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Crypto cities and chip crises

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Your five-minute guide to the best of Protocol (and the internet) from the week that was, from dark modes to delivery apps to crypto scams and not-scams.

The best of Protocol

Reid Hoffman on Facebook, anti-vaxxers and LinkedIn leaving China, by Issie Lapowsky

  • Hoffman has seen a lot, and has smart (and nuanced) thoughts on everything from content moderation to the pros and cons of the global technology business. And some simple but powerful advice for tech companies everywhere: Speak to your intent.

Consulting firms aren't just recommending software anymore, they're building it, by Aisha Counts

  • I think it was Gandhi who said, "The only way forward is vertical integration." As consulting giants work to help clients figure out a tech-powered future and a new world of work, they're increasingly building that future in-house. And taking on Big Tech in the process.

The crypto conundrum: Is that hot meme coin a shiba inu or a squid? by Ben Pimentel

  • Two coins everybody thought were kind of a joke. One disappeared quickly, along with millions of people's dollars. The other is now pushing $40 billion in value. Understanding the difference, and learning to tell winners from losers, is key to the future of crypto.

Play-to-earn games could take crypto mainstream, by Tomio Geron

  • PSA: You can 100% spend the next few days playing Axie Infinity and still call it work. Axie, and the play-to-earn, NFT-powered ecosystem it's ushering into the mainstream, are key to understanding why so many people are excited about blockchain games.

People with unlimited PTO aren't taking it. These companies are making it mandatory, by Michelle Ma

  • Would you take a five-day vacation? How about for $1,000? That's the kind of thing some companies are having to offer in order to get employees to take time off in an era where "unlimited" and "flexible" PTO policies are all too often having the opposite effect.

Dracula: The dark mode color scheme with a cult following of coders, by Lizzy Lawrence

  • One guy, fed up with ugly apps, managed to redesign more than 200 of them in the same dark style. And coders love it. Dracula is yet another reminder that in an increasingly screen-based world, there's a mint to be made making those screens a little nicer to look at.


73% of suburban, urban and rural teens agreed that digital skills are critical for getting the best jobs for their generation. Most Gen Z youth are more tech savvy than previous generations, but still millions of them do not have the reliable broadband or technical skills to thrive in an increasingly complex world.

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The best of everything else

'It's not sustainable': What America's port crisis looks like up close – The New York Times

  • It's hard to understand what a supply chain crisis looks like until you get to the Port of Savannah and see 80,000 shipping containers just … sitting there. This story's a good dive into how things got this bad, and why fixing the problem is even harder than it seems.

How four NFT novices created a billion-dollar ecosystem of cartoon apes — Rolling Stone

  • Bored Ape Yacht Club is a funny name for a tech giant, and yet here we are. The group behind the apes is more than just an NFT cash grab, though; it's trying to build a world around its creations, an exclusive digital club that's as much the art project as the artworks themselves.

'It's like being ripped into two': Chipotle workers overwhelmed by online orders and furious customers — MarketWatch

  • Do you ever walk into an empty-ish restaurant and wonder why everything's still so backed up? Here's why. And why the relentless, multiplatform world of online ordering, where everybody's at the front of the line and nobody's picking up their own order, is running workers into the ground.

Crypto Cities — Vitalik Buterin

  • Eric Adams wants to get paid in bitcoin. So does Francis Suarez. And Buterin, the creator of ethereum, makes a convincing case here that cities — like New York and Miami, but also many others — are the exact place that crypto believers should be trying to build new and interesting crypto things.

Energy, and how to get it — The New Yorker

  • Be honest: You've taken up midday napping during the pandemic. (If you haven't, you are absolutely missing out.) Energy is a strange and fickle thing, and it turns out we're only just beginning to understand how it works — and how we can use it to our advantage both at work and at home. (But seriously, friends: naps.)

The Shitposting Gods of Silicon Valley — Pirate Wires

  • Mike Solana is never boring, but this is a particularly fun issue of his Substack newsletter. In it: thoughts on the supply chain crisis, the metaverse and — most interesting — how we should talk about the problems faced by a few employees in a big company. You won't agree with everything here, but it's a good take anyway.


"This year alone, 4-H teens will educate more than 50,000 adults across 18 states. By introducing these skills early, we are helping to build the pipeline of young people who will be ready for today's jobs." - Jennifer Sirangelo, National 4-H Council

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