The metaverse dominance race has begun
|Richard Harris in Metaverse Monday, August 22, 2022|
The metaverse is the next step in the evolution of the internet. It is a virtual world that is open and accessible to everyone and will eventually dominate the internet because it is a better experience for users. We recently caught up with Dori Exterman, CTO of Incredibuild about who will win the race for metaverse dominance. He talks all about the hype of the metaverse, factors that will determine who controls it, the big players shaping the metaverse, how DevOps will make it functional, and a lot more.
In a metaverse, everything is connected. Every corner of the internet is reachable and each individual user is represented by an avatar. The metaverse is a place where the physical and digital worlds collide, and it's quickly becoming the dominant platform for human interaction. This shift has huge implications for businesses, governments, and individuals. In a metaverse, there are no boundaries. Companies can operate in multiple metaverses at once, and users can visit any corner of the internet with just a few clicks. The metaverse is the ultimate level playing field, and those who dominate it will have a massive advantage in the years to come.
Dori Exterman is the CTO of Incredibuild, a development acceleration platform used by 1,500 software organizations to slash build and test times. Dori leads Incredibuild's technological vision by continuously providing tools for organizations to manage major CI/CD frameworks with greater agility. Passionate about productivity, Dori is a frequent writer and speaker on engineering efficiency, DevOps, and technology trends. We recently caught up with Dori Exterman and talked all about who will win the race for metaverse dominance.
ADM: Who will win the race for metaverse dominance?
Exterman: After Facebook announced its name change and became Meta in late October 2021, the hype around the metaverse has taken off. While a variety of tech companies have been working on related technologies for years, Facebook’s announcement brought on heightened focus and intense curiosity. What will the metaverse look like? How will it work? How will our lives change? We checked in with Dori Exterman, the CTO of Incredibuild, a company that helps accelerate product development and consistently releases better products to market faster. He gave us some insight into what is hype and what is the reality of the metaverse, how it will be shaped, and the one crucial tool that will make all of it possible.
ADM: The metaverse, is all the hype around it justified, and why?
Exterman: The metaverse will be the vehicle of the future through which entertainment will be consumed, people will interact and collaborate, retail and alternative currencies will thrive, and business will be conducted. The reality, however, is that the metaverse is already here. People are making money in it, playing games in it, and even getting married in it. Large companies are setting themselves up to meet their challenges, and stock market prices are rising for potential metaverse players. A rash of ETFs that track metaverse-related companies are already trading, metaverse-related trademarks are being registered in China by the hundreds, and techies everywhere are gearing up for an upcoming wave of metaverse development positions.
Nvidia’s CEO recently said that the metaverse virtual world is going to be much bigger than the real world. Looking towards the future, space and distances on Earth will always have limitations but they will be meaningless in the metaverse. When thinking about the huge prize that awaits the companies that will emerge victorious in this race, the amount of money and attention makes a lot of sense.
ADM: What’s the number one factor that will determine who shapes and controls the metaverse?
Exterman: The road to the metaverse is a race between the world’s top tech companies, and as with any race, speed is the dominant factor. There are various races that are happening in parallel:
• the race for the game with one billion users
• the race for the best hardware (VR/AR)
• the race for the end-to-end infrastructure itself and of course
• the race to succeed in the metaverse economy featuring digital currencies, NFTs, and other elements.
What we are seeing now is a race to win the first round of the metaverse sprint, which some consider the first to reach one billion users. When a company hits the billion-user mark for their product or offering, it will go a long way in putting themselves ahead of the pack to shape how the metaverse will work, how it’s connected to the rest of the ecosystem, and what content and infrastructure will be the most popular.
Regardless of which race a company participates in, and some like Microsoft participate in multiple races, the ability to be faster than your competitors will be the determining factor for who will emerge as winners.
ADM: How are metaverse players preparing for this race?
