[Short #131] Decentralized ID with Microsoft

PLUS: 📫 Tessera's E-mail Update

If you know me, I’m a pretty approachable guy. I believe that the serendipity of connection allows for interesting conversations and opportunities, especially in Web3.

An example of this is I’ve accepted pretty much all LinkedIn connection requests and respond to nearly all messages. This is a habit that began prior to entering this space.

This is not a best practice, for obvious reasons:

  • Time is scarce

  • Personal and professional networks should focus on quality > quantity

  • I’m exposed to interactions that may actually be scams

A couple weeks ago, I accepted a connection request from someone that held previous positions including ‘SVP at LVMH Group’ and ‘VP at a Web3 consultancy’.

Looking at the person’s profile, I knew this interaction was likely going nowhere. Problem is TPan likes to pull threads to see how far they go.

Fortunately, this LinkedIn user was flagged so I don’t have to modify the convo, I can just screenshot and paste!

So many 🚩 already, let’s see what happens.

BTW, I am more cordial and thoughtful in my responses but I was already 98% sure this was a conversation that would end in a scam so 🤷🏻‍♂️

We’re starting to get to know each other. We’re already moving off LinkedIn to another messaging app?!

The user’s profile mentioned they were LA based so I pulled the ‘your story isn’t adding up’ card.

I wish we were at a poker table, this is the equivalent of my opponent making a poor bluff. Alas, this is a poker game where only I could lose by getting scammed 🙁

Gloves off. Time for the trolling and memes with the scammer. Also, the fact that this user was focusing on Line or Wechat and the simplified Chinese gave away more info about the individual.

So this is how TPan spends his time? *Unsubscribe*

I do this so I can source content, duh.

I promise, this is a rare occurrence and there are takeaways lol.

This type of LinkedIn scam is commonplace. There were other tells that would’ve saved me time if I wanted:

  • Prominent roles at prominent companies with little detail. I’ve come across similar individuals who ‘work’ at Google, Meta, or (insert top tier consumer brand)

  • Activity feed that seems busy, but with little substance. The user I highlighted above had a lot of activity in the past day, indicating the account was either created or became active in the past day.

  • A small number of connections, or no mutuals

As the saga concluded, I thought to myself:

Why isn’t there a verification system between LinkedIn users and their respective employers?

I understand that this will be difficult to implement from a technical and logistical POV. However, the benefits are clear:

Professional

  • Protection from scams like the above

  • Confidence that credentials are accurate from the other party

  • Potential for more efficient conversation filtering (eg: allow messages from verified professionals only. Non-verified goes to a different folder)

Employer

  • Protect brand reputation

  • Efficiencies when vetting for recruiting

  • Facilitating higher quality conversations for company (eg: Company’s sales teams have higher response rates when verified)

Well…it seems like Microsoft (LinkedIn’s parent company) read my mind because they’re building a Decentralized ID solution. And by read my mind, that means they’ve been working on this for years.

The benefits complement the points I mentioned above from an internal org POV, less for LinkedIn.

I can see these standards applied to LinkedIn as well. If rolled out effectively, LinkedIn will be a massive onboard ramp to Microsoft’s DID standard.

Microsoft’s DID Whitepaper provides more detail around the concept and presents some good examples.

It’s not clear to me (aka I didn’t read the whole whitepaper) how exactly the standard is decentralized. There are at minimum decentralized concepts employed with the framework though.

DID as a concept and product isn’t new. Disco is a Web3-native company working on Verifiable Credentials, and there are probably many more that I’m not aware of. However, Microsoft is the 800 pound gorilla that has hooks in pretty much every company, at least to some degree. And on the individual level, there’s LinkedIn.

I look forward to seeing how these DID solutions roll out in professional and personal settings. Microsoft is one of the leaders on this front.

Do you have a LinkedIn profile? If so share or subscribe! If not, you’re doing great!

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Tessera’s E-mail Update

Earlier this morning I received an e-mail update from Tessera (rebranded from Fractional), a company working on novel ways of NFT ownership.

This was not your normal company update e-mail. It was better.

‘Shit’ was in the e-mail 3 times and ‘fuck’ was used once. Other terms like ‘vibes’ were ‘stan’ used multiple times and there’s a double period typo in the last sentence above (“user privacy..”)

Wow that’s adorable. This tiny startup has spunky personality, but they’ll probably need to wash that dirty hoodie once they go into fundraising mode.

Nope.

Andy’s (the CEO), Twitter bio tells you all you need to know regarding the ‘personality’ of the company.

Is this something other companies, or even Web3-native companies do? Probably not. That said, I appreciate Andy and Tessera’s approach in creating a company and brand that reflects their culture while building products that push the space forward.

Any company can send an e-mail update. Few can send an e-mail update while letting their personality shine, swear words and all.

One thing’s for sure — I’m looking forward to the next e-mail update from Tessera :)

See you tomorrow!

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