Tell me something true, that almost nobody agrees with you?
Without being cynical or morbid: we’re all going to die, aren’t we? Why then, do we take things so seriously in life? As much as we think we have control over our lives, we don’t. We just live in the illusion that we do. We don’t control feelings, or motivation, the vast majority of it being subconscious-driven. External events? Absolutely not. We can’t even decide when to wake up, the body does it on its own.
We keep thinking that life is a “very serious matter”, and that we need to be or do certain things, it’s “serious business”. But if we sit around a game of Monopoly, isn’t the game fun to play because we all agree that those fictitious rules are real, just for an instant? Don’t we enjoy and accept the fact that the dice is random, and that we have no control over it? Isn’t it the same with life: it’s just a random game. With its own set fictitious rules created by humans. Let’s play the game then, and make sure to have fun in the process because we have no power to decide how many times we get to throw the dice.
How did you get interested in web3 and what you are currently working on?
I was dabbling around with Crypto investment since 2020, I guess a lot of people have a similar story. A developer friend of mine introduced me to it, and I started to regularly buy tokens.
Later in 2022, he ditched everything he was doing and focused solely on becoming a Web3 developer. He shared more of his work and projects, and it grew on me. As explained above, the more I read about what was being done in the industry, the more I got convinced of its crazy potential.
I then too pulled the plug on what I was working on in mid-2022, and shortly after when all in. After many hours spent learning, writing, and prospecting for jobs, I was lucky to meet the awesome folks at Mangrove. We had a few chats, it was a fit: I got hired. This is still very fresh at the time I’m writing this (I’m just 1 week in).
More about Mangrove: it’s a DEX based on an “Order book” model, like in traditional finance but it has the specificity to allow liquidity providers to post arbitrary smart contracts as offers. What that means, is that the listed offers are pieces of code.
It basically enables participants to post offers that are not fully provisioned: it lists promises instead of locked commitments. The promised liquidity can be shared, borrowed, or lent somewhere and at the same time can be displayed on Mangrove, ready to be sourced when (and only when) an offer is taken.
The resulting consequences are far-reaching, because it removes liquidity fragmentation and the lock on assets, allowing its use in multiple places.
If you’d like more info about it, feel free to follow us on Twitter: we’re starting to release a lot of fresh content.
What’s the best thing about learning and building during a bear market? The most challenging?
Well, I’m getting my first experience in Web3 during a bear market, so I can’t compare. From what I’m seeing though,the bear market has the advantage of cutting a lot of noise, hype, and stuff flying around. It seems quieter, which is a good opportunity to do your thing, and take time to learn about other projects and technologies. It’s useful to reposition yourself or plan for when things will go through the roof again (because they will).
The most challenging, while not having experienced it myself, is the tough financial time for a lot of players. There are fewer dollar ammunitions for businesses to go crazy with, which can be a tough rollercoaster ride to experience. I think people’s patience is being tested. From what I read, there is at the moment quite a bit of uncertainty as to who will see the sunrise when the market turns, and who will be put to rest.
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Can you share your last epic win? Last epic fail?
Last epic win:
Joining the Mangrove team, definitely! I’m super proud of having made that step, especially since I come from nowhere. I had no “official” experience, no one was very keen to acknowledge me. It’s very rewarding when your hard work and persistence pay off. I’m thrilled that they picked me to join the team, it’s everything I could have expected.
Last epic fail:
Coming off hot wheels from Singapore, within a week of late 2020 I was already setting myself a sort of financial plan/expectations that I’d reach by the end of 2021. The methodology adopted was sharp, organized, neat. Promising. Well not at all my friend, because I ended up achieving absolutely ZERO on that. It was painfully ridiculous. At the beginning of the year, I thought that I’d get somewhere, not accounting for the time to digest my new life after quitting my job, which took me longer than planned. So I just ended up frustrated and angry with myself a year later, understanding that my approach was just wrong and that I needed to take it one step at a time. Learning everyday!
What was the one positive thing you underestimated before working in web3?
The working flexibility, being remote, going at your own pace (people trust, as long as everyone delivers). Also people’s understanding and mindset, it’s much better than I thought it’d be.
What is your vision for your niche? What do you expect to come in the next few years?
Again, things are still new to me, but we are very excited at Mangrove about its DeFi potential. Our setup is quite unique, because we have Engineers and Researchers working together, coming up with ground-breaking ideas new to the industry. For example, we believe that this concept of dual-use of liquidity is going to change the game. We have myriads of ideas of how it could apply, and we’ve barely scratched the surface.
We believe that the expansion of projects like ours will be Community-driven, and that it’ll be a differentiator for success. We’d love to see developers from all horizons, be it novice or from established projects, increase their collaboration to build DeFi ecosystems.
There are just so many things happening and opportunities to interconnect, it’ll be fascinating to witness how it unravels.
What is missing from the web3 ecosystem ?
I am still new, but I feel like education and credibility are big ones. Not for mainstream adoption, per se (Andrea Antonopoulos has a really good talk about the success metrics for crypto), just for people to understand what it’s all about. The Media paint a very scary picture of the Crypto world, which it can be under certain circumstances, and it’s all the same with our traditional economy today. People cheat, steal, and commit crimes. There is absolutely no difference, it happens on both sides. But the Media are quick to make it one-sided, tainting the reality of what is actually going on.
Another one that’s needed, which is a consequence of the above, is a bigger pool of talents. People are probably unsure about the industry, especially with all the collapses and drama that have been going on lately hence there’s a lack of available firepower today.
Though this is still affected by the ups and downs of the market, I’m optimistic that as years go by, the industry will become much more robust and credible.
Any tips for beginners who aspire to work in this domain, but feel completely overwhelmed to even start competing?
Persistence and patience are your friends - just keep at it. I’m aware that’s not the secret you wanted to hear, but we all tend to forget that, and as stated before, we have very little control over things.
Therefore, do your thing: learn about what you’re interested in, in your own time, and do what you can to connect with people. The last part is super important, just blindly applying or messaging around just doesn’t work very well.
I sincerely believe that there’s a need to stick with something long enough to see results and dig yourself out of the anonymous hole you’re in.
For me, what made the difference was:
1) Doing the time: immersing myself in learning tech and business concepts ( “gotta do the work”)
2) Showcasing my learnings: I created a personal website + dApp. Projects are a great way to show how serious you are, and it gives you the chance to shine with something that’s yours and only yours.
3) Meet and connect: I used my existing network to meet friends of friends in Web3, which led to others, which led to discovering this newsletter that had a job post about Mangrove. Before you know it, this thread will get you somewhere, that is guaranteed. If you look for something, you’ll find it - things always work themselves out.
What is the question that has not been asked here that you would have enjoyed reading the answer to from one of your peers? Answer it.
“What would you do if all things fail?”
My girlfriend keeps saying that we could always go sell coconuts on the beach of Punta Cana. After putting some thoughts into it, I quite like the idea. 🥥
What quote has stuck with you and changed your life?
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can't - you're right.” Henry Ford