Suhh Anons — welcome to my blog
Hey there Anon, thanks so much for stopping by my blog!
This is my first go round at publishing my thoughts outside of my own brain anywhere on the web. In fact, I’ve always been pretty hesitant to share my thinking on the internet because I don’t want to offend anyone. Web3 and crypto has completely changed that mindset for me, since I can just be groog (for now). I’m looking to share my story. Who am I? How’d I get here? Why the f**k do you even care? Basically, I’ll share my experience diving into web3, with a particular focus on my Discord moderation experiences and business development thoughts.
White, cis-male with shitty grades? GTFO of the finance world homie
Bit of background on me — grew up in the USA in a pretty privileged part of the country. Most of my friends are all now successful bankers or finance bros who actually did well in school that are now making bank the traditional way a white, cis, male who puts forth any sort of effort in high school/college does (not saying privileged connections didn’t help them a shit ton, but a little bit of flash on the resume tends to help). On the other hand, there’s me. Though I am still a cis white male, it took me going through high school, scraping by with shit grades and getting rejected by 17 colleges to really understand the meaning of working hard for something you want to achieve. With that, I went to a local college near my parents house, got straight As for two semesters and transferred to a top 100 school in the US to finish out my degree in Econ.
Even with shitty grades growing up, I was always reading investing books and studying the markets. I’m not shiny on paper. However, thanks to studying Warren Buffet in depth, and talking stocks with my professional stock-trading father, two things developed: I was obsessed with Mr. Market, and I was really good at picking winning stocks.
A few examples:
- Starting with my investment in LNG company Cheniere Energy because I read an article saying the US produces close to 80% of the world’s LNG and Cheniere was close to finishing a major refinery/port in Houston, which would be the only one in the US (someone might wanna fact check this but I’m just tryna get this blog published right now). Bought the stock at $5 and watched it fly to $80 before selling.
- In college I saw every one of my peers struggling to buy physical textbooks and hoping to do everything digitally. So I bought Chegg at $5 and selling recently at close to $80.
- Then, walking through a Brooklyn farmers’ market and seeing little white blocks attached to iPads and a little stock run called Square at $11. HODL.
- I am very good at applying Buffet’s ideas around competitive advantage, the moat, and “is this something a normal person can understand the value behind?”, to real world companies.
So I have mediocre grades, not a ton of math or coding coursework, but I’m obsessed with finance. Going after a job in finance with that resume trained me for my career. Why? It was rejection after rejection trying to do basically anything to break in. Not a Harvard or Yale undergrad? Don’t bother applying. Don’t want to work 120 hour weeks for $50k a year? Peace! Why didn’t you study finance undergrad if you wanted to be in finance? Uhhh, I couldn’t get into the undergrad business school? Is that even a good answer? Damn, I got so good at being rejected. Thank god my fiancée was with me throughout all of that.
So the traditional finance route like all of my hometown peers was not the route for me. On top of all this rejection by tradfi jobs, I watched my dad, a wall street vet, go through the ringer during and after the financial crisis. Then after that hit, the entire finance industry completely changed to be run by quants and computers. It was tough to watch a guy who I idolized go through some major struggles post-‘08.
I realized with this experience that I needed somewhere that would appreciate the not-so shiniest non-coder credentials. I needed a career that rewarded a drive to always be learning, where you’d be rewarded basically depending on the level of work you put in, and would keep me on the cutting edge of tech to make sure I never had my job disrupted. Enter SaaS sales.
Time to slang-a-lang some softwares
First at a small legal tech company, and then onto the cybersecurity industry, I started doing well by developing a fundamental understanding of the industry into which I was selling. Having an obsession with learning concepts and industries from the absolute basics. When I started at the legal tech company, I took an intro to law principles class to really understand basic terminology and where our solution fit in. When I dove into cybersecurity, I read Secrets and Lies by Bruce Schneier, memorized a threat modeling textbook, did flashcards on typical before scenarios (more on this later) I’d hear from customers, the list goes on. When I approach learning something new I want to understand the very basic fundamentals really really well.
The best part about my company is the investment in the best sales training money can buy. I am now super-seasoned at Command of the Message. This is a sales methodology that can be applied to any industry or product because it teaches you to focus on the customer and their PAIN. With that in mind, I am now REALLY good at uncovering business pain of my customers that drives spending of multiple hundred thousands of dollars — all within my first two years of selling.
So I’m doing pretty damn well in SaaS sales, with industry-leading training and three promotions in less than 2 years, but shit, living under a quota is tough especially when you aren’t totally passionate about the product you are selling. The product actually works, and works super well, but security people are tougher to sell to than lawyers in mid-Manhattan.
A good buddy of mine kept randomly talking about Cryptopunks over iMessage to me and how he was making a ton of money flipping jpegs while doing his day job. That sounded like a hell of a lot of fun with the chance to make some life-changing money. SaaS sales pays well, sure, but life-changing well when you are fighting for every deal tooth and nail with 100s of other solutions and a really competitive direct market? *shrug*
Lucky for me, I had crushed my quota by July so I had a little bit of free time for the next six months. Enter the rabbit hole.
“I know this defies the law of gravity, but I never studied law!” — Bugs Bunny
Studying NFT projects and which one is actually going to go somewhere is tough. I’d recommend picking a few that you think are going to be winners, DO NOT invest, and wait 3 weeks to see what happens with your hypothesis. In my first month I saw $10K go to $500 real quick. Staring at a few mint pages (Solana Monkey Business in particular) that then skyrocketed was fucking painful. Buying SolGen and getting absolutely rugged, FUCK. (Notice how I used asterisks above when I said the f word, and now that I lost money its out in full force). My training and love of Buffet always taught me to never buy something for a quick flip or you will get rekt (see his competition against two of the best long/short hedge fund traders over 5 years where he completely dusted them by just hodling), so I am someone who buys and holds based off of what I think are fundamentals.
Then holy hell, I found a project that actually had a BUSINESS THESIS for investing. It wasn’t “for the art”, or a “game about to be released (in 6 months)” — hell, the creator said he basically copy pasted random project logos onto the computer screens that made up the NFT. GenesysGo actually made sense to me and I went all in. Hell, I even made my parents a wallet and bought them a few.
How did I find GenGo? Well, since July 2021 I have dove down the rabbit hole up to 2–3am most nights learning everything I can about crypto. Trying to write a Rust program (hard as fuck), I did do one on Solidity and printed “hello world”. Read every blog possible about the space (highly recommend the somewhat mind-blowing thoughts of @punk6529), follow 700 people on twitter, be a part of 100+ discords, starting with just reading and scrolling LarvaLabs Discord. All of my research and failing multiple times led me to finding a project that had an actual team in the Discords, a whole product they had built and deployed to multiple customers before selling their NFT, that is what led me to GenGo and my first real investing win in the space.
All of this leads to my “why”
All of the scrolling, researching, and making new frens has led me to want to be involved more and more in the space. My thinking is simple — if you are not trying to learn everything you can right now about web3, you are going to get dusted just like Buffet did to those traders.
I got connected with @theonlynom who has been an incredible friend and ally of mine in the space. He recognized I was willing to do whatever it took to get involved in web3 and NFTs in particular (I mean, who doesn’t love a monke pfp). With that, he introduced me to two projects looking for help on the community side and I was off to the races learning everything I could about modding (Discord Mod Academy is an AWESOME resource for this, also David Spinks blog on community building as he is the GOAT community-builder).
That’s my story of how I got here, and why I’m ready to contribute to this community in a meaningful way. I see a lot of talk that every trade you make in this space has a loser on the other end. For anybody new that is reading this, another one of Buffet’s amazing quotes is that “time in the market always beats timing the market”. We are early. Keep grinding on the fundamentals and learning everything you can. Meanwhile, I’ll be over here trying trying to put myself out there a bit more, not afraid to maybe offend or ruffle some feathers — just tryna make it like all you anons. Keep an eye out for my next post where I dive into being a Mod.