Building a Value Graph: Creating vs Extracting with Sakina Arsiwala of Taki

Today’s guest is Sakina Arsiwala, Co-Founder of Taki. Taki is an engage-to-earn social network which aims to create a better community by rewarding users with a stake in the network itself. Traditional social networks have become stagnant and exploitative: bombarding users with advertisements, operant conditioning for engagement, and preventing free movement. These problems stem from a fundamental incentive misalignment between the users who create value and the platform that extracts it. The new tools and paradigms of web3 offer an opportunity to create a better system. Engage-to-earn rewards user contributions. Free-flowing tokens enable low-friction value transfer. User coins deepen creator-audience relationships and create new engagement vectors. Decentralized organizations grant users governance over their own platform. Composability on-chain unlocks the interoperable potential of the whole blockchain ecosystem. Taki promises a better social network, shifting focus from the social graph to the value graph. Sakina has held Product and Growth leadership positions at Nextdoor, YouTube (She took Youtube International, launched 22 countries, including India), was Product Lead on Google Search Internationally. She also co-founded a social startup that was acquired by Groupon, where she led Social Product Growth for Groupon. She loves building products that help level the playing field. We discuss Taki, Web3’s promise, the future of Social Networks, the Creator Economy, and much more. We begin our conversation by discussing Sakina’s experience working at NextDoor. Sakina explains how NextDoor enabled trust by ensuring the users of the platform were verified and how that helped create a flywheel effect for getting users to use and trust the platform. We discuss the lessons blockchain startups can take from NextDoor’s success. We transitioned our discussion to focus on Taki. Sakina explains who is currently their core user base and how they imagine expanding their user base over time. Sakina goes on to explain Taki’s value proposition to content creators and how web3 enables them to have more control over their careers. We discuss why Taki is focusing on UX and why simplifying the user experience is how you onboard the next wave of crypto participants. Sakina explains engage-to-earn and why this model can be so powerful for both creators and their fans. We discuss the importance of thoughtful token economics and Taki’s approach to ensuring proper token dynamics. We discuss the future of advertising in web3 and how web3 can help create a better advertising experience. Sakina discusses the mission of web3 and the importance of building products and services that enable web3’s core ethos. Our final conversation topic centered around the importance of interoperability and synergy for the long term value proposition of web3 to come to fruition. Sakina stresses the importance for protocols to strive to be self-sustaining. Please enjoy my conversation with Sakina Arsiwala