The Future of Future Proof
Infiltrating the world's neurons, one at a time
Hi friends 👋,
Usually, this newsletter consists of weekly articles providing insight into exciting Web3 concepts, but today we’re doing something different. Today I want to talk to you about the Future of Future Proof. That’s right. This post will to take a moment to pause and reflect on our journey together so far. But for those with the desire to read great content, fear not, at the end I’ll be providing you with the 5 best articles and ideas I’ve encountered this past week.
If you’re interested in learning how Future Proof will be repositioned to maximize impact and education, read on:
Optimizing for ΔBrain
Curated Articles & Links
Let’s get to it 🚀
A few days ago I was shocked to realize that last week’s The Way of the DAO marked my 10th weekly issue of Future Proof. I say shocked because 10 weeks seems too short a time to encapsulate the incredible intellectual journey we’ve been on together. From clarifying Web3’s motivation and purpose to detailing why the Metaverse will remain open, our scope of discussion has been vast. 10 weeks simply feels too small a time scale to contain it all.
The result of my voracious research and content consumption over the last few weeks is that time has appeared to move incredibly slow. In my attempt to put a finger on the pulse of innovation, I’ve walked face first into a blazing awareness of the true pace of change in the world. Especially when benchmarked against Web3’s day-to-day delta, 10 weeks can easily feel like 10 months.
Writing Future Proof has shown me that there can be great variability in how we spend and embrace our minutes and seconds. Though any one day might feel quite similar to the last, some weeks can feel like months and vice versa. My salient point is this: though we’re used to indexing life by ‘delta time’, the primary influence on how we experience time is actually delta brain.
Optimizing for ΔBrain
ΔBrain is harder to measure than Δtime, but easy to understand; it’s the moment-to-moment change in our neurons. ΔBrain acts as a measure of our intellectual and philosophical growth. Calculating it is imprecise but intuitive.
In any given week, what new experiences have you encountered? What memories have you made? How many exciting ideas were you exposed to? Altogether, how many entirely new neural pathways have you formed? These metrics all contribute to our rough assessment of ΔBrain.
That’s why I feel like somewhat of a different person since writing my first Future Proof article. In the pursuit of Web3 knowledge and understanding, my neurons have been changed by so much experience: I’ve consumed dozens of articles and podcasts, participated in a plethora of NFT drops, joined several DAOs at various stages of development, and met inspiring Web3 founders and creators.
It’s been a mad dash of experience, a veritable sprint through the information jungle. And let me tell you, the undergrowth is dense. The past 10 weeks have given me one of the sharpest ΔBrain increases of my life! And it’s all catalyzed by the weekly articles I share with you. So believe me when I say it is my sincerest hope that each article makes a difference in your own quest for ΔBrain.
I’ve come to realize that this hope is the very heart and soul of Future Proof. Like a cross-country road trip, all journeys are more fun in the presence of great company. This rule extends to intellectual journeys - and so I plan to measure the success of my effort not by my own learning, but by the aggregate ΔBrain of all Future Proof readers.
That’s why this posts offers a moment of pause from our regular Web3 articles - allowing us to take a breath and adjust our course on the journey to maximize ΔBrain.
What follows is a rough strategic plan for how I will use Future Proof to accomplish this:
Original articles will now be sent out on a bi-weekly cadence: This is the greatest change for Future Proof readers. Articles will be sent out bi-weekly instead of weekly. This creates space for longer term initiatives (see below) that I hope will provide even greater value to readers. A bi-weekly cadence will mean each article is filled with deeper insights, better-developed frameworks and bigger ideas. Your time is valuable, and I want to pass on only the highest quality ideas.
Curate great content on the off-weeks: Future Proof will still remain a weekly newsletter. Non-article weeks will now contain links to great content (articles, podcasts, videos, tweets, etc.) and easily digestible takes on exciting Web3 developments. In the long run, this off-week schedule will allow me to explore more diverse form factors: like written/video interviews or company analyses/break-downs. In the short-term, expect the off-weeks to follow to a standard ‘curated links & news’ format (which we’re demo-ing at the end of this week’s issue!).
The name of the game here is really to free up time for initiatives that require longer term execution cycles. In no specific order, here are a list of initiatives that have been ‘on my backburner’ for the past few weeks:
Actualize Future Proof readers as ‘educational nodes’. In classic ‘teach a person to fish’ fashion, I want to make it easy for readers of Future Proof become nodes for Web3 learning in their own networks. This is part of the reason I curate my Reading Repo, which - FYI - I’ve reserved for easy sending at the url: tinyurl.com/web3repo. We can take this idea much further than a collection of articles. I imagine a future where the best narratives from Future Proof articles can be refactored into open source slide decks or video presentations. This will enable our community to spread knowledge more widely, making our ΔBrain go exponential. We can even harness the power of idea composability by building on each other’s work! All in all, this is a broad class of initiatives, but if even one Future Proofer is able to present Web3 concepts at a workplace lunch & learn, I could retire this newsletter a happy man.
