The Next Chapter
A personal announcement & three questions I'm pondering
On August 4th, 2014, Tucker and I decided to make official an idea we’d been playing with called Book In A Box.
Almost a decade later, we’ve worked with 1500+ authors, sold millions of books, rebranded as Scribe Media, been joined by our incredible third partner JeVon, earned the title of #1 Company Culture in America, and — most importantly — built a team of truly incredible people working towards the mission.
It’s kind of surreal writing that paragraph. Each day has just felt like the obvious next step, but it’s added up to something really special.
And, yet, I’ve been feeling itchy.
I started Scribe when I was 24 years old. I barely remember what work was like outside the container of this company. I love so much about the team, the authors, and the mission — and yet, I have a deep sense that now is the time to step back into the exploration and uncertainty of a new chapter.
So, effective Friday Dec 17, I’ll be leaving my role at Scribe. I will no longer be working for the company at all, in any capacity.
What will I do? While all my instincts and patterns are telling me to start something big and exciting, I’m going to give myself what I really need, which is time to explore, think, and recharge.
I don’t know where exactly it’ll lead, but right now my focus is being pulled towards three big questions…
1. How does the world change when everyone owns everything?
The internet simply made information free, easy to share, and programmable.
In the pre-Internet era, we could already exchange information in other ways, so unimaginative people like Paul Krugman took that to mean it wasn’t important.
But they missed the point. Changing the way information flows is a foundation for countless building blocks that can add up to completely change the way humanity interacts.
web3 does the same thing for ownership — making it free, easy to share, and programmable.
Krugman (and others like him) can make the same arguments as they did with the internet. “You can share ownership with LLCs.” But they are still missing the point. Changing the way ownership flows is a foundation for changes we can’t even imagine yet.
So I’m asking myself: How does the world change when there are no barriers to sharing ownership?
2. What will the blockchain(s) of the future look like?
Using Ethereum has become prohibitively expensive for many users, which has caused a blossoming of other options and ecosystems, with an even greater blossoming in the number of perspectives on how it will all shake out:
Will a completely separate blockchain, like Solana, be an “Ethereum killer” and take over as the hub for web3 activity?
Will a side chain or rollup on Ethereum “win” and become the dominant hub, while leveraging Ethereum’s security?
Will we end up with an ecosystem of different chains that interoperate and serve different purposes?
There are trade-offs to each of these, but it seems increasingly clear to me that a multichain future leveraging ZK rollups on Ethereum is the ideal outcome. It’s the only option I’ve seen that guarantees flexibility, speed, scalability and security.
So I’m asking myself: What technical and UX problems need to be solved to get us to a place where such an ecosystem exists?
3. How does all this change the future of work?
The most striking thing about web3 is how much fun everyone is having.
Yes, you might attribute that to a bull market where everyone making money. But I think it’s something deeper than that.
As the internet has unlocked new ways of working, employers have tried to keep up, implementing things like remote work, flexible hours, autonomy, etc. But all of them are fundamentally adopting an old system to new capabilities.
web3 culture (especially DAOs) feel like the first time we’re experiencing what truly internet native work feels like:
The lines between employee, owner, investor, customer, and fan are all blurred.
Rewards are based on contribution, not showing up at the office.
A heavy bias towards async communication (ie less scheduled obligations).
Traditional job credentials don’t matter; past work and current ideas do (to the extent that many top contributors are anonymous).
No expectation of exclusivity of employment. (In fact, it benefits everyone when someone serves similar roles in two organizations and can bring lessons across.)
So I’m asking myself: What does work look like in a world where DAOs make up a substantial portion of employers?
A bit more of a personal email this month, but I wanted to share the news.
And if you ever want to riff on any of these ideas, I’ll have some time on my hands :)
Until next month,