Your past headaches as an entrepreneur led you to your latest venture, what advice do you have for entrepreneurs given your experience?
I would say it’s never too early to think about due diligence – full stop. As a business leader, you are only as good as the people you work and associate with. If you don’t start early, you’re never going to catch up. You’re going to get so busy, especially if you’re successful, that if you don’t have your human-data hat on, whether it’s HR or investment, you’re not prepared for the luck of somebody saying they want to invest. You’re going to miss that opportunity. So it’s critically important for entrepreneurs to get their house in order, you have to have your documents straight. I think it’s also an excellent indicator when you accept $10 million bucks from somebody when you’ve shown them you know how to run a business, that’s the start of a great relationship.
Your company is focused on changing how people work, what does the future of work look like to you?
Well, our platform – called Vertalo – is allowing us to combine the qualities of a cap table with the features of a social network – it’s a certified investor relations network. Our platform uses two-sided attestation to certify the real-world work or education history of a startup or project team members so that investors, hiring managers and other parties can properly diligence the investment. It leverages the ‘trustless’ elements of the blockchain to help people work together and solve the problem of association – to help investors assess a team. It can not only prove that somebody worked for a company, but prove what the shared knowledge or shared expectation was in whatever role they had, whether it was as an advisor, investor, temp or full-time employee. As we move from the ICO era to the security token era, it will be critical to understand who is working and investing in a project. But it goes beyond that – as the world shrinks, and the concepts of the gig economy takes hold, payment and investment based on tokenization will also take hold. I think everybody in the tech investment community will be paying their associates partly in crypto by 2020. It won’t be weird, it will just be another thing that changes the way money changes hands, like Venmo.
“As a business leader, you are only as good as the people you work and associate with.”