Transcription Episode 56

Hello everyone and welcome to another episode of Living on Blockchain. Today we are speaking to Kapil. Kapil is from Meta Studios and these guys are doing a wonderful job in the metaverse space in India.

He’s quite a hustler himself by having made the leap from Web 2 to Web 3. A very insightful conversation, especially from people who are perhaps sitting on the fence and thinking whether Web 3 is for them and whether the hustle and the grind is for them. We talked a lot about the metaverse space trends in the industry currently and we also touched about on mental health, which is one of my favorite topics to talk about, especially for entrepreneurs. I can’t wait for you guys to hear this.

Let’s deep dive right in. Hi Kapil, thank you so much for taking out the time to speak to me today. How are you doing? I’m doing good, Tarusha.

Thank you for having me. It’s a pleasure to be here. I’m glad that you could make the time.

So for our listeners, could you give us a little bit of background about yourself and how you got into Web 3, what you’re doing currently? Sure. So I’m the CEO of Meta Studios. We are a game development and metaverse experience development company.

Recently, we were awarded as the metaverse startup of the year by Entrepreneur. We have a team spread across India. We work remotely.

Don’t believe in the concept of office anymore. So not efficient. The traveling time is a pain.

So what we do, we have been working with clients across the globe. We work with consultants and their set of clients, again, across the globe and also forging partnerships with the hardware manufacturers, VR developers, as well as some hand tracking companies as well. And of course, with the gaming companies being their extended arm to develop games for them.

So in-house IPs, as well as developing games and immersive experience solutions for third party clients. That’s our native business. The second vertical that we have started recently is we are going to start building educational games for kids age group around 6 to 14, 6 to 15.

So a platform where kids can learn while they play. That’s going to be the second vertical. And the third vertical is we are diving aggressively into generative AI.

So we are looking at building a CXO companion for everyone in the immersive and gaming industries. So these are the three verticals that currently we focus on at Meta Studios. And I’ve been building the company and the team ground up.

It has been a phenomenal ride. The team players here are amazing. Wow.

That’s wonderful. So since when have you been in Web3? So my journey in Web3 started, I think back in 2018, 2019. Yeah, 2018 if I’m not wrong.

Okay. That’s when, you know, just like most of the people in the scene, it was, it started with cryptos, where my friends started investing and one of my friends made a lot of money. And that was investing in stocks and mutual funds being like, you know, I’m a CA, so being a very good financial planner, so to say, I was diversifying my portfolio and I was feeling proud about it.

And a friend of mine comes and says that he’s planning to buy a BMW. And I’m like, what the hell? We make the same amount of money. How is that happening? So that’s when I got into crypto.

And I’m like, okay, I have to, I have to know more about this. So I started studying, started diving deeper. That’s when I understood the whole decentralization aspect.

But the more I read about it, the more I became a fan of it. Thankfully, so my career has been like 10 years in the consulting business, growing businesses for other people and creating, you know, all those long term strategies and roadmaps for other businesses, work with companies like PwC, BMR, and Fortune 500 clients, and my education as a CA, that helped me not take any, you know, high risk, high reward kind of blind bets, but it made me curious to study and dive deeper into the foundation of this whole thing. So I never saw Web3 as like the surface as many people were at that time talking about, you know, crypto, let’s buy 10x, 20x, 30x, that was lucrative.

But I don’t know for good or bad, I could never do it because I have a curiosity of diving deeper into whatever I get into. So I started investing a lot of time in understanding the whole decentralization aspect, how does it work? What are these pools? What is blockchain and all those things. And that was the time when I was also running a music label of my own.

I started off as an artist, started off as a DJ, then became a rapper, music producer and grew on to build my own music label where I was managing about 15 hip hop artists across the country. It was a very successful journey that I was having running that music label. But the more I started getting deeper into the whole decentralization ecosystem, the more I started believing that music label should not even exist.

And the reason for that was because I saw like both the verticals as an artist myself who like, you know, as an independent artist, I literally started my journey with just one laptop, then set up a home studio, then set up a full scale professional studio. And then, you know, I built a music label. So that was like a very consistent journey that I could ride through because I could blend in the elements of being an artist as well as a business guy.

But as a music label, what do you do? I mean, you are a middleman, right? You manage artists, you take a cut out of their what we call a management fee to get them a platform and take them to the larger audience. So you are a middleman in essence. But when you study decentralization, the whole concept is nope, middlemen should not exist.

It’s all about creators economy where creators get directly in touch with the audience. So my belief system, you know, became stronger and stronger to an extent that I believe that music label should not even exist. And that was the time I sold my music label and created a decentralized platform on blockchain for the entertainment industry, where artists could come make their own, make their teams.

Because like, I really rallied it as what did I need when I was an artist and I could not get from the existing platforms. So if I’m an independent artist to make music, I need like five different team members. I need a I need a mix and mastering engineer, I need a music producer, I need ABCD, right? So I used to hunt around multiple sources to get those people.

