The Business Of Blockchain
What does the future of the business of blockchain look like? Will it be able to penetrate in many industries such as health care? Today, host Warren Whitlock interviews blockchain expert, patent holder, and executive at Hashcorp, Bill Inman about what’s happening in the space. Known as someone who has launched profitable companies from idea, Bill convinces us why it makes sense to put blockchain on. He shows us how we, too, can – like what he is doing with his app – can generate revenue and value for clients through blockchain.
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It’s Time To Get Real About The Business Of Blockchain With Bill Inman
Blockchain Expert Bill Inman Talks About Business Being Built On Blockchain. Crypto Is Great, But It’s Just The Tip Of The Iceberg.
We have an extraordinary entrepreneur guest, who has been a leader in all sorts of things in the past and one of the most forward-thinking smart guys I know in the blockchain space. Bill Inman, welcome to the show.
Warren, thank you. It’s nice to be here. I’m excited, like you are, to talk about blockchain and maybe give a little bit of practical knowledge to what’s happening in the space.
This episode is being called Getting Real with Blockchain, What’s the Real Future? We have a whole lot of interest over the past couple of years in crypto. It’s going to replace the money. All that is well and good, but we’re missing the big picture because if we go with the idea that anything that’s a database or connected to the internet is going to wind up having a blockchain. We don’t need to argue over whether that’s 100%, but we know it’s going to be a large number of things. How do you separate that? What are the industries that make sense to be putting blockchain on? Are there any that you think are a long way off or you do not need to bother?
The Gartner Hype Cycle starts with innovation and goes to a peak. There’s a quick acceleration. They have in the hype cycle, what’s called the trough of disillusionment followed by steady growth. We’re in a bit of the trough of disillusionment for blockchain and a lot of that comes from the FinTech crypto craze that most everybody knew about, specifically through Bitcoin. I am fortunate enough to be involved with blockchain since 2017. I got my first patent in the space in the human capital vertical for blockchain. I’ve been able to see a lot of different use cases for this over time. I am excited to share it. There are definitely wide, almost pervasive uses for blockchain in almost every industry. The challenge has been, even some celebrity CTOs aren’t fully sure how to implement it yet, which we’re working with a few who are tremendous people. There’s a lot of creativity around use cases for that. To directly answer your thought and your question, it’s pervasive. I think almost every industry is going to be affected by blockchain or this really early.
I like to say that anything that has a database is going to end up using blockchain at some point. We don’t need to worry about the definitions, but there are some things that are out there that are distributed but not blockchain. Are we okay to use blockchain generically then?
I think that there’s validity in this distributed architecture that might not include immutability for sure. I think that not having a pervasive cloud storage entity, whether it be Amazon, Google or Apple, whatever the case may be, there’s a sense of that. I think that is sticking for this conversation to the compilation of distributed and immutable aka blockchain is a new way to talk about it.
That’s great because you’re separating distributed and immutable makes a lot of sense. Back to my database idea, when if any database turning into immutable be a good thing? They’re probably some cost factors were, “I don’t need my recipe file on a blockchain.” The only example I can think of where you’re like, “The cost-benefit ratio was not there.”
I’d love to hear about your recipes and maybe you have a famous chocolate chip cookie there, Warren. It could be cost-benefit.
There probably is somebody out there working on a cookie coin.
We have both heard about a Beercoin so I wouldn’t say cookie coin is not on their way. To answer your question with regards to local and cloud databases be stored in the blockchain, it’s possible. Something stuck with me since I got involved with the industry in 2017, which is we’re somewhere in the ‘90s relative to where the internet was with blockchain. Cycles and waves happen a lot faster in the economy than even the 1990s, although for us, Warren, that wasn’t that long ago. I think that there’s going to be a transition from localized databases and cloud databases over to blockchain use cases. That’s going to take a little time. It’s going to ramp up real quick.
A factor in that is going to be that web 2.0, which is what a lot of people call the current iteration of the internet takes and ingest data from PCs, browsers, mobile phones and things of that nature. Web 3.0 will be connected to billions of devices, through IoT, the Internet of Things and will be totally different usage of the internet. As cars and refrigerators and high-level machines get connected to blockchains, I think it’s going to rapidly switch because people are going to want access to that information. Whether through their personal blockchain, through their company or even consortia of data that could come from multiple sources. Over time, we’re going to see a quick switch, I believe from cloud to blockchain.
