Hi, I’m William Mougayar from Toronto, Canada. I'm an investor & author of The Business Blockchain – the first business book that fully explains the blockchain’s implications on business.

in #ama6 years ago

This is my first AMA, and I’m looking forward to it. You can start asking questions, and I will start responding at 8pm EST!
Announcement thread: https://steemit.com/steem-question/@cryptoctopus/get-ready-for-the-first-ever-ama-on-a-blockchain-powered-social-media-platform-with
My new book: http://www.amazon.com/Business-Blockchain-Practice-Application-Technology/dp/1119300312


Hi William! I am curious about your insights regarding the marketing of cryptocurrency projects. It seems that educating the public is a very expensive process since it requires people to think in ways they are not used to.

What kind of advice to you have for startups in the blockchain world in regards to marketing their projects? What has worked and not worked in your experience?

If it's complicated, then it is the entrepreneur's job to simplify how you message it to the market.
That said, it could be really complicated and difficult to explain, and maybe you are too early, then you need to be patient. But if you're on to something, and you can simplify the messaging, then test it out with others around you to see how it resonates.
There is a learning curve no doubt. Consumers aren't even educated on Bitcoin, and when you throw blockchains, cryptocurrencies in general, DAO concepts, crowdsales, crypto equity, etc...then most normal people will get lost.
Sadly, we are in the early days of getting educated first. It took a good 3-4 years before the Internet became widely understood even by the largest corporations- i.e. from 1994-1997 at least, the Internet was foggy for many.
Advice to startups: use metaphors to describe what you are doing, and be realistic. Don't shoot for the moon and don't promise the moon either. Vet your pitch around you.

Thank you William. Let me ask you a follow up question:

What kind of advertising avenue would you choose first?

  1. Go to influencer in the media (Max Keiser for example)
  2. Go directly to the biggest fish that could use your product (banks, microsoft, google, etc.)
  3. Word of mouth
  4. Social Media Posting and Paid Advertising

Hi William, interested in having you on my show "Keiser Report" to talk about your book and STEEMIT - DM me on twitter, thanks

Welcome @max-keiser !

is this real?
I certainly want a proof it is really you @max-keiser !
Like @wmougayar did by posting his picture with a paper that shows he has written "I am on steemit" above....

Hi Again William - we taped a few Keiser Reports ahead of our trip to the States - but still want you on . . . STEEM has had incredible growth . . the model is great.. much needed... for proof this is me... suggest something for me to post on my twitter handle...

post about steemit!

Max when will you start posting here?

It depends on each situation. Tough to answer well without the context. But that said, generally:
3 because it's the proof that users give you
4 to amplify #3
1 to further explain your message to new audiences and it can sandwiched before and after #4
2 you need to have a really polished product for them, or they will kill you initially. startups doing business with the big companies is not an easy task.

This book is timely, I own an investment company in Zug, Switzerland and I can tell you that business is having a struggle to understand the implications and application of blockchain technology, so well done on this effort!

What, in your understanding, is the business model of Blythe Master's new company?

Why don't you ask them?
My understanding is that they have a deep knowledge of the banking industry and of the segments they are targeting, while trying to match that with a given technology platform to deliver blockchain-based solutions that help financial institutions move into the blockchain world and improve themselves. It seems like a product/services business model to me.

It is a reality that they are pondering what they got themselves into, and it's a positive sign they are aware of it. They have a good problem on their hands, which is to decide how to adjust and proceed. It is a good problem to have.
We are all learning and testing the boundaries of what is possible, and DAOs in general have been aggressive in testing these limits. In typical fashion, some will overshoot, and then re-tract and adjust. I expect that will happen. At the end of the day, nothing beats a good business model, a good product and a great team, whether are on DAO auto-pilot, managed traditionally or semi-autonomously. You need to show a value system that is credible inside those DAOs and the ideas they are generating. The governance issues will take care of themselves I think, over time.

Welcome, William! How has the early internet era of startups been similar or different from the blockchain era?

wow....in so many ways...many many ways, and I cover that a lot in my book where I refer to that analogy, because I was there from Day 1 with the Internet/Web and had a similar role, ie. to explain its evolution to businesses and the market.
Startup-wise specifically, there is as much money and attention as there was in 2000 during the Internet days, BUT with an inventory of startups that look more like what we had in 1996-1997.
I'd like to see more quality in blockchain related startups, and we are starting to see improvements across the board.

Interesting how the capital and number of startups compare. I wonder if ultimately Blockchain will have a bigger impact than the Internet wave, even if it takes longer to get there?

Yes and Yes.
It will have a bigger impact, but perhaps over a longer period of time.
But I reserve the right to re-assess this answer in 2 years, depending on how it develops :)

William, thank you for taking the time to answer our questions. Obvious first question, how do you see blockchain-based Steemit affecting the future of social media? What are your feelings on rewarding content creators via this method?

I'm still learning about Steemit, so I can probably better answer this question in a few weeks.
I think if they can manage the potential gaming of the system (and I understand they do), the potential is interesting.
Rewards are a good incentive, as long as they are real and the effort to earn them is balanced, and that it is repeatable.

Glad to hear you'll be sticking around with us for a bit! Thanks again!

Hi William! This one might be out of theme, but how do u think the overall crypto community is affecting the spread and growth of the technology?

The crypto community is like the cheer leaders for the market. They are doing a fine job in my opinion, even if there are extreme bouts of over exuberance or public feuds. The transparency is good, and it yields to a certain resiliency in the market, a sort of antifragility. Bullshit will get detected earlier, and called on, accordingly. We didn't have that during the Internet days, and this is a good thing for the crypto-tech related market.

William, thank you for joining us tonight, you had great responses! Thank you everyone who asked questions. This was a very successful, first ever, Steemit AMA, and it will forever live on the blockchain!

Thank you Ned and everybody. Great questions overall. Thank you, Steemit.
Feel free to email me, anyone. You can AMA on email too [email protected]
And don't hesitate to get The Business Blockchain book on Amazon and write a review if you like it.

Thanks for joining us William! Which cryptocurrencies do you invest in and why? Just curious. Thx!

Haha.. ETH and BTC are my only holdings...kind of like the blue chips of crypto :)

Like it or not, you've just earned some STEEM holdings as well! We hope you'll come back here and continue to participate in the evolution of this site.

steemit is in beta right now... Just curious if you would change something on the whitepaper and/or if you would come with an idea to make the steemit platform better? Do you think the existence of bots that autovotes will help the platform or will harm it? And what are your suggestions?

I'm a newbie to the Steemit platform and read the white paper yesterday quickly. But I need to wrap my head further around it. I will just say that I have had pleasant and positive experiences so far from the site and the staff at Steemit.
As in any startup, part of getting there is the result of small iterations and improvements, and what's more important is being nimble at recognizing what needs to be tweaked, changed or abolished.

How do you see blockchain developing in the next 5 years? What projects are you most excited about?

Loaded question :)
I'd like to see more in Healthcare and Government services. And I'd like to see a real blockchain-based bank (or several) take shape from scratch... as new ones.
I'd like to see Google-like services where you can check the blockchain for proving something or verifying trust or ownerships.
I'd like to see 1 Trillion dollars moving on blockchains in 5 years, in both currencies and assets. I think that's possible.

Hi, William. I'm wondering your opinions about pros and cons of Ethereum and Steem.

Hmm. That's like apples and oranges no? Both are innovative platforms and are sparking our imagination about new possibilities- Ethereum as a platform for decentralized applications and models, and Steem as a decentralized social platform. But it may be too early to characterize or pigeon hole Steem yet.

Let's imagine a blockchain-based cryptocurrency disrupts Bitcoin and goes on to world domination, becoming as common as Western Union (or even credit cards / checking accounts if we really want to set our sights high).

What do you think would be the key ingredients in this revolutionary, disruptive cryptocurrency? What would it do right that today's cryptocurrencies do poorly or not at all?

That is a speculative question of course.
It would need to be really really simple, and perhaps build on all of the other technologies we have so far, and be a super set perhaps. And it might need a key figure to make that happen, maybe another Satoshi Nakamoto or Vitalik Buterin of sorts...or maybe a business person like Elon Musk that is bold and daring :)

Try to keep that question in mind when you reach the Steem Dollar section of the whitepaper. You may realize you've missed some obvious names :)

Thanks for being here!

Very true. Odd to see how larimer is so forgotten despite being the person who asked (and answered) many questions vitalik couldn't very early on.

Wish I could upvote this and pharesims' comment more than one million times!!!!! It is disgusting to see how often, whether intentional or not, Dan's work, contributions and shear genius have been omitted amongst crypto communities.

Welcome, William! We are so fortunate to have your expertise. It seems to me that the blockchain is a great equalizer, giving normal people opportunities to participate, like the first wave of P2P companies but enabling an even more stripped-down business model. What other areas (that are not using it yet) do you see as being candidates for being 'powered by the blockchain'?

I think I may have answered this elsewhere. Please check that answer too. But in a nutshell, I'd like to see more healthcare and government applications because they can affect our daily lives and society at large.

What do you think about Bitcoin's proof-of-work (POW) consensus mechanism compared to others such as Bitshares delegated-proof-of-stake, Ethereum's future Casper proof-of-stake consensus protocol and other alternatives?

If you ask me that question in 2 years, it would be an irrelevant one. It will become almost like what's under the hood of car. Do you "really" care if it's 4 or 6 cylinders or diesel or propane, or an electric car, if you just want to get there and drive one. Yes, there are difference is costs, but all of them are valid with nuances.
What will be more important is WHAT you can do with each one of these mechanisms. People will forget what's under the hood, and will go for the outside features, in case it will be the Applications.
Give me a good decentralized application that works well and scales, and I won't care if it was built on POS, POW or whatever.

