Today is day 2️⃣5️⃣ of my 30 day challenge.
Yesterday, I wrote a quick post on how it was a good decision for me to be open minded when I started this writing challenge. I didn't pigeonhole myself to just write about web3, but rather focused on the process of researching and writing. Over the last few weeks, I've written about a variety of things from current events in tech to the history of the transistor and venture capital. And over the course of this challenge, I found myself connecting the dots back to crypto in many of the posts unintentionally. By not spending time on crypto twitter and getting rid of the noise, I feel ready to approach web3 with a fresh new lens. This time around, I'm trying to look at how web3 fits into the bigger picture, not just how the ~10,000 active people at conferences are using the tech.
Key takeaway from yesterday's post:
Sometimes, looking and spending time elsewhere can give you more clarity and conviction on your primary goals and mission.
Check out the full post here: "Picture yourself finding inspiration by looking away"
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Recently, I've been thinking a ton about how to reapproach deep diving web3. I don't think there's one right answer. I'm just trying to figure out what will be the most efficient, fun, and logical way for me to do so.
Below, I explore the main questions and pathways that are top of mind for me and then I provide a list of examples as well.
I'd love to hear any thoughts on how you categorize the variety of projects & developments in the ecosystem. It's tough especially in a space that moves as fast as crypto. Take a few days off and it feels like you missed a years worth of announcements 😂
Key Takeaways: I'm thinking of two types of posts that can help me relearn web3
It could be interesting to tie in a new web3 product with an OG tool to give myself and readers not only the value of the startup, but also its logical place in the broader technological progression.
To learn more theoretical and infra related technical web3 concepts, the best approach might be comparing themes across different blockchains and platforms to understand the nuances of value accrual in the space.
Ask the right questions
In order to figure out how I want to approach my crypto learning, I need to first understand what the heck I'm even trying to gain out of this. So...here's a list of questions that are top of mind for me.
How do I filter out the noise of grifters, half-baked projects, etc?
Do I deep dive chain by chain or pick a theme and look across all chains?
Am I more focused individual projects being built or trends across the space?
What is an overarching web3 value point I'm actively highlighting as I do my research?
Does it really make sense to just categorize by defi, infra, & consumer? What are alternatives?
What metrics should I be focused on?
How much should I be concerned about macro and policy factors?
What's the approach to analyze pre-existing, larger companies (i.e. OS, Uniswap)
Is there a right amount of time I should be using a product before giving my thoughts?
What should my goto tools and resources be to keep up?
How far back into the history of the problem do I want to get?
How technical do I want to get with projects? Should I be deep diving the white papers?
Anyways, these are just some questions I had - I don't have the answers to all of these but they're good to get down on paper as an initial brainstorm.
For this post, I'm going to focus on two of the questions that I want to chalk out more in detail.
Startups vs OGs
Finding the right balance on how much to write about new startups in the space and analyzing the OGs is tough. Both are essential to understand how the ecosystem is going to grow.
Deep diving into new companies popping up provides context on the latest trends, tech, funding, etc. You get a sense of what the fresh, new ideas are and understand how they are going to change the current market. And on the other hand, going through memory lane with the top OG companies in the space gives a better idea of what ideas, product execution, and development style actually works. It becomes easier to see where value is actually accruing.
An idea that came to me just now is trying to see if there's a way to combine talking about a startup and OG every post. That would be pretty fun to think about for me personally because it combines the two things in tech I love the most: historical trends and product development. Although the one caveat would be that the web3 space is still relatively new and maybe there isn't a "OG" for the new ideas I'm finding. Maybe in that case, I use a web2/web2.5 OG and explain the progression there.
For example, if I were to write a post about Paragraph, I would talk about the history of blogging from the early 2000s, the rise of Medium, the Substack business model, and then finally make my way to Paragraph. And if I did a deep dive on Spindl, I could discuss the attribution & attestation digital models spearheaded by FB, Google, and LinkedIn. And if I were to write about Noun Nyms, then I could even discuss the early examples of pseudonymity such as Mark Twain and George Orwell.
This type of analysis would help me chalk out all the consumer products of web3 and how they fit into the overall picture of the tech people use today.
Chains vs Themes
The next thing I'm thinking about is the idea of analyzing the different chains and their activity on them. This one has always been tricky because you have to find the right balance between understanding what's going on each chain but not getting caught up in using every tool out there. That would definitely lead to a time sink.
For example, I don't need to try out every single NFT marketplace or DEX on every L1 and L2 to understand the pros and cons. I should definitely try out a few of the popular ones I haven't used yet, but for the most part the real value will be me looking at the variances in liquidity, key architecture differences, and how user activity differs across the board.
Another example could be looking at the architecture differences in all the L2s that are optimistic rollup based. Why exactly are Arbitrum and Optimism separate chains? What attracts developers to either one?
This type of post will allow me to research and learn further about the infrastructure of web3 at a technical level as well as understand key metrics and why certain tooling is accruing more value.
That's all for today's post!
Hope everyone has a great next week - sending good vibes.
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