Month: January 2022

A hospitable metaverse requires the basic building blocks of virtual life

Meta’s stated mission is to seamlessly connect disparate environments like work, social media and gaming so it can allow people to effectively live and work in the virtual space.

This will clearly have a significant and sustained impact on our networks. We aren’t just talking about a need to be constantly connected, without glitches; we’re talking about fully immersive content streaming seamlessly, in 4K and 8K, with low latency and minimal lag.

We will need to be able to go from one experience to another without being distracted by reboots, operating system or application loading times, network congestion, or anything else that suggests we’re not in a seamless virtual environment.

Accomplishing all of this makes virtual life seem as challenging as moving to Mars.

Yet, it is possible to make the journey to our new virtual world frictionless. We just need to make sure we are putting in place the basic building blocks needed for virtual life.

Starting today, we have the opportunity to make the metaverse habitable and hospitable, a place where our virtual selves can thrive, not just survive.

Metaverse – Tương lai của internet, vùng đất mới cho marketers? |  Advertising Vietnam

Bandwidth is key

We’ll need a lot of bandwidth to make this work at scale. Much like water is a building block of life, there is no way we could function in a metaverse without bandwidth. We need high-performance connectivity capable of supporting the different demands of bandwidth-hungry applications in the metaverse.

That bandwidth must be widespread and affordable, too, to better support our underserved and under-connected communities. Visions of a virtual world often center on equal opportunities for everyone to create and explore. For that to happen inside the metaverse, we need to ensure a level playing field of connectivity in the real world first.

Low latency is as critical as air

Bandwidth is one thing, but if it takes the avatar we’re engaging with several seconds to respond – or worse – then meta life is suddenly annoying and inhospitable. We already find it frustrating to have lag when streaming live sports or gaming online, and this will only be exacerbated when we are trying to fully immerse ourselves into a virtual world.

Technology such as edge computing – which can reduce network latency and improve reliability – will become increasingly important in networks that require real-time responsiveness.

Virtual hardware: The infrastructure of the metaverse

We’ve all been there: Hardware breaks, and we need to fix it. In that time, we need to be able to survive without whatever function that piece of hardware operated. But this can’t happen in a metaverse – or at least it shouldn’t, because we should have utilized virtualized functions for much of what the metaverse requires.

Deploying infrastructure functions using virtual machine and container concepts where they, like apps, can be deployed across the network at scale and in real time will be key. Classic network functions such as routing and switching will need to be fully virtualized. They need to be easily updated, upgraded, patched and deployed.

Software intelligence: The mayor of the metaverse

We need the metaverse to be software-defined to enable it to act quickly and seamlessly. It’s the equivalent of a local government or council being able to repair our roads, remove the trash and control traffic flows in real time. This generally happens today in real life without us knowing, until it stops working and we wonder what happened.

Automation and AI, powered by programmable software capabilities, hold the key to helping speed the delivery of network rollouts, making them more accessible and adaptive.

An adaptive virtual programmable network will be able to identify a fault and self-heal, without the need for a physical truck-roll. It can draw resources – compute, storage, bandwidth – from underutilized areas to ramp up other parts of the metaverse seeing increased activity, and revert automatically when required.

Over the next several years, we will hear a lot of talk about the metaverse, but any innovation in use cases will not happen without the required network innovations. An adaptive network that provides software-controlled, high-capacity, low-latency connectivity will be even more important of a foundation for the future metaverse than it is for today’s cloud apps.

The building blocks are already there for the artist formerly known as Facebook to build a hospitable metaverse, and as those technologies continue to evolve – driven by an expected uptick in innovation among tech developers looking to capitalize on the metaverse emergence – Meta will have more world-building tools to work with.

Simply put, it’s not easy to build a virtual universe, but it’s certainly something that we can bring closer to reality through proper network infrastructure investments and innovation.

Is raising money catastrophically challenging for female founders?

“Raising money is catastrophically challenging for female founders, and even harder for Black female founders.”

