I’m a noob in the Web3 world. To be precise, I am a novice who is still struggling in the mobile Internet world.
For example, because I don’t understand the rules of “Double 11”, I have not participated in the e-commerce promotion in my 26 years of life; for example, a few months ago, I opened a QQ Music membership, only to find out that the songs I want to listen to are paid separately ‘s digital album, and gave up both together in anger; a week ago, I also uninstalled Douyin and Xiaohongshu.
I was pushed into the world of Web3.
A few days ago, my boss recommended a Web3 coffee shop to me, and told me with a smile, let’s have a cup of coffee and follow the trends of the technology industry by the way.
One weekend, I broke into an unfamiliar world and felt a different kind of myself. For the first two hours, I was as jerky as a child, trying to understand the mixed Chinese and English languages on the scene. In a few hours, I not only expressed my personal opinions passionately in the event, but also began to conduct “authoritative” popular science with friends outside the venue online.
Growth is often in an instant.
The cafe recommended by the boss is located in Zhongguancun.
When I entered the name of the coffee shop on the Gaode map: “Meta Space” (translated as Meta Space in Chinese), and when I saw the location, I expected that things were not simple. For example, in Chaoyang, I have to take a taxi for an hour to drink coffee in the Web3 world. And, that coffee shop may represent a continuation of some kind of enthusiasm and hope.
Zhongguancun has a close relationship with the Internet of Science and Technology. In the 1980s, the scientific and technological personnel went out of the tide and walked out of Liu Chuanzhi and Lenovo. In the 1990s, Ying Haiwei erected huge billboards on the streets of Zhongguancun, “How far is the Chinese from the information highway – 1500 meters north”, and the era of personal surfing began.
Of course, for the “post-95” me, the latest story about Zhongguancun has to be the wave of Internet entrepreneurship that emerged in 2014.
In Zhongguancun, a pedestrian street next to “Haidian Book City” was renamed “Chuangye Street”. Nearly 10 entrepreneurial coffee shops were crowded into the 200-meter street, imitating the predecessors of entrepreneurial-themed cafes that opened here in 2011: Garage Coffee and 3w coffee.
The coffee in Zhongguancun has a magic power.
Different from the quietness of the nearby book city, in those years, entrepreneurs gathered around the coffee table and discussed their entrepreneurial projects fiercely. Talk about cooperation. To this end, Su Di, the founder of Garage Coffee, deliberately chose the store address on the second floor to isolate couples who would break in unintentionally.
But the excitement that belongs to Venture Street did not last forever. Later, the big factories moved to Houchang Village further north, and the entrepreneurs either moved into their own offices or dissipated in large and small cubicles. The glory of Zhongguancun has become a past event used to inspire future generations.
The trend of Web3 seems to bring people together in Zhongguancun again.
However, when the taxi took me to the door of Meta Space Cafe at noon on that weekend, my heart was full of doubts. Emma electric cars and Lianjia stores are full of a strong atmosphere of life.
I checked, it is 3 kilometers from Zhongguancun Chuangye Street. This is a short distance, and the taxi is only the starting price, and you need to sweat a little when you walk. Just like in Meta Space, the Web3 world has a close relationship with the old entrepreneurial street.
The warm atmosphere that once belonged to the cafes on Entrepreneur Street has been replicated here.
Before entering the door, I heard a series of English floating out from the inside. It was a foreign friend who was passionately describing the vast world of Web3 to his companions in English, and there was a lot to do.
However, due to the limited English level, I did not understand many professional sentences, and I could only guess the general content from a few scattered words. I sent WeChat to my colleagues with a guilty conscience: the poor English level limits this observation.
I am terrified. Before participating in the event, I urgently learned about Web3 for a few days, but I was still lost in a series of terminology explanations such as Dao, NFT, and Token. I couldn’t explain “what Web3 is” in my own words until I got into a taxi.
Now, I’m going to bite the bullet and walk in.
Enthusiasm came. According to the requirements of epidemic prevention and control, there is naturally a table at the entrance of the store for temperature measurement. However, there are two QR codes posted side by side, one is Beijing Healthbao, and the other is the WeChat of the coffee shop owner. Anyone who enters the coffee shop can add him and start WeChat chat.
The chat actually happened earlier, though.
