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72 Comments

I quit everything. I'm going all-in on Web3.

Matteo here, ex-founder of Superbuild.io and Leva.io
I made $2.7M in sales with my companies so far.

And now I got sucked into the Web3 rabbit hole.

I spent the last 6 months joining Discord servers and talking with Crypto/Social Tokens investors, NFT creators, Web3 makers and DAO builders.

I had the most interesting conversations of my life.
NO, it's not about making a quick buck with crypto.

There is a cultural and philosophical change going on here.

And I'm sold.

I suspended all my projects, and I went all-in on Web3 and Community Building — two topics deeply connected with each other.

More about my new adventure, insights and personal thoughts from this world on my Twitter profile ➡️ https://twitter.com/matteomosca_

[EDIT]
I didn't expect to get so many comments on this post, I'm going to write a blog post to answer all your questions and give you my point of view.
Going to post it here on IH soon.

  1. 30

    What is it about web3 that has you "sold?"

    I've looked at web3 briefly and have tried out IPFS, but feel like I don't really "get it." Some make it sound like web3 is "everything in a blockchain," which sounds unnecessary. We don't need everything recorded forever more in a blockchain.

    All the best with your web3 endeavours.

    1. 6

      I thought i was the only one who thought this way, why should everything be on chain?

      Everywhere i see this but on the blockchain, that but on the blockchain

    2. 3

      I think this Twitter thread by Chris Dixon explains my whys in a concise way https://twitter.com/cdixon/status/1463573466217521159

      1. 12

        This is actually hilarious.

        "I'm not sure why I'm going all in and I haven't done proper research, but here's a Twitter thread that I'm basing my future on"

        1. 2

          He can afford the risk. Studying more won't reduce the uncertainty I presume.

          1. 1

            @FarouqAldori that was a quick answer.

            Going to share more insights and resources that I collected/learned in the next few days/weeks.

      2. 10

        No offense but its also factually wrong which has been pointed out by a lot of people. It serves a VC narrative. I am not a hater, and believe in the future of web3 but what it is today - it is completely overblown. Here is one of the commentaries: https://medium.com/bloated-mvp/chris-dixons-crypto-claims-are-logically-flimsy-a26cc8906b3f

        They invested hundreds of millions of dollars, of course they will say its the greatest thing that has happened to the world...

        1. 10

          The more I study and reflect about web3 the more I suspect it is all a huge pyramidal game where a lot of people that have become rich thanks to Bitcoin and other cryptos are just creating hype to suck in the last dollar from everybody... Despite the huge amount of money invested, nobody has yet been able to create a web3 product that has become a significant success, it is all hype, I wouldn't even say it is a solution searching for a problem to solve, because the sad part is that there is not even a solution to begin with.

          1. 2

            I think the main issue here that it became a religion. So even though you have some arguments regarding its sustainability, performance - not even talking about environmental impact... if there is at least one plausible argument that its good for something, you won't succeed at putting rationality in place. Worst case you will get chased with pitchforks and fires and saying "HOW DARE YOU".

            So the only thing left to do is to decide how to interact with such religion and how to engage.

            Funny enough Tesla is another good example of this. A great thread on this here: https://twitter.com/wolfejosh/status/1464262261988593667

            I think its important to note that the idea and libertarian idealism / anarchy of crypto is philosophically great. We should avoid counter-parties and middle-men - but should we really?

            Good luck reverting that bitcoin transaction when you get defrauded or make a mistake. There is no CEO or support agent there and looking at how most people interact even with the basic technology. Its just all a dream.

            I believe that it will get there, just probably not this decade and not with the current valuations...

          2. 1

            I fully agree with you but if there is something I have learned is that from almost any fad there is money to be made of , and no, just no the "Ponzi money", I mean providing real value in the original fad or by a pivot to a different kind of service. It pays off to be on the top of the wave as long as you do it smart.

            Because this is the cycle: Some kids start doing it, VCs pour money on it, most people start paying attention, now every company has FOMO and starts pouring money on it. Whatever you may think about the crypto world I have no doubt that the people who took BTC seriously since the beginning has made lots of money.

