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Big Tech is losing talent due to crypto and web3 projects

Silicon Valley is seeing a rise in the number of top talent and highly visible employees who are moving to crypto, blockchains, and web. 

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Big Tech is losing talent due to crypto and web3 projects

It is a mix of old tech, new ideas, and innovative tech that creates a driver.


Silicon Valley and large tech companies are having difficulty keeping high-profile and talented people from leaving their firms. Talents are now more interested in joining Web3 and other crypto- and blockchains spaces. Many people thought that securing employment in one of the major tech companies was a dream come real.

According to Business Insider recruiters are seeing a noticeable trend in high-profile developers and executives moving to crypto, blockchain and other decentralized tech projects.

We are seeing the best and brightest from Silicon Valley or tech move to crypto. One of the recruiters, who was able to draw several senior people from Amazon, Meta and Google, said, "I've been in this industry a long time. I've never seen this change happen so quickly."

The list of transfer possibilities is growing

Numerous examples support this case: Novi (Facebook's) wallet project was shut down by Circle, Amazon's GM of AWS edge Service jumped to the position of CTO at Gemini and the ex-CFO of Lyft and Uber’s director of corporate development moved to NFT marketplace OpenSea. Ryan Wyatt was also the former head of Gaming at YouTube and has now been appointed CEO of Polygon Studio.

Many believe that cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase was the pioneer of this trend. This may have been possible because the company went public and made it easier for talent to move to the company. Coinbase was one of the first companies to hire executives from large tech companies like Google, LinkedIn, Lyft, and LinkedIn.

This nascent movement has an interesting side effect: many people may follow the pioneers as they try to recruit more people into their new jobs.

Given the fact that large tech companies aren’t necessarily poor, they are actually one of the most wealthiest businesses in the world, it is clear that there must be more to crypto than just money.

Builders are energized by the frontier-feeling and freshness.

Sriram Krishnan was a Twitter core product manager. He is now at Andreessen Horowitz, or a16z, which is a tech venture capital firm. Krishnan cites protocol design, tokenomics and wallet sign-in as the "new" aspects of crypto that make it attractive.

"This freshness [Krishnan’s emphasis] and frontier-feeling are energize builders. Smart and ambitious people are driven to the places where growth/the Zeitgeist is heading.

Krishnan tweets.

Others believe in decentralization.

"We have had the same central corporations dominate the tech landscape over a decade. It is a strong incentive to create a new space or playbook that can overturn the current dominance of these companies.

Krishnan concludes:

"I have had at most a dozen conversations with FAANG/web2 talent looking to move over the past week. This is only the beginning, IMO."

It is fascinating to consider the decentralization angle. There are ideologies that differ between working in an old-guard tech company and a startup that empowers individuals. Big tech companies have existed for a long time and have established an ideology. It is not difficult to see that many of the large tech companies and their employees have a reputation for being left-leaning.

Many people working in big tech companies might find decentralization appealing, because it focuses on the empowerment of the individual and not the centralized corporation or the entire society. These companies are increasingly engaging in blocking and deplatforming users.

Mysten Labs, Apple and Facebook

Evan Chang left his position as Director of R&D for Novi, the Diem/Libra wallet application, to start Mysten Labs. This was one of many recent recruitments. Chang has a long career in tech including 10 years as Senior Manager, Low Level Tools at Apple and nearly three years as Director Engineering, Programming Languages, & Runtimes for Facebook, now Meta.

Chang spoke with CryptoSlate in an interview. Chang said that the potential of crypto is what attracts people to it, as well as the challenges and solutions. Chang says.

We can attract more builders to this market if we solve these types of problems. We want applications that aren't limited by the limitations of blockchain infrastructure.

If these limitations can be removed, or at the very least reduced significantly, then "the magic" happens. Only then will crypto apps reach billions of people, who will use their apps and gain the benefits of the technology without ever realizing it. Chang says that this is the Holy Graal.

Chang also added:

"Transitioning from one environment into another is not difficult. We have a lot to learn and know that there is great potential. There is a lot of interest and funding is easy.

"The economic incentive model is very different here"

Big tech companies have the resources to pay high-paying engineers and other employees, but incentive models are quite different.

The economic incentive model is quite different. Our infrastructure will have immediate value and is unique in any other space. This is what makes people love coming here. It's an incredible environment for experimentation and technology.

Evan Chang, a founder of a cryptocurrency project, is seeking to grow the Mysten Labs team.

"We are looking for people who have transferable skills. They don't need to be crypto-natives or understand all aspects of crypto. Crypto is multidisciplinary. It's a mixture of distributed system design and algorithm design. Data structure design is also important. Cryptography and security are key components. Chang states that few people can understand all of these things.

Chang says the key to building teams that complement one another is to create them. This is a great opportunity to those who already have domain expertise but wish to expand their horizons.

"I have built many technologies, but this is the best"

Personally, Evan Chang's decision to go crypto was based on his belief in the potential of decentralized internet, Web3, crypto, and its vision. Chang believes in technology's potential and the benefits it can bring to the world. He believes there are three aspects to crypto technology that make it attractive to talent and the main reasons why people choose to work in this industry.

First, blockchain and crypto are efficient methods to transfer and model assets. Although it is possible to transfer money in today's world, it can be very difficult and slow. Chang believes that any real-world asset could be converted to a blockchain asset. This has enormous potential.

He said:

It really, really changes the way you build products. If you consider that the asset is in your hands of the keyholder (which could be you or a trusted third-party), then the idea of ownership itself, of who has the product, is changed. This eliminates the middleman and alters the cost of everything in our lives.

Crypto is made up of like-minded people who are trying to advance technology.

"Number 2 is the technical challenge. Although I have been around for a while and have built many technologies, there is nothing quite like this. Nothing that excites me as much. It's the result of all these different fields of technology coming together. It's like putting together a complex 3D puzzle. Everything supports each other in a delicate balance.

"Number 3 is the ethos, spirit, and spirit of the space. People are collaborative, mavericks, pioneers, and everyone is intoxicated by the energy. People with similar interests working together to improve technology and possibly change society.

Chang, his co-founders, and their team at Mysten Labs are working to solve "hard problems" at an infrastructure level. Then, they implement simple tools that allow other product developers to build the products they desire.

"We want to transform complex systems such as blockchains, layer-1s, layer-2s, and off-chain decentralized storage. To build your product, you need to be able to use all of these tools. Chang says, "We want it to be simple."


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