The death of the humble flex.

By el Prof
January 11, 2022
Image: Reddit, probably

This past week, one of our readers and Member #1 of our official Discorddaria-is-the-name, shared an essay from the Not Boring newsletter by Packy McCormick. In the piece, Packy — an a16z advisor, the crypto-thirsty investment firm made famous by artificially inflating Clubhouse’s market cap — discusses his excitement over some super-secret web3 projects that are too confidential to name drop, but just know he totally could if he wanted to. 

I believe the spirit of web3 is collaborative intelligence, and the tendency to continue to operate from a VC and web2 capital exploit perspective in “stealth mode” feels profoundly out of place in this emerging web3 narrative. DAOs exist as transparent communities to build and distribute capital, yet the ones operating behind closed doors are the ones that Packy appears to be the most excited about. He casts the stealth mode projects as remixes of the best elements of past DAO experiments in enabling capital formation for problem solving. Of course, hearing a venture capitalist champion the decentralization of capital feels a little like watching a king cheer on a peasant revolution. But that might just be me. 

His bullishness seems to revolve around the disruptive element that capital formation in areas outside of VC’s purview of acceptable risk provides. What confuses me is that the whole raison d’etre of venture capital is not to take predictable bets on scalable technology ventures but to throw cash at well-articulated pipe dreams.

To be fair, VC is fundamentally inaccessible to the non-Chads of the world. And I obviously do see the disruptive appeal of PFPs, with the chops to build a DAO and convince degens to take bets on them in a very similar manner to web2’s VCs. The implications of decentralized capital are profound, especially in a country with a monopoly on enterprise like the United States’, which should be more concerned than anyone by this new opportunity to pursue the American Dream abroad, where the cost of living isn’t inflated out the ass. But I’m left asking why we continue to reinvent the wheel — opaque humble flexes and big money validation — rather than embracing the transparency that makes web3 attractive in the first place?

To daria-is-the-name: thank you genuinely for sharing this piece. We are always on the lookout for new excuse to share our shitty opinions. For your contribution to today’s newsletter, we will be dropping you a sn0b of your choosing! DM us on Discord to claim your free NFT. 

(Jesus Christ. Live long enough and you really do become the degen.)

el Prof

el Prof

hey, i'm el prof, but most people call me Connor. Thanks for reading.

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