Do you think that the enormous market cap of ethereum (currently over 1.16 billion) is justified? Why?

I need to be careful commenting directly on that, because it's the equivalent of commenting on a public company when you're an insider. There are rules for that. And I'm using self-discipline to avoid commenting in ways that could be interpreted as signals to move the ETH one way or another.
What you need to look at is the fact that there are over 230 startups/projects being concocted on Ethereum http://dapps.ethercasts.com/ , and that is a healthy sign for an ecosystem that is vibrant. Yes, there are more Bitcoin startups and they have received more funding than Ethereum's counterparts, but there have been a steady uptick in Ethereum-based startups being funded, either via self-modes or venture capital.
In the future, I predict the lines will get blurred between what is a Bitcoin startups vs. an Ethereum startup. Already many companies are dipping in both technologies equally, so what do you call them?

William, do you have any predictions about how blockchain technology will affect politics, elections, democracy?

Nothing significantly in 2016.
But in 2020, Yessssss! It will. (in the USA context)

Hi William and welcome to Steemit,
What's your though on Blockchain that serve specific needs or specific target market?
e.g: Blockchain for solar energy like SolarCoin ou Stellar Blockchain targeting unbanked in Nigeria-Africa or even Bitshares BlockChain which can be suited for start-up or Co-op

As long as the business model is real and credible, and as long as the people behind any idea are real and credible, then the market decides. In theory, and on a white paper, most of these ideas look great. There is no shortage of ideas, but if you wonder why some ideas take a long time to get executed and others deliver faster, then you need to think whether something isn't right somewhere.
I get worried when the price of a particular promise gets way ahead of its delivery reality.
That said, I do believe in special purpose blockchains that serve a particular segment, like the one Steemit is built on.

Hello William,
We now see a lot of banks and financial institutions interested in blockchain tech, why do you think this is and what advantages does a centralized blockchain provide for a bank?

It is so, because the first blockchain (Bitcoin) was about Money, and that's the banks' business.
What most banks are doing now with private blockchains is only maybe using 1/4 of the full potential of blockchains. They see it as a technology for saving money and improving some internal or inter-organizational processes, which is fine as an improvement step, but not as one that will change their business.

Hi William, do you think Decentralized Exchanges such as the one used in Bitshares have a big role to play in the future of crypto currencies? in the same light how important do you see that decentralized exchange evolve to sidechains allowing trust-less interoperability with other crypto currencies?

Please consider @wmougayar, in Bitshares we have watched and helped the decentralized exchange develop for years now. As this technology evolves (next step side-chains!) the users will have a better experience using a decentralized exchange. Given benefits like cost, transparency, and security, people will certainly migrate when the technology is mature. Just the fact that it consolidates wallets on all major chains so that one user's wallet can hold funds on multiple chains in a way that can't be lost or sized by unethical hackers is enough to catch some attention. Add to this the ability to have markets and orders. With hundreds or thousands of chains this is going to be important. I think a Decentralized Exchange is to an Exchanges just as OpenBazarre is to EBay.

It's all part of the evolution of how cryptocurrencies (and crypto-equity or crypto-assets) will be traded in the future.
It will really depend on market traction and user adoption. Not all technologies will be successful in attracting a large enough number of users to sustain them. The trick will be in getting adoption, really- as that is the sign of success, not just that it's cool technology.

Why do you think ethereum was so successful at raising funds? What can I startup learn from what they did?

Ethereum succeeded in raising their funds initially for several reasons. Some of the key ones I saw were that the white paper was really powerful, and it captured the imagination of several developers who believed in that vision, and wanted to make it happen.
So, lessons are to: inspire and get supporters behind you as a community. The power of communities that lift themselves up from the ground up is very important. That groundswell lifted Ethereum and supported it.
Plus, they were quite ambitious, and still are. And they communicated well what they were doing.

Hi William,
What are your thoughts on Ethereum's switch from a POW to a POS blockchain? can it be done smoothly? Do you know how they plan on going about doing this?

I haven't found much info on the subject and my understanding is it will be the first blockchain to make a switch from POW to POS.

My understanding of POS is that it is still works in progress, and there is some ongoing research and development that continues on it. The Ethereum blog is the best place to follow it https://blog.ethereum.org/.
It would be an interesting development once they have completed the work on it, because it has some attractive scalability features.

Hey William what are your thoughts on Decentralized Cooperative Models like FairCoin for example?

What is an ama?

Ask Me Anything :)

Hey William, don't know if you're still taking questions. I an unversed in the topic of blockchains, does the data always have to permanent and open to the public for it to work?

Such a amazing writing...writing goals:)

Coin Marketplace

STEEM 0.23
TRX 0.07
JST 0.030
BTC 20282.96
ETH 1145.85
USDT 1.00
SBD 3.20