Lana Hopkins on Why It Was So Important to Create Platform, Some.Place

POPSUGAR Australia is dedicating the month of October to featuring the next generation of inspired thinkers and courageous individuals who are building and manifesting a brighter future — because the next gen is unstoppable. We will deliver personal essays from young Australians who are making a name for themselves, as well as inspiring thought pieces and interviews with rising talent in the Web3 space throughout the month. Find all of our pieces here.

I believe it’s time to shift your way of thinking about NFTs, the metaverse, cryptocurrency, the blockchain and all of the other buzzwords that usually have you tuning out. How can we use this technological leap to uplift and elevate creators who bring colour to our world? If you’re unfamiliar with what I’m talking about, it’s important to start learning. This technology is not going away.

As Co-Founder and CEO of some·place, there’s a simple way to describe what our purpose is. Ultimately, we want to bring the true magic of a talented photographer, a fine-art auction, or a cutting-edge streetwear brand to you in a way you’ve never experienced before. Imagine the storytelling possibilities in a 3D place that puts an emphasis on elevated design and humans, not algorithms. You’ll be able to buy a painting directly from an artist and display it immediately or host a gravity-defying activation in a giant mushroom forest. 

We’re here to empower the next wave of creativity, powered by commerce. 

Why? And Why Is It Important?

For so long, going back to the days when I founded Mon Purse, I have looked for ways to tell stories in richer ways. Creativity and imagination need an elevated canvas beyond what we’ve been able to reach to date. The truth is, the current digital path we are on lacks the tools to springboard us into the next dimension of creation and connection.  

People are exhausted by online experiences. As a team, we kept going back to these questions: Why do the tools I have to discover, connect and reach others fall short? Why does our digital experience feel like a hollow, carbon copy of the physical world? 

It’s because our current tools drain us of energy, time and money. Very often, apps and programs create unnecessary walls and cut us off from the rest of our lives. We also have a false choice about data privacy; either allow access to your browser history, your keystrokes, and your private conversations or forget trying to effectively use most programs.  

We realised this needs to change and in order for us to rewrite the rules of being online, the perspective needs to shift back to personal moments and organic discovery. This won’t happen at our current pace, especially with the way tech companies are set up. The leadership and investors need to reflect the customers who are using the product.

For us, that means being unabashedly proud of being female immigrants with consumer-focused backgrounds. We are you and we are designing some·place to solve our own problem so that it can solve yours. Because we also recognise that even though cryptocurrency has levelled the investing playing field somewhat, it hasn’t managed to do it with gender.* 

What Is Some·Place?

It’s a one-stop shop for all the things you care about and a place to discover fresh ideas, on your own terms. Our mission is to give everyone the tools to bring their digital collections into immersive 3D experiences, share them with their audiences and monetise those — empowering a new wave of commerce meets community.

How will users discover new things? You’ll see what your friends are tagging and sharing and it won’t be intermixed with an ad for baby diapers because you talked to your sister on the phone about her newborn last week. You can connect to only the people and communities you care about in a beautiful place. The platform is immersive, elevated and downright magical.  

There are more creative, fresh things going on in fashion, art and music than ever before. We want you to be able to uncover them in a way that doesn’t require you to wade through a sea of advertisements and noise. some·place allows us to elevate and reimagine those discovery experiences, no matter where we are.

Additionally, let’s ditch all the jargon that you hear about Web3 and speak in real terms that actually mean something to you. 

So, Is This a Metaverse?

The “metaverse” is such a buzzword, with no one knowing what it will truly mean — including the people who are trying to build it! What we see some·place as a cultural shift in how we build community and communicate with others. 

We don’t put ourselves in any box because what we’re building doesn’t have a name yet. What we do know is that in order for this next wave of technology — NFTs, Web3, the metaverse — to take hold, we need to be speaking the language of everyone, especially women. Stats show that 86% of Americans say they have heard at least a little about cryptocurrencies, but the majority of them have no practical use for it right now.* Again, the biggest disparities in using crypto are in gender, as 70% of cryptocurrency owners are men.* 

We’re also laser-focused on user experience so some·place will have all the same intuitive features of your favourite apps with none of the clutter. The graphics are beyond what you’ve seen from other platforms or in the news. In fact, someone recently called us the “Four Seasons” in comparison to other metaverse-like products. 

How Can Brands, Communities and Creators Take Advantage of Some·Place?

Web3 is the biggest opportunity for brands since e-commerce and some·place is already on the cutting edge of how that can be leveraged. 

Our platform will revolutionise the way brands can tell global stories to their users and community with a focus on elevated, 3D design and a human-first approach. We can already see how storytelling potential through 3D environments is greater than any 2D interface; including current interfaces like Instagram and a brand’s own website.  

As we saw during the pandemic, companies are limited by the static-ness of IRL retail storefronts. Even before that, a brand’s most important interaction with potential customers was restricted by hours of operations, location, and other operational costs. That’s a problem as most bonding between retail brands and consumers happens when people have the opportunity to really embrace storytelling and product engagement.

We also anticipate Web3 making it easier for brands to connect with their evangelists and supporters in deeper ways. The current digital advertising model does nothing to empower brand champions. A focus on human connection and personal moments give these core supporters the tools to stop being spectators and become true participants.

How Can I Get Involved?

Individuals: At this time, you can participate and help us shape some·place through owning a Potion, available on Rarible.

The Potion is a digital collectible that cements you as a founding member and gives you access to the app in its current Beta form. Once we hit public app stores, some·place will be available for all to use. Once that happens, you’ll be able to fully participate in the ecosystem through discovery, commerce and connection with your friends, communities and favourite brands.

Creators/Brands/Communities: The some·place brand experience is a crucial bridge between the physical experience and digital environments. With an elevated level of immersion, design, and reach, we have the tools to bring your vision to life in ways you’ve never thought possible. 

We’re currently onboarding new partners and already have an incredible line-up prepared for next year. Our first launch will be with a top streetwear brand out of Los Angeles, but eventually, anyone can set up a business profile and speak directly to their audience. You can bring your vision to life, provide exclusive access for your customers and participate in commerce all on one platform. 

*Cryptocurrency has a big gender problem

*16% of Americans say they have ever invested in traded or used cryptocurrency

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