Corporate vs. Web3 - how does it differ?
May 29th, 2022

Working in a corporate environment has been the norm for me throughout my career. The need to change the scene started creeping up in the last years therefore I took the leap and started working in web3 full time.

The first 7 years of my career were in a corporate setting. My first job was doing customer service for a telecom. Afterwards, I had several roles at a Fortune company and my last job was at a management consultancy firm. So, despite having different roles, I have always been working in a corporate environment. That changed this February (2022) when I started working at a DAO focused on building infrastructure for the upcoming metaverse future. Taking an interest in web3 for the past year led me to that decision and so far I’m happy that I took it.

The DAO has two products and I'm the product manager for one of them - It’s a metaverse land renting marketplace - think AirBnb for the metaverse.

So here is what's different in web3 compared to corporate from my perspective after working at a DAO for 3 months.

Beloved corporate email is in Discord with web3

Throughout my career, email has been a primary way of communication. It was this foundational layer of how everything worked and I was used to that. This is not the case for me anymore. The majority of the communication happens over Discord, Telegram, Slack, and Twitter in some cases. Sometimes there are some async elements as well like leaving comments here and there but not really email. That doesn’t mean I don’t have an email. I still do and I get different kinds of notifications or sometimes documents but the time I spend reading and writing emails has decreased drastically. Now that I think about it – I do miss the Outlook client but I definitely don’t miss getting 100s of emails per day.

Not all heroes wear their egos

In my previous jobs, I’ve had plenty of conversations with partners or clients that are kind of mini-games of influence. I understand that in many situations it’s an effective strategy to lead the charge but often in such cases, the focus becomes determining who has the upper hand which introduces tension and might blur the task at hand. So, in that sense, I feel like web3 is in the right direction. Most of the folks I met through my current work are quite calm and cheerful. Conversations with partners, clients, and community members have been natural, stress-free, and enjoyable in most of the cases. People are generally excited about web3 and that sets a positive vibe to the conversations. Seems like egos are turned down a bit and everyone is trying to make it work.

It’s not up to HR to promote work-life balance

Most of the times I have worked in international teams there were several time zones involved and we were more or less (depending on projects/clients/culture) trying to fit in the working hours of everyone as much as we could. Despite the fact that at the moment all of my co-workers and I share the same time zone, I need to be much more agile with my schedule. This is because the partners, clients, and community members who I work with are all over the world. Adding to this the fast-paced environment of web3 and the fact that there is always something new on the horizon, it can get a little overwhelming. I realised that I have to be more thoughtful about the time I’m online and that I would need to put on the breaks when I decide to as the environment is not going to do that for me.

A little birdie told me

When I started getting into web3 last year, the term “crypto Twitter” was popping up repeatedly in the articles I read, the videos I watched, and the podcasts I listened to. Shortly after that, I realised that “crypto Twitter” refers to the part of Twitter where people interested in crypto and web3 in general are having discussions. And yes, almost everyone in web3 is on Twitter and nearly every project has a Twitter page. Twitter is the native social media for web. That’s where all the news break first and all the discussions take place therefore it has become a major source of information for me and is now my primary social media. Maybe I can draw some similarities between what LinkedIn is for corporate and Twitter for web3 but only to the extent that it’s a good-to-have presence.

Vox Populi, Vox Dei

The majority of projects in web3 have a community around them. Those communities are a collective of individuals (typically gathered in the Discord server of the project or Twitter) who are users of the project or support it in any way. Although this is a principal characteristic for DAOs, communities around any web3 project are present in some type of form. A community is one of the success factors and in many cases, these collectives of individuals are what make or break a project. Therefore, reading what is being discussed in the community of the DAO I work for and participating in those conversations has been a major part of my work and that was something new to me.

Reading on Twitter and engaging with various communities on Discord was something that I did in my spare for the better part of 2021 as I was eager to learn more. It was kind of like my onboarding to web3. I find it especially exciting that I actually need to incorporate such activities in my job now as they are key to doing that job well. It is an intriguing change from the ways I used to work and I do enjoy it.

Hopefully, this article sheds some light on the difference between working for a DAO and working in a corporate setting. For those of you who are on the fence about whether or not to join a web3 company as your next career move, I can assure you that it is different but in a pretty exciting way.

Web3 can seem a bit daunting and unclear at times. However, the goal of the game is the same – create something valuable that people want, it’s just the rules that are a bit different. So, if you are willing to play the game and adapt to the new rules - you are in for a good time.

Thanks to Bonboni for reviewing this post.

If you want to say hi or get in touch, I’m @fungibletaco on Twitter.

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