented and carbon emission rules inevitably tighten.

With the small difference of 0.5°C the world will reach the point of no return. Source : IPCC Special Report on 1.5°C global warming (2018)

Hello! Ben here from Nonce Classic. Nonce Classic has recently confirmed the tremendous growth potential of the carbon credit market in the midst of a major trend towards the global goal of net zero (carbon emissions caused by humans — carbon reduction by humans = 0 ). Moreover, we too believed that the questions and issues the carbon credit market suffered from the last 30–40yrs could be perfectly answered through crypto technology and that is why we have added a carbon credit crypto project to the Nonce Classic portfolio. There have been many teams out there that have tried to solve environmental problems through crypto but very few that have measurable experience working in the carbon credit scene. Thus we have put in our efforts to find projects that are not crypto projects created for the sake of issuing tokens but projects that pragmatically use crypto technology to combat climate change by solving problems of the current carbon credit market. In that process, we came to hear of Climate Coin, a veritable carbon credit crypto project, and us Nonce Classic as an accelerator, have begun contributing to its growth and invested in its tokens. Starting with this article, we plan to publish a series of articles explaining why the carbon credit market is bullish, why we invested in Climate Coin, and what kind of project Climate Coin is specifically. In this first article let us understand the carbon credit market and look into its growth potential! Let’s begin :)

The Unavoidable Entry of the Net Zero Era

Source : Climate math: What a 1.5-degree pathway would take l McKinsey

Net zero means... Human carbon emissions are balanced by carbon reduction efforts. A non-environmentalist may find it hard to accept that net zero is attainable by 2050. Global cooperation to save the earth is happening faster than we imagine.

In the Paris Agreement of COP26, concluded in Glasgow, UK on Oct. 31, 2021, nations pledged to reduce worldwide yearly greenhouse gas emissions by more than 50% by 2030 and attain net zero by 2050. Governments throughout the world have pledged net zero at the national level and are holding each other accountable by submitting Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) every five years to assess implementation. 127 of 198 nations have declared net zero.

Source : https://zerotracker.net/

Each country's 1.5-degree reduction plans have led to carbon reduction obligations for companies. In places with the strictest environmental regulations, like the EU, companies often face bankruptcy because the cost of buying carbon credits to meet their carbon allowances exceeds their operating profits. In this day and age, minimizing carbon emissions and securing carbon credits are crucial.

Recent SEC actions on climate change may increase companies' concerns about reducing emissions. The SEC required all U.S. stock market companies to disclose their annual greenhouse gas emissions and climate change impact on March 21, 2022. The SEC prepared the proposed regulation through in-depth analysis and stakeholder input since last year. Three out of four SEC members agreed that it should pass without major changes. If the regulation passes, it will affect not only US companies, but also countless companies around the world, directly or indirectly.

Even companies not listed on the U.S. stock market will be affected and, in most cases, required to disclose emissions. Companies listed on the U.S. stock market with significant greenhouse gas emissions or specific targets are subject to stricter emission standards (Scope 3) and disclosure obligations, which will magnify investigations into all related companies. Greenhouse gas emissions can be calculated three ways. Scope 1 measures carbon emissions from a company's facilities and transportation. Scope 2 measures carbon emissions from energy purchases. Scope 3 covers all indirect emissions from a company's value chains.

Source : https://www.renewableenergyhub.com.au/

The SEC's proposed carbon emission disclosure mandate and regulations are one example of how carbon credit policies can cross borders and affect all parties. As such incidents will continue throughout the implementation of net zero, even companies that are not immediately obligated to disclose their carbon emissions must be prepared to respond to changes in carbon emission laws and policies.

Carbon reduction obligations will soon become individual. Individual consumption has increased dramatically with improved quality of life and convenience, despite national and corporate efforts to reduce carbon emissions. Since consumption is directly related to carbon emissions, increasing consumption increases carbon emissions. Countries around the world have agreed that to achieve net zero, carbon emissions must be reduced on an individual level. Solutions to individual carbon reduction are being actively discussed and studied under the term Personal Carbon Trading (PCT).

PCT is a system that allows individuals to trade carbon emission quotas in the form of carbon credits. Individuals who emit more carbon than their allotment can buy carbon credits from those who emit less. European cities with well-established carbon credit markets are preparing for net zero by conducting early carbon reduction prototype projects. The era of checking product labels for carbon footprints, choosing low-emissions transportation, and worrying about hot shower emissions is closer than we think.

Individual carbon credits exchanged through smartphone apps. Source : https://ecocore.org

The Market for Carbon Credits Is Expanding Fearfully

Compliance and voluntary carbon markets make up the carbon credit market.

Individual carbon credits exchanged through smartphone apps. Source : https://ecocore.org

A Compliance Market enforces carbon emission allowances for actors. Companies in industries that previously emitted a lot of carbon are included in the mandatory carbon market, and each government receives carbon credits each year. If a company's emissions are less than the assigned cap and it has extra carbon credits, it can sell them to other companies that have larger emissions and require them (Cap and Trade). The annual number of free emission permits provided to companies is designed to decline, therefore companies' desire for carbon credits will increase. The compliance market's yearly trading volume will exceed $261B in 2020, five times its 2017 level.

In the Voluntary Market, carbon reduction is voluntary and carbon credits are sold for personal reasons or to build market participants' eco-friendly reputations. Even if not in the compliance market, it is typical for a corporation to be obliged to offset its carbon emissions by acquiring voluntary carbon credits. When a company seeks government or company investment, it may be denied because it is not net zero. If a significant shareholder declares net zero, the companies below it must execute it. As the world moves toward ESG management, becoming an eco-friendly company is no longer a strategic choice to gain a competitive edge, but an important precaution to not fall behind. Due to this eco-friendly trend, the annual market volume of voluntary emission credits will approach $1B by November 2021. The voluntary credit market is anticipated to reach $5B to $50B by 2030. (TSCVM 2021 Report)

In conclusion

This article analyzed how net zero, a target promised by countries around the world to combat climate change, has brought governmental, corporate, and human changes. We discussed how these shifts will become more obvious as we approach net zero, and how the carbon credit market would increase exponentially in response. In the following piece, let's analyze the hurdles impeding the carbon credit market's growth, how the project we invested in tries to tackle these issues, and why we chose Climate Coin. Wait! Jim Skea, co-chair of the IPCC working group, said,

“It’s now or never, if we want to limit global warming to 1.5°C” — Jim Skea

Join nonceClassic’s community:

Telegram: https://t.me/non_stock

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqeaLwkZbEfsX35xhnLU2VA

Twitter: @nonceclassic

Mail us : general@nonceclassic.org

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Todd Lewandowski

Todd Lewandowski

2 months ago

DWTS: How to Organize Your To-Do List Quickly

Don't overcomplicate to-do lists. DWTS (Done, Waiting, Top 3, Soon) organizes your to-dos.

Everyone’s got a system.

How Are You Going to Manage Everything?

Modern America is busy. Work involves meetings. Anytime, Slack communications arrive. Many software solutions offer a @-mention notification capability. Emails.

Work obligations continue. At home, there are friends, family, bills, chores, and fun things.

How are you going to keep track of it all? Enter the todo list. It’s been around forever. It’s likely to stay forever in some way, shape, or form.

Everybody has their own system. You probably modified something from middle school. Post-its? Maybe it’s an app? Maybe both, another system, or none.

I suggest a format that has worked for me in 15 years of professional and personal life.

Try it out and see if it works for you. If not, no worries. You do you! Hopefully though you can learn a thing or two, and I from you too.

It is merely a Google Doc, yes.

As an example, here’s my personal todo list. Don’t worry, there’s nothing here I don’t mind sharing.

It's a giant list. One task per line. Indent subtasks on a new line. Add or move new tasks as needed.

I recommend using Google Docs. It's easy to use and flexible for structuring.

Prioritizing these tasks is key. I organize them using DWTS (Done, Waiting, Top 3, Soon). Chronologically is good because it implicitly provides both a priority (high, medium, low) and an ETA (now, soon, later).

Yes, I recognize the similarities to DWTS (Dancing With The Stars) TV Show. Although I'm not a fan, it's entertaining. The acronym is easy to remember and adds fun to something dull.

That feeling when you complete everything on your todo list.

What each section contains

Done

All tasks' endpoint. Finish here. Don't worry about it again.

Waiting

You're blocked and can't continue. Blocked tasks usually need someone. Write Person Task so you know who's waiting.

Blocking tasks shouldn't last long. After a while, remind them kindly. If people don't help you out of kindness, they will if you're persistent.

Top 3

Mental focus areas. These can be short- to mid-term goals or recent accomplishments. 2 to 5 is a good number to stay focused.

Top 3 reminds us to prioritize. If they don't fit your Top 3 goals, delay them.

Every 1:1 at work is a project update. Another chance to list your top 3. You should know your Top 3 well and be able to discuss them confidently.

Soon

Here's your short-term to-do list. Rank them from highest to lowest.

I usually subdivide it with empty lines. First is what I have to do today, then week, then month. Subsections can be arranged however you like.

Inventories by Concept

Tasks that aren’t in your short or medium future go into the backlog. 
Eventually you’ll complete these tasks, assign them to someone else, or mark them as “wont’ do” (like done but in another sense).

Backlog tasks don't need to be organized chronologically because their timing and priority may change. Theme-organize them. When planning/strategic, you can choose themes to focus on, so future top 3 topics.

More Tips on Todos

Decide Upon a Morning Goal

Morning routines are universal. Coffee and Wordle. My to-do list is next. Two things:

  • As needed, update the to-do list: based on the events of yesterday and any fresh priorities.

  • Pick a few jobs to complete today: Pick a few goals that you know you can complete today. Push the remainder below and move them to the top of the Soon section. I typically select a few tasks I am confident I can complete along with one stretch task that might extend into tomorrow.

Finally. By setting and achieving small goals every day, you feel accomplished and make steady progress on medium and long-term goals.

Tech companies call this a daily standup. Everyone shares what they did yesterday, what they're doing today, and any blockers. The name comes from a tradition of holding meetings while standing up to keep them short. Even though it's virtual, everyone still wants a quick meeting.

Your team may or may not need daily standups. Make a daily review a habit with your coffee.

Review Backwards & Forwards on a regular basis

While you're updating your to-do list daily, take time to review it.

Review your Done list. Remember things you're proud of and things that could have gone better. Your Done list can be long. Archive it so your main to-do list isn't overwhelming.

Future-gaze. What you considered important may no longer be. Reorder tasks. Backlog grooming is a workplace term.

Backwards-and-forwards reviews aren't required often. Every 3-6 months is fine. They help you see the forest as often as the trees.

Final Remarks

Keep your list simple. Done, Waiting, Top 3, Soon. These are the necessary sections. If you like, add more subsections; otherwise, keep it simple.

I recommend a morning review. By having clear goals and an action-oriented attitude, you'll be successful.

Dung Claire Tran

Dung Claire Tran

3 months ago

Is the future of brand marketing with virtual influencers?

Digital influences that mimic humans are rising.

Lil Miquela has 3M Instagram followers, 3.6M TikTok followers, and 30K Twitter followers. She's been on the covers of Prada, Dior, and Calvin Klein magazines. Miquela released Not Mine in 2017 and launched Hard Feelings at Lollapazoolas this year. This isn't surprising, given the rise of influencer marketing.

This may be unexpected. Miquela's fake. Brud, a Los Angeles startup, produced her in 2016.

Lil Miquela is one of many rising virtual influencers in the new era of social media marketing. She acts like a real person and performs the same tasks as sports stars and models.

The emergence of online influencers

Before 2018, computer-generated characters were rare. Since the virtual human industry boomed, they've appeared in marketing efforts worldwide.

In 2020, the WHO partnered up with Atlanta-based virtual influencer Knox Frost (@knoxfrost) to gather contributions for the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund.

Lu do Magalu (@magazineluiza) has been the virtual spokeswoman for Magalu since 2009, using social media to promote reviews, product recommendations, unboxing videos, and brand updates. Magalu's 10-year profit was $552M.

In 2020, PUMA partnered with Southeast Asia's first virtual model, Maya (@mayaaa.gram). She joined Singaporean actor Tosh Zhang in the PUMA campaign. Local virtual influencer Ava Lee-Graham (@avagram.ai) partnered with retail firm BHG to promote their in-house labels.

Maya and Tosh Zhang in PUMA Rider campaign. Credits to Vulcan Post

In Japan, Imma (@imma.gram) is the face of Nike, PUMA, Dior, Salvatore Ferragamo SpA, and Valentino. Imma's bubblegum pink bob and ultra-fine fashion landed her on the cover of Grazia magazine.

Imma on Grazia cover. Credits to aww.tokyo

Lotte Home Shopping created Lucy (@here.me.lucy) in September 2020. She made her TV debut as a Christmas show host in 2021. Since then, she has 100K Instagram followers and 13K TikTok followers.

Liu Yiexi gained 3 million fans in five days on Douyin, China's TikTok, in 2021. Her two-minute video went viral overnight. She's posted 6 videos and has 830 million Douyin followers.

Liu Yiexi’s video on Douyin. Credits to Ji Yuqiao on Global Times

China's virtual human industry was worth $487 million in 2020, up 70% year over year, and is expected to reach $875.9 million in 2021.

Investors worldwide are interested. Immas creator Aww Inc. raised $1 million from Coral Capital in September 2020, according to Bloomberg. Superplastic Inc., the Vermont-based startup behind influencers Janky and Guggimon, raised $16 million by 2020. Craft Ventures, SV Angels, and Scooter Braun invested. Crunchbase shows the company has raised $47 million.

The industries they represent, including Augmented and Virtual reality, were worth $14.84 billion in 2020 and are projected to reach $454.73 billion by 2030, a CAGR of 40.7%, according to PR Newswire.

Advantages for brands

Forbes suggests brands embrace computer-generated influencers. Examples:

  1. Unlimited creative opportunities: Because brands can personalize everything—from a person's look and activities to the style of their content—virtual influencers may be suited to a brand's needs and personalities.

  2. 100% brand control: Brand managers now have more influence over virtual influencers, so they no longer have to give up and rely on content creators to include brands into their storytelling and style. Virtual influencers can constantly produce social media content to promote a brand's identity and ideals because they are completely scandal-free.

  3. Long-term cost savings: Because virtual influencers are made of pixels, they may be reused endlessly and never lose their beauty. Additionally, they can move anywhere around the world and even into space to fit a brand notion. They are also always available. Additionally, the expense of creating their content will not rise in step with their expanding fan base.

  4. Introduction to the metaverse: Statista reports that 75% of American consumers between the ages of 18 and 25 follow at least one virtual influencer. As a result, marketers that support virtual celebrities may now interact with younger audiences that are more tech-savvy and accustomed to the digital world. Virtual influencers can be included into any digital space, including the metaverse, as they are entirely computer-generated 3D personas. Virtual influencers can provide brands with a smooth transition into this new digital universe to increase brand trust and develop emotional ties, in addition to the young generations' rapid adoption of the metaverse.

  5. Better engagement than in-person influencers: A Hype Auditor study found that online influencers have roughly three times the engagement of their conventional counterparts. Virtual influencers should be used to boost brand engagement even though the data might not accurately reflect the entire sector.

Concerns about influencers created by computers

Virtual influencers could encourage excessive beauty standards in South Korea, which has a $10.7 billion plastic surgery industry.

