From Big Tech to Web3 🚀
How I ended up Living in Miami and working in Crypto
Today marks my first day working full-time in Web3 and I couldn’t be more excited! In this article I’ll share the backstory around how I ended up living in Miami working in Crypto, and why I’m so excited about the future of Web3. Grab a coffee or a glass of wine, and get comfy in your favorite seat. Here we go.
It’s no surprise that life never really goes as planned, but I think that’s what makes it so exciting. Some people find comfort in stability, while others need to be constantly movin’ and shakin’. While I appreciate my “me time”, I’m definitely more of the latter. This strand of my DNA played a large role in my jump from a 130k employee Big Tech company to a 20 person Web3 startup.
Let’s talk Crypto.
Circa 2017 — I was a senior at the University of Maryland and a guest speaker from IBM came and presented to my Information Architecture class. Ahhh a guest speaker, usually the perfect time to skip class (Sorry Mom). Well I didn’t skip class… and he spoke about this new thing called Blockchain. This was the first time I had ever heard the term. I was definitely intrigued, but at the time I was probably (definitely) more focused on trying to grow a really pathetic mustache. Looking back, it’s crazy to think that Bitcoin had already been around for 8 years at the time.
Not long after, my first real exposure to crypto came in 2018. At the time I was a graduate student at Georgetown and found my way to a blockchain club event. I heard some classmates talking about buying and selling bitcoin, but sadly, I was not one of them. We can see that my wheels were spinning and I was in the right places, but still not fully grasping the value of this incredible technology.
Let’s fast forward a little more.
The year is 2020, we’re roughly 6 Months into the pandemic and I’m working a fully-remote software sales job in Big Tech (s/o to Web2). I have friends who also worked remotely that started to opt out of their leases and stay at airbnbs across the country. I thought to myself, “why am I not doing this?” Soon after I decided to drive my moms old Toyota Rav4 1,052 miles down the east coast from DC to Florida. Basically the modern day Dora the Explorer, but I was not accompanied by Puss N Boots, nor was I looking for my kidnapped parents in the mythical lost city of Parapata. I was simply seeking refuge in warmer weather with white sandy beaches, latin cuisine, and the allure of elegant blue water.
Pause — Miami?… Are you sure you can hang?
Yes. This gringo has flavor and his hips most definitely do not lie. Carry on.
Ok so at first I wasn’t planning on calling this new place my home. To be honest I wasn’t really sure of anything at the time. But as the story goes, Mayor Suarez had me drinking cafecito and doing the bachata within a few hours. I quickly fell in love with the city of Miami, its people, culture, tech scene, and an unexplainable energy floating around in the air.
Then, after attending countless #MiamiTech events and making some Twitter friends, I started to build up a network. I also found myself having lots of conversations about crypto and realized that I was thoroughly enjoying them. I was genuinely enjoying learning, maybe for the first time ever?! My brain began craving more and more.
*Enter* Twitter, Discord, Conferences, Dinners, Podcasts, and Reading.
Outside of my Web2 job, I began working on BitcoinHub, a mobile app for Bitcoin News and Education. I also became a founding member of a Sports DAO called Miami Tech Runs which has now expanded to Los Angeles and grown to over 250+ people! The NFT craze also captured my attention with NBA Top Shot which led to me later joining a NFT group called J.PΞG Morgan. We had a mural painted on a wall and bought some lonely lambo frogs. We even got shouted out by some island boys. It was fun.
Time in Web3 moves fast, like really fast... While struggling to keep up with an industry that moves at lightspeed, I was clinically diagnosed with a heavy case of FOMO and came to the realization that I needed to be working in this space full-time. I was fortunate enough to interview with a diverse group of Web3 businesses; leading crypto exchanges, NFT platforms, Asset Management Investment Firms, Custodians, and money movement organizations. After what seemed like a decade, I ended up exactly where I was supposed to be.
Today marks my first day with QuickNode, a Miami-native Blockchain Infrastructure provider. QuickNode offers elastic APIs and dedicated nodes for DAPPs, NFTs, DAOs, DeFi, Crypto Wallets, TradFi, Exchanges, Analytics Platforms, and Blockchain foundations. The teams experience is unmatched and the product is second to none, but I joined for the people. Though I knew a few members beforehand, it was quickly reinforced while interviewing that the company values directly matched my own. I felt immense compassion, humility, and an unspoken trust. Sometimes such large life decisions can be extremely difficult, but this was the easiest decision I’ve ever made. I’m in at the ground level with people I would go to battle with and couldn’t be more excited. You can read more about QuickNode here.
I’m beyond excited to get started and I can’t wait to see what the future brings.