Posted on Feb 22, 2024Read on

Infinite Care & Unbounded Attention

This piece of writing was originally published on Cent back on Dec. 18, 2018 under the title “New Governments & New Communities.” I’m re-publishing it here because the promise of proper crypto social products is again palpable, and I believe the tenets of infinite care & unbounded attention are as pertinent as ever for founders of crypto social products in particular to embody and exhibit.

To form a new government requires infinite care and unbounded attention, for if the foundation is badly laid, the superstructure must be bad. ~ George Washington, 1776*

I love that quote because it drives home the ungodly, gargantuan, all-encompassing effort needed to get a new community (or product) the initial traction needed just to have a fighting chance at becoming something more.

Infinite care

You need to have god-level consideration for every new user and their experience. Every pain point needs to be identified and sanded off. When you talk with users, you need to really hear what they're saying and show them love back. And then you gotta follow through and deliver on what you talked about and heard!

Caring infinitely is a self-sustaining practice though. The more you care, the more positive feedback you'll get. Product updates, new features, different perspectives, novel use cases you hadn't considered before - all of these things become possible as a result of providing infinite care that in turn fuels you so that you and your team can continue to move forward and develop the product.

Unbounded attention

The internet never sleeps. Likewise, your product can be used and mentioned anytime, all the time. Your attention needs to always be on your product and users. The time you spend thinking about and monitoring your project is never enough. What's more, you need to pay attention to everything else going on around you (unbounded ftw) because external changes and risks can be just as, if not more consequential than internal or local factors.

Paying attention without limits also means biases and pre-judgments need to get set aside. Seeing things as they really are is paramount. If takes more effort to convince yourself that you are seeing one thing instead of another as opposed to simply seeing one thing or another. This clarity and energy-conserving attention are as self-reinforcing as the benefits of infinite care.

And all this effort is just to ensure that the foundation is properly laid.

We're talking about basic table stakes. There is still so much more to build and so much more that can go wrong!

But if infinite care describes you and at least a couple other members of your team, and if you and your partner-in-crime(s) can focus your attention on anything and everything all the damn time, well then those next features or mechanisms will start to present themselves in a way that begins to make sense within a bigger picture that in turn continues to be revised and checked against reality at every step of the way.

Historical Leadership

During the First Continental Congress in 1787, Washington said he, “Attentively heard and read every oral and printed information on both sides of every question that could be procured,” while intervening in debates or making final decisions infrequently. The foundation laid as a result of that meeting is legend.

That's a leader. That's someone who, even if they aren't responsible for making every single decision, can influence the right decisions and help make everyone else better by example.

Leaders are responsible for laying the foundation. Thus leaders must show infinite care and display unbounded attention. If they don't, well, it all falls down.


Cover image: “Reluctant Hero #1/3” by Jesse Draxler

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