My Crypto Creator Story
How I began a new career as a YouTuber and where I'm headed next
In 2017, my friend and I were university new grads, saving up money from our software engineering jobs and learning about the wonderful world of investing. Back then, we were excited about picking stocks that could get us 15% or even 20% annual returns. That level of gain was already mind-blowing. You mean I can invest $2,000 of savings and have $2400 back at the end of the year? Then I'm basically copping a free Coachella ticket, every year! Let's do it!!
So, you can imagine how much I freaked out when I saw this graph, on March 16th, 2017:
This is a graph of the price of Ether, a cryptocurrency used in the Ethereum blockchain. Back then I had no idea what these words meant. But what I did know, was that something BIG was happening here, and so I Googled "Ethereum" deep into the night, and then after feeling somewhat convinced this thing wasn't a hoax, I said "fuck it, I'm buying".
I invested a small amount of savings on March 17th, 2017, and I haven't regretted it since.
Throughout the rest of 2017, I joined meetup groups in San Francisco. I learned how to write Solidity smart contracts. I bought "alt coins" (cryptocurrencies that are not Bitcoin or Ethereum), trying to chase the adrenaline rush of another 10x return. Even during the correction in 2018, I left my job as a software engineer at Magoosh to go full-time on crypto. I joined Blockchain at Berkeley, I traveled to Devcon3, and I even contracted for a blockchain data platform startup called Amberdata
Some lessons during this time:
Blockchain at Berkeley taught me about the building blocks of cryptocurrencies, auditing Ethereum projects, and reasoning through economic incentives.
Devcon3 in Cancún, Mexico showed me the importance of networking and picking the right crowd -> long-term builders will always create more value than short-term investors.
Working at Amberdata made me realize that I needed to level up my engineering skills if I wanted to be able to contribute effectively to this quickly evolving industry.
From 2018-2021 I worked as a full stack software engineer at Samsara, a connected sensors platform. I worked on lots of projects across the mobile app, website, and backend data processing systems. I also helped recruit software engineers and start a new office in Atlanta. All in all, my time at Samsara was fun because of all the smart people I got to kick it with while watching a successful company grow from 500 to 1500 employees.
Although Samsara wasn't a crypto company, working there helped me find answers to questions around being a software engineer that could also apply towards working in the crypto world. Questions such as:
How do you write modular, reusable code that other people can build on top of?
How do you work with a team to execute on tight deadlines quickly?
How do you test, upgrade, and scale systems that customers depend on as a core service for their business?
How do you mentor and grow others so that your team can do more over time?
How do you maintain good culture in an environment that is evolving every day?
(the answers to these questions deserve their own blog posts another day)
In the back of my mind, I knew I'd always want to get back into crypto and finance. There's just something so magical about building the plumbing for how money flows through the world. I also knew that deep inside, I didn't want to be a software engineer for the rest of my life. I've always wanted to connect with people, to tell stories. Building technical skills was just a means to that end -- it helps me understand how the world works so that I can share it with others.
So.. at the beginning of June 2021, I quit Samsara and joined a video creator master course hosted by Nas Academy and sponsored by Metapurse. Within 4 weeks of participating in this online class, I learned about how to make engaging and informative videos, by practicing things like:
scripting (keep it simple, organized, relatable)
filming (lighting, equipment, angles)
editing (shortcuts, SFX, transitions, color coding), and
talking about crypto, NFTs, and the metaverse with a 70-person community
After one month and a handful of practice videos later, here I am, one of the top 50 creators moving onto the paid fellowship portion. Metapurse is now offering to pay each of us 1 Ether per month from August through October, as long as we can churn out at least 6 x 3 minute videos per month, related to crypto and NFTs.
It's an amazing opportunity for me because it has greatly de-risked my journey towards becoming a creator. I learned new skills, made new friends, AND I'm getting paid to do what I already want to do? The deal couldn't be any sweeter.
So, over the next three months (at least), I'm going to be churning out content like there's no tomorrow. How-to guides for all things crypto. Interviews with people in the Web 3.0 industry. News on hot projects and big experiments. All of it.
Here are some of the basics I want to cover:
How do I buy crypto? Or invest in crypto? Or for that matter.. do any kind of investing?
Why do NFTs feel like a scam? Are they a scam?
How do I code on the blockchain?
What are the ways to make money in crypto (besides buying coins)?
Beyond these, the sky’s the limit. I’m on a mission to onboard people into Web 3.0.
So that’s it, that’s where I am today in my journey, and I appreciate you for reading this through to the end.
I love interacting with and meeting people. It's the number one reason I'm doing this creator stuff -- to make connections, share high quality information, and ultimately just viiibeee babyyyyyy.
So hit me up on any of my socials, I'm everywhere, and I love to talk about anything!! (Especially boba.)
And of course, follow me on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/c/thatguyintech