Exterman: Metaverse participants are putting tremendous efforts to guarantee they can iterate as fast as possible (or at least, faster than their competitors). There is a huge investment in reducing the iteration cycle of "development to production." This is done by embracing methodologies and best practices like DevOps, Agile, and others, as well as tools and solutions that offer wider iterations and faster executions, such as cloud scaling, distributed computing, caching technologies, and stronger hardware, and more.
ADM: Who are the big players in shaping the metaverse as it stands now?
Exterman: There are numerous types of companies battling for metaverse domination. There are gaming companies supporting and expanding their metaverse-like platforms e.g. Epic (Fortnite) and Microsoft (Minecraft). There are metaverse user-generated content creation platforms like Roblox and Overwolf. Infrastructure and end-device players are producing AR/VR and other interactivity solutions, like Microsoft and Meta, hardware players gunning for chip-level metaverse dominance, like Intel, Qualcomm, and NVIDIA, and the recent challengers aiming for the economic model that will accompany the metaverse, such as blockchain contracts, digital currencies, and ETFs.
ADM: What is the most overlooked technology in its development?
Exterman: DevOps will be the deciding factor not only in who wins today’s race, but who ultimately dominates the metaverse tomorrow. DevOps defines the way companies develop and release software, including the bones and muscles of the metaverse. Most of the talk about the metaverse is focused on who will be the big winners, but we should pay closer attention to the tools and processes that will make it a reality. DevOps will play a crucial role in enabling companies to release their efforts faster to the market, develop their infrastructure and content in high quality and iterative manner, and better capitalize on existing and emerging computing power paradigms (e.g. distributed computing, cloud scalability), and continuously improve and fix problems with minimal human intervention.
ADM: What role will DevOps play in the metaverse's development?
Exterman: The DevOps framework was conceived and designed to encourage development teams and IT operations teams to collaborate better. It is used to reduce development time, increase product quality, improve the change and upgrade management, accelerate time to market, and provide better predictability and visibility to development cycles, releases, and production environments. Speed and time to market are crucial to both metaverse content and infrastructure providers in terms of:
1. Supporting the massive scale of its infrastructure, content, and engineering manpower growth
2. Continuously introducing new features, introducing content and capabilities, and quickly fixing issues
3. Winning the first round of metaverse domination and maintaining a viable position for future rounds
ADM: How will DevOps make the metaverse practically functional?
Exterman: The development of the metaverse will demand better exploitation of existing and emerging computing power paradigms, such as caching, cloud scaling, distributed computing, network accelerators, as well as more optimized tools and processes. These tools implemented on-prem and in the cloud, enable DevOps teams to streamline performance engineering processes, reduce iteration times, increase throughput, and lower latency, closing the Continuous Integration/Continuous Development (CI/CD) performance gap. In a huge project like the metaverse, bugs are something that will always exist. DevOps takes this into account, enabling dev teams to detect issues sooner through continuous monitoring, more easily and continuously improve performance, replicate and fix problems faster, recuperate from failures, detect areas for optimizations, and deliver better quality in the first place.
ADM: What is the true scale of the challenge for the metaverse to be developed?
Exterman: The challenge of developing and maintaining the metaverse is on a scale that is so immense, that it’s tricky to wrap your head around it. Consider the scale of cloud providers today. If AWS or Azure were to have a disastrous global outage today - businesses, governments, and significant parts of the digital backbone of society would literally stop. Take that scale, and increase it a thousandfold or more, and this is what will be required to power and maintain the metaverse. It will demand more computing than today’s world has ever seen. Intel’s CEO stated that the computing power required for the metaverse will be 1,000 times more than what we have today. He predicts that the main portion of this gap will be addressed by better software, be it through algorithms, software tools, and practices, in addition to AI and machine learning.
Dori Exterman, CTO at IncrediBuild
Dori Exterman is the CTO of Incredibuild, a development acceleration platform used by 1,500 software organizations to slash build and test times. Dori leads Incredibuild's technological vision by continuously providing tools for organizations to manage major CI/CD frameworks with greater agility. Passionate about productivity, Dori is a frequent writer and speaker on engineering efficiency, DevOps, and technology trends.
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