Brian Armstrong, CEO of Coinbase — The Art of Relentless Focus, Preparing for Full-Contact Entrepreneurship, Critical Forks in the Path, Handling Haters, The Wisdom of Paul Graham, Epigenetic Reprogramming, and Much More (#627) - The Blog of Author Tim Fe

Brian Armstrong, CEO of Coinbase — The Art of Relentless Focus, Preparing for Full-Contact Entrepreneurship, Critical Forks in the Path, Handling Haters, The Wisdom of Paul Graham, Epigenetic Reprogramming, and Much More (#627) - The Blog of Author Tim Fe

Brian Armstrong (@brian_armstrong) is the co-founder and chief executive officer of Coinbase. Founded in 2012, Coinbase is building the crypto economy—a more fair, accessible, efficient, and transparent financial system enabled by crypto. Coinbase serves over 103 million verified users, 14,500 institutions, and 245,000 ecosystem partners in over 100 countries. In April 2021, Coinbase listed publicly on NASDAQ as COIN. 

Before founding Coinbase, Brian served as a software engineer at Airbnb, where he focused on fraud prevention. Before Airbnb, Brian founded and was CEO of, an online tutoring directory and a subsidiary of Johnson Educational Technologies LLC. Brian also previously served as a consultant for the enterprise risk management division at Deloitte & Touche LLP. Brian has a BA in computer science and economics and an MS in computer science from Rice University.

Over the last three years, Coinbase has worked with ten-time Emmy®-winning filmmaker Greg Kohs on a documentary about cryptocurrency and Coinbase. COIN is now available on Amazon, iTunes, YouTube, Vimeo on Demand, and other platforms.

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Want to learn more about Web3 and crypto? Listen to my podcast episode with Chris Dixon and Naval Ravikant in which we discuss what the smartest people do on the weekend, solving proof-of-work problems, the real promise of Web3, why NFTs are more than the sum of their JPGs, how skeuomorphic design can be applied to Web3, why it’s still the early days of decentralization, the pros and cons of crypto regulation, how DAOs work and what they can offer to society at large, and much more.

What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.


Note from the editor: Timestamps will be added shortly.

“Talk to the customer, iterate, talk to the customer, iterate.” — Brian Armstrong

“We weren’t even trying to make a company. We were just kind of trying to learn this stuff in the evenings in our free time.” — Brian Armstrong

“If I have to come in every day and be put in front of the hot mic and have to answer all these crazy things that I don’t have an answer to, that’s not what I signed up for. I want to build cool stuff with technology that changes the world. That’s what I’m good at.”

“Honestly, if you don’t have a competitor — people are naturally tribalistic — you’ll sometimes see tribes start to form inside the company and people start fighting each other, so it’s actually better to have something outside the company that you’re struggling against.”

“It’s never as good as it seems, never as bad as it seems, in crypto.”

“They teach you in PR training to pivot the question to the one you wish was asked.”

“If I just think about all the biggest challenges that we have in the world today, I think science and technology are pretty good hammers to swing at those nails.”

“The most valuable companies in the world are when we cross-pollinate a true scientific innovation with someone who can go commercialize it.”

“The greatest risk is not taking one.”

The Tim Ferriss Showis oneof the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 800 million downloads. It has been selected for "Best of Apple Podcasts" three times, it is often the #1 interview podcast across all of Apple Podcasts, and it's been ranked #1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on many occasions. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.

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