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    StartKryptowährung NewsJustin Kan wants to take NFT gaming — and Solana — mainstream - Protocol

    Justin Kan wants to take NFT gaming — and Solana — mainstream – Protocol

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    The Twitch co-founder is betting big on the blockchain that’s challenging Ethereum for his NFT gaming marketplace.Kan thinks Solana is a better option for NFT-based gaming, where players often need multiple NFTs for a game and conduct many transactions in the course of ordinary play.Solana is trying to break out into the mainstream. It needs a killer app. Could NFT gaming make it happen?Justin Kan, who co-founded game-streaming startup Twitch and sold it to Amazon for $970 million, could help. He now runs Fractal, a curated NFT gaming marketplace for gamers to buy and sell items for these games. He’s betting on Solana, an up-and-coming blockchain protocol that claims faster transactions and lower costs than Ethereum.In NFT-based gaming, players often need multiple NFTs for a game and conduct many transactions in the course of ordinary play, so Solana is a better option, Kan said.Getting more users is a challenge for Solana as it seeks to take on larger blockchains. Solana has been touted for its fast transaction speed, which has drawn investment firms such as Jump Capital into building projects like Pyth. But it has also faced challenges with usability and downtime. Gaming is a consumer-friendly application that could help.

    If NFT gaming on an upstart blockchain sounds wild, Kan is known for taking a zany idea and turning it into a big business. In 2007, he co-founded Y Combinator startup Justin.tv, his self-named livestreaming site, which eventually turned into Twitch. Despite the issues with bridges and other obstacles, it’s gotten easier for consumers to use Solana through tools like the Phantom wallet, Kan said.Fractal, which launched in late December and has raised $35 million in seed funding led by Paradigm and Multicoin Capital, vets the games and then partners with games that agree to have their NFTs trade on Fractal by marketing games to gamers, through its Discord (100,000 members), Twitter, podcasts and giveaways. Fractal takes a 2% transaction fee on secondary sales on its marketplace. Fractal’s CEO is David Wurtz, who Kan knew because they were both early Y Combinator participants, and is credited as a co-creator of Google Drive.The game developers are a mix of crypto-natives trying to figure out gaming and gaming industry people with startups, as well as some existing larger gaming companies jumping into crypto. One game, Tiny Colony, raised $2 million from its NFT sale in less than 24 hours. Another game, Cinder, is made by gaming veterans who made Animal Jam and also sold its NFTs. “It’s kind of a race of: Will crypto-native people figure out how to make games first or will game people figure out how to do crypto first?” Kan said.Kan envisions gaming as just one of a broader set of vertical markets for NFTs across a range of sectors, such as music, tickets, events. “NFTs are now digital items across not just gaming,” he said. “People are doing events and ticketing, membership clubs, obviously, digital art, music and eventually the space will evolve where OpenSea’s like eBay, but eventually they’re all these different stores.”But will gamers move to NFT-based games? Kan believes that just as free-to-play games were dismissed at first then took over, NFT-based games will be the future of gaming, because users will feel more confident investing their time and money in a game than in other types of games.

    “If you buy a bunch of skins in a [traditional] game, then the game goes away or you stop playing or get bored, you lose all that money in your investment,” he said. “Whereas if it’s a game where you know you’re gonna own this thing, and you can sell it over time, you can borrow against it. Maybe you can use them in different experiences. That’s something that gives you more confidence to invest in that game.” Fractal is working on a kind of digital passport or wallet that users could take with them to show their in-game achievements across various games.While he believes in NFT games, Kan is not a fan of play-to-earn games in which users play games just to make income. “More and more games are pivoting away from that to where it’s more about a fun experience and then incidentally, you might get something of value inside the game,” he said. “Because otherwise it requires this continual flow of new capital, of people coming in and putting capital in to play the game and usually that happens when there’s higher speculation of assets.”Get access to the Protocol | Fintech newsletter, research, news alerts and events.

