Why Would Anyone Go Into Solana?
Here's why I did it.
"Why did you go into Solana?"
I get asked this often, so here are my reasons from ~3 years ago. They have surprisingly stayed the same.
1) the bottleneck in crypto is valuable products, not useless infra
The question I asked myself was something along the lines of "What is the biggest problem in the industry? Where is the highest leverage play to maximize future success for crypto?"
My internal answer was (and still is) that there are barely any useful apps with PMF. The biggest reason for this is that it's just too complicated (and impossible until recently) to build cheap, fast, and scalable applications.
If we are to maximize the probability of a crypto future, we must fix this.
At that time, and still currently, Solana was the only place to build fast, cheap, and scalable applications — while being decentralized, secure, and, most importantly, battle-tested.
However, the dev tooling scene was quite bad — a fixable problem. This is why we picked Solana and why we're building @heliuslabs.
While I'm sure L2s **will** get there, they are not there today, which brings me to the following:
2) pure probability
For Ethereum to successfully scale, you needed (and still need) a ton of conditional events to go right merge, proto-dank sharding, full-dank sharding, L2s, L3s, ZKs, etc.
Even if the probability of each of these things is as high as 90%, you need to chain them together:
For example, 0.9*0.9*0.9*0.9*0.9*0.9 already equals 0.53 or 53% for the overall probability of success.
There is just too much fragility.
On Solana, the conditionals are not only fewer in number but are also more well-known methods (Moore's law, Nielsen's law, HFT systems, telecom networks).
Combine this with the fact that there are already 10x more people working on Ethereum, and the equation for contributing to the future success of crypto is very clearly skewed towards working on Solana.
You need to maximize the design space and paths taken — this is why tribalism (while useful in some contexts) is counterproductive from a pure engineering perspective.
This is more of a personal (and dramatic) reason and how I grew up, but I'm incredibly paranoid and do not take any day for granted.
You get one day closer to death every single day; I do not have the time to wait several years for the entire roadmap to go live (full danksharding is several years away). And even then, success is far from guaranteed.
We are in a race against tradfi, tyranny, and the existing system every single day. Time is not on our sid, at all. We must do everything we can to accelerate.
You can already build fast, cheap, scalable applications on Solana right *this* second — and this is all that ultimately matters.
Of course, since three years ago, I've gathered more reasons (for example, the pragmatic pragmatic mindset over the overly academic mindset) — but I thought it was interesting that the primary 3 stayed the same.
If there is ever a platform that enables this while being decentralized and secure, I will fully support it.