The Great Brain Drain - The Daily Gwei #350

Migrating from web2 to web3 never looked so good.

I’ve been saying it for months and it’s true today more than ever - literally every project in crypto is hiring (just click here to see which ones). What I’ve also been noticing more of lately is that people are leaving their old mega-corporate web2 jobs and coming into crypto looking for a fresh start in the wild world of web3. And why wouldn’t they want to do this? Web3 offers more opportunity, greater upside, a better culture and most importantly of all - web3 is a mission-driven movement.

I wrote about web3 last month here but for the sake of today’s piece I’m going to be using the term “web3” as a catch-all for crypto more generally. It’s not hard to see exactly why “web3 is a mission-driven movement” when you look at the sorts of things being built in the crypto ecosystem. DeFi wants to disrupt and replace centralized financial institutions, NFTs want to reinvent culture and empower creators and DAOs want to shake up how humans coordinate. The common theme among these use-cases is that they are all built with a ‘bottom-up’ approach in mind which means they aim to be community-first and decentralized. Most people working in crypto do not want to just recreate the old systems using new technology - they want to create new systems using whatever technology works best.

On that note, there are plenty of different technologies that people coming from the web2 world can focus on. Some will be familiar with them like building out web interfaces such as Zapper (with crypto integrations as a new feature to work with) and some of the work will be near-completely new like working on layer 2 scalability technology. Also, since the ecosystem is vast in its opportunities, it’s not just developers that are migrating - plenty of people across marketing, business development, community, sales and more are making the switch. Though there is one important thing to note here - working in these sorts of roles in web3 is very different to doing them in web2 - especially marketing and community based roles. There is a certain “crypto way” that needs to be learned for people to do these roles successfully.

I do wonder if these mega-corporate web2 companies are noticing the talent drain already or if they’ll only notice it once it’s too late. These things tend to play out as a ‘suddenly, then all at once’ phenomenon which catches companies off-guard and then they end up scrambling to plug the leak. This may come in the form of creating a ‘crypto business unit’ in order to attract talent by signalling that the mega-corp is now the “cool place to work” but my bet is that this will fall on deaf ears. You can’t just add crypto to a company and expect everything to be fine - crypto is a culture that has to be there from the early days - it cannot be force-fed to people.

I think that this trend of people leaving their web2 jobs to join the web3 ecosystem will only continue to accelerate. Though I think some web2 apps/companies will adapt much quicker than others and we’ve already seen some embrace crypto in a big way (Twitter, Visa, TikTok, Reddit etc) and I’m sure we’ll see many more over the coming years (hopefully not too late for their own sake).

Adapt or die - technology revolutions wait for no one.

Have a great day everyone,
Anthony Sassano

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