With age comes experience. With experience comes less of an ability to be shocked. The simpler things excite you when you get older – like maintaining good health. It's hard to recreate your feelings as a 6-year-old walking into Toys R Us. The sky high ceilings, lego space ships, RC trucks, video games, mountain bikes... It was magical.
Tech and the internet are often the sources of magic moments as you age, aside from the touchy-feely things you should appreciate as you mature. Below are a few that stand out to me.
- Dial-up. AskJeeves. AOL
- Napster and Limewire. Burning CDs
- Holding the 1st gen iPhone in 2007
- Chat roulette
- Square card reader
- Bump (remember, the early iPhone app for sending payments or files to a friend? Nailed the haptic touch!)
- Jawbone UP firmware update that tripled the battery life
Each of these sparked some joy and imagination at the time. Nostalgia from walking into Toys R Us 10+ years earlier. While not an exhaustive list, I doubt there are more than 20.
I'm much older now than I was when first playing with each of those. I've been through a lot more shit. And I've worked on many different products professionally, mostly fintech related.
Crypto initially sucked me in because it was the first time I felt the magic in a long time.
- Initially running bitcoin core
- Playing with the concept of 'being your own bank' with hardware wallets
It all clicked. I could do all of this without really relying on other entities. It made me question the concept of 'ownership.' For the first time, I realized what it meant to own something and be in control of it. And I instantly realized how powerful and important this could be for many people in the world, even if not necessary for myself, given the privileged position I was born into.
One of my most memorable classes, to my surprise, was one where we read The World is Flat by Thomas Friedman, analyzing globalization. Leveling the playing field (in commerce and beyond) is something that I find incredibly important for society. Crypto can do that. I think this is fundamentally why that bitcoin moment was magical to me.
Crypto continues to be a source of magical internet moments for me. The magic isn't in being able to do a thing. The magic is in realizing that you're capable of doing the thing, and how that thing can be a building block for the unthinkable in the future. This contributes heavily to my conviction in the space. And thankfully, I'm fortunate to be in a position where my job is to fund and partner with early-stage founders to help bring more magic moments to people around the world.