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Fireside Chat #4 Raw Audio

Thursday February 24, 2022

Note: This is auto-transcribed and may have errors or missing details.

Eric 00:00

…necessarily about small picture, we’re building something big here and it takes a little time. And you know, it, it comes in, in different sprints and marathons. And what Daniel just mentioned to us, for this call was, we’re at mile 26 of the first marathon, we’ve got this very short sprint to finish. And that marathon is laying this foundation of having a working product and being first to market. And when we talk, when he’s talking about ROI, to highlight this, the most valuable thing we can do, and the best return is to have a working product that’s out there that people are using, that’s that blowing their minds. And, and that’s right here on the precipice. And the best marketing we could do is once that’s air to yell to the world, look what we’re doing, you know, and I think that’s, that’s the most valuable, biggest thing in the horizon. And it’s right here, we’re tripping into the finish line right now. It’s, it’s here, and, and then things really start to roll from there. I mean, we’ve been doing things, you know, brand marketing and getting the idea out, and this is bird, this is our community, you know, come meet us. And we you know, and a lot of that stuff, but very soon now will be yelling to the world, look what we’ve built, which is a very different conversation. And that’s where things get big. So you took the new off. Dan, do you want to jump in there?

Daniel 01:35

I just want to add one sort of quick comment, I fully agree with everything that you guys have said Lou and Eric. The one thing that is worth mentioning, sort of as a closer on this topic is Chris crypto is unique for a lot of reasons. But one of the areas where the implication is greatest on operators like us, is the requirement to remain just Ultra nimble. You know, I’ll be completely frank that, if you asked me about six weeks ago, if you know, some of the downturn we were seeing in the market was going to turn into, you know, a prolonged bear market, I was said No, at 90% sure that this is just a hiccup, our getting a lot of macro events that are likely going to be putting more pressure on that. And so that forces us to revisit a lot of our planning and strategies around marketing. Because as Eric has said, you know, one of the most effective ways to differentiate yourself and as noisy of an environment as as is the crypto marketing world is to do something completely different. So you know, if the choice is to spend money on a video that is going to look and feel the same as 1000s of other videos of promising young

product projects, or the choices to put that money into getting us over the finish line, as Eric said, you having this unique product in the market, the dynamics of that calculus changed dramatically from week to week when the market is as volatile as it is right now. So I’ll be the first to admit that we’re going to get caught with our pants down every once in a while we’re gonna plan for things that don’t come to fruition. And one of those things right now, has definitely been what our short term strategies were going to be for marketing, we had budgeted to start dramatically ramping up our marketing spend. But again, because of some of the changes in the climate today, you know, we’re finding ourselves revisiting a lot of that. So, you know, this is me, essentially, apologizing ahead of time that, you know, this is there’s gonna be some whipsaw moments in the next, you know, several months around things like this. And there’s very little that we would or could do to really address that. We are not the type of that is going to brute force our way through, you know, an environment where, you know, people just aren’t ready to listen, because the market is down because there’s competing priorities in people’s lives, whatever it happens to be going on. Yeah, yeah, that’s really just the last thought I want to leave on that is we need to remain nimble, that will sometimes appear from an outsider’s perspective that we don’t know what we’re doing. But it is it is deliberate, it is planful that can be to make sure that we are always having a plan B a Plan C A Plan D for when the unexpected happens.

Eric 04:42

I think when unexpected happens or when it’s tough times like this, you know, like in the market teamwork is what wins and you know, not the team that’s on the stage but the team that’s all in here together. You know, it’s it’s all about are here because we believe in burden what’s happening and what’s being built. And now is the time with this strong foundation to work brick by brick, one person by one person adding to the community adding bird holders every day one or two is that’s the type of thing that can tangibly change a project, that when the big explosion happens, that that foundation is here and strong, and we could build something really big on top of this. Alright, so I’m going to pop the other questions, let’s get into it. Were we able to fix the hand raising? If anybody’s having trouble raising it sounds like he’s working on it. Yeah, sorry, guys. I’m just uh, yeah, I’m trying to work on it. Like the person who typically does our technical setup isn’t available. So I’m trying to work through here, I just made some adjustments. So if anybody can, can see it.

