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Ethereum

Ethereum co-founder Joe Lubin sounds the alarm and refocuses ConsenSys in expansive employee letter

Quick Take

  • Joe Lubin, Ethereum co-founder, sent a missive to his 1,000-strong ConsenSys team last Friday
  • ConsenSys, as currently operating, faces an unsustainable future, per Lubin
  • The organization will implement 5 core pillars to transition from ConsenSys 1.0 to ConsenSys 2.0
  • The full letter to ConsenSys employees is included below

 

Joe Lubin, Ethereum co-founder, sent a missive to the entire organization that he runs last Friday, amidst a significant decline in the price of $ETH. ConsenSys, Lubin’s massive cryptocurrency venture studio with ~ 1,000 employees, has grown at warp speed over the past few years and long been rumored to de-emphasize focused strategic building in favor of rapid growth, project autonomy and experimentation. In fact, the decentralized nature of the organization is something that Lubin and ConsenSys employees took great pride in. However, as first reported by BREAKER, Lubin’s Friday letter highlighted an organization in flux and ready to implement significant change. Lubin’s letter to ConsenSys employees can be viewed below in its entirety:


Lubin specifies that the direction of the company to date is unsustainable for the future.

“But as wonderful and successful as ConsenSys 1.0 was, we must move beyond. Just showing up is no longer sufficient or sustainable. We have opened an ecosystem. And now the varied denizens of adjacent universes are flooding in. It is a Star Wars Cantina bar crammed with different shape, sizes, and colors, and the environment is electric.”

Consensys 1.0 was about the “new continent” of Ethereum.

“ConsenSys 1.0 was not overly concerned about the monetary bottom line — at the project or hub level. We were pioneers, intrepid explorers of a new continent — a continent on which we would develop a better foundation upon which all the requirements, constructs and technologies of the old world could be re-envisioned and re-architected into better forms.

ConsenSys 1.0 sent out scouts to explore, map and report back, coordinated waves of reinforcements from the old world to join us, stocked the wagons and organized the wagon trains for the many years ahead of us of populating the new world. ConsenSys 1.0 measured ourselves by gauging impact. We gauged ourselves often in terms that were not so measured and objective: it works! cool project, nice idea, big event with great energy, …. We graduated to # of downloads, # of users, # of readers, # of attendees, tweets, retweets, … Eventually we stumbled into the (then crazy) notion of revenue, and after a while the idea caught on and several of our projects began to explore the notion that external money could come into ConsenSys and fuel some of our activities.”

Consensys 2.0 is about the bottom line and about results.

“ConsenSys 2.0 requires us to evaluate our endeavors more rigorously. We will seek to run leaner projects because often better decisions are made in a context of more constrained resources. Scarcity sharpens the senses and forces discernment in decision making. Lush plentitude, while perhaps a noble goal in many circumstances, should be hard won; otherwise it leads to complacency and dull-wittedness.”

Consensys 2.0 is centered around 5 key pillars.

Pillar 1 is “driving a sustainable business centered around a culture of excellence and accountability.”

“Across ConsenSys, we will be paying much greater attention to the bottom line for every project. But it will be a bottom line measured in diverse ways, encompassing:

  • Return on monetary investment
  • Ecosystem value creation at 4 possible levels: ConsenSys, Ethereum, Blockchain, Decentralization, which include pure R&D projects
  • Social impact, both at the local/regional and global level”

Pillar 2 is “Building foundational infrastructure for Ethereum and Web 3.0”

Pillar 3 is “Investing in and building value-generating ventures that enable effective, efficient, and open business models”

As part of this, “Continuing at ConsenSys as a spoke will no longer be the default. It will have to be earned. Moving forward, Labs will get more rigorous and discerning. Creating an exploration group will be accessible, but graduating to a proto-spoke, and eventually a spoke, will be hard work and require excellence in several facets — mirroring the ‘real world’ more closely.”

Pillar 4 is “Investing in and building value-generating ventures by partnering to build customer driven solutions”

ConsenSys will shift towards a compensation philosophy of covering costs rather than speculative compensation.

“Solutions will continue to seek customer driven venturing opportunities but it will do so where the mix of immediate monetary compensation and other less immediate but speculatively more long term valuable forms of compensation, leans towards comfortably covering costs.”

Pillar 5 is “Continuing to educate users to drive the mainstream adoption of Ethereum and Web 3.0”

ConsenSys plans to make the transition to Web 3.0 in conjunction with Ethereum users:

“I hope and expect that we will all collectively author the multifaceted set of documents that emerge from this extended presentation and the resulting discourse, and that we use these conceptual explorations to collectively erect the skeleton, nervous, organ, perceptual and effector systems or the ConsenSys organism, and that it will be composed of processes, software, and people —lots of brilliant people, or intelligences — of every conceivable and not yet conceivable shape, size, and color.”


Lubin closes with a reference to ConsenSys’ whimsical past and the enormous task that lies ahead:

“The whimsical view is that In ConsenSys 1,0, we built a laboratory instrumented to demonstrate the moon existed, using venous demonstrations, maths and creative philosophical arguments. Now, we need a powerful, streamlined rocket ship to get us there, since the actual proof, ultimately, is in the landing. Even in the face of enormous gyrations over the years, our ecosystem reams its sights onward and upward, to the moon.”

The realignment of ConsenSys and Lubin’s significantly changed focus for his army of 1,000 Ethereum builders is a signal of a crucible for a protocol that is looking to transition from its broad, experimental roots to becoming the foundation of Web 3.0.