Collin Thompson discusses what’s going on in the blockchain and ICO industry & how Metabase Network is developing a global community.
Collin Thompson, Co-Founder of Intrepid Ventures, the company developing Metabase Network, participated in a webinar with marketing and sales CRM solution provider Hubspot South East Asia where he revealed what’s going on in the blockchain and ICO industry and how Metabase Network is developing a global community.
Q: Where do you see this kind of technology (blockchain) going in the next 2-3 years time?
A: What we are trying to do is make it a lot easier for the average web developer or graduate computer science student to get involved in creating decentralised applications (dApps) or blockchain based businesses. In my opinion, if there is more diversity and creativity that can come into the space, we are going to see a lot more transformation. This connects people who feel a little bit alienated from the technology right now.
Currently, it’s not easy to use or get involved as there is a lot of confusing information out there. Thus, we are visioning what if we can get people from other industries and professions such as design, mechanical engineering, government, tourism, and journalism, etc., coming into the blockchain space and achieving the ability to use the technology and to build applications for their industries. I think that’s going to be the crest of what you’re going to see over the next 3-5 years. Decentralised applications will become usable for the public in ways similar to how we use and interact daily with social media.
Q: How did you market Intrepid Ventures with all the other noise around you and the industry right now?
A: First, we thought it would be valuable to help other people – saving fellow learners time by cutting out the garbage and distilling well-curated information and materials online. By garnering trust from the audience, we were introduced to key people in the industry, invited to speak at events, and asked to build applications. We grew organically by focusing on each communications medium and by authentically building a community.
Q: “Trust” – the keyword to build your market – but there are lots of scams around – what’s your thought about this fact?
A: According to our research, 39% of ICOs in Q1 – Q 2 2018 were not registered as legal entities. So that means no legal background with those projects.
Meanwhile, for our project, we do lots of events with blockchain start-ups. So we had this idea of a content community and trust as a part of who we are so we weren’t necessarily concerned with how people perceived us at the same time. We realised that what we have built up over time is something quite valuable that helps us stand out among ICO projects.
People that participate in the community need to know that you are real people and that you are doing it for real reasons before they invest. Whatever projects you are looking at, if you don’t know who the team is and what they are about, I’d say stay away from that project.
Q: Other than “intrinsic skepticism” for the industry, what other challenges is Intrepid Ventures facing?
A: There is a certain barrier of understanding when it comes to anything innovative. Anything innovative is always misunderstood at the beginning. Thus, you are dealing with an environment where there’s a certain level of skepticism now, and there’s a lack of a real understanding. If people don’t understand and have trust, they won’t participate. People are not going to buy your tokens nor help your company to grow.
People are without a real understanding of cryptocurrencies, of the nuances or a way of knowing what’s good and what’s not good. These are two major problems. Thus, ultimately you have to be extremely creative and different in the way that you approach things when you want to get your name out there. You want to communicate your message, be authentic and reach people at scale to help your business grow. So that’s the challenge definitely.
Q: What other challenges did you face? Facebook and Google and other major media have given cryptocurrencies and blockchain related business a hard time.
A: To be frank, it didn’t impact much because we never really relied on those channels as a way of communicating our message. We have our blog, our events and we create good content and a great experience. You need to ask if you are helping people get better and are providing value. If you engage their visuals and garner attention, they will boost and share your content and develop trust in you. That’s the basic.
Facebook and Google ads are a great tool, but we never relied on them. We looked at it as high-quality content being informative and providing great experiences and creating trust with people through those particular channels and we’re increasingly moving forward towards more video content. The irony is that if you weigh it out in terms of costs if you are paying for the search advertising and Facebook ads or investing in having good events, great video and great life experiences and blog posts, one endures a lot longer than the other. Well, it’s harder to do. It takes a lot more effort. Especially because this is a harder year for the cryptocurrency industry.
However, whether the market is good or bad, you will succeed if you are a quality company, authentic and create good things. And you will be sustainable. Putting in the effort now and creating good content and having real relationships with people who support your project. And being really helpful and informative is the only way to go. This will take you through no matter what conditions are.
You just need to start and build up. Then you will be surprised at how many people want to get involved. They want people to trust and want to be a part of a project that they think is really cool. Pre ICO marketing is still a website, whitepaper and telegram group, blog, all of them.
Q: What kind of advice would you give to blockchain and cryptocurrency projects?
A: As an entrepreneur, this is the one thing that I’ve done all my life. To build something valuable and meaningful and be an intersection of something that you’re very passionate about – something that you can be good at and something that is an economic driver for you because you’re going to have to grow. Once you get into it, you have to focus on seeing it through to the end. It’s not easy. There is a lot of sacrifices, responsibilities and decision making. Getting through those difficult times requires doing something that you are good at and really passionate about. And the only way you are going to find that is by creating something really valuable. That’s what we do.
As an entrepreneur, this is the one thing that I’ve done all my life. To build something valuable and meaningful and be an intersection of something that you’re very passionate about – something that you can be good at and something that is an economic driver for you because you’re going to have to grow. Once you get into it, you have to focus on seeing it through to the end. It’s not easy. There is a lot of sacrifices, responsibilities and decision making. Getting through those difficult times requires doing something that you are good at and really passionate about. And the only way you are going to find that is by creating something really valuable. That’s what we do.
And the things that we want to focus on – to build smart cities and smart nations is our goal. What are the different things that are going to make up the smart cities of the future and what are the new opportunities that are not being created yet. If these ideas get created on the right infrastructure, they are very valuable not only economically but also socially. Reinvesting in healthcare, providing better transparency and security for food supply chains. Also, can you protect data, a lot better than it is being protected now; these are all things that are worth investing your time, capabilities, and your education because it is not only good business, but it can positively impact other people too.
Blockchain is a really great foundation to be able to create those types of applications. It’s really just up to your creativity after that. But I think a lot of people looked at ICO projects last year as a means to raise money. Going forward, I think what people should understand is that it isn’t just a way to raise money but also a means to build a network, be sustainable and create long-term value. Because the only way you really make money and create something is when it’s sustainable.
Ethereum, for example, took time to take off – 3- 4 years. Thus, you have to think about that kind of trajectory. There is always tension between new opportunity for growth and value. The temperament is to be able to be controlled, and you need to go with it and think – I can see the value and I’m willing to endure to realise that value because I’m really driven by my passion for making this a reality. At the end of the day, a blockchain is simply just a tool you use to get it.
Q: What advise can you give to people starting a blockchain start-up right now?
A: It might sound like a cliche, but you just have to get in. It’s a journey. I think lots of mythologies about start-ups that have come from Silicon Valley or whatever. That’s not the case. It’s really about this idea of getting started building something of value and expressing that as clearly as possible, communicating that to people and getting them involved. You are not going to do it by yourself. Working with other people, building relationships, creating values for your team and others; those are the things that will get you through and help you create real companies. It’s really a question of who you are surrounded with, your mission, skills, capability, and temperament. If you surround yourself with smart people, have the right environment, the right mission, even if you fail, it will be good.
Even if you don’t understand blockchain or you are curious about it, get out there and get to some events and just get started because I think this industry needs people from different backgrounds and different experiences to add more dimensions. It’s getting a little bit boring and monotonous, to be honest with you. Thus, that’s why I would say get out of there and make something – get involved.
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