April 25, 2022

How to overcome FOMO

For those who follow the startup industry closely – especially super early-stage investment opportunities – it’s easy to be constantly inundated with information. The topic on the end of most people’s tongues’ recently is Web3, and with the technology’s development, offerings, format, and knowledge all iterating so quickly, we’re looking at a growing mood of anxiety around FOMO (Fear of Missing Out).

This is not a healthy situation for entrepreneurs and investors alike. Entrepreneurs might quickly burn themselves out chasing after the latest trend, while investors might feel compelled to make quick judgments on funding without doing the proper reflection or research.

I have more than a few friends afflicted by these issues recently coming to me asking: “How do I get past FOMO?” My answer: focus on the essence and think from the fundamentals to avoid getting sucked in by trends and to get a leg up on information anxiety.

Take blockchain for example. With the industry taking off at such a fast click, lots of people are anxious to become ‘Web3 talents’. However, information in this market is both abundant and fast-moving, creating an environment in which insiders work themselves to death in fear of falling behind, while outsiders distance themselves, thinking they’re too late to the party and can’t catch up.

Indeed, if one focuses on the new models and tools, they are justified in feeling that they aren’t learning fast enough. However, when caught up in technical details, many people end up ignoring the essence of innovation, which is often more about a new paradigm as opposed to a technological revolution. If you put your focus back on the core concepts behind this technology – such as data analysis, streamlining processes, attracting users, and building partnerships – you might discover that there is not a huge gap between the skills needed for Web2 and Web3, and that the wall separating the two is not so unscalable.

Cryptocurrency is another great example of a highly talked-about trend that can make people who don’t understand it feel that they are behind the times. However, try looking at it this way –even if crypto does become the dominant payment model in the future, as of now, blockchain transactions still take minutes or even hours and come with high fees. For crypto to become the mainstream, there are still many technological barriers to overcome.

Personally, I have total faith in blockchain and how it will change our future, but for technology to evolve and proliferate requires time. If we look at trends like blockchain from the tech fundamentals, we still have plenty of time to observe and learn. This knowledge can serve as a soothing balm to our FOMO.

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