Home Crypto 5 Lessons I learnt From Working At Crypto and Web3 Startups

5 Lessons I learnt From Working At Crypto and Web3 Startups

5 Lessons I learnt From Working At Crypto and Web3 Startups


Funded by VCs, the promise of remote work and lots and lots of networking parties- sounds like quite a dream right? Kinda. But also not really.

Crypto/Web3 Startups are all the rage these days and many are trying to break into this “nascent” space.

Whatever the hell that means.

Before we hop onto this list because we collectively lack an attention span, here are some things about me that make me a little bit credible.

I work in content, media and communications and have been part of the crypto space since June 2021.

My experience:

  • 1 VC
  • 3 Crypto Startups
  • 1 Crypto Exchange
  • Engaged on a freelance basis by 3 other startups.
  • I also write for a web3 publication from time to time.

Okay, now we have that out of the way, here are the 5 things I learnt.

Expect a whole lot of buzzwords that have little meaning

This one is part joke-but trust me, it’s a thing. Especially in web3, many projects don’t even have a working proof of concept yet.

Armed with an idea (that can sometimes can unfortunately be a cash grab) and their swanky decks, they attain that sweet VC cheque. How? The potential to win (or lose) in web3 is HUGE and many people come from pretty established tradfi/web2backgrounds.

Investors’ the name, taking risks is the game.

You’ll hear stuff like “regulation”, “infrastructure”, “institutions”, “analytics” and “THE protocol”. Chances are, you’ll have no idea what all these mean in the context of the startup you’re working at because the product and the mission always evolves.

A lot of terms will be thrown around, but it is almost never 100% clear what they’re building. Like every startup, regardless of industry, the company is still figuring out their identity.

So don’t get frustrated and work with the team. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Stick it out, and if it really doesn’t work, you’ll walk away with some experience.

Be prepared to build systems and lead (because they’re really disorganised lol)

The one thing startups cannot beat MNCs in would be building functioning systems. Don’t get me wrong, I know that systems are necessary but I also think they need to be iterative and subject to change. If following a system causes more inefficiency, it sucks and I hate it.

Anyway, back to startups.

Startups move fast. Web3 startups move even faster. Depending on your role and function, it would be wise to build a system that communicates with the team how things are going, how progress is tracked etc.

Your boss will really appreciate this because when they’re out networking and pitching to investors, they can trust that their team can manage an end-to-end function. They’ll value you a lot more if you can take this load off their hands.

💡Tip: Be sure to have a mid term check in and ask for a raise if you feel like you’ve done a lot.

Oh! and make sure you SHOW YOUR WORK so that you can prove that what you’ve done has increased efficiency.

You WILL wear multiple hats

Startup founders come from all walks of life. Someone was previously in a C-suite role vs someone who is a serial entrepreneur would manage and expect different things. Either way, they are also learning how to manage ALL the functions within the company, so it is natural that roles will not be that specialised at the start.

This is true for most startups, but particularly so for crypto startups. Especially if your function is marketing and your higher ups are finbros…they will expect you to handle everything from digital, content, social media marketing, communications and PR to creating collaterals because they think it all falls under “marketing”.

It is on you to communicate to them that you need a more streamlined workflow or that you need a bigger team. Some of them will attempt to cut costs, but a good boss will listen. (they exist, I promise!)

Normies will judge you (but thats on them, we’re building the future XD)

If I had a dollar for the amount of times I’ve gotten that patronising “ohhh” when I mention that I’m part of the web3 revolution…Bitcoin’s dip into oblivion would not affect me much.

But, I wouldn’t change a thing. Breaking into Web3 has been the best thing I did for myself. Networking, remote working and this collective effort to change the way things are run in the traditional world? Some see risk, I see opportunity. I wrote about my thoughts here if you’re interested.

Always have a backup plan especially if you feel like you’re losing faith because it happens 🙁

NGL, this bear market has done a number on many. While I am blessed to have the opportunities I’ve had, my portfolio has not been sitting pretty- but, that’s not the main reason why I find it hard to stay hopeful. Projects as cash grabs, reputable people turning out to be scammers and the amount of people building shit that does not solve an existing problem has both amused and frustrated me, so it is important to not base your identity as “someone in web 3”.

Barriers exist for a reason and while this sort of accessibility has been unprecedented, it reveals how greedy humans can be and we need to be kept in check. I do still see myself working in this space, but I won’t be pinning all my hopes on it. (Diversification amirite?) As such,I will continuously teach myself new things, stay abreast of trends and try to keep a foot in the door of other industries. I’d advise you to do the same, but I can’t really control what you do, so I hope this at least gives you some insight! Till next time!

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