So that’s where I started from. On this platform, you will have everybody under one roof, create a song, release it as an NFT, then you don’t need any label or whatever the case may be. So build that, that is when I got like as a businessman, strongly deeper into this ecosystem.

And this was 2020. So the journey started in 2018, like later part of 2018, if I’m not wrong, when I started studying about it. And in 2020, I launched my first business in web three, so to say.

And it has been like a beautiful journey, like the more I study about it, the more I read about it, the more I fall in love with it. Wow, awesome. This has been quite a, you know, career arc, like you started in a PWC, if I’m not mistaken, and then to, you know, music label and decentralization, and now running, you know, Meta Studios, which is, you know, you mentioned already that, you know, you guys have won the Metaverse startup of the year award.

And congratulations on that. What factors do you think have contributed to, you know, your immense success in a very short span of time in the Metaverse space? So honestly, I always attribute this, I don’t see it as a, like, immense success. For me, it’s just another milestone.

Honestly, it’s like, you know, one step forward. And now, forward step as a foundation to build something bigger. But what I attribute this positive growth towards is absolutely sheer commitment and hard work.

That’s it. Nothing else. You really have to give it your all.

I don’t remember last when I took a holiday. I don’t remember last when I took even even a day off, forget about a holiday or traveling somewhere for fun. Even a day off, I go to global conferences, I travel across the world for I’m invited as a speaker for business meetings and all my schedule is and my team sometimes tells me that I need to take a break.

But my literally my schedule is from the time I land at the airport, till the time I’m back home, I’m working, consistently working. So I always see that there is no shortcut, there is nothing else. If you’re really committed, like day and night, you have to just work, figure out the best way, be at the right place at the right time, create a very, very strong team which believes in your vision, and which can rally with you at the pace.

That’s very important. So curating the right set of people around you, that’s number one, the most important thing. And second is being very, very, very hungry, not being satisfied and not feeling not getting in that comfort zone.

For a good seven years of my life, I slept only for three hours. That’s it. I was working on two things during the day, I will do something else during the night, I will do something else sleep for three hours back on the track, because I was very clear that I don’t want to spend five years in achieving something that I as as humanly possible can achieve in two and a half years.

And the way to achieve that was doing double shifts. So I did that. And now even when I’m the CEO of the Metaverse startup of the year, I continue to do that.

I sleep at 123 in the night, continue to work, wake up at 678, whatever, and just get back to working again. So it’s all about surrounding yourself with the right set of people. Most importantly, that’s the most important thing.

And second is just being at it. One step at a time, what’s the next best thing you can do? What’s the next best thing you can do continue to build? That’s all right. Awesome.

So no, I think, you know, you highlighted a good point that you know, one needs to be really hungry, and persevere, basically, in order to get anywhere or make it in life. But what if, you know, just work life balance? And don’t you feel that, you know, following the schedule, which is as punishing as this consistently over the years is going to lead to burnout? Like what do you tell people who who have that perspective? So I don’t believe in the whole concept of work life balance. I think you can either aspire for greatness or go for work life balance.

What I believe in is work life harmony. So if I’m sometimes working, and like, so my entire team knows about my family, about my four month old kid about my wife about my parents, they know about what’s happening in my life. I know everything about what’s happening in their life.

And I try to always, always, always be empathetic about it. If they have to even in the middle of the day, they have to take care of something, go ahead. So I’m not a weekday and weekend kind of a person, there is a possibility, okay, on a weekday, you have to take care of something for your family, fine, go ahead.

Someday, you don’t feel like working, you just want to take a take some break and go for a movie, fine, go ahead. I’m talking about like, this is how I deal with my team, I don’t care about the day, the weekend, the weekday, no, not necessarily you have to take on off only on weekend. If you’re not feeling like working on a weekday, fine, go ahead, please take a break whenever you feel like working come back.

So it built, it works on this kind of flexibility. And this is like my work belief. So I work seven days a week, 16 hours a day, I don’t expect kind of the same thing from my team, right? It’s an individual choice.

But when you’re working with me, you have to be like really, really, really aggressive. That’s there. But yeah, not like all seven days a week, my like everyone in the company has weekends off, I continue to work, that’s my choice.

But I make sure that people are getting off. And all those things. So it’s a very individualistic choice.

But yeah, trust me, again, individually, I don’t believe in this whole concept of work life balance. That’s that’s that it can’t go hand in hand with like achieving greatness, work life balance exists, okay, fine, then you have to be okay with the kind of result that you get. You want work life balance.

And then you also want to build a unicorn can’t happen. I’m sorry, you want work life balance, join a big or join a bank where you will have a complete perfect nine to five, nine to six kind of a job, you can’t build something great while working just for nine to five, five days a week, it is impossible. You may be absolutely lucky if that turns out to be the case, that will be like this thing.

So there is there is no, there is no luxury in building something which which can make a difference in the world. It is a difficult route. It is you have to make sacrifices and you your family, your friends, your everybody around you have to kind of come in consonance of that.

So that okay, this is what the life is. It’s not burnout. It’s, it’s a need of the hour.

So that’s why like one, one is like resetting the goal, what do you want to achieve? Not everybody may want to achieve something like that. I want to build something which is going to be sustainable and which is going to leave a mark in the world. By the time I die, there should be something that I’ve left behind that people can really benefit from.

That’s my dream. That’s my ambition. And if I have to achieve that, I have to work 24 hours a day and I’ll continue to do it till the day I’m alive.

That’s my mission, right? And hence I have to achieve it. Not everybody may have the same kind of a mission. Some people may want to, okay, I want to make a living.

I want to make money so that I can provide for my family. That’s fine. That’s cool with me.

Cool. If you want to achieve that, then you can have work-life balance, right? Then you can’t expect growth or faster growth and luxury of work-life balance at the same time. It does not go hand in hand.

It just does not. Those are mutually exclusive. Yeah, I do think I concur to quite an extent.

We want to strive for something like that, but obviously that is why perhaps you’re giving in. We are putting in our best years to build something great and we would continue doing that because A, hunger and B, perhaps we don’t really get smug. It’s one of the harsh truths that is there that you cannot really achieve greater things.

As you said, it will be a moonshot if you do, but otherwise there is no other shortcut to really achieving greater things than hard work and smart work in a combined fashion. And obviously, if you want to take a break, go ahead, take a break, and then perhaps come back with more energy. But trying to strive for that in a day-to-day life, I think I have been an entrepreneur for 14 years.

I feel that it is very, very difficult. There might be some one activity perhaps a day that you kind of want to do which kind of brings you peace, but otherwise I feel that work has such a pull on me any which way that it’s very difficult to get that balance, so to say. It’s like, as you said, it has to be a work-life harmony.

You have to make it work, keeping in mind that you have odd or crazy working hours and you’re also trying to perhaps live your life. So this is something I do concur with in total with you, but we digress. This is just something interesting because I feel mental health is also very important and physical health is very important for entrepreneurs and somehow at times we don’t perhaps give it the necessary priority that it requires, but then again, I also feel I counter it when people tell me this, that the same point, that you can choose one activity that you are doing and that can be perhaps something that is tending to your mental and physical health on a daily basis and just stick to that.

I think consistency is more important than anything else. Right, right. So I do think Randy Zuckerberg had said that you can’t have it all, you choose three basically out of five things, health, family, friends and I’m paraphrasing and I can’t remember exactly what she had said, but that was something that had resonated a lot with me.

The pick three rule she had, it was a simple advice for daily goals rather than feeling guilty about having or doing it all, you might as well choose three things, right? Absolutely. And there’s always room, right? I mean, when you choose to work, like for example, I don’t, I miss out on the things which I can afford to miss out on. I work 16 hours a day, but I still spend whatever time I want to spend with my family.

One of the decisions, why we don’t set up an office working from home is this, if you’re working from office, you spend like two hours just in traffic. I spend that two hours with my family, have lunch with my family, have, you know, after every meeting, I go out and play with my kid for five, 10 minutes. That’s luxury, right? If you have to build something, you can’t, you just can’t have it all.

You have to let go of things which you can let go of. So I don’t, I don’t socialize with friends that much, but I don’t need to, right? I mean, my, my, my ambition from life is much different. I’m okay.

If I don’t have a glass of beer with my friends every Friday, it’s fine. If I do it once a month, it’s absolutely fine because I’ll miss that time and having beer with one of my clients, which will give me business, right? So it’s, it’s that. So you have to find your piece.

You have to find, okay, what is it that you want to eventually achieve? And everybody’s goals are different. And that’s why like this, this practice is not uniform to anyone. I don’t even track the amount of leave that people take in my company.

I wanted to come up with an unlimited leave policy, but my HR was like, no, no, no, that’ll be too much. So I kind of, uh, I gave up and we came up with a number of days, but I don’t care how many leaves people take. I encourage them to take whatever number of leaves you want to take.

I just don’t care because that does not matter. Only what matters is like the outcome, right? You have to be oriented. It doesn’t matter.

Like you’re slogging like all 365 days of the year, but you know, there is very little to show for it. Then that that’s useless. That’s meaningless.

So it just comes down to what works for you. What is your metric? What are you going after? What are you valuing? And you know, while you were talking, I pulled up that particular quote, she said, basically that, you know, in order to set myself for success, I know that I can realistically do three things well every day. So every day, when I wake up, I think to myself, work, sleep, family, friends, fitness.

So I pick three, and I can choose different three tomorrow and different three the following day. But you know, on that today, I just picked three. And as long as I wind up picking everything over the long run, then you know, I’m balancing my imbalance.

It doesn’t have to be a balance every day. It’s basically the sum total has to be balanced. And I think I thought that was very beautiful and resonated a lot with me, which is what you know, you and I have been kind of saying, in different words, you choose what kind of works for you.

It’s not just about the hustle and the grind, which is a part of it, a large part of it, but then you know, you’re choosing to do it. So then perhaps it doesn’t seem like hustle and the grind to you, because you’re choosing to do it actively. Absolutely.

Nice. And I’m glad we, you know, touched upon this, because very few entrepreneurs want to talk about mental, physical health, and this goals in life, I think, and a good good part of this. We’ve digressed, but I think this was a good path that we took.

Coming back to you know, the metaverse space and the tech here, can you perhaps explain the concept of the metaverse to our audience and highlight basically the potential impact beyond industries like gaming and entertainment? Because what happens is, I think, whenever people are reading metaverse, they are thinking gaming, or they are thinking, perhaps like a concert, you know, that that is taking place in the metaverse. So entertainment and gaming, those are very interlinked as it is. And that is what comes into mind when you say metaverse.

So how would you perhaps, how do you see the potential of metaverse and maybe explain the concept of metaverse as well a little bit for Sure. So see, metaverse, taking a step back is not a new thing. It became like the talk of the town when RDRS Mark Zuckerberg changed Facebook’s name to meta.

That’s when it became like the talk of the town and everybody started talking about it. But this is like, the technology and what we are trying to kind of build has been going on since like a very, very, very long time. Now there have been substantial advancements to it.

And because now, half the world wants to do something around it. And so that it’s just booming up to a different pace altogether. Now, metaverse is nothing but a virtual world.

That’s it. Very simply put a virtual world, where people can come together in a persistent environment and interact with each other real time. That’s it.

Very simply put, like you create a persona in the virtual world, you’re spending time there with your friends, with your families, with your networks, and interacting and doing any sort of an activity in a virtual space. Now that activity could be different for different sectors. In the gaming world, you’re playing with your friends.

In an enterprise world, you’re having meetings. In a manufacturing or any other sort of a world, you’re doing trainings or something else. But the foundation is the same.

A virtual environment is built, where multiple people have come together to engage in any sort of an activity real time together. So this is what the plain vanilla definition of metaverse is. There have been like many technical and hyper, like, you know, super cool vocab, vocabs are being used to kind of define it, but it’s very simple.

The more you try to kind of complicate it, the more it becomes difficult for anybody else to understand it. So hence, like, this is how I always explain it to anybody. Very simply put.

Now you can keep adding multiple layers to it. For example, add blockchain to it if you want to launch NFTs. NFTs are what? Non-fungible tokens, ownership of digital assets, and that becomes possible when you put it on blockchain, because whatever goes on blockchain becomes immutable.

For example, in a gaming environment, you play games, you can buy assets, you can own them, and then you can trade them outside the game as well. That becomes possible because it is an NFT, which is put on the chain. So you keep adding different elements to it to exemplify the whole experience of a metaverse.

But very simply put, it’s a virtual environment where multiple people come together to engage in different activities. Now, it became popular because of gaming. Because every game is a metaverse, if you remove the whole blockchain element.

The technical definition of a metaverse includes blockchain and NFTs, but the mass definition is a virtual environment. Like if you’re doing a VR training, people say that is also a metaverse. So I’m going right now with the mass definition of it just to make it simpler for the audiences here, and not going too techie around it.

We can do a techie dive as well later if you want. So it became popular or like the gaming thing was the first thing because gaming is fun. It attracts more and more people.

Everybody would want to have some blowing off steam. For example, people like me working 16 hours a day, 15 minutes of game, cool. That’s fine.

I play like 15, 20 minutes on game every day. So that’s why Roblox became so famous. Even though the majority of the user base are teenagers, still, it is the biggest platform in the world making millions every day because it’s a gaming platform.

It allows you to create, own, interact, everything. So gaming started it. It gave it a very larger adoption, but gaming is not just the only thing or the only utility of metaverse.

Slowly and steadily, we are seeing the narrative changing. I see in the next five years, gaming will be comparatively lesser for metaverse, I’m saying, but the serious applications like the digital twins, the enterprise trainings, the brand launch, and the gamification will be a much larger piece. A standalone gaming will fall in the category of web three game.

It will not fall in the category of metaverse, metaverse. But for metaverse, I’m seeing the gamification of brand launches, experience launches, new product launches, marketing, trainings, digital twins, simulations. These kinds of applications will really take up the pace and become a very heavy adopter in the coming five years.

Gaming will be an entertainment side of things, which will be one piece, but the entire industry is going to come into this, like fashion, like movies. They’re all exploring, they’re all coming. We are interacting with some of India’s biggest movie producers and fashion designers right now.

They all want to kind of explore and figure out something, what is the right way to launch in the digital world. So all these are going to be the players who are going to drive the larger pie of the adoption in the next five years, while gaming will be an enabler. People might come in for gaming, but eventually they’ll come out by creating these kinds of experiences.