I’m flashing back to spreadsheets. When I first found out how a spreadsheet would work, I thought it was the coolest thing. Just to play with it and you change one cell and it calculates the other cells. That was a breakthrough for me, where I started thinking about, “What could be done with it?” I know that there was a lot of discussions back there over whether or not you need it. Nowadays, you expect that kind of thing to be built into things. A more practical example is smartphones. I had a smarter device type of phone that I had bought when the iPhone came out. I waited a couple of years before I switched over to Apple on the iPhone, the iOS, which was the big put off for me. I instantly got that I needed the apps on my phone and it could do a lot more. We went through that to the wave of enthusiasm.
We got an app for that joke and that went around in business conversations. Everybody was building an app. Here it is, years later, we’re talking about, “You need an app or use an app. How can I get along without a smartphone?” That’s the kind of adoption we’re looking for. Crypto is a great example. There are a lot of crypto enthusiasts, but until you can walk into the 7-Eleven and not think about using blockchain. You think about getting in the candy bar or soda. We think about buying something rather than, “Am I going to buy something on with Bitcoin or crypto?” That’ll come and it’s going to take some adoption time. You talked a bit about data. Do you see that as being the way in for the average investor or a company looking to expand or entrepreneur looking to start up is how important is it to have either control of the data or access to the data?
Both, I think. There are ways to monetize data in ways that have never been seen before with blockchain. It will be a more trusted confederation of companies inside of a consortium with governed rules that come through smart contracts that companies and CEOs can trust than sharing data with coopetition, competitor or even a friendly company. It’s scary to do that for companies. Having data and accessing data is going to be ubiquitous. Having the data is going to create tremendous valuations for companies that can collect it or already did and can get that data into the blockchain market. I still have my Mac Plus. It’s in my garage from 1987. I had the original Mac too, but I don’t know where that is. It’s probably with my old Star Wars figures. I also have my iPhone 1 and that thing is about the size of a cookie. To go back to that analogy that you use, I was fascinated as you were moving from a Trio or whatever you were back in the iPhone 1.
I’m pretty sure it was the Trio. The one with the HP OS where you push it up. It wasn’t a Pilot. Palm Pre is what they called it.
It wasn’t that long ago, it was the ‘90s. My daughter is twenty. Kids will think that we’re dinosaurs for talking about those things. I’m proud to have my Mac Plus. It was a 512K external hard drive. I’m thinking about the possibilities of I can draw my own pictures, I can use Word and things of that nature. That’s where we’re at with blockchain. To go back to what I was talking about before is the troglodyte, the prehistoric, “What do I do with this thing?” I’m hearing about it from very smart people. Your original question was data access and generation. I think they’re both valid. It’s smart. Enterprise companies are all over this to leverage their current data, to create new business models in a defensible position before this wave happens.
I saw a demo not too long ago. I was at CES and I walked by a John Deere booth and they had a big tractor. The amazing thing is it’s so dense, I had walked past this booth, but I met a friend there and said, “Come to the John Deere booth.” He gave me the coordinates like, “I was here twenty minutes ago.” The tractor has an arm on it that’s like 60 to 80 feet wide. The tractor wheels were taller than me and somehow I missed it. That’s the one thing that stood out about it. There’s so much going on. That booth, we saw three different use cases.
The friend I met had flown in because he saw a livestream the day before. He had told me he was skipping CES, but he had seen something about a new piece of technology and came down, made a deal and working on something. They’re talking about satellite data covering the entire earth where, at least once a week, a farmer can get an exact picture of his land. They give them a map and he brought it out. The cost of this is when they started saying it was a few dollars per acre. They’re running a company doing that. We’re not talking about farms in the Midwest. We’re talking about farms in Southeast Asia in areas where there are poor people and the rice paddies. They are very sophisticated. They are being told how to water.
The other thing we saw was those nozzles on those long arms have to be changed out for different operations and how much to apply. How many droplets per cubic centimeter? The science and the math part, I’m not sure about it, but you could see the droplets in the proper size, whether or not spray was all being controlled by these various nozzles. I said, “What did you do before this?” He says, “We had to go to each one across this 60-foot wide thing and change every nozzle so we could put the spray on there.” With the satellite data, with recycling ability, that’s stuff they can do, much more yield out of the land and good crops and feed us all and all that.