A classic Korean beauty has a small face, huge eyes, and pale, immaculate skin. Virtual influencers like Lucy have these traits. According to Lee Eun-hee, a professor at Inha University's Department of Consumer Science, this could make national beauty standards more unrealistic, increasing demand for plastic surgery or cosmetic items.

Lucy by Lotte Home Shopping. Credits to Lotte Home Shopping on CNN

Other parts of the world raise issues regarding selling items to consumers who don't recognize the models aren't human and the potential of cultural appropriation when generating influencers of other ethnicities, called digital blackface by some.

Meta, Facebook and Instagram's parent corporation, acknowledges this risk.

“Like any disruptive technology, synthetic media has the potential for both good and harm. Issues of representation, cultural appropriation and expressive liberty are already a growing concern,” the company stated in a blog post. “To help brands navigate the ethical quandaries of this emerging medium and avoid potential hazards, (Meta) is working with partners to develop an ethical framework to guide the use of (virtual influencers).”

Despite theoretical controversies, the industry will likely survive. Companies think virtual influencers are the next frontier in the digital world, which includes the metaverse, virtual reality, and digital currency.

In conclusion

Virtual influencers may garner millions of followers online and help marketers reach youthful audiences. According to a YouGov survey, the real impact of computer-generated influencers is yet unknown because people prefer genuine connections. Virtual characters can supplement brand marketing methods. When brands are metaverse-ready, the author predicts virtual influencer endorsement will continue to expand.

Andy Raskin

Andy Raskin

4 months ago

I've Never Seen a Sales Deck This Good

Photo by Olu Eletu

It’s Zuora’s, and it’s brilliant. Here’s why.

My friend Tim got a sales position at a Series-C software company that garnered $60 million from A-list investors. He's one of the best salespeople I know, yet he emailed me after starting to struggle.

Tim has a few modest clients. “Big companies ignore my pitch”. Tim said.

I love helping teams write the strategic story that drives sales, marketing, and fundraising. Tim and I had lunch at Amber India on Market Street to evaluate his deck.

After a feast, I asked Tim when prospects tune out.

He said, “several slides in”.

Intent on maximizing dining ROI, Tim went back to the buffet for seconds. When he returned, I pulled out my laptop and launched into a Powerpoint presentation.

“What’s this?” Tim asked.

“This,” I said, “is the greatest sales deck I have ever seen.”

Five Essentials of a Great Sales Narrative

I showed Tim a sales slide from IPO-bound Zuora, which sells a SaaS platform for subscription billing. Zuora supports recurring payments (e.g. enterprise software).

Ex-Zuora salesman gave me the deck, saying it helped him close his largest business. (I don't know anyone who works at Zuora.) After reading this, a few Zuora employees contacted me.)

Tim abandoned his naan in a pool of goat curry and took notes while we discussed the Zuora deck.

We remarked how well the deck led prospects through five elements:

(The ex-Zuora salesperson begged me not to release the Zuora deck publicly.) All of the images below originate from Zuora's website and SlideShare channel.)

#1. Name a Significant Change in the World

Don't start a sales presentation with mentioning your product, headquarters, investors, clients, or yourself.

Name the world shift that raises enormous stakes and urgency for your prospect.

Every Zuora sales deck begins with this slide:

Zuora coined the term subscription economy to describe a new market where purchasers prefer regular service payments over outright purchases. Zuora then shows a slide with the change's history.

Most pitch recommendation advises starting with the problem. When you claim a problem, you put prospects on the defensive. They may be unaware of or uncomfortable admitting the situation.

When you highlight a global trend, prospects open up about how it affects them, worries them, and where they see opportunity. You capture their interest. Robert McKee says:

…what attracts human attention is change. …if the temperature around you changes, if the phone rings — that gets your attention. The way in which a story begins is a starting event that creates a moment of change.

#2. Show There’ll Be Winners and Losers

Loss aversion affects all prospects. They avoid a loss by sticking with the status quo rather than risking a gain by changing.

To fight loss aversion, show how the change will create winners and losers. You must show both

  1. that if the prospect can adjust to the modification you mentioned, the outcome will probably be quite favorable; and

  2. That failing to do so is likely to have an unacceptable negative impact on the prospect's future

Zuora shows a mass extinction among Fortune 500 firms.

…and then showing how the “winners” have shifted from product ownership to subscription services. Those include upstarts…

…as well as rejuvenated incumbents:

To illustrate, Zuora asks:

Winners utilize Zuora's subscription service models.

#3. Tease the Promised Land

It's tempting to get into product or service details now. Resist that urge.

Prospects won't understand why product/service details are crucial if you introduce them too soon, therefore they'll tune out.

Instead, providing a teaser image of the happily-ever-after your product/service will assist the prospect reach.

Your Promised Land should be appealing and hard to achieve without support. Otherwise, why does your company exist?

Zuora shows this Promised Land slide after explaining that the subscription economy will have winners and losers.

Not your product or service, but a new future state.

(I asked my friend Tim to describe his Promised Land, and he answered, "You’ll have the most innovative platform for ____." Nope: the Promised Land isn't possessing your technology, but living with it.)

Your Promised Land helps prospects market your solution to coworkers after your sales meeting. Your coworkers will wonder what you do without you. Your prospects are more likely to provide a persuasive answer with a captivating Promised Land.

#4. Present Features as “Mystic Gifts” for Overcoming Difficulties on the Road to the Promised Land

Successful sales decks follow the same format as epic films and fairy tales. Obi Wan gives Luke a lightsaber to help him destroy the Empire. You're Gandalf, helping Frodo destroy the ring. Your prospect is Cinderella, and you're her fairy godmother.

Position your product or service's skills as mystical gifts to aid your main character (prospect) achieve the Promised Land.

Zuora's client record slide is shown above. Without context, even the most technical prospect would be bored.

Positioned in the context of shifting from an “old” to a “new world”, it's the foundation for a compelling conversation with prospects—technical and otherwise—about why traditional solutions can't reach the Promised Land.

#5. Show Proof That You Can Make the Story True.

In this sense, you're promising possibilities that if they follow you, they'll reach the Promised Land.

The journey to the Promised Land is by definition rocky, so prospects are right to be cautious. The final part of the pitch is proof that you can make the story come true.

The most convincing proof is a success story about how you assisted someone comparable to the prospect. Zuora's sales people use a deck of customer success stories, but this one gets the essence.

I particularly appreciate this one from an NCR exec (a Zuora customer), which relates more strongly to Zuora's Promised Land:

Not enough successful customers? Product demos are the next best evidence, but features should always be presented in the context of helping a prospect achieve the Promised Land.

The best sales narrative is one that is told by everyone.

Success rarely comes from a fantastic deck alone. To be effective, salespeople need an organization-wide story about change, Promised Land, and Magic Gifts.

Zuora exemplifies this. If you hear a Zuora executive, including CEO Tien Tzuo, talk, you'll likely hear about the subscription economy and its winners and losers. This is the theme of the company's marketing communications, campaigns, and vision statement.

According to the ex-Zuora salesperson, company-wide story alignment made him successful.

The Zuora marketing folks ran campaigns and branding around this shift to the subscription economy, and [CEO] Tien [Tzuo] talked it up all the time. All of that was like air cover for my in-person sales ground attack. By the time I arrived, prospects were already convinced they had to act. It was the closest thing I’ve ever experienced to sales nirvana.

The largest deal ever

Tim contacted me three weeks after our lunch to tell me that prospects at large organizations were responding well to his new deck, which we modeled on Zuora's framework. First, prospects revealed their obstacles more quickly. The new pitch engages CFOs and other top gatekeepers better, he said.

A week later, Tim emailed that he'd signed his company's biggest agreement.

Next week, we’re headed back to Amber India to celebrate.