After the many months of an uninterrupted bull market, I think I can speak for all of us and say: "We're exhausted!"
During the bull, everything looks like an opportunity and winners are bubbling up at an accelerated pace. Noise is high and so to stand out, everyone does whatever it takes to cut through the bullshit.
After all, every chain could be the next Ethereum. Every project, the next Uniswap and every founder, the next Jeffrey, JEFFREY BEZOOOS.
But, really, how urgently do we have to ship? How important is it to have success now versus having it later? Does the crypto super bull hold the chance of our lifetime? Or is any time a good time to start something new?
The Value of FOMO
FOMO, or the "fear of missing out," is a prevalently millennial-produced emotion that describes the anxiety arising in internet users when spectating on their fun-having f(r)iends through social apps like Instagram, Facebook and others.
Y'all know it. It starts by excusing yourself on the group chat for "having no time to join," only to later realize that you must have missed out ON THE SOCIAL HAPPENING OF THE MONTH when checking their awesome pictures, snaps and stories.
It seems that in 2021, we should know better, though. I've described the underlying phenomenon in another one of my posts and titled it "NFTs are coming for Instagram and other social media platforms".
The post tells the story of how we distort our realities with social media usage and that our yacht-boarding idols; Maybe they're not so glamorous after all. Maybe, besides their many followers, all they truly have is the knowledge of how to look amazing online.
And so, I think acknowledging this type of contemporary social flexing, we should manage to identify FOMO-induced urgency during the crypto bull market too.
Urgency is FOMO; And FOMO isn't a good decision-making criteria.
Yes, really, urgency is a more defined version of anxiety or fear of missing out. It promotes the infamous 'ape-ing'. It's the natural signal of our body telling us that our lives are threatened because we're about to miss out. Our brains scream: "Hey! LOOK THERE! Others are feasting on some delicious berries or whatever! GET IN THERE NOOOOW!"
And so, the natural reaction is to do exactly that. FOMO, it's the reason we had no toilet paper in the beginning of 2020. It's sadly also of existential matter to the functioning of the crypto bull market.
Personally, I've learned in my career, though, that acting on emotions isn't always a good choice to make quality decisions. Indeed, I noticed that the less irrational and the more grounded in reality I made past decisions, the higher quality they ended up being over the long run.
In venture capital, they've even managed to name the concept. If you're into their type of talk, you might know that sometimes they talk about "First- and last-mover advantages."
Their stories? That Facebook and Google only became successful for building the respective "last" search engine and social network.
Legend has it that Larry and Sergey discovered their edge in the market by being "late to the party" and fixing search engines' low-quality results by improving "10x" upon the problem by inventing PageRank.
Sure, Yahoo and AlterVista were also interested in high-quality results. But by being so much better, Google simply made them irrelevant.
Crypto's First Movers
As a long-time lurker, I think similar things have already happened in the cryptosphere too. Case in point: Those popular in crypto weren't its first movers.
Actually, many of the space's former figureheads, its "first-movers," have failed to retain relative relevancy, in my opinion. It'd be a bit mean to name some here, but I invite you to trust my argument.
Those that are at the space's top today aren't those that were impactful back then. Indeed, today's crypto celebs seem to have emerged only recently. And that makes sense, too, given that DeFi, for example, is a very emergent sub field.
Back in 2016 and earlier, my impression today is that crypto was rather governed by "weirdos" living on tight spectrums. Funnily enough, some of the sphere's most (in)famous are now dead, in jail or have moved on entirely. I've written about that idea before too, it's what I tried to say with "Ethereum isn't fun anymore."
About the Urgency of building Web3
So then, is it necessary to act on our urgency when building web3? Is it worth prioritizing shipping above anything else? Personal well-being? Quality? Values?
I'd say no.
In my opinion, the hearts and minds of any industry are won by deliberate long-term commitment and continuous meaningful contributions.
Doesn't success come down to trust built between people? And doesn't that take lots of time?
I believe so, and that's why I want to reject the notion of urgency. I want to reject the idea that today is a more unique time to start something new than any other day. I want to believe that today is as good of a time to start something new as any other day.
And that's why I think there's no urgency in building web3. WAGMI.