Who knew that leaving the top spot at Twitter could make someone a more interesting follow? The co-founder and (for the second time) former CEO of Twitter Jack Dorsey recently opened up about his issues with so-called “Web3” projects that aren’t decentralized to his liking and the venture capitalists that he says own the whole thing, creating “ultimately a centralized entity with a different label.”
Shockingly, his statements haven’t been received well by fellow tech thought leaders, billionaires, and venture capitalists, who’ve taken turns either trying to minimize his criticism of their blockchain efforts or going directly at him.
Marc Andreessen decided to take the step of blocking @jack, and Dorsey responded by saying he’s been “banned from Web3.” That’s not an unfair statement either, as the former Netscape co-founder and co-founder of Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) is now a huge investor in Web3 startups, tossing money around on DeFi projects, metaverse sneakers, tokens, and anything else that catches his eye. According to its “Web3 reading list” (pdf) document from October, “a16z is the largest investor in this space.”
As researcher Jane Manchun Wong points out, several other big tech exec names have exhibited either blocks or force unfollows of Dorsey as well, so Andreessen is hardly alone in this. However, Dorsey’s rants about Web3 included direct swipes at Andreessen Horowitz partner Chris Dixon and an exchange with Elon Musk — who has his skeptical opinions about the space — accusing the entirety of Web3 of existing “between a and z.”
Andreessen’s use of the block button, however, suggests that the next stage in this tiff will take place somewhere we (or at least you — he blocked me years ago) won’t see it — either behind closed doors or in one of the rooms he promotes on Clubhouse. You remember Clubhouse — it’s the not-so-trendy-anymore audio platform that grew rapidly last year and enjoys financial backing from a16z.
It’s a bit surprising that it took this long to see visible friction between Dorsey and Andreessen since Twitter’s Spaces feature had something to do with dimming the appeal of Clubhouse. Andreessen’s recent tweet encouraging people to come hang out on Clubhouse with the hedge fund billionaire who beat out ConstitutionDAO for a copy of the historic document garnered 19 retweets and 92 likes, while Dorsey’s last tweet about Spaces highlighted an event you can listen to with Alicia Keys and Jay-Z. It got 190 retweets and over one thousand likes.