Marketing the Blockchain, with Tony Winders and Alon Goren

This week on The Tech Cat Show…

Speaker 1: Welcome to the Tech Cat Show with host, Lori H. Schwartz. Each week we hear from established leaders in the technology and consumer industry. Finding out the scoop should never be this much fun. Now, here is your host, Lori H. Schwartz.

Lori Schwartz: Hello, everybody, and welcome back to the Tech Cat show, and we are rounding out our month long series on blockchain and bitcoin and all things crypto with another great show dedicated to the topics so we can really dig into what this world is all about, and we have the fabulous Tony Winders on the phone, who is a digital marketing pioneer, and Tony’s going to help us really understand how do you market a blockchain company and how do you help it at its launch, which is called an ICO, and Tony’s going to lay that out for us a little bit. And then later on, we’re going to be joined by Alon Goren, who is also deeply involved in this space, and is the CEO of Goren Consulting Group, and he’s launching an investment summit happening next week in Los Angeles all about this topic as well. So ladies and gentleman, let’s have a big Tech Cat welcome for Tony Winders. Yay.

Tony Winders: Lori, you’re so funny. Thank you so much for having me on the show, and the crowd goes wild.

Lori Schwartz: Yeah, we have a very, very excitable studio audience. So Tony and I have known each other a long time, and Tony is always doing something interesting on the marketing side of things, working with new technology companies, ad tech … anything. Really name it, Tony’s been there to help sort of build their brand and launch them into the world. So Tony, give us a sense of your background before we jump into the blockchain side of your world.

Tony Winders: Well, thanks Lori. Well, great to be on the show. Thanks again for having me. I’ve been in marketing for all of my career. I started in entertainment publicity in Hollywood, and around the early ’90s got the internet bug and started one of the first interactive agencies int he world. We actually called it Interactive Agency Inc. later rebranded as iAgency, so I was very early in the web 1.0 market, and we were just figuring stuff out in those years, early SEO, early HTML banner advertising, and kind of all things promoting sites back then. Not really building them so much as building a practice around the PR online marketing and advertising to promote websites and the explosion of the web in the late ’90s, and later on after the .com bust, I helped Search 123 get a budding paid search platform, get acquired by ValueClick where I was the VP of marketing for several years.

And more recently, I was the head of marketing at GumGum, which is a really interesting AI and computer vision platform, known best for creating the in image advertising format, so I’ve had a long run in ad tech, and in the in between corporate jobs, I have done consulting, which right now is kind of my venture is not consulting as a means to an end, but really making the Winders Group into a new kind of virtual agency that takes advantage of the distributive nature of everything in the gig economy, and the fact that everybody has marketing needs, and that we could be a sort of outsourced marketing as a service, if you will. So that’s what I’m building now, and a lot of that is blockchain related clients, but we work on tech related companies of all kinds, healthcare tech, ad tech. I’m really excited about the blockchain. I’ve learned a lot about it in the four projects I’ve worked on over the past year, and I’m really thrilled to share some of that knowledge with you and your audience today.

Lori Schwartz: Well, tell us a little bit about just as someone who helps build brands and as a marketer, what do you look for before you take on a client? And then we’ll jump right into the blockchain, but are there things about a company when they approach you, or a startup, and you’re like, “Okay, I can do this”? Are there certain qualities?

Tony Winders: Yeah, well everything that I do really rolls up to either strategy, content creation, or campaigns, and so I’m looking for clients that would have the means to bring me on to architect that positioning and messaging and the go to market strategy at the outset if that’s what’s needed, or to implement that, but putting several hundreds of thousands of dollars behind that. So I’m looking for campaigns that are highly qualified on budget and that are people that I want to do business with, that I like and are projects that I can believe in, which to the extent I can work on projects related to social good. That’s amazing, but like one of my clients right now is Transparent Health Marketplace, and we’re building a sort of eBay for healthcare, if you will, and it’s just fascinating to kind of be on the ground floor of these disruptive technologies. But it turns out that often, my clients tend to be startup oriented but well funded, and maybe not ready to bring on that VP of marketing, so I can serve in an interim role there or work for the VP of marketing and just help them be successful at various pieces of the marketing mix.

Lori Schwartz: And are you seeing that certainly, a year or two ago, it was virtual reality companies, and now obviously blockchain is the big sort of wave. Does it work like that for you who comes to you?

Tony Winders: Well, I would say I kind of go where the market needs me, and so sometimes that comes from a deep network of contacts, and other times it comes from a personal interest in chasing down a new type of technology, but in the case of blockchain specifically, there’s really just a dearth of marketing talent out there. Our skills are really needed right now because there are so many blockchain projects, and it’s so noisy in that marketplace that having experienced marketers that are kind of rolling up sleeves and understanding the ins and outs of how that works are very valued right now because there’s a lot of work to do, so that’s kind of … the work’s sort of coming to us by way of demand in the marketplace at the moment.

Lori Schwartz: Now, you have, of course, when we first started talking segued now into working on a number of blockchain projects, so why don’t you start by giving us sort of some sense of who those companies are and what you’re doing for them.

Tony Winders: Sure, well I would say when I first jumped in headfirst to blockchain last summer, it was on an introduction from my good friend, Amy Seidman, who’s the principal in Noble Profit, and she’s actually mounting a token creation called BFlow, and it’s all about putting sustainability on the blockchain, so I’m really excited to be an adviser in Amy’s project, so that’s Noble Profit and BFlow. Just getting that started, but last year Amy introduced me to a man named Stewart who is the principal in BitBounce, an email spam solution, and they were launching the credo token, and it was right before the ICO, and I really just wanted to be involved, and so they were pushing. As you approach the public ICO, these marketing organizations just need as much awareness as possible. We’re being asked to build brand overnight for this new funding mechanism, and so with BitBounce and the credo ICO, the way I started was just cross referencing all my contacts in LinkedIn, but who are working on blockchain, and cryptocurrency, and ICO, and I just started calling everybody. That’s kind of where my head in was, and was just especially connecting this kind of marketing technology platform in the BitBounce spam solution to some of my marketing contacts, and that’s where it started.

And then another company approached me called Vaultbank that needed help pushing an asset backed security token, sort of a hedge fund model taken to the blockchain so that everyday investors could invest like the hedge fund but the security token is the bridge allowing them to do that with some very seasoned bankers and financial types out of San Francisco. And then last year, I met the founders of Nynja, it’s spelled N-Y-N-J-A and this is an amazing, really fascinating global messaging platform, and that’s the big ICO that we’re in the middle of now. The public ICO will be on June 15th, and so we’re in a pre sale mode right now, and really working internationally to spin up all manner of marketing programs, which I can speak more about, but Nynja is like a messaging platform, like a Telegram or a Facebook messenger tied to its own cryptocurrency marketplace, starting with on demand freelance and independent contractor services. So imagine kind of Telegram meets Upwork. That would be Nynja.

But put differently, what’s happening in China with WeChat, it’s a very common thing. People in China are exchanging currency on WeChat like we do Venmo and PayPal, but it goes deeper than that. People are running their whole lives on WeChat and that’s what Nynja is going to do-

Lori Schwartz: Oh, wait. Hold on, Tony.

Tony Winders: Go ahead.

Lori Schwartz: We have to take a break, but when we come back, I want to talk a little bit more about … because you are taking all these companies to ICO … what does that really mean? What does it take? And ICO means initial coin offering, correct? So that’s really when this new business goes to market. So when we come back, maybe you can take us through, what are the pieces of that puzzle and why it’s so exciting, why it’s so challenging, and why marketing is finally meeting it right now.

Tony Winders: Yeah, sounds good. Let’s get into it.

Lori Schwartz: All right. Well, we’re going to be back in a moment on the Tech Cat Show with the fabulous Tony Winders who is a marketing guru, and is taking us through how marketing and the blockchain are coming together to create these new, exciting brands. So we’re going to be back in a moment on the Tech Cat Show.

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Speaker 1: This is the Tech Cat Show with Lauri H. Schwartz. If you want to find out more about our show or to leave a comment or question, send an email to lori@techcat.tv. That’s lori@techcat.tv.

Lori Schwartz: Hi everybody, and we are back talking to Tony Winders who is the principal at Winders Consulting Group, and Tony is a guru int he digital marketing space, helping build brands for a number of companies over the year, and now focusing his energy on blockchain companies, and so we were just talking about this concept of ICO and the number of companies that Tony is helping on the marketing side get them to ICO, which stands for initial coin offering. So Tony, can you tell us what Ico really means and then how do you help get them there?

Tony Winders: Sure, so the ICO is a relatively new kind of funding mechanism, and the initial coin offering really should be an initial token offering because it’s not really a currency that the companies are offering but they’re issuing a token, which in most cases is a utility inside of some ecosystem that’s on the blockchain, so a blockchain investor is always going to look first at whether the business really needs to hae a token in order to operate appropriately because otherwise, it could be perceived that you’re just using the ICO funding mechanism as a crowdfunding campaign, and in fact, it is kind of the new crowdfunding. But the projects that are most successful are those which really take advantage of the smart contracts and the trustless environment of the blockchain, and then the token, as part of that mechanism of launching the company, the token is minted and it’s issued to these contributors to the ICO who put money in to hold the tokens, in may cases hoping that it appreciates in value, which is why the SEC has said, “Beware. Most of these tokens are likely securities because they’re speculative,” so companies that already have an operating product and can put the token into use maybe have a little bit more protection, but by and large in the US, we just have to have the mindset that every ICO is a security because the SEC really hasn’t ruled on that.

And so there’s a lot of legal considerations. I’d say lawyers are probably making more money than marketers right now in the ICO world, but marketing campaigns have gotten expensive because there’s so much noise out there, and to stand out, you really have to be well heeled, so something else I look for in a project is whether the business has a built in audience to work with, or a celebrity executive, or something that gives them a leg up. Like if you look at Bob’s Repair, you wouldn’t even hear about that ICO except that John McAfee is an adviser to the company and every time he tweets, people flock to the contribution page, and they put into the ICO, or take the wax token, which is OPSkins. Millions of gamers already trading skins within games. They’re paying each other for it, so OPSkins was really smart to get out ahead of it and create the wax token, so that people could just start trading in this cryptocurrency unit of their token.

So any time you could have a big audience already built in, that really gives you a leg up because otherwise, like I said, you’re building brand overnight. And how are you going to do that? And so there is a formula. There’s a formula, yeah.

Lori Schwartz: So it’s the same as anything else, really is that you need some influencers. You need a big name. You need something to make the noise in a crazy world.

Tony Winders: Or you need to be highly differentiated. This something the world hasn’t seen before. That works too, but by and large, yeah. You have to have the resources to go to market with it. The other thing I would say … you reminded me when you said it’s just like anything else … really marketing is marketing, and applying it to the blockchain is only slightly different in terms of how we approach certain things. Many of the disciplines, like PR and advertising are very much the same, and email marketing, and Marcom and Corpcom. That stuff is very similar to marketing any tech business. And then there are little derivatives and nuances, like community management for example is really just managing message boards and news groups is what we used to call it in the .com years. We would charge people to do chat room seating and news group seating, chat room buzz, all these different things we would call it, and today it’s community management and social media. So it’s really just very similar types of tactics of just jumping in, and creating community, and talking about the product, but new flavors, new platforms … it’s a different era but it’s funny how all things old are new again in many ways.

Lori Schwartz: Yeah, and a lot of what you’re talking about does totally make sense to me. Are the type of people that you’re meeting in this blockchain world … are they the same as the ad tech folks you worked with and any of these other technology companies? Or do you think it’s a different type of person that’s buying up against these initial coin offerings?

Tony Winders: It’s funny you say that because when I showed up at CoinAgenda last October, and I was knocking around the community for the first time, the first person I see walking in the door is Seth Shapiro.

Lori Schwartz: Our good friend who kicked off this month long series.

Tony Winders: Yeah, and Seth … he and I learned the internet together in 1993, so the interesting parallel I see with the people I’m meeting in this industry, they were all there at the beginning of web 1.0, so I really found that odd. Mark Jeffrey, Richard Titus, Michael Turpen, I could go on. There are a lot of these characters who are showing up who were not afraid to cut their teeth in the early days of the web, so that’s kind of-

Lori Schwartz: So it’s digital. It’s entrepreneurs who drift towards something interesting, something exciting, something that feels real that are all showing up in this environment.

Tony Winders: Yeah, and also I would say it’s a lot of single people and young people. I know people who consider themselves digital nomads who just kind of go along with the event circuit and just show up at these … they don’t live anywhere. They’re just coming from crypto show to crypto show because they are either investors, or service providers, or influencers who are there to be part of that community, so there really is a wonderful international community, I must say. I have been having so much fun. There are days when I’ll work in five time zones throughout the day.

Lori Schwartz: Yeah, yeah. I’ve heard that this is probably one of the most global sort of businesses to jump into right now because more than ever before, there really are no geographical walls with the blockchain, right? Because that’s the point too, right, is moving something around the world and being able to transparently market somehow.