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    Sorry, something went wrong. Please try again. A login link has been emailed to you – please check your inbox. Tomio Geron ( @tomiogeron) is a San Francisco-based reporter covering fintech. He was previously a reporter and editor at The Wall Street Journal, covering venture capital and startups. Before that, he worked as a staff writer at Forbes, covering social media and venture capital, and also edited the Midas List of top tech investors. He has also worked at newspapers covering crime, courts, health and other topics. He can be reached at [email protected] or [email protected] Supply chain problems and rising demand have sent prices spiraling upward for the minerals and metals essential for the clean energy transition. Critical mineral prices have exploded over the past year.Lisa Martine Jenkins is a senior reporter at Protocol covering climate. Lisa previously wrote for Morning Consult, Chemical Watch and the Associated Press. Lisa is currently based in Brooklyn, and is originally from the Bay Area. Find her on Twitter ( @l_m_j_) or reach out via email ([email protected]). The newest source of the alarm bells echoing throughout the renewables industry? Spiking critical mineral and metal prices. According to a new report from the International Energy Agency, a maelstrom of rising demand and tattered supply chains have caused prices for the materials needed for clean energy technologies to soar in the last year. And this increase has only accelerated since 2022 began.

    Meanwhile, prices of copper, nickel and aluminum rose by roughly 25% to 40% in 2021, and have continued to increase so far this year.

    “For most minerals and metals that are vital to the clean energy transition, the price increases since 2021 exceed by a wide margin the largest annual increases seen in the 2010s,” IEA analyst Tae-Yoon Kim noted in a Wednesday report.Indeed, these jumps come against a backdrop of relatively stable prices over the last decade that have allowed the renewable industry to flourish. In the 2010s, for instance, the average annual price increases for all the minerals were modest: 1% for aluminum at the low end, and 13% for lithium at the high.

    Clean energy technology prices have actually fallen steadily throughout the last decade, as both innovation and economies of scale have made building things like solar PV cells and batteries more efficient while the cost of raw materials only ticked up slightly. But the IEA said that trend could reverse course, as demand increases and critical materials become pricier.

    The demand shock has been compounded by the supply challenges presented by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has caused many countries to reassess how much they want to rely on Russian resources. While plans to phase out Russian oil imports have grabbed headlines, the country is also a major supplier of critical minerals. Russia is among the top producers of nickel, cobalt and graphite, all of which are used to make batteries. It’s the top producer of palladium, used in catalytic converters, as well as of enriched uranium needed to keep nuclear power plants running. In fact, Russia produces 45% of the world’s enriched uranium, which has led the U.S. to scramble to find alternative sources. As Kim explained, “the country’s increasing international isolation puts additional pressure on already tight markets.” Recent turmoil in nickel markets especially, he wrote, represented “a wake-up call regarding the importance of diversified supply sources.” Getting to those new supply sources, however, presents its own problem. Global supply chains remain a mess, and not just for critical minerals. The timing could not be worse. These are materials that will be crucial to expanding the use of renewable energy in the coming decades, and especially to electrify transportation and homes alike. But higher prices mean it is harder to make the economic case for the energy transition, even if all other systems are a go.Lisa Martine Jenkins is a senior reporter at Protocol covering climate. Lisa previously wrote for Morning Consult, Chemical Watch and the Associated Press. Lisa is currently based in Brooklyn, and is originally from the Bay Area. Find her on Twitter ( @l_m_j_) or reach out via email ([email protected]). Qualcomm’s chief sustainability officer Angela Baker on how companies can view going “digital” as a way not only toward growth, as laid out in a recent report, but also toward establishing and meeting environmental, social and governance goals.Chris Stokel-Walker is a freelance technology and culture journalist and author of “YouTubers: How YouTube Shook Up TV and Created a New Generation of Stars.” His work has been published in The New York Times, The Guardian and Wired. Three letters dominate business practice at present: ESG, or environmental, social and governance goals. The number of mentions of the environment in financial earnings has doubled in the last five years, according to GlobalData: 600,000 companies mentioned the term in their annual or quarterly results last year.But meeting those ESG goals can be a challenge — one that businesses can’t and shouldn’t take lightly. Ahead of an exclusive fireside chat at Davos, Angela Baker, chief sustainability officer at Qualcomm, sat down with Protocol to speak about how best to achieve those targets and how Qualcomm thinks about its own sustainability strategy, net zero commitment, other ESG targets and more.What should companies be thinking about, and what do they need to know, when it comes to achieving climate goals?There are three things that companies need to know when it comes to setting climate goals. The first thing I would say is that if you’re going to set a climate goal as a business, it needs to be a businesswide effort. It cannot live within just the corporate responsibility or the sustainability team as it often does. It really has to be incorporated across the entire company.

    The second is that if a company is going to set a climate target, it needs to be able to commit budget and resources to meeting those goals. It can be expensive to incorporate these goals across operations, so that is something that companies need to be prepared for.Finally, there must be room for creativity and flexibility. It’s important to recognize there are a lot of things we don’t know yet. You have to be able to jump in without knowing everything, which is hard for a lot of companies. It’s risky, but ultimately worth it.What’s been the limiting factor to effect change and reach those goals?Some of the rate-limiting factors are that all these companies are setting targets, whether or not they’re aligned with the Science Based Targets initiative, and everybody’s competing for renewable projects. But fundamentally the biggest challenge is that companies are trying to balance growing and turning a profit while also doing right by their stakeholders and the environment — but these two priorities are not yet weighted equally. We’re getting there, with shareholders and investors urging, but it’s not quite even yet.What needs to change for it to be even?Some things are happening already. Stakeholders are leading the charge here for more transparency and information around how products and services are made, for more data to be released publicly. Everyone from investors and shareholders to policymakers, employees and customers have interests here. How a company operates and how it makes its products are important questions, no matter the industry.And how can technology help with that?This is a big question. As a first step, companies need to look at the data and understand their sustainability baseline. For some companies, just getting their environmental data in order is a big undertaking, but you can’t really set a target until you know where you’re starting from.

    Once a company understands its sustainability baseline, it is important to identify areas that the company can feasibly make more sustainable, and then address those areas. Implementing technology that improves connectivity and provides greater insight into operations will prove to be the solution for many companies. An example of this could be a manufacturing facility installing energy sensors into its machinery that can monitor energy consumption in real time and turn off different machines when not in use. Another example might be a farmer using drones for pesticide distribution. The drone collects and interprets real-time data, which allows for more efficient and accurate spraying so that crops are covered with less pesticide residue. It all comes down to digitization — as companies and eventually industries digitally transform, they will also become more sustainable. What role does 5G play in combatting climate change?5G is the core infrastructure to driving digital transformation, and as a result, will contribute in a significant way to combating climate change. We produced a U.S. report that highlights the many ways 5G technology can achieve critically needed sustainability benefits. The findings show that 5G will enable the reduction of 374 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions, save 410 billion gallons of water nationwide, reduce pesticide usage in the United States by 50% and increase fuel efficiency by 20% through optimized lane management systems and traffic management systems enabled by C-V2X. There are so many use cases that illustrate that when 5G is fully realized, it will help reduce emissions in massive amounts that will have an actual impact on the planet.

    How has Qualcomm managed its own commitment to address climate change?In 2014, we committed to a 30% greenhouse gas emission reduction goal for Scope 1 and Scope 2, which is tied to our own operations and the electricity we buy. Since committing to that goal, we have reduced our Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 20%. Last November, we took it a step further and set a net zero goal across Scopes 1, 2 and 3 by 2040, and we have interim targets set to align ourselves with the Science Based Targets initiative.

    We were the first large cap semiconductor company to make a net zero commitment. We know the Earth’s population is growing: It’s expected to grow from 7 billion to 10 billion people by 2050, which means there’s going to be more energy being used. We set this goal to highlight that this an important issue and something we are prioritizing throughout the company. Things have to change, and we are doing our part to change the status quo.What’s that journey been like?It’s been really incredible. We are focused on what we can do to reduce our own operational footprint and how we can help our partners across industries reduce theirs as well. Examples of this might be through leveraging 5G to digitally transform their business or developing energy-efficient products. What many people don’t know is that Qualcomm has been building energy-efficient products since our founding — power efficiency is in our DNA — so we are really well-positioned to play a larger role in the digital and green transformation of industries.What’s the one thing that companies implementing new technology to digitally transform their business and meet climate goals often overlook?There is pressure to get things done quickly, but it’s important to pause and look at what makes sense for the business. Every company is different — what makes sense for Qualcomm, which is primarily fabless, may not make sense for another company with a huge manufacturing footprint. If you’re a retailer with a huge supply chain doing a ton of shipping, it’s a different model.All of this goes back to sustainability and, frankly, ESG more broadly needing to be a businesswide effort, with people from across the company working on these issues. What makes sense for the tourism industry is not necessarily going to work for a semiconductor company. But both can reduce their footprint.Chris Stokel-Walker is a freelance technology and culture journalist and author of “YouTubers: How YouTube Shook Up TV and Created a New Generation of Stars.” His work has been published in The New York Times, The Guardian and Wired. Unlike tech companies, emergency services departments can’t afford to make mistakes when migrating to the cloud. Integrating new software in an industry where there’s no margin for error is risky, and sometimes deadly.In an industry where seconds can mean the difference between life and death, many public safety departments are hesitant to take risks on new cloud-based technologies.Aisha Counts (@aishacounts) is a reporter at Protocol covering enterprise software. Formerly, she was a management consultant for EY. She’s based in Los Angeles and can be reached at [email protected] Dialing 911 could be the most important phone call you will ever make. But what happens when the software that’s supposed to deliver that call fails you? It may seem simple, but the technology behind a call for help is complicated, and when it fails, deadly. The infrastructure supporting emergency contact centers is one of the most critical assets for any city, town or local government. But just as the pandemic exposed the creaky tech infrastructure that runs local governments, in many cases the technology in those call centers is outdated and hasn’t been touched for decades.Now more than ever, first responders and public safety officials are recognizing the need to take 911 into the cloud. But in an industry where seconds can mean the difference between life and death, many public safety departments are hesitant to take risks on new cloud-based technologies. However, that doesn’t mean they aren’t aware of the limitations of their current systems. The need for increased resilience in the face of outages or natural disasters, a desire for better location data and the benefits of introducing more ways of communicating with first responders via text or video are pushing some 911 systems into the cloud.

    The first 911 call was made only 40 to 50 years ago, said Robin Erkkila, a 911 solutions engineer at software company Bandwidth. Although it appears straightforward on the surface, dialing 911 requires a number of parties to interact, from telecommunications providers and device manufacturers to local governments and first responders. When a 911 call is placed in the modern era, it probably goes first to a cell phone carrier, then to the 911 network normally operated by state governments, where it’s then routed to a public safety answering point, or PSAP, said Brandon Abley, director of Technology for the National Emergency Number Association. “That’s where someone answers your call and dispatches somebody,” he said. “And then you finally have people in the field. That’s the fifth domain where we have to get the information out to the terminal and the firefighters.”At each point in this process, some form of technology is involved, whether it’s checking a caller’s location or identifying the nearest fire station. Basically what happened is that since the ‘70s and ‘80s, the technology there hasn’t changed a great deal.The challenge is that the technology supporting most 911 systems is often outdated. “Basically what happened is that since the ‘70s and ‘80s, the technology there hasn’t changed a great deal,” said Alex Dizengof, co-founder and CTO of cloud-based emergency communications provider Carbyne. That’s because building systems to support 911 contact centers or PSAPs is a lot more complicated than traditional contact centers. For one, any system that supports 911 faces the challenges of being both incredibly open and readily accessible, yet extremely secure. “Everyone can dial 911 but on the other hand, it’s supposed to be the most secure platform ever built by the government,” said Dizengof. Emergency contact centers still face many of the same challenges as traditional on-premises contact centers. Like traditional contact centers, some 911 dispatch centers are limited in the number of calls they can handle or are subject to the impacts of physical damage in the event of a natural disaster. These challenges are further elevated by the critical nature of the services these dispatch centers provide.

    In most contact centers, there are limits to the number of calls that can be handled concurrently. While that can be inconvenient for a traditional contact center, it’s mission critical for 911. During a national emergency such as a hurricane or earthquake, a PSAP could receive several dozen if not hundreds of calls at the same time, but only be able to handle 14 simultaneously, said Dizengof. Even if there were more calls, the contact center just couldn’t take them.In other cases, a natural disaster can completely overtake a public safety answering point, preventing dispatch operators from communicating with first responders. In the past, during a hurricane for example, “you had dispatch centers that were literally ripping equipment out of the racks and trying to get them into trucks so they could drive somewhere else and set up,” said Abley.There are other challenges that are unique to 911 contact centers, like the need to quickly and accurately pinpoint a caller’s location. Although modern consumer devices can easily determine a caller’s location, that same technology hasn’t made its way into the 911 system. If a caller’s location isn’t properly identified, it delays the process of dispatching first responders. In the early days of 911, the location of a caller was easily determined because telephone companies knew exactly where their landlines were, said Abley; each phone had an associated address. But when cell phones were invented, that same process no longer worked.Many 911 systems route calls based on which cellular tower the phone is connected to as a workaround, but that has its challenges too. For example, If a caller lives in New Jersey but is connected to a cell tower in New York, their call would be routed to a public safety answering point in New York, said Dizengof. Unfortunately that problem is fairly common.

    “I know that some PSAPs are still receiving between 10 and sometimes even 20% of misrouted calls where they need to answer them and route them back to the correct jurisdiction,” he said.Migrating to the cloud has the potential to solve many of the challenges facing 911 contact centers, from providing flexibility to scale contact center seats seamlessly to enabling better resilience in the face of outages or natural disasters. Scale is one of the traditional benefits of the cloud, providing the ability to adjust capacity up and down as needed without having to pay for a fixed number of physical seats. A sheriff’s office can’t necessarily afford to build a contact center that operates dozens of seats or thousands of backup servers, said Abley. “It’s just a scale they can’t operate at, but that’s the business model that cloud providers offer.”The cloud also provides much-needed resilience to a critical operation that needs to run 24 hours a day, seven days a week. “Today when you’re doing legacy 911 deployments, you have physical lines coming to physical centers,” said Dizengof. But if there’s a flood or a fire, those lines are just going to be cut and put the PSAP out of operation. “It’s very tragic and it’s very devastating when the most important service during this natural disaster that should function is 911 and it’s not functioning.” Operating in the cloud helps limit these types of disruptions from power or connectivity failures. With the cloud, since infrastructure isn’t tightly coupled to a physical location, it ensures that no 911 contact center has a single point of failure. If cloud systems “are geo-diverse, they operate multiple call centers [and] operate in a virtual cloud spread across the country, then you’re not gonna go down,” said Erkkila. The prevalence of misrouted calls can also be reduced via cloud systems, because they’re better at pinpointing location data. The industry as a whole is moving towards using device-based location services, said Dizengof. With the cloud, 911 contact centers can more easily connect to mobile devices and pinpoint granular location data automatically, down to which floor someone is on inside of a building.

    Migrating 911 to the cloud also opens up new avenues for citizens to communicate with first responders. In many large-scale emergencies ordinary citizens often share photos and videos via social media, but have no way of providing this information to first responders. “It goes to Twitter, goes to Facebook. The most important people that should get this information, 911, police officers, are not getting this information,” said Dizengof. Instead, officers themselves turn to social media to understand what’s going on. Cloud-based software changes this by enabling citizens to communicate with emergency services via text or video in real time. In some cases, providing citizens with the ability to communicate with 911 via text or video can be lifesaving.“We had a kidnap situation where a wife was being held hostage by her own husband with the gun, and in this situation you’re not even able to communicate verbally,” said Dizengof. But by communicating with 911 via chat and video, the wife was able to explain her situation and show authorities exactly where her husband was. Armed with the location of both the wife and husband, a SWAT team was able to storm in and capture the husband while the wife ran to safety.While there are benefits to upgrading analog telephone networks to the cloud, there are also certainly disadvantages that come along with depending on any cloud service. Operating over the public internet can make 911 systems more susceptible to cyberattacks or downtime when there are internet outages. Even a simple coding error can prevent thousands of people from reaching 911.In the future, cloud-911 backers believe that additional capabilities such as AI, natural-language processing and automation will make 911 even more responsive, allowing dispatchers to more accurately route calls, provide automated responses where appropriate or group similar incidents. Despite the challenges of legacy 911 systems and the promises of the cloud, in public safety circles, there is still a fair amount of resistance to the cloud.

