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Do you think you can hurt my feelings? I’m not technical and I work in tech

On the soft touch needed to make our tech palatable 

stills from Gremlin_bb's rAAVE video

Before working in crypto I was working in a highly manicured environment. Everything about the spaces that surrounded me had been curated ahead of time, with lots of care and attention to detail. But I actually worked with horses, groomsmen – literal horseshit – in huge fields.The protagonists of it all were men that were raised in the country and that, although they were mostly wealthy, they were not to pursue higher education or explore culture. They were trained from their early days, to ride beautiful, thoroughbred horses and to hit a ball with a mallet, and that was their whole world. If you haven’t guessed it till now, I’m referring to the sport of polo. 

Yet that space was full of culture, meaning, tradition, and highly curated experiences that made the audience not think or feel anything about the literal horseshit around them at all. When one thinks of polo, you think of elegance and breeziness. Yeah, all of that is constructed. Polo is about riding horses that poop all the time, and dealing with people that because of their upbringing, mostly can’t tie two sentences together. 

I see lots of parallels between the work that people with soft skills do in tech and the polo industry. You really need to work hard to find elegance and poetry in the tech, and you need to work even harder to make it tasteful, alluring, enjoyable and - dare I say - aspirational. 

I started my career in crypto in 2017, and while there were some brands that were growing in allure, there was nothing that seemed well-marketed. We’ve evolved so much since then. While some refuse to acknowledge it, it is definitely no longer solely “about the tech”. We have also recognized that “if we build it, they will come” just isn’t feasible. Additionally, competition on who’s going to have the best crypto brand is extremely fierce right now. Yet, the soft touch needed to achieve these ambiances and these brands, is often not recognized. 

The vibes that drive people to pay attention to your app in a fast growing industry is the soft touch doing its work! And what about those panel discussions about the big picture, the culture, the ideas? Not driven by your high TVL man. It’s still us, the people working behind the scenes every day to make your experiences better. And what about the content that’s getting so much better on web3 social? Still us, strategically bringing people we admire and that we think that will make these spaces better. 

This newsletter is all about the soft touch - surfacing things that make our sometimes wonky, complex and experimental tech worth the build.


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Kay’s Corner


As a closing note - we’re getting closer and closer to heading over to Brussels. And the Avara Soft Touch() will be in full force. 

If you’re into culture, web3 social and big picture stuff, join us at afk with zkSync and Lens. 

If you are curious about how DeFi can become future-proof, or topics around governance, cross-chain connectivity, and new open financial instruments, join us at Open Finance Day with Aptos, Uniswap, Chainlink, and Aave. 

And if you want to have the experience of a lifetime, and to feel like you’re in Ibiza in the 80s (when the vibe was perfect), follow Ronnie to find rAAVE tickets.

That’s it for now, see you next week.

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