Where are the Women Blockchain Entrepreneurs?

At 20|30, we're building a platform for the 21st century. It's open. We have big plans. The one thing we're missing, besides money, is female entrepreneurs. 

Why? Where are they? There are, of course, a few very visible women in our industry: Caitlin Long of Symbiont, Blythe Masters of Digital Asset Holdings, Melanie Shapiro of Case, and a few others. Meltem Demirors of Digital Currency Group notes that only 17 percent of the people who work in their portfolio companies are female - below the average for various industries. 

We are building a diverse community of blockchain entrepreneurs. We don't look at resumes. We don't care where you went to school or where you worked recently. You're welcome to join our slack, learn, become part of a project, or start your own. 

The action these days is in our Slack and in our newsletter. We don't post much here on the blog. Be sure to sign up for our newsletter (home page, bottom) and email me if you want to join our slack: david@2030.io

Help us Find a Great Name for our Social Network

You have probably noticed for years already that LinkedIn was going downhill. Not just the new user interface, but the quality of the posts, the gaming of the system, and the biases inherent in the selection processes make LinkedIn a dysfunctional ecosystem. As I have written about before, and I have actually written a book about, the only acceptable replacement is an open-source platform where you own your own data. 

So we asked some LinkedIn members to tell us what they would like to see in a better version of LinkedIn, and they told us (see previous blog post). And now we're getting a team together to build it. To do that, we want to launch our manifesto online, and to do that, we need a great domain name. So we thought we would outsource our name and our domain name to you, our readers and followers. 

We want this to be a movement: an open-source platform that hundreds, then thousands of people will contribute to and build on top of. We expect to start a nonprofit foundation that oversees the platform, so no Microsoft can ever buy it. And we expect many entrepreneurs to build for-profit products and services on top of it. You can learn much more in our hard-to-find white paper, but for now we're asking you to help us find a great name. 

To do that, we're having a contest. We are offering a new Nu Vision Windows tablet that's great for surfing the web, playing games, checking email, etc, to the person who sends us the name we choose.

To enter, send your short list of name suggestions (one email per person), and I'll put the most promising names into the slack for the group to discuss, research, and decide on. If we end up using your name, I'll send you the tablet PC. Remember - your first submission is your last. 

Bonus points for finding a good and available domain name to go with your fantastic platform name. 

If you don't have time to read the white paper, at least watch this short vision video: 

In the past, the name I chose was Xyzygy. This name has many fun properties (only word in the english language with the letters XYZ in that order, only word with three Ys, etc.), but it is a) hard to remember, and b) remarkably taken these days.

A good name brings the purpose to mind while still being playful and off-center. There are plenty of resources online on how to come up with a good name, and even some online name generators

One other thing: if you have been reading our newsletter and have any questions about blockchain and business, or about 20|30, please send them, so I can answer them in future newsletters. 

One other other thing: if you want to join our slack and be part of 20|30, you are welcome to join us. Just add in your email that you'd like to be added to our slack. Or send me a message any time asking to be added. My email is david@2030.io

Thanks to all our supporters. We have BIG things planned. Join us and be part of it! We're looking for coders, architects, designers, writers, marketing people, data people, and anyone else who wants to be part of our community. Just send me an email and I'll invite you to our slack. 

Thank you for your support. 

Results of our LinkedIn survey

Sorry I haven't written much in the blog lately - too busy building products and focusing on fundraising. 

Recently, we noticed many people upset with LinkedIn for lowering the quality of the experience. So we launched a survey to learn what people would want in an open-source replacement that we hope to build. Here's our incomparable 20|30 data scientist Ellen Miller's report: 

"These comments are based on 109 responses. The survey is still technically open but the rate of response has now slowed considerably.

The majority of responses (76%) did not pay for LinkedIn. Of all the respondents, only 6.5% thought LinkedIn had no value, and the most common response (41%) was that people checked it occasionally and got something out of it. 

However, there was a high level of dissatisfaction mentioned in the freeform comments. The most common reasons for this were:

  1. Lack of functionality, often compared with past functionality and connected with the Microsoft takeover;
  2. Also along the same lines, the prices charged, especially given that some of the functionality that now requires payment used to be available without charge;
  3. The content, and what appears in the feed - especially the lack of control over what users see, and the lack of professionalism of some posters;
  4. The new interface being very non-user friendly, and also very buggy.

Although not many people chose to talk about not having control over their own data when considering what was wrong with LinkedIn, it was mentioned many times in the comments on how a dream replacement for LinkedIn would look. Also, the lack of ability to verify other people's data, whether personal (CVs, endorsements) or business (job specifications), was a key concern.

When asked how 20|30 should position ourselves to get more people to join in, "Use positive messages about an open-source platform for the future of work and owning your own data" was the overwhelming choice at 79%. One particularly cheering comment stated "You have started fairly well by this survey.  Thinking in terms of Value and Value added to both employer and job seeker on what would it take to disrupt the balance to have job seekers and employers engage in the new product." Happily, 78% of respondents said they would be interested in joining us to build our open-source solution. We collected email addresses for newsletter subscriptions, so hopefully some of you reading this have subscribed because of the survey:-)

A couple of very telling results were that the most common way respondents described themselves was as networkers or consultants. The most common reason for them using LinkedIn (58%) was for networking. The most frequently mentioned activities were people growing their networks, reading articles, and sharing things they found interesting. This strongly implies that networking, rather than jobseeking, is a core aim for those using LinkedIn (at least, those willing to respond to our survey), although jobseeking or employee seeking might well be an indirect end result or desire of this networking. There were also many comments about a new platform or application being more active than LinkedIn, having communities around shared interests for collaboration, with a strategy for getting people involved with shared activities, where serious and qualified contributors can get more involved, more focus on events, partnerships, meet-ups and side projects.

With regard to location, unsurprisingly, 30% of respondents came from the US, followed (interestingly) by Switzerland and the UK. Everyone else was scattered around the world, including from Morocco and Qatar, and even a place called Planet Heart:-)

 

Looking for a blockchain developer intern

At 20|30, we are looking for an intern to help us build our definitive index of cryptocurrencies. It’s a big project. We already have about six people working on it. Now we’re looking for someone to build a multi-blockchain explorer. At first, it’s to track our multi-blockchain portfolio, which will consist of about 50 cryptocurrencies. Later, we would like to build a general multi-chain explorer. We hope to find a sharp developer who has familiarity with crypto, APIs, and blockchains in general, and who is excited about our project to change the world. Please introduce yourself in our forums and tell us what experience and interest you have in this project. 

This project will be paid in our future stock token, which won't be public for more than a year. All of us are working passionately to build this future. We do it to work together on ground-breaking projects. The reward of future stock is an afterthought. 

Thank you. 

Help us Price our New Index Token!

We’re in the process of creating our first product: an index and a token that represent the large-cap and mid-cap cryptocurrencies in a single portfolio. The portfolio will have roughly 45 coins using a smart weighting scheme, and the token will represent the value of the portfolio. 
Now we’re trying to decide how to price it. The initial price of our token can be anything we want. It's psychological - it's behavioral marketing. 

For example, see this page of ETF and index prices - they range from $10 to more than $200. Many are in the $20-30 range.

I guess we should price between $10 and $100. Our token won't be divisible, so this is a choice we'll live with forever.

On the one hand, a $100 price makes it seem in bitcoin territory, which people are used to. It could seem more valuable - like an average of the price of many coins. Another view: since it's a whole basket of coins, and most of them are worth around $1-2, then you can imagine that, without bitcoin, the total basket could all add up to around $100. And it’s nice for tracking the growth over time. Plus, people perceive expensive things as being more valuable, and this is a nontrivial consideration. 

On the other hand, I don't want people to balk, saying it's an expensive token. We shouldn’t give people a reason to not buy it, and maybe at $100 they will think it has more downside than upside. 

On the other hand, perhaps $100 will encourage people to buy and hold, which is what we want. A price like $10 could encourage more speculation, which would increase volatility. 

It's a matter of perception. 

What do you say? Where do you think we should price it initially? Just leave a comment and we'll see what people say, or come to the forums and discuss everything 20|30 with us! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An Open Letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi

This is by Yogesh Gaikwad, one of our founders ...

Dearest Prime Minister Modi, Top Indian Intellectuals and Top Bureaucrats in the Prime Minister's office,

I would like to divert your urgent attention on five major points: Demonetization, Indian Banks, Black Money, Going Cashless, and How 20|30 Can help.

1. Demonetization
I salute you for a bold decision of demonetization and this is a welcome move to extract black money out from our economy, but I am unhappy with the implementation and follow up incidents. Lot of old people, poor, pensioners, labourers, traditional small businesses suffered massively. I come from a family who served India for three generations in defence and education, and I say openly that the middle and low level bureaucracy is the worst in India. Until and unless there are major reforms in bureaucracy, things won’t move ahead, nor we will develop greatly as a nation. Our only hope after the past 6 decades is one great global leader that is our PM Narendra Modi. The old age bureaucratic laws, red tape and bad implementation will cost us our economic growth dearly in 2017.