    The public safety community is very conservative, both Dizengof and Abley said, which means emergency departments aren’t the first to jump on new technologies. “It’s just resistance to change and new technology, and in my opinion, very outdated concepts of security,” said Abley. “For example, most of our systems in the public safety area are not exposed to the public internet.” But there are good reasons for this more cautious approach. “With internet companies, we can move fast and break things and we can burn through a lot of venture capital and come up with cool stuff,” said Abley. “That’s not really okay when it’s something a firefighter needs to rescue you.”Unlike tech companies, emergency services departments can’t afford to make mistakes when migrating to the cloud.Firefighters, for instance, who use radios to communicate with dispatchers when entering burning buildings, “trust their jurisdiction to operate a very reliable system that is 99.999% reliable,” said Abley. While updating those radios to cutting-edge technology sounds nice, it can be extremely risky to do in an industry where there’s no margin for error. As the world modernizes its technology at a dizzying pace, emergency services remain an arena where there needs to be a bent towards safety and security, even at the risk of using outdated technologies. “It’s a very critical system,” said Dizengof. “It’s the most critical infrastructure a county could have and the most critical information source.”Despite the hesitation, adoption of cloud-based emergency contact software is actually increasing. “We’re seeing more and more PSAPs adopt these technologies. We’re seeing this becoming a standard,” said Dizengof. It may take time, but like enterprise companies, Abley thinks public safety will eventually become less wary of the cloud.“Seven or eight years ago, you had big companies suspicious of the cloud, of cloud services. They aren’t anymore, but they were,” he said. “And public safety is always culturally a few years behind, technologically speaking.”Aisha Counts (@aishacounts) is a reporter at Protocol covering enterprise software. Formerly, she was a management consultant for EY. She’s based in Los Angeles and can be reached at [email protected] Don’t know what to do this weekend? We’ve got you covered. Our favorite things this week.Janko Roettgers (@jank0) is a senior reporter at Protocol, reporting on the shifting power dynamics between tech, media, and entertainment, including the impact of new technologies. Previously, Janko was Variety’s first-ever technology writer in San Francisco, where he covered big tech and emerging technologies. He has reported for Gigaom, Frankfurter Rundschau, Berliner Zeitung, and ORF, among others. He has written three books on consumer cord-cutting and online music and co-edited an anthology on internet subcultures. He lives with his family in Oakland. The East Coast is getting a little preview of summer this weekend. If you want to stay indoors and beat the heat, we have a few suggestions this week to keep you entertained, like a new season of Amazon Prime’s guilty-pleasure show, “The Wilds,” a new game from Horizon Worlds that’s fun for everyone and a sneak peek from Adam Mosseri into what Instagram is thinking about Web3.File under guilty pleasures: “The Wilds” is a survival show about teenagers who are stranded on a remote island after a plane crash. The teens soon find out, however, that not everything is as it appears to be. It’s like “Truman Show” meets “Cast Away,” and while the show may not win an Emmy, it’s still highly entertaining. Season Two premiered on Amazon Prime earlier this month.We’ve heard it all before: Web3 is going to revolutionize the internet, empower creators and make today’s gatekeepers obsolete. Usually, that idea is being brought forward by people invested in the success of Web3 startups. But when the person leading some of those very gatekeeper platforms proposes that very same idea, it’s worth a listen — if only to find out which role Instagram might play in a future where creators are a lot less dependent on just a handful of platforms.Tony Fadell recently published a book about his seminal work on consumer electronics products like the iPod, the iPhone and the Nest thermostat. After he was done writing, he apparently had some spare time to clean out his garage, unearthing a bunch of interesting device prototypes in the process. Fadell shared photos of these devices and their backstory with TechCrunch, which was able to compile them into this fun stroll down memory lane. You can find more about the book itself on Fadell’s website, and The Verge had a great interview with him as well.Meta’s social VR world, Horizon, may still be a work in progress, but it already has one hit: Arena Clash is a team shooter that’s equally fun for beginners and advanced players. With five minutes per match, it’s just enough time to get you sucked in, but not too long to get frustrated when you’re outmatched or outnumbered. Plus, allowing people to revive teammates makes it more of a group challenge, and a great way to have some fun with others in VR.A version of this story also appeared in today’s Entertainment newsletter; subscribe here.Janko Roettgers (@jank0) is a senior reporter at Protocol, reporting on the shifting power dynamics between tech, media, and entertainment, including the impact of new technologies. Previously, Janko was Variety’s first-ever technology writer in San Francisco, where he covered big tech and emerging technologies. He has reported for Gigaom, Frankfurter Rundschau, Berliner Zeitung, and ORF, among others. He has written three books on consumer cord-cutting and online music and co-edited an anthology on internet subcultures. He lives with his family in Oakland. The former Todoist productivity expert drops time-blocking tips, lofi beats playlists for concentrating and other knowledge bombs.“I do hope the productivity space as a whole is more intentional about pushing narratives that are about life versus just work.”Lizzy Lawrence ( @LizzyLaw_) is a reporter at Protocol, covering tools and productivity in the workplace. She’s a recent graduate of the University of Michigan, where she studied sociology and international studies. She served as editor in chief of The Michigan Daily, her school’s independent newspaper. She’s based in D.C., and can be reached at [email protected] Fadeke Adegbuyi knows how to dole out productivity advice. When she was a marketing manager at Doist, she taught users via blogs and newsletters about how to better organize their lives. Doist, the company behind to-do-list app Todoist and messaging app Twist, has pushed remote and asynchronous work for years. Adegbuyi’s job was to translate these ideas to the masses. “We were thinking about asynchronous communication from a work point of view, of like: What is most effective for doing ambitious and awesome work, and also, what is most advantageous for living a life that feels balanced?” Adegbuyi said. Adegbuyi wears many hats. Since leaving Doist, she’s been working as a lead writer at Shopify and publishes an internet culture newsletter called “Cybernaut” with writers’ collective Every. And she remains an expert on deep work and time management, continuing to drop async “knowledge bombs” at Shopify.Protocol caught up with Adegbuyi on the best productivity philosophies she gleaned from her time at Doist, as well as the quick tips and tricks she uses in her day-to-day.

