Blockchain is freaking hard

But it’s also been the most exciting challenge yet

Beatrice Leung
Oct 16, 2018 · 4 min read

Here are six items I’ve discovered, and some misconceptions about the new job I should clarify, in my first 90 days.

1. The learning curve

Many people think I’m a bitcoin maximalist when I’m really still trying to figure out what hodl means.

I had dabbled in a bit of crypto before working at Radar, owned some Bitcoin, made a trade, read some articles, and was eager to learn more. But man, every time I think I got a project nailed down, more advanced developments arise.

Attached with each category disruption is an underlying industry you’ll need to be familiar with .The learning curve is much steeper than I had realized. Be prepared to ask a lot of questions.

2. Like ACT vocabulary all over again

The English definition of a word and the blockchain definition vary, dramatically.

What I thought “Lightning” meant — a sudden electrostatic discharge that occurs typically during a thunderstorm.

What “Lightning” now means — a second layer payment protocol that operates on top of a blockchain.

Luckily resources like exist.

3. Google doesn’t have an answer

This ought to be the most frustrating one yet.

Who the heck do I ask if Google doesn’t know?

We’re at the beginning of a massive technology shift, each day more infrastructure is built, knowledge is shared, and fortunately, we’re moving forward.

But the ride will be bumpy, buckle up. Lean on your colleagues, seek out influencers, and absorb as much as you can.

4. Throw it at the wall and see what sticks

We’re heading into uncharted territory — marketing all this new blockchain tech. Take advantage of this early development stage and apply thoughtful ideation, strong execution, and rapid improvement to your process, with little risk your hypothesis could be proven wrong and advanced tenfolds.

5. Community is everything

“Community” has become quite a buzzword these days. While it’s a nice-to-have for many companies, it’s a must-have if you’re building anything in blockchain.

Many ideas are unproven, projects are scattered, and regulations are a mystery. But with a passionate, supportive, and loyal community merely any project (often regardless of validity) could succeed. This double-edge sword makes things much more complicated. On one hand many people are mindlessly subscribing to projects, on the other hand your legitimate project has to try much harder to convince people who’ve been burned in the past.

Marketing in a space that’s so new, there isn’t the luxury of grabbing existing users, you’re out hunting for them. To build your tribe each interaction with your brand should be so f*cking good that users are drawn to it.

6. I’m not a crypto guru

Here’s a secret between you and me, I don’t know what determines the price of Ethereum, Bitcoin, XRP, any token for that matter. Frankly, if I could predict Bitcoin price movement, I wouldn’t share that anyway.

The minute your LinkedIn profile updates to xyz crypto/blockchain company, you’ll now be seen as a cryptocurrency investment advisor.

The best way I’ve found to handle investment questions is to encourage people to familiarize themselves with the projects. My two favorite newsletters for token news are Unbankd and Token Daily.

Don’t let the lingo or concepts of this industry intimidate you, the now experts started as a beginner (:raisehand: I’m still a beginner). DM me if I can be of help @hellofrombea.

Like any industry, there are ups and downs. Blockchain isn’t some magical thing that will solve all the worlds problems overnight, but it is really f*cking cool.

Many aspects of my role now require comprehensive knowledge of new concepts in cryptocurrency, finance, and blockchain, but it’s been a heck of an experience learning it.

It’s remarkably rewarding to break down complex topics into easily digestible articles — thrilling to be at the forefront of this tremendous new tech. There hasn’t been a dull moment yet. I encourage you to read more about the token economy, to voice your opinion, share your ideas, it takes an army to make this all successful.

I debated a few times whether I should publish this non-technical article and doubted whether it’d resonate with anyone, but you can’t get better unless you try. Let me know what you thought of it and thanks for reading.

To cover my bases, this piece is entirely my opinion and does not represent Radar in any way. We are building some cool stuff, go check it out:

Beatrice Leung

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Marketing @radarrelay · Prev @LiveLikeVR @Techstars NYC16' · Big fan of sarcasm, hate small talk · Writes for fun