            The key (and not so easy) part is to distinguish what will have value and what will cause you harm

            1. 3

              This is a great point, there is definitely going to be some technological progression with winners! But also billions of capital lost for both institutions and retailers and a graveyard of 99% of failed projects with hours which could have been spent on unf*cking the planet, environment, healthcare etc...

              1. 1

                Sure, this is something to explain better in an article or something. I would say the "trick" is to follow the trend without being 100% commited. So you can have a side project, invest 5% or so of your porftolio, stuff like that. Another thing that pays is to be aware of the trend is to try being "second to try". Many great companies were not the first in their space, but the 2nd-5th and it paid off handsomely.

        2. 4

          I haven't been active in a while, but this article is so bad I needed to say something about it.

          I will focus only on his examples that show a complete lack of understanding or bad faith:

          1. With Robinhood and any other online broker, the advantage of a blockchain-based solution would be that nobody can simply block trading on selected stocks as happened recently. The settlement would also be instantaneous, while it can take up to a week with Web 2.0 alternatives.

          2. An NFT wouldn't be a Linkin Park song that you could have purchased on iTunes. This example shows that Liron doesn't know even what the acronym stands for. A better example would be a token that gives you access to all of the artist's live shows or some piece of memorabilia. The artist gets immediate cash to use to focus on his musical career and a lower cost of customer acquisition. Why does it reduce the CAC? Because people who own the NFT are financially incentivized to share the artist as the more popular he gets the more valuable the NFT gets. Artists also get a percentage every time the NFT is resold.

          3. A blockchain-based social network has the same incentive structure I have outlined with the NFT: you own a "coin" that appreciates in value with the popularity of the person you are following. In addition to that, no central authority can ban you and decide what you can see or say. There is also a lack of incentive to build a highly-addictive algorithm as current social media platforms do.

          4. In the comments, to a user who is pointing out that Axie's can charge only 4.25% instead of Roblox's 30% because blockchain's transparency and immutability give their digital assets on the secondary market, he questions the guy by asking:"Do you predict that Axie will generate more revenue in 2022 than Roblox?". This again proves how clueless Liron is as Axie makes in 4 months more than Roblox in one year right now and Roblox is 14 years older as a company. He didn't make even the most basic Google search.

          There are other applications of blockchain that are worth mentioning:

          1. Brave's Basic Attention Token

          2. no-loss lotteries

          3. event-based insurance, where you automatically receive a payment when a certain event happens, from flight delays to floods, droughts, hurricanes, heavy illnesses, and death.

          4. borrowing and lending solutions with way better interests than the alternatives.

          5. almost immediate access to payments, something we may take for granted, but in many parts of the world is not simple to open a bank account.

          Another aspect to consider is that we are currently in the skeuomorphic phase of Web3, meaning that we are just translating to the blockchain things that already exist. Judging the potential of Web3 right now would be like judging Web 1.0, as a place to read digital newspapers and encyclopedias.

          You may still consider Web3 potential as "completely overblown" which is fine, but I suggest you to look for critics who have at least a basic understanding of what they are talking about before reaching this conclusion.

          1. 1

            Nicely articulated there ^_^, I'm of the same mind myself. The potential applications are mind blowing aren't they! Even watching the pace of the space is insanely cool.

            I think for some, it will only become evident how valid the tech is once a number of revolutionary products become available and well known. For those aware of the technical and business implications though, what a time to go swimming at the beach where nobody knows!

            Reminds me of the sceptical reasoning levied in the days of early web 2. Some of the things people said about what went on to become some of the most successful products, companies, etc.

            1. 1

              see my comments about religion and confirmation bias :)

              jokes aside though - I never said its a complete scam but also comparing internet and blockchain is apples and oranges.

              See a recent HN mega thread about the article here which kind of sums my thoughts: https://apenwarr.ca/log/20211201

              "Western society, economics, capitalism, finance, government, the tech sector, the cloud. They are all distributed systems already. They are all in severe distress. Things are going very bad very quickly. It will get worse. Major rework is needed. We all feel it.

              We are not doing the rework.

              We are chasing rainbows.

              We don't need deregulation. We need better designed regulation.

