Why I Left My Office Job : The Blockchain Ecosystem Will Empower A Better, Stronger, More Collaborative Future

in freedom •  2 years ago  (edited)

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Creative Seeking Empowerment…


For years, I have been looking for an innovative, open and collaborative community. Last summer, I stumbled into Steemit. I never imagined that exactly 12 months later I would be making an incredibly challenging decision to pivot away from a promising career as an architect in order to embrace a new technological frontier.

I believe that the momentum of decentralized platforms like Steemit will kickstart a new and open-sourced age of making, sharing and building. This post details a bit of my own personal quest and hope for the blockchain ecosystem to become a powerful resource for creatives and communities all over the globe.

Beginnings as an Artist in Berlin


For me, the quest for a collaborative commons began in Berlin, Germany.

In 2011, I graduated from architecture school and immediately moved to Berlin alongside three other designers. The four of us bought one-way tickets. We packed pens, pencils, paper and sketch books. We rented a tiny studio space out of a reclaimed East German prison complex (hey, it was cheap!) and immediately got to work. We sought to make and imagine architecture through art.

Our collective work was never just about the final - framed - product. We pushed ourselves to communicate with one another through pen and paper, using our individual styles as a way of group problem solving. This design-method expanded. We frequently collaborated with a community of Berlin creatives as we realized the potential to make work on paper, on the wall, sculpture and into architecture.

We were successful at exhibitions. @hitheryon had dozens of them over the course of three years. People loved seeing and learning about the process of our bauhaus-ian craft. We had our first solo show in December of 2011. Later in 2012 we were featured in a segment on Arte TV. In the Summer of 2014 we were part of an incredible group exhibition at Den Frie Museum of Contemporary Art in Copenhagen. But, for all the good attention we received, we did poorly when it came to selling our work. We sold a number of our drawings, but it was never enough to support the four of us. People were always more enthralled by the process of our work than they were willing to purchase the final product. For a typical gallery, the product was always the ultimate point. There was so much pressure on that final piece to sell. This “all or nothing” approach deeply hurt our practice.

The four of us craved a venue that could attribute value to our process (as well as our final product) but never found it. Our experiment suffered and eventually, we left Berlin.

A Retreat to the Traditional Workplace


I left Berlin and moved back to the states. Though I worked more traditional "9-5" jobs, I did bring an energy and passion for collaboration back with me. Architecture (especially in New York City) had too much ego and not enough context. I wanted to learn more about the canvas beyond the footprint of a single building. This new scope of pushed me into the world of urban design and city planning. To some, that sounds like even more ego! But to me it felt like a larger scale of our collaborative Hither Yon drawings.

For the last few years I’ve worked in an architecture and urban design firm in New York City. I’ve been incredibly lucky to have worked on projects all over the world and have been even more fortunate to see the fruits of my labor manifest themselves in the shapes of buildings, city-blocks and streetscapes.

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  • Giralda Avenue Streetscape, Florida. Through this design, pen and paper became stone and mortar. I spent thousands of hours working on this paving pattern and was incredibly lucky to watch it become real. (Still under construction!)

Tools of the “9-5” Trade


Still though, the processes of professional practice were deeply traditional. An architecture firm today isn’t so different from an architecture firm 100 years ago. The tools might look different. But a drafting desk is functionally the same as AutoCAD (a digital drawing software) … all we’ve done is swap a pencil for a cursor. Computer drawing is an imitation game. Software does it’s best to imitate how an architect draws a line from point A to B.

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Over the last few years I witnessed firms grow increasingly dependent on employees who were good at software, and not necessarily those who were good at design. I saw several friends and colleagues fired for not keeping pace with the software surrounding them. Today, I know the software very well… but… 10 years from now? Not a chance. The software-centric corporate ladder felt like a race that was impossible to win. After a few years in my office I realized that I was beginning to focus more on learning the tools and less on the quality of design.

Discovering The Melting Pot of Steemit


I was anxious for something different. I started looking for new resources that might empower my practice. I wanted a venue for something visual, communicative and adaptable. I had been through the online mill of social media and had exhausted so many options. It was really like a Goldilocks scenario... nothing fit. Twitter was too fleeting, Tumblr felt invisible, Instagram felt fake, and Facebook became increasing isolating. All of them felt as if I was working the same chaotic ladder-style game.

