Fernando Sanchez recently spoke with Steve Good, an entrepreneur, strategic advisor, blockchain enthusiast, and YouTube personality about issues such as entrepreneurship, blockchain's potential to become the technological basis for a better future, and of course, all his ventures on YouTube and literally writing the book on crypto.
Being an entrepreneur is much more than just having an idea and trying to make money out it. That is part of it, of course, but entrepreneurship is a way of life for millions of people out there.
And each of these people have their own methods, idiosyncrasies, and ways to approach what they do.
I was curious to know Steve's own opinion and vision on entrepreneurship.
Steve said "that's an interesting question. A lot of people have ideas, no doubt about that, but the question is whether or not they have the ability and willingness to execute these ideas."
"I think there are probably two types of entrepreneurs out there. Visionaries, who are people with very, very big ideas, but not very good at managing and executing them. Steve Jobs springs to mind, for example."
"The other type is the kind of person who's got a team around with great ideas and is able to actually transform these ideas into reality. Jeff Bezos from Amazon, for instance."
"So I'd say that entrepreneurship is not for everybody. You've got to have that deep, inner hunger to do it. It must be part of your core. A lot of people just don't have that."
"The reality of entrepreneurs is that we work hard, and when things are good, we celebrate them, and when things go bad, emotions kick in and we go down big time. I think that learning to deal with emotional roller coasters is part of the job. And we also have another valuable skill, which is managing challenges and problems."
"As an advisor to a lot of start-ups in crypto, I try to coach them to push through hard times and be prepared for anything that may come, as there are a lot of things that can go wrong along the way."
"The entrepreneur has to have that spirit, to keep fighting through things that may not be so easy."
On being a strategic advisor to crypto and blockchain companies
Steve is a high-value individual with a particular focus on the crypto and blockchain ecosystem. He defines himself as a "strategic advisor", which poses the question of what this means, and what his approach to advising crypto entities is.
"So I look into two things that every ICO or blockchain & crypto company has to have: They need to know what their strategy is, what they're doing to understand the gaps in the market, and what differentiates them from anyone else. There are a lot of projects out there that are boasting about being faster, or how their blockchain can send money, or whatever. And I'd say, so what? Anyone can say that. So that's the first thing for me, to identify what they are bringing to the market that adds real value and innovation to people. In other words, some real live use cases that articulate real benefits."
"Secondly, but no less important, is a good financial plan and a sound tokenomics model. Also, having a solid product roadmap that shows where the project is going."
"Those, to me, are the cornerstones of what a company needs."
"It is very hard to stand out from the crowd, and even if you have great ideas, bringing them to market is quite a challenge."
On engaging audiences
Steve is a well known and sought-after keynote speaker.
Engaging an audience through one's words can be a daunting prospect. Everyone uses different techniques for doing so, and I was interested to know what Steve's approach to this issue is.
Steve began his answer by saying that "first of all, I like to keep things light, fun, and interesting. When people attend a talk or a speech, they want something to take away with them. They want to get information that they didn't necessarily understand or know previously."
"Let's take the issue of fundraising, for example. People may be aware of what the concept of fundraising is, but wouldn't necessarily know how to go about it. So I'd say, let me tell you the six steps involved in how every successful company starts with awareness and ends up with investment. From there, you build up customer loyalty, brand recognition, etc. People then go, oh, there are six steps?"
"So what I've done here is taken something that is fundamentally thought-to-be understood and break it down. I try to give them something that is valuable, something they can use and apply to whatever they are doing. Otherwise, it's just presenting something for the sake of it."
This raises an interesting point about creating value for the people listening to a speech, or who are working with Steve in any given project.
The issue of value is an important one, as everyone who engages in the creation and development of any project seeks to create value for either themselves, their audience, or the world around them. Value is a key metric for a project, so I asked Steve how he personally creates value.
"The value I bring is being able to highlight and explain things that they themselves don't understand. A Tokenomics model, for instance. There are many ways to demonstrate value. They key is to identify what they need to and highlight ways to solve it in ways they hadn’t considered."
On transitioning from Fintech to blockchain
Steve spent a large chunk of his professional career working in Fintech, until he heard blockchain calling. This transition was an interesting and significant move, which I wanted to hear more about.
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"So a number of things happened. Back in 2010, I had a mentor called Barnaby Wynter. Brilliant guy. He gave me a lot of very valuable insights about marketing and helped me to launch a business I was getting off the ground at the time. As it happened, Barnaby was interested in Bitcoin right around the same time. So he was running around with catalogues of stuff that you could buy with Bitcoin, and I honestly had no idea what he was talking about."