Eric 05:58

Time to test it. So let’s see if it works. On the other hand, we can leave questions in the AMA channel that’s right above this, and I can keep reading them. So we talked about ambassadors, I just want to go back to that there’s a question that popped up from speculation Hill. So when is this all starting with the the bird bounties? And how are we going to work it. So the next newsletter will have the timing on it, and we’re gonna start this in the very beginning of March, this is starting, you know, right around the corner. And we’re gonna get going and do work. And we’ll be doing team calls just like this with the ambassadors who are involved to talk about

ideas and to continue growing, I want this to be something that we’re all working together hand in hand in, and really recruiting for the flock and really getting out there to the world and saying, This is us, come join us. It’s a really important thing in my mind, and we’re gonna push on that very, very soon. It’s, it’s, it’s starting. So, Riot on telegram asked, Does the birth team have the resources in capitalist survival, prolonged bear market? So we just talked about, you know, the markets changing? And down? What’s, what’s your thoughts on this?

Daniel 07:15

I mean, this is exactly why we are, you know, in the midst of our seed round right now, it’s exactly why, you know, finance has been such a valuable partner. You know, obviously, no deals are done until the ink is dry. But, you know, we’re seeing very positive feedback from high level investors, which to me means that even if something goes sideways, and we need capital, all it means is that we’re just going to need to make some sacrifices on the caliber of investors that we want to engage with. A if you know, access to capital becomes critical. We have a lot of options. So I think generally speaking, the answer to that question is yes. We are not threatened by the bear market in terms of solvency. Eric, you’re on mute?

Eric 08:09

Sorry. Get stuck on mute there. Yep. Sorry.

Daniel 08:12

Yep, I can hear you. Okay. Great.

08:16

And feature works now? I think.

Eric 08:20

So Korea, just put that question, similar question in about Denmark. It will that we’re in a good spot there. A room just asked about staking on BSC and staking of bird tokens in general.

Daniel 08:46

This folds into a much bigger discussion around token utility, which we talked about in our last fireside. And, you know, I shared that as much as I’d like to be, you know, radically transparent here as well. There are a lot of legal implications to how we position our token. So the there we have very clear and simple plan to instigate liquidity on things like pancake through staking mechanisms and stuff, but you’re gonna have to wait for the details. It’ll all be coming out in you know, one fairly significant update that really lays out a long term strategy for our tokens. So plan is in place. Unfortunately, there’s not much that we can share about at this juncture until the full announcement is made.

Eric 09:46

And I think that piggybacks on the conversations that we’ve had previously. So as a few questions about the products and how they’re working, so both products are meant to analyze wallet, data and behavior and come up with an Bester score an analysis of a user’s wallet behavior, how much of that information will then be shared with birds? Clients?

Daniel 10:11

So hot air if you don’t mind, because I see you in the audience, and you’re one of the most engaged community members we have. don’t totally understand your question. And so rather than risk missing the point, do you want to raise your hand and jump in and talk for a bit? Give it a second or two and assume that no response means? No, thank you. Or I guess it could mean that our raise hand button is still busted? Who’s? Actually I see ash typing here. So let’s see. Yes, raise hand button is still busted. Alright. So I’m going to make an assumption that this question is coming at us from like a privacy angle. If that’s not correct, you know, just jump in here. And we can take an offshoot to this. But one of the reasons that we have constrained ourselves, so using on chain data only is that data has already been committed to the public domain. Like it or not, it’s akin to you putting your trash and your trash receptacle putting out in the curb, and it is now public property. At least in America, that’s the case. So we done that, so that we don’t need to really contend with this challenge yet. And one of the reasons that we’re deliberately sidestepping it is, I’m of the opinion that in today’s climate, people often conflate privacy with fairness. And I believe that a lot of online users, if they aren’t today, will soon start relaxing some of their privacy requirements, if they’re able to monetize their data, I know certainly, that that’s how I feel I’m not interesting enough to spy on and to, you know, all that stuff. I still don’t like giving away my data for free because it’s it has value. I’m an economist, I don’t like giving things away for free that have value. So we aren’t sharing anything that is not public with a potential client. Because all of the data that that’s being ingested, these models are in the public domain already. Now, fast forward, and, you know, you guys have seen everywhere that we have pretty robust plans to start integrating with off chain data sources. At that point in time, we’ll have no choice but to excuse me, hiccups contend with, you know, this question of data privacy, but I think a couple of things will be different by then, one, our ecosystem and the mechanics of it will be a hell of a lot more mature. And so the ability for us to deliver, you know, financial incentives in exchange for ability to ingest private data will be a lot better. The other thing that I think will be different, you know, by that time, is the entire sort of crypto industry and the regulations around it will be just a hell of a lot mature, more mature. Like right now, we don’t know exactly how, you know, landmark regulations like GDPR, and Europe, California data privacy act here in the US, are gonna affect data in this industry, rather than start architecting, a bunch of stuff prior to those decisions being made. And we’ve just made the call to focus strictly on on chain data. And it has all these other benefits, like not having to confront these privacy concerns. The last comment I’ll make, which

is not really germane to this question, but I think it’s really important is by constraining ourselves to only using Blockchain data, we’re, we’re doing something that is just transcends the project in terms of importance. And I’m going to talk about this a little bit later on when we get to some questions about what defines success for Bert. But what we’ve done in releasing this first model is, and I believe this is accurate, someone can correct me if I’m wrong, but my knowledge, you know, this is the first commercially viable demonstration of blockchain data being able to support a user behavior prediction. And that’s, that’s a lot of jargon. But But ultimately, you know, there there was an, there was still an open question, you know, is the blockchain and the data contains sufficient to support these kind of predictions? Is there enough information contained in the blockchain or machine learning model to make a viable prediction with and now we’ve demonstrated the answer is almost undeniably Yes. So it’s another you know, ancillary benefits just focusing on on chain data for this first round of product development. So I’m just looking at the clock. And I’m know I’m getting a little long winded here. So Eric, I’ll hand the mic back to you. I’m going to jump into the next questions. Sure.

Eric 15:08

I think that the common a prediction there is also super important when talking about privacy and specific wallets. But we’re, we’re predicting what a wallet that looks like this, we think it will do, we’re not saying here’s all the information on the wallet. Here you go, cuz that’s all there already. It’s a next level thing. Just to keep back of minds. Right, so we talked about investor scores, not meant to punish a low investor score, but rather reward those with high investor score. Could we see in the future clients using birds investor score asking for a minimum score, let’s say a 40, or 50, on a scale of 100, for lots of people to invest in a given project, thereby punishing those with a lower score. So so back to kind of that credit score conversation.

Daniel 16:01

Yeah, so I mean, from a principals standpoint, we are not in business to tell other operators how to run their business, we are are going to be arguably one of the most valuable service providers in the crypto industry. And for us to maintain that status. It’s important that we are careful in terms of how much influence we try to exercise over the use of our products. You know, I’m a big proponent of carrots over sticks. And I do believe there are ways to disincentivize this kind of behavior. But ultimately, and this is going to sound like it’s a cop out. I think this is more up to you guys than us. We crypt one of the things that crypto does better than any other thing created by man is it facilitates voting with your feet a lot easier than anyone else. So what I mean by that is, if you if you guys start seeing somebody using a bird product in a way that you don’t agree with, stop patronizing their, you know, their platform, stop giving your money, if enough people agree with you, market will correct that problem. The other comment I’ll make about this is, this is a potentially good example of why we think of Dow is important if we’re coming at you guys saying that the ethos of this project is decentralization, and then why should we be the ones to make this decision? So perhaps, you know, we there’s a future version of this project this world that involves the Dow deciding whether or not you know, they’re going to cut somebody off from a product because they’re using it some abusive way. Personally, do I want to see that? I don’t think so. Crypto is meant to be open and permissionless for a reason. I’m a big proponent of using that that carrot over

the stick. And I think that we should be just disincentivizing that behavior by just not doing business with people that make decisions like that. So you know, our goal is obviously to have these products be used as incentives and not punishments. But we are going to always have a fairly clear line in the sand, you know, with a couple exceptions, of course, where we’re not going to interfere with, you know, how another operator decides to use these products.