Last summer, I stumbled into the Steemit ecosystem completely by chance. “The Internet’s Small Town” the landing page beamed. I began to flip through the pages and found a community of artists, designers, engineers, photographers, writers, travelers and entrepreneurs. It felt like a melting pot glowing with genuine conversation and excitement. I was completely hooked. I joined the blockchain under the moniker “lgm-1” (just over 1 year ago now!) Steemit felt empowering. And it jolted something inside me that I hadn’t felt since drawing collaboratively among four friends in a Berlin studio several years earlier.

Empowering Creative Process


Finally, a venue to value process! This was the illusive thing I was looking for since the Berlin days. Steemit isn’t a polished art gallery or a quiet museum… it’s more like a communal work desk. It’s a place where you can share raw thinking and receive constructive and honest feedback.

Sketchbooks, bar napkins, eraser residue, smudges, study models, late nights, early mornings, crumpled-up paper and globs of paint... The creative “process” can be where the best stories are hiding. It’s where the artist’s rigor, passion and craftsmanship are brought to a boil. The “final” piece is just a small window into a much bigger landscape. With Steemit, creatives are finding a platform to share the stories beyond the frame.

A Collaborative Commons with @sndbox


Today, it’s time to take a risk. Steemit is an exciting piece of what some call the “collaborative commons”… it’s a disruptive pivot in the great social media experiment. The STEEM ecosystem is cultivating a new environment to explore the impact of a global network on local communities.

I left my job to pursue the collaborative commons through @sndbox. An incubator project built on the STEEM blockchain. I’m excited to push forward in this new endeavor alongside my Berliner brother @hansikhouse. Together, we're going to do many more projects like STEEM Park and empower other community oriented creatives around the globe.

The blockchain ecosystem will kickstart a new and open-sourced age of making, sharing and building. From here on, I'll be working hard to bring this new age just a few steps closer. STEEM on!


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I can feel the fear, in my throat, when I have to make a decision this big..
Not easy to leave behind so much security, for a life of passion. But I do enjoy my life more; and living day to day, is an adventure, in comparison to the "grind".
I end up making lots of new friends on steemit, because most of the folks I used to work with, or people I know, can't be bothered to join steemit and learn how it works.
They think about it, but they are afraid..

an adventure, in comparison to the "grind".

Amen to that. Here's to more adventures @surfyogi, thanks so much for thoughtful reply and support!

you've made the correct decision.

GREAT award winning post! Follow me @lurehound

i am yet to see the videos but got a quick question in mind does it not let you have any fear in mind of being free away from a fixed hour job ??

Absolutely! Fear is something that can paralyze you, but it can also force you to innovate.

I'm a believe that the traditional 9-5 workplace carries deep (out-of-date) flaws and that blockchain resources will empower a more organic type workplace. Here's hoping for an innovative tomorrow!

To be honest this question just kept revolving in my Head but had not asked anyone since its kinda awkward i guess but thank you so much for replying me means a lot,i am kind of same thoughts but that fear just stops me

Of course :)

All we can hope for... is to discover a passion for something. If you discover that, work hard to find ways of pursuing it (sustainably). Sometimes that means moving away from a fixed hour job, other times it means moving into a fixed hour job.

Resources like Steemit are providing a new means to pursue things that you're passionate about. That's an exciting thing to witness.

thank you so much , now i too kinda feel that it all up to us how we see our self and what we are comfortable with its the passion which leads to our destination

Omg, drawing one of those paintings takes a lot of time!
Yeah, I have the same feeling about the future of the blockchain. Let's hope for better and work hard.

Hours and hours! (If Steemit existed back then, I'd be blogging like wild.) Thanks for your comment and support. Here's to something better!

I couldn't agree more the Blockchain Ecosystem will empower a better future! This is definitely worth an upvote and a resteem :)

Thanks for the support Steem 'boss! ;)

I've always found that taking a calculated risk is by far the right decision for personal fulfillment and defining your path. Glad you made the big leap and are charging ahead as an entrepreneur. Big things in the future.

Big leaps are abound this year. Thank you for the kind words of support and encouragement my friend. Let's charge ahead into something exciting together. Onwards and upwards!

Some day I want to get away from working my corporate job. Even though it pays pretty well, I get two good bonuses per year and the benefits are great, I feel like I die a little bit each day that I spend there sitting at a desk under fluorescent lights in a room tomb with no windows. I spend very little time designing and it seems I have to spend more and more time playing the game of corporate politics with management who has no idea what's going on in their own dept. They're too busy with all the cross function team activities they create, special initiatives which never lead anywhere, and all the other dog and pony show crap that takes away from us doing what we're actually supposed to do (design and build machinery). But enough ranting about my corporate hell...

