Over the last year I became the proud owner of The Furry Lisa, among several other one-of-a-kind digital creations often referred to as “crypto art” or “NFTs” (non-fungible tokens — a special type of cryptographic token and digital contract that represents something specific and unique as opposed to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies and tokens that are fungible). But before I explain the personal significance of The Furry Lisa (and break down the major players in this space and the mind-blowing broader implications), let me start with a bold proclamation:

This NFT world is likely the greatest unlock of artist opportunity…

As we pull ourselves out of the ditch that was 2020, there are a few major themes of the future I’m particularly excited about. Like previous years, I am sharing them as a way to connect more dots, meet more founders, and solicit input to further develop these ideas. No surprise, some of the companies I mention within these trends are in my own portfolio or related to my work. But I have challenged myself to share ideas still on the cusp of breakout rather than the obvious trends and winners.

  1. “Decentralized” is spreading to unexpected places.
  2. The Era of…

The pandemic is not only forcing us to reconsider how we work, it’s also unlocking gains — and potential efficiencies — we accrued but never fully realized. The implications are far reaching and worthy of consideration.

No doubt, within teams and organizations, this pandemic has forced us to make tough decisions and has accelerated our adoption of new tech and business practices that enable us to work remotely. A less discussed result of this black-swan event, especially as we emerge out of it, will be the sudden realization of potential productivity gains that we’ve accrued over the last decade but never taken full advantage of. The power of this global forcing function will massively refactor how we work — and reveal the new value of creativity.


Despite how excited we get about new tech (Slack, Airtable…

If new mediums take off only when they fundamentally change our everyday life, what are the daily implications of augmented reality? What are some principles for the adoption of new mediums?

On the prospects of augmented reality, opinions vary widely in my conversations with fellow investors, designers, and technologists. Many investors consider the space “many years away,” “un-investable,” “not practical,” and “far from certain.” At the same time, the designers and developers building the platform and authoring products for the space believe it is “inevitable,” “transformative,” and poised to change our everyday life as we know it — sooner than we think.

Since the best investors are most persuaded by present trends (rather than potential future trends), it is no surprise that augmented reality may be a bit far off to…

In the age of A.I. and machine learning, just being more productive won’t cut it. The future belongs to the creatives.

The Productivity-Creativity Inversion

When leaders face the challenge of scaling their teams, they hire people to replicate many of the tasks they were doing. Sure, you might be able to do the mundane aspects of your job, but you’re better off hiring someone else to do it so you can concentrate on your more important value: thinking creatively and strategically about your product and company’s future.

In a sense, humanity has been doing the same thing for centuries: “hiring” people and machines to take over every mundane and repetitive action that consumes our natural human resources (work, energy, carbs — however you want…

I’ve received over a dozen emails and calls in the past year asking about lessons learned from Prefer, a team I helped gather and advise that ultimately shut down. Among all the ideas and new teams I’ve encountered, Prefer is still one of those products that I believe needs to exist. I get excited when I come across other entrepreneurs seeking to solve this problem so I figured I’d share some take-aways for the benefit of others exploring the space.

Prefer started as an idea I shared with a few other entrepreneurs I respect, just as I started my stint…

Product teams tend to be all about launches. They develop projects in secret, then focus all their attention on the big release. But what about the middle of product development? That’s when you’re struggling to figure things out and when you learn the most.

Within the companies I know, teams increasingly want to be more “real-time” with their customers, being more transparent about what they’re developing and why, and getting feedback during the process. …

Forecasting the future is a fun exercise. I like to ask the question, “what about our work and lives today will feel ridiculous ten plus years from now?” What about the future will feel obvious in retrospect?

Future forecasts are not an investment thesis because innovations, no matter how exciting they are, won’t happen until the present is ready for them (and this is why the best investors are more insightful about the present than they are about the future). But if you’re a product leader, entrepreneur, or very early-stage investor, future thinking tunes your attention and instincts. …

Excited to launch a collaboration with Jessica Hische, an amazing lettering artist and illustrator I deeply respect and have known since the early days of Behance. Alongside the launch of THE MESSY MIDDLE, Jessica transformed three of the book’s 100+ insights into a limited series of illustrations. (and if you want one…read your way to the bottom).

THE MESSY MIDDLE distills 5+ years of interviews with legendary founders, artists, and executives about their middle journeys down to 100+ insights for founders, artists, and leaders of bold projects and new ventures. …

A new battle is brewing to be the default of every choice we make. As modern interfaces like voice remove options, augmented reality overlays our physical world, and artificial intelligence gains our trust by transcending our own reasoning, DEFAULTS WILL RULE THE WORLD.

I’ve come to call them disruptive interfaces — drastically simpler and more accessible interfaces that ultimately commoditize everything underneath.

Scott Belsky

founder @Behance, cpo @Adobe, early stage investor and product obsessive; author of Making Ideas Happen and The Messy Middle. http://scottbelsky.com

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