Verticals of One

A Vertical of One is an individual with access to a complete ensemble of discrete, modular plug and play technologies.


6 minutes

This is the first post in an ongoing scrapbook series. Exploring the emerging Dweb (Web3) ecosystem, the #supportnet, and the coming β€˜Metaverse’.

I’ve been thinking about Verticals Of One as a placeholder term for a while. A suitcase word to describe how individuals will operate inside the coming Web3/Dweb software stack that’s about 5mins in the future. This is important as Web3 is the runway that will inform how we operate in the coming Metaverse – due to arrive in about 15mins time.

Verticals of One

A Vertical of One is an individual with access to a complete ensemble of discrete, modular plug and play technologies. Such as: financial plumbing, dynamic IP ownership, content delivery, walled gardens, community gates, governance tools, and smart contracts operating at different levels of abstraction. Interoperable, yet vertically integrated to produce one (nominally seamless) user experience.

Once met – individuals operating as Verticals of One will be able to seamlessly enter and exit new forms of Alegal organisations built around a “nexus of contracts”. Associate with, create, own, and retain collective value. Whilst cooperating inside an ecosystem of new monetary fabrics.

At its core a Vertical of One is a type of user experience that doesn’t exist today. A term I feel that’s useful when gesturing towards what the Dweb is going to feel like to use when it arrives.

A Vertical of One could be also be restated as a ‘Platform of One’.

I am indebted to the work of firm Rival Strategy, their thinking on Platform Design and our many conversations along the way. Their essay is a great primer to platform thinking and design.

I conceptualise the ‘Vertical’ in Vertical of One as the users technical or internal computational reality.

Rival break down their thinking into three layers. Platform, Service and Product.

After working on the book Land As Platform over the last few years it has become my preference to tweak their nomcelemture for flexibility.


Platform, Service, Product. Rival Strategy 2019.
Horrible edits my own.

The platform is the foundational element in the system – in this case the user.

The ‘array of components’ within Rival Strategy’s platform layer are TOOLS. These include: financial plumbing, dynamic IP ownership, content delivery, walled gardens, community gates, governance tools etc.

Rival define SERVICES as an act performed on another’s behalf. When you interact with SERVICES in the Dweb, various TOOLS in your vertical will be spun up accessed, used and then put away.

Currently in the world of Web2 financial plumbing is handled on behalf of the user. Patreon and Substack both provide the ability to accept transactions, the processing of these transactions themselves are (most commonly) handled by, and beneath that is the network processor VISA.

In the Dweb, financial plumbing is handled by the user in the form of a wallet, or a safe.

  • If you remove the financial plumbing from Substack you are left with an address book, a community gate and an email server.
  • If you remove the financial plumbing from Patreon you are left with an address book, a content delivery system and a community gate.

Web2 platforms (or Dweb upstarts) will ultimately become SERVICES that stitch various TOOLS on behalf of the user together. These SERVICES will operate more like brands. They will have monad and venn like qualities.

Some brands may or may not be interoperable with each other.

This might sound like bad UX but the day to day user experience would be similar to my current life: I am not on Whatsapp. If you want to contact me please use a different SERVICE.

This is an important quality as it will allow for individuals (or collectives) to decide what value (if any) is contributed to a service. For example: I would like to use an invoice SERVICE that would make it impossible for a client to pay me outside my payment terms based on our contract. Another example would be “Our brand provably does not interact with any other SERVICE or Product that is not carbon neutral or carbon negative”. Or, “We do not do business with you if employees are forced to work longer than their contracted hours”.

Joining or forming a DAO.

For example: This requires SERVICE layers. Individuals entering or forming a DAO may all be using different SERVICES to cluster their TOOLs to enter the autonomous organisation.

SERVICES will be preferential depending on the user. Providing different qualities of user experience. Perhaps one perspective DAO member prefers to use a smart contract visualiser that provides feedback on what is being agreed in the style of the terms of service visualiser In contrast, another member maybe be happy to read all the code, or see the nexus of contracts and what the affordances are represented in some as yet unexplored/unimagined manner.

The product layer in Rivals 3 layer stack describes an executed service.

An executed service in our example is ultimately membership of a DAO. Allowing for the Creation, ownership, and retantion and sharing of collective value.

In addition to being a user experience a Vertical of One also a term that describes the entire SURFACE of a user. Well beyond the current single concerns of key ownership or identity-as-surface that many projects are still concerned with still in the current moment.

The SURFACE is the ‘one’ in vertical of one.

NOTE: This post may contain a lot of buzzwordy jargon. I intend to build a glossary page linked off the Dimensino category home page soon.

Never Miss A Post

Dimensino is an ongoing series: Over the next few posts I will be posting notes building on a recent THREAD by Jacob Navok co-author of the Epic Primer. Exploring: Sources of value vs organising value, PERMISSIVE IPs and Headless Brands, and how everything is Totally Fucked For Everyone.

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7 responses to “Verticals of One”

  1. […] last weeks post let’s return to SERVICES. Let’s call Games Publishers and Record Labels in the […]

  2. […] A Dweb login however would be a first step in rolling out wallet infrastructure (Either something like Metamask or native to Discord) to a large user base. The first sign of Verticals Of One. […]

  3. […] is maturing fast. Eventually as the web gets redesigned around users and not platforms Verticals of One will become the default user […]

  4. […] We previously described PLATFORMs as a foundational element in a system, a kind of stage on which certain activities can β€œrun”. […]

  5. […] content, paid subscription and encrypted credentials etc. It would be a good first step toward the Vx1 paradigm we are moving toward in the medium term. Google are also a big enough stack to force […]

  6. […] I wrote in Verticals Of One; Substack is ultimately just an address book, a community gate and an email server […]

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