An Open Letter To Internet Entrepreneurs Right Now
December 30th 2022

I see potential opportunity and want to ideate in a simple, concise and easy to digest way. I wholly believe I have found a root problem with the internet today & have identified the solution, which will lead way to a vacuum where an abundance of entrepreneurial opportunity will present itself.

The root problem is data & identity ownership. I’ve written some about this here. The TL;DR is the internet is currently architected in a sort of feudal/fiefdom system, and the users are on the verge of demanding a revolution towards a more egalitarian system. Just about every major tech solution is architected such that they’re their own little kingdom with high walls where users don’t own their data & identity. This leads to all sorts of suboptimal outcomes (some are outlined in the linked post).

So that’s the problem 👆

The solution is a decoupled internet architecture. Under this decoupled architecture, what the common user labels an “application” will be squeezed into a mere GUI. The data, identity, and authorization will be the liability of some other entity — which may or may not be the same corporation which provides the GUI, but the key different being interoperability with the broader web of products & services. Meaning, a user has strong ownership over their data/identity such that, for example, if they don’t like the Twitter GUI (or the Twitter policies), then they can merely exit Twitter and enter Nostr (arbitrary example to prove a point) — all the while, maintaining their entire social history/network/messages/etc.

Is this making sense?

The solution here, of a decoupled web architecture, is a platform which, in my opinion, is being spearheaded by Block’s subsidiary TBD 👉 It’s not the only place this paradigm shift is happening, but it’s the one I am most confident in.

Now, I’m not proposing the opportunity lies in decoupling the web. That’s already happening today, and it will take more time for everything to fall into place. The agnostic & open-source platform for the decoupled web isn’t something which is monetized beyond the usual telecommunication strategies — which is to say, the platform is not a money-making machine. Instead, the opportunity is in using the platform to build new products & services on this decoupled web. I strongly believe we’re in for a digital trend towards federation & localization. What if I told you “winner-take-all” in the tech world is out and “small-and-local business” is in? This is what a decoupled architecture w/ data & identity interoperability enables.

The killer feature, in my opinion, which this decouple web enables which the feudal web disabled, is cross-app integrations (I call this “interoperability” because I’m a developer). Since users own their data, they have the discretion of using that data in any app in the marketplace of apps. This means, the app builders don’t have to rely on their competitor exposing the data, which doesn’t happen to the full extent because the financial incentive doesn’t allow it to. Instead, the app builders just have to ask the users, “can we have access to this data?

That’s the thing… there isn’t a lot of room for novel digital innovations. Most of the real-world use cases already have a solution — chat, email, social, content. What the decoupled web architecture does is empower intense competition in the market of apps, which is ultimately good for the user (the sovereign individual).

I have an inkling the monetization opportunity is mostly artistic. Think of apps as “skins” to your underlying data & identity. There may be hundreds of “Twitter’s” in the app marketplace, all with their own artistic designs, and you have to pay the creator to use their designs, and of course you can pay them directly to their decentralized identity using internet money, with no middle man.

Are you seeing the picture yet? 😏