The ICO Team
Arguably the most important part of an ICO, at least on the surface, is the makeup of the team. Read any review of a potential ICO and one of the first things you’ll hear is a judgement based upon the team composition.
As we’re undergoing this process ourselves, we wanted to be transparent in our strategies to help other potential teams make good decisions while avoiding some of the pitfalls.
Strangely enough, the idea, product or solution usually comes second to a team makeup.
Potential investors want to know who you are, what you bring to the table and ultimately, if you’re qualified or able to contribute anything worthwhile to the project. This is a strange deviation from the world of Tech Startups where it’s far more common to have a team of unknown who are possibly backed by a serial investor.
There’s 2 categories to the team make up. The first is the core or executive group which is, essentially, the team that will be employed in the pursuit of your product or solution. The second team is made up of your advisors. Often, your core team is going to be made up of mostly developers, at least at first. This creates a bit of a Catch-22 in that you’ll have a wealth of expertise focused on developing your product, but potentially, very little experience for all the other aspects.
This is where your advisory team can help; Let’s Bid Local looked to augment our core team with a group of advisers who shared our passion. We approached each of them with what was essentially a 90 second venture pitch, and then gauged their interest. Our advisers each have a specialized background in things like social media, business, finance or law. Their expertise helps shape our company and provides a sounding board for brainstorming new directions or tweaks to our product.
While they don’t need to be celebrities, you’ve probably seen some impressive advisers on some (or most) of the well founded ICO teams. One of the most difficult things to distinguish though is how much effort these advisers have actually put towards the project. Most of the time, you’ll find it impossible to garner the degree to which these advisers are actually involved.
The role of the adviser is often unclear; try to determine their level of their engagement.
Why then, is a team of recognizable faces so important in the ICO world?
My belief is that because the industry has grown so rapidly, along with the staggering amount of investment money being asked for and already successfully raised, that a known team becomes a quick and effortless way to judge a project’s potential. You can hedge your bets and make an assumption that if the VIP people on the advisory board think the project is a good idea, then so should you.
Let’s Bid Local has no qualm about understanding our place in the world.
We’re not a team of well-known investors or blockchain experts. You probably haven’t heard of us before, and almost definitely haven’t heard of the projects we’ve been previously attached to. We do, however, have a wealth of real world experience and carry a drive to change our communities for the better.
Rex, our CEO, has a deep background working in the giants of the IT world. He’s worked at Microsoft and eBay/PayPal, where he first dreamed up the idea of a safer eCommerce experience. Most recently, Rex has spent the last 7 years managing a group of elite IT consultants and engineers. He’s also spent the better part of the last decade investing in and learning about cryptocurrencies while using his technical merit to learn the actual underlying workings of Blockchain technology.
It is through blockchain that Rex recognized that his dream for a safer experience was within reach.
I joined the team as the COO and co-founder; while I have no technical experience per se, I have spent the last 15 years working in various forms of customer service and operational management roles. This has honed my ability to work with employees and customers alike while simultaneously guiding the business’ objectives towards the wants and needs of the customer base it serves. My focus will be on community engagement and ensuring we are finding solutions to the very real problems that plague the userbase of platforms like eBay, Facebook Marketplace or Kijiji. Most recently, I’ve been working with Rex to co-manage a team of 40 technicians of varying degrees, servicing clients across multiple industries.
My work experience has been an invaluable tool in helping me understand the pain points of small business owners as well as the workings of large industries. Ultimately, the ability to work within so many communities kindled my motivation to find a way to make a difference.
To me, Let’s Bid Local is a means to make my community safer.
A key attribute that exists between Rex and I is our ability to enhance and complement each other’s abilities. Together, we make a stronger team. This should be a driving factor of how you find and approach new people to join your team. Ask yourself some guiding questions:
- Does their previous experience prepare them for the role you have in mind?
- Do they complement or bring balance to existing team members?
- What is their motivation for joining you?
I use 4 guidelines when selecting advisers, and encourage you to do the same
I look for people who have experience and expertise in related fields. This doesn’t mean they’ve been involved in ICOs or startups, but I do want some sort of relation. Maybe they’re an avid user of eBay or own their own small business on the side; this type of experience combined with their industry experience can become a perfect fit.
The 2nd guideline I look for is simply in the ‘feel’. When I meet a potential adviser, I try to determine if they mesh well with my philosophy and that of Let’s Bid Local. If they tell me that they’re interested in being involved because they are hoping to make a quick return on any investment, they probably aren’t the right fit. On the other hand, if they have a deep history of participating in community events and see Let’s Bid Local as a tool to keep our streets safer, we know they will fit in well.
We look for people who share our values and understand the importance of our goal.
Although not a dealbreaker, we do try to find people who have experience in ICOs, blockchain or cryptocurrencies. That type of experience can come in many flavors, but we do want to find people who are somewhat knowledgeable in some facet of the industry and technology we’re working with.
Lastly, we seek to increase diversity. We don’t want, or need, 6 advisors all with a MBA in Finance, or multiple social media gurus. I think of our advisory team as a baseball team; a group of players who all have a defined role and specialty who, when together, form a rock solid team.
A Team does not make or break your project — but is very deserving of thought and effort.
Not only do we encourage questions or comments, but if you think you may be a good fit for the Let’s Bid Local team; please reach out through the contact section of our website!