More on Web3 & Crypto
3 months ago
Why Bill Gates thinks Bitcoin, crypto, and NFTs are foolish
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates assesses digital assets while the bull is caged.
Bill Gates is well-respected.
Reasonably. He co-founded and led Microsoft during its 1980s and 1990s revolution.
After leaving Microsoft, Bill Gates pursued other interests. He and his wife founded one of the world's largest philanthropic organizations, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He also supports immunizations, population control, and other global health programs.
When Gates criticized Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, and NFTs, it made news.
Bill Gates said at the 58th Munich Security Conference...
“You have an asset class that’s 100% based on some sort of greater fool theory that somebody’s going to pay more for it than I do.”
Gates means digital assets. Like many bitcoin critics, he says digital coins and tokens are speculative.
And he's not alone. Financial experts have dubbed Bitcoin and other digital assets a "bubble" for a decade.
Gates also made fun of Bored Ape Yacht Club and NFTs, saying, "Obviously pricey digital photographs of monkeys will help the world."
Why does Bill Gates dislike digital assets?
According to Gates' latest comments, Bitcoin, cryptos, and NFTs aren't good ways to hold value.
Bill Gates is a better investor than Elon Musk.
“I’m used to asset classes, like a farm where they have output, or like a company where they make products,” Gates said.
The Guardian claimed in April 2021 that Bill and Melinda Gates owned the most U.S. farms. Over 242,000 acres of farmland.
The Gates couple has enough farmland to cover Hong Kong.
Bill Gates is a classic investor. He wants companies with an excellent track record, strong fundamentals, and good management. Or tangible assets like land and property.
Gates prefers the "old economy" over the "new economy"
Gates' criticism of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency ventures isn't surprising. These digital assets lack all of Gates's investing criteria.
Volatile digital assets include Bitcoin. Their costs might change dramatically in a day. Volatility scares risk-averse investors like Gates.
Gates has a stake in the old financial system. As Microsoft's co-founder, Gates helped develop a dominant tech company.
Because of his business, he's one of the world's richest men.
Bill Gates is invested in protecting the current paradigm.
He won't invest in anything that could destroy the global economy.
When Gates criticizes Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, and NFTs, he's suggesting they're a hoax. These soapbox speeches are one way he protects his interests.
Digital assets aren't a bad investment, though. Many think they're the future.
Changpeng Zhao and Brian Armstrong are two digital asset billionaires. Two crypto exchange CEOs. Binance/Coinbase.
Digital asset revolution won't end soon.
If you disagree with Bill Gates and plan to invest in Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, or NFTs, do your own research and understand the risks.
But don’t take Bill Gates’ word for it.
He’s just an old rich guy with a lot of farmland.
He has a lot to lose if Bitcoin and other digital assets gain global popularity.
This post is a summary. Read the full article here.
8 months ago
A Warm Welcome to Web3 and the Future of the Internet
Let's take a look back at the internet's history and see where we're going — and why.
Tim Berners Lee had a problem. He was at CERN, the world's largest particle physics factory, at the time. The institute's stated goal was to study the simplest particles with the most sophisticated scientific instruments. The institute completed the LEP Tunnel in 1988, a 27 kilometer ring. This was Europe's largest civil engineering project (to study smaller particles — electrons).
The problem Tim Berners Lee found was information loss, not particle physics. CERN employed a thousand people in 1989. Due to team size and complexity, people often struggled to recall past project information. While these obstacles could be overcome, high turnover was nearly impossible. Berners Lee addressed the issue in a proposal titled ‘Information Management'.
When a typical stay is two years, data is constantly lost. The introduction of new people takes a lot of time from them and others before they understand what is going on. An emergency situation may require a detective investigation to recover technical details of past projects. Often, the data is recorded but cannot be found. — Information Management: A Proposal
He had an idea. Create an information management system that allowed users to access data in a decentralized manner using a new technology called ‘hypertext'.
