If you owned Facebook stock when their platform was the same size that Steemit is today, would you have cashed out a portion of your investment to make trivial purchases, like to buy some new clothes?
Would you have even considered selling a single percentage of your stock for any reason other than an absolute life emergency?
I'm guessing you wouldn't.
Yet, I've seen many folks profess their absolute faith that Steemit will become the next Facebook... and then watch them sell what little profits they've earned for seemingly insignificant reasons.
The other day, another user commented that many minnows aren't investing directly in the platform yet (buying and powering up STEEM). It got me thinking: Surely, not every minnow is penniless, or without a means to exchange fiat for crypto, right?
Well, there are some good reasons not to invest in Steemit:
It will cost you money and deprive you of other purchases.
It is a very high risk investment.
It is inconvenient to have Steem Power locked up for weeks and months at a time.
Fortunately, the brilliant architects of Steemit paired those risks to some enticing rewards:
The more you invest in the platform, the greater potential you have to earn from its economy.
Right now, there are fascinating debates over the fairness of those rewards. Like, what is the appropriate weight for an upvote? Or, is self-voting fair?
The rules of the game will continually be tweaked. But make no mistake, there will always be a significant advantage for taking the risk of investing in this platform -- there has to be.
For without investments, the token would lose its value, the economy would collapse, and Steemit would be replaced by a rival platform that got the incentives right.
As a relatively new Steemian, I'm starting to grasp that the Steemit community is split into two groups: crypto and non-crypto users:
The crypto folks have past experience with coins that have seen incredible growth. They look at the potential value of STEEM, rather than what it's worth today. This is an investor's mindset.
The non-crypto folks -- at least some of them -- appear to be looking at the dollar value of their content, rather than the amount of tokens they're being paid out.
In their mindset, I suspect, a post that earns $10 today may pay a similar amount next year, much like a wage.
But what I fear they're not aware of is that the amount of STEEM they'll earn in the future -- should Steemit go mainstream -- will be a tiny fraction of what they're earning today.
To summarize this quickly:
There is a fixed amount of tokens allotted for rewards, and as more people join Steemit, there'll be less to go around. But because the network's growth will almost certainly raise the price of STEEM, the dollar amount a person earns, may not change much at all.
This should alert you to a window of opportunity that Steemit currently offers:
You will never earn STEEM as easy as you can today, because your competition has yet to discover the platform.
You will never earn as much STEEM as you can today, because there are still so few users competing for the reward tokens.
Deciding whether or not to invest in STEEM, or when you should cash out, for any reason, trivial or not, should be an entirely personal decision.
We're all coming at this from different situations. Some people have no money to invest; others have no time to create content.
I just hope that the potential value of STEEM tokens -- not just its current ability to accelerate earnings when powered up -- is not lost on certain users.
If you truly believe in this platform, and understand how its economy functions, I hope you will value your tokens more than I did when I took my first crypto profits some six years ago.
I sold all my bitcoins for less than $20 a piece.
I don't even remember what I spent the money on, but I'll never forget the consequences of making that decision.