Bloomberg: You mentioned taking on big tech, how do you plan to do that? Is it through cloud? And we know Amazon Web Services has a cloud product, Microsoft’s Azure has a cloud product. How specifically do you plan to tackle taking on big tech?
Dominic: So, the Internet Computer makes it possible to build Internet services in a different way. They’re called Open Internet Services and they’re built using something called Autonomous Software. So, nobody owns an open Internet service but it’s updated by an open governance system and they have an advantage or will have an advantage because they can provide guarantees both to users and also to entrepreneurs that want to build on top of them. So, today there’s something called platform risk stalking the world of tech.
An early example of this would have been Zynga, a social games company. It was very successful, it was built on top of Facebook, it IPOed, its valuation was north of 10 billion dollars and then Facebook changed the rules. The APIs that it had built on top of changed. A few months later Zynga had lost 85% of its value.
More recently, for example, LinkedIn which is the business directory provided APIs that hundreds of startups used to incorporate business profiles into their own services and then LinkedIn revoke those APIs and of course you can imagine what happened so those startups that depended upon the business profiles. The only people who have kept their API access were other big tech players like Salesforce and Microsoft. So, for these reasons if you build on big tech today you’re really building on sand. If you go to a VC and say ‘Look, I’m an entrepreneur, I’ve got this idea to create a new service but I need to build on top of big tech’, you’ll likely get left out of the room. And even the successful recent tech IPOs, I think it’s 17 or 18 of the last 22, mentioned platform risk as being an existential risk for them.
Bloomberg: I’m interested in the fact that you’ve been to big VCs yourself, like Andreessen Horowitz and Polychain Capital. When you explain the peer-to-peer Internet vision to them, how long in an investment are they looking at? When do you gain the critical mass? How do you ensure that you’ve got enough people involved so that this becomes reality sooner rather than later?
Dominic: I think all of them are long-term investors and we believe in the potential of the Internet Computer and the value and the impact it can produce. If we didn’t create the Internet Computer, somebody else would, it’s a natural evolution of the Internet. Ginn’s Nets started off by just providing connectivity and now it’s going to be able to host secure software systems and open Internet services too. So, we’re extending the internet, the technology is available to do this, building on top of advanced computer science and cryptography and so on, if we didn’t do it someone else would do it. So, people are really just backing sort of the long-term evolution of the internet and what it’s gonna do for us.
Bloomberg: What makes you think that the Googles and Amazons of the world are going to relinquish their grip in any sort of way?
Dominic: Well, they’re not and I think what’s going to happen is that they’re going to become increasingly monopolistic, we’re going to see more consolidation, regulators are going to find it hard to deal with this, the first attempts are things like the accept cookies dialog you see on every website. You never see it incidentally on Facebook or Google, it’s just every independent website now has to present the accept cookies dialogue. They’re not very good at fixing stuff, they let Facebook buy Instagram and Whatsapp, they let Google buy Waze and more recently DeepMind, which I think will prove to be a huge mistake. So, over time they’re going to increase the level of regulation and big tech becomes a quasi-nationalized industry which is very highly regulated and then there will be the free open Internet.