Moving from Web 2 to Web 3
My family and I (my wife Salome and two kids, Tengo & Mariam) came to the Netherlands in August 2016. Mariam was 2 years old and Tengo 6. It was pretty challenging to change our environment and move to a country where we knew little to nothing.
Before that, we lived in Tbilisi, Georgia, a warm country of wine, delicious food, and people with high temperaments. We lived in a beautiful house. Relatives and friends were always there to help out, and there were no essential challenges whatsoever.
We moved to the Netherlands, a country of windmills, tulips, and cannabis. It was our basic knowledge, but it turned out to be different from our primary perspective. The Netherlands is a vibrant country with diverse people and traditions. Cannabis, windmills, and tulips are just an unimportant % of the diverse local culture.
It was very challenging for us to feel at home in the Netherlands. It took a minimum of 3 years to feel comfortable with the people and culture. Our decision became a life-changing experience for the better future.
It became a journey to find new friends which led to creation of Stack.
This story is not about my family or moving to the Netherlands, but rather comparing moving from Web 2 (Georgia) to Web 3 (The Netherlands).
Web 2 (Georgia), where everything we stumbled upon was centralized and fighting for our attention, distractions were distressing us involuntarily. The absolute lack of control over how we spent our time resulted in toxic procrastination and anxiety. In addition, the centralized government of the country left us with the feeling of little to no power of making meaningful changes for the better future.
In Web 3 (The Netherlands), you are the owner of your decisions and are responsible for the consequences. Therefore, the culture pushes you to be independent and not rely on one single entity. At the same time, it guides you to contribute to the community and be part of something bigger.
And don’t get me wrong I love my country and culture, Georgia is a beautiful place. I appreciate web 2 as well, but I have to be honest and look at things as they are. Moving from (Georgia) Web 2 to (the Netherlands) Web 3 is not easy and sometimes feels wrong and frightening, but as soon as you understand the culture and the narrative, you will feel at home.
The Best Path to Long-Term Change Is Slow, Simple, and Boring
Transition to Web 3 will not happen in a month or a year but gradually, with incremental steps. You have to find a gradual transition and change in your daily life and perspectives. You have to lose your knowledge of how things work and free up mental space for the unknown.
The transition from Web 2 to Web 3 will need skills and tools to adjust your daily life without destroying previous habits.
What are the main habits in Web 2?
- We pay with credit cards and currencies that our governments want us to use.
- We trust other entities to keep our money and make decisions for us
- We have no say in most of the decisions which make a significant influence on our daily life
- We do not own anything digital; rather trust others to hold them for us
In Web 2, most of the broadly used digital products are free, and the old line of “If you are not paying for the product, you are the product” has probably never been so accurate.
What are the main habits of Web 3?
- We pay from personally owned electronic wallets with currencies that we choose
- We do not need to trust entities to keep our money and make decisions for us
- DAO (Decentralised autonomous organization) We have a say in the decisions which make a significant influence on our daily life.
- We own everything digital we pay for, and we can prove it.
In Web 3 personal information is privately owned by you. Its goal is to give users control over their data and monetization. Users can decide if and when they want to monetize it, instead of Web 2 companies collecting it for free.
These 4 points are frightening to adapt as it was frightening for us to move from Georgia to the Netherlands. Some call the stage we’re arriving at Web 2.5, a liminal space where it feels like things are changing, but not fast enough for our web experience to feel broadly different. So I will use Web 2.5 as a transitional term from Web 2 to Web 3.
When Web 3 technologies are disclosed to you is at first it might be difficult to imagine real-life examples that will affect your daily life. One example is how one person shows how DAO (decentralized autonomous organization) does not need full adoption to be useful for ordinary people. For instance, you could set up a DAO focused on neighborhoods to keep communal tasks in order.
“It doesn’t need to have mainstream adoption to have success. You could set up a DAO focused on keeping your road clean and making your neighbors engage and collectively invest & benefit. If the street stays clean then it’s a success.”
But things in Web 3 are not as safe and straightforward as we wished them to be. Decentralization and unregulated environments could lead to a hybrid form of untrackable misinformation. Decentralized funding could lead to flourishing private communities with the power to drive misinformation and conspiracy theories. So if you thought that these times were crazy, get ready for even more.
“Funny, how just when you think life can’t possibly get any worse it suddenly does” - Douglas Adams
People worldwide are demanding from Web 2 companies more transparency, regulation, and accountability. But, unfortunately, I’m being honest, all of these are much harder to achieve in the Web 2.5 world. But I am an optimistic believer. I believe in humans. I believe that online living can be pleasant and joyful if we are equipped with the right tools and mindful of our online presence.
Transitioning from Web 2 to Web 2.5 or Web 3 is a change needed for a better and more diverse future. This is the future I chose with my family when we moved from Georgia to the Netherlands. It doesn’t mean that we will never go back or not appreciate all its best characteristics, but progress is impossible without a change.
“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change minds cannot change anything” - George Bernard Shaw
At Stack, we believe that a new model of Web 3 companies helps support and reward creators' hard work and by giving agency to people, the internet of the future can feel like home.
If you are part of this journey, you believe in this too!