The Power of Ideas
Trying to Summarize My Headspace in 134 Slides of Graphs and Frameworks
WOW - I feel like I have the energy of 20 people right now! I am FIRED UP!
The Power of Ideas
There is something really fascinating about observing yourself in different states of flow and watching how your energy changes as you flow through your work, your world, and your connections to other people. And right now, my energy is really vibing on what’s happening in the world and in crypto and in my headspace. Things are lining up in a fascinating way - those connections between ideas, people, and the spaces we occupy are their own kind of magic. I’ve always been intrigued by the idea of how we, as humans, create the future together. It requires connection - between ideas, people, resources - and a medium where this connection can happen. Nowhere has this been more apparent than the last 20 years of the internet (we’re on the internet RIGHT. NOW. How rad?!?)
Ideas are powerful, and become more powerful when shared. Connecting ideas across disciplines, geographies, and sectors is hard. One of the challenges facing the crypto ecosystem, in my view, is taking the complexity and depth of individual ideas and making them more comprehensible and relevant by presenting these ideas in the right context and framework. I personally enjoy the challenge this task presents, and as an investor, spend a significant amount of my day collecting and connecting ideas.
A Brief Homage to Mary Meeker
I’ve always been inspired by Mary Meeker, who was the most closely followed internet analyst back in the ‘90s and is now an investing icon. Since 1995, Mary has been publishing her “Internet Trends Report” (see archive here) - first at Morgan Stanley, then at Kleiner Perkins, and now at Bond, her own billion dollar fund. Her report is a bell-weather for tech investors, and analyzes, synthesizes, and delivers massive amounts of information in a once-a-year presentation.
The 2019 Internet Trends Report clocks in at a whopping 333 pages and covers a wide range of topics. What makes Mary’s work so helpful is that it connects so many disparate ideas in new and meaningful ways, creates new context for these ideas, and empowers readers with data, context, and new connections between ideas.
Crypto Trends Report
Today, the number of bitcoin users around the world are estimated to be anywhere between 35M and 140M, or between 0.5% and 1.8% of the world’s population. Over the last five years, we have spent a lot of time explaining exactly what it is bitcoin is, how it works, and what impact it might have on our world as we know it today.
This week, my team at CoinShares dropped our “Crypto Trends Report.” It’s my attempt to capture the bigger ideas around bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, and “blockchain” and place them in context using larger technical, economic, political, and social trends. All said and done, we clocked in at 134 slides, and I’m pretty happy with the outcome.
It took the world 15 years to go from less than 1 million computer users to 150 million computer users, but the spread of the internet was much faster, and much more disruptive. Technology adoption doesn’t happen in a linear fashion, and bitcoin is no exception. You have to have the right mix of ingredients, and a little bit of magic sprinkled on top, to make things happen.
For the last ten years, the bitcoin community has thrived on shared memes, shared identity, and shared stories.
In order for the “crypto industry” to continue to grow and thrive, participants and outside analysts have to be able to identify, gather, and analyze data to tell the story of why this industry matters and how it might impact technology, markets, politics, society, and our broader world.
As investors, at CoinShares, we take this one step further and use the unique data, insights, and relevant context and expertise we have to identify where and when some of these changes might happen, and who will be poised to benefit, not just financially, but also socially and politically. We try to use data to tell stories about trends.
In this report, we focus on understanding and learning from the past, analyzing what is happening today, and predicting what might happen in the future. We don’t just look at the crypto ecosystem, but rather, attempt to bridge between the global macro landscape and crypto landscape to provide meaningful insights and starting points for more in-depth analysis.
It is our hope that people will take these slides and the associated data and use them, improve on them, and share them. It is up to our industry to create a path towards the future we want.
Team Work Makes the Dream Work
Gotta give some quick shout outs - thanks to my awesome team at CoinShares, especially Marty on my team and Fitch and Adam on the marketing team.
Knowledge is best when shared. Thanks to all of the firms, companies, and individuals who aggregate, analyze, and share their intelligence and insights with the broader crypto industry.
Thanks to everyone who has given us feedback, edits, corrections, opinions, and ideas on how to make the next iteration of this report even bigger and better. If you don’t like how I presented something, I’d encourage you to make your own chart, framework, or graph and try your hand at turning your idea into something sharable! I am constantly learning from all of you.
Keep making magic happen, you beautiful people.