    Time blocking is Adegbuyi’s productivity method of choice (check out Todoist’s productivity methods quiz to find the right one for you). It’s when you separate your day into blocks of time and assign each block a specific task, or group of tasks. You can create time-blocked events in your calendar, but Adegbuyi likes to time block within Todoist so she can check off the task when it’s finished. Adegbuyi also subscribes to Parkinson’s law: the idea that your work will fill the time you set for it. If you give yourself two days to finish a report, it will take two days. If you give yourself two weeks, it will fill all 14 days. “I’m trying to constrain how long I spend on something with those time blocks,” Adegbuyi said. She might give herself from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m. to write an introduction and two sections for a new Shopify piece. The goal isn’t to “aim for perfection, but getting that portion done within that time block,” she said. It’s not foolproof; sometimes life gets in the way, and you have to move your time blocks around. But it’s worked for Adegbuyi for years. Doist has almost always been a remote-first company, built by CEO Amir Salihefendić. The company adopted Slack in 2014, as it needed a remote communication hub. But the nature of live messaging didn’t fit the company’s remote culture. That’s why Doist launched asynchronous messaging app Twist, and why much of Adegbuyi’s content for Doist furthered the async campaign.She’s still a strong proponent of the method, advocating for reduced meetings and more time for deep, focused work. She’s been happy to see the idea catching on among managers across all areas of tech, particularly since the onset of the pandemic. “If you are focusing on synchronous communication, you are inevitably leaving people out who cannot jump on a call when it’s 2 a.m. their time,” Adegbuyi said. “I also just find asynchronous communication very inclusive.”

    Adegbuyi wrote last year about Paul Graham’s concept of the maker’s schedule and the manager’s scheduler. Managers tend to fill their days with 1:1s, or external appointments; makers need uninterrupted blocks of time to create their work: design mockups, programs, blog posts. But companies are often structured to fit the schedules of managers — something Adegbuyi quickly realized when reading feedback to her async newsletters at Doist. “A lot of the advice that we were giving, they felt in some cases they couldn’t apply it because of how their workplaces were structured,” Adegbuyi said. “They were like, ‘My boss books me in meetings all day long.’”With those concerns, Adegbuyi and her team shifted to direct advice to company leaders as well as individual user leaders. She dove into questions about what asynchronous communication and remote work look like at larger companies, chatting with people at Zapier and Stripe. It became clear to her that a commitment to deep, focused work needs to come from every level of a company. “We were really taking a two-pronged approach and speaking both to how individuals manage their time, but also ultimately, how workplaces dictate schedules and how they should be thinking about managing their employees,” Adegbuyi said.Adegbuyi is a big believer in purposefully allocating time to life tasks in addition to work tasks. Solely visualizing work tasks within your productivity systems might make you forget about the other important activities in your life, like meal-prepping or movies you want to watch. When showcasing example projects in Todoist, Adegbuyi frequently included tasks related to exercising, eating or movie-watching. “Having those things at the forefront can be very helpful for actually getting them done,” Adegbuyi said.Your Todoist, or whatever to-do list app you use, shouldn’t just contain work assignments or presentations. Write down your plans to call your grandparents, or to clean your office so you feel more focused in your work space. “I do hope the productivity space as a whole is more intentional about pushing narratives that are about life versus just work,” Adegbuyi said.

    Lizzy Lawrence ( @LizzyLaw_) is a reporter at Protocol, covering tools and productivity in the workplace. She’s a recent graduate of the University of Michigan, where she studied sociology and international studies. She served as editor in chief of The Michigan Daily, her school’s independent newspaper. She’s based in D.C., and can be reached at [email protected] To give you the best possible experience, this site uses cookies. If you continue browsing. you accept our use of cookies. You can review our privacy policy to find out more about the cookies we use.

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