Here’s the latest edition of the newsletter. While I post much of the newsletter here, some updates are exclusively available to subscribers. Sign up now to make sure you receive it.
What’s your feeling on blockchain right now?
A) Getting a good buzz
C) Rip-roaring drunk
D) Hungover, wondering what happened to your liver and your wallet, but expecting to do it all over again one of these days
Sometimes, for me, the answer feels like “E) All of the above.” It’s impossible, but then again, everything about blockchain and cryptocurrency seems impossible, improbable, and perhaps inevitable.
As I figure out what’s ahead for my next role, I’ve interviewed for a few blockchain-related jobs. All three, coincidentally, were founders who found me on LinkedIn or AngelList. I figured it’d be a good learning experience to take the calls, and that proved to be an understatement.
The first company had an interesting approach, but as soon as I started asking about their business model, they remembered another call they had to get on and basically hung up on me. As I might have mentioned in a previous newsletter, I had dates in college who had more convincing excuses to ditch me.
The second interview was with a Moscow-based executive at an ICO (initial coin offering) advisory company. It seemed crazy they’d even want to talk to me, and during the call, she peppered me with random crypto trivia questions. I probably scored a D; I won’t try to strike it rich playing Crypto Jeopardy.
The third company, most recently, had founders with a strong pedigree who understand brand marketing and building successful businesses. They wanted someone to work for free for awhile as they figure out their funding. I think they have a decent shot at success, especially as they’re looking for people who are subject matter experts in fields like marketing rather than crypto or blockchain. A non-paying situation like that requires a leap of faith – an “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” leap. Maybe for the right person, eternal life is worth the risk.
All this brings to mind another friend who took a job in the crypto field. It wound up being a pro bono position – there was never any real money in it, and in that one, there probably never will be. A few people will buy their own islands after cashing in on a token sale. Most won’t be able to buy lunch at Waffle House. (I’m just back from Alabama, so expect some gratuitous Southern references).
Lou Kerner, the Crypto Oracle, just posted about promising job growth in the crypto space. Much of this is at established companies, but I wonder about how the salaries play out on the startup side. Are most people working for tokens or otherwise not paying themselves as they hope to strike it rich? And then, will those who wind up at the blockchain version of Pets.com or Kozmo know to get off at the peak before those go bust too?
If I sound a little jaded here, visit Lucidity’s blog where I share a lot more about my take on blockchain and the ad industry these days. It was a fun interview, where I cite how even the Oxford dictionary usage of blockchain is completely meaningless, so we’re all trying to make it up as we go along. Granted, Lucidity – a company I advise – is trying to solve a real problem around data transparency, and there are a number of such real businesses out there. With most others, if you ask them what problem they’re trying to solve and how they will solve it, you can’t get any coherent response.
Yet again, I’m trying to make sense of blockchain, especially as it pertains to the ad industry, and I always welcome other ways to understand it better. What are you making of yourself these days?
LEARN. TRY. SHARE.
PRIME NYC: $1.5 BILLION + FREE SHIPPING
Wow, I’m paying a lot more for Prime than I used to – namely $60,000 per job. I’m very curious to read more about the math of Amazon investing $5 billion in NY and VA. It goes back to all kinds of business metrics: you can’t gauge the ROI if you don’t know the inputs. A $4 million Super Bowl ad could be a great investment and a $40 AdWords buy could be terrible. In the case of Amazon’s HQ2 + HQ3, we just don’t seem to have enough data. As a taxpayer, I’d appreciate a little more transparency. Place 25 families in a homeless shelter in midtown, and you get months of hearings. Place 25,000 jobs in Queens in return for a 10-figure incentive deal, and there’s nothing.
TIME TRAVEL WITH THE DICTIONARY
This is a really fun feature from Merriam-Webster: “When was a word first used in print? You may be surprised! Enter a date below to see the words first recorded on that year.” Seeing the tech industry evolve the past few decades is fascinating. 2008 was a particularly riotous year, as it’s when we first got the words “photobomb,” “burner phone,” and “dumpster fire.” It beats 2007, the year of the “tweep.”
TALK TO YOUR BAD SELF
Are you the kind of person who likes talking to yourself out loud? Do you sometimes do so in other spaces while others look on, thinking you’re a crazy person? Are you responding to this aloud right this very moment? Great! Harvard Business School says it helps you learn.
New jobs are listed at the top, and older ones are phased out. Reach out to me if you want introductions or any additional information. And let me know if you have other job postings you’d like to share. The newsletter does work; in October, someone reported that she landed a job through one of these postings.
“This is the opportunity of a lifetime for a seasoned marketer who wants to build a global brand that will be synonymous with real estate. There are few products who’s core value proposition and capabilities inherently offer opportunities for “marketing as a service”. You will be supported by and partner with senior leaders who have deep experience in marketing and mar-tech. We are looking for an experienced Marketing leader with a proven record of creating marketing strategy and delivering results for B2C companies. The ideal candidate knows how to develop a creative and media buying strategy AND relishes getting their hands dirty — we are a fast-moving startup that’s growing quickly.”
Customer Support Manager
I know a lot of folks there if this is of interest: “Suzy is a human intelligence platform that helps organizations make better, more informed decisions…faster. As a Customer Support Manager, you will be responsible for answering email and chat inquiries and helping to troubleshoot and solve problems with our members and clients. You will be primarily responsible for communicating with our member base but will have more opportunities to interface with clients over time.”
New York, NY
I can refer you here, or click the link below: “For Days is an eco-conscious subscription-based clothing company that is changing the future of fashion! Their mission is to eliminate clothing waste by creating the first ever closed-loop fashion brand. Starting with 100% Certified Organic products, members have constant access to fresh styles and For Days recycles all of their old products. Zero Waste. Zero Risk. For Days is creating the commerce model of the future! For Days is looking for their first VP of Marketing to drive their multi-channel marketing strategy with the goal of driving significant, intelligent member growth and long-term value. The ideal candidate is a thought partner and executor who will draw on experience and data-driven insights to build their marketing engine!”
Strategic Partnerships Lead
New York, NY
I can refer you here, or click the link below: “Rally Rd. is an app for buying and selling equity shares in classic cars. They are taking a high value asset and making them accessible to everyone! This is the perfect role for a hustler with experience landing big deals and partnerships with companies that are household names. They will be responsible for developing and leading Rally Rd.’s strategic channel partnership initiatives with organizations of multiples sizes in multiple industries – both consumer and enterprise. The Strategic Partnership Lead will work closely with the executive team and various team leaders to identify and develop strong, mutually beneficial relationships with companies that have strategically compatible areas of expertise. Responsibilities include planning, executing, and maintaining a variety of large-scale business development initiatives to bring value to existing customers and leverage the customer base of like-minded partners.”