ep 1 – Methods to the Madness | Summary and Q&A

September 10, 2023
a16z crypto
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ep 1 – Methods to the Madness


This content introduces a new show focused on crypto and web3, discussing topics such as auction design, NFT security, decentralized media, and more, providing insights from industry experts.

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Key Insights

  • 🔍 Welcome to Web 3 with A6 and Z, a show about building the next generation of the internet. This show will cover topics including auction design, NFT security, gaming, decentralized media, economics, history, infrastructure, and more.
  • 🔥 In the cryptocurrency world, there have been two major downturns in the past, and we may be entering a third. However, each downturn has planted seeds for future growth, leading to the development of new infrastructure, applications, and companies.
  • 💡 Optimistic roll-ups and zero-knowledge roll-ups are scaling solutions for blockchains like Ethereum. They are just starting to gain traction and have the potential to significantly increase throughput and scalability.
  • 📈 The crypto market experiences cycles of excitement and fear, driven by market sentiment. It's important to develop frameworks to parse information and focus on the fundamentals, technology, and product development rather than getting caught up in market fluctuations.
  • 🌎 Web 3 is all about building new networks, where the people building the network own and control it, creating a more inclusive and incentivized environment. Tokens play a crucial role in incentivizing users to help networks reach critical mass.
  • 😊 Retail investors are often better at understanding the macro-level impact of crypto and the future of technology, while institutional investors excel at analyzing the micro-level details of projects. Web 3 is a combination of both perspectives, driven by retail involvement and institutional expertise.
  • 🌀 Crypto and open-source have many similarities, but crypto projects have the potential to become financially meaningful and community-owned due to tokens. Decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) also contribute to the way communities are organized in crypto, enabling more modular, incentive-driven collaboration.
  • 🌐 The growth of crypto communities often precedes the launch of products, allowing for more contributors and attention. Community engagement can be measured qualitatively by analyzing discords, GitHub activity, and other platforms.
  • 📺 The adoption of crypto is accelerating, with significant developments coming up in Ethereum, Layer 2 solutions, bridges, media, gaming, social networks, and more. Zero-knowledge math, unchained games, and decentralized content creation are some of the exciting areas to watch.
  • 👀 Despite potential market downturns, the focus of the crypto community remains on building and innovating. Community-driven networks, accelerated by tokens, provide a solid foundation for sustainable growth and development in Web 3.


welcome to web 3 with a6 and z a show about building the next generation of the internet from the team at a6 and z crypto that includes me your host sonal toxie former showrunner and long-time host of the asics and c podcast network and now editor-in-chief at asics and c-crypto this new show is for understanding and going deeper on all things crypt... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: How has the concept of community preceding product changed in the context of web3?

In the web3 world, community preceding product has become a crucial aspect. Unlike traditional web2 models, where products were built first and the community was developed afterward, web3 projects prioritize community involvement from an early stage. This includes incentivizing early adopters through tokens, creating a sense of ownership and participation, and enabling transparent governance. By doing so, web3 projects foster engagement, attract talent, and build a strong user base.

Q: How does the open-source culture in crypto differ from traditional open-source movements?

While both open-source movements share the ethos of freely distributed knowledge and collaboration, the open-source culture in crypto takes it a step further. In crypto, open-source projects often have the potential to evolve into decentralized protocols, allowing users and developers to have ownership and control. This creates significant composability and opportunities for innovation, as projects can build on existing code and create new networks with shared ownership. It also enables community-led development and the ability to experiment with new ideas and functionalities.

Q: How does the emergence of decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) affect the open-source culture in crypto?

DAOs play a fundamental role in organizing communities, incentivizing participation, and governing projects. They provide a framework for users to have a stake in the project's success, contribute to decision-making, and collectively benefit from network growth. By utilizing token-based models and decentralized governance, DAOs extend the open-source culture into the realm of community-led organizations. DAOs facilitate collaboration, transparency, and inclusivity, leading to more innovative and resilient projects.

Q: How does web3 create opportunities for more sustainable growth and positive user behavior?

Web3's token-based models enable projects to align the incentives of users, developers, and contributors. By distributing tokens as rewards and granting ownership rights to participants, projects can foster long-term positive behavior and commitment. Users become more than just passive consumers; they have a stake in the project's success and are motivated to contribute, improve, and retain their involvement. This shift promotes a sense of ownership, community, and responsibility, creating a foundation for more sustainable growth and meaningful engagement.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • The show aims to provide an in-depth understanding of crypto and web3, featuring interviews and discussions with leading scientists and makers.

  • The hosts discuss the current state of crypto, trends, and the potential impact of web3 on the future of the internet.

  • They explore the concept of community preceding product in web3, the significance of open source in crypto, and the growth of networks through tokens and incentives.

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