It doesn't matter whether or not you believe in Mark Zuckerberg's vision for the metaverse, or whether or not Facebook can be the company to capitalize on platform shift to the metaverse.
But can you remember the last time you watched one of the largest companies in the world take a bet this big? The rest of Microsoft, Google, Apple, and Amazon are no longer founder-led and lack some of the big ideas that Facebook (Meta) put out yesterday. Many venture capitalists are reluctant (and rightly so) to make the same huge investments in deep tech and research that might never pay off.
Facebook's approach to platform building is most likely doomed from the start – platforms rarely arise from top-down thinking within big companies, but instead from upstarts and companies that are purpose-built for the next generation. But there's no doubt that significant research will come out of Facebook's $10B per year Facebook Reality Labs (FRL).
Some of the technology looked like it was straight from the future. A wearable that senses hand movements by sensing the nerve activity in a person's wrist (video).
Photo-realistic avatars and real-time rendering of virtual environments that let you interact with real objects.
As much as the last Apple keynote unveiled some awesome new products, it feels like we're stuck in a local optimum. Faster laptops, better specs, and more ports. So it's exciting when someone puts forward a vision for the future that's different than the status quo.