Take an example, why is Roblox successful? Because brands like Gucci, brands like Spotify are launching on Roblox. So who’s fueling the adoption of a gaming platform? It’s the brands. Right.

So they are the ones who are going to actually lead the wave and gaming will become just an enabler, maybe a platform. Okay. That’s a very interesting thing.

So how do you perhaps see like your approach being different than the other players that are in the metaverse space? And by your approach, I mean, how is MetaStudio kind of contributing to the metaverse and what differentiates your approach from other players? So what we strongly believe in is long-term partnerships. Number one, I’m a people’s guy. I have always put relationships over business.

So we believe in co-creating value, not just like one-off assignments, make the money out. Nope. That’s like the ethos with which I do business.

It’s like co-creating every player should kind of benefit. And that is where we are able to kind of bring in more and more players. In the last seven months, we have built more than 30 partnerships across the globe, including world’s biggest football clubs, India’s biggest gaming guilds, two of the big fours, all of us, all of them are our partners because we believe in fueling value.

And there are many clients that I have refused to work with in terms of, because I could not see what kind of value I can add for them. Even though they were ready with a check, they’re saying, okay, build an experience. And I took a step off saying that this is very short term.

This will not give you an ROI. Even if you build this kind of an experience, it’s not going to benefit your business. So I would not like to build it because I know after two months, you will not see a value.

And then you’re going to come back and tell me that, okay, my money got wasted. So the relationship gets spoiled, right? So there are many clients to which I have rejected or rather humbly refuse to kind of work because of this kind of a reason. So this is the ethos that we follow.

We work on ethics and we want to make sure that whoever we are working with, we are able to add some sort of a value to them. That’s number one. Number two is our entire focus of any experience we build or any product we build, whether it is internal or for external clients is targeted towards not just, okay, everybody wants to do Metaverse, let’s do it.

No, everybody wants to do just marketing. Let’s do it. Nope.

I want to do a launch in the virtual world because it’s cool. Nope. Why are we doing it? We drill Y to the last iota.

Literally. Why are we doing it? Why, why, why, why, why? What do we want to achieve eventually out of this? You want to launch an experience? Fine. Ultimately what? And then once we are able to kind of drill down that Y, then we kind of come to the how part.

Okay. You want to achieve this finally? Fine. Now let’s talk about how we can help you here and what we can do to achieve that goal.

So we go in a very mechanical kind of an approach here in building it. And that’s why like my whole 10 years spending consulting with businesses, building other businesses that I’ve built for businesses before throughout this has been the philosophy, which now I can put everything together on the table when we kind of are building for Metastudios is value, create value, nothing else. It’s fine.

If we make less money, if it’s fine, if we lose two or three clients, but whoever we are going to work with, we are going to create immense value for them. That’s number two, number three. And the most important thing is we create a specific USP of gamification.

And that’s what I strongly believe is going to be the driving force in the immersive world for the next 10 years, not a plain vanilla standalone boarding experience, not an entire game, a bridge between the two gamification. What is gamification? When you add gaming elements to non-game environments, let’s take an example. You want to conduct a training.

A client comes say that you want to organize, let’s say how to use a manufacturing plant, a kind of first level of training for our, for our workers. Now, there are two ways to build that training. Number one, you create the digital twin of the manufacturing plant.

You’re creating all those, you know, okay, this is where you go. This is what you do. This is what you’re not supposed to do.

That’s also a training. That’s how most of our trainings are conducted, right? We don’t do it like that. We gamify the whole thing.

We will create quests in it. We will create Q and A in it. We’ll create some engagement activities in it.

There will be fun elements in it while doing which the employee eventually, number one, would be motivated to spend more time on the platform. And number two, we’ll learn what you eventually wanted to teach them. So this is known as a very, I’m using a very basic and foundational example of gamification.

This is what we do. Gamification is our heavy, heavy, heavy focus. Everything that we build, we’ll figure out, okay, what kind of gamification element can we build in this? Unless the client definitely don’t want anything to do with it.

Unless they want everything very serious, like a board meeting room that we recently created for India’s biggest pharmaceutical client. They were like, okay, this is for our like professional board members. We just can’t do anything.

We want completely like a black suit environment. Fine. We didn’t do anything there on gamification, but otherwise majority of our focus is on that because we believe bringing people on board is still easier.

Retaining them is much difficult. So you have to focus on what kind of environments can you build, which retains people. And that, that is where understanding of humans comes into picture.

And you have to go much beyond just that tech. What I see in like, I have a lot of friends who are building in similar space. The gap that I see and in a very friendly way, I kind of discuss this with them is they’re all about tech.

Many people are all about tech. This tech is super cool. This tech is going to change the world.

Fine. Yes, it will. But who’s going to eventually use it? Humans.

If you are ignoring your ultimate users or humans from the entire life cycle, just focusing on the kind of powerful this tech can turn out to be, there is a huge gap sooner or later. It’s not going to work out. I strongly believe that.

