The Metaverse: Companies Planning Big Investments in 2022
Science fiction novelist Neal Stephenson first coined the term metaverse in 1992. But it wasn’t until Facebook rebranded itself to Meta Platforms (also known as Meta) in October last year that it truly entered the mainstream. Mark Zuckerberg’s company adopted the new name to try and ensure its products play a prominent role in “the next chapter of the internet”.
Although the painful-to-watch video released by Meta explained the concept of what the metaverse is, this industry’s potential is still relatively unknown. However, this hasn’t stopped Zuckerburg from investing big to mature the new market. Meta is raiding other tech giants for its talent to help it get an edge. Nearly 100 employees from Microsoft’s HoloLens augmented reality team have already joined Zuckerberg and co. Because this Microsoft venture was one of the first movers in this space, these pioneering professionals are valuable assets. But the company isn’t stopping there – it recently announced that it would hire around 10,000 engineers in Europe to stay ahead of the pack.
Other Virtual World Investors
Meta isn’t the only company investing in this new industry. Chipmaker Nvidia has waded into the mix and named with their Omniverse platform. With Omniverse Enterprise, Nvidia has launched a subscription service that lets creators, designers, and others interact and collaborate using its online simulation platform. BMW has already started using its services to optimize its manufacturing operations. As microchips power the virtual worlds’ graphics, Nvidia plans to recruit over 600 employees to build its platform in its Israel office.
Microsoft is investing $69 billion in acquiring World of Warcraft and Candy Crush maker Activision Blizzard. The tech behemoth hopes these bestseller games will win over metaverse skeptics. Recently, British gambling firm Entain released a statement saying it will spend $134 million on a new innovation center based in London.
“As media, entertainment and gaming converge, customers expect richer experiences, with greater variety of content, immersive experiences, personalization, and social interaction,” Entain said in a press release on January 30.
“We want to … pioneer innovations in sport, gaming and interactive entertainment for the metaverse,” Entain Chief Executive Officer Jette Nygaard-Andersen added.
How the Metaverse Could Change Our Lives
With the eye-watering amounts of money companies are investing in the metaverse, many think it will soon change our working lives forever.
For instance, Nvidia’s Omniverse Enterprise, Meta’s Horizon Workrooms, and Microsoft’s Mesh aim to empower workers in a virtual world. These VR platforms will help accommodate remote collaboration via mixed reality applications. Instead of Zoom calls, meetings will be held on the metaverse – according to Bill Gates, this will become the norm within three years.
School, social life, and how we spend our free time could also change dramatically. Online gaming platform Roblox plans to bring educational video games to classrooms. And platforms such as AltspaceVR wants to launch more community-based experiences in the metaverse, allowing people to gather for different live virtual events such as concerts or comedy nights. Established online service providers know that a similar approach would help them win over people who still prefer to frequent brick-and-mortar venues.
Gambling companies and U.S sportsbooks like BetMGM have been quick to announce that they are investing in metaverse products that will make watching and wagering on sporting events a more immersive experience.
Traditional retailers are also looking to stay ahead of the curve. Luxury labels, such as Gucci, Balenciaga, and Luis Vuitton, have already begun to sell e-clothing, and Nike has filed trademarks for virtual garments. But if you don’t feel like splashing out on your Avatar’s outfit, why not buy a $650,000 virtual yacht or NFT artwork for your virtual apartment?
Yes, if this is the near future, it sounds pretty ridiculous. Therefore, tech companies have got their work cut out to win over skeptics. But as leading figures firmly believe this industry will be worth above $800 billion in two years, 2022 could be the year metaverse takes off.
The Ultimate Guide to the Essential Social Skills in Business
Effective communication and strong relationships are essential for success in the workplace. One factor that can greatly influence these qualities is emotional intelligence, often abbreviated as EQ. EQ refers to the ability to identify, understand, and manage one’s own emotions, as well as the emotions of others. Research has shown that individuals with high levels of EQ are better equipped to handle stress, communicate effectively, and work collaboratively with others (Chamorro-Premuzic & Sanger, 2016).
Research has consistently shown that emotional intelligence (EQ) is an important predictor of job performance and success in the workplace. EQ is comprised of a set of skills that allow individuals to recognize, understand, and regulate their own emotions, as well as the emotions of others. In addition, individuals with high EQ are better able to communicate effectively, build relationships, and navigate complex social situations. As a result, they are often viewed as effective leaders and collaborators, and are more likely to achieve their personal and professional goals.
In fact, a number of studies have demonstrated the significant impact that EQ has on job performance and success. For example, one study of 85 upper-level managers found that those with higher EQ scores were rated as more effective leaders by their subordinates (Law, Wong, & Song, 2004). Another study of 151 employees found that those with higher EQ were more likely to be promoted within their organization over a five-year period (Carmeli, Brueller, & Dutton, 2009). These findings highlight the importance of EQ in the workplace and suggest that developing these skills can lead to significant benefits for both individuals and organizations.
According to a study conducted by TalentSmart, a leading provider of EQ assessments, EQ is responsible for 58% of success in all job types (Bradberry & Greaves, 2009). In contrast, IQ only accounts for about 4% of success in the workplace. This suggests that EQ is a crucial skill set for individuals in any professional field. Fortunately, EQ is a skill that can be developed and honed over time with practice and awareness.
There are several key components of EQ that are particularly important for success in the workplace. These include:
Self-Regulation: This refers to your capacity to recognize and control your emotions. Sometimes treating them when they arise may be necessary. Understanding how to manage your anger is essential. However, it can also cover how to control the feelings you’ll experience.
Self-Awareness: This implies recognizing and understanding your own feelings. Do noisy places make you nervous? Do other people talking over you make you angry? Knowing these truths about yourself shows that you are working on your self-awareness. Being conscious of yourself is necessary for this phase, which can be more complex than it sounds.
Socialization: This category focuses on your capacity to manage social interactions and direct relationships. It doesn’t entail dominating others but knowing how to work with others to achieve your goals. This could entail presenting your ideas to coworkers, leading a team, or resolving a personal disagreement.
Motivation: Strong motivators include external forces like money, status, or suffering. Internal motivation, however, plays a significant role in Goleman’s concept. By doing so, you demonstrate your ability to control your cause and initiate or continue initiatives of your own volition rather than in response to external demands.
Empathy: It’s equally critical to be sensitive to others’ feelings. This may entail learning to identify different emotional states in individuals — for example, can you tell the difference between someone at ease and someone anxious? — but it also requires comprehension of how other people may react to their current situation. Empathy is one of the essential traits in business and business leadership.
A thought leader in this space, Michael Ventura has built a career advising organizations on the importance of emotional intelligence in the workplace. In his book, Applied Empathy, Ventura highlights the value of empathy in business and provides strategies for developing and applying this skill set. With two decades of experience as a leader, facilitator, and educator, Ventura’s work has made impact in with prestigious institutions such as Princeton University and the United Nations as well as corporate clients such as Google and Nike.
Through his work, Ventura advises leaders to focus on the development of EQ in order to help individuals improve their communication, collaboration, and leadership skills, ultimately leading to greater success in the workplace. Experts like Ventura continue to support the growing body of research on the value of EQ in business, and the evidence that organizations who invest in the EQ of their teams help to create a more empathetic and successful professional environment.
And it’s worth noting that EQ isn’t just important for individual success in the workplace, but also for overall organizational success. A study by the Center for Creative Leadership found that EQ was a better predictor of success than IQ or technical skills in the workplace, and that teams with higher levels of EQ tend to be more effective and productive (Boyatzis, Goleman, & Rhee, 1999). By cultivating a culture of empathy and emotional intelligence, organizations can improve their overall performance and create a more positive work environment for their employees.
In conclusion, emotional intelligence is a crucial component of success in the workplace, and individuals and organizations alike should prioritize the development of these skills. The ones that do not only develop a leading edge in their category, but also become a meaningful place to work for their teams. And in today’s rapidly changing talent landscape, the retention of highly capable, emotionally intelligent leaders is one of the greatest keys to unlocking success.
Boyatzis, R. E., Goleman, D., & Rhee, K. S. (1999). Clustering competence in emotional intelligence: Insights from the emotional competence inventory (ECI). In R. Bar-On & J. D. A. Parker (Eds.), Handbook of emotional intelligence (pp. 343-362). Jossey-Bass.
Bradberry, T., & Greaves, J. (2009). Emotional intelligence 2.0. TalentSmart.
Chamorro-Premuzic, T., & Sanger, M. N. (2016). Does employee happiness matter? Journal of Organizational Effectiveness: People and Performance, 3(2), 168-191.
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