HITEN SHAH on Crypto, NFTs, and Curiosity | Pod of Jake

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Key Takeaways

  • Crypto, Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), and Discord make the internet feel young again with speculative exciting technology and communal intellectual exploration
    • The more a community is involved in a crypto or NFT asset, the more likely sentiment is to gain momentum and increase value
  • There is a limited capacity for curiosity in a ‘career’
    • In most careers, there is a ceiling to use your brain – the work may be fulfilling but jobs tend to rely on muscle memory and not evolving intellectual challenge
    • The only risk to being curious is that you might get more curious!
  • Explore arbitrage opportunities
    • As the internet evolves, there are countless business ventures that never require you to build a customer base
    • Everything in business boils down to buy low, sell high – regardless of the product or service


  • Hiten Shah (@hnshah) has invested in or advised over 200 startups, most recently at Nira. He has turned his entrepreneurial interest towards the world of crypto. Hiten and Jake discuss how crypto and NFTs make the internet feel young again and why curiosity is one of life’s greatest virtues.
  • Host: Jake (@blogofjake)

Hiten Shah

  • “People like me don’t really have careers” – Hiten Shah
    • In most careers, there is a ceiling to use your brain – the work may be fulfilling but jobs tend to rely on muscle memory and not evolving intellectual challenge
  • At 4 or 5 years old, Hiten would break down everything in his house and put it back together to see how things worked
    • Hiten’s father always pushed him to find whatever way possible to work for himself
    • Started his first LLC fixing his own car as experience
    • Started building internet marketing products with an eventual breakthrough with CrazyEgg
    • Then moved into the investing and startup advising space
  • Always looks to do things before other people but the angel investing space has become much more competitive over the last couple of years
    • “I don’t even know what start-up means anymore in the same way that I used to” – Hiten Shah
    • He turned his focus from start-ups to Crypto and NFTs

Curiosity Wins

  • Extreme curiosity is essential to finding and developing a winning idea
    • “If you marry curiosity with a customer obsession, that’s how you build things, that’s how you ensure what you make means something to people” – Hiten Shah
    • Hiten was one of the first 5,000 users on Twitter
  • Arbitrage opportunities – there are so many successful business ventures that never require an audience
  • Everything in business boils down to buy low, sell high


  • Had a friend that was originally transacting on silk road, and was his first introduction to Bitcoin
    • Was early on Monero and Ethereum
    • Volume and sentiment action often override Hiten’s hesitancies in various crypto-related investments
    • “It’s better to dig into your research and take a calculated risk” – Hiten Shah
  • Crypto makes the internet feel young again with speculative technology and communal exploration

NFTs & Discord

  • Observe the involvement of the NFTs community on Twitter and Discord servers – sentiment and positive community support can strongly influence value
    • Discord is the new IRC
    • “If somebody builds a thriving community on discord, it is all about learning” – Hiten Shah
  • It seems like everyone has a form of NFT as their Twitter avatar these days
    • “I don’t know why my face matters online anymore” – Hiten Shah
    • Hiten recently changed his to a rainbow Lazy Lion NFT that he owns (image above)
    • The project personally resonated with Hiten because he has a Leo zodiac
      • He personally vouches for the positive experience he’s had with the Lazy Lion discord community, he has connected with people he otherwise wouldn’t have
  • If you’re curious about the world and future of the internet, why wouldn’t you find a small way to get involved
    • The worst thing that can happen is that you get more curious

Remote Work

  • Advice from Hiten who has been working remote for 18 years:
    • When we are collectively forced to endure change, we realize that the impossible is possible
    • Embrace the changes in efficiency, the new way of working exposed unproductive ‘that’s the way it’s always been’ daily work functions
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Notes By Drew Waterstreet

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