Audio Of The Week: Nick Grossman on Venture Unplugged
My partner Nick did this podcast recently. In it he talks about how we think about and make investments at USV, our thesis on crypto, and a number of our crypto investments.
If you want to bypass all of the intros and sponsor messages, fast forward to 3mins.
Thanks, I’ll listen on my bike in a bit.Curious about his take on CryptoKitties, as I really know their products, like the team, and perplexed on where they are going and their brand view of themselves.
Why are you perplexed?
Good, stay off the scooters.
Stanford? That must have been an expensive IQ test.
What’s that repeated thudding noise on this recording?
WeWork staff trying to evict tenants?
“Can’t be evil” – that’s rhetoric if I’ve ever heard it, just as empty of a statement as “don’t be evil;” especially if referencing the foundational structure of blockchain having a Pyramid-Ponzi scheme design, allowing an “army of HODLers” who are financially incentivized towards “leading” or requiring or forcing society to adopt them so they can realize their “profits.”I don’t understand how they’re legally allowed to call Bitcoin et al as “digital currencies.” It’s shocking that there’s no integrity of language required or enforced, especially around financial, economic transactions.The more I hear the mantras, rhetoric, related to creating and supporting decentralization, decentralization technologies – tied primarily to safety, security, freedom – the more I realize these people, organizations, aren’t thinking through their ideas, projects, to what practical endgame scenarios look like in a battle between the army of good and bad actor(s). I don’t know if this is a symptom, an artifact, of indoctrination – where their lack of open-mindedness, of having a free-flowing neural network, allowing thoughts to reach completion – though it certainly feels like that’s the case, indoctrination tied with their own bias, vested interests, group think and bubble(s) they’ve found themselves in – and with a high probability they won’t even acknowledge that’s a possibility – denying the very idea of indoctrination.
Decentralisation has developed a mythology, of being a wholly virtuous quality, but it is possible to see it as a form of division (and even isolation), which permits exploitation by people who are too ‘knowing’, people with an intent to serve their own interests against the interests of a community. I have very little trust in the founders of any decentralised project.
My own evolution of what a safe decentralized system looks like is one that allows the ability of control, centralization mechanisms for the purpose of governance. Anyone blindly supporting a platform allowing for a wild west is ignorantly blissful to the realities of safety, security, trust systems – and how bad actors, greed or otherwise driven, are constantly going to stress test our systems for civil, non-violent society. Holding the lines for peace is important, and the leading metric I’ve come to realize is that of health – starting with designing for individual health, which will be the most efficient, scalable path through exponential expansion – the students becoming the teachers through role modelling, and they themselves becoming more efficient as they develop their own self-awareness, health – and therefore their productivity and mastery of themselves, their environment, the universe.Decentralization to me is more akin to the “The Independent Web” idea Fred presented to us many years ago on here: holy fuck – 9 years ago now when I wrote a blog post in response – https://mattamyers.tumblr.c…Unfortunately Fred and USV got caught in the hype of Bitcoin et al which misdirected their following investment theory. In the end it had to be someone’s indoctrinated ego and greed-tainted behaviours to lead the insanity that we’ve seen unfolding. It will all be counterbalanced of course, only God knows to what degree it will lead to civil war, bloodshed. I will do my best to create a path that most efficiently leads to global peace.Fortunately Fred and his thesis, beliefs, aren’t so much of a tyrannic, control over environment as a coping mechanism, rather is avoidant – so we can still discuss our disagreements here in relative safety.