curious builders

Why are you here?

Yesterday I watched a presentation that lit a fire inside me. Together with the rest of the crypto world I was pumped up by Erick Voorhees’s keynote at Permissionless II. But this isn’t a post about crypto. It’s a brief post on the question of why am I here?

The keynote by Erik Voorhees was masterful. Go watch it. You don’t have to be a crypto fan to enjoy it (I think).

Voorhees’s answer to why crypto folks are at a crypto conference is that our system is broken. It is permissioned. Especially money. If you want to buy something, the government, your bank, and many other people unknown to you have to grant you permission. And that sucks. I agree. This is a strong argument for crypto. One that converts crypto skeptics.

But as I said, this isn’t about crypto. It is, maybe, about a permissioned vs. permissionless life.

I’m here because I want to build an independent life. A life where I don’t have to ask permission. Where I don’t need it. I’m here for a life where I can do what I want, for as long as I want it.

Independence spans many subjects. Wealth, health, society, community, mind, and more. All interesting. All important.

Why do I want independence? Simple: the alternative sucks. The alternative is dependence. The alternative is being at the mercy of someone or something.

Spending your paycheck every month means you have no leverage against your employer. You need the job. Needing medications because of lifestyle diseases means you are in the hands of corporations and the government. Outsourcing your thinking to TV, social media, “the news”, or anything else means depending on “them” (whoever they are) to tell you what to do and how to live.

Sounds pretty bad, right? Unfortunately, this is how most of us live most of our lives (myself very much included). But we have the power to take all of this back. To be more independent. To live more permissionlessly. Crypto is working on the money (and much more). And I’m here to cheer them on. But I’m starting to think this is a broader conversation. This isn’t just the banks or the politicians. It’s everywhere.

Does this mean I don’t want a job? No. It means I don’t want to depend on my job. It means I want the financial stability to know that I can quit at any time if I don’t like the terms.

Does it mean I don’t want health insurance? No. It means I want to take care of my body so I don’t need to use it.

Does it mean I don’t want to depend on other people? No. But it does mean I want to decide who I depend on. I don’t want full independence as that means isolation from society. But I do want to have a say in who and what I depend on.

Independence is also how we think. For most of this year I have been mired in the group thinking of indie hackers and small saas startups. I did see some warning signs in the spring but I kept on building through the summer. However, I have slowly started to question my motivations and the financial rationality of the entire enterprise. I’m not at any conclusions yet. But a bit of distance is healthy.

I’m here to build more independence into my own life. And maybe inspire you to consider the same. If that means building a micro saas business then so be it. But it may also mean taking my winnings and enjoying the immense freedom I already have.