Three months ago, I was catching up with one of my previous engineering managers. He told me about a new startup he joined called Mirror which was building a decentralized protocol for writers.
Over the past year, I saw a few failed projects try to do something similar so I was immediately skeptical. But after speaking with the team and learning about recent developments in the space, I’m now convinced that a protocol for crypto-native newsletter businesses is a really interesting opportunity.
I’m so convinced that I decided to join the Mirror team to help build this future.
Crypto provides new tools for financing, monetization, and growth, These tools can enable more creators to succeed as independents. This is what excites me most about the space. Many of these ideas can be applied not just to newsletter businesses, but any media business on the internet.
One of the cool things about working at a startup is that you get to wear a lot hats.
One of my favorite parts of the week is speaking with creators about how they can use crypto to build stronger communities.
In the future, I think crypto will be a core part of every creator’s business. Kinda like how tech products rely on AI to remain competitive today.
Three years ago, I was about to graduate college and still had no idea what I wanted to do. I studied Finance but after a few internships, I realized I wasn’t meant to be in a cheap suit from JCPenny cranking out discounted cash flow models until midnight. At the time, a friend of mine had just finished a coding bootcamp and suggested I try learning to code.
It was my senior year so like any rational person, I decided to stop going to class so I could code all day (sorry mom). Over the next few months I picked up web development, built full-stack apps, and did so many Leetcode problems that you’d think it was a form of capital punishment.
Once I graduated, I bought a one-way ticket to San Francisco and stayed on a cozy air mattress in my friend’s living room. Over the next few months, I did some contract work for my friends at Career Karma and eventually landed a job as a software engineer on the growth team at Instacart.
"Come for the tool, stay for the network" is a classic strategy for bootstrapping social networks. It aimed to solve a hard problem: how do you convince people to join your social network when there's nobody else to socialize with?
One approach is to build a single-player tool that gets people to use the product. Over time, as more people use the single-player tool, you then add social features such as likes, comments, follows, etc. to plant the seeds for a defensible network.
Today, with the rise of creator-focused platforms, this mantra is evolving into: "come for the creator, stay for the network." Creator-focused platforms realize that wherever the creator goes, the audience and attention follows. As a result, platforms bootstrap their network by attracting top creators.
The go-to-market strategy can generally be summarized as:
In crypto land, 2020 was all about DeFi. So far, 2021 has been about NFTs (hot jpeg summer anyone?)
2022 will be all about Community DAOs.
Community DAOs = DeFi infrastructure + NFT business models + Creative Humans
My name is Patrick Rivera and I'm a software engineer, writer, and investor. I currently work at Mirror, a crypto protocol building tools for web3 creators and communities. It's like if Kickstarter, Patreon, and Substack had a crypto baby. That's Mirror.
Over the past few months, we've shipped: