#300: Adjusting for the Long Game

🛣️ A look back on the Web3 with TPan journey and the road ahead

Holy cow, it’s my 300th post! For the newer folks, I do a self-reflection of my progress every 100 posts. My previous checkpoints are here:

The journey of writing 300 pieces has simultaneously felt like a fleeting moment and a marathon.

Web3 with TPan over the past 2 years

Excluding guest posts, I’ve written over 368,000 words covering various topics across the ecosystem.

If you asked me two years ago when I started how long I thought I would be writing, I would have answered: “I have no clue. I have a couple of hypotheses, and we’ll see what happens.” I would not have imagined that I would still be writing today, let alone 300 pieces and counting.

Breaking down my body of work into cohorts of 100:

Excludes guest post stats

If we look at these numbers at face value, it’s ‘wow, number go up, woohoo!’ Upon further inspection, there are additional insights:

  • Subscriber growth grew 11x

  • View growth grew 4.4x

  • Length of each published piece has increased by 25%

What does this mean?

As I transitioned to writing twice a week due to work and sustainability reasons, the pieces got longer. There’s so much going on in this industry so I tried to cram more into each one.

My POV on Web3 with TPan also shifted over time. The goal of this publication is to provide insights that you can’t find anywhere else and at the same time, I wanted to treat this as a place for me to express these insights with creative freedom.

The creative freedom part resulted in posts that were longer, more rambly, and almost borderline forced in terms of telling a story. And that has recently taken a toll on how effectively I’m delivering those insights, the enjoyment I get from writing, and long-term sustainability.

Adjusting for the long game

Just like a coach makes changes in their lineup based on how the match progresses, I need to make changes to Web3 with TPan. As I observed my personal feelings about the publication and as #300 approached, questions swirled around in my head:

  • Do I want to take a break from all this?

  • How do other newsletters position themselves for sustainability?

  • What about the creative outlet? What if I lose that spark?

As I wrestled through each of these questions along with the pros and cons of each of the paths to take, it became abundantly clear that I was leaning too much into the creative outlet aspect of the newsletter, while the solution became clear over time:

I need to write less and write for clarity. By doing so everyone wins. You get the same insights more efficiently, and I get to position Web3 with TPan for the long game.

What does that look like? Moving forward:

  • Pieces will continue to be published on Tuesdays and Thursdays

  • There will only be one topic per piece, with the goal of 1,000 words or less

  • The topics will continue to focus on web3 growth and marketing, with more structure:

    • What the thing is

    • How it works

    • Why it’s interesting

  • Additional topics will be shared in the form of a link and 1-2 lines max

This may all be subject to change, but it feels right. No more ‘oh boy, how long is this one gonna be?’

And what about those longer thought pieces like #278: The 10 Incentive Layers of the Blast Airdrop (1935 words) or #281: Memecoins are Here to Stay (2,951 words)? They certainly wouldn’t fit into the new framework I mentioned above. I wouldn’t do those topics justice by condensing them down into 1,000 words or less either.

In-depth thought pieces will be published on a one-off basis in addition to the Tuesday/Thursday cadence. This gives me the freedom to publish these types of pieces when appropriate, while providing a separate swim lane for them. I’ll have to figure out how to indicate that they’re longer posts, but that’ll be an easier detail to tackle when I get there.

Changing my perspective of the creative outlet

As I publicly commit to these changes, my creative side is understandably threatened by the reality that I need to subtract.

However, a perspective shift on the creative outlet is all I need. Assuming that each piece takes less time to prepare for and publish, I can channel that surplus energy into other areas of Web3 with TPan I have put off for way too long. For example:

  • Understanding and engaging my community

  • Incorporating onchain mechanics while being inclusive of those that aren’t

  • Premium and providing unique value (an area I’ve contemplated for over a year but haven’t taken action on)

  • Growth

  • Other content mediums

  • Other channels (I’ve fallen off LinkedIn, and am quiet on X and Farcaster these days)

These efforts have been limited because I’ve been so focused on the writing process, while in reality, they can be creative outlets too!

I expect more from myself on this front, stay tuned.

So was it worth it? The time you put in?

A couple weeks ago I came across this clip from The Bear (highly recommend, Season 3 is out next month!), an award-winning show about Carmy, a famous chef who returns to his hometown, taking over his brother’s dingy sandwich shop.

In one memorable scene, Carmy sends his pastry chef Marcus, to Europe to learn from his friend and ex-colleague, Luca.

In a powerful scene, Luca shares his experience as a chef. Towards the end of the scene, Marcus asks Luca a simple question.

Marcus: So was it worth it, the time you put in?

Luca: I don’t know. Ask me tomorrow.

Those two lines hit me like a ton of bricks. Was all this writing worth it, the time I put in?

I don’t know, but I’ll keep doing it.

Thank you for reading.

I’ll be at Consensus, so I’ll see you next week! If you’ll be there, hit me up if you want to connect.

1,038 words, so close! We’ll get under 1,000 starting with #301 😉

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