Eric 18:30

But one of the questions that came up the other day and telegram and I don’t know if it transferred to here or not. But when you’re speaking to these, these investors, what are they seeing as weaknesses emerge? You know, what, you know, we talk about the strength and what we’re building and all the good things, what are the questions they have?

Daniel 18:53

To choose my words very carefully here. We are one of very few projects in crypto that can reasonably say that we’ve got somewhere between zero and two competitors. So we get a lot of questions about that. Manual, you’re on this call. So give me another shout out that that competitive analysis you did, has paid huge dividends in answering those kinds of questions. We we get a lot of questions around talent acquisition. Right now machine learning engineers, you know, they can compare command a pretty high salary from you know, Fang and some of these other more established traditional tech businesses. So you know, there’s there’s a lot of questions about so how are you going to learn these guys in? And you know, our answer there is that, you know, we’re fortunate that we’ve got deep networks, you know, within our team of folks that work in those spaces, and you’re going to start Seeing announcements about new hires and conversions from, you know, advisor to full time and this sort of thing and the machine learning space over the next few weeks. Yeah, I mean, the reason I’m choosing my words carefully is because to be quite frankly, a lot of it questioning is fairly superficial. We have a pretty compelling offering, we’re very diligent and how we document you know, all the curves and angles of this thing we’re trying to build. Typically, the line of questioning isn’t terribly intense. I think, to some extent, people either get or they don’t. And I think in many ways, some of the decisions that these investors have made, were made prior to even getting on the call. So yeah, it’s always very tricky to talk about investor, you know, facing stuff, because we have to be sensitive to the privacy of those conversations. But that’s, that’s, I think, the best answer second offer there.

Eric 21:00

I think that’s great. So we’ve hit the questions that are here. Marketing. Yeah, we’ve hit mostly everything. And I know, we wanted to leave some time for the conversation of what what does success look like? And where, where in your mind? Are you with that?

Daniel 21:21

Yeah. So before we do that, I know the button is busted. But if anyone else has another question that they want to sneak in, before I launch into a mono Hawk here, now is the chance.

Okay, so just let me interrupt for a second. Sorry, the button should work now. Okay, well, I don’t it doesn’t sound like anyone’s got a question they want to sneak in, just in the air. But if anybody cares to there, they should be ready to. Yeah, we should be able to now. So guys, feel free to chime in and just raise your hand and get you in there?

Eric 22:14

Definitely. So I’m Eric, believe that question came in from CB? Excuse me? CB Correct? Yes. Okay. So there’s a lot Yeah, it’s a longer question. You want me to read it? Or you want to just go out? No,

