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Figma recently launched a new product, a collaborative web application for interface design, was purchased by Adobe for $20 billion. It’s worth thinking about why Figma has been so successful and why Adobe was willing to pay so much for it.

Figma was founded on collaboration. It was an excellent design tool. It ran in the browser without any downloads. Figma was more than anything a tool for collaboration. This was the goal right from the start. Collaboration wasn’t an afterthought; it was baked in.

My thesis concerning the metaverse It’s about enabling collaboration. VR goggles and AR glasses? Fine, but what about AR glasses? metaverse It will not work if it is only used by those who are willing to wear a headset. Crypto? I strongly object to the idea that everything needs to be owned — and that every transaction needs to pay a tax to anonymous middlemen (whether they’re called miners or stakers). Finally, I believe that Facebook/Meta, Microsoft and Others have said the same. metaverse It is about “better meetings” They are simply headed in the wrong direction. I can tell you — anyone in this industry can tell you — that we don’t need better meetings; we need fewer meetings.

However, we still need to collaborate with others, especially in times like these. and Many of us work remotely more often. The real question is how can we reduce the need for meetings and still allow people to work together. Meetings are a tool to organize people, share information with groups, and circulate ideas. They’re a tool for collaboration.

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That’s precisely what tools like Figma are for: Enabling designers to work together on a project conveniently, without conflicting with each other. They’re about demonstrating designs to managers and Other stakeholders. They’re about brainstorming new ideas (that is, with Figjam) with your team members. And they’re about doing all this without requiring people to get together in a conference room, by Zoom, or in any of the other conferencing services. The problem with those tools isn’t really the flat screen, the “Brady Bunch” Design, or the absence thereof; the problem is that it’s still necessary to interrupt people and You can get them to the same place (virtual) at the same moment, which will disrupt any flow.

We don’t need better meetings; we need better tools for collaboration so that we don’t need as many meetings. That’s what the metaverse It is a great tool for business. Tools such as GitHub and Google’s Colab are really about collaboration, as are Google Docs and Microsoft Office 365. The metaverse It is closely associated with gaming and Look at Overwatch and other games. and Fortnite, you’ll see that they are really about collaboration among online players. That’s what makes these games fun. Nothing against VR. gogglesYou don’t need to interact with other players in real-time. You don’t need goggles That is why.

Figma was made possible by collaboration and is now worth $20 billion It’s one of the first “enterprise metaverse” applications. It certainly won’t be the last.

Mike Loukides, VP of Emerging Tech Content at O’Reilly Media.

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