Supporters of Rhys #1

Hello everyone!

Welcome to the first monthly update of my new venture. I’m happy you’re here :). This update has two parts, so it might be a bit longer than normal. Bear with me...or just leave now ;)


So what exactly am I doing? You can watch this 2m30s video, visit my Patreon, or read on! I’m working at the intersection of:

  • Effective Altruism | How can we do the most good?
  • Universal Basic Income | How can we allocate scarce capital?
  • The Attention Economy | How can we allocate scarce time?
  • Blockchain | What technology can we leverage?

In other words—“How can we use technology to allocate time and money for good?” And I’m specifically answering that question given our unique context in time—the transition to the Knowledge Age. There’s a strong hypothesis that AI-based automation will induce a nonlinear jump from a world defined by scarce capital to one defined by scarce attention. The Industrial Revolution was the last jump of this exponential variety. Exciting times, yeah?

So that’s the context and my direction within it. But what am I actually doing at a day-to-day level? I’m doing the following work in the 4 spaces defined above:

  • Advising companies/startups (1:1)
  • Speaking at meetups/conferences (Physical Space, 1:n)
  • Podcasting and creating mastermind groups (Digital Space, 1:n and n:n)
  • Building community (Physical Space, n:n)

I make money through monthly pledges on my Patreon. My patrons pledge money because they:

  • Trust that I’m not doing this to “get rich”. I have a self-imposed income cap and send out quarterly reminders if people want to cancel their subscription.
  • Support "high upside" social entrepreneurship. I’m working on a relatively neglected cause that 80,000 Hours, an Effective Altruist site, ranks as the 2nd most urgent.
  • Get Personal Value from my content or community building.
  • Are Curious about RhysCoin and want to test out experimental “personal currency”. (See my Patreon for more information.)

This Month

So, into the actual update. What did I do in June? Well, after at exploration month in May (which resulted in this Patreon page), June was the first month that I actually started to execute (not explore).

June Update

  1. Clarified My Direction. This is kind of a “weak” point, but I believe it’s actually incredibly important. I feel like my 4-part direction is a good mix of specificity (to help me focus) and abstraction (to give me flexibility). Focus and flexibility is a powerful combo!
  2. Produced 1st Content! I made three things for the internet in June. Two of them were made before I had a clear direction (a tweet storm about hyper exponential growth and an article on how blockchain breaks network effects), so I’m not too happy with them from a focus perspective. My final piece of content was an article/podcast/video on the blockchain-based Attention Economy and was well received by leaders in this space.
  3. Community Building. I started Effective Altruism Colorado (in combination with the EA organization LEAN) and began the Colorado chapter for ConsenSys’ Blockchain for Social Impact Coalition.
  4. Speaking. At a recent blockchain meetup in Denver, I spoke about blockchain-based UBICoin to nearly 100 people. (Here’s the video.)
  5. Advising. I began advising relationships with GrantCoin/Manna (blockchain-based UBICoin) and Bella Gaia (data visualizations on climate change and blockchain to help people understand our future).

Expected in July

  1. Funding. I applied for an individual Effective Altruism grant. I’ll hear back at the end of the month about interviews and funding.
  2. Content. I’m going to begin podcast interviews with various leaders in the 4 fields above and have already scheduled interviews with top Effective Altruists and Attention Economy thinkers. (Please let me know if you’re interested in being on my show!) I’m also going to create “overview podcasts” for Effective Altruism and Blockchain Learning.
  3. Community Building. I will be searching for speakers and locations for EAColorado and BSIC hoping to have a first meetup this month or next. I’m also exploring other ways to build the Colorado blockchain community (e.g. meeting with congressman Jared Polis, the co-head of the Congress Blockchain Caucus).
  4. Speaking. The leader of Houston’s Bitcoin meetup reached out to me to speak remotely about blockchain-based UBICoin and I’m scheduling a talk with Belgium’s Basic Income Tech meetup. Finally, I’ll be submitting a talk for EAGlobal San Francisco and will be attending Singularity Summit. (Let me know if you’re going to be at either!)

Last Month's MVP: ConsenSys and CoinDesk for giving me free "press passes for social good" to attend Ethereal and Consensus 2017—more than a $3,000 combined value. Thank you so much, it was instrumental to my future!

Surprising Fact! Lots of people go vegetarian to reduce their carbon footprint (I’ve been a vegetarian for 7 years for this reason). This decreases my carbon footprint by about 1 tonne of CO2e/year.  However, I could pay just $1.34 to have the same impact on the environment (source). I’ll let you know if I'm still vegetarian next month :).

Books I read this month: Antifragile, Doing Good Better, Change of Heart, and World After Capital.

Thanks again for your support and long-term thinking. Please reach out if you have questions and I’ll see you in a month!