Rising Demand for Web3 Platform Talent
Opportunities for Next-gen Platform Professionals
The demand for Web3 talent is growing. Each month there are now thousands of jobs posted by companies seeking to hire the talent they need to build, innovate, and grow Web3 projects. Since many of these projects are platforms, the surge in demand is creating new opportunities for platform professionals.
As I have written elsewhere, a platform professional is a person who has achieved specialized education, training or on-the-job experience to serve a variety of roles required to develop and successfully run an important component or entire platform business.
Currently, the platform professional talent pool with deep Web3 experience is limited. The vast majority of platform professionals are schooled in Web2 platforms. The platform economy has grown significantly over the past decade, and this is where most job opportunities have been.
At the same time, professional education opportunities are focused on Web2. Of the two-dozen platform-specific executive education courses offered by MIT, Oxford University and others, none specifically focus on Web3. Even the private cohort-based programs like Section 4 or Reforge do not offer training for platform professionals looking to transition into Web3 roles.
There is more demand for high-quality Web3 talent than there is supply. It is uncertain how long this mismatch will last but, at present, the talent crunch could well intensify through 2022.
What is Web3 talent and who is looking?
Web3 refers to new capabilities that evolution of the internet and music creation as the world shifts to more decentralized blockchain-based digital ecosystems and innovations built on top of these technologies, such as non fungible tokens (NFTs), digital identities and virtual worlds. Web3 gives individuals ownership and control over digital content in ways that were not possible with Web2, which has important implications for how platforms operate and create value.
A growing number of companies are seeking to take advantage of these capabilities. These include incumbent companies like TIME, Inc, which is now exploring crypto, Web3 and NFTs with a new offering called TIMEPieces. The goal, according to the company, is to build an ecosystem where artists, NFT community, and crypto technologists can collaborate and innovate.
Another group are Web2 financial service companies like PayPal, which have introduced a new service enabling its customers to buy, hold and sell cryptocurrency directly from their PayPal account, and make cryptocurrency's utility by making it available as a funding source for purchases at its 26 million merchants worldwide.
A third source of demand is coming from the tsunami of Web3 startups. Various venture funds have poured more than $27 billion into crypto related projects in 2021.While it is difficult to determine exactly how much, a significant portion of these funds go into hiring new staff. It is common now to see job postings at web3 companies surge after a funding round has been closed.
A Tour Through Selected Job Openings
An examination of recently posted jobs provides a window into the types of roles that web3 platforms are seeking. These can be broken into three broad groups: crypto exchanges, NFT platforms and Metaverse platforms. These are not mutually exclusive categories, so the groupings are more for emphasis. A tour through web3 job roles indicates, blockchain technology, NFTs and virtual experiences are often intertwined. The more that next-gen platform professionals develop capabilities in these areas the more opportunities will become available.
Coinbase is world's largest cryptocurrency platform serving over 73 million accounts in more than 100 countries. The company has dozens of open roles including a role for a Business Operations & Strategy Manager, Crypto & Ecosystems. This Mid-Senior level position will oversee business operations across the Ecosystems pillar at Coinbase (Including Crypto, Cloud, Commerce, NFTs, and more). They will help shape Coinbase’s strategy across its products, taking into account our users’ needs, competitive dynamics, emerging technology and Coinbase’s near and long-term business objectives. Define clear hypotheses to identify new opportunities, and build business cases and quantitative models that will inform and influence Ecosystems strategy. This role requires at least 4 to 8+ years of experience in a business-strategy role (Management consulting, Hedge Fund, Banking, Operations at a start-up, etc.). It also requires a strong understanding of blockchain, protocols, Defi, NFTs, DAOs, and other crypto-native technologies and communities.
As noted above, PayPal is extending its platform to include crypto payments last year. To continue to enhance this initiative, the platform is seeking a Director Cryptography Platform team. This role will oversee the strategic direction of crypto across PayPal Core and products. It will cover business products, services and infrastructure that supports certificate management, secrets management, HSM and the crypto platform that resides in the public cloud. It will also be responsible for leading a growing team of crypto platform engineers across the world and the strategy and direction with Cryptographic Platform including assessing tools and technology that support access, crypto, and cloud solutions. The role requires 13+ years’ experience in Crypto engineering, strong leadership capabilities, and extensive experience building, integrating, and securing custom and COTS security products.
Crypto.com is another cryptocurrency with multiple open roles. Founded in 2016, Crypto.com is based in Hong Kong and employs over 3,000 people. The company has grown rapidly and now serves over 10 million customers and has expanded its product line to include the Crypto.com Visa Card, which is the most widely available crypto card. The company has a role open for Head of Partnership & Ecosystem Development to support its growing business in Korea. The position aims to expand strategic partnerships with platform players in cryptocurrency, blockchain, fintech, telcos, banks, card companies and eCommerce. The position requires 15 years of experience in partnerships, product management, consulting, investment banking or business development. In addition to fluency in both Korean and English, the job requires significant expertise in cryptocurrency, blockchain, fintech, e-commerce, accounting, and economics.
DraftKings is fantasy sports contest and sports betting operator founded in 2012. Headquartered in Boston, the is seeking a Director, Marketplace Operations to oversee its expansion into NFTs. This role will oversee the operations and performance of the DraftKings created NFTs and content for the marketplace. You will grow and manage a team of content creators and operators. You will oversee the development of winning promotions, testing, management of pricing, and oversight of site merchandising in partnership with data science to surface the best content and utility for customers. You will maintain plans and forecasts and ensure that the content meets overall marketplace objectives, and reliably communicate expected performance and deliver consistently against expectations The position requires 7+ years of eCommerce operations experience and 2-3+ years of category management experience. Preference will be given to candidates with experience in crypto, blockchain or NFTs.
OneOf is a new NFT platform focused on music. The platform has signed big-name artists such as Doja Cat, H.E.R., Quincy Jones, John Legend, TLC, Charlie Puth, Jacob Collier, G-Eazy, AURORA, The Kid LAROI, and Alesso. The company has opened a search for NFT Creative Manager. This role will interface closely with clients and creative agencies to ensure the proper execution of all drop-related creative assets and will assist with drop gamification. This role reports directly to the Director of NFT Production. Responsibilities for this role include working with the marketing and communications team to develop NFT programs are on-brand and drive revenue, in both the primary and secondary markets. It also requires the ability to develop, and manage innovative NFT programs for existing and prospective clients, including NFT creative, tokenomics, gamification, and associated experiential tie-ins. The position requires 2-5 years’ experience in a creative production, gamification, and NFT program design.
VaynerNFT is a consultancy founded by the crypto influencer Gary Vaynerchuck. The company supports brands like Budweiser develop and execute their NFT marketing strategies. With the growing number of brands exploring NFT opportunities, VaynerNFT is seeking a Strategy Manager. This person must be an “NFT enthusiast, a sophisticated strategist, and ultimate team player” who understands where the crypto world has been and where it’s going. This role requires being a Bridge between IP owners (celebs, associations, brands) and consumers (crypto-native and normies). It also requires the ability to develop high-level commercial strategy, crypto strategy (e.g. tokenomics and mechanics), down to tactical execution roadmaps. The position requires “a deep and demonstrable passion for NFTs, Cryptocurrency, Metaverse, as well as 7+ years of relevant work experience including time at a top tier management consultancy, investment bank or private equity firm, with a professional or personal background in crypto / Web3.
With its pivot to the metaverse, Facebook--now Meta--has hundreds of related job postings. One is for a Vice President, Product Marketing, Metaverse. This position falls within Facebook Reality Labs, which is focused on building consumer devices and experiences for Oculus, Portal, Augmented Reality (AR), and now, the Metaverse. The Vice President will lead a team of product marketers working on shaping and bringing to life the Metaverse vision. This leader will be responsible for customer-centric business decision-making across functions, working closely with Product (PM, Engineering, Design) as well as product operations (analytics, growth, marketing, sales, PR, partnerships, legal, privacy, policy, and finance). The role requires 14 or more years of experience with team leadership, people management, cross-functional team leadership, or leadership 7 or more years of experience with new products, new product introduction, innovation, or new product development and 20 or more years of experience with product marketing.
The Sandbox is a Canadian company headquartered in Montreal that is building a decentralized metaverse. The company is looking for a CRM Manager. The CRM Manager will lead the platform’s customer engagement strategy, planning, optimization, and measurement across its ecosystem. The Manager will also oversee and manage multiple marketing plans & actions in parallel for one or more of the company’s portfolio products (The Sandbox, Game Maker, VoxEdit, NFT Marketplace). In addition, the Manager will be responsible for building out comprehensive marketing plans and strategies that enable The Sandbox to grow quickly and effectively on a global scale. The role requires a minimum of 5 years in operational marketing, with a proven track record of campaigns and a 360 vision of a marketing plan. It also requires a deep understanding of NFTs, play-to-earn and other evolving monetization trends.
Brinc is a Hong Kong-based venture firm that combines accelerators, funds, and a worldwide network to drive the success of entrepreneurs building web3 businesses. This past week it closed $130 NFT and metaverse investor powerhouse Animoca Brands.Brinc is seeking a Program Manager to lead operations for the Brinc Blockchain and Metaverse Accelerator - a new program that identifies and invests in blockchain and NFT startups that are creating content for the metaverse. The Program Manager will be responsible for ensuring the operational success of Brinc accelerators from startup sourcing through Demo Day. This includes event management, organizing and maintaining program data, building and scheduling the accelerator calendar, execution of Demo Day, as well as recruiting, hiring and training an Associate team. The Program Manager will own all-year-round logistics, operations, administration, scheduling, calendar management and event planning for the program and will support relationship management with Brinc’s Metaverse partners and Brinc’s Global network. The role requires a minimum of 5-7 years of work experience in consulting, venture capital, startup management or business management, with a preference for ideally experience in Blockchain and NFTs.
These are but a few of the positions that are currently open. As momentum continues to build around Web3 investment in that 2022 we will see an even greater demand for talent that is versed in platform business models + crypto + NFTs + metaverse ecosystems.
Product Company -> Platform Company -> Web 3.0 Orgs (DAOs) There is a trend going on here.