Data composability and value creation in web3 with Venn Diagram Ventures' Lauren Feld

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This is a podcast episode titled, Data composability and value creation in web3 with Venn Diagram Ventures' Lauren Feld. The summary for this episode is: <p>In this episode of Bridging Web3, Lauren Feld, an angel investor at Venn Diagram Ventures explains how making data composability easier could unlock new use cases for blockchain and get more people onboarded into Web3, and how value creation will happen at the data layer on the blockchain. </p>
Getting into Web3 and data composability
01:50 MIN
What data composability means to Lauren and how it ties into Web3.
03:54 MIN
Value creation in a Web3 world
02:53 MIN
The challenges in getting data composability solutions off the ground
02:06 MIN
The challenges in getting data composability solutions off the ground
02:06 MIN
On decentralization and protocol standards-oriented projects
04:39 MIN
New privacy and security concerns
05:15 MIN
What Lauren is currently working on
03:32 MIN

Jessica Galang: The material and information presented in this podcast is for discussion and general informational purposes only, and is not intended to be and should not be construed as legal, business, tax, investment advice, or other professional advice. The material and information does not constitute a recommendation, offer, solicitation, or invitation for the sale of any securities, financial instruments, investments, or other services, including any securities of any investment fund or other entity managed or advised, directly or indirectly, by Georgian or any of its affiliates. The views and opinions expressed by any guest are their own views and does not reflect the opinions of Georgian. Hi, everyone and welcome to Bridging Web3. I'm your host and Georgian's content editor, Jessica Galang. In this series, we focus each conversation on just one technology or concept that is important for building Web3's infrastructure. Our goal is to highlight the building blocks that make Web3 more usable, and understand the long- term opportunities. Today, we're all about data composability. Data composability isn't a new concept in Web2. It's the ability to use existing code, data, and assets to create new products and services. Being able to reuse data to build something new is a huge driver of innovation. In Web3, it's the same idea of building new applications, except when we're using blockchain data. However, with blockchains working largely independent of each other, it's not an easy task, something we address in our interoperability podcast in this series, if you want to check that out. Making data composability easier could unlock exciting new use cases for blockchain and get more people onboarded onto Web3. Here to explain what that means is Lauren Feld. When we spoke to Lauren earlier this year, she was head of business development at 3Box Labs. 3Box is the company behind Ceramic, an open source platform that allows developers to build decentralized applications in Web3. Today, Lauren is investing herself in Web3 startups through her Angel Fund Venn Diagram Ventures. We're here to catch up with her on everything you need to know about data composability, and what she's been up to in tracking in this space. So welcome back, Lauren.

Lauren Feld: Yeah, thanks so much for having me. I'm very excited to be back.

Jessica Galang: Awesome. So let's jump right into it. So can you tell us about your background getting into Web3 and how you got interested in data composability? Getting your start at Ceramic, which is doing a lot to develop and evangelize this space must have been really exciting. So what's your story, and what's really exciting to you about data composability?

Lauren Feld: Yeah, sure. I first heard about blockchain as a technology when I was starting out at a Deloitte doing strategic consulting, and so definitely not probably where you thought the story was going to be starting. One of our clients, which was actually a healthcare client, a large national health plan, came to us and asked, what would it look like to build a loyalty and rewards platform for their patients that is blockchain based? So being kind of the junior analyst on the team, the partners came to me and they were like, " What is this technology? Can you go figure it out and come back to us?" So started reading a bunch, watching a bunch of YouTube videos. Completely fell down the rabbit hole and realized there's something about this that is relating to me, and then ended up basically stalking our meeting reservations to find the room, a blockchain lab that existed, because I heard that there were some people working on a small blockchain team. Ended up walking in and introducing myself, and the rest is history from there. I like to tell that part of the story because I do think it's a hard space to get into, but if you actively seek it out and show your interest, I think people will pull you in really actively. So that was the start of my journey. From there, went all- in at ConsenSys, was in the incubator team there called Labs. We were working with the early stage team. Then that's actually where I met the founders of 3Box Labs, Danny Zuckerman, who's now the CEO and founder. We had worked together while I was at ConsenSys and so inaudible a couple of other experiences and Danny had reached out to me when they were looking for group business hire. Joined Ceramic, and I have to say that when I first got into the space, I was really excited about the ideals of democratization and kind of open access and opportunity, that was really interesting to me. I'm not sure I quite understood the unlock of data composability and it definitely wasn't until really joining the Ceramic team and having some experiences myself and literally couldn't get access to my information. There's a lot of apps used today where you might think it's your information, but that data is often kind of trapped in silos really in these applications we use.

Jessica Galang: So the idea that users should own and control how their data is used is what initially attracted you to Web3. Not an uncommon story in this space.

Lauren Feld: About data sovereignty is kind of what we say in the space of how can you as a user actually own and control your data when really today most of your information, think of any app you use. We just have trust in these large companies that they are protecting our information and safeguarding it and doing ethical things with it. But we really just have to have that blind trust and we don't have any proof of really how they're using our information. And oftentimes if you actually go and request it, it's really hard to actually access. And it just kind of brings to bear that you don't really own your data on these applications, it's owned by the company.

Jessica Galang: And I feel like when I introduced this topic, a lot of my focus was on the capability to build on existing data and was very developer focused probably. But I like how you're kind of bringing it back to the users and giving users the ability to understand how their data is being used and using that to unlock new use cases. So can you talk about what does data composability mean to you and how those pieces of both data sovereignty and also ease of access for devs tie into scaling Web3?

Lauren Feld: Yeah, absolutely. Data composability is actually a really core thesis at the entire Web3 space. And so if you go back to kind of the Fat Protocol thesis, which some people might be familiar with talking about how in Web3 value will no longer accrue at the application layer. So today applications, Facebook, think of whatever other companies you use, Instagram, Yelp, all of the value is acquiring at these applications at that layer. But in the Web3 space, we really think that all the value is going to accrue at the protocol layer. So what that means is, and to explain a little bit why this is interesting is, I think a good example is mail and Gmail. And so when the internet was first created, there was a protocol created called SMTP, which is simple mail transfer protocol. And that's actually one of the reasons because there's this underlying protocol that defines how messages via mail are shared and sent around the web that you can actually use something like Gmail or Outlook with any email that you have. Have you ever wondered why you could use jessica @ in Gmail? And that's actually why. It's because underlying there's this shared unifying protocol that every kind of mail interface can leverage. And so that's really unique. There tried to be a bunch of these other earlier protocols when the internet was first created, but a lot of them did it stick. I mean, some of them did HPP and other examples, but what we're doing with Web3 now is saying, how can we actually incentivize more use around protocols? And that's really enabled by crypto economics and use of tokens and incentives. And so what we're saying is, if we can get more people to collaborate around shared protocols, it's going to make it a lot easier for applications to now share and leverage that data. And so one example I think is interesting is going back to kind of Facebook example, which I always use because I just think it's really accessible for people. If someone started a new Facebook tomorrow I'm starting from zero, I don't have my photos, I don't have my followers list, but what if I could actually bring that data with me and port it to a new application? And that's when we think about data sovereignty is rather than it being kind of locked in and having that vendor lock into a specific company, what if I could bring my data with me to any application that I want? And if you're going to do that, you need data to sit in this kind of open and shared layer. And that's really what Ceramic trying to do is saying, let's create this open shared data layer and a bunch of different apps can kind of use this shared data and leverage that. Maybe another good example is there's this new Web3 app slash protocol called Farcaster, which is kind of aiming to be a new Web3 Twitter. And they've done something really interesting where they've built this protocol, this social protocol, and they have a front end that people can use. But because it's all open source and kind of built in this protocol first way, there's a whole bunch of different applications that are now being built on top of Farcaster. So for example, you might be able to go onto a different app that decides that we're only going to show you NFT related content. Maybe you're someone who's really passionate, a big collector, you really love art and supporting creator economies. You could have an entire front end that just focuses on filtering out for NFT content for example. And if you think about something like Twitter today, because your newsfeed algorithm is controlled by the company, you don't really have that ability. And so I think this is where kind of the exciting piece of data composability comes in, which is that it now allows app developers to start to really just focus on what are really unique and interesting user experiences that we can create. We don't need to worry about managing data, protecting your data. This kind of shared data layer can do that. And now when we go and create new projects, we also have this full bootstrap network. If I go and create a new social competitor now, I don't have to start from zero. If there's a bunch of other social data already on the Ceramic data layer, then I can go and basically pull from that and already from day one of launch have this bootstrap network of a full bunch of user profiles and data to fill your newsfeed. And that's really interesting and really gives I think, developers and apps this competitive edge that they've never had before.

Jessica Galang: That's interesting. So in this shared data layer, developers don't have to start from scratch and they can go in and create new projects. Meanwhile, people's data and their assets are more easily accessible to them and can move with them no matter what protocol they're working on. So a big part of Web3 development is incentivizing users to participate. What does value creation look like in a Web3 world?

Lauren Feld: I think what's interesting is thinking about how value now will actually accrue to this data layer. So how will Ceramic for example, become this valuable general purpose data layer across different applications? And I think this really comes down to a few different use cases. And one I think is really interesting, which is about users actually being able to monetize your data. So again, if you think about applications today, you're adding lots of value by being a participant in these applications and networks. So maybe think about Airbnb for example. As a host on Airbnb, of course you get paid to actually have your house listed and that's obviously a great benefit, but just being a listing in the network is adding a lot of value to Airbnb. If they had no listings, they wouldn't be the amazing company they are today. And so what's interesting about token models and specifically thinking about this shared data layers is that one, in that model we could start to disintermediate these kind of middle men and actually be able to reward anyone who's adding value to that network. And so similarly with this data idea, think about all the content that you post on Twitter, on Facebook, you're adding value to these networks by delivering content, but you're not actually being rewarded for it. Today, people find other ways of doing that, influencers and all of that. But what if you could actually start to monetize your information? I think that is really interesting and people are thinking about what are ways that users can kind of secure their information and decide to let different companies view or access or repurpose their data and actually get paid for it. There's an interesting project called DIMO that's doing this in the automotive industry, it's blockchain based, that's basically saying bunch of different self- driving car companies are trying to collect transportation data right now. And so they look at a whole bunch of open source data sources, but what if you could actually allow the company to view your vehicle data and get paid for that directly? And so they're working with a lot of Tesla vehicle owners for example, who will now let them kind of integrate with their software and their car directly. They can view their kind of transportation and geo location data and they get paid directly. And so I think that's a really interesting unlock and having this kind of shared data layer is an interesting way that we could think about how do we as users continue to monetize our information rather than letting companies monetize on our behalf. And so what's a little interesting about a network like Ceramic for example, is that every participant that's adding value similarly in that network. So if you are someone that is running a storage node or for example, or you're persisting data on Ceramic, if you're kind of a running a validation node for example, you're going to get paid for that. There's a cost to write data to Ceramic, to store it, to continue to persist that data. And so in that same way, everyone that is helping to create the shared data economy is now being compensated for it. And so that's how you start to see value now through at this data layer as opposed to at the application layer, which is the core part of this Fat Protocol thesis, and I think why people are so excited about tokenomics and Web3 because it wouldn't be possible without that element.

Jessica Galang: I mean, that is just a really interesting value proposition in comparison to Web2 where if people are feeling a little bit like, well these companies just own my data and there's nothing I can do about it, it's a really interesting alternative. So I do want to shift a bit and talk about some of the challenges in getting data composability solutions off the ground. What have you seen?

Lauren Feld: Honestly, the most difficult thing, which it kind of feels like is always the case at different companies is people and coordination. And I think it's the same problem we had when the internet was first created, there were so many different protocols that people were putting out. And there still are today, groups that try to get people to converge around specific technical standards, but not a lot of those early protocols actually stuck around. We do use some of them today that I mentioned before, but a lot of them kind of just died out because they couldn't get that mass adoption. And so similarly we're seeing that kind of issue in the data composability space where there's a lot of different data ecosystems that are popping up right now. There's a whole bunch of different L1s and competing chains, and so figuring out how to get some kind of standardization and use across is a very big part of the problem. And thinking through incentives to encourage people to gather around shared standards I think is part of the go- to market here. So for example, on Ceramic, part of the way that you standardize data is using something called data model. You basically, let's say it could create a data model for what should comments look like, how should we technically structure a comment, or how should a profile picture, what's the info that we want to gather around a profile? And any project can go and create their own model. And so now if we have three projects using three different models, that undermines this data composability element because they actually can't talk to each other and share that data easily. As opposed to if they were all using the same model and they all said a profile page is definitely your name, your email and contact, whatever. Then it would be a lot easier for them to just share and swap that information. And so what Ceramic is building towards, which I think is really interesting and novel, is trying to use token incentives to reward people who are building and reusing shared data models. And so that's another unlock that might be interesting and this kind of new version of trying to create protocol standardization is that we can actually try to incentivize people to gather around shared standards. But it's hard. Think about application building today, everyone has their own approach of how they think it should be done. And so trying to get people to collaborate and come together around these shared standards is pretty difficult.

Jessica Galang: For sure. And that's interesting that you brought up that idea of protocol standardization because standardization in my mind almost is a bit of a centralization philosophy as well, which I mean, part of the appeal in Web3 for a lot of people is that things are decentralized and there's no single point of failure. Nobody really owns everything. So that idea of decentralization, does that make it more challenging to create standards or do we maybe just need to think about what standards mean in a different way for Web3?

Lauren Feld: Yeah, I mean it's interesting. I think that it depends on how you think about decentralization. I think for most people in the space, decentralization is about decentralization of ownership and governance as a decision making power. And so having shared data standards doesn't change any of that. You can have a shared data standard, but all of the end information is still owned by those individual users that are creating and issuing this data about themselves or testing for data about others. So in that sense the data is living in this decentralized layer, it's still user sovereign and in my mind still very much decentralized. So it kind of just depends on, yes, there is some kind of standardization in terms of frameworks, but the underlying core of how data is stored and how it's shared, it is still open and permissionless, which is the core of decentralization.

Jessica Galang: Are there any interesting projects you've seen that are trying to create protocol standards?

Lauren Feld: I think that there is a couple of projects that are thinking about this. One that's interesting is a new project called Disco that's founded by Evin McMullen, who we also knew from our ConsenSys days, kind of like the PayPal mafia I feel like of Web3. And Evan is starting a project called Disco, which is basically about creating, I think she refers to it really as having your user data backpack. And so how can I have this very Web3 native profile where I start to attest to things about myself and my identity and issue out to stations about other people. So for example, I could attest that you and I know each other and we have a relationship, I could attest that someone did some kind of inaudible of work for me and that it was a job well done, et cetera. And so the way that those attestations are being issued are with credentials and specifically verifiable credentials, which is a standard in the space of how do I share some piece of data with someone and verify that it's actually coming from me and issued to a specific and either for example, you or about myself. So Evin is working with the Ceramic team to create a data model for verifiable credentials on Ceramic. And this is really interesting for a couple of different reasons, but another way that people commonly attest to things in the Web3 space right now is with NFTs. You might have seen people will send an NFT if you're a member of a certain community or that attests to some kind of reputations score that you've earned. That's one model and it's definitely really interesting. But some of the downsides of that are that one, NFTs are obviously locked to a specific chain. If you have a ERC- 721, you're really kind of locked into the Ethereum ecosystem, it's hard to move that. Again, you run into this interoperability issue. So a lot of people are now moving to issue credentials on Ceramic instead of doing it via NFT. Because also the other downside with using NFTs is that they're not very cost efficient. You have to pay oftentimes a really hefty gas fee to actually create and issue that NFT or to send it to the actual participant. And so doing that on something like Ceramic is going to be a lot more cost efficient, capital efficient, especially if you're doing it at high volume. So Evin's really kind of pioneering that and there's a whole bunch of other projects that are starting to think about what are credentials that we want to issue to ethers in our ecosystem and how might we do that on Ceramic or in this any kind of open data format as opposed to doing it on a NFT or via soulbound NFT for example. So there's a few other projects and one other one that's notable I think here is Gitcoin, they were working on creating this new Gitcoin passport, which was kind of their way of doing a civil protection too. And for those that don't know what that is in blockchain, there's a big issue with, there's a lot of different wallets and people that are bots and spamming different ecosystems. It's often hard to know what's a user and what's a bot. Because in Web3 your identity is a wallet address, so it's hard oftentimes to discern is this a real user or fake user. And so what Gitcoin is doing is basically creating this passport vehicle where you can go and verify your ownership. So you'll use a wallet, for those of you out there, if you have a Coinbase wallet or MetaMask, you would use that to basically go and link that account to some Web2 social profile you have. So maybe it's GitHub, maybe it's LinkedIn, Facebook, I think they also have Gmail. They have a couple of different avenues that you can go down and then they will issue this stamp in your Bitcoin passport, which is actually a Ceramic credential that says some kind of attestation of your proof of personhood, which is an idea could be a score of, I don't know exactly the rating system they're using, but let's say it's like 90 out of 100 likeliness that you are a person. That's kind of the idea behind it, and so they're using Ceramic for that. And so now what's really cool is again, a whole bunch of different projects can now leverage this credential to screen and understand, hey, is this wallet address real or fake? We don't need to do the work on our own. Let's not repeat the wheel. Let's just kind of verify this credential that's already been issued by Gitcoin and the Gitcoin passport and now has a real idea of who our actual users are without having to do all this heavy lifting by ourselves.

Jessica Galang: With the need for data and the need for different blockchains to talk to each other, I'm wondering does this raise any new privacy or security risks trying to get different data streams moving between each other?

Lauren Feld: Yeah, I definitely think it's a big question. There's a couple different angles I guess, to approach it. I mean one is, I guess, in terms of security over data. I think of you look at the way that it's structured today, kind of like I alluded to before, we basically just have to trust in big companies that they're securing our integration. For most of the time I think they are doing the best that they can. They have good intention. They now have certain regulatory acts that actually encourage them or mandate that they're doing certain provisions to try to secure data and try to keep it, or prevent any kind of tax or malicious user activity. But we don't really have any verification. They don't send us long messages as users, kind of like shareholder updates of what they're doing to ensure. More projects are starting to think that, especially with GDPR coming out and people having to think about the right to be forgotten and how they can actually let users access their data now that that is a regulatory mandate. But moving to another scenario where we actually get to own and control our data as end users theoretically that should be a lot more secure. We know what we're doing with our information. And so where the trick comes in that is, how do you secure that data? And so there's a couple pieces. One, this is where the kind of network effects of these open data protocols is really important, because you start to have all these different participants in an ecosystem. So you have people that run different nodes typically in these data ecosystems and these nodes are the ones that are persisting the information. So they're making sure that that data continues to stay on the network that is available for people to access. And so in some sense, yes, that could be a concern. Because if there's no one, for example, that thinks that is being incentivized to maintain your information, you might have data loss on the network. But typically, if these networks are operating efficiently, which most of the time hopefully they are, there's some kind of mechanism that's happening in the background that's basically making sure that your data is staying available. So that's kind of on this data availability piece. And then the security piece is again, coming back to more of cryptography and going back to what are the permissions of who is allowed to store what and what is a valid block or update for example, to a network. And so from a security perspective, theoretically having this data be decentralized and inaudible user should be a lot more secure. But the other angle to that is privacy. And that is a lot trickier in these data ecosystems because inherently, a lot of blockchains are meant to be transparent. That's one of the value props that we talk about is that everything's open and audible. That's great in a lot of these cases, especially if you're thinking about financial data where you want to have this kind of immutable audit trail and know where funds are flowing. With ether data, not so much. What if someone, there's kind of, think about an extreme example as child pornography being uploaded to a decentralized content platform. That's something that you want to be able to remove and you want to have moderators that are able to remove any kind of illegal content that can be really hard to do in a decentralized network where it requires multiple different actors and this kind of consensus to be able to remove information. And then again, so this idea that most data networks that exist today are trying to be public and transparent. That's not always the case. There's other data solutions in the Web3 space like Privy is one for example. And they take in the stance of, hey, we're going to have to make other trade off to do this, but our priority is going to be focused on private data. And so it really depends on what your use case is. You would want to select the data provider that you're using or the data ecosystem based on the need of your use case. But by nature, a lot of these data ecosystems are all data that's on it is public, it's not encrypted. And so that can create a privacy challenge, especially if you're thinking about storing personally identifiable information or anything that you don't want to be publicly accessible, which the more applications that we have in the Web3 space, the more sensitive that data will be, and just the volume of information you will have about you as an user. And so there's definitely a move for people to figure out how can we actually... You can of course encrypt data and then store it on the network, but then the question becomes access control, because eventually you want some people to be able to use that data. You don't want it to be encrypted forever. And so it comes down to how can we create really great systems to allow users to share these encryption keys with companies when they are... App developers if and when they want to view their information and how can they revoke it when they no longer want that to be the case. And so with Ceramic, we were looking at something interesting with a new technology where you could have very discreet access control where I could say, I only want this application to view this subset of my data for this period of time, which is really a great use case. Wouldn't it be so amazing if I could say, I only want Facebook to be able to see my email when I'm getting an alert about them on my birthday or whenever it is, rather than just spamming you with email all the time. And so I think that that's definitely the biggest challenge I think in this space is more on less on the security side and more so on the privacy side, which is you can definitely make data private. How do you ensure that it stays private in this open network? And how do you allow users really simple ways to control access to their information that still make the great experience for them, but really still keeps them in control of who views their data and when and enables them to revoke that access when they need to.

Jessica Galang: Yeah, there's a lot of big questions it sounds like. So I wanted to change tack a little bit and talk more about what you're doing next. You've got your Angel Fund Venn Diagram Ventures that's investing in early stage Web3 projects. Tell me about what's exciting you and about some of your investments.

Lauren Feld: Really excited about Venn Diagram Ventures. That's just my Angel Fund where I'm investing in Web3 infrastructure projects and supporting services and just other apps that I'm really excited about in this space of founders that I want to back. So there's been a bunch of interesting projects. One is LIP Protocol, which is doing threshold encryption. So kind of what I was talking about before in terms of either permissioning, a one big use case that they're working on is more access control, like token gated access control, how can you keep data encrypted and then only allow users to maybe view it if they have a certain NFT. So you could think about something like a subscription email newsletter for example. And it can be that content can be encrypted, but if I hold an NFT that I purchased, I subscribe to that email, I can now decrypt it and read that information. One of many use cases, but a really, really great technical team. We're seeing that tool be used now all across the space. Also invested in CyberConnect, which is a team that I love and respect a lot. Ryan Li, one of the founders is super sharp and they started out really focused on more decentralized social graphs. So again, I think all of this kind of goes back to data composability use cases like I mentioned, but one of their core use cases or the use case of a social graph is the follow graph. So think about in social platforms today on Twitter you have your follow list and then that is able to curate your newsfeed because it shows you content of people you follow. And that's all because of this social graph of who's connected to who and what, and similarly they're trying to build a more decentralized and permissionless way. So again, if you have that follow graph to centralize, you can now use that across multiple different applications, which is really interesting. And most recently am backing the founder of Storage who's working on a new music NFT platform. So kind of more like a Spotify where you can actually listen and stream the music NFTs that you purchase as opposed to right now they kind of just sit in your OpenSea wallet and we're not really useful. So really excited about that and a couple others.

Jessica Galang: And anything else you're building yourself?

Lauren Feld: As for myself, I'm thinking a lot right now about go- to market tools and it really stems from all my experience working in go- to market and these business development and partnership roles at different layer ones and Web3 projects and realizing I kept running into the same issues time and time again, which are that one, it's really hard to understand who our users are. We don't have a lot of context behind the wallet address. So it's really hard to segment our users and understand the right cohorts that we should be targeting and the right cohorts and users that continue to retain in the ecosystem over time and continue to stay engaged. Two, it's also really hard to understand what the user funnel looked like in Web3 because topic funnel awareness is happening on all these web two platforms. So think Twitter and all the traditional ways that we think about growth marketing, but the end of funnel is happening on chain and these kind of conversion activities, if you think about someone going and swapping in a defi protocol for example, and that's happening with the Web3 wallet address. And so the fact that we can't connect those two things makes it really hard to understand the whole user journey. And third is that it's still really hard to understand what's happening with on chain data today. There's great tools that have come up like Dune and Flipside, but unless you're a data scientist and efficient in SQL, it's really hard to actually make sense of what's happening in these different blockchain ecosystems. So that's where my head has been at these days and really excited to just keep working with a couple of our early design partners to figure out what's the right way to think about go- to market in Web3 that's still kind of privacy preserving and not bringing us back to the Web2 way in doing things.

Jessica Galang: Okay, that's really cool. Go- to market for Web3, that's a really interesting challenge because yeah, we don't have these traditional data aggregation tools or just ability to scrape, so I'm really interested to see what comes out of that. That's exciting.

Lauren Feld: That has been the sentiment that we've been hearing from all of the folks that we've been talking to in the spaces. All the sales and marketing leaders are scraping by in random spreadsheets and air tables and just really struggling to find good tools that are Web3 native and that kind of center around wallet addresses is user identity. And so I think it's a really big challenge, but there's definitely a huge opportunity to just help put us on level footing with what other companies in Web2 have been doing for decades.

Jessica Galang: That's really cool and I'm looking forward to seeing more of what you do. So just to close things out, is there anything in the data composability space or even in Web3 generally that you're tracking right now?

Lauren Feld: I mean, I think that we're at the stage of post- Ethereum merge, there's a lot of different bridges popping up and interoperability plays and a lot of people are thinking about how do we get Web3 to the next level? And that really means how do we get more user adoption, especially from Web2 users, because even though this is such an exciting area of the world, it's still very small and fairly isolated. And so I think there's a lot of interesting projects coming up right now that are thinking about what is user experience look like and what should user experience look like in Web3? And so I think there's going to be a lot of different projects that come out that think about, one is kind of the identity vertical of how should we think about identity in Web3? It shouldn't center around the wallet address. We know that because users in Web3 will have multiple different wallet addresses and if you lose access to one, you can't lose access to your identity. It's not like a social security number. And so that's a whole interesting phase of people thinking about what's the right paradigm and framework to do that. Off of that really comes reputation, which I think is also a really interesting area of this phase. So for example, looking at this wallet addresses' governance participation, how many proposals have they submitted? How many votes have they been active in? Looking at their transaction history, how often are they transacting in this ecosystem and being an active participant? All those different kind of factors can add to someone's reputation and this kind of identity related reputational score. I think that's really interesting and it's going to really help set us up for this next wave where we can start to really again, segment and understand different user bases rather than just looking at this kind of blanket approach where all wallet addresses look the same. And so I think there's a lot of interesting stuff coming up where everyone's kind of using this time in the bear market to hunker down and say, okay, what do we think is going to win in the next bull market? And I think a lot of people are really bullish on social being kind of one of the next big pushes. We had defi in 2018, we just had NFTs and I think a lot of people are betting on social as that next wave. And so we need all these things for social to succeed. We need really good identity systems and reputation. We need good tools for these kind of social and growth managers because it's all going to be social, it's all about growth hacking. And so I think that it all kind of goes back to that as, where do we think the market's going? What do we really need now to enable that? And those are just a couple areas that I think we're going to see a lot of new projects coming out over the next year or so.

Jessica Galang: All right. That's really exciting. Lauren, thanks a lot for giving that rundown on data composability and where we're at and some new use cases that could pop up over the next little bit. It's really exciting to watch. So appreciate you taking the time.

Lauren Feld: Yeah, thanks so much, Jess. Always happy to be here.


In this episode of Bridging Web3, we spoke to Lauren Feld, an angel investor at Venn Diagram Ventures. Lauren Feld is formerly the Head of Business Development at 3Box Labs, the company behind Ceramic. Ceramic is a decentralized data network that allows developers to build apps with Web3 data. 

Lauren is here to explain how making data composability easier could unlock new use cases for blockchain and get more people onboarded into Web3, and how value creation will happen at the data layer on the blockchain. 


You’ll Hear About:


●  Lauren’s story and why data composability is exciting to her.

●  What attracted Lauren to Web3.

●  What data composability means to Lauren and how it can tie into Web3.

●  Value creation in a Web3 world.

●  The challenges in getting data composability solutions off the ground.

●  Thinking about standards in a different way for Web3.

●  Projects that are trying to create protocol standards.

●  New privacy and security concerns.

●  What Lauren is currently working on. 

●  What Lauren is tracking in the data composability space.

Today's Host

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Jessica Galang


Today's Guests

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Lauren Feld

|Angel Investor, Venn Diagram Ventures