In late 2015, I (Dr Gavin Wood), Aeron Buchanan, TJ Saw, Ken Kappler, and Jutta Steiner launched what would become Parity as EthCore; a year later, Björn Wagner also joined the team as a co-founder. We did not place a high value on rigid job titles in those early days (a practice I still don’t really approve of). When the last of the original founders left the firm in late 2020, I formally assumed the role of CEO. Prior to that time, we were all engaged in setting broad corporate direction and strategy.
Those who have worked with me have seen where my passions really lay. Among other things, I like to think, write code, and create and build things. I am one of those persons that thrive in an asynchronous environment; for me, a perfect day consists of zoning out for ten hours to solve an issue, design a prototype, or compile my scattered ideas into a coherent piece. CEO is not a position I’ve ever aspired to have (and this dates back long before Parity). For a time, I could pass as a CEO, but that’s not where I want to spend the rest of my life. For the sake of the company, it is essential that the CEO be readily accessible at all times. They must take pride in becoming the face of the organization in all circumstances. Large chunks of their time shouldn’t be swallowed up in meetings and calls represented by a profusion of overlapping, brightly colored boxes on their calendar.
In my role as CEO over the last two years, supervising the hiring of new members of the executive team has been by far the most time-consuming and difficult task. With this newfound flexibility, I planned to devote myself once again to the field of technology. Thanks to Björn and our COO, Jimmy Cliff, we are almost finished, and the additional recruits have allowed Parity to significantly increase its capabilities. To be the CEO was always going to be a challenging position. As the company’s biggest stakeholder and someone who plans to continue working there for the foreseeable future, I have a vested interest in maintaining a positive work environment for current and future employees. The good news is that Björn Wagner, one of the original creators of the Ecosystem Development team and a co-founder of Parity, has consented to take on this role moving forward.
Because of this, I won’t have to spend as much time travelling and promoting the firm in public. I will keep my position as majority shareholder and Chief Architect, which is commensurate with my intended level of involvement in the business. This means I’ll have more time to devote to the aspects of my job that I find most rewarding and in which I believe I can make the most contribution to the company’s goals. Now that I’ve refocused, I want to see if there are ways I can help make Polkadot and Web3 useful to a wider audience. I believe this is essential if we are to create a genuine Web3 platform, and it will begin with assisting the community in designing and building various fascinating chain-integrated social primitives.
While we face several obstacles, the largest one is working to make Polkadot a success and the Web3 vision a reality. I trust Björn and the team to steer Parity in the right direction, and I expect it will continue to be the strange haven for those who wish to create something really remarkable. Starting now is when most of the effort will be made.