This is our first edition of NEAR Knowledge Sharing, a weekly post where we share insights and some personal knowledge from Foundation members, Pagoda, and other leaders in the NEAR ecosystem. Expect these updates every Thursday, and as always, thank you for your time and attention!
For this first edition, we have spacebatsghost from Pagoda, currently a customer success manager. She has a background in data science and start-ups. Here are some of her insights on the space and what it’s like working for NEAR/Pagoda.
- What are some of the biggest challenges that web3 communities face, and how can they be addressed?
I think shiny object syndrome is a big challenge the community faces right now - especially if a project is newer and hasn’t established the core group of followers. A big thing that a lot of communities aim to succeed at is the retention of community members. This is where the value of what you’re providing truly outweighs any friction points for usability. Another is security. There’s a huge hydra problem where you have fake accounts impersonating or social engineering community users - you address one or a few of these but then more pop up.
- How do you prioritize and manage the different needs and requests of a web3 community?
I leverage my data mindset and if I see trends of requests, that usually means there’s an issue with the product/service. You can’t make every user happy, so having an understanding (high level) of what people want and what you’re providing still aligns is key. I can’t tell you how many startups I’ve seen that had a cutting-edge idea, but the market just wasn’t ready for it yet, so it flopped. So constantly gathering feedback from users and doing research/interviews can help with this.
- What qualities do you look for in potential teammates? How does this change the culture of your team?
I know Pagoda’s values and hope that people who join our team are aligned with those values. It’s easy to get obsessed with the metrics or data and forget that our community is composed of really smart and curious-minded individuals. So I think having empathy and understanding of this is key. I think building a culture starts with an aligned group of individuals in the beginning, as you grow, you need to ensure that your newer team members vibe with your values. Otherwise, you end up putting profits over people or moving too fast and breaking things as we have all seen too often in tech in recent months.
- What’s your experience been like in the space as a woman and how have your thoughts on the space been shaped by your experience?
I try not to put labels on myself and my experiences. I see what I can contribute when I join a team and where I can add value. I am of the mindset that awareness is key in building out diverse teams, but not getting stuck on the labels. I want my work and my track record to speak for me. Of course, there are some negative experiences, but I try not to let those get me down. I process and work through whatever challenges have happened and move forward. I have seen that the Women in Web3 groups are very helpful for women, especially ladies new to crypto, in learning more about the ecosystem or sharing knowledge. But I think it’s also key to make sure you’re working with others and not just one group of people.
Editor’s note: spacebatsghost goes on to clarify that although it helps to be a part of women’s groups, a real-world team environment is different from that, so working with all types of people is critical in their experience.
- What kind of insight would you share with someone currently interviewing for your current role?
Make sure to spend time understanding your users and the problems they face. It will take time, for example, to try out a handful of different trading apps or building projects, but this will allow you to better help them triage their problems because you know what the user is experiencing. The internet is a valuable resource of knowledge - sometimes simple google searches can be game-changers in finding answers.
- How would you advise someone transitioning from web2 to web3?
Well, I’d start by saying that it takes time to learn about crypto and web3. Learn about it in stints because it can easily become overwhelming. Join Discord communities and ask others for key resources. That’s where you’ll usually find people who’ve already done the research and can tell you what resources for learning are good or not.
- You work at one of the premier “R&D” divisions of a Web3 blockchain organization, what’s that like compared to your roles in Web2?
Well, it’s exciting because you’re surrounded by brilliant people and everyone brings a different perspective or expertise - so you’re constantly learning new things or seeing things built that have never been made before. I enjoy that we share new learnings or can ask colleagues to ELI5 (explain like I’m 5) what they’re building or working on and they will happily teach you. You won’t find such cultures just anywhere.
- Can you give one personal insight into your role? What would you go back and tell your younger self about working in web3?
I’ve switched teams here and there, but the advice remains the same. Always ask questions if you’re stuck and never stop learning. You’re not alone in this learning journey.
We want to thank spacebatsghost for taking the time to answer our questions, and invite you all to come back a week from now for the next installment in our series. Thank you, everyone!