To quote Berners Lee, his proposal was “vague but exciting...”. The paper eventually evolved into the internet we know today. Here are three popular W3C standards used by billions of people today:
HTML (Hypertext Markup)
A web formatting language.
URI (Unique Resource Identifier)
Each web resource has its own “address”. Known as ‘a URL'.
HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol)
Retrieves linked resources from across the web.
These technologies underpin all computer work. They were the seeds of our quest to reorganize information, a task as fruitful as particle physics.
Tim Berners-Lee would probably think the three decades from 1989 to 2018 were eventful. He'd be amazed by the billions, the inspiring, the novel. Unlocking innovation at CERN through ‘Information Management'.
The fictional character would probably need a drink, walk, and a few deep breaths to fully grasp the internet's impact. He'd be surprised to see a few big names in the mix.
Then he'd say, "Something's wrong here."
We should review the web's history before going there. Was it a success after Berners Lee made it public? Web1 and Web2: What is it about what we are doing now that so many believe we need a new one, web3?
Per Outlier Ventures' Jamie Burke:
Web 1.0 was read-only.
Web 2.0 was the writable
Web 3.0 is a direct-write web.
Web1: The Read-Only Web
Web1 was the digital age. We put our books, research, and lives ‘online'. The web made information retrieval easier than any filing cabinet ever. Massive amounts of data were stored online. Encyclopedias, medical records, and entire libraries were put away into floppy disks and hard drives.
In 2015, the web had around 305,500,000,000 pages of content (280 million copies of Atlas Shrugged).
Initially, one didn't expect to contribute much to this database. Web1 was an online version of the real world, but not yet a new way of using the invention.
One gets the impression that the web has been underutilized by historians if all we can say about it is that it has become a giant global fax machine. — Daniel Cohen, The Web's Second Decade (2004)
That doesn't mean developers weren't building. The web was being advanced by great minds. Web2 was born as technology advanced.
Web2: Read-Write Web
Remember when you clicked something on a website and the whole page refreshed? Is it too early to call the mid-2000s ‘the good old days'?
Browsers improved gradually, then suddenly. AJAX calls augmented CGI scripts, and applications began sending data back and forth without disrupting the entire web page. One button to ‘digg' a post (see below). Web experiences blossomed.
In 2006, Digg was the most active ‘Web 2.0' site. (Photo: Ethereum Foundation Taylor Gerring)
Interaction was the focus of new applications. Posting, upvoting, hearting, pinning, tweeting, liking, commenting, and clapping became a lexicon of their own. It exploded in 2004. Easy ways to ‘write' on the internet grew, and continue to grow.
Facebook became a Web2 icon, where users created trillions of rows of data. Google and Amazon moved from Web1 to Web2 by better understanding users and building products and services that met their needs.
Business models based on Software-as-a-Service and then managing consumer data within them for a fee have exploded.
Web2 Emerging Issues
Unbelievably, an intriguing dilemma arose. When creating this read-write web, a non-trivial question skirted underneath the covers. Who owns it all?
You have no control over [Web 2] online SaaS. People didn't realize this because SaaS was so new. People have realized this is the real issue in recent years.
Even if these organizations have good intentions, their incentive is not on the users' side.
“You are not their customer, therefore you are their product,” they say. With Laura Shin, Vitalik Buterin, Unchained
A good plot line emerges. Many amazing, world-changing software products quietly lost users' data control.
For example: Facebook owns much of your social graph data. Even if you hate Facebook, you can't leave without giving up that data. There is no ‘export' or ‘exit'. The platform owns ownership.
While many companies can pull data on you, you cannot do so.
On the surface, this isn't an issue. These companies use my data better than I do! A complex group of stakeholders, each with their own goals. One is maximizing shareholder value for public companies. Tim Berners-Lee (and others) dislike the incentives created.
