Elite software engineers today are basketball players convinced by society that the sport can be played by anyone. You can go to your local gym, and get a basketball player to play on your team - so why are the key institutions of Silicon Valley having trouble hiring engineers?
Simply put - software engineering is hard at the elite level, just like basketball. However, the leaders running institutions believe engineering is a lot easier than it seems, and promote the idea that "everyone can code". Well, everyone can be a basketball player too, but it's hard to trust and hire basketball players to be on your NBA team.
With the COVID-19 pandemic, software began to truly eat the world - every company became a web2 company who needs superstar players, severely shocking the supply of talented software engineers. Web3 will shock the supply even more, where an individual contributor (engineer) can make a billion dollars by writing code. If an elite web3 engineer can be a billionaire, that means elite web2 engineers start at least a million a year, ten million for a decent one, just like the elite athletes.
To recap, by 2035, in todays purchasing power:
an elite web2 engineer: compensation starting at $1M for entry level, up to $25M
an elite web3 engineer: compensation up to $1B
Since software is eating the world, the elite engineers make the rules.
Web3 is the future we've wanted - a cultural shift in crypto where the community focuses on mass adoption. Given web3 is such an early space, there are many parallels of the dot-com era, where founders in the 90s combined an existing physical business with ".com". Today, many founders combine web2 ideas with a token, a DAO, or NFTs. Where web3 will shine however, is a fundamental shift in how we build the internet.
Web3 is standing on the shoulders of Bitcoin, an open-source, censorship resistance blockchain - so why would web3 have different principles? The future of web3 is cc0, open-source, censorship-resistant, and operated by a DAO. You can derive this line of thinking by asking who enforces terms of service, copyright, and other lawsuits in a global cryptocurrency environment. Many projects today could be better described as web2.5, crypto governed and protected by American law.
As someone who is an old-school collector of Black Lotuses, watches, cars, and other collectible assets, CryptoPunks and other PFP NFT Projects poised a fascinating question for many collectors and observers: can a profile picture NFT truly be worth $100,000 or more? The short answer: Yes, with a caveat.
The best comparable I know of for NFT Profile Pictures are the top end luxury watches: think Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet, and Richard Mille. While Patek and Audemars have much more history than CryptoPunks, Richard Mille is proof a relatively new watch brand, founded in 2001, can command watch prices that easily exceed $200,000 in the grey market, with many celebrity endorsements. This is also taking into considering a production of 4,000 watches a year, while CryptoPunks have a flat supply of 10,000.
Here is where the caveat comes in - CryptoPunks, like Richard Mille, need a baseline of continuous culture permeation given how much newer the brand is. Celebrities and social media need to reference CryptoPunks - if attention fades, demand likely drops.
Buying a CryptoPunk is buying into a culture collectible. The better question is, are they priced in ETH, or USD - what happens to the price of punks if ETH dips to $1000, or ETH reaches $100,000?
Disclosure: Tread carefully with asset bubbles - this domain, miy.com, was purchased for over a million US dollars in the 90s by the previous owner - intended to be a startup for "milwaukee internet" during the dot-com. Today the value of this domain is down over 98%.
Update: The Hacker News post was not met with fanfare, one of the 19 comments: "I truly don't understand this whole thing, who are these people? How can hype alone move such massive amounts of money?"
Detroit had a prosperous and seemingly invincible economy over the mid-1900s, and became bankrupt in 2013.
When you drive through Detroit today, you'll see a wasteland of empty buildings and houses - could this happen to a powerhouse like Silicon Valley in a few decades? Remote work and decentralization are quickly eroding Silicon Valley's monopoly. Bay Area tech companies almost had a chance to return to office life in 2021 - but COVID's Delta Variant delayed re-openings to 2022. Having a work culture involving an office is becoming similar to requiring a suit and tie to do software engineering.
How long can Silicon Valley last closed, while employees are eyeing real estate that is offered at a heavy discount of 50% or more outside of the Bay Area?
Balaji Srinivasan talks about this at Startup School 2013, talking about exit as a mean of change:
Given software engineers vote with their feet, I believe they will push towards a better quality of life over living near an office.
The Metaverse is coming soon.
But this doesn't mean Silicon Valley will be destroyed - it will simply become a regular California location, like San Diego. Silicon Valley is decentralized.