Joshua Sibug, or more commonly known as Spawn in the web3 space, is a community developer and acting Chief Product Officer for Nextus Growth. Besides that, he is also a Crypto Pinas core member and is currently building Virion Labs.
🎤 Tell us something about yourself.
Thank you so much to The Mega Maxi for this opportunity to share my story and, of course, to Danesh for considering me. Here’s a short introduction to myself. I consider myself a creative problem solver. I can easily find a workaround for almost everything.
At a very young age, I started exploring the world of computers and technology. 6 years old is when I started tinkering around with programming languages. I was super engrossed with Visual Basic, C++, and batch files.
I was a member of the Philippine Robotics Team and competed in the 2008 World Robotics Olympics, which were held in Pohang, South Korea. We proudly raised the Philippine flag and competed with other Southeast Asian countries.
In addition to tech and computers, science also fascinates me. My dream growing up was to be a scientist or a doctor and provide free services to those who could not afford them.
Throughout my academic career before college, I always excelled in anything science related without heavy effort. I graduated as a medical technology student, and yes, I am a proud career shifter.
I’m a very chill and relaxed person. I’m the kid that always has a positive outlook, to the point where, when faced with a problem, I just take it lightly or laugh at it. Not because I don’t care, but because I know sooner or later I’ll be able to find a solution and that this will just be an awesome memory to look back on in the future.
I believe that our mistakes and failures are not there to break us, but to shape us into better versions of ourselves. However, when it comes to all my endeavors and passions in life, it’s something that I don’t take lightly.
Each and every one of us has the freedom to completely take control of who we are and what we want to be. Regardless of the current situation we’re in, at the end of the day, we are the captain of our own ship. We choose when to set sail, we choose the destination, and we choose the crew members. And it’s only ourselves that we can blame if nothing fruitful happens.
What were you doing before Web3?
Before Web3 even became a term, I was already researching Bitcoin. I was very curious about encryption and decentralization.
During that time, the only accessible way to get your hands on some Bitcoin was through mining. So actually, my biggest regret was not buying or mining Bitcoin, which was dirt cheap during that time.
But, looking back If I bought Bitcoin and became a Bitcoin millionaire, I don’t think I would discover this awesome community that I now belong to. And meet all the talented people in Web3.
Being a digital nomad is something that really spoke to me very early. Simply because I fell in love with the idea of doing everything from home or having the freedom to work from anywhere. And having complete control of your own time.
That’s something that not everyone has access to, and I’m really grateful that I was able to position myself early in this trend. This was also when I started researching online opportunities, freelancing, and the possibility of working from the comfort of your own home.
As far as I can remember, UpWork was still called Odesk before. Back then, it was harder to onboard companies as a remote worker. Now that it’s more accessible, I’m happy that almost everyone now has a chance to live a life wherein working no longer means two-hour commutes and extra budgeting for day-to-day needs.
I was already working from home even before working from home became a thing. I started as an executive virtual assistant and data entry expert. After that, I shifted to customer support and project management before discovering my current niche, which is community development and internal marketing focused on Web3 communities.
While building my experience, I also tried to venture into the world of business and created a clothing brand together with my best friends called “Kin & Folk”. The goal of Kin & Folk was to gather funds through the sale of merchandise and raise awareness for all the untapped artists we have here in the Philippines.
The money raised will be used to give these independent artists a place to show off their work and, hopefully, break into the mainstream. Sadly, due to some logistical issues brought upon by the pandemic, we only had 2 batch productions before we called it quits.
While freelancing online, I also did affiliate marketing and explored the world of digital marketing. I found a specific niche wherein I was able to create a gold mine by selling the system I used to multiple individuals. I had this idea that instead of me doing the tasks or work, why not create systems for people to leverage the opportunity. So I let go of the upfront opportunity, created a system around the upfront opportunity, and then sold it to consumers. STONKS!
How did you get into Web3?
I got really good feedback from my first client on UpWork, which led to more Web3 projects and companies coming to me.
I didn’t even know that community management was such a big deal for these projects and companies.
This was when NFTs were starting to rise. The only projects I can remember during those times were Crypto Kitties, Crypto Punks, the Pepes NFT, and the earliest version of Axie Infinity.
I simply chose to do community management because it was heavily tied to Discord. I think during that time, my base understanding of community management was someone who operated and kept Discord communities active.
And for me, that was super fun. I didn’t even feel like I was working. But then, as I worked on my following projects, that’s when I started learning the ins and outs of community management.
Community managers should not only be focused on Discord but on all community platforms as a whole. As a community manager, you are in charge of every single audience the project has, whether it be on Twitter, Discord, Telegram, Clubhouse, or Slack.
This is also where I became more passionate about the position. I started to educate myself about core KPIs and how to exploit community platforms to deliver a solid community experience. How to leverage the power of communication and how to develop strategies that prolong the excitement factor for every single member.
Besides that, I also started studying how NFT projects launch. Then I proceeded to create my own systems based on those projects. Slowly and slowly, I find myself lessening the need to use UpWork to find clients, and more and more clients reach out to me because of recommendations.
What was your first crypto or NFT project?
To be honest, this is something I’m very secretive about. But for the love of the community, let’s go!
First ever crypto that I invested in was ETH. But, the first crypto that opened doors for me was Polkadot.
Luckily, I was able to ride Polkadot’s insane pump. First NFT project I got into was Cryptobatz. And then the next biggest investment jump for me was Axie Infinity.
Everything between Cryptobatz and Axie were expensive learning curves. STONKS
How would you explain what you do to someone outside of Web3?
To simply put, I help companies and projects reach their desired audiences, maintain their expectations and make sure they understand what they’re getting themselves into.
Good communication is key to creating a good community.
Which creator or thought leader do you enjoy learning from?
On the international level, it’s going to be Gary Vee and Brett Malinowski. Locally, it’s going to be Jan Jan Quilantang.
Not because we’re friends in real life, but simply because his content really provides value to everyone who wants to learn about web3.
Plus, he together with the entire Crypto Pinas core members encouraged me to expand my network in the local scene.
What is the biggest highlight of your career so far?
To be honest, I’m not sure if I’ve already made an impact. However, I’m proud to have mentored a few individuals and happy to know that they have already found their places in Web3.
Another thing is being able to provide opportunities to our fellow Filipinos by providing them with employment and free mentoring.
By no means do I consider myself an expert in my field. However, I find joy in helping people who are lost and don’t know where to start by teaching them the ins and outs of the industry. And the core fundamentals that I discovered when I was in their position.
Nothing beats the satisfaction of helping someone and seeing them progress. When I was starting out, no one was there to guide me. That’s why, if given the chance to help guide people, without second thoughts, I would.
Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime. These are the biggest highlights for me, aside from, of course, being recognized by an international community and working on multiple projects even during the bear market.
What tech or crypto trend are you watching this year?
Definitely AI! But it’s a double edged sword. What excites me is the fact that AI is no longer just part of hollywood.
It’s already here, and it’s readily available for everyone to use. We’re only seeing the beginning of AI yet it’s already very powerful.
What advice would you give someone starting out in Web3?
Do not enter the scene with the hopes of making quick cash. Nothing in life happens easily. And another man’s success may not be applicable to you.
If you’re wanting to start a career in Web3, learn the ins and outs, expect the worst, and find a good mentor. Position yourself well and make yourself stand out by being just who you are.
We are all created differently. Do not try to be someone you are not. And of course, always remember that yes, the destination is important, but the journey is also important.
It might take you months or years before you achieve success or a certain type of fame, but no matter how long it takes, do it with love and passion.
Throughout the process of achieving your goals in Web3, you will meet great people, join good communities, and learn new skills, and that itself is a win.
Success is arbitrary. It doesn’t only mean financial gains. If you’re feeling lost and really want to become a Web3 talent, feel free to reach out.
I, together with all the people in Web3, are more than willing to help you. Web3 is such a welcoming place. And for those aspiring community managers, learn the real meaning of community management.
We’re at this stage where the line between being a community manager and a moderator has already been blurred. Only those who really understand what community management is will stand out, so use that to your advantage. Understand the responsibilities, understand the system, and exercise creativity. Make a name for yourself, learn how to network, and never let the veterans intimidate you. You’re going to make it!
If you could do a TEDtalk on any topic, what would it be?
Community management and the psychology of excitement. Exploring the power of excitement and prolonging this feeling to shape the community’s behavior and decision-making process ultimately leading to mass adoption of products or industries.
What is the one thing you would bring if you were stuck on a deserted Island?
A crab. Help unstuck a fellow organism. Then we can create an NFT project solely for raising funds for the crab. DEGENS WATCH OUT! THE NEXT BIG THING IS HERE.
POW stands for “Proof of Work.” It is a new feature article series in The Mega Maxi to highlight the savviest builders in the Web3 space.