In 2022, the new darling of the global VC circle, Web3, has become a new outlet for Internet people.
After 20 years of development in the Internet industry, the industry has become highly centralized. In front of users and individuals, the platform has the absolute right to speak.
With the peak of business growth and the exhaustion of policy dividends, Internet companies have to explore paths other than traffic, and involution has become synonymous with their much-criticized.
Where is the next exit? The 29-year-old Awu chose to leave the Internet giant and devote himself to the Web3 field to continue as a product manager. This may be one of the answers.
What exactly is Web3 that has high hopes? Who are going crazy? As an emerging hot track in the investment world, can Web3 save lost Internet people?
1. Web3, what new story is being told?
Web3, as the name suggests, refers to the third generation of the Internet.
Simply put, Web 1 is the era of portal sites, where users are the viewers of text and picture information. Web 2 is the era of social networking. Users can produce content on various platforms and interact with other users in real time, forming a huge network of relationships.
The biggest difference from the first two is that Web3 proposes ” decentralization “.
Although Web 2 users can build their own influence, the real right to speak is controlled by the platform and the big companies behind it. The consumption behavior of all users will eventually be transformed into cold data, which is stored and processed for centralized institutions. .
Web3’s blockchain-based architecture, where application code and data are distributed on participating nodes in a distributed network, can not only ensure the circulation of information, but also return the right to speak to users. Therefore, Web3 is considered to have the hope of truly realizing the beautiful vision of “the user’s content and the value it generates belong to itself “.
Capital takes the lead. According to institutional statistics, in April this year, 74 projects in the global Web3 field received financing, with a total amount of US$3.103 billion. In 2021, the global investment in cryptocurrencies will reach as high as 30 billion US dollars, more than the sum of the previous 20 years of investment.
Even in the cold winter of capital, investors are not relentless when they pour money into Web3.
Esher Crawford, senior project manager of Twitter, fully affirmed the value of Web3 in social networks, “Web3 means that all the created value can be shared by more people, not just business owners, investors and employees”.
Ben Schecter, head of A16Z (known as one of the most successful VCs and the leader of Web3 investment) believes that the future of Internet work lies in encrypted networks and DAOs (Decentralized Autonomous Organizations).
Gong Ting, the founding partner of SIG China and a famous investor, called Web3 a ” information digital asset revolution “. In his view, technology in the Web3 era can hopefully be truly used to overcome the weakness of human nature, and “the decentralization and DAOization of the capital market will definitely happen”.
Compared with the grand narrative of capital, A Wu, a product manager who joined Web3 from a major Internet company, advocates not to over-praise the concept of Web3. As an ordinary practitioner, he pays more attention to the current technical support of Web3 – blockchain technology .
In October last year, A Wu, who was a product manager at ByteDance, chose to leave the online education industry and join the hot Web3. Currently, he is in charge of chain-related business in a blockchain company in Shanghai, and runs his own DAO in his spare time.
“No one can tell what the next-generation Internet is.” In Ah Wu’s view, Web3 is basically equivalent to the next-generation Internet based on blockchain technology.
The blockchain has the characteristics of decentralization, transparency and traceability, as well as high financial attributes and liquidity. It can not only support the openness of the organizational form (to ensure that the Web3, which uses the blockchain as an infrastructure, embraces openness), allowing all parties involved Unconditional trust in the distribution method can also ensure the reliable execution of the distribution of benefits.
Compared with Web3 practitioners, Ah Wu is more willing to call himself a blockchain practitioner.
But it is an undeniable fact that more and more venture capital funds are pouring into Web3. With the accumulation and traction of resources, it seems to be an immature but irreversible trend that Web3 absorbs talents from the previous generation of Internet.
2. The Internet doesn’t move, go to Web3 as a product manager
The first episode of Internet executives fleeing to Web3 appeared in Silicon Valley.
Back in 2020, Google VP Surojit Chatterjee ran away from home with a new title of chief product officer at cryptocurrency firm Coinbase. In April 2021, Coinbase went public with a market value of over $50 billion, and Chatterjee personally holds more than $600 million in shares. According to media reports, Coinbase will expand to more than 2,000 employees this year, covering product, engineering and design positions.
In January, YouTube’s head of gaming, Ryan Wyatt, handed in his resignation to work for Polygon Studios, a Web3 ethereum company. At the same time, Sandy Carter, vice president of cloud computing at Amazon, also opted to join encryption technology company Unstoppable Domains.
Among many Web3 companies, Mysten Labs, which researches blockchain technology, has become a talent harvester for major Silicon Valley companies. 80% of its team members are from Internet companies such as Meta, Google, and Netflix. From technical engineers to product managers, almost all are pure “Silicon Valley DNA”.
