On August 22nd at 5:30pm – starting exactly 1/2 an hour late due to the buzz and excitement of the crowd, BlockHive launched its inaugural discussion series – Advantage Talks, with Rumi Morales (Outlier Ventures), Maryana Dyachuck (USG), and Scott Nelson (Sweetbridge) heralding a new perspective and a new standard for how professionals discover and test the meaning of an ever-changing technology landscape around them and how it impacts their business. The event was made possible by local startups and supporting companies with great relationships in our network, and – as Rumi highlighted by example – the sacrifice of time from our family and friends who give us the energy to keep pursuing our passions. The latter is even more important as these support systems often go unmentioned in the post-correspondence, although they have sacrificed what cannot be replaced – the time and attention they missed as we worked on the finer details of our speeches and organization efforts – often during hours that were designated for them.
BlockHive – a name that seems pretty self-explanatory right? Blockchain meets the hive mind organizational standard of bees in nature. It evokes the thought of a swarm self-organizing to create something bigger and more impactful than the individual. Reading into that idea and observing the copy on our website would even cement that definition for passers-by. There is a deeper meaning to the name – one that speaks to the origins of why the organization exists – one of self and community empowerment through curiosity, discovery, and sharing. So many of us have a story of yearning to follow a passion, but finding ourselves incapable of building credibility or earning the right spot on the right team to facilitate a change in occupation. Many times we give up and succumb to the pressure of existing structures to tell us what we are capable of or allowed to do.
As the founder of BlockHive, I found myself at a similar cross-roads last year. I had been studying cryptocurrency and blockchain for 3 years and was ready to pursue a fully-immersed, and financially lucrative path that would successfully replace or exceed my salary at work. As a managing consultant at a global risk and compliance and technology firm, I was asking for a lot during a time where people were still trying to understand what a blockchain was, let alone sell it to a client. Luckily, I had four Managing Directors at the firm who all shared a similar curiosity and would send me information to review, and local meetups to check out. They would even invite me as the SME to speak on the topic of blockchain with important clients. This attention and activity sustained me for a while, but as I became more confident in my ability to read into major events, learn the limitations of each new product, and predict the trajectory of the ecosystem as a whole, I found myself in public settings more and more helping to fill a void in critical thinking and understanding for enthusiasts, executives, entrepreneurs, and decision makers looking to harness their knowledge and capability around this space. I needed a tool to capture my activity and build a template that anyone else could follow to expand their network and depth of knowledge in a brand new space. I wanted building blocks that I could share with anyone, that encapsulated a simple set of rules and formulas for success: 1. Dive into a topic you love, 2. Engage the community, 3. Share what you’ve found and why it is so important for everyone else to take note of. The process is very similar to how bees forage and share information about food stores and resources they find with the comprehensive hive. The very act of discovery is what enables pollination – of ideas and techniques in our various industry verticals that uncover new possibilities for connecting us with new resources and relationships – allowing us to find new occupations and solutions through mutual effort.
So what is the price of that mutual effort? It is all the things we rely on from our families and friends – those folks whose names you don’t see fleeced over the NASCAR slides in our pitch books and event programs that start with terms like “Thanks to our supporters and sponsors…” It is the sweat equity, the sacrifice, the moral support and uplifting of spirit through kind words and motivation, the baby-sitting, the taking the extra shift, the volunteering, the taking out for coffee, the moderating and organizing of local events and the sharing of resources – without an expected remuneration – that makes transformation from one phase in life to another possible, and the preservation of dignity priceless.
Going forward, BlockHive will establish and preserve a tradition of honoring those who support us not just in money and real-estate, but everything that it takes to make a human feel loved and supported. We hope you will join the team and help us craft what that looks like.
Here is my contribution.
Thanks to my Sponsors and Supporters who did not receive due accolades on our launch night and were not there to promote their many contributions to my own success, and for whom I push myself for every day.
Thanks to my wife Jarcy for raising 3 beautiful, creative, smart, and energetic girls. Thanks to my mother-in-law, Virgina – the only grandparent with sleep over rights – who has babysat countless times (14 years of which she worked two jobs). Thanks to my sister-in-law, Jami who has been a 3rd parent to our household while raising her own son and working as a teacher and tutor to at-risk children. Thanks to my brother-in-law, Jarin who has never left me in a bind and woken up countless times in the middle of the night to pick me up from a red-eye flight. Thanks to my neighbor, Dewey Hodges, who embraced me as his surrogate son and poured into me all 70+ years of his wisdom working with people. Most of all, thanks to my school-aged kids – Mahogany, Kindle, and Indigo – who have put up with a workaholic, traveling circus act of a dad these past 10 years of consulting and pursuing a challenging field. I will never be able to make enough money to repay your kindness, patience, love and understanding.