Daniel 22:18

no, that’s good. Because I’m actually just gonna zero in on one part of it. You know, I think we’ve addressed a little bit of, you know, some of these other questions that are surrounding it. But this is the first time we’ve ever really been asked so directly, like, so how do you define success. And it, I think it’s really important to always update your criteria when it comes to success. And so this is a good opportunity for us to have a candid discussion about it. I’m going to start with a very idealistic view here. And then we’ll switch gears and talk more practically about kind of the business implications. And the reason for that is, you know, ultimately, I believe that you need to be guided by principles, you need to have some kind of true north when you’re working environment that is volatile and challenging. And, you know, pick your euphemism for difficult as crypto is, when we have difficult decisions to make. It’s often this classic rock and a hard place. And it’s those times when calling upon your principles is you know, that North Star, it’s your it’s your your your, your, your navigation capability, essentially. So from an idealistic standpoint, the number one thing that, to me defines success. And this is another thing that transcends our project is really preserving the future of user data mining. I think that if you look out into the web two world right now, we’re seeing the twilight of what was once an incredibly powerful and positive innovation, this idea that a web platform in capture important and otherwise inaccessible data, and then ingest them in machine learning models to create insights that are impossible to glean otherwise. That is a that is an absolutely game changing innovation. But what’s happened is it’s grown so big and so powerful, that like many things, once it’s no longer you know, in moderation, it has become somewhat evil. So I look at our goals of decentralizing this industry of harvesting user data and feeding them into machine learning models as a bit of a do or die moment for the future online experience. If we don’t demonstrate that there is a balance between principal and agent here, the people that are building these models And the people that are affected by them, and out there and, you know, providing the data that they consume. If that balance isn’t restored, this will almost certainly just be regulated out of existence. And, you know, some of these privacy laws that are coming up, they kind of show that, in many ways when when there isn’t a good solution, you know, people just love the sledgehammer and then just kill the whole thing. So I think one of

the first and most important, idealistic success measurement criteria is just doing our part to propel research to find a better model and preserve this important capability of the online experience. Second, idealistic goal here is attracting AI talent to this sector. As I said before, the majority of AI engineers are not working in web three. And obviously, a lot of people on this call right now believe that the future is web three. So if we think that these emerging technologies are important, it’s incumbent upon people like us to start spreading that word and bringing more people into the space that have these valuable skill sets. That’s the second point. The third is, I think, the biggest pie in the sky. And that’s, we’re here to build a team in a community that has a positive impact. That can mean that when you have a bad day, you’ve got a telegram channel where you can go chat with some people, that can mean that, you know, when your coworker goes through something difficult that you’re there to support them, that can mean that when you have career objectives, like some of the all the folks on our team have, and you have leaders that are willing to invest in those career objectives, right, like, we’re here, not to just get rich and to do cool stuff with code. But you know, we’re here to make things better. And if if that sounds, you know, a bit too idealistic, a bit too hippie, sorry, guys, but tough. This is our model, we believe that ultimately, doing good is the best sustainable long term strategy. If anyone hasn’t read it, read infinite game. It is really eye opening, when you start thinking about short and long term strategies, and it can really changed your views on on having ideals and principles that you’re, you know, practically not willing to get to let go of, and that guide your everyday decision making. So again, I was very deliberate and why I made sure to preserve some time here to talk about these sort of fluffy, you know, success criteria, because I think they’re important, and I think they’re sort of underappreciated in a sector is in an industry, where there’s this much money flowing around, it’s very easy for people to say, our success criteria is $1 billion market cap. And I’ll talk about some of that stuff in a moment. But it’s important to also, you know, pay attention to some of these other, you know, more softer side of things when it comes to success measurement. So with that, let’s switch gears for our business hats and talk about the more practical successful measurement criteria. Number one, most important, profitability within about two years. And that’s important because it’s just a general sort of protocol, that, you know, when you’re getting towards series A Series B, you need to have profitability or a very clear path to it. So you know, that’s not necessarily just an internal or endogenous success criteria. It’s one that’s that’s also sort of imposed on us from the outside. The second success might measurement criteria, or practical standpoint, is, is a functional and demonstrated tripartite revenue stream. So what I mean by that is, you know, we’ve talked a little bit about web three versus web two. And why we are building an Oracle and also have an API is are two independent revenue streams are web three, Oracle is obviously only going to be useful for other web three builders, no need to talk to an Oracle if your platform is not also on web three. So that’s one individual revenue stream. Our API is designed for either web three clients that don’t need the properties of web three, prefer the simplicity of an API, or it’s for companies that are not yet in the web three space and are looking to penetrate and need some form of market intelligence to do that, that may end up being an API that can be called we’re also building dashboard interfaces that will allow people to, you know, essentially, like upload files and score, you know, tranches, wallets that can then be incorporated and other kind of business strategies. So it’s an important to us that we also have, you know, a an on ramp for non web three consumers that are looking for this kind of machine learning intelligence for blockchain data. The third revenue stream here is essentially like commissioning research income and bespoke product development, we expect that we will be a very small class of teams in this space that has this capability of developing machine learning products on the blockchain. And so, you know, we’ve already had conversations and some larger projects that say, Hey, that investor score is really cool. But if you change it in this in these three ways, you know, we would love to use it. Okay, great, you know, a for how, you know, pay for the development costs of those changes a little bit. So we are developing this

