Co-Founder of A Blockchain Factory Rick Carter leads us into the merry blue yonder of what an entrepreneur must consider when considering delving deep into the boundless opportunities of blockchain.
When the Pioneers of the Computer Software Industry started they had a very clear vision – to take established manual processes (eg Payroll, Accounting etc) and leverage computer technology to deliver more efficient and effective outcomes.
They had a limited range of options in terms of computer hardware (mainly IBM known of Big Blue) programming languages and file structures – the relational database had not yet been popularised.
Over the years the options increased rapidly and the processes evolved but the visions remained largely to same. Although the evolution of business process engineering and the legendary James Martin brought some changes to align the way people did things, manually with the way computers could do things.
Rigidly defined processes became more flexible and software developers all aimed to make their products agile and adaptable to fit the needs of individual organisations as far as possible.
Then along came SAP in the 90s, who with typical Germanic flair removed the need for flexibility totally. They built systems that were designed for vertical markets, they delivered built-in industry best practice and sold to the highest levels (eg The Board). In other words adapt your business to our software to get the best results!
While imagination and creativity always played a role in ensuring the best outcomes they did not drive projects they way they must be in the rapidly emerging BlockChain (not just Bitcoin and Distributed Ledgers/Databases) world.
Rather than end users (customers) and developers working together to get the best results for all, BlockChain can and some cases must bring together – Lawyers, Accountants, Psychologists, Ethicists even Philosophers and Sociologist because of the broad all-encompassing outcomes BlockChain can deliver.
For the emerging entrepreneur (I wont use the term Software Entrepreneur as in the near future all of the top companies in the world will be Software companies according to renowned Futurist – Robert Tersek) Blockchain provides a number of opportunities previously not available including:
- The ability to raise massive amounts of money based on the potential of the business via an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) which relies upon a concept clearly documented in a White-Paper
- Change the fundamental way business is done by implementing an automated model for immutable trust, effectively eliminating all manner of middle men and giving every person in the world their own unique and permanent identity and ownership of their data.
- Introduction of Smart Contracts that will execute automatically based on a range of conditions being met without human adjudication.
So now while the process still starts with The Problem – applying creative thinking to solving that problem, more than ever and most importantly assuming there are no existing manual or computerised processed to be made smarter are the fundamentals of success. You literally start with two sheets of paper – One headed Problem Worth Solving and a detailed description and one headed Solution and the rest left intentionally blank.
The question for the Entrepreneur now is how can I use this technology to make the world a better place ….. irrespective of where I am, as local markets and the tyranny of distance – which has limited Australian Entrepreneurs – are no longer relevant.
Admittedly the Internet changed the game in eliminating geographical boundaries and Cloud computing by eliminating the cost of hardware.
But Blockchain is a whole new game and one limited only by Imagination and no longer by Budgets. If the idea is good enough and bold enough – plus solid and reliable the money can be raised and raised quickly (less than 24 hours in some cases) based on the White-paper which documents the whole Concept into Reality.
The Vision and Leadership shown by the Entrepreneurial Industry pioneers is just as valuable today as it was 50 plus years ago!
So now – All aspiring entrepreneurs must consider taking a leap into the world of Blockchain.
Blockchain is already is allowing many (previously considered) crazy ideas to become real proof-of-concepts within many major organisations (Private, Public and Not For Profit) around the world.
As a result of some evidence or proof entrepreneurs are being taken seriously which is allowing them to raise money using new approaches to develop big bold ideas previously not possible.
Blockchain is all about rethinking how business is done in a Trust based sharing economy. As such every would be entrepreneur must understand the capabilities and possibilities of these technologies ASAP.
But they must first master the Creativity, the Leadership and the true Passion to succeed that the pioneers showed because it is never all about the money – It should be all about what the money can do.
The mere mention of the “Blockchain” word may be considered sexy and open many doors, but it is basically what has been considered very unsexy technology — it is merely a distributed database. It is not a licence to print money – well not forever
Right now Token sales, or the overhyped “ICO,” as a means to raise capital can provide short-term results but if the process used to develop the Vision into a Reality isn’t sound there will be major crashes and lots of them.
And what/s that Process? Education – Ideation – Conceptualisation – Realisation – Utilisation. Yes some new words but the process remains the same – Understand the problem use Creative thinking to develop the concept that can be delivered to a community that will use it.
While current realisations etc are in some cases unclear and in many lacking doing the right thing remains a basic building block of success. As always successful Entrepreneurs will identify the massive opportunities, and ensure they assess the risk and the challenges that BlockChain presents.
50 years ago it was about improving businesses and even industries now it can really be about having the potential to change the world.