In my line of work, I get to do some pretty cool stuff, interview amazing and inspiring people, and ignite conversations to spur design and entrepreneurial inspiration. There are days I think it really can't get any better than that... and then there are days I get to sit down with Steve Wozniak, who asks to be called Woz, and talk about innovation.
Founded by Al Rosario, BlockVentures S.A. de C.V. presents the CXC Experiential Technology Conference, a celebration of innovation for those who love to ponder what's next. The 2018 CXC Las Vegas event was held at Mandalay Bay Convention Center during the Official Las Vegas Blockchain Week. I was thrilled to attend and will be sharing the amazing interactions, like my encounter with Woz, with you over the coming weeks.
Does Everyone Know What Blockchain Is Now?
Some of the jargon and terminology being used at the conference made me realize that there is this whole other world of engineering, intelligence, computers, and technology that seems so foreign it's even got its own language. So, for the sake of translations, here is a very, very quick and basic breakdown:
- Someone requests a transaction.
- The requested transaction is is broadcast to a network consisting of computers known as nodes.
- The network of nodes validates the transaction.
- A new permanent and unalterable block is added to the existing blockchain.
The way these transactions can take the effort and energy away from fundraising and funding a potential venture, is the same way they can allow the inventor or creator to put their focus back on what they do best: creating.
Go One Hundred Percent On Zero
This is something we talk about all the time in this column, or on one of my many podcasts. When funding becomes the central conversation too early, it spells disaster. When I heard Woz echo that messaging, as you'll see in the video, I was thrilled. The further an inventor can go on 0, working out of the garage, the better off they will be in the long run. Money becomes a massive distraction. And while of course it is necessary, it isn't even on the top ten list of things a creator needs to create. So, as Woz puts it, work in your garage, stay at home, forget the checking or savings accounts. They started Apple that same way, and what drove them wasn't dollar signs, it was their passion to create something they knew was going to change the world.
Only When You've Got Value to Add
You should seek out funding only when you know what both Steves' at Apple knew: you have something that will change how we live life. And now, to pivot the conversation, we are looking at these new currencies, and these technologies that are also at a point where they are changing the world. The idea behind cryptocurrency and blockchain and unalterable ledgers with public view access is a more fair and honest system, in the hands of the "little guy". These ideas are growing innovation, and that is why we do this. Think about someone like Woz who is looking at these options, and the foothold they are taking, and is saying yes... yes, this is the way we can keep originators doing what they do best.
Are You A Creator?
In his book, iWoz, he associates the failure of the Apple III to the fact that it was not designed/engineered "by a single engineer or a couple of engineers working together. It was developed by committee, by the marketing department." He learned to "never pretend you can do someone's job better than someone who's been doing it for years."
If you are reading this column, there's a good chance you are a creator, which means you might not be out reading about blockchain or cryptocurrency but you should be. Because this is the technology Woz believes will reward original inventors. He clearly thinks that blockchain will reward the originators and creators of the world, and properly give them the credit and monetary reward for their innovation. That way they can stay doing what they love and do best.