2. Indian Banks
Regarding Indian public banks, I would say they are the most anti youngsters and in shambles. We criticize foreign banks like UBS or HSBC on black money but our own banks like SBI, IDBI etc. are so antiquated that they will never support young educated entrepreneurs on merit or help poor farmers but will waive off loans to Mr Mallya or give billion-rupees loans to few controversial entrepreneurs and other "crony capitalists" with poor credit history. Four years ago during college days I was denied Rs 50,000 loan by a bank for a project for disabled soldiers and fight against cancer despite being eligible and they wanted me to mortgage my family house for such a small amount. This is the plight of so many youngsters in India who wish to do good things for the people in a patriotic way.

The actual policies like Startup and Stand Up India never reach grass root level to help small companies. In my recent experience, I waited for five months with three banks and nothing concrete happened. Indian banks ask entrepreneurs, for example , to give five years income returns, father’s income, bank guarantee, etc redundant rules which makes no sense if we wish to create India as a Startup and Entrepreneurs hub. 

Recently, I was abroad, and I would say foreign banks have best innovation program for youngsters, they invest and support young entrepreneurs, and farmers too, while I see opposite in India. Please take this very seriously, else it will be India’s loss in 21st century if we see best talent like example — future Sundar Pichai leaving India to west for better opportunities and farmers or poor suffering in this country.

3. Black Money
The big black money hoarders do not store their money in cash. All the big evaders use digital currency and bonds in foreign accounts. They have not been hurt. Only the rich villagers, small politicians, goons, corrupt small businessmen stash money. We need to stay ahead in time and thinking if we want to seriously remove the black money hoarders from our economy. This initiative, while well intended, had very serious consequences for our people. It comes from an old-fashioned mindset that doesn't understand how the world really works today. We will never get ahead of corruption and lead the world with tactics like this. 

4. Cashless Payments
Foreign country citizens use contactless cards, digital wallets, digital currencies, crypto currencies, blockchain like technology so there is a financial technology revolution taking place abroad which we are not welcoming. I hope soon we put in place a nationwide program to go cashless in India. This is possible with the right mix of experiments and organic growth. 

5. How 2030 can help India?
We are a community of innovators. We would be happy to help India's government during this transition. Our Plan is to create a decentralized world, give more power to people, and reduce bureaucracy. India is a tech giant, but we are followers, not leaders. We want to teach the people of India how to create their own decentralized systems. We will build blockchain innovation centers across India and focus on entrepreneurial problem solving. We are determined to solve problems in Indian healthcare tech, legal tech and change India's corrupt banking and finance sector. 

A new era is coming. Software will replace most of the clerks and white-collar workers, which will give more power to individuals with phones. We don't need to get people in India into bank accounts. We need to do better. India can lead the world in cashless economy, and now is the time to start. 

Sincerely,

Yogesh Gaikwad

Introducing 20|30!

It's a privilege to write the very first post on a new blog - something I've done about five times in my life. My name is David Siegel. I'm one of the founders of 20|30. Another one of the founders could be you. We're creating a very open, very scalable ecosystem of blockchain entrepreneurs, bootstrappers, marketing and sales people around the world. If you can sell it, we can build it. This is how we plan to conquer the world - with sales that drive innovation, not the other way around. We want your energy to build this community. We want you to register and join our discussions and be part of our movement. Here's what you can do here: 

Learn. Please join the forums (click on COMMUNITY), register, and find the discussions that interest you. We are passion driven, so learn and share what you have learned. 

Take action. In any community, about 90 percent of people just read and never interact once, about 9 percent do a bit, and one percent of people does 99 percent of the work. We hope in this community there will be more doers and fewer watchers. It's a time of action. It's a time to try things, to mock up, to pretotype, to prototype, to write white papers and express your vision, to join other projects, to bring in the news, to make comments and to promote 2030 in your sphere of influence. 

Become part of the team. Those who do the most are automatically part of the team here. We reward hours worked with our equity tokens, which we hope will be worth quite a lot someday. We're bootstrapping - if you can help us bootstrap (building value, selling, getting consulting work, bringing in investors), you'll be rewarded.

Act like an owner. Act like 20|30 is your company - it is! You make things happen, you get stock. Help us promote the web site in your communities. Help us reach out to potential partners and funders. Help others learn. Organize events. Write a blog post. Write an article on Medium.com. Find something that needs to be done and do it. Find a problem and solve it. Take the initiative - there's no one to ask! Just do it! Anything you do that builds the community is very valuable, for our community will be our supporters when it's time for us to go public next year.

Add a 2030 banner to your LinkedIn profile. There are five to choose from. Get them here

Spread the word. We need to get at least 500 people into our community to have a viable ongoing group discussion. Please help us with social media, emails, referrals, and whatever you can do to help get the word out. We are very interested in talking with journalists now - do you know any? 

Thanks to all the enthusiastic people who have made 2030 possible, from investors to volunteers to people just contributing in the forums. I hope 2017 is the year we become an unstoppable force in the world. 

David Siegel