Launch App

Letter to the Internet

Written by station staff on 06.22.2021
Dear Contributors of the future —

Web3 is full of contradictions. The most immediate is that despite so much opportunity, we’re in crisis. Many of us are waking every day with an increasing sense of urgency, despite being long on the future we’re building in web3 together.

History is unfolding and being defined right before our very eyes. And it’s happening in the channels of Discord servers, in the replies to crypto Twitter threads, and ever more frenetic Discourse forums.

It is this persistent duality within the reality we exist that is so permeable. On the one hand it takes "irrational exuberance" to make what was once impossible, possible. On the others, irrationality all too often leads to poor judgment, greed, and further exploitation. The "up-to-the-right" memes, rug pulls, and daily rekts show us both the wisdom of the crowd and the fatality of the mob. In it we see parallels with the building and breaking of trust in massive networks: they can be formed in weeks, yet disseminated in minutes. Speculation can gather thousands, but the responsibility of creating and maintaining software and smart contracts, and keeping communities alive with vibes, falls on the shoulders of a few.
These episodes recur on a bi-generational basis, the cadence has increased and tightened in the last 5 years, hastened even more by the pandemic in a shift towards remote work and digital collectivism.

See Mueller’s American Dreams Aren’t for Sleeping. (p. 123)
In times of rapid change, we can often feel overwhelmed and at times paralyzed, incapable of critically examining the system in front of us and finding our places in it. This all too frequently also leads to a constant struggle to consistently contribute in accordance with the long-term interests of our shared future(s). The path forward is clear. But it will be not easy. A better future isn't achieved by will alone, it requires collective and concerted effort from a group of highly dedicated, mission-oriented builders and contributors. Despite crypto's compelling promise of a more equitable and accessible financial infrastructure, many opportunities are still extremely inaccessible and, ironically, too cryptic.

We have many, many brilliant minds in the space. Yet, many more are missing. Voices who aren’t (yet) at the table. Humankind’s open-mindedness to learning is one thing that persists throughout history, yet being asked to jump into the great unknown without any guardrails, path or light for illumination is a tall order. For anyone. And especially those who have the furthest to travel.
While demand for talent has skyrocketed as Web3 projects and protocols continue to grow at an unprecedented rate, this has been coupled with a fragmented workflow, insular entities, and inconsistent branding which make it extremely challenging for crypto-native organizations to onboard, engage, and collaborate on projects at scale. As a result, many online and open-source communities suffer from operational inefficiency, a lack of diversity, and have high contributor turnover. Crypto networks have come on leaps and bounds since their inception. They have demonstrated the potential of decentralized human coordination through incentives alignment and creating shared goals that are well understood and communicated. Without a centralized body, Bitcoin has become the best-performing asset class of the decade, and Ethereum has become one of the world's most valuable computing platforms.
These episodes recur on a bi-generational basis, the cadence has increased and tightened in the last 5 years, hastened even more by the pandemic in a shift towards remote work and digital collectivism.

See Mueller’s American Dreams Aren’t for Sleeping. (p. 123)
However, the promise and potential of web3 can’t be actualized until we design an experience that works for everyone. And today’s Web3 still falls short of that goal. To coordinate networks of fluid talent, we can no longer rely on traditional enterprise software with rigid permissions control and a centralized database. Jumping on a project in the decentralized web shouldn't be gated by a "manager", but with rights to participate which have been earned based on one's on-chain reputation and contribution history.

For people to effectively participate and create with agency, we need to build the tools and mechanics that make bottoms-up contribution and peer-to-peer collaboration second nature. At Station, we're first pioneering the tools to fund the best proposals and initiatives. We use our products to run our own operations to ensure usability and scalability with deep empathy for the end-users.
A network is emerging. As a direct result of interacting with the tools we build. Contributors’ on-chain data become high-fidelity representation of their identity, reputation, and social relationships — all while their individual privacy remains protected. These reputations and the data that contributors are choosing to take with them between projects and communities are enabling Station to become an unparalleled ecosystem where anyone can discover others to form teams and build products and services that continue to push the boundaries of decentralized collaboration and creation. This is work remained for the internet.

Over the next decade, Station has a clear goal to becoming an essential public infrastructure where contributors find and showcase work, and where decentralized organizations discover, coordinate, and reward talent. We measure success by how many connections we've facilitated, how many economic opportunities we've enabled, and how many communities we've helped form. Our word is our bond, as your brand is your people. Station connects people and projects, and our inclusive, open protocols empower on-chain operations to run smoothly to attract the best talent. Our Terminal — where communities and users can interact — creates modular building blocks for building reputation with governance, rewards, and coordination mechanisms that align incentives and optimize for fairness and meritocracy.

We passionately believe a new class of self-sustaining organizations can exist with such grassroots infrastructure —ranging from social clubs, activist groups, filmmaker co-ops, academic groups, and more.
These episodes recur on a bi-generational basis, the cadence has increased and tightened in the last 5 years, hastened even more by the pandemic in a shift towards remote work and digital collectivism.

See Mueller’s American Dreams Aren’t for Sleeping. (p. 123)
The last generation of internet companies in web2 has connected the world through information. The next generation of decentralized protocols will connect the world through a shared understanding and exchange of value, with the most important asset at the heart: our people. Providing our protocol to communities ensures that Station's contributor network will have a near-endless selection of interesting, meaningful, and economically rewarding opportunities with a shared standard for attribution. Station also ensures that there will always be people building around, and participating in, the communities and DAOs powered by our open standard. When a contributor wakes up in the morning, they can simply log onto Station and find out about updates from their communities. They can see the status of the projects they're currently working on, send endorsements to their collaborators to show appreciation, explore other cool things to work on and check out other contributors' work with the Station interface. They can have their urgency to help build the future in which we will all inhibit be most effectively empowered.

When a community is coming together, impassioned groups can quickly and easily spin up a fully-operable DAO running on an open protocol to easily coordinate and connect their members through Station. They can customize and configure their network settings to design reward systems, treasury strategies, permissions & access, and collective decisions, leveraging our protocols either on the Station UI or spinning up their own. By co-developing these scalable, easily deployable, and configurable services with our partners in the Station Network, we're battle-testing and refining our mechanics to really deliver for the needs of our contributors and communities.

Where contradiction is most beautifully understood is in its harmony. It brings seemingly opposing elements together and creates balance. While the mainstream understanding of the crypto industry is still nascent, those who are fortunate enough to be here aim to be the best they can be. When we take time to reflect on how seismic this opportunity is, we can feel the weight on this who’ve come not only before us but will benefit from our efforts.

We think this is special, and we’re committed to supporting and multiplying the impact we can collectively have, in the hope, it will accelerate us towards our shared vision for a better internet, and a better world. Together, we want to build and provide a home that will help define the way people perceive work, collaboration, and relationships with one another. And we want to build that home, in all of our homes, web3, with you.

With love,

The Station Staff