What's It Like to Be the CTO of a Startup?
We've spoken a lot about what PumaPay is as a solution, what it brings new and what has been designed to do, however, little's been said about what sets the wheels of this big project in motion, who nurtures it – PEOPLE. I'm happy to break the ice and start the series of 'PumaPay Behind the Scenes' articles by sharing my perspective about what's it like to be the CTO of an ambitious blockchain startup like PumaPay.
While being an CTO may sound big, challenging and intimidating to some, I prefer to focus on the humane side of it. I started small pretty much like every engineering university graduate by 'playing around' with code, cracking, patching, developing and testing online games. Early in my career I worked for an iDTV gaming company in London where I gained firsthand experience of gaming lifecycle.
Later I moved into the banking sector, slowly but surely working my way up to strategic roles delivering multiple development lifecycles that included project conceptualization, coordination, PCI (Payment Card Industry) security standards compliance, risk assessments, gap analysis, internal and external audits, governance and AML. Over the years I've had the chance to see the limitations of the banking system. That's one of the things that drove me to PumaPay – the concept and the drive to change the face of the payments industry. Embracing the same vision, I believe that blockchain technology has the potential to do that, it's just we're not there yet. This is what keeps me going!
As a CTO of a startup, I can say that the road ahead is paved with both good and bad. Our duty is to turn the bad into a positive experience by learning from it so that we avoid that pitfall in future. Product development is a learning process that involves everyone not only developers, but also marketing and communications and business development teams to ensure that we're all on the same page, telling the same story. Saying that, the release of the Alpha version SDK for merchants and PumaPay Cryptocurrency Wallet for shoppers gives us impetus to move forward with the development while allowing the public to benefit from an alternative that is more flexible and cost-effective than current implementations. With this iteration, users can purchase photos or credits for their preferred online service by pushing funds to the merchant's account.
Our near-future plans include launching the second, more developed protocol at the end of July 2018. This will include an SDK II for merchants, which will allow them to reap the benefits of recurring payments on the blockchain by using our PullPayment Protocol.
Developed as an open-source solution, PumaPay enables standard billing practices such as subscriptions or direct debit that haven't been possible on the Ethereum network before. Merchants will practically have the chance to pull funds directly from shoppers' accounts if permitted to do so. At the same time, if the user wishes to discontinue a certain service, they can do that directly by unsubscribing from it in the wallet app.
Blockchain technology is all new and continuously developing and so are we, gaining more insights as we go with the flow and continue to upgrade our product. What I truly believe in as the CTO of an ambitious startup like PumaPay is that the product and the brand is made by the people behind it. We can only roll it out together. That's my take!
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