tripartite revenue stream, because it’s an important aspect to, you know, our resiliency to, you know, future changes to the market trajectory, it gives us a lot more potential customer bases to tap into, and a lot more opportunities to put our machine learning products to work. And then the last, practical success might measurement criteria. And this will might come as a little bit of a surprise, but I think that we will know we’ve made it when we’re in a position where we’re offering developer grants to folks that are looking to use our products. And I say, that may seem strange, because, you know, obviously, that doesn’t mean that we’re making any more money if we’re giving out money to developers that are trying to build with our products. But what it does mean is, we have reached the critical mass where we have financial wherewithal, and their reputation and clout in the industry, to be in demand for that kind of support. Just like some of the major players out there already do so frequently with their developer grants. So it’s a little bit of a curveball that I think is is a different way of, you know, applying a measuring stick here that says, here’s how we know when we’re successful. I could talk for probably days on, you know, how we’re thinking about success, and what we what we expect to see happen, and you know, what order and all those things, but that’s the high level. And this will be an ongoing conversation. So I definitely encourage everyone to sit with my comments for a little bit, you know, come back to us and share your thoughts on them. As always, you know, we don’t have all the right answers. And so we are always open to hearing feedback from the community. So I see we’ve got only about a minute or two left. We have any nope, no new questions. So Eric, that’s it for me. If you want to go ahead and wind down. That sounds good.

Eric 33:07

I think this was a great, next fireside chat here. And thank you to everybody for coming. I just back to the community thing. I am very excited about the foundation and the relationships that I feel like I’m building in the different groups. And I hope that everyone is feeling the same thing growing because there’s something happening here in this community. And it’s very exciting to everyone here. And I think doubling down on on our part. Well, we’ve just heard Daniel, talking about on the big level part I there’s there’s big success in the future. And I’m excited about it. So we’ll see everyone back in telegram channels and discord channels. And we’ll schedule this out for two weeks. And in the meantime, please stay in touch with us and keep an eye out for the ambassador, the next level of the ambassador program. Anything else to add anybody?

Daniel 34:05

Yeah, one more. One more quick comment close out. We are a global community. I would be stunned if in the 15 or 18 people are on this call. Somebody isn’t directly or indirectly affected by what’s happening in Ukraine right now. So just want to say, you know, our thoughts and our prayers go out to anyone right now that is affected by the conflicts. Obviously, we have no political position that will assert here but anytime there’s risk of loss of life, we’re humans. And like I said, this is a global community. So encourage everyone to do their part and support in any way they can to those affected by what’s happening right now in Ukraine.

Eric 34:44

Definitely in on that, well, we’ll close it up. Everyone have a good rest of the day, and we’ll see

Definitely in on that, well, we’ll close it up. Everyone have a good rest of the day, and we’ll see every one soon. Thanks, guys.

About Bird

Bird is empowering dApp developers to create the Web3.0 UX of the future by developing wallet-level machine learning prediction products that are accessible within a permissionless, decentralized on-chain oracle. Developers that integrate with our products can, for example, offer variable defi loans or launchpad investment terms based on Bird’s analysis of the wallet’s past behaviors as well as off-chain data streams.

Behavioral prediction products fueled the growth of Web2.0 companies such as Google and Facebook, but centralization had led to power and profit disparities. Combining the power of ML with open and decentralized technologies will enable Bird to create an entirely new tech business model. Operational decisions such as how sensitive data are used and what user behaviors are analyzed can be made by the community (i.e, token holders), with community profit-sharing serving to align the long-term incentives of Bird administrators and ecosystem users.

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