Web 1.0 was the static web, and web 2.0 is the social web, but web 3.0 will be the decentralized web. This will take us from a world in which communities contribute but neither own nor benefit, to a world where they can through collaboration.
By breaking away from traditional business models focused on the benefit of large companies, Web3 offers the possibility of community-centered economies of scale. This collaborative spirit and the associated incentive mechanisms are attracting some of the most talented and ambitious developers today, unlocking projects that were not possible before.
Web3 might not be the final answer, but it’s the current iteration, and innovation isn’t always obvious at first.
Web3, as Ki Chong Tran once said, is “the next big iteration of the Internet, which promises to wrest control from the centralized companies that now dominate the Web.” Web3 collaboration is made possible by decentralized networks that no entity controls.
In closed-source business models, users trust a company to manage funds and perform services. With open source projects, users trust the technology to perform these tasks. In Web2, the largest network wins. In Web3, whoever builds the largest network together wins.
In a decentralized world, not only is participation open to everyone, but the incentive structure is designed so that the larger the number of participants, the more successful everyone is.
Learn from Linux
Linux, which is the origin of the majority of Web2 websites, has changed the paradigm of how the Internet has been developed and provides a clear example of how collaborative processes can drive the future of technology. Linux was not developed by an incumbent tech giant, but by a group of volunteer programmers who have used networking – that is, when people freely share information without central control.
In “The Cathedral & The Bazaar”, author Eric S. Raymond shares his observations on the Linux kernel development process and his experiences in managing open source projects. Raymond describes a time when the popular mindset was to develop complex operating systems carefully coordinated by a small group of people excluding “cathedrals,” which are corporations and financial institutions.
Linux evolved in a completely different way. Raymond explains, “The quality was not maintained by rigid standards or autocracy, but by the naively simple strategy of posting weekly and getting feedback from hundreds of users within days, creating a sort of Darwinian selection on mutations introduced by developers. To almost everyone’s amazement, it worked pretty well. This Linux development model, or “mess” model as Raymond puts it, assumes that “bugs are usually superficial phenomena” when exposed to an army of hackers without significant coordination.