Why Big Tech is losing talent to crypto, web3 projects - Deepstash

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Silicon Valley and big tech firms are increasingly having trouble keeping talented and high-profile individuals from leaving their organizations. It’s now evident that Web3 and the wider crypto- and blockchains space is becoming increasingly interesting for talents to join. It wasn’t long ago that landing employment at one of the big tech companies was a dream come true for many, and it may still be, but now there’s an attractive alternative career path in the crypto space.


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The list of transfers is becoming long

There are numerous examples to support the case: Novi, Meta’s (Facebook) wallet project lost their CMO to the payment tech company Circle in January; Amazon’s GM of AWS Edge Service jumped to the role of CTO at the exchange Gemini; and both the former CFO of Lyft and Uber’s ex-director of corporate development headed over to NFT marketplace OpenSea . Also, former head of Gaming at YouTube, Ryan Wyatt , left the tech giant to become CEO of Polygon Studios.


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Given that big tech companies aren’t exactly poor – on the contrary, these are one of the wealthiest enterprises in the world – there surely must be more than mere money that lures talents into crypto.


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The freshness and frontier-feeling energizes builders

Sriram Krishnan used to work for Twitter leading core consumer product teams, now at tech venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, a16z for short. In a tweet from the beginning of February, Krishnan points to protocol design, tokenomics, wallet sign-in, governance mechanisms, and nuances of building on-chain as “fresh” aspects of the technology that makes crypto an attractive space.

“This freshness [Krishnan’s emphasis] and frontier-feeling energize builders. It follows that smart and ambitious people want to go where growth/the zeitgeist is headed,”


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16 years at Microsoft to the first polyglot blockchain platform in the industry

Another example of a high-profile person leaving big tech for crypto is John deVadoss, former Managing Director (MD) at Microsoft, where he spent about 16 years of his career in a variety of roles, for example General Manager (GM) overseeing the developer platform Microsoft.NET, and most recently building Microsoft Digital from zero to half a billion dollars of business worldwide.


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From Apple and Facebook to Mysten Labs

One of the recruitments that raised some eyebrows recently was Evan Cheng, who left a top job as Director of R&D at Novi, the Diem/Libra wallet app, to found Mysten Labs . Cheng has a long history in big tech, including ten years as Senior Manager, Low-Level Tools at Apple, and almost three years as Director of Engineering, Programming Languages & Runtimes at Facebook, now Meta.

“If we solve these kinds of problems we can get more and more builders into this space. We want to build applications that don’t need to make sacrifices to the limitations of the blockchain infrastructure.”


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“The economic incentive model here is very different”

“The economic incentive model here is very different. We are building infrastructure that will immediately have value, which is very different from any other space. That’s one of the magic that makes people come here. The technology aspect of building this is crazy, it’s a great environment for experiments.”


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“We’re looking for people with transferable skills; they don’t have to be crypto natives, or understand the whole picture, because crypto is highly multidisciplinary. Building applications in crypto is about a combination of distributed system design, algorithm design, data structure design, and it’s also cryptography and security practices. There are few people who can know the full spectrum of these things,” Cheng says.


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“I’ve built a lot of technologies, but there’s nothing quite like this”

“It really, really changes how you can build products, and if you think about that the asset is in the hand of the keyholder, which could be the person himself, or a trusted third party, then you change the concept of ownership itself, of who owns the product and eliminating the middleman, changing the cost of everything in our daily lives,”


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building @tellimer. #engineering, #machinelearning and #crypto

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