Observation 1: The community is real I can’t even begin to tell you how welcoming the community has been. My DMs were full of “messages of encouragement” after my “red pill” tweet – Frank Rotman
Last week I took the red pill. Here are a few of my “week 1 observations” from my early steps into the land of crypto/web3. 🧵👇
2/28: Observation 1: The community is real I can’t even begin to tell you how welcoming the community has been. My DMs were full of “messages of encouragement” after my “red pill” tweet. And everyone who I reached out to has been extremely happy to answer my remedial questions.
3/28: Observation 2: Getting set up sucks I asked a number of people about what they’d suggest as a “minimum viable setup” and while there were many commonalities in the answers, there was enough of a divergence to require research.
4/28: This is a “no duh” insight, but for web3 to really achieve mass adoption status, the onboarding needs to be more straight forward, bundled and magical. Opening 4-5 new accounts and buying hardware hasn’t been fun.
5/28: Observation 3: There’s a lot of waiting around I used Coinbase to buy BTC, SOL and ETH and didn’t realize that it was going to take a solid week before I could move my holdings to MetaMask and Phantom. I understand the “why” behind it but it was a big surprise.
6/28: This matters because I wanted to play around and was basically put in time-out for a week which is the opposite of a “magical onboarding experience”. When I told people about the hold they shared similar stories or responded with “OMG – No to Coinbase. Try Gemini”.
7/28: Observation 4: Volatility triggered emotions Call me a simpleton, but I had different rationales for each token purchase. I was planning on holding BTC as an investment and entry into DeFi. But I thought of my ETH and SOL holdings as a way to play in the web3 world.
8/28: So when I experienced a 10% drop in my portfolio almost overnight, it came with emotions. For my BTC holdings, it felt like buying stock based on a long-duration bull thesis, but for my SOL and ETH holdings it felt like I immediately lost buying power. It didn’t feel right.
9/28: Observation 5: I sent out signals without knowing it The number and nature of messages that I received after joining Telegram was pretty damn funny. All were variations on the theme: “You must really be taking crypto seriously if you joined Telegram”
10/28: While I find this funny I also find it pretty sobering. What the community was basically telling me is that Telegram is for communication and coordination activities specifically focused on crypto trades. Maybe this is true but I’m not “in the club” so I have no idea.
11/28: Observation 6: Not everyone in on the same mission It didn’t take long before another “no duh” insight popped out. The crypto/web3 community isn’t one thing. Some people are there purely for financial gain. Others are there for the sheer joy of being part of a community.
12/28: Great advice came from a friend: “Just have fun. Don’t be so serious. Go out and buy a token of a cat because it’s frickin’ hilarious.” Someone else said: “Join a few active communities and play the guessing game of who’s winning/using and who’s losing/being used.”
13/28: Observation 7: The base of the pyramid is scary Even though I couldn’t do anything with my ETH and SOL I ended up joining a few Discord groups. It’s been fun but it’s also SUPER clear IMHO that the lure of financial riches is dominating the base of the pyramid.
14/28: The creativity that DAOs and NFTs and web3 technologies are unleashing is inspiring and is honestly why I finally decided to take the red pill. But when it’s soooo obvious how to use group think and FOMO tactics to hype and scam then it’s actually quite saddening.
16/28: In the article, there’s a section about meritocracy that I find fascinating. “When Michael Young coined the term meritocracy in 1958, it was in a dystopian satire. At the time, the world he imagined, in which intelligence fully determined who thrived and who…”
17/28: “…languished was understood to be predatory, pathological, far-fetched. Today, however, we’ve almost finished installing such a system, and we have embraced the idea of a meritocracy with few reservations, even treating it as virtuous…”
18/28: “…That can’t be right. Smart people should feel entitled to make the most of their gift. But they should not be permitted to reshape society so as to instate giftedness as a universal yardstick of human worth.”
19/28: A few of the Discord groups I joined are good examples of the Dunning-Kruger effect in action. The D-K effect is a type of cognitive bias in which people believe that they are smarter and more capable than they really are.
20/28: Many people do not possess the ability to recognize their own incompetence. This leads to fools being blind to their own foolishness. Charles Darwin said it best in his book The Descent of Man, “Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
21/28: Observation 8: Scarcity is a double-edged sword The majority of the web3 conversations I had leading up to my red pill moment revolved around the concept of scarcity. But scarcity is as much of a flaw as it is a feature and I’m seeing some of the downsides first hand.
22/28: A VAST oversimplification of the philosophical ethos of Web3 is: Decentralization and democratization of products and services is superior to having them held tightly by organizations and powerful individuals.
23/28: Scarcity doesn’t help this mission at all. Scarcity definitely helps drive FOMO and allows for Creators to get paid for their talents. But mass production is about adoption and inclusion and artificial scarcity flies in the face of participation.
24/28: I’m new to the web3 world — really new — so I don’t know WTF I’m talking about yet. But I have to admit that I feel like I’m in High School again with cliques everywhere and haves and have nots being minted everywhere I turn.
25/28: For instance, I found a cool NFT project that I’d love to participate in (@OwlCouncilNFT). I wrote a children’s book that has an Owl and a Panda as its main characters (representing me and my wife) so it would be cool to have an Owl NFT as an avatar.
26/28: But what happens if I don’t end up with an Owl after tomorrow’s public launch? Do I pay 10X the price on OpenSea to become an official member of the community? I completely understand scarcity (I have 25,000 comic books), but inclusion and scarcity are bitter enemies.
27/28: I think of it like one’s musical tastes. Our system is set up so that everyone can listen to the same song whether you’re rich or poor. There’s no cap on the community. We’re not in medieval times where you had to be rich to get a command performance in your castle.
28/28: That’s it for “Week 1”. Here’s hoping that I can actually do something in “Week 2”! And as always, advice is welcome. I’m just a noob trying to figure things out!