"Roughly two years later, I went on a seminar focused on “finding the future”. There were a lot of interesting topics, such as ICOs, graphene, VR and AR, AI, etc. Plenty of cool stuff. This would have been 2013 or 2014. So crypto and Bitcoin appeared on my radar again, and I remembered thinking that I needed to spend some time researching this topic."
"So fast forward to 2016, that's when I started getting into crypto seriously. And the more I looked at it, the more interesting I thought it was. I realized there were so many unique things that blockchain could do and so many interesting ways to transform banking, for example."
"The problem was, the technology was so nascent that websites dedicated to it were not so good, and information was rather sparse. But I saw blockchain as a new technology coming in, with a lot of potential. I was pretty much out of Fintech by then anyway, so I easily transitioned into blockchain."`
"So one thing led to another, from mining to advising blockchain companies, writing a book, launching a YouTube show, and so on. That was my entrepreneurial spirit kicking in. I try to find as many ways to engage with lots of different people, finding ways to get involved and add value every day, etc."
"I like to work with technologies that are new and exciting, and I always try to be an early adopter, that's just my character."
Blockchain does indeed carry a lot of potential. The technology has already disrupted a number of sectors, and it's slowly finding its way to topple the status quo for banking, for example. Steve had realized this potential early on, so he's well aware of what blockchain can do.
He said that "if you look at things like voting, for example. Voting fraud can be completely stamped out. If you vote on the blockchain, that vote is immutable. One vote means one person. That's just one thing."
"One of the key differences between a database and blockchain is that databases are held within companies, while blockchains are stored externally, in global form. So this trait means that you can easily integrate several companies through one blockchain. This means that any actions done on the blockchain would be open and transparent, with no chance of tampering or mishandling."
"Blockchain creates a lot of potential for people to become engaged and work together."
"And in many respects, I think blockchain also allows us to do a lot of good for the world, as the technology enables us to connect into many different systems and ecosystems through a global, open platform."
On why Steve does what he does
Professional motivation is driven by a lot of factors. Financial gain, social status, fulfillment, etc. What everyone does, and why they do it, is an interesting topic of discussion.
Steve is driven by his entrepreneurial spirit, for sure, but I wanted to get deeper into it.
He said that "If a project is not based on a solid and good idea that's going to be disruptive in any way, then it probably won't be of any interest to me. Ultimately though, funding is key. If there's no money behind the idea, the project is less likely to go anywhere. That’s the hard reality that entrepreneurs face is that great ideas are great but they also need funding to succeed."
"So I tend to look for projects that have good, disruptive ideas. Ideas that can be changed and shifted over time to meet market demands and needs. Projects that can evolve over time."
"I try to work with entrepreneurs and leaders who are trying to define the world through the value they are creating, but more importantly, with non-rigid thought processes."
"I'd rather work with teams that are easy going, open minded, and willing to adapt."
On speaking to the world through a podcast and a YouTube channel, and publishing a book about crypto
Steve's entrepreneurial spirit shines through his career, which encompasses a diversity of projects and undertakings. And he's no stranger to taking to the world stage through YouTube either, as he runs his own channel, The Coin Chat. But Steve's ambitions go much further than that, as he and his team are putting the finishing touches for a book on crypto.
He was very keen on speaking about his media life.
"As part of everything I do in crypto, I launched a podcast back in November 2017. We placed it on iTunes first, then on Spotify, and it really did take off there. We then moved into YouTube, and we continue to expand there. I've interviewed some heavyweights, like John McAffee and Andrew Yang (US Presidential candidate who is also big on blockchain)."
"The starting point for the show was to bring out knowledge and information about crypto to the general masses. In short, help everybody to get started. Remember I said earlier that information on crypto was rather scarce at the beginning. So our initial goal was to get people up to speed, and help them understand the basis of blockchain, crypto, etc."
"We then took all that content and created a book, which is being edited at the moment. The book has no title yet, but the principle is to communicate the seven things you need to know to get started in crypto. That's what the book is about."
"The book will be out later this year."
"We’ve also launched a Patreon channel for exclusive content to help people trade in cryptocurrency. We are also planning to launch an educational series later this year, we'll see how that goes. It's all part of our ecosystem, along with the book, the YouTube channel, etc."