Tony Winders: That’s is kind of the point, and that is bringing up conflict, which I don’t think that we’ve seen play out entirely just yet in terms of the establishment feeling threatened by blockchain technologies and cryptocurrency. I think that we’ve yet to kind of see that really rear its head, and it’s starting to show up in things like Google and Facebook, disallowing cryptocurrency related advertising.

Lori Schwartz: No kidding. So the big guys are trying to shut it down.

Tony Winders: Exactly, and that is just frustrating to many of us, and really you’d think that you could weed out the bad actors, and I think as a community we do weed out the bad actors by way of the vetting process of which projects get invested in. It’s a bit of a mystery to me as to why they feel compelled to do that. Maybe that will help the industry continue to self-regulate and be a kind of white hat world out there. But I’ll tell you, a couple weeks ago what really turned me off was MailChimp saying that they would no longer allow you to publish on their platform emails relating to ICOs and cryptocurrency.

Lori Schwartz: Get out.

Tony Winders: And that, to me, that sounds like … that, to me is censorship, really.

Lori Schwartz: It is.

Tony Winders: I’m sure their terms and conditions, they can do whatever they want, and I’m sure there’s a competitor who will welcome with open arms all of those customers, but I think the tide’s going the wrong direction for technology that has the potential to do so much good in the world.

Lori Schwartz: I want a quote from Yoda here, which I’ve never actually done but, “Fear turns to anger. Fear turns to anger.” It sounds to me like they are all very frightened of what’s coming. Now, you mentioned you’re involved in the Crowd Invest Summit, and we’re going to have Alon Goren join us here in a minute. He’s one of your clients and he’s also the CEO of Goren Consulting Group, and he’s a well known VC, and someone who’s been in the financial sector a long time. But why are there so many summits and shows right now for crypto? More than any I’ve seen before. Certainly, two years ago, there was a VR event every few months, but not like this. It seems like there’s something significant all the time.

Tony Winders: There is, and we’re actually maintaining a crypto events calendar, which I’m going to stand up at blockchaincalendar.io I think is the domain, so we just maintain a calendar of events for our clients that we’re going to publish so everyone can use it, but I think it’s partly just the emergence of a new market, and a lot of demand for people to learn about the market, and therefore opportunists kind of throwing their hat in the ring. So yeah, you could go to a cryptocurrency event every single day somewhere in the world easily, probably more, probably many each day, but I think only so many are starting to emerge as the leaders in that space. Certainly, the crypto invest on that is one of them but Consensus is coming up in New York next month, d10e has done a great job of mobilizing around the world in different cities, CoinAgenda was one of the first. That’s Michael Turpen’s event. Really a great group of investors who’ve kind of been in it for a long time. More recently Blockchain Unbound in Puerto Rico is a tremendous success, and so I hope that they’ll continue doing that event.

And I could go on. They’re just all over the world. I think part of it is that you need to have place to conduct business. It’s helpful to promote the ICO and to get to know the actors, like it is the true sense of trade marketplaces, but they’re expensive too, so if you have a ICO project, you have to place your bets very carefully on where you’re going to show up, and it’s not like you can just call the conference director and ask to get on a panel. Everything’s for sale, which is equally frustrating to me that there’s sort of no editorial integrity on the stage at most of the events. That doesn’t go for all of them, but it also is very pervasive in the trade publications as well. There’s a lot of people with their hand out and pay to play, so I’m going to look for the publications that emerge that are truly the editorial voice of this industry, and they’re starting to emerge.

Lori Schwartz: Emerge.

Tony Winders: Yeah.

Lori Schwartz: And now, when we go to break, we’re going to come back and I think Alon is going to join us to talk a little bit more about the Crowd Invest Summit, and can you give us a little background in a minute about … set us up for that?

Tony Winders: Sure. Well, Alon Goren was the co-founder along with Josef Holm of Crypto Invest Summit, formerly known as the crowdfunding Investment Summit, and it’s in Los Angeles at the convention center next week, Monday through Wednesday. Starts Monday evening. The content is really Tuesday and Wednesday at the Convention Center. These guys have done a great job of assembling some of the best and brightest minds in cryptocurrency, and Alon will talk more about the content that they have there, but they’re expecting over 4,000 people at last count, and it’s just going to be one of the best shows on the west coast this year for blockchain and crypto investing specifically.

Lori Schwartz: Fantastic. All right. Well, we’re going to take a break, and we’re going to come back with Alon, and we’re going to dig a little bit more into the fabulous summit that’s coming up, and what we think we may learn there, and what the thinking is about building an event like that, which is certainly a reflection of the industry itself. So we’ll be back with the fabulous Tony Wonders and also Alon Goren when we dig more into the marketing and the future of building the industry around the blockchain on the Tech Cat Show.

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Speaker 1: This is the Tech Cat Show with Lauri H. Schwartz. If you want to find out more about our show or to leave a comment or question, send an email to lori@techcat.tv. That’s lori@techcat.tv.

Lori Schwartz: Hey everybody. Welcome back to the Tech Cat Show, and we have been joined about marketing with the digital marketing pioneer, Tony Winders of Winders Consulting Group, specifically around Tony embracing the world of the blockchain and helping blockchain companies build their brand, and launch their initial offering ICOs into this world. Now we have the pleasure of welcoming Alon Goren, the CEO of the Goren Consulting Group, and also, I guess the founder of the Crypto Invest Summit. Is that how you would say it? Which is a very hot event surrounding cryptocurrency and blockchain, which is happening next week in Los Angeles. So let’s have a big Tech Cat welcome for Alon Goren.

Alon Goren: Thank you. Thank you for having me, yeah.

Lori Schwartz: The studio [inaudible 00:29:54] as well.

Alon Goren: I am the company-founder of Crypto Invest Summit. My partner Josef and I started the conference together.

Lori Schwartz: Fantastic. Well Alon, all month long we’ve been talking to folks in the world of the blockchain in different business categories, sort of trying to understand what this is all about. So maybe someone like yourself, give us a little background on you. I know that you are deeply involved in the startup space, and you’re a venture partner and leader of one of So Cal’s largest group of investors and entrepreneurs, the 805startups, and you’re really interested in building and supporting entrepreneurs. So how did you dip your toes into this space?

Alon Goren: Yes, I’ve been obsessed with financial technology for a long time now, so I grew up in Southern California, which is why I created 805startups, a group of Southern California bases startups and investors. And I was also a techie growing up, and so made my way up the ranks at places like Myspace, and IMDB, and Amazon before I quit my job at Amazon to start my own company to help people raise money online, and at that point, learned a little bit about crypto and played around with it, but about a year ago went full time crypto, and I’m now principal at a fund that invests in crypto and blockchain companies and do Crypto Invest Summit with my partner, Josef.

Lori Schwartz: And what was the impetus for you to do Crypto Invest Summit because Tony and I were just talking about the preponderance of events around this topic and how important they are because it’s such a hot growing space. So what made you say, “We got to do this event”?

Alon Goren: Well, in the crypto space basically did and became what we all wished the crowdfunding space would become and Josef and I had created a conference called Crowd Invest Summit before this because there was no single conference for the actual companies and investors that were in crowdfunding to get together, so there were conferences where the service providers would hang out and those were a lot of fun because we’d get to have beers with our friends, but we never actually got to meet any of the investors or any of the companies who were making money. So we were the first people who created a conference like that, and it was about … I don’t know … 10 [inaudible 00:32:27] the size of any other conference I the space, and when crypto started slowly taking over that conference and I started being full time at the crypto fund, and Josef was starting to invest in the space and get really involved, we just decided, you know what? Let’s rebrand it, crypto invest on it, and take that same model and strategy to the crypto world, so next week, there’s going to be over 70 presenting companies, thousands of investors in attendance, and it’s going to be a lot of fun.

Lori Schwartz: And what is the sort of principle concept behind it? Is it obviously to get business to happen, to get startups invested in, to just keep the industry going? But your spin on it is on the investment side. Is that correct? How is your event different than others?

Alon Goren: Yeah, so we try to do things differently. Obviously, it is a business and a lot of the sponsors do get up on stage, but it’s not just about selling 10, 15 minute spots to sponsors, which is what most of the crypto conferences have become. I think everybody wants to have their own 15 minutes up on stage so it’s easy for a conference to just break [inaudible 00:33:41] up the 15 minute segments and let people give their own little key notes, but we have some of those, and those are important to us, but what we mainly do is have fireside chats with experts who we want to pick their brain. We want the audience to know that, if I’m talking to Adam Draper, who was one of the first investors, if not the first investor in Coinbase, I want to know what made him jump in and make that decision. What drives him to invest in different companies? And then I want to learn from that so that I can be a better investor in the crypto space. So we do that and we create panels throughout the day with experts, and we hope that the content is not what you can just easily Google.

We hope that people argue, and debate, and create really, really exciting content that you couldn’t just get if we asked Adam to give his own 15, 20 minutes on stage, which would be awesome. I’ve seen him do it before. He’s great, but we want to poke at people a little bit. We want to hear. We want to really understand why, what the why is in the decision making process.

Lori Schwartz: And what made you reach out to somebody like Tony? Did you realize that you’re ready to get some real strategy behind the marketing of all of this as opposed to just trying to do it yourself, or to hire people who are not as experienced? Because Tony brings this large experience of marketing other things.

Alon Goren: Absolutely. So working with Tony is sort of a like a testament to two things I’ve learned over the … or testament to two things. One is when I worked at Amazon back in the day, they did these things that at the time I wasn’t really sure about and didn’t really fully understand, but once I worked there for a while, I totally got it. The did these things. I forgot what they were called. They were called [inaudible 00:35:40] or something like that where basically they said, “When you have a job that needs to be done, find somebody who’s better at you than that job. Even if you’re the boss, even if you’re hiring someone, find someone who’s better than you at that thing to do that.” And for some people, that’s a tough thing to do because they feel like they might be overshadowed or they might not get to shine themselves, but you get to take credit for the people you bring to the table, and so you always want to bring the best people.

and the next thing that Tony is a testament to is the 805startups group, so we bui;t a really cool group next to where we live, which is north of LA. It’s not the epicenter of Silicon Beach and Santa Monica. It’s north a little bit where we want to raise our kids, and go on hikes, and be purposely away from everything. But there’s a great community there. We actually have an event this afternoon. Our group has 2,500 members in it, and Tony is one of those guys who when we need an expert in marketing, when we need a CMO, or somebody who understands strategy behind everything on the marketing side, Tony is the first person our group calls. And so when we were launching our fund, and when we were getting the conference together, Tony was of course, the natural first person we called.

Lori Schwartz: And together the two of you … have you been noticing anything particular about how excited people are about this summit? Is there anything unique about the response to it that you’re both surprised about?

Alon Goren: Not surprised, because crypto has just been so exciting, but it’s just there’s so much energy around the space. And Adam Draper, to bring him up again, he once told me a long time ago when he was first getting into the space that it’s really exciting. It’s really cool. It’s really nerdy. There’s a lot of good, and bad, and ugly of the whole space, but the one thing he noticed and realized that everyone in crypto, especially six months, a year ago, before it was really popular, we’re the smartest people you’ve ever met in anything you do. And so the energy around getting to hang out with people who literally will … almost literally blow your mind with the information they give is just really exciting, and it’s really fun to be around it, and the fact that the markets are kind of nuts, and one day there’s a lot of money. One day you could make a lot of money. It’s just exciting, and so it’s a much different world than the normal venture startup world in that sense. Things move 10 times faster.

Lori Schwartz: Right, and that wasn’t a laugh of mocking you. I love the bravado and also calling it what it is, that you have a room of really intelligent people who understand business, who understand finance, who understand marketing and technology-

Alon Goren: And let me be clear. I’m the imposter in the room. I don’t think I belong there. I’m not smart enough, so I somehow snuck in.

Lori Schwartz: Tony, is that what you think?

Tony Winders: Well, I think Alon is the-

Alon Goren: Tony thinks that’s [inaudible 00:38:56]. He doesn’t [inaudible 00:38:57].

Tony Winders: No. Alon is such a leader in our local tech community so he’s being very modest but I would say one thing I’ve noticed about the energy around the conference and crypto is just it’s so pervasive across every industry as being effected by it, and so it’s really … I think it’s ultimately going to be much larger than the web and the HTTP protocol in terms of its importance globally in the future of the world, and I think that excitement is just … it’s like what we felt in the mid ’90s right before kind of where everything really heated up. I think that’s the excitement that people are feeling. It feels very 1996 right now to me, ish.

Lori Schwartz: 1996. I’m trying to think what my hair looked like then. And I know that also this is in downtown Los Angeles on the Los Angeles Convention Center, and how many people do you expect all in to attend the show?

Alon Goren: We’re definitely expecting more than 4,000 people there.

Lori Schwartz: Right. And this is the second time you’ve done it or the first time you’ve done it with the crypto focus?

Alon Goren: This is the first time it’s been 100% crypto. Last year, it was 50/50, and so a lot of the same people, a lot of new people. It’s going to be a lot of fun.

Lori Schwartz: There’s going to be a lot of money int hat convention center, I think.

Alon Goren: Indeed.

Lori Schwartz: So I have to remember that when I walk in. And one last question for you guys before we go to break, and when we come back, you guys can tell us how we find out more about the summit, getting tickets, also maybe a chance to win some passes, and also follow you guys from a social marketing perspective. But there are one or two people that have said to me, “This is a Ponzi scheme,” and I’m sure you guys hear that a lot. What do you say to them in a quick sentence before our break? How do you shut that down?

Tony Winders: It’s not.

Alon Goren: That’s right. You clearly have to know what you’re investing in before you do, and just like any other space, buyer beware and do your homework.

Lori Schwartz: Right. So it’s just like anything else. You’re not trying to pull a wool over anyone’s eyes. It’s not more special than something else. It’s just something going on right now that you do your homework on. All right, well we’re going to be back in a moment with Tony Winders and also Alon Goren. We’ve been talking about marketing new blockchain and crypto companies, and also about the upcoming Crypto Invest Summit, so when we come back we’ll find a little bit more about getting more information. How do we follow this community? Maybe some free passes to the conference and how we keep in touch with Tony and Alon in a moment on the Tech Cat Show.

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Speaker 1: This is the Tech Cat Show with Lauri H. Schwartz. If you want to find out more about our show or to leave a comment or question, send an email to lori@techcat.tv. That’s lori@techcat.tv.

Lori Schwartz: Hi everybody, and we are back on the Tech Cat Show, and we have been talking about the blockchain and about cryptocurrency, how to market it, and also this fascinating new community, especially for well known investors who are all jumping in because they see that there’s real meat here. So we’ve been talking to Tony Winders of Winders Consulting Group and also Alon Goren, the CEO of Goren Consulting Group, and also one of the co-founders of the Crypto Invest Summit, which is happening next week. So where can we find out more about the summit and what are some good social media tags for people to follow to sort of dive into your community?

Alon Goren: Yeah, well we have cryptoinvestsummit.io is the website. If you go onto Twitter, there’s Crypto Invest Summit. You do #cryptoinvestsummit. My personal Twitter account and Tony’s personal Twitter accounts are always good for learning more about crypto and what’s happening.

Lori Schwartz: And Tony?

Tony Winders: I’m @tonywinders on Twitter and pretty much Tony Winders across all social media, and I invite people to join the Telegram group where we have over 1,000 people in there already, and as we approach any events, it’s a lot of fun to just kind of share information and connect with people and ideas as you go into the conference. It’s really part of building the momentum and the excitement around it.

Lori Schwartz: Can you talk a little bit for a moment about Telegram, because I don’t know how this could be, but I didn’t know about Telegram until the last six months because of blockchain. Sow hat is Telegram exactly? Is it another slack type of experience? Can you educate everybody about what it’s all about?

Alon Goren: Yeah-

Tony Winders: Yeah, it’s … Go ahead, Alon. It’s another form of messaging platform but tea it up.

Alon Goren: Yeah, exactly. It’s a new messaging platform. In my opinion it’s a not as good version of WhatsApp. But because of encryption and because of certain reasons like that, the crypto community has flocked to it. It just kind of became the de facto space where all the bigger deals in the space like Tony’s companies that he promotes, all create their own sort of Telegram chat rooms, and so people get together, talk about ideas. Companies have these channels as well where they might just post any new articles about their company and things like that.

Lori Schwartz: Cool.

Tony Winders: What’s interesting about Telegram and crypto is the importance that investors and contributors to these ICOs put on the number of people you have in the channel, which is crazy. In a typical investment scenario, like how many Facebook followers you had would be … that would be a crazy thing to think about, but it is real and so as a result, people are investing in growing their Telegram communities, and dare I say, there are probably some fake users in different scams being enacted to try to boost those numbers, which doesn’t make it authentic in some cases, so just an observation about how Telegram is so important, yet runs the risk of being so irrelevant in some ways.

Lori Schwartz: So it’s another channel that you leverage as a marketer now in this community. It’s that important.

Tony Winders: What do you think about that comment though, Alon?

Alon Goren: It’s totally true. It’s very similar to Facebook and Twitter counts, and in that respect nowadays it’s really easy to spend a few bucks and get fake followers places, so for me, when I look at a company, I look at engagement, just like I look at Twitter accounts. For years, I would hear about some company, and somebody be like, “This guy from the crowdfunding world, he’s amazing. He was on a TV show. Look at him. He has 200,000 followers on Twitter.” And then I’d go and look, and you’d be like, “I’ve never seen somebody with 200,000 followers post something and get one like, and get no retweets. And you start realizing, oh. These are all fake. They’re all pretend, so what you do is you basically gauge it by engagement instead of by the numbers, because it’s also easy for people to even get real people to click a like on a Facebook based on, oh. [inaudible 00:48:39] really good meme or something like that. But are the people actually engaged? Do they actually give a crap and are they actually taking part in the conversation? And if they are, then that’s really, really valuable.

Lori Schwartz: And are you, Tony, doing marketing to push people to Telegram? Are you doing direct response sort of pushes to get people to join certain channels?

Tony Winders: Sure. We’re doing it as part of an overall integrated mix, though. It’s kind of an inbound campaign where we put content out into the universe, be that media relations, editorial coverage, paid advertising, social media posts, blog posts, Medium, Steemit, being active in the Reddit communities, and then pushing people toward our website so they can join the Telegram group, so that’s sort of one of many metrics at the end of that conversion funnel that we point people toward, but there are others like downloading the whitepaper. Every ICO starts with an idea, and that in this world is called the whitepaper, and that’s a common thing that every ICO has, and so you want people to download that. You want to get them white listed, which means that they’re becoming accredited as potential contributors to the ICO, so there are a lot of things that we’re using marketing to funnel people toward desired actions, depending on the stage of the ICO, whether it’s pre-sale or in the public sale, or eventually having a real product.

Let’s not forget that the Ico funding mechanism is intended to actually launch companies that are going to do things, so the marketing goes way beyond just the fundraising period, but that’s been what’s in highest demand because it’s so hard to stand out from the crowd, and it’s so important if you want to raise the money necessary to get the job done, not unlike crowdfunding, and Alon, you could sort of speak to that. Even the crowdfunding campaigns, you always had to spend money to make money, and I wonder-

Alon Goren: Yeah. Yeah, in the fundraising world, there’s different sort of levels of what comfortability with spending money to make money, and to make money can actually look bad depending on the type of thing, but there’s different types of fundraising, whether it’s for to launch a company or to pre-sell a product, or to do something. So you raise that money and you might spend money in advertising and things like that, but at the end of the day, there has to be this sort of … to what end? If it’s just for money, you’re probably not doing the right thing. If you’re creating a story, a product, getting [inaudible 00:51:35] and really doing it right like Tony is saying, you’re building a community that will then support you moving forward, so you have to kind of look at it in many different ways, because if you’re just talking about fundraising, if you’re just talking about economics and money in somebody’s pocket, this might not be the best way to do it.

But if you are talking about … like Tony is saying .. building a community, getting people who will have your token, own your token, and be incentivized for your networks to grow, and then absolutely you could be doing so many things to build that network out. KPI shouldn’t be money in the bank. It should be many, many other things because it might mean money in the bank over the next three years versus money int he bank on the day the deal closes, [inaudible 00:52:27] that is.

Lori Schwartz: That’s so cool. Now, we’re going to give away a few passes to the summit so Alon, do you want to take us through how our listeners can win some passes?

Alon Goren: Yeah, so if you go to cryptoinvestsummit.io and you use the promo code TechCatVIP, all one word, next 20 people to do that will get a free pass to join us at the summit next week.

Lori Schwartz: Fantastic. Well, you guys, we are winding down but I want to give a big thank you to Tony Winders who is the digital maven, and he’s the principal at Winders Consulting Group, and he’s really been educating us about how to market a blockchain, a company, a new ICO, and then of course, Alon Goren who is the company-founder of the Crypto Invest Summit happening next week, which you should all check out. So you guys, it has been so great to have you here dropping so many insights and wisdom about this hot space. Thank you so much.

Tony Winders: Thank you, Lori.

Alon Goren: Thank you.

Tony Winders: We look forward to seeing you next week at the Crypto Invest Summit in LA.

Lori Schwartz: I will be interviewing people to hopefully share with our audience next week as well, so I can’t wait to be there, and thanks everybody for joining the Tech Cat Show. We’ll be back next week with some more thought leaders and great information.

Speaker 1: Thanks so much for listening to the Tech Cat Show. Please join Lori H. Schwartz again for another great program next Wednesday at 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time, 1:00 p.m. Pacific Time on the VoiceAmerica Business channel, and syndicated to the VoiceAmerica Women’s channel.