              The major rework we need isn't some math theory, some kind of Paxos for Capitalism, or Paxos for Government. The sad, boring fact is that no fundamental advances in math or computer science are needed to solve these problems."

              1. 1

                Believe it or not, Im sure many of us are well aware of confirmation bias. But it's a fine line between expressing your excitement about something in a place where others appreciate it and being accused of being part of the echo chamber is it not?

                I will concede, I see what you are getting at. But respectfully, I don't agree with everything said.

                Of course it's not word for word the same story between web 2 and web3, as you say, apples and oranges. But at the same time, there are some blatant similarities.

                But as to the point I was making, it's simple. Some of us here are just tech enthusiasts and enjoy the space. We might actually work with it, build on it, and see that Web3, the blockchain, and DLT are amazing technologies in their relative infancy.

                As such, of course we see the similarities of how decentralisation already exists in other arenas. But we also see the differences.

                It's not all about sociopolitical aspects and that's fair enough; not everyone shares my viewpoint either. Still, no need for pitchforks, torches, or sweeping assertions. That be the stuff of gatekeepers

                1. 1

                  Let's agree to disagree. I have been tinkering with Solana and built a simple app in Rust/React on it, so it is not to say that I am not in on the industry. In fact, I think its a mistake to ignore it completely and I have a stake in web3 too!

                  Lets see how it unfolds, I just hope it can be sustainable and pragmatic in terms of use.

    3. 2

      The potential revolution is not so much about "blockchain", because in the end that is just a technology.

      The new thing is really about fully distributed platforms. A lot of tech people complain about the monopolies of Facebook, Google, YouTube, ... . Well, finally there now is an opposing force.

      So in web3, you build your platform within the community, and there is no central entity that needs to control it. It really is controled by the consensus of the participants.

      Whether you think this idea has potential is up to you, but it's more than just slapping some blockchain on existing stuff. Blockchain is really the enabler of new stuff.

      If it really will be revolutionary still has to be seen of course.

      1. 5

        But the thing is, there are already solutions based on this idea and unfortunately they just do not succeed. For example, Steemit has existed for 5 or 6 years, and it just does not grow fast enough: https://steemit.com/
        So the question is, what must the product do in order to grow to the size of facebook or twitter? I do not think that the answer is trivial at all, and what ever web3 becomes in the future, it is not a guarantee of success just because technologically it is advanced and cool.

      2. 1

        Thanks. That makes a bit more sense than the blockchain-centric view that I normally see.

        I have been wondering how a distributed & decentralized Facebook could be created. To me, blockchain won't be able to deliver. Instead, we'd want a system where people run their own node in a network. Each node would store its user's own photos, posts & other data, and there would be a protocol to share the data with others based on verified identities & permissions. Nodes would then assemble a user's feed from data they've received from other people's nodes who they connected with. The primary goal would be to put users fully in control of who gets to see their stuff instead of relying on a central entity or third-party server.

        So far I haven't been able to come up with a reliable method of making it work (haven't spent much time thinking about it). Also, there's still an element of trust involved, because a rogue node could deliberately leak someone else's data.

        1. 1

          I'm not sure if Mastodon solved this problem of rogue nodes or not.

          As a user you don't really monetize on Facebook, so maybe blockchain offers no value there.

          But if you want a distributed platform where monetization is involved, I guess the only way to not depend on a central 3rd party for that is a blockchain.

          For example DTube as alternative for YouTube.

    4. 1

      Completely agree with this statement! One of thing I see being great on Web3 is instant authentication if companies start implementing DID (decentralised identity) protocols. We could skip the whole sign up again and again and users could choose what data they want to share.

      Other than that, trying to have everything on web3 kinda seems unnecessary.

    5. 1

      Web3 is still very early, and I agree with some fellow Indie hackers in the comments. Some people are overhyping what's happening today. However, while early, the possibilities are almost endless I'm many fields (Future of Work, finance, etc..). I feel like Social Tokens and DAOs are the most promising tech in the Web3 space.

      To better understand the capabilities of ST, we could compare them with Equities in traditional companies. But compared to equities, Tokens already come with a lot of advantages when contributors receive them.

      • They are directly on your wallet, meaning you see their values every day. It's more tangible than equities.
      • You can use them daily to vote on proposals as they come with voting power.
      • You can sell a tiny bit of those, which allows more flexibility than with equities.
      • They come with a Social value.
      • You can earn a decent amount of tokens even though you are not early in the DAO. It's fairly rewarding the people who are helping the DAO grow, not those who were there early.
      • Tokens give you access to special content, token-gated channel, or early access to NFTs.
      • You can sell some tokens easily just by exchanging them with other cryptocurrencies.

      I've also written an essay for Business Insider recently trying to explain as clearly as possible why Social Tokens can reinvent the way we collaborate! Maybe this can help some of you understand why more and more people are coming into Web3.

      https://eliotc.substack.com/p/the-next-big-thing-in-crypto-is-here

    6. 1

      Don't you want to pay $30 to click a button on a dapp??

      1. 1

        Hehe. No. Dapps are another are where I feel like I'm missing the point somehow.

  2. 4

    Hey Matteo, more important than web3.0 success or not is to celebrate your capacity to put everything in something you like. This is a fortunate position and you should do it without looking at opportunity, dividends, money, or growth ... Sometimes we forget why we started.

  3. 4

    What is it about crypto-holders building hype around every bullshit idea the community can think of? Decentralize everything will not work, crypto will always be an alt currency and will not take over fiat. Ever.

    Just look at the descriptions on this page: https://web3.foundation/projects/

    It's all hot air, and until I hear somebody believe in this without being financially invested, i won't give it another thought,

    IMHO I think Decentralisation is not unlike communism: great in theory, awful in execution.

    1. 1

      Do you consider Wikipedia content creation as decentralized or not?

      1. 1

        Yeah but it's non-profit. How many people on here make something pro bono? Probably next to none.

        As soon as there's money involved, there's creed. And no decentralized system can change that.

  4. 4

    @matteomosca dang big moves! Very exciting times.

    Any thoughts yet what you want to work on in the space?

    1. 2

      Thanks, @tomelliot!

      I'll be building my new audience on Twitter, perhaps I'll launch a community on Discord, info-products/courses in Jan/Feb 2022?

      And I'm really inspired by Spatial software like https://gather.town and social tokens marketplaces like https://rally.io

      1. 2

        Spatial software has been a game changer for me in terms of after-work meetups. It's impossible to genuinely spark up conversations with new people when you're all stuck in the same Zoom room

            1. 1

              I didn't know about that, thanks!

              Do you know any other cool tools to hang out with people online?

              1. 2

                I'm working on https://flat.social which is in a similar category

              2. 1

                I recently found this one https://islands.xyz but to me it's not clear how it works :/

  5. 3

    Social tokens look pretty cool! Any blog/twitter handles/projects you recommend to follow in this space?

    I have tried to follow some projects in the web3 space, followed Audius for a bit and it was good to see some of the problems they are facing/trying to solve in practice, this was an interesting read:
    https://www.reddit.com/r/audius/comments/mkr04m/the_current_state_of_audius_centralised/

    I would love to find decentralized projects in spaces I understand better, like tech or may be tennis :)

    1. 1

      I would suggest https://twitter.com/thattallguy and his https://twitter.com/seedclubhq for Social Tokens and DAOs

      In the next few weeks, I'm going to share lists with my recommended projects/people/influencers/articles/books/podcasts about Web3, Decentralized Communities, NFT... :)

  6. 3

    For a moment I thought I got kicked from the SuperBuild discord/slack but now I get it. I didn't find anything I wanted to program anyway... until last week I decided the Metaverse needs people to build it and started learning Unity (game) development with an eye on VR/AR. I got a new computer (Chromebook doesn't do Unity).

    1. 3

      That's cool! Which course are you taking?

      I did this https://threejs-journey.com/ and it was AMAZING.

      1. 2

        I got the 3 Black Friday bundles from https://gamedev.tv .

      2. 1

        Supebuild Slack community is still available though (I'll continue to hang out there and answer questions), I only closed the Discord server!

