4K’s mission is to build the ultimate global marketplace. We start by digitizing collectibles through a decentralized, scalable, and permissionless peer-to-peer protocol and marketplace. Our goal is to tokenize the estimated $370 Billion Collectibles Market by creating a Web3 infrastructure protocol.
For something to be a true industry disruptor, it can’t be just two or three times better than what already exists. It has to be ten to a hundred times better. By curating our investable products, reducing friction for buyers and sellers, and reducing costs by 90-95%, we are building the marketplace of the future.
Web1.0 = Ebay
Web2.0 = StockX
Web3.0 = 4K
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In our ongoing search to uncover the most exciting employers in blockchain, Crypto Jobs List spoke with 4K, a crypto startup from LA with a vision to build the ultimate global marketplace.
4K’s mission is to build the ultimate global marketplace. We start by digitizing collectibles through a decentralized, scalable, and permissionless peer-to-peer protocol and marketplace. Our ultimate goal is to tokenize the $370 Billion Collectibles Market by creating a Web3 infrastructure protocol.
Despite only launching at the tail end of 2020, 4K has strong roots within the crypto and blockchain sector. Our CEO, Richard Li, first first signed up to the cypherpunk mailing list during Bitcoin’s infancy while our VP of Engineering, Stephen Gu, built a startup that was acquired by Ripple. COO Max Einhorn ran his own blockchain consulting company, focusing on token advisory.
The seed of the idea which grew to become 4K came from a number of underwhelming experiences Richard had online marketplaces, such as eBay, which steeled his resolve to create something far superior. 4K believes that a market which leverages blockchain and NFT technology will make that possible. 4K also believes that for something to be a true industry disruptor, it can’t be just two or three times better than what already exists. It has to be ten to a hundred times better. By curating their investable products, reducing friction for buyers and sellers, and reducing costs by 90-95%, 4K is building the marketplace of the future.
One of the things which we are happiest about is the level of trust we have been able to build within our team in such a short space of time. Initially we had planned for our COO Max Einhorn to be one of the first full time employees of 4K, but after meeting him in person, he inspired such a high level of confidence in us we invited him onboard as co-founder.
As Max puts it: “I think this speaks really well to the culture that we've been able to build. I was not only impressed with Richard's business savvy, but his practicality and his ability to strategize. I was also really impressed by his willingness to open up and tell me about his personal story.”
Something that is important to 4K is to not only to hit our fundraising goals, but to do so with partners that are hands-on, knowledgeable, and can add real value beyond the dollars and cents. That is why we are delighted that Electric Capital is onboard as our lead investor, taking $1.5 million of an initial $3 million raise, at a $30 million valuation. Our seed round was 10X oversubscribed so we had to turn away money, but more importantly, we believe we secured the right people.
The tight-knit team at 4K is small but growing. Richard Li is company CEO and founder, Max Einhorn is COO and co-Founder, while Stephen Gu is VP of Engineering.
Richard has spent the last decade building, growing and advising companies in the media, finance and crypto industries. He began his career in digital marketing, building out a portfolio of websites that at its height was pulling in 10 million monthly page views without spending money on paid advertising. Richard’s casual interest in bitcoin and crypto evolved during this time, and he started his own blockchain investment firm in 2017, AlphaBlock Investments.
Prior to 4K, Max ran his own blockchain consulting firm, Fraktal Group, where he provided token design advisory for clients ranging from startups to enterprises. Prior to entering the cryptosphere, Max worked as a developer at Trammell Crow Residential where he helped projects manage nearly $1B worth of developments across four projects. Max also worked as a management consultant at Oliver Wyman where he advised on strategy, analytics, and operations for several of the world’s largest banks, insurance companies, and healthcare providers.
Stephen spent the last 4 years in the crypto space, first by working at the high-performance DLT payments platform Logos Networks which was acquired by Ripple. Later working on the core developer experience and tooling at Ripple. In his past career, Stephen was an ASIC Engineer designing the latest mobile chipsets. He also cofounded and served as CTO for a social media contact card app that launched in 2014.
