300: First Map Then Plan

This is the Monday Medley, a newsletter that goes out, you guessed it, every Monday. I republish it here for sharing and referencing, but if you'd like to sign up you can do so right here:

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Happy Monday!

Last week was an unusually high-output week.

First up, I published my Year in Review article. It's quite a bit more concise than last year's, and it was nice to reflect on what stood out in 2021.

On the DeFi front, I published an in-depth overview of the "Curve Wars," a very hot topic in the space right now.

AND there was a new Made You Think on the book "The Quest of the Simple Life."

Phew, anyway, on to the Medley!

First Map, then Plan

I realized this week that it's been about a year since I decided to focus my work on programming and getting into crypto.

What originally brought me in was the January NFT craze, and with a couple of friends decided it made a ton of sense to create an NFT platform for writers.

We made a cool landing page and got some initial money committed, but a few problems popped up:

  • We didn't know anything about NFTs
  • We didn't know anything about crypto culture
  • We were just trying to jump on a hot trend with a random idea we had

This was actually part of what ended up motivating me to learn Solidity. It was so hard to find a Solidity dev to work with, and I was inspired by stories from people like Hayden Adams learning solidity to build UniSwap, that I assumed I could figure it out.

That's a separate story though. The point for this piece is that when you're skilled and entrepreneurial in one domain, it's tempting to assume you have good ideas for another domain. But that's not always the case. It's often better to try to figure out the new area deeply first, then see what opportunities pop up. Not to rush in with naive ideas.

I suspect many, many more people are going to leave their jobs and companies to dive into Web3 stuff this year. And if that's you, I'd encourage you to spend some time trying to get really deep into the space before suggesting products or improvements. I ended up wasting a few months trying to build things people didn't really want because I assumed I knew what people wanted or needed in the space. I didn't. And if you're just diving in, you don't either.

It's also such a radically different space from a business perspective that many skills may not be useful. If you try pitching SEO or social media marketing to a DAO for example, they'll probably laugh at you. That's not how these companies grow. But on the flipside, if you said you wanted to charge $120,000 a year to manage a Web2 company's Discord they'd also laugh at you.

So if you're bringing a strong skillset into a new domain, try to get a really good map of the territory first before coming up with a plan. It'll make whatever plan you do end up trying to execute on that much more informed, and more likely to succeed.

Have a great week,

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