Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
“Audentis Fortuna iuvat.” The ancient Latin phrase translates as fortune favors the bold.
It’s a mantra that has survived the test of time for a reason. The world sees those who ask for forgiveness rather than permission as “lucky” when really, they’re seeing the results of proactive and calculated efforts.
Related: Why Entrepreneurship Favors the Bold
In ancient Rome, boldness involved battle-field initiative and political savvy. In the 21st century, some of the boldest moves take place in an economic setting. For businesses looking to maintain their bravery and willingness to take calculated risks in the turbulent year ahead, they should prioritize one innovative area: the metaverse.
The metaverse is the front edge of innovation
Innovation is exciting, but it’s also unpredictable. It isn’t easy to see where an industry or market sector will go over time, especially in an era dominated by the continual evolution and application of new technologies.
This can challenge companies trying to maintain an edge over their competitors and remain at the forefront of their industries. Investments in a promising area like the metaverse set a brand up to discover value in the present while also positioning itself to adapt to future change.
It’s a creative balance that Jeff Wong, Global Chief Innovation Officer at EY, is intimately familiar with. “We need to understand the state of the art technology,” Wong says, “but the only way we knew how to do that was to be on the front edge of what’s possible.”
Wong adds that this isn’t easy, nor is it a clean process, “That’s what I mean by ‘get your hands dirty.’ You have to understand what the state of the art is for your industry, for your company. Otherwise you risk being disrupted.”
This future is founded in tech, like the application of a new tool such as the metaverse.
Related: Now that Crypto Has Crashed, What’s Next for The Metaverse?
Even in a dampened economy, the metaverse has momentum
“Entering the metaverse” isn’t a call to recklessly throw your business’s resources at future potential. Mark Zuckerberg has already proved the foolishness of that kind of foolhardy abandon in the past few years.
The Facebook-founding owner of Meta had to make a major course correction in 2022 when he laid off thousands of employees in a single move. The reasons for this sudden reduction in the tech giant’s workforce were manifold, but Zuckerberg himself took responsibility for the about-face, detailing that “I made the decision to significantly increase our investments. Unfortunately, this did not play out the way I expected.”
Related: The Upside Of Downturns For Entrepreneurs
It’s no secret that many of those investments revolved around Meta’s shift toward the metaverse (from which it gets its name). And even in the face of devastating news, Zuckerberg indirectly pointed to the potential of the metaverse.
Later in the same statement referenced above, the Meta-in-chief added that “We’ve shifted more of our resources onto a smaller number of high priority growth areas,” adding that this includes “our AI discovery engine, our ads and business platforms, and our long-term vision for the metaverse.”
So, even in its devastatingly reduced state, Meta is still investing in the future of the metaverse. Even in an economy on the ropes and a reeling tech sector, Zuckerberg is still pursuing this underdeveloped area of virtual reality.
Why? Because despite the cloudiness of the present, the world is moving that way. One way or another, the metaverse will be part of the future. Those who want to seize the opportunities that it presents need to be invested and pay attention when they appear.
Enter the metaverse in 2023… with discretion
As a final note, the metaverse may already be off to the races …but it hasn’t arrived quite yet. It’s very much so at its genesis, and as such, investors must be cautious.
When you see a suggestion like investing in the metaverse in 2023, make sure that you apply it thoughtfully. Don’t go out and drop a chunk of change on metaverse property without thinking things through. Don’t shift your internal operations to be metaverse dependent without considering the longevity and adaptability of the tools and software you use.
The metaverse is here to stay. But there are still countless variables at play. If your company is interested in staying at the forefront of its industry, you should be investigating how the metaverse will impact innovation, specifically within those boundaries. From there, use that information to develop an investment strategy that balances boldness and risk as you look for ways to guide your enterprise into the metaverse in the year ahead.