1/ Some folks asked for details of how our super bowl ad came to be, here is the quick back story...
- we bought it not knowing what we would do
- initially an outside agency pitched us a bunch of standard super bowl ad ideas
- I didn't like any of them (standard super bowl ads tend to be gimmicky, celebrity cameo driven, going for a laugh etc)
- side note: it never made sense to me why I should like a product because a famous person got paid to say they like it
- so we went back and brainstormed, came up with a bunch of wild ideas (some of these we will do down the road, but didn’t have enough time to produce - think Apple 1984, some crypto native stuff, etc)
- we were running short of time (a few weeks), and one of the original ideas we had included putting a QR code at the end
- this was partially inspired by Reddit’s superb owl commercial at previous super bowl, key insight was if you can only flash something on screen for a moment people will google it later - how do we get them from TV to phone to convert
- since we were almost out of time we decided to just make the whole ad a QR code
- team came up with the DVD screensaver theme, and commissioned a cool song from Com Truise (whose music I like)
- submitted the ad for approval and got a lot of pushback on whether we could run it at all, i won't get into details here but it required some special meetings, indemnity etc
- they finally agreed and it turned out great - our team did an amazing job pulling this off last minute (and of course the production budget was tiny, less then $100k)
I guess if there is a lesson here it is that constraints breed creativity, and that as founders you can empower your team to break the rules on marketing because you're not trying to impress your peers at AdWeek or wherever. No ad agency would have done this ad.
I'm still new to marketing, but “Do things that you think are funny or awesome even if people tell you it won’t work” seems like reasonable advice so far.
Although we didn’t work with a traditional ad agency I’d be remiss not to mention the creative firm we worked with who actually created the ad, commissioned the song, got the clearances etc etc. Honestly, felt like we were all one team so I didn’t fully realize it, thank you!

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More from @brian_armstrong

Feb 15
1/ Really enjoyed reading Ray Dalio's recent book, The Changing World Order
2/ He looks at the decline of a number of empires historically, tracking each country across key metrics (education, innovation, military, etc).
3/ He then looks at America and makes a clear eyed case that it is in decline since ~1970 while China is on the rise. Of course none of this is inevitable. The course of either country can be changed if we have the will.
Read 6 tweets
Jan 8
Really great post by my friend @moxie

Raises some valid points. However a few notes...
1. For NFTs, some keep their data in IPFS (decentralized file storage) or in the smart contract itself for procedurally generated images. We (as a community) should probably move more to solutions like this over time, since it is indeed more decentralized to build them that way.
2. I agree with the overall point that clients don't behave like full nodes. However, there has been quite a bit of discussion about "light clients" in the crypto community even going back to the early days of Bitcoin/Ethereum, so i wouldn't say it hasn't been an area of focus.
Read 14 tweets
Jan 1
Very interesting read on population growth and (supposed) scarcity of resources

If other good resources on this curious to read more.
"humanity suffers from a negativity bias, or “vigilance for bad things around us.”...Consequently, there will always be a market for purveyors of bad news, be they doomsayers who claim that overpopulation will cause mass starvation or...running out of natural resources"
"people often assume that population growth leads to resource depletion. We found the opposite. Over the past 37 years, every additional human being born on our planet appears to have made resources proportionately more plentiful for the rest of us."
Read 7 tweets
Oct 14, 2021
Today we're launching our Digital Asset Policy Proposal (dApp) which we hope will help chart a course for clear regulation of cryptocurrency and web 3.0 in the US. It's critical to bring clarity to this space and ensure America remains a financial leader. github.com/coinbase/digit…
This is not about @Coinbase – we completed more than 75 meetings with stakeholders in government, industry, and academia to help shape this proposal, and we feel it represents a consensus point of view. It's inclusive and democratic by design.
Hopefully this proposal is constructive and is a part of the solution. Here’s an overview of the proposal from our Chief Policy Officer @faryarshirzad
Read 6 tweets
Oct 6, 2021
1/ I do worry that as companies get to be more successful, the number of attacks from press, politicians, and trolls on CEOs (and rounds of congressional testimony) makes the job not fun, and they leave from burn out. Gates, Page, Bezos...
2/ America could be losing some of its best talent from this, and it has some parallels to what is happening to successful CEOs in China. You don't get moved to house arrest in the U.S., but it is our own version it, putting something that gets too successful in its place.
3/ (which doesn't seem very American btw)
Read 9 tweets
Oct 1, 2021
1/ It's been about a year since my mission-focused blog post. It wasn't easy to go through at the time, but looking back, it turned out to be one of the most positive changes I've made at Coinbase, and I'd recommend it to others. blog.coinbase.com/coinbase-is-a-…
2/ We have a much more aligned company now, where we can focus on getting work done toward our mission. And it has allowed us to hire some of the best talent from organizations where employees are fed up with politics, infighting, and distraction.
3/ One of the biggest concerns around our stance was that it would impact our diversity numbers. Since my post, we've grown our headcount about 110%, while our diversity numbers have remained the same, or even improved on some metrics.
Read 13 tweets

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