This is a deepdive into my first yearly recap. Though I was told by Dom to do this months ago, I had a chip on my shoulder to push out an update with some really great news. Then reality check happened and the economy isn’t doing too well. Regardless, it was a good ending to an even better year.
Excited for what’s next and remember - bet on yourself.
Quick Answers What were my biggest lessons learned this year?
Being conscious of your own headspace and emotions goes far.
Time is the most valuable asset and saying yes to everything does more harm than good.
Trust and loyalty are earned not given.
Failing & iterating often is better for progress than perfection.
Digital cleanse isn’t optional - mandatory per quarter.
How will I challenge myself in 2023?
Put myself in more uncomfortable situations.
Complete sommelier training in the Summer (June) - level 2 is the goal.
Beat Half-Marathon PR in May & Marathon in September.
Increase my rate of learning. Building at least 3 projects in a month - 20h/week - embrace the exploration phase more by building in public much more.
Listen to more non-traditional music.
Meet more people in different parts of the world.
Develop a consistent sleep schedule.
What’s next with these goals?
Each goal has its own significance to help me go all-in this year, but hopefully not be the end road once the “goal” is completed. Being a bit more transparent about the L’s I took so that I’m not brushing off what I need to do next.
Working with the incredible team @ Ripple Ventures - majority of my professional and personal growth this year can be attributed to their support/guidance.
Venture Capital was a very interesting experience and I’m extremely grateful that I got an opportunity to take on this role. This entailed meeting outstanding founders, learning how to evaluate startups, broadening my knowledge in various sectors of tech and simply being able to keep up with all that exists in the VC/tech world. From my perspective in this role for just over half a year, here are major lessons I learned:
(1) the necessity to keep up with the tech space. Though it’s not necessary, there is a vital advantage that you can get by having a strong knowledge base of what’s happening in the various sectors of tech and understanding the problems that are being solved. Ripple was a great team to work with as I wasn’t limited to explore my curiosities and this expanded into Thematic Research later on. We all explored different topics, took time to break down our findings, question our conclusions and seek out the gems in the pile. This entire exercise helped me refine my thought process, making me ask the tough questions toward a hyped up company/industry - i.e. Web3 at the time. This approach of sharing publicly is what I’d want to explore more in the year. On that note, Twitter was surprisingly one of the best “tool”/social media that I picked up - for keeping up with tech, its a must.
(2) maintaining time & relationships. VC in a way is multiple jobs crammed in one. This role consists of selling your fund/capital, researching new technologies, fundraising, and much more. This role entailed a strong skillset to be organized, accountable and just on top of your shit. You never know when that one founder that barely had an MVP might pivot to a unicorn and you just forgot to keep in touch - not me, but you get it. So what does all that mean for me? It showed this entire new world of people management and helped me narrow down my pain points. Overall, I was okay or decent as an analyst - but not great. To be great, I should have been more conscious of my time to manage more relationships, block out learnings blocks, write more and iterate on these learnings. )
(3) know your limits, be humble and keep learning. Another evident conclusion was realizing that you don’t know everything. Based on my observations - too many VC’s and even the juniors use too many big words to sound fancy and pretend that they understand everything. I was guilty of this, because if I’m supposed to be the go-to web3 person, shouldn’t I know everything? But it was through discussions with Dom that cleared up that I need to get more in-depth with my learnings & explanations to avoid this.
Foster better relationships
Without a doubt on my mind, this was the year where I met the most people in such a short period of time. Some of whom became really good friends, mentors and homies that I’ll always count on. It’s honestly mind boggling to think that I met this many dope people in just a year. But the reason I bring this up is to emphasize a clear goal for next year - getting better at keeping up with others that I care about. The concept of breaking out of my own bubble and seeing that there’s so much more going on besides the little worries I may have. A fun little question that I’ve really enjoyed asking others - what’s your story? As complex as it may be, I’ve noticed that everyone has their own way to answer this question - whether it’s the pros or cons.
I’ve grown a ton this year as a human being and each month has shown clear indications of this growth toward the person that I want to be. Though I ran into several weeks of doing stupid shit, I ended the year a bit more grounded and tied back down to my own road. I’m mentioning this because it coincides with the faded relationships in my life. Most were unintentional, but it’s interesting to look back at the weekends that were blocked off for a weekend bender and now these seem like distant memories.
Started as an interesting presentation and spiraled into an everlasting rabbithole. I played around with Crypto a bunch at the end of 2021 - everything was up and wow did it feel good. When the markets took a turn and all the meme coins went bust - I knew that my focus needed to be away from the finances and toward the tech. At the time, it just meant that if I’m gonna gamble on these tokens let’s be smarter about it. I started taking Twitter more seriously and this led to learning about Developer DAO.
The infamous D_D membership NFT was on pause and I waited till March to even start thinking about it. When I jumped back on Twitter and learned about Web3Con, there was one weekend left to this virtual conference/hackathon. It was one long conversation in a virtual room with complete strangers that changed the trajectory of my entire year & career (so far). I went for a short run and once I got home, I immediately bought the NFT.
Why was Developer DAO so important to me this year? It started with a travel scholarship to Miami for Activate x Wormhole. This opened up an entirely new world where I personally never saw myself traveling to Miami let alone for Web3. Next I hosted several podcasts throughout the year with D_D contributors. Hosted two events in New York and Toronto with 200+ people , roughly $20,000 in total sponsorships from Polygon, Wealthsimple, Unlock Protocol, Hedera, Metis and Atilia.
Doubled down on the learning through two different fellowships/bootcamps - Kernal and Frequency Crypto. I really enjoyed Frequency over Kernal since it was jam packed with a ton of content within one week. From a session dedicated to token design to a chat with Jeremy Allaire next - it was dope. Mind you that week I was travelling so it was the craziest week of this year.
I didn’t want this recap to be all about Web3 so I’m excited to write my own 2023 Web3 thesis in the next few weeks. I’m still very bullish. I’ve been absolutely loving the past months where the hype has completely died and the focus has shifted toward the building.
Doing more uncomfortable and dope shit
Coming out the COVID hibernation and finally travelling felt like a great start. Solo traveling to New York, Miami, Montreal and Bogota. Experiencing new cultures and meeting so many wonderful peeps.
Taking running more seriously again. 2022 was filled with half-assed effort and the half-marathon back in was a clear indicator. Felt really weak and worst time. I started training a few weeks ago and here’s the proof. Add me on Strava!
Exploring dance classes - although I’ve enjoyed dance and music all my life, it’s pretty much non-existent the past few years mainly because I suck. So I’m excited to explore it again and confirm how I bad I truly am.
Rebuilding products that I enjoy and being honest with what I dislike. I think that’s too much optimistic reviews on stuff that we use and I’m definitely guilty of this. So I’ll be trying to be more picky with the products that I love but more importantly trying to focus on the rebuilding.