Ian Lee 💭 Profile picture
Crypto investor + builder @IDEOVC @IDEO. CoFounder @SyndicateDAO ✺. Adjunct Faculty @UCBerkeley. Ex #Bitcoin Blockchain Lead @Citi @CitiVentures
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8 Apr
1/ 100% agree that DAOs in of themselves & decentralized governance are not “the thing”.

But the structural unfair advantages that “DAO tech” offers (especially when paired with DeFi) and the applications they can enable will be revolutionary, very, very soon.

Let me explain 👇
2/ Bitcoin, blockchains, crypto, DeFi & NFTs were all at one point misunderstood. Many of them are now well understood, but it’s important to remember they were once viewed very skeptically.

People now get DeFi. NFTs are getting there.

DAOs are still further behind IMO.

3/ Let’s take NFTs. They started over 3 years ago in 2017 with @CryptoKitties.

There was a boom, there was a bust, then we didn’t hear about them for years until recently. What changed?


DeFi infrastructure enabled things with NFTs that weren’t possible before.
Read 18 tweets
18 Mar
1/ Very excited to share that @WillPapper & I are launching @SyndicateDAO, a protocol & social network to democratize investing for all.

I will continue to be investing @IDEOVC (which led Syndicate's round) & am excited to continue to work with founders in my new combined role.
2/ In fact, because of what Syndicate is and enables, it's already led to many new relationships, collaborations & opportunities—I'm excited to continue investing at @IDEOVC & helping take the firm to new heights.

Especially since we believe Syndicate is the future of investing.
3/ I've been in crypto since 2014 and have dedicated my life & career to it because of its transformative potential to make our world more open, free, fair, equitable, democratic & meritocratic.

This passion is part of my life's quest to bring more equitableness to our society.
Read 38 tweets
30 Dec 20
1/ Crypto’s biggest potential impact to society is in sustainably distributing wealth, capital & ownership to a larger % of the world.

This is also its biggest risk: crypto can exacerbate inequality if it is not made accessible to everyone—especially those who need it most.
2/ Inequality is growing to unsustainable levels comparable to that in the early 1900s prior to WWI & the 1700s prior to the French Revolution & sweeping changes throughout Europe.

The top 1% (~80M people) now owns the same amount of capital as the remaining 99% (~7.9B people).
3/ Historically, there are only two solutions to extreme levels of inequality:

1. Revolution: Violence or war that leads to wealth redistribution to those who fought & won

2. Intervention: Political change that raises taxes on the rich & increases benefits to the poor
Read 13 tweets
5 Dec 20
How I learned Solidity programming in a month:

In April during lockdowns, I decided to invest in learning Solidity. Given that I haven't seriously coded beyond HTML in almost 20 years, it was daunting 😨

But it doesn't have to be hard or scary to get started.

Here's how 👇
1/ Latest Solidity Documentation

Here's all the latest dev stuff/updates to @ethereum Solidity. I search for things in here a lot when I'm trying to see how to do something very specific. Don't try to read this like a book. Just search for things in it.

2/ @udemy Solidity Course

For me this was really great and fun. Starts from first principles and teaches via real smart contract examples. It cost only $14.99 and I did it in 3 weeks very casually. You could do it in less than a week (I have a day job!).

Read 16 tweets
5 Dec 20
1/ IMO, @iearnfinance's DeFi Voltron is the most interesting in thing happening in DeFi right now. 🤔

Are these just friendly collaborations like anything else in crypto? Are several semi-closed DeFi Collectives starting to emerge?

A thread on what I call "DeFi Collectives" 👇
2/ Is it nothing to think about? Or could it be laddering up to something more profound in 2021 and beyond in DeFi?

One view is that it's an innocuous thing (which could be true, for now). Another is that it'll take competitive strategy and game theory in crypto to a new level.
3/ I wrote a lot about competitive strategy in DeFi this year when @SushiSwap vampire attacked @UniswapProtocol via a fast follower fork. Below is my piece in @BanklessHQ in September about Fork Defense Strategies in DeFi.

Read 12 tweets
12 Jul 19
0/ THREAD: Yesterday, we @ideocolab announced our new Startup Studio to accelerate the world's best blockchain startups, in partnership with over 20 leading organizations and protocols.

In this thread, I’ll share why and how we decided to do this.

1/ First I want to thank @coindesk @DanielGKuhn @pete_rizzo_ and @TheBlock__ @Yogita_Khatri5 @mdudas for covering yesterday, as well as the support from our partners and the general blockchain community.

2/ For many people in the #blockchain and #crypto community, this was the first time they've heard of @ideo, @ideocolab, or the fact that we've been working deeply in the blockchain/crypto space since early 2015 with many of the industry's leading crypto projects and people.
Read 55 tweets
4 Dec 18
{THREAD} For a decentralized project to succeed, it needs:

1. Team
2. Vision
3. Governance & economic model
4. Plan
5. Capital
6. Service (usable in market)
7. Users

Not enough importance, energy, or discipline has been put into #7, nor how it affects #1-#6. I'll explain how...
1. Team.

