🎙️

Jesse Abramowitz on How to chase your curiosity

Description:

In this episode, we go for a story full of lessons!

A doctor, Jesse, turned blockchain developer.

He tells us about the Importance of networking, how you can learn anything online, how he kept scoring amazing jobs, and his amazing journey from a medical student to a self-taught blockchain developer at Parity.

Transcript:

Jawad:

0:00

hi. Welcome to thinking backwards. This is your host Jawad. This podcast is here to help you tap into your inner creative and get you to ship your best work. We would interview guests have succeeded and failed. We would learn from them. And how they got their dream job. How did they get the raise they were looking for? How did they start their side hustle? But more importantly, how did they take the leap? To push. The start button. In today's episode things that are a bit different. We are going for a story by Jesse. Who went from being a doctor to a. Blockchain engineer for one of the biggest. Cryptocurrency companies in the world. Called Parity technologies And they literally just reached number four in a capital size worldwide for cryptocurrencies. And this story is just fantastic. And that's why we're taking a bit of a change in how. I usually record episodes. And this is going to be literally him telling us his story. it is an amazing one. Also on top of that. The audio quality might not be the same as the other episodes, because this was the first time I record a live interview. So we're sitting next to each other while we're recording this. I'm sorry about that, but you will enjoy this episode so much that you're going to forget about that. Welcome jesse

Jesse:

1:29

Thanks so much for having me. Absolute blast to be here.

Jawad:

1:32

I want to just a bit on your journey on how you went from being, what was it something in medicine?

Jesse:

1:37

Well technically I was still a student at the time but a student respiratory therapist

Jawad:

1:42

Okay So you went from that to becoming a blockchain developer for one of the biggest cryptocurrency platform

Jesse:

1:49

Yeah Yeah Actually we can get more into that one later but a platform is a good way to put it

Jawad:

1:53

Yeah One of the biggest the cryptocurrency platforms dots and very famous right now And you just went through this whole transition from that into developing Something crazy like this which is on everyone's mind these days especially with the bull run that we've been having

Jesse:

2:10

It's been nice It's been a nice change from the past three years Bear market but yeah

Jawad:

2:16

Exactly Take us through where it started And how did we get to where we are today

Jesse:

2:23

Absolutely I mean with any story that you tell over time you kind of refine it What was really nice about my story is I actually had like a pure epiphany at one point obviously the story doesn't start there but like it's like one galvanizing moment for me where I'm like Oh you know what I should do this And then I just did it but I guess the story starts You know you want to go back to university

Jawad:

2:41

So yeah Let's start a university You're in university You're studying your major What happens

Jesse:

2:47

So I actually did my major and in kinesiology and then you finish it you're wet like 22 when you finish And you're like okay cool What Okay So I didn't know what to do I took an internship in physiotherapy I it was kinesiology so those pretty much line up I took a test to become a kinesiologist I passed I don't know if I ended up ever getting fully licensed cause that's finding the physiotherapy internship Yeah but I never practiced and then I think I took a year off in between like that So like there was the internship and then there was like half a year between okay What now so I did the after test again dress for art therapy and I got in but then I had a few months and I started to like teach myself things Okay I don't know like if you were ever in school but it's all somehow manages to beat that out of you Yeah for sure It was like Oh I'm not I'm just not this is what I need to learn This is all I need to do this the path I need So my curiosity was completely shot even though I always thought of myself as a naturally curious person I was at the limit for like

Jawad:

3:43

a deal Okay So basically it was like a heavy studying major You would say

Jesse:

3:48

Yeah Yeah I did a lot of studying from time to time Okay yeah

Jawad:

3:52

basically your between your internship and now you have like a year to graduation or six

Jesse:

3:56

months I think I believe that it was around six months until the neck of the start of my next Greek three digits 36 months And I think the timer All right and yeah

Jawad:

4:05

your Y'all city pops up there

Jesse:

4:07

You want to learn something else Okay Cool What I want to draw Like I got bored of just doing the normal going out video games or whatever stuff not that I wasn't doing enough of that already but I was like okay cool So You know I'm doing work on why would I want to learn I'm like okay cool I really like history Okay And at the time I started to get into podcasts too And I remember listening to Dan Carlin's hardcore history Yeah which was like opening up the flood Gates I'm like wow this is making always saw history It's like a mosaic You know Or like a puzzle where you know you don't know a picture and then you start to learn about the picture And then you start to put the pieces together on like the story And then you're just like wow I remember not knowing anything about this region conflict area And I'd love to like get to that point again where I know nothing All of it is like a blank canvas and I have to fill it in myself Okay Okay So I really like that and then I went from there to being like okay cool So you know I'll just find me useful but like in dandy but I'd love to use it to not just sound smart at dinner parties Yeah So what's like this modern version of history that allows me to do that So I guess politics I'm like just modern history I start to learn a bit about that Regretted it immediately by the way Just don't go down that rabbit Yeah I'm against

Jawad:

5:15

that I don't even watch the news

Jesse:

5:18

I was really into it And then I used to be like fully against it and I'll watch the news and really into it for time then against it Again but yeah then so then like okay cool So you know I have this time and I wonder if I can make any money off like learning stuff Cause that's probably a good idea for a future problem Learning is fine but yeah without a task without like you know you can kind of like run that course pretty fast You kind of

Jawad:

5:39

need to put the carrots And the stick model kind of

Jesse:

5:42

inflect Yeah exactly It's like you know Okay cool I'm just reading and I like it but like you know I don't want you to want to sound smart I want to like you know apply that Yeah exactly That's great But yeah so I'm like alright well what would be the way to monetize So I'm like Oh economics That's just makes sense Okay So start to read a ton of economics books and I I mean like well Austrian okay Yeah very like Austrian economics says I really like Hayak and misses all those guys I read a few books by them Okay It has led I think too by admittedly read a nine rain book here and there not to be taken literally by day so yeah so then after that I'm like okay cool So I thought into that you know I start to play in the stock market and And at the time I believe So this has now gone past by the way my secondary when I'm starting Okay At the time like so this three six months kind of like turned into a year of me teaching myself Okay And you started the next degree or Yeah I already started the next day for you at this point And I remember coming up to around the summer You know I was with my friends and we started like a start up idea Okay And I don't want to talk about the startup idea because again of course it's your first startup Not everyone commutable That's fine Tell me you didn't fail your first startup man Yeah Yeah It was

Jawad:

6:59

miserable But was it what was it I had big amibtions on that one it waslike 2011 really I think it was 19 or something And I hate this carrying my laptop to school like lots of short thick you know 2010 years ago but there were like fix I remember Caring It's only what can I do to like stop carrying my laptop I need it but I needed a solution So I was like what if I can turn it into a dog like a USB that I can carry my university had screens and all the classes So I just take them longer than just You know plug it in and then my laptop would be running on the cloud and I have it with me It was a really good idea But I obviously did not know the venture capital was I did not know how to raise money All I knew is that I can find people who can build this for me And I did the numbers actually got a team that we started developing it And yeah I figured that was the problem you needed the range of $20 million Just kind of like run the whole thing And I was like a drop that's a quick year and a half but I dropped it And yeah I mean it came up later Dell did it like four years after which was pretty cool with cloud computing was just very expensive at the time 2011 It was just kind of start til cloud computer Before AWS AWS was there but it was still very basic compared to what we have now That's true But yeah Anyways

Jesse:

8:19

It's really cool ethical story That's about a year and a half is way more than I did I think I did like three months before Okay Threw it to the side Yeah It was called at work perks and it was like this concept you know like you order food a lot online on your like for your workplace but In a lot of work places nowadays at least in North America they have like this you know do yoga dude Tilt the fence or whatever classes and stuff Yup You're doing that Just with cold calls There was no like centralized platform app or like buyers and sellers have that Airbnb type style But without being cliche I guess you could say with Airbnb for like an office type activities Pretty cool Yeah I thought it was really cool too but with every first startup is execution is the real issue It's a great idea So I'm going to do it please I think there's a friend of mine was working for a company in Toronto that seems to be doing something similar and I blinked back it so hard That's awesome I would love to see this kind of thing You're getting me like it at least from my market research it seemed like something that was needed

Jawad:

9:12

okay So it seems you got kind of a taste of entrepreneurship I'm that Building something from scratch

Jesse:

9:19

The biggest thing I felt was helpless because there was so much tech stuff that I just could not do And remember I was going through my phase of like I just like learning things at the time the best way for me to drum up business for the company was to go to meetups and meet people Yeah Well guess what meetups and all in the tech space guess what meetups are like There are a plethora of at least in Toronto Yeah blockchain meetups

Jawad:

9:42

Okay

Jesse:

9:42

So I started to like go to them and I started to listen and then it became like well this is really fascinating I really started to actually start to like read up on it a bit And just personally something that drives me is always like understanding Okay

Jawad:

9:55

What year was this by the way

Jesse:

9:57

This was like four years ago now So 2016 maybe Okay Yeah Oh that actually Does track It was right before like the big bull market of 2017 Okay Yeah So you're doing the meetups Yeah ETH was still at two 50 at that time Oh the first time it got there yeah so so I did a few of those meetups and then you know it started to become clear that workbooks wasn't I think it was just like a kid thing kind of and it wasn't going to work out which was fine but like you know now I have this day it's like I want to learn how to develop because Okay but I'm task oriented and I like to understand things So I needed to like something for me to do And I was on a hike with a friend who was a self-taught software developer Okay and He started like at the time I'm like okay so how did you do it man He's like well you know he gave me like this That's the stuff that he's like one of the best tools I had was linda.com You go get a library card I'll send you your first video And then you know you got to your stuff on yourself but just watch this video It was great It was like on Python It wasn't even about Python I don't even code Python currently but it was just about like you know the guy who was in his house and he's just like Hey this is like a last in first out is like taking distributions out of the dishwasher putting dishes in the dishwasher cooking breakfast at all like just very easy for people to understand and not like way like overhead So I started with them then I found a little Just on Reddit That was like how to go from not knowing any code to knowing how to code on the blockchain Okay And I started to follow him by the way it was used Lynda Like a lot of the videos were all in and I'm like Oh perfect Great Perfect and then yeah

Jawad:

11:24

So it's lynda.com

Jesse:

11:25

lynda.com It's actually made by LinkedIn Okay And if you have a Canadian library card you can get it for free If not as $20 a month but if you're serious $20 a month is negligible Yeah as a cost for changing and you know there's other things too you Demi and other stuff Just happened to be one that I liked and I still use it from time to time when I need to like start learning a new language or something or I'm like Oh I really want them to this content belt I'll

Jawad:

11:48

I'll hit up And then just a little a lot Okay so you started a little Linda now Yeah

Jesse:

11:53

and then that reddit list and like things like like discrete mathematics and data structures it was pretty heavy and intense and I went through most of it some of the lectures were and this is something that we can get into later But blockchain coding is not just about code it's about how users interact with it and cryptography game theory economics So some of the courses there was a yale course on game theory Okay There was a German university course by the way which you can find on YouTube Yeah I'm German university course on cryptography you know just like that type of stuff And you know went through them eventually docking in space moves fast So once you get into the blockchain coding it started I started to outgrow and I start to know enough to know that okay it should be learning this They should be learning And I forged my own path from there It was long It was like hundreds of hours worth of stuff So eventually you should forge your own path But I went to a lot of meetups and talk to people and asked a lot of people a lot of questions and made a lot of good connections I learned through my whole travels And one piece of advice that I think is great is even if you're happy at your job you're at and always be like meeting people and talking to people and creating a network Even if you can't use it now and Sometimes you'll end up like Oh this galvanizing moment you have to leave You have to change or whatever You're going to be really happy You don't have start rebuilding your network scratch to me like I just see it as like friends that I'd like to go get drinks with For the most part I'd like to go I genuinely enjoy it And I genuinely enjoy meeting people and being friends with them But the same time I'm a consistent theme through my whole blockchain career Is that I don't really so much apply for jobs per se or have to get resumes anymore because I'm facing Yeah but it's not because like again I like Oh this guy's really like I can get something from him It was more like Hey you want to go drinking Hey you wanted this And they're like Oh right you're good at developing I think I have this opportunity for you

Jawad:

13:35

I think everybody should probably aim to be in that position who wants apply for a job I Oh it was I had to do it a few times where I applied to jobs I hated the process and it always looks a little voice So kind of hack my way into it I didn't want to be send my CVS like everybody else You know I think that the way that you're suggesting is actually amazing that you actually like always continuing to like meets people So that when the day comes and you're not being fake about it you're actually generally friends with those people when the day comes Someone is going to be there That's going to help you out get in to the company that you want to go to for example or they have a job for

Jesse:

14:10

you even absolute again the same contact vice-versa like I'll definitely like throw myself On the line for somebody who's a developer and who's just a genuine person I am like so much more than happy to do that because to be honest I think that they would do it for me too If the roles were reversed yeah Yeah it's just it's just there and like You kind of a city of a thought when you put it out like that like Oh just make sure just in case anyone ever leave your job that you have your network But to me again it's just generally these people are my friends so yeah exactly

Jawad:

14:38

I mean this is a very important part you cannot be fake about it You actually have to be friends with those people for real And as It's kind of like that saying you're the product of the four people you hung out with So if you're around for people who are actually successful or whatever they are in your niche Then you're just going to be a part of that group It's going to take you to the job that you like is going to take you to the you know museum that you're like or it's going to take you to meet the artists

Jesse:

15:02

that you like Absolutely And that is another constant theme in at least my career was being that I've always sought to be at the companies that I look up to the most so specifically parody And I'm sure we'll get to that in that journey too But to me they're the best Add what they do best Russ blockchain shop in the crypto space And to me it's always been like this the top of the mountain for me So I'm just so pumped to

Jawad:

15:24

Let's circle back to okay Now you're actually doing your degree or second degree and you're learning how to develop on blockchain Yeah So what happens then How are you even managing

Jesse:

15:37

that stress So yeah so I got to the point One is this school was seemed to be slightly easier for me than kinesiology And I hit the point of what I call diminishing returns which was I don't want to talk about my grades but they were PI but they weren't like a pluses I'm like could I get to there Maybe potentially the amount of work I would have to be crazy but what if I just but what do I get from it Right Like you know Not much but this learning how to be a software developer stuff from one is I just enjoy it to maybe create a side business And I think it can help me out in a lot of different ways So why don't I instead of trying to strive for like this eight pluses which again seems to be more self-aggrandizing kind of like in eco play rather than something that would help me out Like so

Jawad:

16:22

you did opportunity costs on that

Jesse:

16:25

I did my opportunity cost on that Exactly And so I so I was doing it it was actually a really tough year I recall There's this thing that I always felt like I would go like once a week with friends but whenever like a friend I'd be like yo you want to go to the mall or you want to do something that wasn't like super You think we're even cleaning my apartment It's like well I'm wasting time that I could be learning how to become a software developer Oh wow Remember the crypto Marcus was going insane at this point too So I was thinking that the that I was in at a very early time and that the market or the actual industry was just going to pass me by if I wasn't like consistently It wasn't a lot of stress I'm not gonna lie I remember we'll get to this part of the story eventually But when I got my job I was like my first weekend I'm like Whoa You know I can just chill my weekend Like I don't have to like kill myself to do all this stuff Like I can then go shopping You know like just do something that I would normally feel guilty about doing For that past year And it was a crazy goal

Jawad:

17:20

Okay So you're going through that year you're seeing the bull market And that means you have to like catch up to everybody That's what you're

Jesse:

17:25

thinking The company at that point to like a dev shop

Jawad:

17:29

So here's that you started with the company If you were studying also becoming a developer and you were still in school studying

Jesse:

17:37

Yeah Let me explain the company Wasn't making money at the company was again I'm task oriented and it's very difficult to find like especially at that time there wasn't so much It wasn't being dealt with like crazy infrastructure stuff or like shitty token stuff Like there wasn't Like these things that we think now that are like these really cool products that somebody can like build these balls around or build like this It wasn't as much like that back then Sure Like that but again for a beginning beginner developer there wasn't so much that I could do Yeah I'm like okay cool What if and even still in my brain doesn't work that way I'm not that good at like finding random open source code and helping contribute I always need to have some sort of task oriented and it's something that I would love to in the future fixed but that's fine So yeah so I ended up starting this company like some brand for advising people on like blockchain companies and I found this company ICO That was in healthcare by the way Absolute dumpster fire But it was something for me to like do and to like use development skills Like discovering and again at the same time just so much money being thrown around to mainly scams Of course I remember getting applying like from London So I was in London Ontario for school and there was like one like Kim did an ICO there And I remember like citing them as an advisor and doing some like that perk and stuff for them which was kinda cold again Super stressful

Jawad:

18:51

So at this point we're doing a lot of things Obviously in that that's 2016 2015

Jesse:

18:56

2016 Maybe 2017 So you're you're

Jawad:

18:59

obviously doing a lot of things how did you manage Would it be fair to say you gave up your social

Jesse:

19:04

life yeah I was definitely like only going out once A week for sure And remember this is like a university town and on their phones

Jawad:

19:11

Exactly So so you were obsessed with this mission you wanted to become this

Jesse:

19:16

Absolutely Yeah And I found that When you really put yourself down to it and you actually have more time than you think you do I agree I'm not saying that like sometimes it was like super stressful because it was but other times yeah I know You definitely can manage this If and again I think for me it was a goal Like you know you see this market going crazy you see all this like things flying around and you don't understand what's going on and you just want to figure it out And to me that's something that drives me it was definitely difficult but doable

Jawad:

19:46

That's amazing Probably most of our listeners are people who have jobs and they're trying to like figure out what to do next or they want to hop on to something else So I really love the model that you mentioned earlier I was like the networking for us You weren't doing networking getting to meet a lot of people also learning at the same time And then taking your skills and testing them out and actually opening like a small company or it starts up to see if that's something good putting it out on the market and then getting the feedback

Jesse:

20:15

And by the way I made like no money there like just negative at all to the amount of work I was doing But it wasn't about that Sometimes I think that it's important to like look at this stuff and be like Hey I'm doing this to learn and this is my school I usually pay for school Hey at least I'm not paying for it You're paying for it in time but like you just have to pay your dues Yeah Cause the next part of the story ends up being like you know Much more lucrative That's

Jawad:

20:37

okay So now you're going through that far you're learning a lot You're testing out You're actually advising on your building out your own startup to see how it goes for you

Jesse:

20:48

You know what I did So on the remember how I was doing that ICO like dumpster fire type thing Okay I pretty much Took notes on what they were doing Took pretty much a lot of the work that they never paid us They're going to pass and tokens So they got a lot of us in but they never launched their token because it was a dumpster fire They took a lot of like got us like list out like research and do the you know they were just giving tasks These people Yeah This was actually saying that was quite normal in 2017 if I ask someone promises to pay you in just tokens That they're going to create maybe not the best idea But again if you just looking for experience So instead of being paid what I did was I took the work and I sold it to the second company Okay I'm like okay cool You know I can get it which was been worked for them and it was what they needed and just said I didn't get paid for the rest of the stuff So yeah You know I don't feel that bad Okay

Jawad:

21:36

So now you're going through that Did you drop off by that

Jesse:

21:40

Not yet Now here We are

Jawad:

21:42

living into that Cause I have a feeling like something's telling me you're going to all

Jesse:

21:46

I am absolutely Drop it I can't remember if this was year one or year two of my degree at this point I think it might have been year two of my degree Okay it was a three-year degree I think it was a certificate I don't even remember anymore but the third part of it The third year actually Yeah So year two I think 22 years Well it's clinical rotations So I moved back from London Ontario to Toronto and I started working at a hospital And I was still Teaching myself cold stuff Okay And one thing with the profession that it is So I so you know like the lean startup Eric Ries right Reese I don't know It talks a lot about this concept of like build measure learn And the more you tighten that FYI by the way this time I was reading a lot of books on audible I have always had trouble reading books listening to books are great for me So that's been a buck a month business whatever cryptocurrency anything I really suggest that find podcasts that are in your like nature find books that are in your nature of those Help one to just give you motivation Also the meetups Also just motivation meeting people in the interesting talking to them Okay Along with all of that other stuff So I'm yeah So I'm looking at that and you look at the human body and the way that science has done on that if you can't move fast it's impossible You will kill somebody there's a lot more on the steak there plus there's a lot so many different interaction from the body You can't really isolate information as well I mean like you know the scientific process is all about this spending years and hundreds of years trying to refine like okay how do you Get a result and then can say this result was because of this because everybody's different Everybody has different interactions Yeah it's very difficult In fact most mid-level research they've done studies You can't reproduce it So you know It's too slow for you Yeah So if you're a person who likes to build measure learn and like isolate that as and make that as fast as possible healthcare is not for you Okay And I realized I was that person I also realized that the people cared more about looking busy than being busy You know I used to follow people around the hospital That was one of my things Or somebody I shot on people that were going around and we're inefficient FYI but they've always looked like they were working If people thought that that works so hard And then I felt this one guy that everyone said was lazy right and he was so much more efficient than everybody else and he would sleep the rest of the time Right Okay In fact I saw a lot of the stuff he did early on in his career was like you know with this extra time doing all this extra stuff and kind of probably underappreciated So it seemed to me like a profession that cared more about looking busy then your outcome Which I never liked I listened to podcasts about the story of the locksmith you know At the beginning you know you worked really hard and you charge them $200 dollars It takes you an hour to pick a lock That's great You still charge them $200 to pick a lock but it takes you a minute and super easy After a 20-year veteran they're going to get angry that their pink $200 They're not going to tip you even though the outcome is the same People perceive you working harder as some sort of gold standard True Which is one reason why I like remote work is I always thought that a job I had to look busy when I just didn't need to be

Jawad:

24:46

Okay But so what was this like You reaching the peak of saying okay I can't do this

Jesse:

24:52

anymore I remember like you know Getting in a fight with my parents not like in a terrible way obviously projecting but like just being like no I fucking hate this shit Like you know and I went on a run and then I kind of came back from the run Like my parents were like not like in a good Headspace half of that Like Cause you know they're like Oh my son's not happy and you're yelling at me But I remember coming back from the run being like no it's fine I turned and yelled But I think that I had six weeks off okay For like just regular vacation whatever and if I can get a job within those six weeks at one allows me to learn and grow too I mean pays me something that I'm not going to like

Jawad:

25:30

That's what you told your parents

Jesse:

25:31

or that's what I told myself Brilliant My

Jawad:

25:33

parents but Okay So you told them I'm quitting school after like seven years old once

Jesse:

25:38

right Yeah Well I didn't fully say like I was quitting I was saying if I can do like this this and this but yeah

Jawad:

25:43

Okay So you told them that and then you put this like deadline for yourself for those six weeks I need to get a job because yeah And this space and if I get it I could quit

Jesse:

25:52

Yeah Okay Within a week I had already had a job Was

Jawad:

25:55

Within a week

Jesse:

25:56

So I this was like the Week before vacation on the Tuesday I got a little bit impatient So I emailed the contact that I've met at meetups Okay It actually offered me a job before I think you know like key it seemed like he was going to offer me a job and then I like cut them off and he was like great When can you come in Can come in tomorrow I'm like actually I can't come until next week So then if you go set up a Monday the second interview was on Wednesday And the next Monday I had a doll Amazing Oh what was the job blockchain developer at a blockchain developer shop Amazing Yeah

Jawad:

26:24

So this is actually This job came off the meetups meetups through the networking

Jesse:

26:29

I actually remember specifically I met him at a healthcare conference for blockchain which was so bad I mean I guess in hindsight it changed my life a lot But seriously it was like the worst like conference I was at a table with a developer that I knew from like other meetups It was like brilliant and just as this random woman and she was asking terrible questions which was fine like I'm happy to answer them All of those cool And it's like Oh excuse me I'll be back later She goes up on stage to a panel I'm like Oh my God You just have no idea about this stuff And then the panel was as brutal as you

Jawad:

27:04

thought it would be So she was asking you a question

Jesse:

27:07

so well You know we were just talking in her takes her like noticeably bad And she was asking like a lot of questions which again great Love it Love it Thin blocking people especially at that time Okay But then she got up and spoke on the panel

Jawad:

27:21

Maybe you should have tapped and switched spaces with her

Jesse:

27:24

Yeah but I'm just saying like the whole thing was not good

Jawad:

27:28

You got the job

Jesse:

27:29

So yes I ended up getting the job Okay

Jawad:

27:31

And then you said I'm out

Jesse:

27:35

Pretty much like a the next day I you know I had my best a little bit I call my professors I'm like Hey could I come back If this doesn't work out Like some time off basically Well I told them the situation and they knew by the way like when you learn something like that Just keep it to yourself Honestly like I would never shut up I still don't shut off the belt Bitcoin I'm sure you can I'm super fun at parties guys Trust me so I still don't do that so they knew that I was so when I told them I feel like yeah they were sad Obviously they like their job They like what they do like to see people do cool stuff in it But they were like yeah but that makes sense I even had one of the professors and be like I don't think you're going to last more than two years in this industry Not because it's you but you're going to get bored Cause I can just hear the way you're talking about Which actually I thought it was a Dick thing to say at the time but she was very right It sounds like He was like well actually she was fully wrong based on me Not loud thing There'll be in the school

Jawad:

28:30

Okay so now you've got a job You quit a big move and now you start working Full-time Yep This

Jesse:

28:37

company Yeah And I mean again it was great for for like a few weekends to do Not feel guilty by like going shopping So this

Jawad:

28:45

was like probably the first time You're like you can relax you can take a break and now you're actually working on something that you love You stopped all the extra You know studying you actually did not care about And I have some time off on the weekends What now is there something other than that piquing your

Jesse:

29:01

interest or was it That that was like the only thing for me Andrew who is important like you know I left school This is my new life now And to me it's like great Now I have some catching up to do it was not easy I remember I am really good friends still with a lot of the people in the space And after that job I became a pretty competent developer The other jobs that make me better going forward But I remember talking to him after hums the ad He was I'm just like Hey man I don't think you realize how bad I was He's like Oh no no no no I did And I can tell you how I know there's this very simple way to import files And I was Q standing over my shoulder watching me do it And he said yeah just important This then I'm like huh Dot dot I thought he was like you know Slash needs to go there I'm like sure Yeah Like the simplest thing that I couldn't even do it And he's like ha ha Okay so yeah it was a very hard I think three months it took me to become competent I remember the first project that I felt really good about They kind of affect to me into it I meant to own but I built a proof of authority blockchain for a company and integrated into their whole backend system And I pretty much did that more or less on my own And it was like just still to this day I think that's like might've been like one of the biggest sense of accomplishment I've had Okay

Jawad:

30:12

Was that this was basically kind of like the first big project that you do Through studying and actually taking the job and all

Jesse:

30:18

of that Yeah Did not go into production not on us Dakota delivers I'm very confident in even looking back on it I'm pretty confident Okay but yeah that was like the first one that was like Oh my God, this is great. I made the right choice.

Jawad:

30:31

It's a huge shift.

Jesse:

30:32

Yeah, but this is also my personality too. when I'm like, when I want to do something and I make my mind up that I want to do something. I am just like, why am I waiting around right. Yeah, I got both feet. I think the email even sent I'm the CEO at the time was just like, Hey, I'm tired of spending one foot in one foot out. I kinda want to jump in both feet. I'm, I'm pretty sure you almost want to offer me a job and that's the on the table. That was more or less than

Jawad:

30:55

email. It seems like. When, when you got a bit of a taste of getting into this world, they just like. It was hard for you. Like he couldn't resist it anymore and he wants to jump in

Jesse:

31:05

Oh dude, full fee, like yeah. Both feet. But do you think.

Jawad:

31:08

For Your typical Joel at their job and they're interested in something else. And then they try it out. Do you recommend that they go.

Jesse:

31:17

No terrible idea. River. To me a year of developing this on the side. Plus also, I mean, if you are at a job where you have other responsibilities in life, probably a bad idea to absolutely quit and go full force into something else. Plus, remember I spent a year doing the other stuff and I still hedge my bets. And I I'm like the job that I looked for. Again, this was 2017. There was a lot of like shitty scammy stuff going around. Yeah. I was like, I need to be able to find, and I could have easily ended up there by being naive. I need to find a job where I have people I can learn from, you know, like almost entry, like school pretty much. you know, somewhere where I can grow And I did at the time by the right place, which is great. so essentially

Jawad:

31:54

if you took a calculated risk. So. He's took her risk initiative.

Jesse:

31:57

Don't make it sound like I was responsible, safe. No, I just have it in both ways. No, it wasn't a responsible decision. Then after seven years of school, you should probably be making

Jawad:

32:08

responsible decisions. Yeah. So because of the thing. I always like to see take risks. That's just. Big enough that it keeps you in the game, but there's also keeps you motivated, do the project that you think you want to do as long as it keeps you in. I'm like, don't go create a car

Jesse:

32:22

plant. Right. Or create like a. USB that can act as computers.

Jawad:

32:27

Or something that's when you're like, you know, If you cannot get the funding for it, it's like your job's it's not going to support you or are you still don't have any access to venture cap? so I think you just need to calculate the risk that you're taking. Yeah. And if it doesn't work, it's fine. Just drop it and move on to the next thing.

Jesse:

32:45

Absolutely. Hedging your trade, touching your batch. Like, this is just concept throughout whole life. Don't like treat this stuff like it is. Completely foreign and try to use the same models you've used and has been successful before. And other things it's not gonna probably end up with completely different outcomes. That's

Jawad:

33:01

When do you get to docs?

Jesse:

33:02

Oh, okay. So I guess I fr while doing the dev work, I'm also doing sales because I like to go to meetups and just drink with people. So I think I brought in I don't know the numbers exactly, but like a quarter million of dollars worth of sales into the company. which is great is the network as a thank you. They sent me to a conference in Berlin, the web three summit. I got to Berlin and I meet a bunch of people from parody who I've looked up to for forever. And at that point I was actually, we had, I brought in a grant before that for creating a min-max type wallet On poke it up. So I had been doing some polka.work for them. Okay. And I think at that point too, I brought in another client to build a blockchain for them and did better with sub Strait. Substrate is a tool for building blockchains that poke out users that is pretty much being built in with polka dot. So at that time I had some exposure actually a lot of exposure at that point to the polka dot stuff. And the sub straight stuff. But this is the first time I got to go there and not going to move there. And Pete, a lot of those So after coming back from that conference start to get a little bit less happy at work I always was in like the mindset that For me this was about learning And the second I stopped learning was probably the time that it was okay for me to leave and move on that being said I had stopped learning about blockchain stuff and progressing and started to become more of the expert in the company There Which was fine and I was happy to but then I also thought a lot of top-down direction The company was very top down which was great for a beginner But when I started to I think surpassed them in certain areas it started to become more of a hindrance and then it was like okay cool So now it's a hindrance now I'm not learning and now I'm being like I feel like I'm being held back And to me that to me that was time to meet And also I really wanted to do the stuff that parody was doing I really want to do Russ development which was not something we were doing at the company and not something that we had experienced with and I really wanted to go one level deeper into my understanding Remember understand stuff So I was born in application and developer tools I wanted to build like the blockchain's the infrastructure itself At the same time I was like you know what there's all these cool things I wanted to do which I haven't done I've never I've talked about Merkle trees like all the time I never built one I'm not great I I want to build one So I built one in JavaScript and then I was going to build one and Russ this is the point I reached out to one of my friends I'm like Hey it's parody hiring he worked at the web three foundation He currently works at parody and high up there yeah I love the guy anyways He's lives in Berlin Now you can meet him one day yeah he was so parody had no jobs on the board but apparently they were going to and I got in before then I got a Intro to the CTO so he and I got on a call and we talked for an hour FYI He does a podcast the zero knoweldge podcasts And I had I already wasn't a thing to it religiously Okay so if Y if you're going to a job and the guy does a podcast I quoted him back to him like four times in the interview I'm raising And I told him like I picked this up from your podcast because I'm literally pulling this back to you That's probably not the worst idea to get somebody Accidentally I truly it's not I'm like Oh I'm entering that It's got him listed as podcast I was already listening to this podcast and I'm like let me definitely though listen to a few more episodes before the interview

Jawad:

36:04

Amazing Okay So you Essentially you did the research on the guy in a way Yeah First by mistake Like it wasn't intention And then after that you're like okay wait I'm going to talk to them Let me actually get more info

Jesse:

36:17

Apparently I had already been using the tech stack for years and I had already looked up to them so much I already knew people in the space already had been in the community of PolkaDot So It was accidental And it's going to be very hard to use that in your advantage but if you like an industry maybe be in the industry be part of the community aye I may be crypto is different in that way That very culty very community driven

Jawad:

36:40

No the rise of communities happened During the last year in 2020 People weren't going to go out So they started creating online communities Now we want to go so specific such specific things like marketing not even just that No growth marketing communities or social media marketing communities or copywriting communities like such a specific thing that you can find like a whole group online on that Yeah

Jesse:

37:04

We can run it and join it Look you can get something out about it and you can want to get something on a bit but join it like genuinely He was probably a better thing of course just because Hey I just want to meet people in the space I just want to hear what's going on I just like this stuff Yeah You'll get things out of it And you could say like I'm doing it because I also want to get things out of it But if you're genuine I just think that things are better Naturally Yeah Okay

Jawad:

37:29

yes So you're on the phone call and

Jesse:

37:32

yeah on the phone call calling back to him so he he ended up being like you want to go this direction or this direction I think we have a few like paces potentially for you so I choose runtime engineering because it's like the internal dev shop of parody If that makes sense they built this amazing polka dot thing and the substrate thing that people use but it's complicated what we do is we pretty much just find people who want to use it We either build it for them internally or that help integrate into their systems or we just give them advice give them help for AWS they have solution architects It's that I've been explained to us like that but we use weird names in the crypto space So we call it a runtime engineer Who's simplify it What does it mean A it solution architect So if somebody wanted to use AWS okay what they do is if you're a startup They'll have these people that will go in we'll talk to you about Hey this is what we provide What are you looking for And I don't know what the level of hands-on that they get but think about that but even sometimes I'll just build it for sure Yeah Okay Interesting And really cool projects Now the upsetting part of this is that I'm the one area in parody that is not fully open sourced because we're building stuff for clients all of this stuff will most likely be open sourced eventually But none of it is yet Which is a bummer which means I can't talk about it big companies like the level of work that I've been doing has gone up tenfold Wow Maybe more

Jawad:

38:46

Do you think that you're learning a lot at this new job

Jesse:

38:48

Oh Absolutely I feel like the day one I was back to being like felt like day one that the other company No not day one but I'm back to being there And I liked that I liked them the concept of drowning until you're swimming Okay

Jawad:

39:02

Okay It was

Jesse:

39:02

learning basic Yeah John to the fall and seeing how you know it's nice to have help It's nice that people the thing that you talked about earlier with iron sharpening iron ore Yeah I have this theory that I'm not necessary but the story anecdote from it I don't know if you're into UFC or like I'm a man Do you know Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonner Nope Okay So the ultimate fighter one like this was one of the most popular fights Sapper They both made it to the end of this like a tournament And they're like the whole tournment was like their new people coming in They put on one of the greatest fights ever honestly it apparently saved the UFC It was so evenly matched and they just both Okay Forrest Griffin after the fight goes out and he starts to train with some of the best people in the role I keep moves gyms I think he trains with extreme couture But he changed his lifestyle right Forrest Griffin goes on to become a champion Stephan Bonner who arguably was a better fighter at the time Artfully won that fight They his training where he is he doesn't go out as much She becomes a fantastic fighter but he never reaches those at Forrest Griffin met again And when they meet again to fight Forrest Griffin handily wins the fight Instead of it being more prosecutorial Forrest Griffin goes on to become a champion Wow Okay The concept for me is always to try to find the best people in the world and then try to work with them and try to like if you're the smartest guy in the room you're in the wrong True Very true Big fish A little pawn Yeah there's a million different things about this True

Jawad:

40:23

While you were doing that I remember your telling me about building a platform that's going to support YouTubers and help them monetize through the videos that are putting out And it was funny enough you were telling me that two days later YouTube announces that they're going have a change in the terms and conditions and they're going to decrease the monetization for those YouTubers are putting out there content Yeah And then it was crazy So that's a perfect time between what's you're doing And what's used to that what are you exactly doing for maybe some creatives or they're listening

Jesse:

40:56

to us Yeah So there's a lot of problems with you You'll be like YouTube is great That's not to say that this has been a platform for so many people and it was especially good for what I consider the long tale in early days especially when Hey I can't get on NBC because I'm just a Sh shitty comedian but Hey I can get on YouTube and I can be the so everybody who had these weird things who didn't have this appeal that could work on TV Oh perfect For you to pray Yeah but nowadays YouTube has become so big that it has some long tail where it's like Hey I'm a content creator I have 4,000 loyal fans How do I monetize this without knowing people in the interstate a lot of people have been putting their own ads in not as Nord VPN On affiliates Yeah All of those stuff Exactly not easy to start with and not the only way you can monetize what we do is we pretty much FYI So I'm just I came on During Corona time because I was bored I wonder if we can work I way parody is great but I've become a better developer that I it doesn't take me as much time to do stuff anymore And Europe is very good with work-life balance Yeah too bad that there's no life going on in 2020

Jawad:

42:01

Thats true

Jesse:

42:02

So I and I think it makes me a better like a developer in my day job to go in and build different things and learn different things and know what's going on in the crypto space This is a crypto space area That's going Baldrige like right now device huge what we got next coming up it's like non fundable tokens and like the social media place like low-hanging fruit So I think learning the industry and I love like getting into details That's why I love them I can go from product to product project and learn about them

Jawad:

42:28

the founding team saw a problem And they are trying to solve it

Jesse:

42:33

Blockchain Yeah Amir's being a YouTuber for your I call him the Joe Rogan of the space Okay I'm always to send us away from talking about like MMA or DMT with him And he's awesome And he's hilarious and so the guy Mike who's fantastic developer love working with him but yeah he comes up So the problem is we have all these YouTubers we have this long tail that the monetization it's crazy what's our minimum viable product so it's right now is a A Chrome extension and it overlays onto YouTube and it pretty much blocks you two dads by the way not illegal The top ad blockers do that And they inject their own to ads for monetize I think Yeah We do that same model But on top of that what we do is we have this concept of baking So as a user you get tokens When you come to the join the platform we give you these And you can give these tokens and bake them to your favorite content creators and then this is almost acts as a signal So when the ad money comes in it gets split up between All the ad revenue people on our platform and it gets split based on how many people are baking towards them How large is that stake is and then that amount gets split between the content creator them themselves and then everybody begging with them So I baked to my content creator that I liked or whatever It doesn't cost them anything too big No technically costs gas but we pay for that I actually bought a really fun relayer but let's not get into that but yes essentially it doesn't cost anything to bake Do you use these tokens that you earn a portion of their revenue

Jawad:

43:54

So you read this during the revenue So it's actually me as someone who's watching And the content creator are both making money

Jesse:

44:01

YouTube is all about community So one is this helps build community two it gamifies it do you know how great it's going So we have a lot of different ways to gamify things But when we put up a leaderboard that says here are the top 10 bakers on YouTube and now these reports can be like alright cool How can I give more Because maybe I can say Hey for the next month My bakers are going to get 90 of my ad revenue I'm only gonna get 10 so they can get up on the 10th board or whatever

Jawad:

44:25

Wow you're actually also building into its way to grab more audience and grow your audience

Jesse:

44:30

anything can do to gamify things anything we can do to strengthen community YouTube is all about community and decentralized networks is all about community If you need to build some messy central life you can't build it with two people Yeah Better product you need people using it You need this community aspect So those tokens that come in so we are going to have a token supply 70 is going to our community Straight up right and then the whole concept is all right how do we build a strong community and a great product That's that Wow So for me I can reach more contracts which I love

Jawad:

45:00

That's amazing So we basically took 20 20 Cal flipped It got a new job which most people were actually getting fired Then

Jesse:

45:10

by the

Jawad:

45:10

way Move to Berlin Me too by the way most of her then two days before the lockdown some say I brought the virus And you started working also on another startup all during 2020

Jesse:

45:24

Yeah And I've worked on that mainly because of COVID because I was bored and I'm like all right at a certain point how many movies can you watch

Jawad:

45:31

True ,I liked that you're flipping this approach that most people took 2020 to watch Netflix just the amount of people that were just sitting bored at home Not doing anything And you were just taking it's flipping it I'm saying Okay How can I benefit the most out of this year and having all of the time off and you're building out stuff for problems that you see how can we get The people how can we get the audience do you think is there a way of thinking that you adopted along the way that got you to this Stage or is it something That just naturally happened

Jesse:

46:06

over time okay One it didn't naturally happen over time I think a big contribution to it Where the podcast the meetups and the books I was reading Okay That stuff I still look back right So I'll use things from lean startups here at one aye Terrible person to hang around I quote these books all the time It's awful So that definitely helped me and motivated me it's really hard to read about people doing awesome things and just be like cool Now I'm going to go watch Netflix So I always thought that whatever motivates you to get into that personally I always loved communities that were like culty I used to be efficient Okay I'm the beneficiary will travel them around the whole world and it would become part of your personality I had always liked that and blocked him really fits into it but for me was to find like a an area that I felt like home in like a mashed my history politics economics it was called to you which I loved idiots challenging It beats you down but it's so great and I wanted to change it for the role So I think that definitely helps It might not be the best advice though Cause it's really hard To me it sounds sane but it's not like that's going to be the easiest

Jawad:

47:15

I don't think anything worthwhile It would be easy to find

Jesse:

47:19

Hey that's fair point man

Jawad:

47:21

Thank you so much but I'm going to hold you to this one thing I always like to leave my audience with a question But an actionable question what can you think of a question that we can ask them That they can do an action right after

Jesse:

47:38

So the question that you can do an action right after Okay So I'm at a certain point in my life when I was doing this and why found dollar cake My question I would ask myself each week was did I do something at least one hour this weekend on my own time that would help benefit me in a year from now and 10 years from now that's how I got into dollar cake because I wanted to do contract work That's why I'm doing this weird guilt farming investing ICO stuff my major to do one hour a week learn the industry Play with some of these products and do stuff that will benefit me like as a person and at least one to five years from you

Jawad:

48:11

heard him. This is the action that you need to take. Thank you very much, Jesse. We're thinking at the time. Thanks so much. It was an amazing interview. I hope everybody benefits from it and I'm sure they will.