A disconnect has formed between the way corporate America is talking about the metaverse and its plausibility.
Illustration: Christopher T. Fong/Protocol

The metaverse investment thesis needs a reboot

Protocol Pipeline

Hello, and happy Saturday. I’m Owen Thomas, Biz Carson’s editor, and I’m standing in for her this Saturday to bring you a selection of the best Protocol stories from the past week.

This week, we got a reality check on the metaverse from Protocol semiconductors expert Max Cherney, who warned that we don’t actually have the technology we need to build it. Also: everyone you need to know in the burgeoning proptech sector, tips from Superhuman CEO Rahul Vohra on achieving “flow” and the latest thinking on SaaS valuations.

Nobody knows how to build the tech the metaverse needs

Building the “embodied internet” that Mark Zuckerberg is regearing his company around requires a thousandfold increase in computing power from what we have today, experts told Protocol’s Max Cherney. And that, in turn, will require massive improvements in the technology used to build chips. Timing is crucial when betting on tech, so this story might force you to rethink some of your VR/AR investments.

10 people defining the future of proptech

When you have time, you should read all of “Proptech’s big moment,” our special report on tech and real estate. But if you only read one piece, make it our list of 10 people to know in the sector. (And whatever you do, don’t send them a Calendly link to set up a meeting.)

Rethinking SaaS valuations

Lightspeed Venture Partners’ Nnamdi Iregbulem applied his background in math and economics to enterprise software and found that most of the thinking about SaaS valuations was wrong. Read Aisha Counts’ interview with him to understand what’s wrong with the standard metrics and what investors should be measuring instead.

Superhuman work tips

You probably use Superhuman, the email productivity app. But do you want to work like its creator, Rahul Vohra? Learn how to make use of the “switch log” and Vohra’s other techniques for staying in “flow,” the elevated state of focus that allows for your best performance.

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The boom in virtual real estate

Nick Statt looks at the gold rush into metaverse property. On the one side are true believers who have been settling in virtual frontiers for decades; on the other are the people who smell money. In other words, the metaverse is just like the real world.

Raise caps are the new pay cuts

Imposing pay cuts on employees who move to cheaper locales is a morale drag, so some companies are letting things even out over time by holding back on raises for employees who move to cities with a lower cost of living.

Beware the zombies

The living dead of Silicon Valley: companies that don’t quite make it but don’t seem worth the pain of a shutdown. If you look hard at your own portfolio, you might find you’ve got a few shuffling corpses among them. Do the merciful thing; it’s better to fail faster.

Thanks for reading! Jamie Condliffe will be back next week with some more of the best stories from Protocol.

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