Friday Updates: Crypto, Solana, Preceden Improvements, and the Madness of Crowds

Photo by Lenstravelier

Hey friends – it’s been a while since I posted an update. I’ve been heads down on a number of things and just haven’t been prioritizing blogging, but figure it’s good to do every now and then. Shout out to the ~3 of you who read these :).

Crypto

For anyone who follows me on Twitter, you may have seen me periodically retweeting or favoriting bearish crypto tweets. For a long time I have been super bearish on crypto and honestly still am. I think we’re in a massive bubble at the moment that’s due to pop in a big way in part due to the mania wearing off and in part due to the massive amount of fraud in the market right now. And blockchain technology just doesn’t seem super useful.

There’s a famous chart called the Gartner hype cycle that always comes to mind:

I’m of the opinion that we’re near the top of that Peak of Inflated Expectations curve, both in terms of crypto expectations and coin prices. But I do think there’s a chance that in the coming decade after the coming crash that we’ll see practical applications come out of all this.

Solana

In order to be more educated about crypto I’ve been investing a few hours each day into learning how to develop on the Solana blockchain. I’ve found it to be a pretty steep learning curve – I’m having to learn about blockchains, Solana, TypeScript, Rust, and how it all fits together. I don’t have any practical applications in mind yet, but am enjoying learning nonetheless.

I’m trying to keep an open mind – we’ll see what comes out of it all.

Preceden

I’ve made a ton of progress on Preceden in the last few months. Things like:

I haven’t been working on it as much the last few weeks because I’ve been putting time into learning Solana instead, but still have a lot planned for Preceden in the coming months.

Also, at the end of December 2020 I switched Preceden’s pricing to have recurring annual plans (whereas before they didn’t renew automatically), which means those renewals will start hitting in a few weeks. It should help drive a lot of revenue growth for Preceden in 2022. Fingers crossed the renewal rate is decent – we will see.

Help Scout

Mostly status quo for my contract work at Help Scout. Recent projects have included:

  • Reworking the Daily Metrics Email that goes out to the entire company
  • Setting up reporting to estimate cash payback (ie, if we spend $X acquiring a cohort of new customers, how long do we expect it to be paid back when looking solely at cash payments).
  • Updating Account Executive commission structures
  • Analyzing how customers are interacting with new pricing we introduced for Messages
  • Helping a bit with hiring: we’re currently in the process of hiring an Analytics Engineer and Product Analyst

I will be reducing my hours from 18/week to 12/week starting in January which will free up more time in my schedule for Preceden, Solana, and whatever else piques my interest in 2022.

What I’m reading

Speaking of crypto, I’ve been reading Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds by Charles MacKay, a fantastic book about past bubbles. It’s amazing how many parallels there are between previous bubbles and what we’re going through now in crypto. And things will probably end just as badly.

On that happy note, I’ll end this update :).

Hope y’all are doing well 👋

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