“Show me the incentive and I will show you the outcome.” — Berkshire Hathaway's CEO
It's easy to see what the read-write web has allowed in retrospect. We've been given the keys to create content instead of just consume it. On Facebook and Twitter, anyone with a laptop and internet can participate. But the engagement isn't ours. Platforms own themselves.
Web3: The ‘Unmediated’ Read-Write Web
Tim Berners Lee proposed a decade ago that ‘linked data' could solve the internet's data problem.
However, until recently, the same principles that allowed the Web of documents to thrive were not applied to data...
The Web of Data also allows for new domain-specific applications. Unlike Web 2.0 mashups, Linked Data applications work with an unbound global data space. As new data sources appear on the Web, they can provide more complete answers.
At around the same time as linked data research began, Satoshi Nakamoto created Bitcoin. After ten years, it appears that Berners Lee's ideas ‘link' spiritually with cryptocurrencies.
What should Web 3 do?
Here are some quick predictions for the web's future.
Users own information and provide it to corporations, businesses, or services that will benefit them.
No government, company, or institution should control your access to information (1, 2, 3)
Connect users and platforms:
Create symbiotic rather than competitive relationships between users and platform creators.
“First, the cryptonetwork-participant contract is enforced in open source code. Their voices and exits are used to keep them in check.” Dixon, Chris (4)
Transacting value, information, or assets with anyone with internet access, anywhere, at low cost
Giving you the ability to own, see, and understand your entire digital identity.
Not pull, push:
‘Push' your data to trusted sources instead of ‘pulling' it from others.
Where Does This Leave Us?
Change incentives, change the world. Nick Babalola
People believe web3 can help build a better, fairer system. This is not the same as equal pay or outcomes, but more equal opportunity.
It should be noted that some of these advantages have been discussed previously. Will the changes work? Will they make a difference? These unanswered questions are technical, economic, political, and philosophical. Unintended consequences are likely.
We hope Web3 is a more democratic web. And we think incentives help the user. If there’s one thing that’s on our side, it’s that open has always beaten closed, given a long enough timescale.
We are at the start.
8 months ago
2 NFT-based blockchain games that could soar in 2022
NFTs look ready to rule 2022, and the recent pivot toward NFT utility in P2E gaming could make blockchain gaming this year’s sector darling.
After the popularity of decentralized finance (DeFi) came the rise of nonfungible tokens (NFTs), and to the surprise of many, NFTs took the spotlight and now remain front and center with the highest volume in sales occurring at the start of January 2022.
Nearly 50% of active cryptocurrency wallets connected to decentralized applications in November were for playing games. The percentage of wallets linked to decentralized finance, or DeFi, dapps fell to 45% during the same period, after months of being the leading dapp use case.
Blockchain play-to-earn (P2E) game Axie infinity skyrocketed and kicked off a gaming craze that is expected to continue all throughout 2022. Crypto pundits and gaming advocates have high expectations for P2E blockchain-based games and there’s bound to be a few sleeping giants that will dominate the sector.
Let’s take a look at five blockchain games that could make waves in 2022.
The inspiration for DeFi Kingdoms came from simple beginnings — a passion for investing that lured the developers to blockchain technology. DeFi Kingdoms was born as a visualization of liquidity pool investing where in-game ‘gardens’ represent literal and figurative token pairings and liquidity pool mining.
As shown in the game, investors have a portion of their LP share within a plot filled with blooming plants. By attaching the concept of growth to DeFi protocols within a play-and-earn model, DeFi Kingdoms puts a twist on “playing” a game.
Built on the Harmony Network, DeFi Kingdoms became the first project on the network to ever top the DappRadar charts. This could be attributed to an influx of individuals interested in both DeFi and blockchain games or it could be attributed to its recent in-game utility token JEWEL surging.
JEWEL is a utility token that allows users to purchase NFTs in-game buffs to increase a base-level stat. It is also used for liquidity mining to grant users the opportunity to make more JEWEL through staking.