Extending Web3 education into universities/high schools. For those who don’t know much about my past, in college I spent a majority of my time not attending classes and instead teaching everyone I could about machine learning. I am absolutely convinced that the future of learning is all about permissionless education - that we should put the ability to self-teach in the hands of young people and watch them flourish. Nowhere is this more impactful, ironically, than in universities, where students are actively looking for non-institutional outlets for their creativity and intellect. I want to make a coordinated effort to create on-ramps to Web3 participation for those still in school. Whether this is a DAO or a ‘permissionless education hub’ remains to be seen - but I find that society often forgets that the talent pipeline really starts in the hearts and minds of professionally-confused teenagers.
Deeper engagement and collaboration with companies and creators in Web3. My perspective on Web3 is but one among many. In recognition of this I want to bring new voices, opinions, and creative influences into the fold for Future Proof readers. This looks and feels like pursuing collaborative work with other creators, co-authoring and cross-posting content, and also participating in cool projects near the frontier so that we can collectively heighten our understanding and experience. Acting on this intention will require a combination of outreach, partnerships, and proving to people that Future Proof is one of the coolest communities in Web3 (easy!).
Contributing to Web3 policy and awareness at the city and nation-level. This is a massive, bold idea but I really do believe that the frontier of Web3 will be pushed forward by crypto-friendly cities. Every municipality has the option to become a haven for Web3/crypto development, and by doing so will expose their citizenry to the early benefits (but also risks!) of emerging technology. An example of where this is working well is Miami. An example of where this is working poorly is New York. For me, the stickiest Web3 ideas I’ve generated occur at the intersection of Web3 and cities, as influenced by Networked Nations, which was in turn deeply inspired by this (unlisted!) video by Balaji Srinivasan. If you don’t have time to watch, here’s my thread on the video. How can Future Proof start conversations around Web3 use cases for neighbourhoods, cities, and countries?
These are but a few initiatives that have stuck in my brain over the past few weeks. I promise you there are more. Instead of running out of ideas, I’m actually generating more than ever before! I wish I had the time/skill to write TWO articles a week AND take on these initiatives, but in the meantime I think it’s right to skew towards quality over quantity.
If Web3 is going to be the future-defining force I think it is, it’s critically important to assist with the mental and philosophical onboarding required for people to thoroughly understand it and participate safely. That’s why we’re all here. That is how I plan for us to maximize ΔBrain.
If you’re still reading this now, know that I deeply appreciate your time and attention. If you have any thoughts on the initiatives or changes to Future Proof proposed above - or want to chat about your own ideas - , I want to hear them! You can send an email reply to this newsletter. I receive and respond to every one. Thanks for being part of the journey so far, know that we are only at the beginning with a lifetime of learning left to go.
Now on to the aforementioned curated list of articles and links - a taste of our new addition to the bi-weekly schedule.
Curated Articles & Links
Invisible Hierarchies - by Dror Poleg. An incredible commentary on the trajectory of Work-from-Home culture and how crypto/DAOs form an “unconventional weapon” to be used by both companies and employees in the War for Talent.
Harnessing Web3’s Natural Monopolies - by Danny Zuckerman. Here is the accompanying Twitter thread. In many ways, a sequel to Danny’s amazing article on data composability (recommended two weeks ago). Danny discusses Web2’s tendencies towards monopolistic companies and how Web3 can play a role in creating a more just and fair competitive landscape.
How to SubDAO - by Cooper Turley. In last week’s article on DAOs, we surmised that a major challenge for DAOs is their ability to scale. A new archetype is emerging whereby DAOs increase scope and size by adopting ‘SubDAOs’ - yes, that’s a DAO within a DAO. This piece quickly became canonical on Crypto Twitter.
Explain it like I’m 5: $OHM Edition. OHM is the token behind OlympusDAO - which we first mentioned in Web3 Explained Pt. 2. Through OHM, OlympusDAO has created a powerful new DeFi primitive that is being replicated and composed upon by entities like KlimaDAO. I’ve been waiting for the right explanation of the underlying mechanisms behind $OHM, and this is it.
And to end it off - something fun 🥳 . Who remembers downloading those early App Store apps that let you play with the iPhone’s accelerometer to create silly UI’s like drinking a beer or playing around with a virtual lighter? What a blast that was! They sure don’t make apps like they used to anymore. The tweets below immediately reminded me of Chris Dixon’s, The next big thing will start out looking like a toy. Similarly, we can’t judge the future of Web3 by the yield-farmy, NFT-drop-hype of today. But we can draw inspiration and insight from them and create a principled trajectory of where things are going. That’s exactly what we try to do here at Future Proof.
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With gratitude, ✌️