I was nervous to leave my Amazon VP job for Web3 but I'm happy I made the career change — even through the crypto downturn

I was nervous to leave my Amazon VP job for Web3 but I'm happy I made the career change — even through the crypto downturn
Sandy Carter.Sandy Carter.
  • Sandy Carter is the senior vice president and channel chief at Unstoppable Domains.
  • She says she didn't want to get left behind once Web3 takes off, and that the recent crypto downturn doesn't bother her.

When I announced via Linkedin that I was leaving my job as a vice president at Amazon for a job in crypto, I was absolutely terrified. And announcing it was more terrifying than putting in my notice.

I was leaving an amazing job with an amazing team and I thought everyone would think I had gone absolutely mad. But I was surprised that I got more than 800 comments on that LinkedIn post. And most people didn't think I was crazy.

I was around when Web2 started — the phase of the internet we're in now that is dominated by companies. And people viewed me as helping to shape it over my career at places such as IBM and Amazon. So people were very excited that I was going to go and help shape Web3, a community driven version of the internet, too.

Now, I'm the senior vice president and channel chief of Unstoppable Domains — a company that allows users to send, receive, and store cryptocurrencies and NFTs with one concise domain.

Here are 5 reasons why I gave up my incredible job at Amazon to shape the future of Web3.


1. I didn't want to get left behind

I first got interested in crypto when I was still working at Amazon. At the time, I had a lot of customers who were talking to me about the value of blockchain and why it would be significant in the future of technology. So I started looking into the use cases for blockchain, which led me to cryptocurrency. It became this little side project for me about a year and a half ago.

So I was looking at NFTs and metaverses and this visual image started to form in my head. Web3 is built on the blockchain. And the metaverses are built on Web3. Everything fit together and I came to a conclusion — I didn't want to be left out of the next technological evolutions as it was created. I love technology and am easily influenced by the idea of building something new and innovative. I realized quickly that I wanted to tie my career to it, it was just a question of when, and what I wanted to do.

2. I believe in the purpose behind Web3

I like to invest my time in projects with purpose. For example, I've worked on projects related to space travel, and cancer research.

When you say you work in Web3, people instantly assume that you're in it for the money. For me, that wasn't the case. The concept of decentralization — where you own your data and identity — is a message I can get behind because I believe that your data should be owned by you.

At first, I had to learn how blockchain technology could be trusted. I found that developers have paid special attention to keeping up the pace when it comes to security. Because of my enterprise background, I needed to understand blockchain's compatibility with other business applications, which is due to its open-source nature. When I started to see how blockchain technology could work in the supply chain, I felt confident.


3. I fell in love with the community

If you think about it, when I buy a Lazy Lion NFT I become a member of the Lazy Lion Community. In Web2, companies would produce a roadmap and share it with customers and their partners. But in Web3 we're creating the roadmap with our partners and customers because customers are a part of our membership — people are coming together as a group to make decisions. I think that's incredibly powerful.

Here's another example of the community around Web3. I built a group called Unstoppable Women of Web3. There were already multiple groups trying to raise up women in this space. And I would get these questions like, "Oh, are you guys going to compete against each other?" I was like, absolutely not. We're not fighting because we're all a part of the same community. The view in Web3 is that we're all gonna make it and we all rise together. It's such a different and refreshing mindset than what I experienced in Web2.

It's truly a new way to look at the world. I think Web1 was about the internet being for the person, but the tech wasn't there yet. Web2 became about companies, and selling your data. And I think Web3 is going back to what we originally thought the internet would be — about community and individuals.

4. I saw that Web3 needed more women

When I first started looking around in Web3, most of the people I saw were men. I feel that there needs to be diversity built-in from the very beginning of Web3. So that's another reason I wanted to get involved.

When I announced that I was coming to Unstoppable Domains, I included a link to apply to the company. We got 1500 applicants from all walks of life — different countries, ages, and levels of experience. But only 3% of applicants were women. That was shocking to me.


But diversity has gotten better since. For example, I got 70 companies to sign up to take a pledge to prioritize diversity.

5. I see that Web3 needs to become easier to use and I think I can help

If we really want Web3 to go mainstream, we'll make some improvements to make it easier for people to understand.

The user interface needs to be much much easier to use. For example, I did a panel in the metaverse and it took us a couple of hours to just learn how to walk in and sit down with our avatars. And here I am in this panel, and I look up and there are two people sitting on the ceiling. They started chatting with me asking, "How do I get off the ceiling?"

My dream is that we no longer have people sitting on the roof of a conference center and that it's so easy anyone can come in and use it.

The way we talk about Web3 also has to be simpler. I feel like my colleagues sometimes have 3 different words for the same thing. And it's incredibly confusing, even for me. I'm really trying to push them to clean up the terminology and decide one word for each thing.


Sometimes they say I sound too Web2. For example, I will say good morning when it should be gm with a little g and a little m. They also told me that Web3 people don't put pictures in their tweets.

I'm very happy with my decision to come to Web3. My dream is that digital identity is going to be a much bigger thing than it is today. I really think that everyone should learn more about Web3 and play with it — set up a wallet, buy some crypto, check out some discords and don't make assumptions before you do. It's so much easier to say crypto is for criminals and NFTs aren't valuable before you do the homework to figure out what it is.

The recent crypto downturn doesn't bother me. In my mind, crypto doesn't equal Web3, even though they're connected. I see Web3 as impacting the internet through decentralization, blockchain, and digital identity. Its real power is in allowing for individual ownership of data and identity. Crypto is just one use case for blockchain technology.

I'm a builder and I'm in this for the long haul. I truly believe we are creating the next generation's internet.

If you left tech for Web3 and would like to share your story, email Jenna Gyimesi at jgyimesi@insider.com.