The most exciting thing about working in the decentralized economy is the fact that no one has any idea as to where it’ll all end up!

There’s nothing more motivating and intellectually stimulating than waking up every morning expecting an encounter with something entirely new (and unexpected).

Being a pioneer in this new market and industry doesn’t require much — find a great project to contribute to or even join a team that’s working in the decentralized space and you’ll be working on the cutting edge.

It’s that simple.

But you need to make sure that you choose the right project(s) to work on and a team that you can trust; it goes without saying that spending the necessary time to do your “diligence” on the project and team will save you a lot of time and heartache in the short and long-run.

You see, most of the projects that have been put together in the last few years aren’t going to make it, for a number of reasons:

  1. The project creators are con artists and they are working towards a strategic “exit scam” — as soon as they are able they are going to pull the plug on the project and magically disappear leaving everyone else to pick up the pieces. Sadly, this will happen for a while longer until the industry matures a bit more.
  2. The project creators do not know how to operate a functional business, either because they’ve never done it before or because they are not equipped to do so. We’ve already seen too many examples of mis-management in the blockchain world and it’s so common that it’s not even “news” at this point in time.
  3. The project creators never build a product and/or service that people truly want and need. Finding the near-mythical “product-market fit” is incredibly hard to begin with! Finding PMF in the decentralized economy is even harder! Most blockchain-centric projects will live and eventually die without ever finding it.
  4. The project creators (i.e. founders and early team) eventually (and hopefully quickly) reach an impasse because they simply do not know how to work with each other. They haven’t built an organizational culture based on trust and they end up splitting before any real value is created. Team dynamics is especially important in early-stage projects and most newly-formed teams never learned how to functionally work together.
  5. The project creators run out of money, which is not always their fault (but often times is, based on the above reasons). This is as it should be, though, and not something to be embarrassed or ashamed about since most startups ultimately fail. One should be able to hold their head up very high despite the eventual outcome, especially if they managed their business properly, treated their early-adopters well, and built a respectable organizational culture and team.

You see, building anything within the blockchain and decentralized space is incredibly risky and most projects will never get off the ground. But, the rewards of success (and of survival) are as equally weighted (and weighty!) for those that can pull off an enduring business, one that’ll create an impact that’ll bless everyone involved.

With all of that being said, the most important thing that you do as you consider venturing into this space is to find great people to work with, full stop. Index high here and any project that you work on will have worthwhile and memorable results.

For starters, you’ll need healthy, constructive, and encouraging communities that’ll continue motivate you (like The Bitcoin Pub and YEN — shameless promotion here!) and push your further into your never-ending decentralized education. And if you decide to dive deeper into a specific project, you’ll want to do all that you can to get to know the other (serious) participants and contributors to the project, from individual contributors to the leadership and everything (and everyone) in-between.

You need to take this diligence period seriously, just as you would for any job interview that you’ve done historically, and especially if you’re actually applying for a job with a company that’s working in the decentralized space!

And now that you know that most projects will end up in the proverbial trash dump, you’ll know how to spend your time best as you vet and explore the many (and growing!) opportunities in this exciting industry.

We can’t wait to see you there / here / everywhere as we’re all going to eventually be part of the decentralized economy — those that get there first will reap the natural and intrinsic benefits of being an early adopter.

One of my favorite quotes is from Anaïs Nin:

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.

Perhaps it’s time that you spend more time in an expansive new industry and, as a consequence, experience life in larger and more meaningful ways as you exercise a little more courage.

See you on the decentralized side!


John is the software engineer at YEN, a social platform that combines the power of social networks and multiple cryptocurrency exchanges. Originally published at blog.yen.io. And, they are hiring! Check out a Community Lead role here.