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COLUMN: The Metaverse Is The Next Challenge To Your Business Model

The Channel Company Founding Partner Robert Faletra says the Metaverse is coming and it is going to change everything, slowly at first and then all of a sudden.

Facebook’s struggles in its most recent quarter, while in part due to Apple’s changes in the operating system that easily allow us to not be tracked by the social media giant, doesn’t tell the entire story as to why it faces headwinds. And there is a lesson here for all of us.

If there has ever been an industry where creative destruction wipes out entire categories of businesses on a regular basis, it’s high tech and all of the industries that feed into it.

I’m not arguing that Facebook, now Meta, is going down, but it’s an example of yet another big player facing a critical juncture.

[RELATED: 5 Companies That Are Building The Metaverse]

And all of us that operate in the strategic service provider world (The Channel Company being the feeder to it) need to do the same. And do so constantly.

No part of the industry is more adept at adjusting and morphing to new models than the strategic service provider community. Having been formed in the 1980s with the introduction of the Apple and IBM personal computers, it’s incredible that the community is still intact 40 years later. But it does look very different and has experienced many failures along the way.

I could fill the rest of this column just listing the oncehousehold names that no longer exist. But when you look at the survivors and how they’ve morphed several times, you can learn from their success.

Every company, yours included, at some point faces potential death. If you’re fortunate enough to be very large, then it’s a slow death at first. As Hemingway said when asked how it was that he went bankrupt, he responded, “Two ways. Slowly at first and then all of a sudden.”

Microsoft is a great example. When Netscape came out with the first internet browser and began to move against Microsoft with other products, the Redmond warriors were asleep at the switch and thought the model they had created would last forever. But Bill Gates returned from his annual think week and laid down the gauntlet that everything the company did moving forward would be internet-based. Soon Netscape was a distant memory. Had he not done so, Microsoft would have vanished.

Facebook’s market is shifting underneath it, and Mark Zuckerberg realizes it. He was later in doing so than he would have liked because it’s hard to shift away from a model that seems unstoppable. But he realizes it now and the future challenge is redirecting the business to move to the Metaverse. Time will tell whether he will be successful.

But it’s a lesson for all of us that it’s important to be reading the market and be morphing the business constantly to stay current. For strategic service providers, it’s also important to understand your customers’ business models and be helping them think through how they need to shift and use technology to do so.

Is the Metaverse the next opportunity and challenge to your business model? It may be hard to imagine where it is going just yet, but the likelihood is it is going to be a very large shift in how we use and work within the internet. The Metaverse could change everything.

We don’t know all the forms it will take just yet, but my advice is to watch the gaming community because these users are at the forefront of using virtual reality and technology to interact with each other.

Videoconferencing is nice, but would I feel more engaged in a virtual meeting if I put a headset on and I’m sitting next to others in a conference room? If I gain the ability to walk to the whiteboard and sketch my idea, would that be more productive?

It’s very early but the Metaverse is coming and it is going to change everything, slowly at first and then all of a sudden. So get prepared.

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