As a new company 4K is still continuing to develop its work processes, but everything is tracked and recorded on Notion. Notion is our Google drive, it is our Asana - it is our project management tool. Anything that anyone is working on is in there. We have our operating procedures, we have our goals and milestones there and everything else. So as we onboard people, it's all there. If you go through our Notion you can see the heartbeat of this company.
The first week at 4K is all about learning. For the first week and maybe even the first two or three weeks, zero output is expected. All we ask is that anyone who joins our team goes through our Notion, and reads through our conversations on Slack. We want our people to get a real sense for this company, to tune into conversations, to join calls, and just learn and ask questions. We want our people to know who to talk to when they need help, and to spend those first few weeks really thinking about how to add value.
As for performance reviews, we will introduce regular review cadences as the company develops, however, for as long as possible the goal is to have direct, immediate feedback. So whether that’s at the end of a call or at the end of the day, you’ll know where you stand.
Working for 4K
We don’t want to hire a number or a cog in the machine, we want to find people we can trust and work closely with. For now, we only want to find the most passionate people who want to work as part of a close-knit team.
Remote Work Possible
4K is open to remote workers. That said we do have a preference for working together in person in Los Angeles. That’s because, especially in the early days, developing a company and our company culture is going to be really important to us. We think that there's no better way to develop culture than spending time together in person. For those workers who remain remote, we're going to organize regular trips so we can all be in the same place at the same time.
Joint Accommodation and Office
When we looked into office space in LA, we weren’t inspired by anything we saw. So more likely than not, we're going to have a house as our first office, with core team members living and working there. We are aware that having a house has some risks since it's a very intimate relationship, but we also think it will help us to really accelerate 4K and our culture for the better. So we're looking at houses in LA and we're encouraging our people to join us there as often as possible, although it's not a requirement.
Curiosity - we want our people to have curiosity about the world, the sector, and our company. Humility - the crypto space moves so fast and is so deep and broad that nobody can know it all. Be honest about what you know and don't know. Be willing to fill those gaps. Productivity - curiosity should never be idle. Proactively pursue your curiosity and seek out new knowledge. Competence - apply what you know and what you have learned so you can be better each and every day. Teamwork - able to think beyond yourself, to have a group ego. What is in the best interest of 4K?
COO Max Einhorn is heavily involved in the recruitment process and he explains it as follows:
“I conduct the screening interviews with the candidates and if a fit looks likely, I pass them on to Richard the CEO, or if they're an engineering hire, we would then pass them on to Stephen, our VP of Engineering, for technical interviews. We will likely not give any final offers until we meet someone in person, likely in LA, and we will probably spend a day together just to see if these are people that we want to spend good shares of our life with.”
“Regarding technical tests, you won’t get that test until after having a chance to speak with Stephen Gu, because we don't want people to feel as though we're just giving them pointless work that isn't going to lead to them actually speaking to us. We are a very people-first organization.”
- Preliminary screening interview with COO Max Einhorn.
- Full interview with CEO Richard Li (non-technical) or VP Engineering Stephen Gu (technical).
- A follow up practical test for technical roles.
- Final round: in-person meeting in LA.
Salaries and Career Development
4K intends to pay team members in US Dollars and 4K tokens. As for development, anyone who joins 4K at this stage of the company is coming in on the ground floor. Those who prove their worth could have a very exciting career within the company. Our COO Max Einhorn is the prime example. He went from employee to co-founder once we met with him in person. Other such opportunities may arise for similarly impressive candidates.
4K currently has a number of vacancies. Our top roles are on the technical side. We are looking for blockchain engineers and full stack developers. If you have experience playing with 0x, you could be a key hire. We're also looking for a marketing lead and a growth hacker. In time, we will need more people to help me with operations. But right now the top priority is technical, second priority marketing and growth.