2023-02-20 09:42:41 UTC


As I did last year, I'll share some final thoughts for anyone interested in how the horrible monkey inside my mind works and processes the world - inside and outside of crypto.

Why You Must Write

I've been asked how I can write this annual report and still run a company. As I said in the introduction, this is a good marketing asset for attracting enterprise customers, partners, and recruits; it should drive good conversion to our Pro product (ahem), and it doubles as my annual crypto deep dive and product ideation session. "What did I miss, and where are we headed?"

I'd flip the question back to you: how can you survive the remote-first, globally-distributed, hyper-growth, crypto chaos without writing well? Reading helps me identify blind spots, but it's writing that helps me focus and streamline my thoughts.

Whether it's code or prose, you must get better at writing. And when you write, be concise and write music. Last year, I wrote: "good code elegantly communicates your ideas to computers, and spits out products that delight users. Good prose elegantly communicates your ideas to other humans, incepting new ideas into their heads (through memes), and if you're doing it right, converting missionaries to your cause." With the advent of GPT-3, the two are going to merge.

Get busy writing – brilliantly – or get used to becoming obsolete.

No Idols

Never become the main character on Twitter. If you want a case study in the perils of a high profile, just look at the number of "crypto billionaires" who are now on the lam, penniless, or in prison after overextending themselves and believing too many of their own press clippings.

Stay hungry and humble. Stay disciplined. Stay hard. Merry Christmas.

Must Read

High Output Management, Shoe Dog, Principles, Crypto, The Federalist Papers. Learn the Cadence of a SaaS startup, lessons from vertical software investing, and how to work backwards. Subscribe to Bankless, the top crypto pod. Turn off Twitter notifications.

"Don't follow your passion. Seriously. Don't follow your passion. Your passion is likely more dumb and useless than anything else. Your passion should be your hobby, not your work. Do it in your spare time. Instead, at work, seek to contribute. Find the hottest, most vibrant part of the economy you can and figure out how you can contribute best and most. Make yourself of value to the people around you, to your customers and coworkers, and try to increase that value every day."

Tips & Productivity Tricks

The most important productivity hack I recommend at work is surrounding yourself with good people who are insanely mission-driven, relentless, organized, communicative, and poised. I'm lucky to have found good, hard-working people who share my vision for the future, and help bring it into sharper focus each day, while allowing for the fact that there are some things I will simply never get better at, regardless of my best efforts. That is to say, thank you to the Messari team (especially the leadership team) for running a ship so tight that I can disappear for a month to write this damn thing. Here are a few other habits, for better and for worse.

Communication: I live by Gmail's snooze button and multiple inbox setup, which serves a similar purpose as software like Superhuman. I also use pinned Twitter lists, keep open DMs, maniacally filter, unsubscribe, and report negative messages on Twitter and email. I've significantly limited my time on Telegram and Discord this year, and I'm happier for it. Slack for the team, email for business, Twitter and Signal for play. That's it.

Meetings: I try to limit internal meetings to 20% of my time per week, which is not bad when you add up weekly leadership team and recruiting syncs, bi-weekly all hands, 1:1's with direct reports, monthly functional team meetings across eight different groups, quarterly skip-level meetings, and other miscellaneous strategy, product, and HR syncs that arise in the normal course of scaling.

Mind, Body, Soul: I have had Headspace installed on my home screen for five years and have used it~12 times. (Once since last year!) I have also learned that I get a really good night's sleep when I read books before bed and turn off my phone without ending my day doomscrolling Twitter. I have even done this successfully three or four times, and I have completed the first chapter or two of dozens of books. I have gotten so out of shape sprinting to finish this report, so I'm going to go hit things now (Thanks, Fightcamp).

Life Advice

I'll end the same way I did last year: I don't know what I'm doing and neither do you.

But if you are fortunate enough to do so: get married, have kids, and move to the burbs. (Eventually). You will survive the winters and gain some valuable perspective when your day ends with a six-year- old laughing about one of his farts, a four-year-old telling you a story via a three minute run on sentence and a half-naked two-year-old tackling you at the knees during your final Zoom call of the day.

If you're reading this, you are (hopefully) a time billionaire. That does not change the fact that you are at The Tail End of many of your relationships (I read this post once per year), and that it is always Day 1 and everything is in your control.

2022 is in the books. Good.


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