Most projects don't have experienced product or design co-founders, or they hire a head of product or design too late.

Like startups today (e.g., Airbnb, Slack, Pinterest), bring them in at the beginning to balance deep tech with user-centric design.
2. Vision.

@m2jr looks for founding teams with "earned secrets," which often come from deep experience in the field working (& seeing pain points) with customers & users at a granular level. Teams & visions should be configured this way. How do we know X should be decentralized?
Read 9 tweets
31 Aug 18
1/ For years, people have been waiting and hoping for crypto's "Netscape" moment. The gateway to the web that brought the internet to the main stream.

IMHO, looking for the Netscape for the #crypto space is not a relevant or applicable analogy. Here's why...
2/ The way people imagine crypto's "Netscape moment" is very literal: as a window, gateway, or browser (just like Netscape) to easily acquire, save, and use crypto and access the decentralized web.
3/ But that sounds a lot like a wallet and exchange, which already exists. And yet, even with these onramps and "browsers" into crypto, we haven't had that "Netscape moment" people are hoping for in terms of mass adoption.
Read 12 tweets
28 Aug 18
Proud to be among a growing list of @UCBerkeley @BerkeleyHaas leaders in #blockchain & #crypto. Pls add others! Go Bears!

@dawnsongtweets (Oasis)
@adamludwin (Chain)
@veradittakit (Pantera)
@MaxFangX (B@B, Dekrypt)
@ronenkirsh (B@B, Dekrypt)
@AshleyLannquist (MOBI, WEF)
@adambsterling (UCB Law)
@douggalen (RippleWorks)
@kristykim1015 (Kinetic)
@chartouche (BitPesa)
Read 4 tweets
27 Aug 18
1/ In the early 2000s, @ideo pioneered a process for venture development referred to as the "3 Circles" of Desirability, Viability & Feasibility (ideou.com/blogs/inspirat…). #crypto has a long way to go across all, but right now it is really struggling with the first: Desirability.
2/ Desirability is the question of "Do people want it?" and asks, what is the unique value proposition? How do people hear about, learn, try, buy, use, love, and share it? What are its functional but also emotional benefits? How is it 10x better than the current user experience?
3/ Iterating to product-market fit requires testing & ultimately proving at each stage of development that all three are true (it's desirable, feasible & viable) and work together. In the early stages of a venture, this means building evidence that they will be true in the future
Read 13 tweets
14 Aug 18
1/ Should we be that surprised with what's going on right now with #ETH and ICOs generally? This is what happens when you have $10B+ raised via ICOs in the last 12 months, no treasury management, no product (or users), and liquid/publicly traded market caps and "shares" (tokens).
2/ #crypto is great for the digital world, but for now (and some time), teams and their employees need fiat to pay for real, non-digital things like rent, food, services, transportation, etc.
3/ I expect this decline to last for another 3-6 months as a growing pipeline of teams both (A) have their non-fiat runways cut by 60-80%, which, if they raised enough for 2 years, is now only 4-9 months, and (B) need to extend their fiat runways by another 12-24 months to ship.
Read 10 tweets
6 Aug 18
There is a lot of excitement in “money tokens” and “privacy coins”, and while I agree that those are useful and valuable (to a point), my question is: how many different money and privacy coins does the world *actually* want and need? It’s greater than 1, but less than thousands.
2/ By comparison, today there are ~180 fiat currencies recognized by the U.N. representing ~$90 trillion, ~92% of which is digital.
3/ I’d love to hear other people’s thoughts, but I only see a few scenarios where we have more than 180 money tokens...
Read 9 tweets
3 Aug 18
1/ I believe the reason we are not seeing any movement in the price of #bitcoin from today's mega announcement from @NYSE @Starbucks @Microsoft @BCG is because #crypto now values delivery (scarce) over talk (abundant) fortune.com/longform/nyse-…
2/ In traditional markets, public announcements are often made only after material results and impact are delivered, whereas in the crypto markets, public announcements have been used as a means to raise money (to start to build, execute, and deliver)
3/ Crypto markets and investors have become so desensitized to public announcements and press releases about the intent to deliver future products and code, that announcements (even ones as significant as this one today) are bucketed into the "huh, that will be cool" category
Read 8 tweets
1 Aug 18
1/ Protocols, funds, and large #crypto companies are either thinking about or are in the process of launching their own incubators and startup accelerators. Some will be protocol specific; others will be agnostic. Here's the case for why and when this will/won't make sense.
2/ First off, while this is a new trend, history rhymes, and we may have seen this movie (or at least a similar one) before: the rise, fall, and refactoring of corporate innovation labs and corporate accelerator programs over the last 10 years.
3/ While #crypto is certainly different and its properties as a open platform will enable new types of opportunities, specifically around collaboration, interoperability, and cross-chain asset exchange, there are still many learnings we can draw from corporate labs/accelerators.
Read 34 tweets