Having Skin in the Game
I've noticed that many people like to complain, think the world is as easy as it seems on social media, or are annoying to a point where they troll on purpose. Here are my thoughts about the matter.
First of all, I hope January has been good for you and the first month of 2024 was a success. I’m not gonna lie; it was pretty intensive for me and felt like an eternity.
Not because I caught the January blues but because I had so much stuff to do that no end was in sight. But that’s high-level complaining; having stuff to do is always better than sitting on your couch and wasting a precious lifetime.
I’ve also had a lot of fun tasks and cool content to shoot at work. As you might have noticed, I became the face on video for Relai and sent out the weekly newsletter each Friday. Next to that, I also worked, or at the time of writing this, am still working on a few press releases and upcoming launch content for Q1 and Q2.
This means I have to balance my time between creating content, researching, getting in touch with the media, and engaging within the ecosystem. But let me tell you, I love every second of it. I often imagine that this is what working in the early days of the dotcom world must have felt like. Everyone is pumped, has a gazillion ideas, and wants to succeed.
However, there is also a different side to that story. Whenever you’re deep within the industry or speaking to leaders, you realize how early we still are and that it takes 110% of dedication to get the job done. You run into the same issues other industries or startups run into, and this isn’t always clear to everyone in the community.
Bitcoin has emerged because of the strong community around it, and it owes everything to it. Without it, there wouldn’t be Bitcoin. However, having that echo chamber around you is sometimes more of a curse than a blessing.
Social Media Is NOT the Real World
I know that some in the Bitcoin community know this and make an effort to verify the narratives we’re reading online. However, there is a majority of people who get sucked into the hype and believe whatever is out there.
This is not their fault; this is how most tribes and communities work, but it’s frustrating because you want to help out but are being hindered by the algorithms. They don’t want an open discussion or dialog; they seek confrontation and often push content in that direction.
Such a behavior often leads to unnecessary discussions, which end up confronting two worlds. One is the ideal, where Bitcoin is winning or has already won, and whatever you’re doing, you’re contributing to that victory. The second is a bit closer to reality, where you see your struggles and understand how much of an effort is going into making this work.
Again, I’m not criticizing the side that only sees everything through the orange lens because this is what we all seek. We want Bitcoin to succeed and be a net good for the world. However, you see things differently if you have skin in the game. Granted, you must see things differently because you end up talking to people or interest groups who are not on the same page as you. Which is part of doing business. This is how you actually solve problems.
On social media, everyone seems to be a genius and knows how to solve every problem. While doing so, the community often dismisses important relationships. I’m not talking about your girlfriend or boyfriend, but actually business relationships. The best example is how we interact with the media.
Don’t get me started on how annoying it is if we read badly informed articles. It’s easy to quickly go down the FUD route and call all of these journalists or outlets idiots. However, we won’t be able to convince precoiners unless they read about Bitcoin in their favorite newspaper.
Also, from working with mainstream journalists for the past couple of months - yes, I’m in contact with a ton of them on a regular basis - they often lack the fundamentals of Bitcoin and simply don’t invest a lot of time. Once I explain the basics or settle differences by sending the right information, my experience with them has actually been pleasant.
This doesn’t mean that their article might be praising Bitcoin. In fact, they might still attack it from a different perspective, but this is healthy. We need to think more like devil’s advocates and have responses against these claims. If there are serious problems, we need to solve them and to do so, we need critical feedback.
Patience Young Padawan
OK, I get it. It’s frustrating if we read the negative press or if we always have to answer the same questions; we end up feeling that we’re going nowhere. But let me tell you, this is how new and emerging technology has come up in the past. If it had been easy, everyone would have done it.
I know that my perspective is a bit more nuanced about this topic. The majority of my income relies on the industry and Relai as a company. I would be of no help if I sit around and be part of the hype train. Because this is not driving the company and vision we have forward. Unless I start doing more and think about all these angles, we’re not going anywhere.
One of my earliest mentors told me once that you need the patience to wait. It’s hard to not overdo everything. Especially if you want to succeed fast. But to sit down and ask yourself why the person on the other side of the screen is not getting what you’re saying and coming up with different solutions is the best way to actually grow. Not only personally but also from a business perspective.
If you read this and think that I ridicule the other half, who’s hyper-bullish and wants Bitcoin to succeed today, you misunderstand. I’m sharing my thoughts and experiences here with you because I have skin in the game, and I’m willing to go the extra mile but I do this with a different approach. I want to highlight all the weaknesses of the ecosystem and find a human way of getting critics involved.
There is no future if we call everyone an idiot or a FUDster if they critique Bitcoin. Think of all the times outsiders have called Bitcoin dead, and it has risen from the ashes like the biggest phoenix you could ever imagine. It has proven this time and time again.
We all know its huge potential, but instead of being in fight mode all the time, I think it’s time to get into Yoda mode and have a bit more patience for our critics or builders within the ecosystem. It sometimes takes a bit longer and is super hard to get the job done.
With that in mind, if you have feedback or don’t agree with me, let me know! Either here in the comments or on X. The more we have these discussions and the better we can communicate all the different angles to the ecosystem, the faster it will grow, and we will end up in a world where Bitcoin is not the alternative anymore but rather the standard.
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