#23 Learn to Earn
Meet the future of online education
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“Learn to Earn” will more dramatically transform online education than the Internet did.
Unlike “Play to Earn” and recent crypto-based incentive models, learn to earn (L2E) is the OG. It’s been around forever and literally informs how we grow up: learn skills when you’re young (school) so you can use them to earn $$ later (job). The incentive is clear but forward-looking: there’s an implicit assumption that the skills you learn today will put dollars in your pocket in the future. Plus, the feedback loop from when you learn to when you earn is long! Talk about delayed gratification 😂…
Enter the Internet
The advent of the Internet transformed learning in two key ways:
Infinite Access to Knowledge - Pre-Internet, access to knowledge was limited by physical constraints (where you lived, what books you had access to, who you knew, etc). The Internet changed all that - suddenly, all human knowledge was available with just one click — and much of it was free!
Shorter Feedback Loop - Instead of waiting years, the Internet offered new ways to earn from your skills much sooner. Know how to trade or invest? Become a day-trader or YouTube influencer. Know how to code? Become a freelancer or create an online course. Good at writing? Start a newsletter.
The Internet made “learn to earn” more tangible - but access to earning was typically reserved for those who had world-class expertise and/or audience. While this represented real progress, it financially impacted a relatively small percentage of learners.
Crypto-incentives offer access to under-utilized resources via token rewards. Excess computing power? Meet Bitcoin or Ethereum. Excess disk space? Meet Filecoin. Excess gamer attention? Meet Axie Infinity.
Crypto incentives will super-charge ‘learn to earn’ by both enabling access to under-utilized knowledge and providing infinite access to earning. This will manifest itself in two ways:
Instead of earning being reserved for influencers/experts, crypto networks will reward any long-tail knowledgeable Internet citizen w/ tokens. This can be via contributions to a DAO or providing P2P instruction through a crypto-powered learning platforms.
Crypto networks & economics will directly reward learners, further shortening the feedback loop. Platforms like RabbitHole or Coinbase Earn are already doing this by rewarding learners to play with a protocol in that protocol’s native token.
Crypto is super-charging incentives to learn AND showing you the money even sooner.
Charlie Munger put it best:
“Show me the incentives and I will show you the outcome.”
I believe the crypto-powered "learn to earn" model will 1) incentivize learning in ways that were unimaginable before, and 2) empower anyone with knowledge to contribute and earn. See, the holy grail of education is personalized instruction at scale. It's why parents care so much about teacher/student ratio or class size. Crypto will provide the infra to tap into the Internet hive-mind and has the potential to achieve this vision.
I believe the future will look like Uber for online education: on-demand, personalized instruction for any topic
Ok shameless plug time 😗: What we're building at GMneedhelp will hopefully contribute to this vision of online-learning. We're starting w/ a L2E Q&A platform for web3 questions with rewards (think crypto-powered Quora). If this sounds fun, come join our Discord and say hi!.
As token rewards become more common, there will be a million, new ways to incentivize learners, democratize earning, provide ownership, & help others.
The future can't get here soon enough.
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2 Things To Check Out 🤔
1. Not a coder but still want to get involved in crypto/web3? Here’s how…
2 . The kids are gonna be alright 😂
Always be learning (and earning!),