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A few weeks ago I discovered some weird videos and ads that nobody really knew what were about. This videos showed a mysterious project was going to start on march 24 2020.
This project is called WRLDVW and one of its founders, Brandon Ogbolu, is gonna answer us some questions.
But first of all, I want to tell you what was for me discovering WRLDVW. At the beginning I was like: ok, this is something absolutely disconcerting… but, what if it is something important and innovative? That was my first impression when I saw the first video. I’ll keep an eye…
Then came my feeling when I first visited WRLDVW: This is weird, but I’ll keep an eye. That was two days ago. Today, I have bought my first “terms”. Don’t really know why I bought them today, but I did it. Well, I know. Probably, because I hope that this is some big thing like the bitcoin uprise.
An interview to Brandon Ogbolu
What is WRLDVW? I mean, I’ve read your website but I want to know from you, if that’s possible.
WRLDVW is a new marketplace where users can buy and sell a limited supply of virtual goods (referred you as “terms”) associated with their name or location. For each name, there are three terms available for sale globally. For each location, there are also three terms available for sale. Starting 15 May, users can sell their terms for any amount to other users who share the same name or location associated with the term.
So for example, if you purchase all three terms for “Lucas”, then you can sell them to any other Lucas in the world. But you can only sell your location terms to people who live in the same administrative region associated with the term. We hope that WRLDVW becomes a viable marketplace where terms are exchanged in a frequent manner.
It’s also our goal that WRLDVW becomes the default manner in which the value of a name or location is assessed. What’s the value of “Lucas” or “Spain”? You’ll be able to visit WRLDVW to see. That’s the long term vision.
Is this a personal project? It is just you or there are some more people involved?
WRLDVW started off as a personal project where I wanted to better understand the nature of value. I’ve come to the hypothesis that value is completely artificial and can be created from nothing. This is obvious in the way that people value things vastly different all across the world; there’s no set standard of what makes something valuable.
So WRLDVW is a real-time project to pursue this hypothesis. It’s working so far. There’s two of us at the moment, myself and my partner, Boris Vasilenko. I initially built the first version of WRLDVW by learning to code during the evenings and weekends when I was an employee at Amazon. After Boris became interested in the project, he and I started working together to pursue WRLDVW in a serious manner. We’ve been working on it almost full-time since May 2019.
Are you aware that a lot of people will point WRLDWW as a speculators market? What would you say to them? Is that the idea behind the project?
I understand that WRLDVW can be seen in a speculative manner. However, WRLDVW is not a financial product like a stock or virtual currency. Instead, we are a marketplace to buy and and sell virtual goods. You can think of this as eBay or Amazon except the items that are bought and sold are digital and live within the WRLDVW marketplace.
We believe that the exchange of virtual goods online is the next major cognitive shift in consumer behavior, and we want to lead the way. Never before has it been possible for people to seamlessly exchange digital items. Across the history of the internet, the acquisition of digital items has largely been a one-way flow to the customer. (For example, you stream or download a song, you create an account on a platform, you buy ad space).
The opportunity of WRLDVW is to allow users to trade exclusive digital items that are personal to users (names and locations) in a mainstream manner and benefit from the sale of that trade.
Is there any plan to evolve the website? New features? or you will keep it as it is… I mean, there a lot of names that can be registered. For example, names for animals…
That’s a good question. We intend to keep the site as is for now, just focusing on names and locations for people and companies. In reality, the only “beings” that can transact are people and companies. So allowing animals or robots to buy and sell their terms is too far-fetched for our purposes.
I have a doubt: I am spanish. Can I purchase a name for location… for example, “France”. It is not the country where I live…
You’re only able to purchase terms based on the name and location that you register with. This is in contrast to every other market where individuals can buy anything (from the stock market to e-commerce etc).
By limiting the quantity and type of goods that people can buy, we believe that this will be a powerful way to increase exclusivity.
How much and how fast do you expect WRLDVW to grow?
It’s tough because on one end, we’re open about our thesis that value is completely artificial. And I think this piques people’s interest but also calls out that WRLDVW does not inherently hold value. This is not the way most companies launch. Instead, they insist that their product or service is inherently valuable to the customer. So, because our approach is so different, it might disincentivize people from joining right out the gate. But on the other end, some may be captivated by this different approach.
To answer your question, we’re taking it day by day to see how people react to WRLDVW. We acknowledge that our approach makes this a gamble. Of course we would love to have millions and millions of users one day, but anything truly new is bound to start out small and face barriers to adoption.
And for finishing, did you meet your start expectations?
We had a really good show of support leading up to the launch, and we’re happy with the first day sign up and sales numbers. For the first few hours live, however, there was a small glitch that prevented a lot of people from signing up. The issue was fixed but likely impacted our registration count in a negative way. You live and learn! Dealing with bugs is inevitable, so we know that we always have to improve.