What Business Leaders Should Know Now About the Metaverse

ALISON BEARD: Welcome to the HBR IdeaCast from Harvard business review. I’m Alison Beard.

The sci-fi novelist Neal Stephenson coined the term metaverse in his 1992 book, Snow Crash. He described a virtual world that people entered to escape the dystopian real world around them. And we’ve seen various versions of the same idea appear in other fiction and film since. What’s more companies like Second Life, Minecraft and Roblox have spent the past decade or two building their own metaverses. More recently the biggest tech industry players, from Microsoft to Facebook say they’re getting in the game. More recently, the biggest tech industry players from Microsoft to Facebook, now Meta, say they’re getting in the game.

But when we talk about the metaverse, what exactly do we mean? What will it take to build it? And do we even want one? Matthew Ball is the CEO of Epyllion, the former head of strategy for Amazon Studios and the author of The Metaverse and…

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