In the world of technology, we thirst to be a part of the next digital product that benefits from first-mover status and shapes what’s to come at an industry level. This is especially relevant in regard to seeking capital. And while we’ve witnessed some impressive transformations in the developer tools space, with VC-backed funding following suit, sometimes I worry we’re at risk of conflating technological growth for the social progress we really need. Women are still behind. Why?

There are some great female developer founders, like Nora Jones of Jeli, Window Snyder of Thistle Technologies, Edith Harbaugh of Launch Darkly, and Jean Yang of Akita Software, to name a few. There are also some amazing female angels and VCs. These are women I look to as leaders in the industry — those overcoming the barriers of either giving or seeking funding while remaining authentic to who they are.

Limited partners should back more female VCs, and funds should offer women the same graces and latitude that are given to men.

Shanea Leven

Despite those of us trying to make a name for ourselves in dev tools, the reality is the dev tools space is led predominately by white men. For those of us who don’t meet those gender and racial criteria, simply thriving requires more attention to detail, energy and time than is often sustainable.

We need to level-set, acknowledging the current ways in which women must fight to thrive. We need to ask some tough questions.

How to Raise Money to Start a Business - 4 Methods

The fight to be taken seriously

We want to be able to fundraise from other people that look like us, right? But many female investors are fighting just as hard to be taken seriously as the female founders they want to support. If we’re all facing the same social constraint — fighting to prove our legitimacy — we’re probably maintaining the same aversion to risk.

This creates an invalidating cycle in which female investors take fewer risks, particularly in regard to investing in female founders, and garner fewer funds than their male counterparts. How can we break this cycle?

Limited partners should back more female VCs, and funds should offer women the same graces and latitude that are given to men. Female VCs should be promoted to partnerships, where they will be able to write meaningful checks quickly.

I’ve personally witnessed the extraordinary results of empowered female angels and VCs connecting with others to support female founders; the community and sense of sisterhood they inspire have the potential to change the industry. This is what we need to latch on to and scale.

The fight to overcome ingrained psychological barriers

Today, there exists a widespread belief that women are less aggressive in the process of confirming a round, both as founders and VCs. As a female founder, I’ve been told male counterparts are capable of committing larger funds, faster — that women appear to be more risk-averse, often moving slower through the process and requesting less.

So, what’s causing the pause among women? It’s likely the most obvious answer: We are, in fact, facing a greater risk of rejection in the funding process. We also tend to have fewer connections into the VC community, where the “rules of VC” — what to do, say, and how to act — are often confusing and counterintuitive. Nothing like the clear guidelines on writing a good piece of code.

The fight against the numbers

Imagine you have 1,000 potential investors and only 10% of them focus on companies offering technologies like yours. Then, just 2% of them invest in companies at your stage and 5% of those share your same philosophies — and you’re only able to access yet another percentage of those. Now, imagine you’re stepping into those discussions with the understanding that we are ultimately people pitching to people, so you must “click” in an often all-too-brief interaction.

You’ll be committed in business to this investor for the next decade or more. So, while you’re attempting to navigate the numbers — the odds against you — you’re also trying to figure out a VC’s history, personality and perspectives. How have they been burned before? Can we be empathic to their businesses of the past and assure them our business is a worthy investment … all in 30 minutes or less?

So, how can women successfully fight for funding?

The simple answer: We cannot do it alone. Like most professional endeavors, seeking funding is ideally bolstered by a social network. While I wish I could say women intrinsically have everything they need to excel in the world of venture capital, I believe we require allies and support beyond basic networking and spanning gender and race.

We need everyone who has a stake in the game to join the fight for women, with focused attention on the challenges encountered by women of color. We must acknowledge the potential danger to female founders and investors in working from a survival mindset and provide them the coaching and guidance they need to step into funding discussions practiced, prepared and able to speak on behalf of a company with greater strength.

Said simply, we need to trust in the ability and potential of women on both ends of the deal, with no strings attached.

Scroll to top