There's an interesting theory as to why Zuckerberg wasted billions on the Metaverse

That could explain a lot.

I hardly knew

With the metaverse apparently dead and buriedThe question remains: why exactly did investors fall for it in the first place?

in one burning editorial for New York MagazineTech columnist John Herrman provided a simple explanation for not just why Facebook is (er, Meta) CEO Mark Zuckerberg went all in on his capital M metaverse, but also why so many executives and investors seemed to follow suit.

In short, the answer lies within the world-changing COVID-19 pandemic — and specifically the executive-level backlash against employees, who appear to be empowered by the ability to work from home, as the virus raged before the vaccine only way to keep the world going.

“Empty offices and newly empowered employees have driven out some tech executives from her mindand the Metaverse promised a solution, or at least acted as an answer,” the columnist wrote. “It presented an intoxicating fantasy that most of us just wouldn’t recognize — or, if we did, one we might recognize.” It was a kind of nightmare.

We now, of course, live in a different leadership fantasy: the rise of artificial intelligence, which terrifies everyone but gives tech leaders “an endless supply of cheap and obedient labor and a chance to take over the means, well, everything.” ‘ Herrman wrote.

double whammy

While AI fever dreams do appear to have killed the metaversethey are at least more substantial than the absurd virtual reality worlds that Zuckerberg enters and other have sunk so many billions of dollars.

“From an executive to an audience of other executives, the metaverse offered — at least in Zuck’s view of it — a vision of the future where everything was different, but also pretty much the same: a disruptive technology that maintained the fundamental order of things, and where you once again knew what his employees were doing, even if they were just avatars,” the columnist complained.

The Metaverse differed from other executive-only programs in how little it seemed to offer “anyone” even in 2021 But Management.”

“It felt spooky and hollow, and when people stopped talking about it as much, nobody who wasn’t directly involved seemed to care,” Herrman wrote. “It’s true that Silicon Valley shifted its attention to AI, but what really destroyed the metaverse was the return of workers to the office.”

COVID shattered physical offices for some time, but our rapid return to some semblance of normalcy has slowly put an end to remote work—and with it, the dream of the metaverse.

More on the metaverse: Virtual Metaverse real estate is completely on the toilet

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