“Juicebox in the words of” is a series that highlights JB community members in interview form. Learn about members’ roles at JB and what makes them tick.
JohnnyD is a front-end dev and a core member of the Peel Team. His work is plainly visible on our website, where he takes an active role both in the front-end code and, increasingly, in the design elements of the website. How visual architecture complements site tooling and functionality are an area of great interest and focus for him. Recently, he’s been on the road with Zeugh at a couple of conferences, and by the time I caught up to him was traveling solo across Europe. Read on to learn a bit about his origin story, interests and future aspirations!
Greetings! I know you’re in the midst of traveling, thank you for taking the time. How’s it been going?
Hey! It’s been really good. Some good wins, we think, and some good projects to follow up on. We learned a lot about how to communicate our value proposition and got a lot of good stuff.
So important. Here’s the million dollar question: what have you found is the ideal way to communicate JB’s value proposition?
It really depends a lot on the projects. I think it’s really important to fish out what a project wants and what needs we’re there to give them. From there we’ll know what JB features that’ll help them the most— whether that be transparency in earning/spending, or the ease of launching an ERC-20 token and having that distributed to people upon contributing. Or whether automating payments out of the treasury and restricting/reconfigurations of that spending are the way they want to go. Those are the key points
It strikes me a scalability problem. We seem to have a boutique approach at the moment, almost like a concierge service. As we expand, how do we streamline some of that onboarding without losing that conversation with the user?
You’ve hit the nail on the head, that’s absolutely what we have to focus on. I definitely have ideas around that; mainly I really like the idea of categorizing particular common projects/project types, like NFC Coops, straight up Web3 businesses, or the classic one-time fundraiser. I think having clear resources for these like links to pre-filled templates could be super helpful and useful. Essentially, we want people to come to the site and feel comfortable setting up a project themselves without having someone walking them through it.
For sure. Out of curiosity, what was it like gallivanting around with Zeugh?
He’s a great guy! Super fun, super smart, super easy going, super hard worker. Oh man… constant networking! He can just keep getting the word out, rubbing elbows. He’s got unlimited energy— a total machine!
It’s funny, arguably the most powerful JB tool, the treasury, seems like a little on the backburner for most people. It seems like they don’t quite see the scope of its use. What do you make of that?
Yeah exactly, there are so few projects using these treasury tools. I think it should be a big priority of ours to present it in a more understandable way; I’m keen to make it more visible on the front-end too. As great and flexible as the protocol is, it can be a tall order for people to understand.
Okay, now on to your origin story. How’d you get started with JB and how has it changed since you’ve been here?
I was working as a front-end dev for a few years in web2, actually, doing React and some other stuff. Before JB a group of friends and I started getting into NFTs and we wanted to create a DAO to be an NFT Coop, with the goal being to acquire some of the more expensive NFTs. Aeolian was one of my buddies in that NFT and he found JB and looked at the github, started working a bit on it, and told me about it. After a week or so I started doing the same. It was so exciting, I pretty much quit my job 2 weeks later and said okay, I’m doing this.
Front-end seems like so cross-disciplinary. You’re juggling user-interface/design along with coding. What’s that like?
I really love designing! Before JB it wasn’t a big part of my job at all. I would just get the designs and make it exactly as I was told. At JB I’ve enjoyed the challenge of just putting yourself in the user’s shoes and making it as smooth and seamless as possible.
That’s the beauty of web3, isn’t it? If you want to take something on, and you are capable, nobody seems to care whether you have formal training, degrees, etc.
For sure, it’s an absolutely beautiful part of web3. I would say it’s even more like that in the software industry than in most other industries. Web3 has taken that to a whole other level. It’s totally about what you can produce right now, not what you did a while back, or what you’re promising you’ll do in the future.
Speaking of the future— what’s the future look like for johnnyD?
Front-end! I really like the front-end work process, and I’m becoming more inclined towards the design if anything, which is interesting. As much as I love development, really feel a passion for design building more and more. So yeah, we’ll see where that takes me.
Awesome. Okay, let’s get down to brass tacks. Who’s your favorite JB member, and why is it Sage?
Haha, oh man. Sage does some incredible art— that stuff is really inspiring. I remember coming to JB and just loving the vibes so much, there was just something so original about it. Sage created those vibes in Banny, like a character who sets the tone for us. That’s why Sage is my favorite.
Can you see a future with Banny in the Louvre? Tourists lining up just to get a few minutes with an original, NFT Banny displayed on an LCD screen?
Haha. I think we could see Banny anywhere and everywhere.
Cheers to that! Okay, I heard you’re into music, and that you even play. What are you into?
I actually played trumpet quite a lot in high school. Like I was really into it. I also played the piano a little bit.
Another trumpeter! You know filipv plays a mean trumpet, right?
Oh man, no I didn’t know that. I gotta connect with him, that’s so awesome!
I’ve been thinking, we have so many musicians at JB. What if we create like a little folder where we record samples, little licks and riffs. If anybody’s in sound production they could come and take those and fashion them into something.
Haha, yeah I love it. If someone sends me sheet music and a tempo I’m down!
I’ll look into it, it would be awesome. Okay, last question: what’s something that people would be surprised to learn about you?
Hmm. I’m quite into triathlons, so much so that before JB I was actually trying to make a career out of it. I’m still pretty into it, actually.
Bear with me here— that’s running, bicycling and swimming right?
That’s correct, but in exactly the reverse order though!
Got it. Can you give me a sense of the appeal, versus just cycling/running/swimming on its own?
I’ve always loved doing multiple sports, and there’s just nothing more challenging in my opinion than training for three disciplines. Then the events themselves are also extremely challenging. I love the lifestyle of being well-rounded as opposed to just hammering away at one thing, and I think triathlons with a bit of gym work is probably the healthiest activity there is. Can’t get enough of it.
Fair enough, it definitely sounds challenging! So where are you off to next on your travels?
I’m actually heading into Lviv right now, I’m on a bus to get there. I plan to stay about three weeks. I’ve met so many Ukrainians so far on my trip, and they all tell me Lviv is just the best city in Europe. I’m keen to see it for myself.
Do you anticipate any issues with the crisis happening?
Lviv is more or less untouched from war, from what I’m told. What I keep hearing is, “The city hasn’t changed, but the people have.” So I’m curious to see how it is.
I’m sure that will be quite an experience. Keep us posted when you return, and until then safe travels!