And we have seen multiple cases of that. So our approach is completely opposite. Anything that we build, we start with the users, human angle, psychological angle.

So I’m a professional sociologist. So I bring in that angle that, okay, what is it that the society or the people or the users are eventually going to love and enjoy? Start with that. Tech is the last.

It’s okay. If we are not using the latest tech, we are using something very basic. If that makes the users happy, it’s fine.

I don’t care if it is not new. I don’t care if it is done many times earlier, as long as it is making my users happy. That’s what matters.

It does not matter that everywhere I have to use AI, why if it is not needed, why should I use AI? Right. Even though we are doing some heavy stuff in gen AI now, but again, that is also a human angle that we are bringing into picture. We didn’t start the other way around with the gen AI is very famous.

Let’s build something in gen AI. No. What problem do you want to solve? What are the users that they want? So, yeah, I mean, these are like the three, four baskets that we kind of at a very, at a principle level that we follow, which allows us to kind of be focused.

Awesome. Awesome. That’s brilliant.

You know, it’s been really wonderful listening to your perspective and, you know, the potential of growth that you see in this space. Tell me a little about perhaps, what your advice would be to somebody who’s, you know, trying to explore the metaverse space or, you know, just getting swayed by trends in the market? Would you have any suggestions for them? So are you referring to like, so there are two kinds of two categories of people who are exploring the metaverse space. Number one, I meet a lot of people who want, who are working in some other sector now, because metaverse and this whole virtual web three world is sounding very hard.

They want to switch to this. And number two is the founders who want to build in this. So one is the employee angle who want to switch.

And second is the founders angle who want to kind of build something. So which category do you want me to address or both? Basically builders. I think our builders are what I want to want you to address and sitting, you know, you’re building in this space.

What would be your advice? Right. So, so then, then that’s like the second category where people want to build in this space and they are like figuring out what should we kind of build, right? The first and the most important advice is please acknowledge the fact that this is not new. Please acknowledge the fact that what you are planning to do is not going to be something which is going to be done for the first time in this world.

And please acknowledge the fact that anybody and everybody around you would have done something similar already. So the most important part is study. The most important part is doing a good bit of research and educating yourself and understanding that this thing that, you know, what is required to be built and what kind of problem will you solve by building that? I meet a lot of people.

So I do a lot of coaching sessions and, you know, addressing young founders, young students, and all. I love to be between them. Many people, they come out to find, I’m going to make a VR game.

What is this game about? This, this, this. What is new in this? No, it’s going to be fun. There are 50 games already like that out there in the market.

What new are you doing? You don’t have any comparison about it. I’m not saying you can’t be the 51st one. No, you can be definitely.

You can be, but you can’t be the 51st one without comparing yourself with the balance 50, right? Just passion should not take the front seat without practicality being your navigator. That’s very important. Be passionate.

Be hungry. Be like really mad behind chasing your dream. I will never, never demotivate anybody to kind of do that.

You have to be stupid. If you have to kind of achieve something, right? But practicality have to be your navigator. Really? You have to be realistic at the same time.

I am passionate about building the biggest metaverse platform in the country. Superb. Can I do it without comparing with what is sandbox, decentral and Roblox they are doing? No, I will be stupid if I do that.

So be passionate. Don’t be stupid. That’s very important.

We had started building our own metaverse kind of a platform where we were going to bring in a lot of brands. We worked with so many brands. So it would have been very easier for me to convince any brand to set up shop on my platform.

They are my clients. So if I tell them, I’m giving you a line here, we are going to set up and we’ll do a lot of marketing and everything. Perfect.

It would have been easiest for me to kind of do it. I don’t have to go and find out any other brand outside. I’m not doing it the other way around.

First I build a platform, then I’m finding partners. No, I already have partners. I just have to build a platform where I can land them.

We spent one and a half month on that. Then we dropped it because we could not convince ourselves what is the different value proposition that we can bring in for them. Just because we have access to them.

Should we just create something, invest a lot of money, time and energy in our resources and bring the brands on that platform? What are we going to offer them? How is it going to be different from what is already happening in the market? Because we could not find an answer to that, I dropped that project and it is on ice till the time we are able to find a concrete answer to that, even after having all the resources. So that’s very important. Understanding the differentiated value that you can bring on the table and being very up to date about what’s happening in the market.

Spending again, the first point that I’ll reiterate is surround yourself with the right set of people, spend time with the right set of people, attend all these events which are happening, you’ll get to know what’s happening in the market. You need to really educate yourself about that and after that build something. That’s very important.

Awesome. That’s really good advice. It’s practical advice.

It’s workable advice. So wonderful. You’ve written a book as well.

So would you like to tell us a little about the book that you have written and where can our listeners find it? So I wrote this book called The Relationship Gap. It’s not the professional relationships, it’s the personal relationship. So I like to kind of dive deeper into that area as well sometimes and I have to blame my psychology and sociology education for that.

