elite engineers are the athletes of tomorrow

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.

the future of web3 is cc0, open-source, and censorship resistant

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.

To see examples of this future of web3, swing by Loot Project, CrypToadz, and Not Larva Labs.

Are CryptoPunks truly worth hundreds of thousands of dollars?

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%.

~ JCDenton.eth

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?"

Will Silicon Valley share the same fate as Detroit's?

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.