Just last month, Cointelegraph reported that Google Cloud is looking for a global head of Web3 product marketing, a role that will not only ultimately build customer demand for the product, but will also be responsible for increasing market awareness of Google Cloud’s Web3 initiatives. Spend.
The flow of talents in the Internet industry is also staged in China. According to statistics, in 2021, China’s Web3 investment and job posting growth will exceed 400% , with full-time, part-time, and telecommuting in various forms, and more than half of the applicants are from the Internet industry. At the same time, many Internet people choose to quit their jobs to work in overseas Web3 companies.
The blockchain company where Ah Wu works has a scale of 200 people. Most of the regular employees were Internet practitioners before.
Before entering the blockchain industry, Awu established his own technology community as early as 2017, and made many friends in the currency circle, including many young people who entered the market and made millions at that time.
In July last year, my country promulgated the double reduction policy. Seeing that the career development path of online education was blocked, A Wu and several colleagues in education began to re-select the track, “We found a conference room to cast the screen, one industry and one industry. However, the analysis found that most segments of the Internet have no room for improvement.”
When it came time to finally decide on the track, Awu called friends in the currency circle one by one to listen to them talk about their personal experience in the blockchain industry. “They are basically optimistic about the Web3 track.” Ah Wu had the idea of starting a business for a long time. Considering that Web3 is a hot new track, there will be more room for small companies to start a business. He finally chose all in Web3.
Awu believes that the current blockchain projects are community-oriented, and “there is usually an AMA (ask me anything) session before a formal project goes online.” Product managers can use this to understand the thoughts of initial users and potential users.
But the other side of the strong community dependency is that if the community does not operate well, the vast majority of products cannot survive . “At this stage, Web3 has few large-scale products, and the community is the most basic and most important channel.” In Web3, product managers often need to play the role of operators.
In his spare time, Awu runs a self-media account, and from this he derives a community. There are nine people who maintain the community with him, but they are all part-timers. Awu does not pay them salaries.
He also recommends excellent articles in the community from time to time, and makes necessary excerpts or comments. He also does podcasts and is regularly invited to participate in online events to share Web3 industry knowledge.
3. What kind of product manager is suitable for Web3?
Product manager, is it a “just-needed item” in the Web3 industry?
Jason Shah, head of product at Alchemy, an American blockchain service provider, believes that “product managers are not so necessary in the 0-1 stage of Web3”, because this stage focuses on technical infrastructure, cryptoeconomics and online Community, and the fit point of product experience and market is not clear for the time being, “product managers are usually more suitable for Web3 in stages 1-10”.
For the product manager’s role in Web3, Jason Shah also gave a simple definition: Web3 product managers are responsible for the success of the community, not just limited to user growth.
The reality is that most of Ah Wu’s colleagues chose to jump to other big Internet companies, and did not “catch up”. Whether it is a product manager, or other positions such as marketing and operations, he recommends that “if you are in China, if you don’t think about it clearly, don’t join first .”
As Web 2 enters the second half, especially in large Internet companies, the precision of internal division of labor is becoming more and more refined, and the role and functions of product managers are diluted accordingly. A considerable number of product managers can make a passing product experience even if they don’t know the product and users.
For Web3, which advocates decentralization, the value of product managers has not been verified, and an all-round product manager may be more in line with the expectations of the industry.
“Web3 product managers must think about protocol design, token economics, user privacy security, asset security, growth marketing, community participation, etc.” Jason Shah believes that only product managers with the above capabilities can build successful communities, “and Think more about the interconnected value of people, technology and Web3 products”.
The biggest feeling of Ah Wu, who has successfully transformed for 10 months, is, ” In this industry, everyone is making mistakes .” In his view, whether it is online education or the overall Internet industry, product managers have a mature methodology for Learning, while the blockchain industry lacks mature experience accumulation, in a new field where countless news is born every day, product managers need to rely on intuition to explore.
Ah Wu can now leave the company at 6 o’clock every day, but his mentality is more tense. He is even busier than working in a big factory before, constantly switching between work, study and industry social status.
In addition, Awu’s mood is also more prone to huge fluctuations. “Maybe at a certain point of time I think of a plan, which I think is promising and effective, but after a while, I will find that this plan may not be feasible, and after a while, there may be no hope at all, and vice versa Of course”. Compared with the inseparability of work and life, Ah Wu’s feelings come more from the periodic cycle of periodic excitement, self-denial and growth.
Is Web3 an opportunity or a bubble? Judgment has always been supported by experience. Perhaps continuous learning and reflection are the best way to survive.
Posted by:CoinYuppie，Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/can-web3-save-the-lost-internet-man/
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