JEWEL is also a governance token that gives holders a vote in the growth and evolution of the project. In the past four months, the token price surged from $1.23 to an all-time high of $22.52. At the time of writing, JEWEL is down by nearly 16%, trading at $19.51.
Surging approximately 1,487% from its humble start of $1.23 four months ago in September, JEWEL token price has increased roughly 165% this last month alone, according to data from CoinGecko.
Guild of Guardians
Guild of Guardians is one of the more anticipated blockchain games in 2022 and it is built on ImmutableX, the first layer-two solution built on Ethereum that focuses on NFTs. Aiming to provide more access, it will operate as a free-to-play mobile role-playing game, modeling the P2E mechanics.
Similar to blockchain games like Axie Infinity, Guild of Guardians in-game assets can be exchanged. The project seems to be of interest to many gamers and investors with its NFT founder sale and token launch generating nearly $10 million in volume.
Launching its in-game token in October of 2021, the Guild of Guardians (GOG) tokens are ERC-20 tokens known as ‘gems’ inside the game. Gems are what power key features in the game such as minting in-game NFTs and interacting with the marketplace, and are available to earn while playing.
For the last month, the Guild of Guardians token has performed rather steadily after spiking to its all-time high of $2.81 after its launch. Despite the token being down over 50% from its all-time high, at the time of writing, some members of the community are looking forward to the possibility of staking and liquidity pools, which are features that tend to help stabilize token prices.
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28 days ago
100-day SaaS buildout.
We're opening up Maki through a series of Medium posts. We'll describe what Maki is building and how. We'll explain how we built a SaaS in 100 days. This isn't a step-by-step guide to starting a business, but a product philosophy to help you build quickly.
Focus on end-users.
This may seem obvious, but it's important to talk to users first. When we started thinking about Maki, we interviewed 100 HR directors from SMBs, Next40 scale-ups, and major Enterprises to understand their concerns. We initially thought about the future of employment, but most of their worries centered on Recruitment. We don't have a clear recruiting process, it's time-consuming, we recruit clones, we don't support diversity, etc. And as hiring managers, we couldn't help but agree.
Co-create your product with your end-users.
We went to the drawing board, read as many books as possible (here, here, and here), and when we started getting a sense for a solution, we questioned 100 more operational HR specialists to corroborate the idea and get a feel for our potential answer. This confirmed our direction to help hire more objectively and efficiently.
Back to the drawing board, we designed our first flows and screens. We organized sessions with certain survey respondents to show them our early work and get comments. We got great input that helped us build Maki, and we met some consumers. Obsess about users and execute alongside them.
Don’t shoot for the moon, yet. Make pragmatic choices first.
Once we were convinced, we began building. To launch a SaaS in 100 days, we needed an operating principle that allowed us to accelerate while still providing a reliable, secure, scalable experience. We focused on adding value and outsourced everything else. Example:
Concentrate on adding value. Reuse existing bricks.
When determining which technology to use, we looked at our strengths and the future to see what would last. Node.js for backend, React for frontend, both with typescript. We thought this technique would scale well since it would attract more talent and the surrounding mature ecosystem would help us go quicker.
We explored for ways to bootstrap services while setting down strong foundations that might support millions of users. We built our backend services on NestJS so we could extend into microservices later. Hasura, a GraphQL APIs engine, automates Postgres data exposing through a graphQL layer. MUI's ready-to-use components powered our design-system. We used well-maintained open-source projects to speed up certain tasks.
We outsourced important components of our platform (Auth0 for authentication, Stripe for billing, SendGrid for notifications) because, let's face it, we couldn't do better. We choose to host our complete infrastructure (SQL, Cloud run, Logs, Monitoring) on GCP to simplify our work between numerous providers.
Focus on your business, use existing bricks for the rest. For the curious, we'll shortly publish articles detailing each stage.
Most importantly, empower people and step back.
