My Dearr Sheldon
As I dive deeper into the blockchain and crypto space, I realize that there is an assortment of talents that are flocking to the Web3 world. It has even been said that a pool of talent in Silicon Valley are draining, the devs go into the Web3 domain. I cannot blame them. This is because it’s freeing to be in Web3. It’s where you can express yourself authentically given your inclinations, penchants, idiosyncrasies, and even your foibles.
Speaking about talent, I cannot help but be amazed at Sheldon Dearr’s story and his philosophy in life. Sheldon is the technical lead in Octopus Network, having different responsibilities that are make sure Octopus is looked after. The guy is a tech behemoth, a wealth of information and insight. I consider him a Renaissance man, a polymath. You cannot contain him. His interests cover such diverse fields such as music, politics, philosophy, cybersecurity, investing, and healthcare.
With Octopus Network’s tech lead, dive deep with me (pun intended, of course) into the seabed of Sheldon’s brain, as it were. Here is an exchange of information with him. Please note that some quotes are direct, some are indirect. Others are paraphrased so as to bring out the point given the context.
Arkh: So, Sheldon, where is your hometown?
Arkh: What is it that you like the most about your place?
Sheldon: (I like) the ocean, the farmland and the swamp! Also, (there are) really good sushi and good cuisine variety.
Arkh: have you always lived there?
Sheldon: Nope, I lived in Austin from 2012–2021.
Arkh: What is your university major?
Sheldon: Electronic music composition.
Arkh: If you could turn back time, what would you have pursued as your major?
Sheldon: I could have pursued a dual major in computer science and political science.
Arkh: What minor subject did you enjoy the most?
Sheldon: Finance and biomedicine
Arkh: What are your hobbies?
Sheldon: I don’t have hobbies. Wait, you guys have hobbies?
Arkh: Yes, we do. But I could sense your passion in what you do. I think you consider your career your hobby. May I ask how often you engage in it?
Sheldon: I do what I love 24/7, and that’s digital assets and cybersecurity war games!
Arkh: How does your “hobby” benefit you?
Sheldon: It pays REALLY well.
Arkh: Let’s talk about your career before you came to Octopus Network. What industries were you a part of before blockchain?
Sheldon: I was in the music industry as a musician and operations personnel.
Arkh: Aside from your job, what side projects outside your industry did you do?
Sheldon: Mostly just consumer IT, helping people understand and use technology.
Arkh: Please tell us the story about how you ended up in the blockchain/crypto space.
Sheldon: I read the Bitcoin whitepaper in 2009 at the age of 18. After a decade of watching politics, I thought “there is no way this (Bitcoin) will be tolerated on the corporate internet, but this (Bitcoin) is awesome.” Fast forward to 2013: while working for some of the biggest IT security service providers in the US, I was asked to fight malicious XMR/BTC mining out of 4 corporate networks. Once I saw Bitcoin poking through the Great Firewall [of China] with WINSOCKS, I knew Bitcoin would live for a very long time; and I became obsessed. I have been researching, trying and breaking things ever since!
Arkh: Please tell us the projects that you have been involved with so far in blockchain:
Sheldon: The majority of my engagements are private; however, I was part of a startup called ODDS that was building compliant blockchain automation for businesses and failed due to Amazon’s blockchain product launch.
Arkh: In your current role, what activities do you enjoy the most and why?
Sheldon: I love solution engineering and learning! Effectively, I’m getting to make my knowledge/experience useful for other people. And I get to learn from them while I do! I care more about helping great things along than benefiting from them directly.
Arkh: Any other activities you do in your current role or outside your role? Perhaps programming, coding, writing, recording audio, video, brainstorming, or others that may not be the main tasks?
Sheldon: Outside of crypto, I play Rocket League. And I have started trying some different VR apps.
Arkh: What are your top 3 values, and why?
Sheldon: Intelligence, purpose, and compassion
Intelligence: I want messaging of modern control/propaganda to be as normal as air for Americans and the West, the same way it is normal in Asia and Europe.
Purpose: I believe that intent is only realized with action; and action starts with illuminating conversations. In intending to grow purpose, I know that my purpose is not to serve myself, but to enable others.
Compassion: Trust is hard to start and easy to end. So sympathy for the complexities and challenges of life makes every engagement more smooth and lower risk.
Arkh: As a core member of Octopus Network, what are your strengths from which the team is benefiting?
Sheldon: I have been doing solutioning, technical support, technical product marketing, compliance, and partnership management for about 10 years; I have other skills but these are my pride.
Arkh: What traits do you want to improve in yourself?
Sheldon: I’m constantly focusing on objectivity improvements, to assure that dually/omni-verifiable information is given by me to others in a useful form that does not require person-to-person trust.
Arkh: What do you appreciate about being with Octopus Network?
Sheldon: I left a stable job at Wipro/Schwab to join (Octopus Network) because the value proposition and value added benefits at Octopus are designed to support builders without the regular venture/profit motives that have diluted crypto since the ICO days. Aside from the genuine innovations in interchain technology, which I love, I’m proud to call Octopus Network my home, because of our compassionate and dedicated company culture.
Arkh: How about the dev team, what is it that you like about them?
Sheldon: The dev team at Octopus has a variety of skills, but again their attitude is what makes them such a joy to work with. The normal insecurities and bickering I’ve seen in many project teams are not present here, because we are all focused on the straightforward goal of delivering, supporting, and cultivating real products in Web3 before larger institutions crowd the space further with profit motives and Web2 advertising models.
Arkh: How do you envision Octopus Network in 5 years?
Sheldon: In 5 years we should have more than 100 appchains running and be participating in committees and DAOs to maintain the protocol communally. I think I share the total team sentiment that nobody is betting on the lottery at Octopus, but we know that if we work hard, we will always have opportunity to contribute our expertise and be rewarded fairly by a community who recognizes our contributions.
Arkh: Are there any other questions that are not included here you wish had been asked about you, perhaps anything interesting about you that people may be surprised to know?
Sheldon: Yes! As a person with lots of pains and atypical health issues, I like learning about and utilizing biohacking, eastern medicine, and unappreciated knowledge. For instance, only 15% of medical schools in the US teach about the endocannabinoid system. But your body can use cannabinoids all throughout it, not just in your stomach or lungs! In the future, I’d like to be asked to explain my political policies, but not my opinions about a specific politician or event.
Arkh: Where can people find you online?
Sheldon: I’m not a people person, but I’m happy to chat with anyone who has purpose! Fine me here: https://dot.cards/sheldon
There you go, deep divers! This Renaissance Man, My Dearr Sheldon, is such a pillar in the Web3 space.
Ponder over his thoughts and insights. Appreciate his traits, values, and purpose. And most of all, get to know more about the organization that this polymath has joined, leaving a promising career to join what can be said as a history-making phenomenon — Octopus Network.