So I came up with that book because that was a phase when a lot of my friends around me were going through breakups. So I started evaluating why is it happening and what can we do to kind of prevent breakups because I’m a very firm believer of having long-term relationships and like committing yourself to the relationships. So I really dived deeper into studying.

I did a lot of research. Okay, what is happening? What is causing like, you know, our society is becoming a little casual about relationships. Why is that happening and what can we do to prevent it so that we can create a sustainable relationship in our personal lifestyle as well.

So that’s that book about the relationship graph and the name comes because after doing in-depth research that I usually do about everything that I get into, I developed a theory that every relationship, no matter what, whether it is a short-term, long-term, marriage, whatever, every relationship goes through the same graph, goes through the same cycle. It’s the people who kind of decide to stay or fall off at one point of that graph, but every relationship will go through that graph. The moment you understand that it’s like reality hit you suddenly and you realize, okay, fine, oops, maybe we have been looking at things a little differently.

If I just take one step different, I can preserve a very beautiful relationship. So that’s where the name comes from relationship graph. It’s available on Amazon, Flipkart, everywhere, on Kindle as well.

I hope the readers like it and I would love to hear any feedbacks. Awesome. It’s very rare that somebody is coming from a humanities background and you kind of mentioned that and I come from a background in humanities as well to see them in tech and then for them to have written a book, which is perhaps nothing to with what they are building.

So, you know, you’ve dabbled in quite a few things and for that, I feel like I’m a little in awe of you, kudos that you are doing this and doing this also successfully. It’s such a good example for people who are perhaps trying to get in the space and they feel perhaps a little encouraged that they can create their own niche as well. That’s really kind of you.

Tell me a little about and, you know, just look at the time, I’ve kind of lost track of time and this has been such a wonderful conversation, but this would be perhaps my penultimate question. I would love to know your perspective regarding, you know, issues around identity, privacy, ethics, you know, in the metaverse space. How do you, what is your take on that? Like, how do you feel this will evolve and how do you think because I do think that metaverse will become more and more integrated into our lives as we move forward.

So how do we deal with these issues? So you may not really like my response. So I apologize for that in advance. But the way I see this issue of privacy and all that in the metaverse, I think it’s over exaggerated.

And the reason for that is basis. What are we complaining about it today? The Amazon’s Facebook Google’s of the world has each and everything. They have our entire data and we are okay with it because they’re providing us value time on Facebook.

And five minutes later, you have an Amazon ad about some product that he was scrolling through on Facebook. How many people are stopping and thinking about it? So we don’t have a problem there, but we have a problem here. Why show in an environment where we’re talking about decentralization, providing power to the people, we are raising question about that.

So I think it’s, I think it’s, of course, it’s very important to address these kinds of issues, but I don’t think it can ever become a kind of challenge, which is already not there. The reason it is becoming a talk of some forums is because one, it is a new technology. Every time we do something new, there are pros and cons which are evaluated.

So just like any other technology, this will have some bit of challenges that people would want to know about that I am going to the metaverse, but you’re not giving out any data that you’re not otherwise giving out for any other platform. What new are you giving out? That’s the whole thing. What is it? Is there any different, when you log into any other platform, what kind of data are you giving out? Nothing, nothing new at all.

I don’t think that you are giving out any additional information that you might not give otherwise while spending time on the internet. So what is the first about the first is because this is something new. This is something, you know, that everybody’s exploring.

Some people are in favor, some people are not. And that is why this discussion becomes important. So I’m completely acknowledging that this is an important thing to be addressed.

But my response is that this is nothing more challenging than what already is. And this will even in the longer run, because sure in decentralized world, we are providing power back to the people in the longer run, this will get solved much faster and much more efficient and profitable to the people on ground then compared to the centralized side of So I don’t, I don’t worry about that, honestly. Honestly speaking, I don’t even spend much time on, on battling about what to kind of do about it.

Because it is what it is, right? You only do that much to kind of change it. And there is no harm, there is there’s no harm in that. If you have a different perspective, I would love to hear your side also on this.

So yeah, I do think that to a certain degree, I do understand where you’re coming from that, you know, these all of this information, because this entire space of metaverse is relatively new. So the first response is to perhaps fear it. And, you know, just create issues, perhaps, where there are none.

The amount of data that we have any which we’re sharing with web2 applications is, as you said, very similar. There are certain things that do trouble me about the metaverse, like, you know, if somebody is misbehaving in the metaverse, or behaving in an illegal manner, perhaps in the metaverse, considering these are actually a virtual avatar. And you know, that there are cases where I read an article about how, you know, some females and even boys, they were feeling that there are certain predators in the metaverse.

And you know, they were not feeling very safe in that environment. I do think that those are valid concerns. But then again, I also feel that, you know, who’s controlling the metaverse, that particular metaverse, or that environment that you know, you’re perhaps in, and the rules and the law, you know, that you follow, perhaps in real life would be very similar to what you perhaps do in the metaverse.

