[Dive #88] Interoperability: Sandbox, Genies, and Ready Player Me

Another buzzword for y'all 🐝

If you’ve hung around the Web3 space for a while, you probably have heard of the term ‘interoperability’.

Interoperability this, Interoperability that. How about we “inter-rupt” the conversation and peel the layers on this concept.

What is interoperability?

Through repetition and context, I’ve been able to understand what it means for myself…and hopefully I can explain it to you! Let’s see how others explain the concept first.

Lisk explains the concept from a technical and blockchain POV:

Great example with e-mail being interoperable!

Jon Radoff (CEO of Beamable) mentions interoperability from a wallet and asset POV:

Not only can blockchains be interoperable, but the digital things that you own can be interoperable as well!

We even see the concept of interoperability in healthcare:

Holy crap this is a pretty deep explanation, with all the levels. The person who created this framework for healthcare must be into Web3 as well 😂

TPan you just made me more confused. Sorry! Here’s my ultra-diluted definition:

Interoperability is taking two items and having them operate together.

Wait…that’s it? IMO, yes. Sometimes, the simplest explanations are the best. Though the above definitions and contexts are more accurate and detailed, it’s just having two things ‘operate’ together in some way.

What’s nice about the broad definition that I’m making is that we’re able to abstract the concept of interoperability and realize that this is already happening in our everyday lives.

Categories of interoperability

Before we get into some everyday examples, what’s helpful is understanding that there are different levels of interoperability: Platform, Brand, and Product.

It ain’t a TPan piece if there aren’t any examples!

Platform interoperability

Layer Zero - The ‘platform’ in this case is blockchains, but LayerZero is building out an omnichain interoperability protocol 👀.

I don’t think I’m qualified to explain much more than that…but let’s just say in the future it won’t matter what blockchain you’re doing __________ on, it’ll just happen.

Personally, I want to dig into Layer Zero more, there’s a lot of excitement around what they’re building. Maybe a Dive for another day.

Brand interoperability

As a marketing and growth guy, this is one of my favorite ones. Let’s take one of the biggest piece of gaming news to come out last week: Dragonball Z partnered with Fortnite to create playable characters.

This image really sums up what brand interoperability could look like:

In what universe would Naruto, Goku, Darth Vader, and Rick end up in the same place? Fortnite, that’s where.

Seeing this in action gets way more ridiculous, I mean Goku with a lightsaber?! 😳

CORN͏ ✧* @222corn

bro how the actual fuck is fortnite real LMFAOOOO

10:53 PM ∙ Aug 16, 2022


Product interoperability

There is a pretty strong overlap between Brand and Product interoperability, but a good example for a product would be for video games:


Same platform, same brand, and a new console (product) that is backwards compatible with many older titles (product).

Other examples

Thinking back on my piece on Derivatives and Metas, many of the examples I provided illustrating the concept of derivatives are also great examples for interoperability:

  • Memes: A version of platform x product interoperability. The theme (platform) of the meme stays the same, but the content (product) of the meme changes.

  • Music: Remixes, covers, acoustic versions of a song are variations of brand and product interoperability.

  • Fashion: Collaborations are brand x product interoperability.

Let’s take this one step further and I’ll stop.

Ideas are interoperable.

I’m practically an interoperability conspiracy theorist at this point 😂

But seriously…if we have an idea and share that ‘What if’ to someone else, the idea itself is interoperable in a sense.

Here’s a chart explaining this framework. It’s far from perfect and there are overlaps, but it helps me to go from an interoperability conspiracy theorist to a thought leader.

That’s how it works right? You make a diagram and call yourself a thought leader?

Have you ever had an idea? If so, here’s my idea: subscribe or share this!


Alright, let’s stop thinking so high level and get to some more practical and recent examples of interoperability from recent headlines:

Sandbox’s Alpha Season 3

Sandbox recently announced their Alpha Season 3 event:

Twitter avatar for @TheSandboxGame

The Sandbox @TheSandboxGame

You can enjoy some the coolest #NFT collections and brands to play as in #SandboxAlphaS3 👇 @moonbirds @OlivexFitness @People0fCrypto @GutterCatGang @RTFKT @coolcatsnft @ToolsOfRockNFT @CyberKongz


1:00 PM ∙ Aug 21, 2022


Instead of just staring at your jpegs, you can now play with them in the metaverse!

The Sandbox is one of the largest metaverse platforms and is only open for users to during these Alpha Season events.

Starting tomorrow, Sandbox will be open with a large variety of experiences and quests. When users complete the quests, they’ll have the opportunity to participate in raffles and win SAND (currency for the Sandbox ecosystem.).

In addition to NFT projects, the Sandbox is partnering with other brands and notable individuals:

More details here and here.

Genies x Quavo/Takeoff music video

As a beta tester in Genies, it’s been fun to see what the digital avatar (and much more than that) company is up to. Yesterday they had a fun announcement:

The music video shows Quavo and Takeoff (two big rappers) dancing and rapping to one of their recent singles, “Hotel Lobby”. I’m a sucker for the pop rap sub-genre, so I enjoyed listening to this song in addition to the Genies integration.

A few hours ago, Genies announced another music video with Alison Wonderland, a DJ.

It seems that the Genies partnership with Warner and Universal Music are starting to materialize 😉. More thoughts I’ve written on virtual influencers if you’re interested.

Ready Player Me funding announcement

Earlier today, Ready Player Me announced a $56 million Series B fundraise, led by non other than a16z’s GAMES FUND ONE (I wonder why they chose all caps, it feels like I need to yell at someone after typing that).

What do they do?

So as a hypothetical, let’s say you have that Goku skin from Fortnite, awesome! You’re flying around blasting people to bits…but you can only do that in Fortnite.

What if you could take that Goku skin you purchased and use it in 100 other games, metaverses, or environments? That’s what Ready Player Me’s platform is enabling.

Along with a16z, they have a lot of big names that have joined in, from both Web2 and Web3:

Great, they have the warchest. Do they have the network? I think so…

It’s an impressive list.

So what?

Ah the infamous “TPan so what?! My takeaways are that you are an interoperability conspiracy theorist and you like pop rap.”

We’re still ‘early’ when it comes to to interoperability…but the sun is shining and the planted seeds have sprouted and are growing quickly with the fertilizer mix that is funding, brand interest, and consumer interest.

Going back to the concepts shared earlier, Sandbox, Genies, and Ready Player Me are platforms that are building the foundation for the consumer-facing fun stuff that is brand and product interoperability.

This isn’t the end all be all. There are also a lot of unanswered questions and topics related to this (monetization, scalability, legal rights, etc.).

However, I think in the coming months, we’ll start to see some of those questions answered as we see rich examples of interoperability across platforms, brands, and products that used to be what-if’s.

See you tomorrow. Time to think of some more conceptual conspiracy theories!

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