Bill Cassidy of Technology Hub Media invited our executive project manager to share his background in the technology field as well as thoughts on where the industry is headed, innovations of interest, disruptive consequences of new technology, and the experience working with SmartCash.
A text version of the interview is provided below, but to listen to the audio version that contains more details, visit Technology Hub podcast page at the following link: https://technologyhub.media/2018/09/29/technology-hub-media-podcast-episode-one-interview-with-jonathan-from-blockchain-relations/
1) Why don’t you go ahead and tell me how you got into the technology industry.
I started fixing various computer problems when I was really young – probably around 10 years old. I enjoyed it a lot and would do whatever it took to solve a problem; even if it took all day. At the time, I accepted whatever payment people gave me. But one day, when I was 12, a person gave me a generous $100 check for fixing a networking issue (even though he had to come pick me up and drop me off where I lived 30+ minutes away). That’s when I first started to realize my career was going to be in the tech field.
2) Which companies have you worked for in the past and what positions have you held in those companies?
The funny thing is that I’m still active in all the companies I’ve either started myself or worked for as a director. Building strong teams is the only way that’s been possible though and I’m super grateful for my teammates. I couldn’t do it without their talent, time and support.
Things really took off for me in 2008 when QualityStocks hired me as a writer. We were a very small team and in less than a year I was promoted to Director of Communications and executed an aggressive multi-brand outreach strategy primarily targeting social media audiences interested in the stock market. This caused us to expand from less than 5 people to more than 30 as more and more publicly traded companies hired us to heighten their visibility.
A couple years later I founded The Global Precision Group and started serving various companies directly, but all the while I continued to maintain my position at QualityStocks. 3 years after starting this business, I founded a new business to pursue an unexpected opportunity to service dozens of commercial contractors. It only took 2 years to reach over 150 clients. During the time of launching that business, I met someone who in Montana who presented an idea to take things to a whole new level within the same field. This resulted in us co-founding a 3rd business together. Although these three of businesses aren’t directly related to tech, using the latest online technologies and tools was a crucial part of each one’s success.
It’s definitely a good thing I kept active at QualityStocks, though, because since its humble beginnings, we’ve created a network of 30+ different brands in the finance space and now have a very large client list with a couple of them exceeding $1b market valuation. Plus, when I decided to start Blockchain Relations with the aim of using various forms of media to connect mainstream audiences with crypto and blockchain technology, I wanted to leverage all the connections built over the years to maximize exposure. Especially since many channels like Google and Facebook were making it harder to reach people.
3) What do you think about the speed at which technology is advancing?
It’s very exciting but also scary at times. I always thought about how fascinating it would have been to be part of the dotcom boom of the late 90s, but now realize it could be said we’re still in it because we’re constantly realizing new possibilities from having an interconnected world.
Of course, on a day-by-day basis, the advancement of tech feels slow. But when you look at just the past 10 years and how much people’s behaviors have changed, you realize that the world is becoming very different, very quickly.
What scares me about the future is how the virtual world is becoming our primary reality. There’s sure to be unexpected consequences once there’s no reason to leave the virtual world for more than the basics like food and sleep.
4) What are some cutting edge technologies you are interested in?
I would say virtual and augmented reality, robotics, automated computing software, and blockchain technology
5) What is it about #4 answer that is so fascinating to you?
Blockchain technology resonates the best with me and where I see my future. I love how it can eliminate trust issues of the past that slowed and often prevented business deals, while also cleaning up corrupt practices. But, virtual and augmented reality is what would fascinate me the most because of how much it is likely to change the way people live their lives throughout the day.
6) What do you think about the way technology disrupts entire industries?
It’s incredible how fast a new technology can make prior business operations and careers obsolete. In many ways, technology is either your company’s most powerful ally or greatest foe. Keeping up to date on the latest trends and wielding new tech wisely is the best way to ensure a strong competitive advantage in today’s business environment. The ones who resist the efficiencies of new tech are the ones that will end up like Blockbuster and Kodak.
7) What are some industries that are in the brink of disruption or possibly headed that way?
Hmm… it’s really hard to pick a couple. Virtually all industries will be disrupted by either robotics, artificial intelligence, the sharing economy or blockchain technology – or a combination of these. The ones that will see the fastest change are those with the biggest unsolved challenges that make life inconvenient or expensive. If pressed to choose, I think industries at the top of the list will be transportation and delivery, communication, banking, and manufacturing.
8) What are you currently doing with your time?
Currently, a large portion is spent making connections in the crypto and blockchain space and doing my best not to miss anything significant as this industry evolves. I believe it’s crucial to be as immersed as possible right now while the market is down because those who are fully engaged right now are the real players who will be here long-term.
9) Do you want to talk about your experience working with SmartCash?
Well, there’s a lot that could be said, but to sum things up, there was a misunderstanding that resulted in an early conclusion of a very successful campaign to bring mainstream awareness to the practical advancements being made in crypto. We did a press release that presents the main highlights of the campaign and links to a 26-page case study for those who want the details.
While we’re sad things ended they way they did and would still love to have a full discussion with those who had concerns, I’m really grateful for the opportunity to reach people around the world in a way that has never been done before by the crypto community. It really put us on the map and helped birth the new brand CryptoCurrencyWire, which is now the official newswire of 10 different conferences. Plus, I wouldn’t have gotten the chance to get to know you and other awesome enthusiasts part of the Technology Hub.
10) If you could give any advice to the young folks out there looking to get into the tech industry what would it be?
Rather than learn a skill for a big market, focus on a couple very selective niches. Highly specialized skills are often rare and will help take out the frustrations of being in a highly competitive market.
I’d also recommend spending a lot of time understanding people and learning how to sell. Those are the two most valuable things anyone can learn and will help in every area of life. Some of the best books to start reading or listening to on Audible are Sell or Be Sold by Grant Cardone and How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie.