I’ve been down the crypto rabbit hole this week—the future of money is digital and decentralised, so I wanted to share some valuable resources.
A big shoutout to Lavinia Osbourne, founder of Women in Blockchain Talks (WiBT), a total badass babe who has planted a seed and got me all excited about the possibilities in this space. I did a two-hour workshop: The Metaverse and Me via the Women in Digital community – a deep dive into the building blocks of Web3—blockchain, NFTs and the Metaverse.
Lavinia’s passion is learning and education, financial wellbeing and female empowerment. WiBT’s mission is to bring 50K more women into blockchain by 2023, see her campaign #Creatingspace4all. In January, Lavinia is launching Crypto Kweens, the first NFT marketplace for female artists. A place to buy and sell NFTs and learn about them—how to create one, sell one, set up wallets, buy crypto and market NFTs.
Thank you to Lucy Hall, founder of Digital Women, for your notetaking!
The Metaverse isn’t one thing, and it’s not owned by Facebook (Meta); there are several metaverses of which many exist already, e.g. Roblox for gaming. Although big tech companies are hoping to build future metaverses that we will spend our time in.
Metaverses are already here and will be built on the blockchain in the future. While early virtual worlds were owned and controlled by companies, crypto metaverses are typically decentralised, meaning they are not owned by anyone.
The Metaverse is built on a handful of platforms, including the Sandbox, Decentraland, Mirandus, and Axie Infinity, creating an interactive version of the internet where users can play games and explore virtual worlds, and do business.
Cryptocurrencies will be how we buy products in the Metaverses, and NFTs are the digital assets we own.
Our assets will be viewed in our crypto wallets, and eventually, we’ll be able to show our art on the walls of our space in the Metaverse just like kids do in Roblox.
We kind of already do ‘Metaversy things’ like buying digital products in games, so our characters look better. But the ideal vision is that the Metaverse brings the reality of Web3 into motion.
What is Web3? The next iteration of ‘the web’, Web2 or the social/mobile web started in 1998 and connected us like never: social media, the cloud and mobile apps became the norm. But Web3 will include more immersive applications, and for now, we can only guess what these will be…
…and lots more, so if you’re keen to dive in, you can watch the replay here. Super!
Crypto isn’t something I want to do alone—you can’t be naïve in this space!! I’ve been put off by the insane gas fees with Ethereum so it’s good to hear about Layer 2 living. If you’re looking for ways to earn more, collaborate, help, and lift others, check out the WIBT community events.
As Lavinia says, “You don’t know what you don’t know!” WiBT isn’t just for women either because “You can’t clap with one hand.” We all need to work together.
I’ve also signed up for the world’s first free MOOC on blockchain and digital currencies—starts on January 31, 2022 🙌
Heads up: February will be Metaverse month at Digital Women. Lucy will be bringing in more experts to discuss Web3, the Metaverse, NFTs, Crypto and more. So, you understand what’s coming next and how your skills and knowledge can be used.
Some resources below. Have a read, digest, let it percolate… and think about what you want to bring to this space and how you will position yourself.
What really resonates with me – there are no barriers to entry, taking a slice of the pie, claiming your space, sharing wealth, and gender equity. Rather than playing catch up, chasing from behind, working within old systems and trying to close the gender pay gap, let’s embrace the new and experiment.
The Metaverse is still new, and we can be pioneers and help shape it.
Have a fun week.
📚 Speaking of the importance of community, I’m reading Noreena Hertz’ brilliant book: The Lonely Century: A Call to Reconnect. A look at what’s driving the loneliness epidemic and a crucial call for governments to rebuild better. Bold and empowering solutions—we have the power to reverse it. Using remote work to repopulate rural areas is one way.
Happy birthday, wrkfrce! It’s a year since Jesse Chambers launched wrkfrce—a one-stop shop for remote workers, so I wanted to catch up and see how things are going. What’s it like building a business on the road during a pandemic, and what’s in store for 2022?
We had a chat about online media, the rise of Substack, morning routines, the pros & cons of the nomad lifestyle, and regeneration. He is hugely inspired by David Hieatt, Co-Founder of Hiut Denim Co and the Do Lectures, who is on a quest to get 400 people their jobs back in a small town (Cardigan in Wales) that used to have Britain’s biggest jeans factory.
“I’m a disciple.” His wife bought him the Do: Purpose book, which he says has been truly foundational in building his brand. Amen to that. I loved Do: Open and often come back to it—short, punchy, insightful—and great design.
wrkfrce’s mission: To build a brand that can inspire and empower all of us to make our careers around our lives.
When we design our careers around our lives—and not vice versa—we are more productive and fulfilled.
Great to see an equal emphasis on wellbeing and work (50:50 article split), and I like what Jesse said about talking to the remote worker, not about remote work (enough sites are doing that already). Also, it’s refreshing to read articles about remote blue-collar work as most I see are written for the white-collar tech/knowledge worker.
Jesse is self-funding this project, so check it out and spread the word 👏
5 minutes with: Jesse Chambers, CEO & Founder of wrkfrce
Happy 1st birthday! It’s been a year since you launched wrkfrce. What key lessons have you learned along the way?
Thank you! There are too many lessons to count, but the biggest lesson is that getting started is the most important thing. One of my favourite sayings has become “it’s perfect enough” 😉
What are the challenges and opportunities for niche media in 2022 and beyond? What are you excited about?
I’m most excited that remote work has grown beyond a niche! There are so many benefits—both for professionals and businesses—in distributed work, and I’m excited that wrkfrce has an opportunity to play a role in helping shape the future of work.
What is growth for you, and how do you stay grounded while growing an online business and managing a remote team?
Growth is trying to get a little bit better—even 1% or .5% better—every day. If you’re able to sustain growth like that over time, the results will be profound. To keep myself grounded, I have a morning routine that includes four things: meditating for at least 10 minutes, writing down 5 things I’m grateful for, eating a healthy breakfast, and getting some exercise (which lately means a 15-minute jump rope workout).
If I’m able to do most of those things most days of the week, I’m a better leader, husband, friend, better everything—not perfect, but better.
Tools for thought—what book has inspired your thinking and process?
Very early in founding wrkfrce, my wife gifted me the book Do: Purpose by David Hieatt, and it has been truly foundational in building the wrkfrce brand. It’s an easy read; lots of pictures and ideas, but not many words. You could read the whole thing in under 45 minutes, but at least for me, I’m never done reading it; I go back to it all the time for inspiration or when I’m struggling with something. I’d recommend it to anyone thinking of founding a business or just looking for inspiration.
It’s Small Business Saturday on December 4, a grassroots, non-commercial campaign, which highlights small business success and encourages people to ‘shop local’ and support their communities. A brief history of the movement here.
You can promote your services in the Small Biz Saturday UK business portal for free. Share your stories and give local businesses a shoutout on SoMe using the hashtags #SmallBusinessSaturday and #SmallBizSatUK. I’ll be doing my Xmas shopping in St Leonards—it’s all indie businesses here, bar Boots!
Jesse said he’s been focusing on SEO for the website, so I sent him the piece I wrote on Building Backlinks, doing the rounds on Twitter. It’s a bit of a rabbit hole, so my digital marketing strategy is little and often. As a colleague said this week: “From small acorns, big trees grow.” 🌱🎄
Have a great Sunday.
I’m working on a new project: Reimagining the future of scientific exchange and helping organise a hackathon for HCPs in 2022. If you’ve helped organise one or know someone who has—get in touch. I’d love to have a chat!
★ Free 1:1 mentoring with Google to help you grow your business online and find new customers. Get paired with a mentor from Google who will help you develop your digital marketing strategy—from building your brand on YouTube, Google Search and Maps to creating more ways to bring customers to your site.
★ Monzo’s founder Tom Blomfield on why he left his £1bn business after it negatively impacted his mental health (Management Today). On what he’s learned from his time at the top, and what he’ll do next… A call for better communication and transparency: it builds trust and happy customers.
★ 2021 Ideas Report(WeTransfer). They asked 10K people from over 135 countries how 2021 transformed their creative worlds. Big shifts in power with Latin America challenging the status quo. The Great Resignation: How creatives leave their jobs in droves in search of fulfilment (and money isn’t the answer). Also: how to get featured on WePresent.
★ TRL 131: Starting a country on the internet& social safety nets for the new world with Sondre Rasch (That Remote Life). Sondre’s views on the future of remote work and why SafetyWing has invested thousands researching the topic of internet countries. Remote visas vs digital citizenship, and top takeaways from year 1 of the Plumia project.
★ Focused work sprints on Zoom (via Hannah at Better Not Stop). Get your free 7-day trial. Start with the most difficult thing first. Do not disturb. Monotask. Facilitated by an experienced Cavedweller. Love the backstory. I don’t have a SheShed, so this could the next best thing.
How does remote work change the way companies get things done?
David Perell (Write of Passage) said, “Remote work leads to writing-centric companies instead of speaking-centric ones.” Amazon and Stripe have a heavy writing culture. Amazon is famous for its six-page narratives, and Jeff Bezos is a brilliant writer.
We don’t do PowerPoint (or any other slide-oriented) presentations at Amazon. Instead, we write narratively structured six-page memos. When you have to write your ideas out in complete sentences and complete paragraphs, it forces a deeper clarity of thinking.
The GitLab team handbook is their central repository for how they run the company. Over 2000 pages of text, and as part of their value of being transparent, it’s open-source. Darren Murph, GitLab’s Head of Remote, has talked about the importance of having a Chief Documentarian and writing everything down with remote teams.
Bill Gates was on it in ‘99. New Rules: collaborative culture & digital information flow.
I read all the e-mail that employees send me, and I pass items on to people for action. I find unsolicited mail an incredibly good way to stay aware of the attitudes and issues affecting the many people who work at Microsoft.
Writing democratises ideas and lets teams have their say. It breaks down workplace politics—you’re not relying on verbal accounts, 1:1s or presenteeism to get stuff done. Transparency and good documentation build trust. Josh Bernoff: “Clear leadership, expressed in writing, creates alignment and boosts productivity.”
How Stripe built a writing culture ✍️
David Perell asked Brie Wolfson, who worked at Stripe for five years and set up Stripe Press to talk to his students about how companies can create a writing culture.
I’ve come to believe that Stripe’s culture of writing is one of the organization’s greatest superpowers. As startup whisperer patio11puts it, Stripe is a celebration of the written word which happens to be incorporated in the state of Delaware.
Stripe has always treated documentation as a first-class product. People from every corner of the company author blog posts. The company publishes a magazine about building and operating software (Increment) and books about technological and economic progress (Stripe Press).
But what we don’t see is the massive library of content produced in-house for employees. She says that’s where the real magic happens…
One thing that distinguishes Stripe is that it’s an incredibly deep-thinking culture. It’s a written culture really focused on getting to the right answer.
Another thing is a sense of urgency. The company is especially dedicated to moving very, very fast.
Ann Handley is also brilliant on this stuff. How to champion a content-oriented culture—the key to a customer-centric, intuitive, empathic point of view.
We don’t appreciate the work that goes into minute-taking—it’s bloody hard work!
★ Stop Asking Questions: How to lead high impact interviews and learn anything from anyone (Holloway). Lessons from a veteran podcast host with 2000+ episodes on the secrets of deeper conversation. It teaches you how to interview and how to learn. Excerpt here. I can’t get enough of Holloway’s brilliant books!
★ How to take smart notes (Forte Labs). Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright says the secret of her career success is down to diligent and reliable notetaking. A simple technique to boost your writing, learning and thinking. Have a listen to Tiago’s interview and Q&A with the author, Sönke Ahren here.
★ Field Notes: Miami (Devon Zuegel). What’s it like to live in Miami, the new tech hub? Writer and Product Director Devon Zuegel on what makes Miami special. The colours! The flowers! Immigrant spirit. These field notes are a bit different from previous cities she’s explored because Miami is her home. I’m listening to Order Without Design, her new podcast about cities.
★ Exotic and sustainable, night trains are coming back to Europe. The ‘Euro Night Sprinter’ map is utopian, but Europe’s rail future could look a lot like it. It’s a proposal by the German Greens, who want a Europe-wide network of sleeper trains. By 2030, it would connect more than 200 cities and places across Europe. Slow, comfortable travel. All aboard! 🙏
★ A Twitter thread from Dickie Bush withadvanced tips for every internet tool. Starting with Twitter – 10 advanced features, how to master Google search, Google docs, YouTube rabbit holes, Mac tips and more. One to bookmark and return to when well-caffeinated – there’s a lot to digest here.