I remember back in the early 2000's when AutoCAD was the software of choice for engineers and it was less user-friendly back then. I'm a mechanical designer and I usually use Solidworks to design machinery. It's amazing to me that it all used to be by pencil and paper on a drafting board.

That's inspiring to me to see others who wanted more than to work under someone else for their whole lives and have gone out on their own to create their own destiny. My hat is off to you.

Thank you so much for your thoughtful reply and support! Clearly, there's a serious percentage of people within the corporate workplace who feel the same way. So many are paralyzed (with the politics) and ripe for something disruptive. Exciting times ahead. Thank you again @cryptokeepr.

cheers @voronoi, I love this story and learning more about the inside of your creative interests and pursuits . Hearty congratulations for taking the leap and following where your heart has taken you!

Steemit isn’t a polished art gallery or a quiet museum… it’s more like a communal work desk.

So feeling this- though I imagine your part of the desk is a lot tidier than mine.
Resteeming because it is awesome.

It's been such an awesome place to explore and experiment! It's only been a year... and you're right, my desk is a little too tidy. Here's hoping for a little more mess over the year to come. Thanks as always for your support @opheliafu :)

Good one @voronoi, I like it when people move out of their 'supposed comfort zones' and engage in doing good.

It's good to have some skin in the game my friend! Let's engage and empower some good together :)

  ·  2 years ago (edited)

Your work is amazing! I especially like the Giralda Avenue Streetscape. I wish I had that design on my back patio. Your right, Steemit has great potential and we need Steemians like you to help us overcome obstacles and move forward. It is kind of
funny, right before I read your post I was thinking, "What if I had the guts to quit my job and start working on a crypto project?"

Hey thanks @bbrewer! Likewise I wish Giralda was just around the corner ;)

Glad it resonated with you! Who knows where we'll be a year from now.

That is one of the greatest things about life. Sometimes we get to look back and marvel about how far we have come.

Very daring and very YOLO haha. As usual, in supportive of your works. That said.. I need to clear out more of my following list to have a better home feed.. Time to focus ;)

Hahaha I went full YOLO on this one. As always, thank you for your support man! It's focus time, let's make the change happen!

voronoi, thanks for taking the risk and challenge to make Steemit work for artists. Your journey is a prime example of how in the new sharing economy one can build a life with a focus on their content, data, ideas and network. Upvoted resteemed and following.

@traderdad thanks so much for your thoughtful support and enthusiasm. Content, data, ideas and network will propel the web forward into the 21st century.

You are an inspiration @veronoi. This fear is so deep, and so real. My question to you is how do we get this platform to the people who can't even get to the stable promising career, which they decide to leave? A challenge, but an important one. Bottom up, not top down, right?

Thanks for your Words!

Thank you @awillbrown! An important question. It's a grass-roots web we're rebuilding here. The internet is far too top-heavy these days... Steemit is flipping the preconception of how value can be mined and distributed through the web.

wow, this is really an epic post.

Hahaha now that's an epic shoutout. Your support means a lot! Thanks so much @stellabelle :)

Congratulations on your upwards journey and continuing success. Although it's been over a year, it's a drop in the bucket. As the old saying goes " The best is yet to come".

Steem on

Always! :)

It is good to see that your decision to join the Steem community was very rewarding. You mentioned how people were interested in the process of you made your work rather than buying the end product. From my limited understanding as art observer, I can understand how artists want to be able to sell their work for a living and also I can understand viewers wanting to see the great art but not being in a position to take a piece home. It is a unfortunate conundrum, as you most likely figured out.

The good news however, is that you have stumbled upon a community of people who might be able to help overcome the aforementioned issue (artists needing art bought and gallery viewers not being a position to). Steem as a blockchain allows users to be able to reward those who they find interesting without inuring a financial loss themselves. This way, you can choose to post your work, even if only in the idea stage or a work in progress and Steemians can see your efforts and reward you without loosing money themselves. This way, creators like yourself can do your work, even if it is not in a sellable state and get paid by people who don't lose any money from supporting you. As a bonus, you may even find some people willing to buy your work here.

Exactly! On point @cryptowolf. Steemit can mediate the risk we place on the final product... since the process can be monetized. It also could mean than good art (final product) can be sold for less to people who may appreciate it more.

That's what's up @voronio, keep grinding and doing you man!

Hey thanks for the support @blockchainbros! The future is here, let's get at it.

A big, articulate statement! Very clear and positive about a future that we can imagine, if not actually see and be in - for the moment. As a proud early participant in @sndbox, I'm dipping a toe in the same waters, testing the possibilities and the potential for transformation. I believe it should and can happen, but it will require a lot of like-minded people participating on this platform, experiencing its rewards, and taking their work to the next level. That's the ultimate proof of concept, isn't it?

Thanks @kenfinkel! It will require a lot of work and cooperation. But that's what the web was built for! STEEM is really altering the perception of value of content on the internet. It's so shocking for some or immediately dismissed. I wish we applied that same rigor and critique to social media platforms we use daily, like facebook or twitter.

A true proof of concept is beginning to build... This is an exciting experiment to be a part of!

What an amazing journey to creative freedom. I will be following you to see what comes next.

Thank you!

Wonderful post... Blessings

Thank you @andrewramdas!

No problem @voronoi

great post! cheers for sharing, steem on

Thanks so much for reading! Steem on my friend!

great efforts mate nice job.

Great to have your support!

Why you left job ? you have already done great job as architect.

Well thanks! But architecture firms need some honest change. While I deeply respect the practice of architecture, it's too isolating and not collaborative enough with the communities projects are designed to serve.

yep you are right and glad to hear that you still respect the practice.

A deep respect, always!

a great post, upvoted

Thank you!

Great post.

Thank you!

For an creative personnel, 9-5 job is a big obstacle. It is great to see blockchain is empowering people to pursue their dream. Good luck!

Many thanks @theia7!

Great post, thanks for sharing! I recently left my job for some of the same reasons, it is a huge risk. Your story is inspiring and motivational!

So glad this resonated with you! All the power to you! :)

Nice to read about your inspiring life journey. I wish you lots of success on this amazing platform.

Many thanks for the support @practicaleric!

Super cool. I live in NYC and still trying to figure out what you guys are doing and why so I'll stay tuned :)

Awesome! We'll keep you updated :)

Wish I can do this. Hopefully my steemaccount will quickly equal my salary so that I can quit my 9-5 job.

It helps! But think of the whole of blockchain too. More and more of these resources (Steem included) could one day render the 9-5 obsolete. I think we're entering a new, more organic kind of workplace...

you have my support wish you the best @voronoi

Paraphrasing fight club here... 'you are not your job, you are not the car you drive, you are not how much money you have in the bank'.
Only problem is we've become an ant species working for the greater evil and tethered to the banking system through heavy debts! Risk is now the riskiest business in town!

Love it. We're overdue for a little disruption aren't we? ... Though, I do have a weakspot for ikea furniture ;)

It's great my friend! Steem on!!!

Thank you!! :)

Sounds amazing but i am stil pretty sceptical about leaving my well payed job for a chance of making it big

Of course! I'm not advocating for folks to quit their good jobs. For me, the scenario made sense to dive in. Big is great, impact is greater.

All the best on your road after leaving the tread-wheel environment!

Thank you!

Brave of you my friend. But more than brave its smart.

Very kind of you, thanks for the awesome support!

Blockchain is the future. Blockchain will change the world.

Amen to that!

This is a great post, and you have broken free from the corporate slavery, something I hope to do as well. Congrats! Now following.

Thanks for the support @kp138!

STEEM on! This was well written and encouraging. There are certain career decisions I plan to be making in the next few months . Good luck to you.

Thanks for the support @cgeni!

Wonderful posr

Thank you!

I very much agree with you Sir @voronoi, sometimes I also think so, if I will be leaving my job in the Office and more focus to this platform and the bitcoin course. because the view of the development of the bitcoin price continued to rise significantly, and certainly also the fans of steemit every day growing. and enthusiastic in this steemit not lose magnitude compared to the other with social media.

Thank you for your feedback @herzaseptian. The crypto world is still very young and has a lot of learning and growing to do. But yes, I believe there's opportunity to be had. It'll take work, but there are exciting things at play out there in the blockchain universe. Cheers!

If we dedicate sometimes helping steem network to get known to public, using steemit.com. Then our future here is promising, if that time would come, we have a good reason to fired our office job.

Lot's of growth ahead of us! Let's leave the web better than when we found it.

Indeed! Our common goal, earning some dollar is only a bonus!

very good to hear you are doing this. You are a person to look up to and help us build a better future for it. Great!

Wow thanks for the generous support @brothermic!

Your journey is very inspiring! I hope to get there someday. Thank you for setting an example to others. For now, got to go through hell and back to complete that damn bachelor :P life is hard haha. I wish you the best of success 👌🏻💗

Thanks so much for the support and kind words @steemityourway :)

The pleasure is mine . 💙😘

  ·  2 years ago (edited)

Mmmh. It is indeed time to take a risk! But no risk no fun :)

I wish you good luck!

No risk no fun indeed! Many thanks for the support @lemouth! Lot's of adventure ahead :D

This is so inspirational

Thanks so much @davidrestrepo! I'm glad it resonated with you :D

This post received a 2.2% upvote from @randowhale thanks to @voronoi! For more information, click here!

I like the way you work randowhale ;)

WOW, you're very amazing to accomplish your achievements and do the job you love. I agree that Steemit has a bright future, but the cynic in me is quite worried that rich elite families like Roschild or Bilderberg will purchase cryptocurrencies and take over them.

More risk to stay in the 9 to 5 glut. Well done for taking the plunge I will do something similar at end of year when I have saved a buffer fund. But I'm wondering is steem activities alone supporting you or are you living off savings? When do you expect to break even? Ultimately we all gotta pay dem bills....

You're really making a big decision. But it's a good thing that you're going to live a life of your passion but sometimes only passion isn't enough to live a life.
Hope for the Best for you in your Life. God Bless You.

Thank you so much!

Good sharing . Weldone

Thank you!

Well Done making a life changing decision. A good life can always be the obstacle of a greater life.

Thank you for your support @roliboros :D

Congratulations @voronoi!
Your post was mentioned in the hit parade in the following categories:

  • Comments - Ranked 10 with 104 comments
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Nice post.its very helpfull and motivative for me.thanks

Whoa, your animated gifs are some of the coolest I've seen. Are those originals? Looks that way, because of the cohesive content in your post–the text and imagery really flows together nicely. I think you'd be a shoe-in for an art director in an ad agency (that's my area of study).

Yeah i agree blockchain empower will empower better future. and your work is really amazing :)

great piece. this is a motivational piece. very insightful and useful, especially in a time like this

After seeing yr video and post, May i ask u dont have any fear after u quit yr fixed job. For me, i will afraid if i have not a fixed-income job.

Welcome to the real Tomorrowland.

I, for one, am more than ecstatic to be in the same space as fellow creatives such as yourself.

The work you and your colleagues did in Berlin was a gorgeous amalgamation of Zentangle and architecture that can and will make our world a more beautiful place.

Onward and upward... I've resteemed and upvoted this post; it's awesome.


I just found a baby swallow and posted a story about it. Check it out here!. Or don't. It's cool. :)

This is so inspiring. I've been looking for my own way out of the drudgery of spending my time to make other people rich, rather than myself happy. It's really motivating whenever I find someone who is managing that. I'm sure it's a scary step, I've tried to think about how it will feel for me when I finally take the plunge - excitement surrounded in trepidation is how I imagine it.

I only found @sndbox today but will be following this venture intently.

Thrilled to have your support @andyst81! I'm very happy my story resonated with you. The trepidation is very real, but there's something happening here and a risk needs to be taken. Hold me to it ;)

You have a gifted hands... Your crafts are amazing, it's like idea that came from nothing and you made 'em on the limelight.

On Steemit we are still in the future! By the way your work is good

Hey thanks!

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Great post, thanks for sharing insight into your journey. I love that everyone from artists to professionals to moms and musicians are founding an outlet here on Steemit. I am new here compared to you, only been on 3 months but I really believe in it (and have invested in Steemit accordingly). Look forward to following you.

I appreciate this post as it relates to getting out of the ordinary routine of always doing things the same time and time again. I believe that if you have a dream or a certain goal in life to attain then by all means go after it regardless of any distractions. Determination, persistence and commitment pay off (BIG) in the end. @Voronoi great post.

Thank you. I'm inspired again. You managed to ever so eloquently write down my thoughts. For that I am grateful!

Very interesting and good to know you took the leap of faith! good luck and hope you create more and more architecture that is powerful and has value!

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