It’s not even talking about the supply chain that we’re going to know from farm to table or where that is. Going back to my spreadsheet metaphor, that’s the thing. I knew stuff was coming. I knew we could do a thing. I didn’t know how to do it. The amazing thing is years later, I was seeing people doing things on a spreadsheet I didn’t imagine possible. I guess when we rack our brains, talking about the tractor or whatever else, it’s stretching of what we know we don’t know how to do yet and there’s a lot more out there. How do you keep track of that? How do you know what’s coming and where to go next?
Even though I graduated undergrad as a UC Davis Aggie, I’m not in the agricultural business. You look at geospatial data, which you were talking about satellites providing to farmers. That certainly could be stored in a cloud database for distribution and monetization. You start to talk about how arid a piece of land is and then you do that over time. That data may come from a different source and that data could be drilled down, scientific and detailed, but it probably amounts to in this temperature, in this humidity, you need to put these kinds of valves and nozzles on that tractor. That could vary in Asia to Africa to wherever the case the agriculture might be.
One company has geospatial data. One company has weather data. One company has the performance data of the tractor, John Deere. You add all that data to consortia that people can access through smart contracts and drill down on. For example, if John Deere is the valve maker and they probably have a supply chain for that, but let’s say they are. Then a farmer can access the data. I want to see how this type of topography and this type of aridness to the land. What kind of tractor I’m going to need? What kind of nozzles I’m going to need? How much and what should I put through those nozzles? That’s all perfect use case for blockchain because you’re combining data from different cloud sources and you’re coming up with something where you don’t need to store the entire record from multiple possibly competitive companies in one database. You’re going to hash out what those records say and access them and monetize them as necessary. It gives farmers the ability to lower risk in an unbelievable amount because they know exactly what they should be doing in their type of land in their country. It’s a great use case there for blockchain. That’s what I think about when you mentioned those things. I thought you were going there with it.
I didn’t even get to the blockchain part of it. To me, it’s become my default to thinking he’s going to be on the blockchain. I think you’ve got a key point there is the shared data. If it’s not shared, it’s not quite as important. Crypto being the perfect example, I can’t give you a dollar online and keep it in my pocket. It has to disappear from my wallet. It’s the same thing here. We need to know who accessed that record. The metadata on this blows my mind about knowing who’s accessing and why they’re accessing a trail for auditing purposes. Some we get past meeting auditing because everything is audited as it goes in and then, where am I going to next buy a farm what it’s worth? The fascinating thing in that is to hear my friend talk about the finance that he’s putting together deals with the tractor company and the distributor who is prepaying and presetting a price that’s no longer a commodity market.
We hope it’s going to be okay. We know what we’re going to get. We’re going to control the farm. Control what the people do and the farmers out there operating the equipment, which may be totally financed from seed to harvest by another factor. All the problems of farming and the shrieking family farm and all the tales we’ve heard about agriculture changing in the last century all become controllable. I know when I’m seeing things like how Perdue sources chickens and the farms they have that are more or less making them employees of Perdue. I’m taking the framing of the documentary I watched, which leans towards that we’re abusing these people. If you know that data and you share it and you work together and it’s open kimono to everybody, we come up with what’s going to be working best. We send a satellite searching Africa for a place to replicate it 2 or 3 times more. There are plenty of lands and different conditions, with global warming or climate changes the rock, we figure out what to do.
I’m glad you mentioned the eco part of that because that’s something I’m passionate about. I’m an advisor to Model United Nations Impact and working on sustainable development goals. I think all the things you said, without the data, the companies are going to be non-competitive. The people who are doing the physical work, which often will be autonomous tractors, they’re going to be operators for the data providers on the backend. Without the data, you’re not going to be able to compete from a cost-performance perspective and then those suppliers are going to buy a more expensive, slower type of product.
That gets us into the philosophical idea of, “Are we going to have robots put everybody out of work?” No. If productivity is going up, at someplace there’s enough gross domestic product in the world to figure out how to take care of everybody.
The Roaring Twenties are going to be very interesting for emerging technology. Blockchain has the ability to be the backend and a storage mechanism for that.
