Office With a View: ”Any innovation that happens in the entertainment space has an immediate global presence,“ Nayana Singh told TheWrap
Nayana Singh, General Manager of Product at ConsenSys, knows the number of NFT doubters has grown, though she encourages skeptics to “separate the hype from the tech.”
“There are two things that are going on — one is the negativity surrounding so many crashes and what we tend to do is tar everything with the same brush,” Singh, who first entered the industry as one of Microsoft’s first product managers focused on blockchain services, told TheWrap for this week’s Office With a View. “The price of underlying crypto might have fallen, but that doesn’t mean that the business use cases, the NFTs they support, the collectibles themselves are now different or less in any way.”
Despite recent stock plunges for crypto, Singh reminds cynics “the concept of NFTs has not changed… The concept of having digitally owning something, and it being associated with you and only you, has not changed.”
In fact, recent crashes can be attributed to not using the technology as it was meant to be used, according to Singh — most notably when individuals and groups create “trusted intermediaries” and falsely advertise themselves in the NFT space — a concept that is incompatible with NFTs, as the technology relies on a decentralized network.
“There was a lot of investments by people in unfortunately, centralized exchanges, which led to a lot of negativity, because they were not using the tech the way it was meant to be used,” Singh said. “You don’t have to trust anyone — there should be no trusted intermediary. In everything that’s crashed, it’s crashed because of a centralized media entity, but unfortunately, they position themselves as Web3 or NFTs.”
As mainstream communities begin to unravel the hype and controversy surrounding NFTs and focus on their use cases, Singh predicts that the entertainment industry can lead the way for NFTs.
“The entertainment space is the most visible space that there is, so any innovation that happens in the entertainment space has an immediate global presence,” Singh said. “What people don’t realize is it’s actually setting the stage for many other industries… the entertainment industry, in many ways, is really the role model for the disruption that’s happening with NFTs and the Web3 space.”
As Hollywood dips its toes into NFTs, Singh says the entertainment industry is “simplifying and humanizing” the technology, bringing it one step closer to mass media by making it accessible to everyday users and encouraging other consumer industries to follow this path.
While the entertainment industry is just one way to make NFTs more accessible, Singh emphasized how NFTs could be further utilized for innovation across industries like gaming, retail and supply chain, to name a few.
“Whether you’re a creator, a collector, developer, an investor, there is a base for everybody in the NFT world no matter where you are,” Singh said. “There’s so much innovation going on, and if there is not enough innovation, it is your chance to innovate in this particular space as well.”
What is a way forward for those who have grown doubtful of NFTs?
Make sure that you’re educating yourself from the right way. When you read articles that are hyped one way or the other, you’re never getting the right news. It’s the same thing as a political affiliation. If you keep reading things based on one party, you will never look at the other side. Similarly, if you’re reading about the hype from what happened in the industry then also read the tech side of it.
What’s something you’ve learned from the industry that you would like to pass on as knowledge to people who are struggling in their career?
I am a woman in the tech space, so things have never really come very easy. Never give up. I don’t understand the word “no.” When people hear the word “no,” they should really think about “no” as a very temporary object, and then you have to figure out how do I navigate around this. Whether you’re struggling in your current job, in your career, [or] in your personal life, everything is transitory. Every negative thing that happens and every roadblock is very transitory, and you have to find a way around that.
What do you see as the key to success in your career?
Having a strong network and a strong support system is really important. We are human beings — we have good days, we have bad days, we have strengths and then we have areas of growth. [Having] someone who’s there in our corner, and who we can have a very open discussion with and who will help us navigate, or see things in a way that see things in a way… gives you a very different perspective… of how you would go back to your work the next day and navigate things.
This interview was edited for length and clarity.