Paradigm Shifts: don't rebuild, reimagine

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A year ago

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āœØ I have a story that always comes to mind when analyzing new paradigm shifts. It applies as well to web3, as it does to the Internet or any other big shifts in the way we do things. I've told it to many people in the last few months, so I thought I'd share it with everyone šŸ‘‡

I lived through the middle of a "paradigm shift" in high school. We had been using books for years (as everyone does), but suddenly the school decided they wanted to modernize, and issued a Chromebook to every student. Teachers were given a year to upgrade their teaching plans.

A few teachers went out of their way to experiment and try new mediums, using interactive resources, @Kahoot, etc. šŸš€ But most teachers just scanned their old books, sent us the PDF, and forced us to look at it on the Chromebook during class, as if nothing had changed.

I see this all the time, especially now that I'm in crypto. The first instinct of most people is to just make "X but it's crypto now", or "X but with NFTs". I hate to break it to y'all, but if your web3 project could swap out crypto for @stripe, your project is not web3 at all.

I don't mean to gatekeep web3 by the way! Building something you're already used to with new technology is one of the best ways to learn about it. I see this as bad because it's a really easy trap to fall into, and it can really stagger innovation. šŸ˜…

Instead of thinking "how do we build X in web3?", think: ā€¢ What does X look like in web3? ā€¢ What are we trying to achieve with X? What's a new way to get there?

I remember a chat with @patrickxrivera where someone asked for likes on @viamirror. His response was "okay, how do likes look like in web3?", followed by brainstorming a system where you'd stake tokens to signal your support for an entry, where yield went to the author.

šŸ–¼ Same thing for NFTs, where people fail to see the much more composable "ownable arrays" definition in favor of just "digital art containers". šŸŽ® Same thing for crypto gaming, where people seem to be failing to see past "collectibles" or play to earn.

I saw one of those anti-crypto tweets today that said "we know NFTs have no use because if they had one, they would be using that as marketing instead of mentioning NFTs". While a bit harsh, I think they're right. Most NFT projects today are just "we made thing but nft now".

An excellent example of what a project/concept looks like when is crypto-native is flash loans. Flash loans allow you to borrow pretty much unlimited money without any collateral, as long as you return the money + interest in the same transaction.

This is something that could never exist in CeFi (centralized finance). It's also insanely powerful. šŸ”„ It ensures that, if someone spots an opportunity to extract value, they can execute it themselves instead of leaving it for hedge funds or private investors.

DeFi is way ahead of the rest of crypto in "unique features", and we need to catch on. Like I was saying yesterday, crypto is not really about money, it was just one of the easiest ways to start. https://twitter.com/m1guelpf/status/1454343724637491203

I'm insanely bullish on crypto, NFTs, crypto games, and web3. I really believe that, in the next few months, we'll discover at least a few more "unique features" that this new technology enables. Let's just make sure we're not just finding a new way to do the old thing. šŸ˜‰