πŸ‘©β€πŸŽ¨ Art Nouveau, Web 3, and Advent Calendars πŸ§‘β€πŸŽ„
4 min read

πŸ‘©β€πŸŽ¨ Art Nouveau, Web 3, and Advent Calendars πŸ§‘β€πŸŽ„

Art Nouveau

The Signal

Background

  • Art Nouveau is an ornamental style of art (see pictures below) that flourished between about 1890 and 1910 throughout Europe and the United States.
  • If you spend some time on Pinterest you'll quickly notice that people still love Art Nouveau.
  • I came across the term in a recent post by Scott Alexander in which he mentions: "As far as I can tell, you can’t buy any of these anywhere - they’re a combination of antiques and concept pieces. The people who pin these and pine after these end up getting minimalist Scandinavian furniture with names like UJLIBLΓ–K, just like everyone else. Anything that even comes close to the above costs high four to five digits."

Opportunities

  • People want Art Nouveau furniture but it's really hard to get. So obviously creating a brand that sells just that seems like a great opportunity.
  • I'm pretty sure that if you spend enough time in the furniture category over at AliExpress you'll be able to find at least a few pieces that fit the bill. Starting with these and possibly even dropshipping them would be a good way to validate if there's enough demand.

Web 3

The Signal

Background

  • Web 3 used to mean the Semantic Web. (The Semantic Web idea is to make Internet data machine-readable.)
  • But now the term has been adopted by crypto enthusiasts to mean a new incarnation of the web powered by public blockchains instead of private databases.
  • There's a bit too much hype for my taste and people can't even agree on what Web 3 means and why it's supposedly such a big deal.
  • There are lots of vague ideas around "ownership", "empowering artists", "composability", "decentralization", and "community".
  • Most importantly, ideas for real Web 3 use cases that still make sense when compared to the next-best-alternative are quite rare.
  • But if we look beyond all the noise and hype there are genuinely interesting opportunities to be found.
https://mobile.twitter.com/levelsio/status/1453712519919403016

Opportunities

  • If we assume that the hype is real and Web 3 is the future of the internet, it makes a lot of sense to pattern match by looking at the history of the Web 1 and Web 2.
  • What is obvious is that first there must be companies who build the infrastructure before we can eventually move on to the app layer.
  • This is also nicely illustrated by the OSI Model that can be translated into all kinds of value creation over the first two arcs of the internet.
  • Most people right now try to jump directly to the application layer whereas it would make a lot more sense to brainstorm what, say, a service like AWS for the Web 3 might look like.
  • For example, Offchain Labs ($100M Series B) develops Arbitrum, a solution for scaling Ethereum smart contracts.
  • Another good question to ask is: What exactly are the security risks Web 3 companies specifically are confronted with?
  • The story of the DAO hack is legendary.
  • Just like Web 2 companies are afraid of security issues in their cloud infrastructure, decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) are afraid of issues in their blockchain infrastructure.
  • And this of course means there's a market for dedicated security software and consulting services.
  • One interesting Web 3 use case that's already working right now is to sell lifetime access passes to software products and communities using NFTs.
  • This would be great for early revenue. Re-selling would allow tokens to be passed on to new users and bring in more revenue. Access can easily be managed via wallets.
  • Danny Postma is currently exploring this use case with his project Rare Blocks.
  • There are many people (like me) who would love to offer NFT access passes to early adopters but are hesitant because implementing such a solution is far from trivial.
  • So there's an opportunity to build software that takes out steps for people who want to implement NFT access passes.

πŸ§‘β€πŸŽ„ Advent Calendars

The Signal

Background

  • The advent calendar market has kind of gotten out of control in recent years.
  • I still remember when an advent calendar was just a bunch of small pieces of chocolate.
  • There were 67K Google queries for "advent calendar" in 2015 and 135k in November 2020.
  • Among the fastest-growing non-traditional segments are beauty, toys, hot sauce, and dog advent calendars.
  • And this variety means that often people buy not just one but several advent calendars.
  • A friend of my girlfriend drove all the way from Denmark to Germany to buy dozens of advent calendars (many of which for herself).

Opportunities

  • While there is already a huge variety of advent calendars, it's still hard to find one if you have certain allergies or food intolerances.
  • For example, low-FODMAP or low-histamine advent calendars might be interesting niches to explore.
  • A related idea is to offer fully customizable advent calendars.
  • After all, people (or their partners) know best what kind of food they like and are able to eat.
  • There are, of course, already empty advent calendars you can buy and fill yourself.
  • However, designing and filling custom advent calendars with just a few clicks would obviously be a lot more convenient.

I hope you enjoyed this report. If you have a minute, please respond and let me know what you think.

Thanks,

Jakob

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