Jayaram has just introduced an exciting service to help clients navigate Web3. Known as MetaMentor, the program is designed for forward-thinking business leaders who are ready to strategize, develop tactics and implement Web3 technology to augment sales and fundraising efforts. In our search for the right change-maker, we found a Web3 expert with an infectious intellect and energy who is leading the charge in concert with key team members. From integrating crypto wallets to successfully launching NFT drops to developing online decentralized communities for sales or investment, you’ve now got a friend in the know (and boy, does he know)!
Meet Arsh Shah, our resident MetaMentor.
Noah Ornstein (N.O.): You’re a busy guy and we appreciate you taking the time to speak with us today, Arsh. Let’s start at the top. Can you tell us a little about your background, you know, where you’re from, your training, and a bit of your career trajectory?
Arsh Shah (A.S.): Of course! I’m a 28 year old lawyer, entrepreneur and consultant operating at the intersection of law, technology and public policy. I’m currently pursuing my fourth educational degree, having trained at Lake Forest College, and the University of Sydney to name a few. I started in business development at Sidley Austin LLP, and even advised the Australian Prime Minister’s Department on AI Ethics and data privacy legislation. I currently consult startups and am also building my third company!
N.O. For folks who don’t know, can you briefly share what Web3 is all about? What does the technology look like right now and what should people expect in the relatively near future?
A.S. Web3 is all about the new generation of the internet. When traditional media platforms like Google and Twitter began, we were in a read/write system; we could only consume content. Decentralization is important because it allows for freer communication and doesn’t keep content moderation and financial power with a central authority or company. Everyone can become a true entrepreneur, leveraging their own information. Web3 enables more ownership of our data and our ideas, and creates a new wave of channels for monetization. The opportunities are growing exponentially to grow and develop brand equity through the fractionalized ownership of ideas and intellectual property. Also, a heads up: people should expect decentralized wallets and tokens to be a normal part of their daily lives in the future.
N.O. Putting yourself in your shoes as a 12 year old, what would he think of what you do?
A.S. I think that 12 year old me would be absolutely mind blown. At 12, I hadn’t explored much of the planet, let alone my own capabilities. Looking into the future, I would have likely been in awe of myself being able to connect people from all over the world, work with the latest technologies, and to advise the best institutions in the world. It’s always been a dream of mine to work with the most esteemed organizations in education and service. Little did I know that I would be here having been so fortunate to accomplish so much, 16 years later.
N.O. Why do you think Web3 technology is so important to understand right now? What is the biggest takeaway people should remember when they think of it?
A.S. Web3 has the power to empower communities in a much faster way, without the need for centralization. Not everyone understands that concept. Any group of people can come together and build a community around a particular issue, monetize it, and create governance ecosystems—literally in under an hour. The biggest takeaway that people should remember is that in Web3, people are everything. And as quickly as a community can be built, it can just as easily dissolve.
N.O. Those are important things to keep in mind, for sure. What do you think the biggest misconception is about Web3, metaverses, NFT’s and the trappings of this next iteration of the digital life?
A.S. The biggest misconception is that Web3 needs to be obvious in practice. It doesn’t. In fact, the best Web3 solutions that I have seen and also built upon are actually invisible, or seamless rather. Also, people are chasing the financial gains of these technologies way too often without paying attention to the strategic way(s) to capitalize on them. They will be the norm going forward, so don’t worry, stop rushing, and think critically about what your needs are now and what they may be in the future.
N.O. What do you hope to accomplish with MetaMentor?
A.S. I hope to expand the understanding of Web3 for our upcoming collaborators and clients, many of whom may not understand the best combinations of these existing technologies for their own use cases. It is my hope that after working with us, they’re able to intelligently and properly choose the right technologies. I hope to assist each client with navigating the difficult (and often treacherous) regulatory side of Web3. There are a lot of unknowns as we move swiftly toward regulation and people like me are here to help guide you—it’s my life’s work!
N.O. Outside of MetaMentor, are there any other metaverse or Web3 projects you are working on right now?
A.S. I’m advising a few other projects in the NFT and DAO spaces, as well as raising capital for projects in the European and Asian markets. I’m also building a next-gen network for creative entrepreneurship.
N.O. You never stop moving! What motivates you to work so hard? What’s the actual thing that gets you up and going everyday—that natural high?
A.S. Honestly, trying to make a change in singular communities. One of my key tenets in life is to give value first, always. I always seek to help others before asking anyone for something. My interactions become a win-win and everyone is left with that warm and fuzzy feeling inside.
N.O. We have certainly seen that spirit as we have collaborated on this project with you—and thank you for that. What would you say is the most challenging part of your work? And what do you find most rewarding about your work for Jayaram?
A.S. The most challenging part of my work is the puzzle that is an individual project. In Web3, there are always a number of moving parts and sometimes they can be challenging to interlace together; but it’s possible! Combine that with changing technologies, broken protocols, and ensuring client needs are met and it can be tough. The most rewarding part of working for Jayaram is 100% a phenomenal internal team, their well respected reputation and sky-high levels of client satisfaction. I always feel so incredibly lucky!
N.O. Shucks! Thanks! Let me ask you: what is your biggest fear for the future of your industry?
A.S. My biggest fear for the future of this industry is that regulation scares people away from using some pretty phenomenal technologies and tools that Web3 enables. Sure, we need rules to give broad guidance, but we can’t let regulation turn us away from the broader benefits that Web3 will eventually allow us to adopt.
N.O. You’ve worked with some major institutions and initiatives across the globe. What is your proudest accomplishment so far?
A.S. I am most proud of being able to advise the World Economic Forum, a phenomenal institution with such broad global impact as it allows me to affect the lives of so many with my work.
N.O. We know you’re into gaming, so we have to ask: what game are you playing right now and why? What do you like most about gaming?
A.S. I love traditional console games, mostly puzzlers and management style sims. I just finished Spiritfarer, a management game about death that touches on the pain we face throughout life. Highly recommend it. Games can be great in play-to-earn fashion, but I really love games that make me think deeply about my place in the world. Some people don’t even realize those types of games are out there!
N.O. Lastly, because it’s us… what would you sing at Karaoke night and why.
A.S. Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen, because it’s long heralded as a work in progress—also, Freddie Mercury, man. I mean, come on.
N.O. Thanks for sharing your time with us, Arsh! Any final thoughts?
A.S. Thank you Noah! My final thought is that if you or someone you know is in need of navigating anything within Web3, give me a shout!