Before I could close the interface of Beijing Healthbao, the boss had already greeted me warmly and asked me the purpose of my visit by the way.
“Come to the event.” I tried to hide my guilty conscience. In fact, I only know that there are events held here every week, as for the content of the event and who is the organizer, I have no idea.
I “mixed” in the past.
The boss told me that the organizer of the event will not be able to come until about two o’clock, so wait.There are people waiting. I looked along, and about ten customers were scattered around, but only about half of them had coffee in front of them. Later, I saw many people bring their own mineral water to participate in the event. It turns out that Web3 also has a very real side. They also calculate the cost of participating in an event, just like those of us who live in the world of Web1 and Web2. .
As the host’s coffee shop owner, he is polite and warm throughout the whole process.
In order to take care of the obvious height difference between me and him, he will keep his body slightly bowed and his head slightly lowered when talking, which not only ensures the eyes of both parties are level-by-sight, but also helps to talk softly without disturbing others. Throughout the entire communication, he did not hint at ordering at all.
The drunkard’s intention is not in wine.
The owner of any entrepreneurial-themed coffee shop will not consider himself a practitioner in the catering industry. Many years ago, Su Di, founder of Garage Coffee, once said that selling coffee by himself, a slight loss or a flat rate is a good result. Naturally, you don’t have to care too much about how the coffee tastes.What they have to do is start-up incubation. In addition to the founder of 3w coffee, Xu Dandan’s other identity is the founder of Lagou.com. When he founded 3w, he received seed capital from 180 Internet investors and executives including Xu Xiaoping and Shen Nanpeng.
Meta Space is apparently following a similar path.
The official introduction reads: Committed to the development of the Web3 industry, providing a sufficient platform for you to enter the next generation of Internet through seed investment, roadshows, and exchanges.
About 10 minutes before the start of the event, more and more people entered the venue. There are college students who look immature, middle-aged people with calm faces, even gray-haired old men and aunts who wear glasses and look at their mobile phones.
I was clearly wrong.
“Who are you in the group?” Everyone was greeting with this sentence, it turned out to be a meeting of netizens. In the chat about revealing their identities, I heard that some people are students who have not yet graduated, some people are born in the 1980s from a big factory, and there is also a product manager who came from Wuxi for this event.
As for the two old men, after they pushed the door in, they didn’t introduce themselves, but many of the people present nodded slightly, showing that they were not low in the group.
Auntie sat next to me, took out her mobile phone and played “Happy Xiaoxiaole”. By the way, she asked me, “Who are you in the group?” I only dared to answer vaguely: “I decided to come here temporarily.” Auntie Nodding his head, he continued to bow his head to eliminate joy.
I am reminded of a topic discussed in the office. In Beijing, never underestimate an ordinary-looking old man.It is said that when Internet finance and blockchain were hot in the past few years, there were always elderly people in offline activities. In this city, there may be many elderly people who love to learn.
In order to cover up my guilty conscience, I went to the front desk and used the order to miss out on this self-confessed greeting.
After scanning the code to enter the menu, I found that in addition to coffee, there are dozens of foreign wines and beers. Obviously, this is a shop that is morning C and night A. From the perspective of extremely fair pricing, it should not make money by running water: there are not many types of coffee, most of which are basic types such as American, latte, and mocha. The most expensive is Oiran, 55 yuan/pot, and the cheapest is Espresso, 18 pieces/cup.
After ordering coffee, I quickly experienced another feature of entrepreneurial cafes: tight locations. Because of a cup of Americano coffee for 22 yuan, I lost the position beside my aunt “Xiao Xiaole”.
A middle-aged man took my place, and I stood behind him for a full minute without him noticing.
He was immersed in the communication with the girl around him, “There are too many fake news in the market now, and if you are not careful, you will be fooled.”
In the end, the two scanned the code and agreed to make money together in the future, and an alliance was reached.
The event has begun. The host is called Firth, and he introduced himself as the founder of MarsDao. In the Web3 world, Dao is regarded as a decentralized organization, and its biggest feature is anti-fragility. A typical example is that even if the founder of Dao disappears, the normal operation of Dao can still be maintained. This is a kind of utopian future, and MarsDao is trying to form such an organization, which sounds romantic and grand.
Figure: Comparison of organizational characteristics of DAO and Company
Firth introduced the guests in turn, including technical masters, senior product managers and many pioneers in Web3. Everyone has a name and a surname, which made me nervous again, for fear that he would ask me: Who are you?
Fortunately, after introducing several “key guests”, he entered the next session.
“Everyone can sit here, they have already been screened.”
“We’ve already chatted on Twitter Space, and most people are still in the core group to participate in this event.” (Well, I’m not, I don’t. I’m even more guilty.)
He also introduced three parts of the day’s activities:
Dao’s Governance Assistance Tool Web3 World’s MCN Web3 Education (later I understood, that is knowledge payment)
Since someone needs to leave the field early, the knowledge payment originally placed in the first part is mentioned at the beginning – this is the fastest and most direct way to realize. Sure enough, just like idol dramas are used to filming kissing scenes first to make the actors familiar with each other, the topic of money is also the most exciting at the event.
How to set up courses in China to make money, everyone began to argue vigorously around this topic.
“We should create a systematic learning environment to avoid the half-understanding caused by fragmented learning. At present, a large number of people in China do not have a complete concept of Web3.” A participant proposed. Although I don’t understand, I suspect he doesn’t either.
Someone mentioned two Douyin accounts about Web3, Metaverse Princess and Leek Diary. What they have in common are high fan stickiness and short starting time. But there is no consensus on their opinions on the scene.
While listening to their arguments, I found two accounts, two accounts with basic knowledge of popular science fragmentation, mainly to attract traffic.
Figure: Screenshot of Metaverse Princess Content
The first cold session came unexpectedly.
“I’m asking a relatively rookie question, who will this paid knowledge course be sold to, and what practical value can this course bring to people?” A gray-haired middle-aged man picked up the microphone and asked. , his eyebrows were slightly wrinkled, and his eyes were full of puzzlement. It is said that he was a “great god” and came here because he heard the content of MarsDao in Twitter Space.
The scene fell into a brief silence. The people who had just had a heated discussion looked at each other, and then quickly turned their eyes away, which was an expression of inability to answer.
A few seconds later, a girl replied: “Many people in China still don’t know how to build wallets and join Dao. These can all become a systematic learning process.”
Another moment of silence.
I pulled out my phone and started google how to build a Web3 wallet. A software called Little Fox Wallet jumped out, and according to the instructions, I could jump to Ethereum to build a wallet.
I get it, the first threshold for Web3 turned out to be having a good VPN. When I reached the door, I straightened my back, could look directly at each speaker, and continued to respond with micro-expressions such as nodding, smiling, or frowning in response. That’s a sign of self-confidence.
The second cold session was not too late.
This time around the theme is: who will be in charge of Dao, who will supervise Dao, and how to implement the “private property belongs to individuals” advocated by Web3. The answers vary. Some people compare Dao with the Douban group, and some people understand digital collections as music albums in QQ Music.These obviously don’t really live up to the decentralization that Web3 promises, but the masses are clearly more accustomed to looking for references in the familiar.
Figure: Global core DAO organizations (involving social, collectors, media, services, etc.)
“Has anyone here actually participated in the operation of Dao? Ask him to explain the details of the operation process.”
The questioner just now, ask again. The scene fell silent again.
And now I’m listening to the speeches and happily surfing on Twitter, which is where the people who were there first gathered. Obviously, at this moment, I have passed the second threshold of Web3: have basic English translation ability, or right-click on a webpage to open a function called Google Translate.
The last part of the event is free chat.
I had a one-on-one chat with Firth, the organizer’s representative, and added him on WeChat.
Firth is a serial entrepreneur. Since 2015, he has entered various fields such as p2p, sharing economy, blockchain, social e-commerce, X to earn (similar to Qutoutiao to make money by brushing videos), MCN, and Douyin live broadcast.
Perhaps I showed a skeptical look, and Firth explained eagerly: Every project of mine made money, and there was no loss. No more words after that.
His interest was rekindled when the conversation turned to Web3.
I asked him how he saw the frequent sales of digital collections by major domestic manufacturers. For example, when Tencent’s magic core business was shut down, when BilibIli began to issue digital collections, he smiled: “At present, only what we see now can be called NFTs. These, and the rest, are weird castrations.” He was referring to the bored apes, black cats and moonbirds hanging on the coffee shop walls, which were issued by the international Web3 community.
Due to policy and other reasons, freedom-oriented decentralization is difficult to achieve in China, and that is the charm of Web3. The star project STEPN was once called the “Light of Chinese” by insiders. This is one of the most popular game applications in Web3. The founder, Jerry, grew up in the mainland and then moved to Australia. In 2021, he developed STEPN with his neighbors, played with shoes and issued tokens in the X to Earn model, and grew into a unicorn in just 5 months. The market value once exceeded 1 billion US dollars, and was received by Redshirt, Binance, etc. favored by capital.
But regulation soon came. In the end, STEPN closed the account in mainland China, and Web3 was also considered to be an object not protected by current domestic laws.
“Web3 is dead in China.” Firth didn’t show much emotional fluctuation when he said this.
But he is clearly a strong believer in web3. When I asked about the compliance and popularization of Web3 in China, he said word by word: “Web3 is there, whether you use it or not, it will definitely appear. All those who need the Internet of Value will definitely need it. “
What are the usage scenarios and target users of Web3? I continued to ask.
“Everyone who has a demand for the Internet of Value and a demand for the Internet of Value.” Almost the same expression, he used it in his answer to “web3 usage scenarios and target users”.
The tone is still firm, but there is no specific content.
Dialogue like this reminds me of Waiting for Godot. In Beckett’s play, two rural homeless wait for Godot by the roadside. Although it was not known when Godot would come and why Godot came, they waited enthusiastically.
Figure: “Waiting for Godot” stills
I didn’t know for a moment how to look at the dreamer in front of me.
There is no doubt that Firth has a lot of energy. In addition to work, he will continue to chat with international Web3 fans at Twitter Space in the evening, starting at 12:00 pm and ending at 5:00 am. On July 27, MarsDao, which he founded, was also rated as one of the top 50 Web3 models in the world by Twitter space.
Before entering Web3, Firth’s previous entrepreneurial project was to do Douyin live e-commerce in Chongqing. The team is still there, but Firth came to Beijing on his own, rented an office near the Lama Temple, and started a new project.
When adding friends, I saw his WeChat signature: Everyone has a fire in their hearts, and people passing by can only see smoke.
Similar expressions are used by geeks and liars alike. In fact, the mix of these two temperaments is a trait that almost all tech entrepreneurs have in their early days.
Wang Jian, the person in charge of Alibaba Cloud, was once suspected of being a liar. Every year, he “fudges” Jack Ma with 1 billion yuan. Hongxin even tricked the “chip leader” Jiang Shangyi into returning to China, and brushed his face to get a replica machine from TSMC.
Even Firth himself joked that the five hours in Twitter Space every night was “blow water” time.
Back in the real city of Beijing, cafes have become the first stop for ordinary entrepreneurs.
Many years ago on Zhongguancun Chuangye Street, some entrepreneurs closed down their companies in their hometown in Anhui and squatted in coffee shops looking for venture capital opportunities.
At that time, the atmosphere of Entrepreneur Street was warm and difficult. Some people work all day at a coffee shop, drinking only the ice water that the shop provides for free.
Compared to those painful and happy entrepreneurial stories, at least that weekend, I smelled a different breath in Meta Space. Here, there are fewer people holding computers than ordering coffee, and some are even playing games.
This may depend on the good performance of Web3 in the capital market.
According to a number of participants at the scene, the financing environment of Web3 today is better than that of the mobile Internet. A team of several people and a very basic project can raise hundreds of millions of dollars, and MarsDao, the organizer of the day’s event, has received the first expensive informal financing five months after its founding.
In addition, according to the podcast “Late Chat”, an enthusiast who has participated in the co-construction of DAO can get an hourly salary in US dollars through regular maintenance work every Sunday morning, and finally earn more than 10,000 yuan per month.
It’s just that these turbulent numbers have nothing to do with me for the time being.
The day’s event ended at 5:30 pm, and 8 hours later at 2:00 am, I was still bouncing around on the yoga mat at home, trying to metabolize the stamina of the American cup, which actually means that the coffee beans are fresh enough. But right now, I need to get away from fresh beans and heat and wait for sleep and the next normal Monday.
Posted by:CoinYuppie，Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/i-attended-a-4-hour-crash-web3-event-in-zhongguancun-2/
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