Next in Tech - Jan. 28, 2023
January 28, 2023
Welcome back to Next in Tech! It’s been a busy first few weeks of 2023 — I wanted to share what I’ve been up to and what’s been on my mind.
Back in DC
I’ve been back at school in DC for two weeks now. I’ve definitely been a lot more regimented, as I have to factor my classes into my schedule. This has been good for my productivity and especially for making sure that I’m active in the morning. It also feels nice to be back in an environment with my peers. Spending time in a professional setting was very valuable, but I also understand that college is a short window of time and so I’m trying to get the most out of it that I can, while I still can. I’ve also been looking for more opportunities both at GW and in DC to connect with other entrepreneurs and web3 enthusiasts.
I just found out about the GW New Venture Competition, which helps community members launch their own startups and gives out $500k in total prizes(as of 2022). Programs like this are the exact types of resources that I have been looking for, and so I’m going to submit an application. I’ve also started the process of creating a web3 club at GW, which the school currently doesn’t offer. Other universities have robust web3/crypto clubs that interact with the broader community and do in-depth research. Adding GW to that conversation and working to educate others on the field is an exciting prospect for me to think about.
One thing I hope to find either through a program or more generally through my time here is more student developers to talk to. As great as it is to put ideas online and organize projects however I like, it can be super valuable to have other people’s perspectives, as well as not always having to personally complete every task. I would love to work with more collaborators and if I could find other students with similar passions, I think it would be a great way to iterate on product in person.
Coming out of a gap semester during which I solely focused on one project, I wanted to make it a focus of mine in 2023 to focus on other things. I also still have some new ideas for Cortex(that I’m going to be sharing very soon). Diversifying my options has been great so far. I’ve been able to work on a small contracting job that’s been super interesting, I’m spending time organizing content to put out, and I’m finishing a new build of my personal website. I’ve enjoyed being able to work on a bunch of different ideas that I find interesting and otherwise wouldn’t be able to focus on, and I’m also happy that I can support myself financially with some of this work.
It feels as though there’s a new topic or project that catches my eye every day, and that feeling of not having the time to do everything you want to feels exciting. It’s obviously something that needs to be managed — there needs to be some focus and planning to work on a few different things — but the rush that I’ve gotten from building one thing after another is really exhilarating. I can’t wait to see where this all takes me and to keep sharing more projects/ideas.
A key theme I’ve been thinking about in web3 over the past few weeks is online identity. I was reflecting on the NFTs that I minted in 2022, most of which were free collections that I grabbed to show support for an artist, event, or community. That profile and what it tells can even be more transparent of an identity than that of other websites, where the whole story isn’t told, content is highly edited, or community isn’t as strong. As more ways to take action on-chain become available, I see a web3 profile playing an important role in how we shape our personal identities. And what if I moved around as different parts of that profile depending on what website I’m on, just like you might be a different person depending on where you go physically?
It seems as though identity could be a big theme for crypto in 2023, and there are tons of new advancements to crypto identity yet to come. Some example include Apple passkeys, account abstraction with ERC 4337, as well as certain stealth address approaches laid out in Vitalik Buterin’s latest article.
It’s been crazy to think about how wild of a few years it’s been. Towards the end of high school I thought I had such a clear image for how things were going to go in my life and over the past few years that image has completely changed. None of this is meant in a bad light, I just feel as though I have gone through some experiences and have been opened up to some perspectives that make me think differently about the future. It makes me think that my path doesn’t need to be so linear, but also that there are multiple definitions of success. Being the first at something or being a contrarian just to say so doesn’t equate to success, or at least that’s how I look at it. I’m very fortunate to have gone through these experiences and I can’t believe that I’m at this point and time in my life. It’s an exciting time to be alive.
Interesting finds I’ve stumbled upon recently: