11 Questions for a Blockchain Community Manager — Justin V, BlockCAT

Justin V is a community strategist for BlockCAT Technologies Inc — a blockchain startup in British Columbia which is building dApps that deploy ethereum smart contracts, no coding required. He’s also a part-time photographer, educator and advocate for animal welfare.

1) List five adjectives that describe you

➡️Ambitious
➡️Enthusiastic
➡️Resourceful
➡️Collaborative
➡️Communicative

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2) Which living person do you most admire?

This one has to go to Musk. He built an empire, made innovative eco-conscious products (and made them cool) then sent them into space. He’s basically a real-life Tony Stark and the world needs more people who think on the scale that he does.

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3) What do you most value in your friends?

Brutal honesty and accountability. I have a no BS policy with my inner-circle and we always aim to hold each other accountable, especially when others don’t. I feel like we’ve all pushed each other to grow and achieve more in our personal and professional lives because of it.

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4) Where would you most like to live?

There isn’t one particular place that I have in mind. I’ve lived in numerous locations over the years and have met and worked with incredible individuals because of it. I enjoy having the flexibility to chase opportunities in my life without location being a factor that holds me back.

Here are some locations I’d love to explore in the future… 🌏

➡️ Budapest (Hungary)
➡️ Sapporo (Japan)
➡️ Stellenbosch (South Africa)
➡️ Dublin (Ireland)
➡️ Calanques d’En Vau (South of France)

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5) What is your current state of mind?

Optimistic.

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6) What is your motto?

Always aim to improve your life at least 1% each day. Small wins compounded = huge results in the end.

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7) Why are you passionate about your project?

I’m really excited about the tools and products we’re building at BlockCAT. For context, our suite of products let’s you to deploy ethereum smart contracts, no coding required.

We’re designing all of our contracts to be as user-friendly and pain-free as possible, which has lead to the decision to productize our contracts and present them with a beautiful, intuitive UI.

The products that we’re building today could very well become important infrastructure pieces for the Ethereum community in the future.

Our underlying goal is to take some of the difficult core challenges in the blockchain space, build solutions for them and make them easily accessible to anyone and everyone. You really shouldn’t need to be a developer to take advantage of blockchain tech.

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8) Tell us the best story about your community

We have a few community members who see past the short-term aspects of cryptocurrency and really understand the importance of doing things the right way in order to improve the blockchain community in the long run.

I don’t have any particular instance that come to mind, but a daily highlight for me is seeing people who really care about our project, and this space as a whole, and watching them take the time to continuously educate others.

We have some of the best community members in the space and I’m truly grateful for our shared outlook for the future.

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9) What are three things you find the most challenging about your job?

➡️ Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt. 
➡️ The anonymous nature of the blockchain community can make relationship building tough.
➡️ App fatigue — constantly jumping from app to app, site to site, in an attempt to stay on top of the news, feedback and conversation.

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10) What are three things about your job makes you feel the most fulfilled?

1. Communication Skills 💬
I’ve never been fond of writing, but after joining the team I took on the task of writing our weekly updates for the blog and I’ve come to really enjoy the process. I’ve come to appreciate the act of communicating effectively to a large audience by using tactical language, imagery and even video.

2. New Connections 🔗
I make a concentrated effort to reach out and connect with at least one new person each day. Whether that’s in our own community, or someone that has contributed value to others (via blog post, podcast, etc.)

3. Intersectional Career 🏗
Being able to work at the intersection of many different career paths has been very rewarding. I work at a small startup, so I’m currently involved in many more areas than just community. From customer success and marketing, to design and UX development, to growth and business strategy. Being able to operate in the middle of these crossroads has allowed me to build skill sets that I might not have had the chance to build elsewhere.

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11) What is your biggest accomplishment as a community builder?

One of my biggest accomplishments as a community professional was building a thriving ambassador program at Unbounce, called the Unbounce Experts Program. We took a handful of our best customers and worked closely with them — including giving them tools, resources, feedback and opportunities — in order to help develop their businesses and become experts in the space.

The result was a thriving community of experts, numerous blog posts, case-studies, partnerships, product validation + beta testing, meetings with our team — even a panel and booth at our annual CTA Conference.

The relationship with this group went way past office hours. We went mountain biking in Whistler, had off-site collaboration sessions… I even attended one of their weddings! One of the members on my Spotify family plan is still occupied by an Unbounce Expert to this day.

This entire experience has taught me many valuable lessons about the value of community, connection and collaboration, and makes me incredibly proud to be in this line of work.

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