We couldn't have done this without the incredible people who have supported us from the start. Since Powership is one of our key values, we provided our staff the power to make autonomous decisions from day one. Because we believe our firm is its people, we hired smart builders and let them build.
Nicolas left Spendesk to create scalable interfaces using react-router, react-queries, and MUI. JD joined Swile and chose Hasura as our GraphQL engine. Jérôme chose NestJS to build our backend services. Since then, Justin, Ben, Anas, Yann, Benoit, and others have followed suit.
If you consider your team a collective brain, you should let them make decisions instead of directing them what to do. You'll make mistakes, but you'll go faster and learn faster overall.
Invest in great talent and develop a strong culture from the start. Here's how to establish a SaaS in 100 days.
13 days ago
SaaS payback period data
It's ok and even desired to be unprofitable if you're gaining revenue at a reasonable cost and have 100%+ net dollar retention, meaning you never lose customers and expand them. To estimate the acceptable cost of new SaaS revenue, we compare new revenue to operating loss and payback period. If you pay back the customer acquisition cost in 1.5 years and never lose them (100%+ NDR), you're doing well.
To evaluate payback period, we compared new revenue to net operating loss for the last 73 SaaS companies to IPO since October 2017. (55 out of 73). Here's the data. 1/(new revenue/operating loss) equals payback period. New revenue/operating loss equals cost of new revenue.
Payback averages a year. 55 SaaS companies that weren't profitable at IPO got a 1-year payback. Outstanding. If you pay for a customer in a year and never lose them (100%+ NDR), you're establishing a valuable business. The average was 1.3 years, which is within the 1.5-year range.
New revenue costs $0.96 on average. These SaaS companies lost $0.96 every $1 of new revenue last year. Again, impressive. Average new revenue per operating loss was $1.59.
Loss-in-operations definition. Operating loss revenue COGS S&M R&D G&A (technical point: be sure to use the absolute value of operating loss). It's wrong to only consider S&M costs and ignore other business costs. Operating loss and new revenue are measured over one year to eliminate seasonality.
Operating losses are desirable if you never lose a customer and have a quick payback period, especially when SaaS enterprises are valued on ARR. The payback period should be under 1.5 years, the cost of new income < $1, and net dollar retention 100%.
10 days ago
Bills are paid by your 9 to 5. 6 through 12 help you build money.
40 years pass. After 14 years of retirement, you die. Am I the only one who sees the problem?
I’m the Jedi master of escaping the rat race.
Not to impress. I know this works since I've tried it. Quitting a job to make money online is worse than Kim Kardashian's internet-burning advice.
Let me help you rethink the move from a career to online income to f*ck you money.
To understand why a job is a joke, do some life math.
Without a solid why, nothing makes sense.
The retirement age is 65. Our processed food consumption could shorten our 79-year average lifespan.
You spend 40 years working.
After 14 years of retirement, you die.
Am I alone in seeing the problem?
Life is too short to work a job forever, especially since most people hate theirs. After-hours skills are vital.
Money equals unrestricted power, f*ck you.
F*ck you money is the answer.
Jack Raines said it first. He says we can do anything with the money. Jack, a young rebel straight out of college, can travel and try new foods.
F*ck you money signifies not checking your bank account before buying.
F*ck you” money is pure, unadulterated freedom with no strings attached.
Jack claims you're rich when you rarely think about money.
This doesn't imply you can buy a Lamborghini. It indicates your costs, income, lifestyle, and bank account are balanced.
Jack established an online portfolio while working for UPS in Atlanta, Georgia. So he gained boundless power.
The portion that many erroneously believe
Yes, you need internet abilities to make money, but they're not different from 9-5 talents.
Sahil Lavingia, Gumroad's creator, explains.
A job is a way to get paid to learn.
Mistreat your boss 9-5. Drain his skills. Defuse him. Love and leave him (eventually).
Find another employment if yours is hazardous. Pick an easy job. Make sure nothing sneaks into your 6-12 time slot.
The dumb game that makes you a sheep
A 9-5 job requires many job interviews throughout life.
You email your résumé to employers and apply for jobs through advertisements. This game makes you a sheep.
You're competing globally. Work-from-home makes the competition tougher. If you're not the cheapest, employers won't hire you.
After-hours online talents (say, 6 pm-12 pm) change the game. This graphic explains it better:
Online talents boost after-hours opportunities.
You go from wanting to be picked to picking yourself. More chances equal more money. Your f*ck you fund gets the extra cash.
A novel method of learning is essential.
College costs six figures and takes a lifetime to repay.
Informal learning is distinct. 6-12pm:
Observe the carefully controlled Twitter newsfeed.
Make use of Teachable and Gumroad's online courses.
Watch instructional YouTube videos
Look through the top Substack newsletters.
Informal learning is more effective because it's not obvious. It's fun to follow your curiosity and hobbies.
The majority of people lack one attitude. It's simple to learn.
One big impediment stands in the way of f*ck you money and time independence. So often.
Too many people plan after 6-12 hours. Dreaming. Big-thinkers. Strategically. They fill their calendar with meetings.
This is after-hours masturb*tion.
Sahil Bloom reminded me that a bias towards action will determine if this approach works for you.
The key isn't knowing what to do from 6-12 a.m. Trust yourself and develop abilities as you go. It's for building the parachute after you jump.
Sounds risky. We've eliminated the risk by finishing this process after hours while you work 9-5.
With no risk, you can have an I-don't-care attitude and still be successful.
When you choose to move forward, this occurs.
Once you try 9-5/6-12, you'll tell someone.
Few of us hang out with problem-solvers.
It's how much of society operates. So they make reasons so they can feel better about not giving you money.
Matthew Kobach told me chasing f*ck you money is easier with like-minded folks.
Without f*ck you money friends, loneliness will take over and you'll think you've messed up when you just need to keep going.
Steal this easy guideline
Let's act. No more fluffing and caressing.
If you detest your 9-5 talents or don't think they'll work online, get new ones. If you're skilled enough, continue.
Easlo recommends these skills:
Designer for Figma
editor in Photoshop
Automation consultant for Zapier
Designer of Webflow
video editor Adobe
Ghostwriter for Twitter
Artist in Blender Studio
2. Develop the ability
Every night from 6-12, apply the skill.
Practicing ghostwriting? Write someone's tweets for free. Do someone's website copy to learn copywriting. Get a website to the top of Google for a keyword to understand SEO.
Free practice is crucial. Your 9-5 pays the money, so work for free.
3. Take off stealthily like a badass
Another mistake. Sell to few. Don't be the best. Don't claim expertise.
Sell your new expertise to others behind you.
Using a digital good
By providing a service,
Point 1 also includes digital service examples. Digital products include eBooks, communities, courses, ad-supported podcasts, and templates. It's easy. Your 9-5 job involves one of these.
Take ideas from work.
Why? They'll steal your time for profit.
4. Iterate while feeling awful
First-time launches always fail. You'll feel terrible. Okay. Remember your 9-5?
Find improvements. Ask free and paying consumers what worked.
Multiple relaunches, each 1% better.
5. Discover more
Never stop learning. Improve your skill. Add a relevant skill. Learn copywriting if you write online.
After-hours students earn the most.
Repetition is key.
7. Make this one small change.
Consistently. The 6-12 momentum won't make you rich in 30 days; that's success p*rn.
Consistency helps wage slaves become f*ck you money. Most people can't switch between the two.
Putting everything together
It's easy. You're probably already doing some.
This formula explains why, how, and what to do. It's a 5th-grade-friendly blueprint. Good.
Reduce financial risk with your 9-to-5. Replace Netflix with 6-12 money-making talents.
Life is short; do whatever you want. Today.