The metaverse might be the most important trend in tech since the iPhone—or it might be the next Dotcom bust. But big business doesn’t want to risk missing out.
In the early aughts, David Baszucki stole the show at his kids’ middle-school science fair. The software designer turned entrepreneur brought with him a new invention, a 3D-simulator project he’d been working on day and night. Yes, the 59-year-old Baszucki is that dad who leans into his geekiness.
The project was based on a program he had created back in the 1980s, a two-dimensional simulator called Interactive Physics. His former company, Knowledge Revolution, licensed it to school districts around the country, where students could use it to simulate science experiments. But the addictive part was building and modeling digital objects—houses, cars, whatever. What’s more, users could take their simulated cars, for example, and crash them into something, and inspect the damage. That’s when a light bulb went off. Users “wanted to go into the worlds they were making,” Baszucki would later recall. Not only that, users wanted their own avatars and the ability to chat with their friends, also represented as avatars. Baszucki and Erik Cassel, a software engineer with whom he worked at Knowledge Revolution, set off to build that world.
Foto: Investing in the metaverse: 13 stocks to buy for 2022