I’m Joining Unlock Protocol as a Strategic Advisor!
I’m thrilled to announce that I’ve joined Unlock as a strategic advisor! Unlock is an open source, Ethereum-based protocol which empowers creators of all kinds to monetize their content and create membership benefits for their communities.
Why Unlock Protocol?
There has never really been a good payment solution for the web built at the protocol level. Without additional protocols for monetization, the web has only had surface level solutions, such as targeted advertising, resulting in enormous social issues. I believe Unlock has a deeper solution to a puzzle that’s been with the web since it was invented, a challenge that became even more apparent to me after becoming a web monetization fellow at the Mozilla Foundation earlier this year: The web’s “402 Payment Required” puzzle.
I’m also excited to be working with Unlock CEO Julien Genestoux, whom I met during our mutual time in the IndieWeb movement. I really clicked with his perspective and personality. When I saw him present Unlock at The Future of Micropayments in 2020, I was excited by his approach to monetization. Almost immediately, it seemed that Julien and I aligned on long term vision and open source mentality.
For me, Unlock Protocol represents a level of abstraction above the myopia we’re used to seeing in the startup world. Julien’s vision involves building a long term solution that supports creators at the protocol level, meaning that, like email, it can exist for a much longer time than a traditional startup. In a world of speedy tech solutions, I’ve found it difficult to find people that think long term, especially at the protocol level. This kind of thinking is what drew me to being a big fan of IPFS.
I haven’t been as excited about a startup since I worked on my former startup, Geoloqi, in 2012. Since then, I have been waiting on the sidelines for a startup that works on the next generation of payments, namely one that is decentralized, open source, and focused directly on creator compensation.
In some ways, Unlock reminds me of Wordpress, which also began as an open source platform which enabled user memberships at several levels: creator, editor, developer, designer, and system administrator. So while it may have begun as blogging software, a quarter of the entire web now runs on Wordpress. I think Unlock has similar potential.
I’ve been having an amazing time running strategy and partnerships for Unlock with Julien. I’m hopeful my experience in UX and Calm Design principles will make it easier for people to discover Unlock, use it, and start taking control of their communities on their own terms. For a hint at what we have planned for the near future, check out Unlock’s blog.
I’m also running Unlock’s grant program, awarding funds for developers and creators who have new applications to create with our protocol. So if you’re a developer interested in doing just that, please check out the program and submit a project or idea here!
Amber Case is currently a Research Fellow studying web economics at Mozilla Foundation, and an advisor at Puma Browser, Unlock Protocol and Novum Insights.