  7. 2

    You're a wild man, Matteo.
    I'm gonna follow you.
    Happy exploring, sir!

  8. 2

    Sounds great! Congrats on your decision. If you'd need help with community - let me know.

    1. 0

      Hey let's talk! DM me on Twitter

  9. 2

    Good for you man! Web3 is very interesting, I feel the gravitational pull as well

  10. 2

    What is the best web3 project/product for community building that would be considered web3 ? is mastodon web3 ? I'm new to web3 and really want to understand it more.

  11. 2

    I'm learning about web3 for a month now, and it's weird that I feel like it's super hard to get started to do something useful by myself.

    I don't see as many opportunities to create as in web2 cause of the gas things limits, even if it also brings a lot of improvement (reward the miner, ddos attack...)

  12. 2

    congrats on making the jump, matteo 🙂 i like to describe the space as intoxicating — once i started down the rabbit hole, there was no turning back. best of luck in your web3 adventures.

    into the future we go 🤝

  13. 2

    Any recommended learning resources and frameworks?

  14. 2

    I hope it's not a temporary trend and people will get used to web3. I can't wait for the time we can signup and log in with our MetaMask wallets!

  15. 1

    Have you checked Moralis? It's really cool for fast Web3 development, also they share plenty of useful source code. :)

  16. 1

    For now, web3 is very niche and absurdly esoteric. I think what we are seeing is ecstatic evangelism which is a result of masculine nerdism, community hijinx, mixed with fantasies of getting rich. And what is supporting all that is an interesting technology. There is an assumption that the web3 ecosystem will take over the internet and institutions. I think, it's like thinking TOR onion nodes are the future of browsers. Or torrenting will change the future of content delivery. These technologies are clever and useful, but there is a total disconnect from the bulk of the internet and society.

  17. 1

    Interesting Matteo.
    But sometimes it seems there is also a lot of misinformation and people just trying to win a fast buck.
    To avoid all that and to know how to do or what can you do, what roadmap ( if any you suggest)
    Thank you

  18. 1

    That's awesome that you really found something you seem very passionate about and best of luck! I look forward to hearing your answers and the blog post.

    I feel with Crypto lately, I wish the money wasn't "there" yet. It's a double-edged sword of money bringing folks in to realize this is something to pay attention to, but you then get the bad rap from those who try to exploit the technology.

    I hope those behind Web3 and other projects around crypto can help others realize there is more to this new tech than scamming common folks out of their money.

  19. 1

    I didn't expect to get so many comments, I'm going to write a blog post to answer all your questions and give you my point of view. Gonna post it here on IH soon.

    Matteo

  20. 1

    I understand you, good luck!

  21. 1

    I think the success of a tech is very big part the people who decide to root for it. So with enough people like you, web3 will become a thing when it isn't for the most majority now. So godspeed! 🚀

  22. 1

    Ciao Matteo, talk about serendipity. Today I spent a while reading this article:

    https://www.psl.com/feed-posts/web3-engineer-take

    And its discussion at HN:

    https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=29321987

    Did you see it by any chance? If that is the case what do you think?

  23. 1

    Let's learn how we can manage decentralized systems!

  24. 1

    Why did you choose Web3?

      1. 1

        So money. People want to be a part pf the network and build it because they own it, they get money from it

  25. 0

    Everyone is talking about what problems can web3 solve. Nobody is talking about how exactly (technicality) is web3 going to solve those problems.. are there any working scalable solutions built on top of web3? Until then it's just fairy tale.

    1. 1

      Isn't Mastodon a working example?

      1. 1

        Mastodon is not web3.

        from Wikipedia:
        "web3 is an idea for a version of the Internet that is decentralized and based on public blockchains."

        from Ethereum site:

        "Web3, in the context of Ethereum, refers to decentralized apps that run on the blockchain. These are apps that allow anyone to participate without monetising their personal data"

        1. 1

          Ah yes you are right! I was convinced it was running on blockchain 😁.

          So what about DTube? I did a quick search and it's indeed based on blockchain. Not sure if they only limited blockchain to their payment system, or that the content is also somehow stored there.

          1. 1

            yes DTube seems to be a web3 application and I also found Steemit.

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