Working at Alchemy: A Blockchain Startup

Yesterday marked my 1 year anniversary working full time at Alchemy.

With this milestone, I thought I’d take time to reflect and share my thoughts on why there isn’t a single job that I’d choose over the one I have right now.

I know, that’s a pretty absurd statement, but I truly feel that way and I’ll tell you why.

It’s hard to condense all the things I love about working at Alchemy into one piece, but when I boil it down, it really reduces to 3 primary factors: the people, the impact, and the mission.

1. The People

My co-workers are friends before co-workers.

I actually didn’t get to meet anyone on the team in person until 8 months into the job, yet even on Zoom, I was immediately taken in as family and welcomed with open arms.

When I was working from home, the people I lived with constantly asked whether we ever worked because they only ever saw us laughing in our zoom meetings…who tf has fun on zoom meetings??

Now that we’re going into the office, I’m constantly surrounded by some of the most fun, thoughtful, and intelligent people I’ve ever met, and I finally get to see how tall everyone actually is. We compete for the aux on the office Sonos, share stories about how people partied till 5am last weekend, and occasionally ice each other, all while deep diving on the technical intricacies of a distributed blockchain infrastructure.

And if you want to see us in live action, go check out @nikilster’s highlight stories on Instagram or swing by the office yourself!

2. The Impact

Given the size and nature of most startups, each individual employee has an immense impact.

When I joined Alchemy last summer, we were a team of merely 14 people, everyone doing everything (btw this is still the case even with 25 of us).This means that each person has a massive responsibility and influence.

As a new grad, that was both incredible and daunting but I could not have been more grateful and excited.

I know you might be thinking, so what? At every start up you’ll have a high impact. And yes, that’s absolutely true, but there are two important differences at Alchemy:

  1. Not every startup has product market fit, especially this early (90% of startups fail)
  2. Not every startup is in an industry that’s starting up

The first point is intuitive so I won’t go into it too much, but if you’re interested in hearing more about our growth check out this article.

As for the second one, many startups are in industries that are already developed or defined.

Despite being around for over a decade, the blockchain industry is still nascent when it comes to mass adoption. Most of the applications and products we’ll be using in the future likely haven’t even been invented yet.

This also means that the blockchain developer tools, infrastructure, and resources, have a lot of room for improvement. By nature of where Alchemy sits in the blockchain tech stack, we are laying the foundation for applications that are being built in web3 — the work and impact that we have at Alchemy trickles down to the entire blockchain industry, and its future.

There are some incredible web3 applications out there that are already changing the world, but not every company has the opportunity to impact every end user. As the old saying goes, “during a gold rush, sell shovels”.

3. The Mission

I could write an entirely separate piece on why I’m bullish on blockchain and decentralization, but I’ll spare you that lecture for another time (if you’re interested, I’ll talk your ear off if you buy me ice cream 😉).

Assuming you already have some foundational understanding of the value of blockchain, Alchemy’s primary mission is to make blockchain mainstream. And no, not by making the next meme coin or viral app, but by empowering developers and making it really frickin easy to build on the blockchain.

For those who don’t know, Alchemy is a developer platform for building web3 applications. To understand a bit more about the problems we solve, check out this video and this blog post.

The only way to get people to use web3 apps is to build web3 apps that people care about, and the only way to do that is to make it easy and accessible for developers to build those applications — that’s the problem that Alchemy is trying to solve.

It’s the most exciting and important challenge in the journey to make blockchain applications widely used.

Don’t get me wrong, I actually don’t think we’re there now, but that’s what makes my job exciting (come work with us!). We’re shipping new products fast and are all ears for any requests you might have!

Anyways, if you made it this far, thanks for listening! And if you have any questions, want to work at Alchemy, or just want to chat, DM me on insta (@halpernesta) or on Discord. Also quick plug, if you like ice cream and crypto go follow @cryptocreamery on Instagram!

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Elan Halpern

Elan Halpern works on developer experience at Alchemy, the world's leading blockchain developer platform. She received her BS in Computer Science at Stanford.