It’s a way of connecting this stuff together. That’s why I’ve chosen blockchain over focus on AI and my favorite nanotechnology. I love all that stuff, but which one really makes sense for putting businesses together and building something? Blockchain is there. Bitcoin falls to zero. The stock market falls to nothing and all of that stuff is going on. The world of technology is changing. Is there any scenario where you see us saying, “Let’s put blockchain off?”
We’re already seeing that because we had the hype of 2017 with blockchain. Everybody was all over the word. They thought Bitcoin and blockchain were synonymous and unfortunately, the blockchain became a four-letter word to some degree, even at the CTO level. I think the investor side, the venture side understands the importance of this so they’re not quite as affected because they want to get into a company before the valuations skyrocket. We’re there and I love that space. I listened to one of Gary Vaynerchuk’s YouTube videos and he said, “I’m going to tell you what to do for thought leadership and personal branding, don’t do it. I don’t care if you don’t do it because I’ll do it myself.”
It’s an exciting time in the blockchain. There’s a lot of smart people in the game. I’ve talked to authors, business owners and CTOs of enterprise level companies. They’re excited about it, but we haven’t seen the influx of talent into space yet. That’s why blockchain, if you look on LinkedIn, a report said that one of the hardest skillsets to find is blockchain engineers and architects. I think that we’re at the lowest point. I feel it’s inevitable for a distributed architecture. The internet itself is fundamentally under a track because of trust. Distributed, immutable helps fight that trust battle. It allows companies to work together more. One of the articles I read said that 2019 wasn’t necessarily blockchain going away, it was head down implementations of blockchain that we have not seen the releases of yet.
I’m lucky enough to be an executive at HashCorp which is a blockchain platform consultancy company. We’ve got a half dozen verticals with projects in them such as publishing health, sports, human capital and nonprofit. The exciting projects where we’re headed down on the use cases, which took some strategy that I’m spending a lot of my time. I’ve written ten documents on use cases for blockchain that are like mini business plans that include monetization. At HashCorp, fortunately, our founder has funded a lot of these projects and accelerated them through a separate accelerator, but we have to find the path to have the fuel for the rocket ship or the revenue. It’s been an exciting month to define all these things. I don’t see it going away. I think that we’re seeing the beginnings of it. Internet 1993 to 1995 is where we are. A lot of people back then, as you remember said, “Will the internet go away?”
There is something I’ve mentioned on this show and probably to you at some point. Full disclosure if needed, this is my show. Everything I do has to do with me doing better in the world. I’ll never lie to you, but in case I don’t disclose, it doesn’t matter. The disclosure is Bill and I are working together in the publishing vertical. What I’ve seen is that there’s a whole lot of people that got into PCs or the internet or social media and went into some startup but didn’t make it, especially the internet dot-com bomb. I don’t see the people that stuck at it and they’re not farmers now. It’s going the other direction. Every skilled person is needed at some point. I do see when I’m approached by people telling me they’ve got blockchain solutions. Quite often, they have no credibility. We glossed over. You have a pattern. You put some thought into this beyond hanging out a shingle and say, “We do websites and build houses. By the way, we do blockchain.” How do you differentiate? It’s tough because there’s a lot of people that don’t have a lot of experience in this. None of us do.
I’m seeing that. I’m working with business owners that have millions of database records. They have businesses that are working with a pro sports league on a blockchain, working with the healthcare company, with tens and tens of thousands of members. We have to innovate and noodle with them and strategize on what are we going to do at blockchain. It’s wide open. It’s totally Greenfield. That part is exciting, for sure. One of the things I love about this, “I’ve put a lot of thought into the blockchain.” Don’t get me wrong. In 2017, when I first forayed into the industry, which is late for some, because with Bitcoin obviously coming in 2008, 2009. I’ve thought about crypto. That was a sexy word, but then I quickly realized, I don’t understand all of these, DJs, stars and everybody attaching themselves to ICOs. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to me from a value standpoint.
I think fundamentally looking at where you can generate revenue and value for clients through blockchain, let me give you an idea. I’m going to go to the eco-friendly side. I have an upcoming meeting. I’ll keep it high level and a bit anonymous with a manufacturing company. I won’t say what industry. They’re excited about authenticity and traceability for the eco-friendly purposes of their product. They own the supply chain from the fields all the way through to putting brands on their product for distribution. They want to take every step of that process in manufacturing and blockchain it. It’s going to be hard because some of the machines that they use barely have a digital calculator. It readouts on them. How are we going to pull the data? We’re noodling on that and figuring out how to pull the data so that a consumer who buys the end product can go. There will be a sign or a tag on the product, for any brand that might front it.
They’ll be able to go to a website, type in a number, scan a QR code or UPC code. A near field is also being embedded in their products too so people can hold their phone and trace the entire eco-friendly supply chain in that. Additionally, they’re excited about off. This is manufacturing still. They’re excited about the authenticity of proving that their product in the market is what it is from a brand perspective to the end consumer. They’re embedding near field technology into their product so that a consumer on the blockchain can see an immutable record that this was produced by this manufacturer and this is what it is. They’ll differentiate in the market because they have this. They’ll be much different than any other manufacturing when global brands become competitive.
It comes to be expected as we expect there to be a Yelp review for every business we go to. Over that, it’s somebody who’s been there before and will tell us that whether or not we’re going to get ripped off. That’s hardly an immutable record and in Yelp, but let’s not get into those problems. I saw a couple of things. I saw displays above produce or anything in it in a supermarket where you could find out more about it. They were talking about AR, but the actual pictures were using some displays. It seemed to be ridiculous to put that much effort into building a better place to go to retail and look at it when not that all can be done from your phone or your headset or whatever.
The concept of the data was right on. You want to be able to know. People drive Teslas and electric cars because that’s great for the environment or is it? Is there a plant someplace making the batteries polluting more than the gas would pollute? How do you calculate that? I remember seeing somebody try to calculate on doing something with light bulbs or some of the very basic things, eco things that we’re all told to do. He tried to do the calculations on. It was replacing a light bulb thing where he spent twenty minutes of a documentary telling us about it. In the end, you’re going like, “There’s no way we can tell.” It’s like, “Paper or plastic, which is better?” There are many things in there, but I think more and more we’re going to ask for that and we’re going to be able to see it.
You’re going to be able to work at a menu and if you flip a switch or use your phone or phone ahead of the restaurant, however, you have to get it. They’re going to have an Eco Special where this helps the environment every time you order this entrée. It will sell in a completely different way like, “Your meal is free thanks to carbon credits.” All that needs to be tracked in an immutable database. We haven’t done it before. Everything in the world of contest and frequent flyer rewards, we get carried away with making them like banks. We get to a point where that’s to be expected. It’s a wreck. It becomes what’s a rating and what are points you can spend? All that’s got to be worked out well. I think we’re providing the world with the spreadsheet and they’re going to be a whole lot of calculations done. There’s going to be some better things coming out of it.
One thing I’ve learned about since you mentioned recipe, agriculture and supermarket, is that you might be hungry. I totally agree with you on the rewards thing. We’re working at HashCorp with a company called Carepoynt. It’s started by a gentleman named Tim Stanley, who has been the Founder and a CTO, not only in casinos but airlines and things of that nature. He’s passionate about collecting data across the spectrum of wellness and rewarding people for that. These rewards that have come, whether it’s from your FitBit or it’s from your chiro or going to the gym or even a whole food supermarket, he’s aggregating all that and we’re working with him for the use case to put all that in an immutable record, which then other people can attach their data to and have this wellness rewards. I think that kind of behavior on the consumer level and an IoT on the business level is going to be key to having a blockchain rocket ship.
I remember someone telling me about IoT in a medical office that in the past, you’ll put a video camera where the drugs are kept so you can tell if the nurse has a habit of stealing the drug. That was employee top-down, centralized control ideas, security. When you started looking at productivity and what works best and you find out that you track where an employer is walking and you’re able to tell them, they’re able to confirm, “I do have to go through these extra three steps, about fourteen times a day and if we could solve that, we’d be more productive.”
I love that you brought that up. Through Carepoynt and Tim Stanley, we’re looking at doctor burnout.
That’s the biggest problem in medicine?
That’s perfect for an immutable kind of private record to be able to store information from doctors and their work habits. There are a sad face and a happy face on their phone. Did you have a good day? A lot of it is about not being treated well. It’s tracking all that and then storing it into a blockchain record that can then ping other different types of HR systems to say, “This doctor is in jeopardy of burning out or even this employee.” There’s so much data that we can aggregate that we can store in the blockchain and provide some private access to, not necessarily all the data, just hashed the backend records. I’m glad you brought that use case up because it’s something that we’re looking at.
I think the biggest challenge we have in health is that I don’t think we’ll be able to come up with one health reward system that covers everything. It’s too fast, but I may be wrong. Maybe they will all talk to each other in the future. I’ve advised a company, Dey’s, out of Switzerland that their goal is longer-term. They were moving fast 2017 and there was a crypto party involved. They slowed down a little bit because of that, but their goal was on a macro level to make it to where health insurance is completely changed. If you have the right information and you’re taking care of yourself and you’re going to cost a lot less, it’s weird because it still allows for preexisting conditions to be taken care of. The system has enough to make sure that the people that need more care get taken care of. Its existing system does that. We know that that’s life.
For the individual, to be able to work with their doctor to achieve better health instead of lack of sickness. At some point, be doing things that end up being a lot less cash having to transfer and the money and the paperwork is what screws up our healthcare system. If we knew doctors were well-fed, if they knew they were well-fed and they did go out and did their passion of helping people, some help we didn’t have to worry about lawsuits, insurance, prepay, repay and billing codes. There’s a utopia type world there but I think you have to think far out there. Things could happen.
I went to the health conference in Vegas, HLTH. I attended every single session that had blockchain in it, at least that was written in the synopsis. They are very excited about blockchain in health, but one of the panels, which was moderated by Radhika. She’s an author in blockchain and so forth. There were five insurers and large healthcare systems that were part of it. They all agreed that blockchain would be good to share data to lower insurance costs, but the problem was that over six months or a year of storing data in consortia, it’s the lawyer saying, “Who owns what and how are we monetizing that? I didn’t know about that.” There’s a lot of politics and legal ease in traditional healthcare that’s going to be roadblocks. I think the big companies will figure it out. Look for some upstart startups to get in. They need to work under HIPAA Laws and compliance, but to disrupt the system because they don’t have any speed bumps along the way.
I don’t think we can build an alternative healthcare system that competes with existing ones. That’s the problem. You have to figure out some way to get along with them. We watched governments pass laws about what you can and can’t do. Everything from the fundraising to some of the ICO stuff needed to be reigned in. There is no doubt about it. The other things of China decide they’re going to have a national centralized digital currency. Fighting it tooth and nail while they say they support it. I can’t think of the other example, but definitely in healthcare, that is all well and good. I also need to make sure I collect all the money I can into the current system. It is a tough thing, but tons of opportunities as we chip away with this little thing and that. As you say, if you build a company that’s taken a terrible part of it. The acquisitions and roll ups and interaction with the data, maybe we don’t need that. Maybe we don’t need the conglomerate, which over time, has proven to be less efficient because of the politics and whatnot. Maybe it is startups and do something well and have the one pattern. Tell us a little bit more about your patent.
I’m excited about it for sure. There were only about 100 blockchain patents in the US that were awarded last year and not a whole bunch. It’s a wide-open market. The first company I got into blockchain is a company called Talenting. It uses blockchain for human capital. The goal is to create a FICO-like career score. The gig economy is different than traditional employment. We see that with Uber and other ways to do gigs. You can’t go through the three-week interview process if somebody needs you for a gig in an hour. There needs to be a speedier way than a resume to approve somebody for work. We believe it’s a FICO-like career score for human capital. Without a FICO score in the US, you’re probably not going to get a loan. It’s going to be extremely high usury level interest rate to get that.
We started with our own app, but we are aggregating data and our patent covers the usage of blockchain data in workforce management, aka human capital. We’ll start layering in data from applicant tracking systems, vendor management systems, background screening systems, payroll systems and come up with the score. That way, a gig economy company that needs somebody in an hour or somebody virtual can see somebody’s score. If it’s 750, “I trust it. Let’s go,” if it’s 300, “Hold on a second.” There are a bunch of different Fair Credit Act and things that we’re considering and working around. We’re starting very simple with opted-in career verifications. Somebody comes in, I’ll tell you our business model, which I think is important to this whole thing. Somebody comes in, a company asks them to verify their skillsets with their peers.
Let’s say they’re a blockchain developer and been doing it for years. They would then send out to their blockchain friends, “Please verify my career in Talenting.” The person would say, “I worked at ABC company.” “Yes, no.” “Is a blockchain developer expert for five years?” “Yes. No.” That’ll develop a career score for them. Our monetization isn’t necessarily the blockchain because nobody’s excited about buying blockchain. It doesn’t change anything. It’s the features and benefits. The features that we have, we’re leveraging that to have people who verify the score to say I’m interested in a career and you’ve got yourself a new way to find candidates in blockchain because they’re verifying the career skills of their friends. It’s a lot like the LinkedIn side, but an immutable record that’s around the path that is culminating in a career score. I’m super excited to receive an award and we’ve got a few other patents and processes.
Ratings and review types of things are in there, but it’s closer to KYC and probably you don’t want to legally define it like that but knowing who you’re doing business with. The nice thing about ordering an Uber, in my experience is so far, no one’s tried to murder me. Standing out on the street with my thumb out, I’d be afraid to do that. Pushing a button and letting a stranger pull up and give me a ride is verified by the little bit that Uber has on them. They’re adding some programs. I took an Uber and saw that there was a new thing on there where this driver had been verified in a different way. I’m sure they’re going to figure out a way to either monetize charge for that or give it as some future benefit in their package.
A lot of people would say that the Tesla business model is the data around autonomous driving that they’re collecting. For Uber, if you look at them, they’re helping facilitate rides, but they’re developing the next generation gig economy employment platform that includes ratings and reviews that can be applied to multiple industries. They’re flexing that in future transportation a little bit with trucks in delivery. It all has four wheels. I definitely could see Uber in the name suits that, although there’s a lot of challenges there from a mega unicorn or Phoenix status that they have to get through, but they certainly could turn that on for light industrial or for manufacturing or for retail.
That’s a perfect example of blockchain being something. As far as, I know Uber is not blockchain-based, but they are probably working on it. I’ve seen people working on doing Uber but distributed. To me, that’s not the point. The point is we’ve all switched to the idea that we can push a button and something happens rather than, “It wouldn’t work. It needs to be somebody that’s a member of this or whatever.” They make the level of entry very simple. I recall the first time I took an Uber of this sensation of going, it’s not the hassle of taking a cab. In my lifetime, cabs have not been in a regular everyday thing, hardly at all. A bit of time in Southeast Asia, but we won’t talk about that.
I’ve had somewhat of a fear. One of my early yellow cab rides was I went to New York and landed at the airport. The guy said, “Hop in and put three people in. He charged us three times what the going rate was.” I lost $14 but that’s not the point of the story. I was left thinking, “How could I trust that?” The first time I got into an Uber and the guy says, “You don’t tip. You don’t have to sign anything. Get out of the car. You’re at your destination.” I checked because I had this feeling as I’m getting out of the car, “Have I done everything right?” I think that opens up the fluidity of being able to do more. As it says in the name of this show, I’m all about reducing friction. Let’s reduce friction in finding Bill. Where do we find out more about you? You’ve got a corporate site, a personal site.
Bill@BillInman.com, I can be found there. I do enjoy looking for, finding and working with blockchain entrepreneurs so that we can help the world through this amazing technology, which is inevitable. It’s a great time from an opportunity perspective and from a creative perspective to be all over it. I love to talk to anybody reading this blog that’s interested in the space and see what we can do together or at least learn from each other. You’ve been great, Warren. The level of stories is always amazing to me. I’ve never heard a story twice from you, which is ridiculous. Your level of knowledge, you’ve been an innovator and thought leader in multiple spaces and I’m glad that you pick blockchain because I get to work with you in that perspective and you’re learning so much from many people. It’s really valuable. I’m glad you’re doing this show and sharing all that.
You can always find me at WarrenWhitlock.com. Thanks for being here.
- Bill Inman
- Model United Nations Impact
About Bill Inman
Helping Early Stage Companies Launch & Scale Scale / Enterprises to Innovate & Increase Margins
* Blockchain Patent Holder with Focus on Emerging Tech and Business Model Innovation
* Tech launches include blockchain, data science, cloud ecosystem, platforms, advanced analytics, etc.
* Industry Specializations Include Gig Economy, Sports, Entertainment & Personal Development Industries.
* 20+ years of building successful start-ups and billion $ companies from idea stage.
* Expertise in Entrepreneurial, Execution, Human Capital, Social and Online Media, and Outsourcing enterprises.
* Always compelled to network and learn – with all levels, nationalities, and personalities.
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