“Lana Hopkins and Juliana DiSimone are pioneering our digital future”, host Julie Stevanja opens the final episode of The Flipside. The entrepreneurial pair are the founders of some·place, a mobile web3 platform, blending commerce and connection. Without the algorithms and endless scrolling, the intuitive multiplayer world allows users to interact and express themselves in a real time 3D digital space, as well as in real life. With AR technology, some·place is a more human approach to social media, and since launching in March this year, has attracted the attention of A-list celebrities including Reese Witherspoon, Brie Larson, Eva Longoria, and Lionel Richie. Together, Hopkins and DiSimone are on a mission to break down barriers and make the digital experience more accessible and equitable for all.
In the eighth and final episode of The Flipside, Sali Sasi and Stevanja speak with Hopkins and DiSimone on the challenges female founders face when seeking out funding, how they’re humanising web3 and what it really means to interact in the digital world in 2022.
What Hopkins and DiSimone are creating with their joint venture, some·place, is a mobile metaverse that makes digital culture accessible for everyone. As DiSimone explains: “Think of some·place as a highly immersive and high fidelity platform where brands and creators can deliver their stories and narratives through very beautiful, elevated 3D experiences.”
She adds, “Fans of a brand no longer want to be seen as consumers, and when I talk about brands, I mean NFT communities, celebrities, and personalities — a brand as we know brands to be, traditionally. They don’t want to be seen as consumers anymore, they want to be seen as valuable community members and, above all, valid participants. You want to know that whatever you’re doing is participating in the future of something.”
Through some·place, users can immerse themselves in the things they’re really passionate about. “It’s a platform where they can do what they can build, they can grow and they can monetise those experiences while creating stronger bonds with their communities,” adds Hopkins.
Since launching some·place, the platform has garnered the attention of some of the world’s most famous people, from Reese Witherspoon to Eva Longoria. When actress Brie Larson, known for playing Captain Marvel in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, tweeted that she too had joined the some·place metaverse, the post was met with criticism, which Hopkins and DiSimone associate with the “fear” of entering a digital world.
It was an important lesson for the two founders, who realised quickly that they had a “responsibility to educate” around what this metaverse looked like.
“We don’t know what the metaverse is going to turn out to be, but what we do know today and what we believe in is that the metaverse should be this bridge between real and digital and how the two come together to really improve your life,” explains DiSimone. “So even though it was that one shocking moment, it was also a really important moment for us because it showed us, we have a lot of work to do here to get people away from that idea that the metaverse and NFTs have to be looked at in this format. We can reshape that and give people something that they see true utility in their life, daily.”
Hopkins and DiSimone touch on the topic of being women in the tech industry, which naturally comes with countless challenges, particularly when seeking funding for a new business. The pair agree that they’ll always remember what it took to get to where they are, and that “power can be distributed”.
“I think we need major change in this department when it comes to female founders making it and getting to the top. For us internally, our sole goal is to bring others with us, and that’s women and every minority at the table.”
“Power can be distributed, it doesn’t mean it’s diluted,” adds Sasi. “If anything, it’s amplified and that’s really what we need.”