Le Journal du Net is a partner of the Mastercard Innovation Forum 2022, scheduled for December 8 in Paris. CEO of the production house Sixth Wall, created with Mila Kunis, and host of MIF 2022, Lindsey McInerney reveals her vision of the Web of tomorrow to her JDN.
JDN extension. Can you tell us about your background within this Web3 ecosystem?
Lindsey McInerney. I am the co-founder and CEO of Sixth Wall, a media and entertainment company created with Mila Kunis and Lisa Sterbakov. I’m also the founder of Black Sun Labs, which supports brands and celebrities in the Web3 and metaverse. Previously, I was responsible for technology and innovation at Anheuser Busch-Inbev and in 2020 we launched Stella Artois in the metaverse, one of the first brands and undoubtedly the first consumer product in this space. It was very exciting because with the metaverse you think about the virtual world and it’s hard to conceive how to integrate a consumer product into this space.
On December 8, during the Mastercard Innovation Forum, your talk will be titled: “The metaverse will revolutionize entertainment”. Why do you think the entertainment industry needs Web3?
My belief, our belief, is that the entertainment industry will be the factor in bringing the first billion people into the metaverse. Entertainment is what makes things exciting, it’s what makes us human, we are storytellers, we like to connect with each other. If you remember early experiences in Web2, it was mostly about connecting with other people, expressing yourself, sharing music, photos, videos, that’s what made Web2 exciting and my belief is that this is also what will bring people to Web3 .
The Web3 community often engages in a project for financial incentive. Many Web3 entertainment projects have so far struggled to share revenue with their community, if only because of regulation? Which model is right?
It’s a complicated subject. We seek above all to share pleasure, commitment and bring communities closer to creators. For example, on Discord, we give users the opportunity to introduce themselves in front of Hollywood creators, take them behind the scenes of Hollywood’s film and TV creation processes, and break down the barriers between the public and the industry.
The Bitcoin White Paper published in 2008 gave pride of place to the ideas of decentralization and integration of the population excluded from the financial sector. Now we can see the arrival of a large number of large companies in Web3. Are you afraid that Web3 will become what Web2 has become, today mainly in the hands of Gafa?
It’s a possibility and that’s why right now I’m focusing on leaving no one behind and trying to help people understand in simple terms what’s going on in this ecosystem. The slang used can be a stumbling block for many communities, it’s probably to make people feel smart, but it ultimately puts many people off. It’s still early enough to go in different directions, but my feeling is that the more people there are to understand the technology, the more interesting this space will be. My fear is that today there are many people left over from the Web2 who are, perhaps rightly so, skeptical of technology as a whole. These are the types of people I would like to reach the most because they have a very strong opinion about how to make the internet better. I would like these voices to contribute to this space because the reality is that this ecosystem will go on with or without them. We really need critical voices at this table.
At the time of this interview, you are in New York, a state with stricter legislation on this ecosystem than, say, California. The United States itself has different legislation from that of the European Union. Could these differences in the perception of regulators act as a brake on innovation?
I really hope not because encryption is the future of innovation. I think one of the challenges for cryptocurrencies will be to be seen more like software than a currency. There are huge opportunities right now for visionary countries to really delve into this and create benevolent regulation to become a hub of innovation and technology. It would be very disappointing if regulators didn’t understand how important we are at an important time. Right now, the entire industry is crying out for clarity, and for that, as quickly as possible. Everyone I’ve met in this space wants to be compliant and follow the rules, but it takes the clearest picture possible so we can continue to innovate in a healthy and safe environment for the consumer.
successful entrepreneur, Lindsey McInerney co-founded Sixth Wall, the digital arm and subsidiary of Mila Kunis’ Orchard production company. Originally the arrival of Stella Artois in the metaverse in 2020 when she was chief innovation officer of the Anheuser Busch-Inbev group, she is considered one of the most influential people in the Web3 ecosystem in the world. Notably, she was elected one of 22 LGBTQ+ personalities initiating change during the 2022 Adweek Pride Stars.