The Web might be the most consequential technological innovation of the human species since the invention of symbolic language. It has transformed our access to information, opportunity, people, and community. In fact, people under 27 spend more of their waking hours online than they do offline. But the Web was designed for content. As the Web has realized the incredible potential of its design — enabling the creation, sharing, delivery, curation, and consumption of extraordinary content — it has reached a local maximum.
We believe the Web is great, but it can be so much more. We have all felt the ramifications of what was left out of its initial design: rich, interpersonal experiences.
At Ethereal, our mission is to redesign the Web to make room for human interaction. We’re bringing the rich, experiential environments promised by the Metaverse to the digital environments where people already spend so much of their time.
About the Role
Building a product that transforms the Web from a 2d, solitary content-delivery system into a 3d universe of shared experiences is an extraordinary technical and product undertaking. Building an MMO of any kind is challenging.
There is no rule book, no blueprint, no tried-and-true path. Building Ethereal will be a process of deep thinking, brainstorming, creating — and iterating. This will be a challenging role, and it should be: after all, we’re building a new paradigm that’s unlike anything a user has experienced and would revolutionize how we experience and see each other on the web.
As Lead Product Engineer, you will solve unique architectural challenges. Many of the tools, technologies, or protocols necessary to deliver the Ethereal experience to users do not exist, yet. Sometimes, you’ll work with the whole team to reimagine how to deliver on our mission; other times, you’ll need to build those new technologies yourself.
You’ll answer questions like:
- How do we bring metaversal experiences to the places people already are on the Web?
- How do we organize space (i.e. land) that is both a) adjacent to new content today, and b) persistent, so that it is adjacent to new content in the future? What are the organizing principles?
- How do we optimize for accessibility and performance while retaining next-level 3d graphical fidelity and an experience that wows users?
- How can we build so that Ethereal is composable, where people can pull in Avatars they already own, buildings they use elsewhere, etc? In other words, we are not building a standalone 3D world, so how do we make it open?
- How can people organize around content in a way that gives them the freedom to move around and self-organize? Spatial audio? 3D avatars? What features are necessary?
- How do we satisfy the 2 goals of networking physics (i.e. Precision of Simulation and Immediate Control) in a browser environment?
- How do we do this while maintaining a code base and development environment that is a joy to use, can be extended intuitively, and is accessible to everyone?
- Work with a variety of Web2 and Web3 technologies, which may include React, Redux, TypeScript, WebGL, WebAssembly, CSS, NodeJS, libp2p, IPFS, and Solidity
- Collaborate with our entire team, working especially closely with design, 3D animation, and UX team members
- Build novel web technologies to deliver through a browser extension
- Build or integrate cutting-edge web technologies to deliver an immersive spatial environment
- Architect and design systems to connect people based on shared virtual locations, like what websites they’re on, what content they’re viewing
- Play a key part in building entirely new modes of interpersonal interaction online
- Create novel ways for interpersonal interactions on the Web
- You have experience with front-end and back-end Web development
- Advanced knowledge and experience with blockchain programming tools
- Advanced understanding of decentralized ecosystems
- Extensive expertise in developing consumer-facing applications
- You have experience building top-tier, high-caliber gaming experiences (Unity/Unreal Engine)
- And you have experience bringing such gaming experiences to the web (WebGL, WebAssembly)
- You like working on open-ended problems with no clear solution — and you love making the solution a reality
- You’ve been a major contributor on full-stack engineering projects where you’ve started from scratch, worked through all phases of product development