But again, online gives a garb of anonymity. So that that is obviously all of these tools, right? They’ll post something and you know, deactivate the account or you know, like there are innumerable examples. And I feel that that’s that particular kind of behavior is being mimicked in the metaverse as well, which is a little dangerous.

But then I try to console myself thinking that okay, these metaverses also perhaps not fully decentralized, and at least for now, and if they are playing in a controlled environment, then perhaps that person can, whoever or that entity can, you know, take care of these things. But one thing that does bother me is that, you know, in a space which is completely decentralized, and these individuals are actually like perhaps predators, and they are looking to just create mischief, right? In these environments, that does raise some concerns in my head. But you know, then again, this might be a problem for the future, because right now we are very early as it But then this is this is something that does bother me, it’s not so much the privacy, you know, aspect, because I think that, very honestly, I don’t think the end user really, you know, really, really cares about privacy.

I think there are only a few niches that do care about privacy. Usually, we don’t even think about before signing up on XYZ platform with our emails or social media logins, what kind of information we are giving in and what kind of, you know, what kind of conditions you are accepting when you are downloading a certain application. So I don’t think that, you know, users really care about privacy.

But I do think that these perhaps elements that are trying to create mischief, how do you reign them in? What can be done so that, you know, this is an inclusive environment that is being created. And as I said, to conclude, I do think that I do take consolation a little bit in the fact that perhaps this is just a problem for the future. Right.

Agreed. So, you know, this has been a really great conversation Kapil. I’m so glad that you could make the time and I would like to wrap this up because we’re almost running out of time.

I said the hell wrap it up in 30-45 minutes. But you know, you had such insightful things to say that the conversation kind of just flowed. But I will not let you leave before answering this particular question, which is something I ask everybody that comes on the show.

If somebody is in the Web 2 space, like you were at some point, and you know, you’re appearing into Web 3, not to just build, but you know, to explore to become a part of this new technological revolution. What would be your suggestions to them to start living on blockchain? Ah, very interesting. So I’ll give my reason why.

So I have, I had two reasons to kind of move on. One is the more I studied, I became a believer that de-hospitalization is the future. And second was that I had to be a part of this revolution.

I strongly believe that Web 3 is a revolution that is the biggest revolution that is happening in our age. But like I’m talking about when I switched the biggest revolution that is happening in our age, the revolution before this was the whole internet revolution in the nineties. I was a kid back then, I’m a nineties kid.

So I could not participate in that because come on, I was a kid. This, I did not want to miss out for sure. So if anybody is ambitious, anybody is having any kind of a business passion to kind of build something to shape the future, this is the place because this is the biggest revolution that is happening in our age.

So you have to be a part of it. And how do you have to be a part of it? You really have to figure out in terms of what, what drives you, what, what really excites you. There are many elements in Web 3, right? Metaverse is there, blockchain solutions are there, crypto is there, DeFi.

Now the whole AI integration, Web 3 gaming. So there are many verticals within this, which one excites you the most number one. And second, which one do you think can be a natural succession of what you are already doing in the Web 2 world that will help the transition much faster? I strongly believe.

So for me, like that is why I built a social media platform for the entertainment sector, because I was running a music label. So that was like a natural succession. And I used my entire experience of 10 years in consulting to build it as a business.

So I was the business guy, knowledge of the entertainment sector. That’s why I built that first. Now, the second progression for me was like the entertainment side of thing and the gaming side of thing.

Again, that merges within Metaverse. So I have been flowing in a natural wave. And that has caused me to kind of continue building.

And that is the same thing I’ll advise anybody transitioning from Web 2 to Web 3. Figure out number one, what is it that you can call a natural succession or an enhancement or a plus one bringing in Web 3 to what you’re already doing, because that will make your transition much more smoother, valuable and faster. So, yeah, I mean, one, become a believer that this is the biggest revolution happening. You can’t miss out.

You will really be disappointed after 20 years if you miss out on this one. And second, figure out what can be a natural progression of your existing business and take up that lead. Absolutely.

I think that’s wonderful advice for anybody who’s trying to look to get into the Web 3 space. Once again, Kapil, thank you so much for taking out the time to speak to me. This has been a really insightful and brilliant conversation around the Metaverse and especially the aspects of mental health.

I think that is something very close to my heart. And I talk a lot about that. So thank you for talking about that as well and being as honest as you were and very candid, because I feel a lot of entrepreneurs are not that candid when they’re speaking about what they’re building and their headspace on a public platform.

So thank you once again. It was a pleasure, Tarusha. Thank you for having me.

And yeah, I agree. It was a delightful conversation. I enjoyed it.

Even I actually lost track of time. So that’s good. So looking forward to speaking to you again.

Please take care and have a good day. Absolutely. You too.

Thank you so much.

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *