A path to decentralization

This is a quick overview of how I got to crypto through a career in the startup world. It isn't comprehensive, but I do try to cover most of the highlights.

My name is Rami James, and I’m a startup veteran.

Throughout my past 23 years in hi-tech, I have worked at over a dozen different ventures ranging from the moderately successful to the disastrously unsuccessful. Mostly, I have avoided working at large corporations, with the largest company I’ve been part of (from the beginning) capping out at around 350 people.

I’ve been through R&D centers, online casinos, design studios, startups, and open-source projects.

It has been a long, winding road and I’d like to share some of that with you in the hopes that it can be a learning experience in what works, what doesn’t, and where I think we all go from here.

Currently, I work within the EOSIO blockchain ecosystem on Scatter, an open-source crypto wallet, and Ultra, an NFT-based game delivery service.

I like to consider myself a Swiss army knife in the context of the a company as over the years I’ve contributed as

  • QA

  • Systems administration (NT and Linux)

  • Design

  • UX/UI

  • Marketing and copy (I really enjoy writing)

  • Development (Ruby, Javascript, PHP)

  • COO

  • CEO

  • Product Owner

Much of the time these were sink-or-swim positions. Sometimes I sank. Sometimes I swam.

Your failures are just as important as your successes and are often the quickest way to meaningful growth.

My personal focus is on a trajectory, not a career

The concept of a career is based on the preconception that someone can predict the future far in advance. You can’t. I believe that this mentality is a holdover from a simpler time where the world didn’t move so damned fast. Working for a single company for 40+ years is an anomaly in modern economies.

I’ve taken to focusing on near- and mid-term challenges that are aligned with how I see the world, and allow me to have a small impact towards making the space I inhabit a bit better.

The ability to continue contributing to open-source and decentralized software is a key feature of how I decide what to work on next. I don’t just try to do what I love, I do what interests and pulls me in.

The path to decentralization

It seems like the past few decades have been in preparation of the larger shift towards working on making the internet a more fair, democratic place.

Working in companies that made profits via advertising services or affiliate marketing gave me deep insight into how the data we produce while online is leveraged against us. It has made me appreciate privacy as a human right that must be preserved.

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