Session Name: How do you move from Domainer to Cryptopunk?
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia
Domain name you wish you owned: RightMesh.com
Favourite extension: .io
Now watching: NHL Hockey
Now reading: From Bitcoin to Burning Man and Beyond: The Quest for Identity and Autonomy in a Digital Society
Best city for a conference: San Francisco
Describe your company and how long you have been there.
We formed the parent company, Left of the Dot Media Inc, at a TRAFFIC conference in Vancouver back in 2010. We started out building out sub-domains off of category killer assets as a way to “sub-divide the Internet”, then evolved into building out generic brands and a team of over 90 people. Our legacy businesses have grown successfully and allowed us to invest in and launch a mobile mesh network that uses crypto-economics to incentivize the right behavior.
Our target over the coming decade is to connect the next billion users in new and better ways, lifting billions out of poverty—all through a secure, decentralized mesh protocol that has been described as the basis of “the next Internet.”
What can attendees look forward to during your session?
I’ll describe what we have seen as far as global trends, and explain why mesh networking combined with crypto-economics will transform how the world will connect: from people, to applications, to devices, and all parts in between.
What can attendees do in order to prepare for your session? Are there any questions or scenarios they should consider in advance?
Suspend your understanding that the world must connect to a centralized system, and that WiFi means “internet connectivity”. WiFi is simply a signal that is broadcast and received by a device and can transmit data – at high speeds and for free. Also, remember that there are 4 billion people in the world who lack connectivity the way we in developed economies understand it. Ask yourself – what happens when those four billion people get connected, not just to each other but to the world’s information?
What would you like attendees to learn or take away from your session?
Blockchain is going to change the world, but not in the way that everyone thinks.
Can you tell us about how your service or product helps deliver value to your customers?
Mesh connectivity provides for a rethinking of how people and devices connect. We’ve created a platform and protocol that can be embedded via an API/SDK into any existing Android application. This allows for autonomous connectivity and communication, passing a crypto token in exchange for utility provided by shared device resources. Think of it as the “Airbnb of data and device resources.”
What are your thoughts on the new TLDs?
They are creating new opportunities for branding; however, they are diminishing the value of assets overall, as the domain is becoming less important in one’s marketing activities and user search behaviour continues to be transformed.
What kinds of changes do you foresee within the industry in the next year 5 years?
A continued diminishing on the importance of domain names as content is consumed into applications, both on desktop and mobile applications.
What are you most looking forward to at the upcoming NamesCon?
Seeing friends and contacts that I haven’t connected with in years.
Whats something most people don’t know about you?
I used to manage HitFarm for Kevin Ham.
How did you get your start in the industry?
I was an early user of Adwords and have been involved in traffic acquisition for more than 17 years. I was fascinated by the power that a generic domain name had on organic ranking (back when it was a ranking factor).
What advice can you offer those who are just getting their start in the domain or related industry?
There are always opportunities. You just need to know where to look.
What was one of your biggest “a-ha!” moments in life?
My two primary rules to online business, “Marketing is Math” and “Uniform traffic performs uniformly”
How does your career compare to what you envisioned in your youth?
If I had told my high school guidance counsellor that I envisioned creating a company that sends invisible beams of light back and forth between supercomputers that I could carry in my pocket, he would have thought I was crazy.
How would you describe what you do in a single sentence to a stranger?
I use technology to solve some of the world’s biggest problems, the biggest of which is connectivity in emerging markets.
If you had fifteen extra minutes each day, what would you do with them?
Play video games with my sons. Maybe one day I will beat them.
Who has been the biggest influence on your life? What lessons did that person teach you?
My wife. She has been my best friend, my advisor, and my #1 fan of any business idea I have ever had.
What’s the latest and greatest accomplishment in your career so far?
Being recognized as the best company in the entire province of BC as the best for “Work, Life, and Play” for two consecutive years.
Describe a recent challenge at work or in your personal life that you overcame.
I had to answer the question, “What does winning look like?”
Where is your favourite place to escape?
A coffee shop with a bagel on a Saturday morning, where I can relax and browse the web and imagine the world as it might be.
What was the best advice you were ever given?
“John… you have all the ideas… If you think this Internet thing is here to stay, rather than going back to do your MBA as you had planned, why don’t you spend 20 hours a week and go start a company and learn while doing it.”
What object would you put in a time capsule that best represents who you are today?
A smart phone with cached content (and a power source). The phone contains a mini time capsule containing pictures of my family, my schedule, my communication, and my ideas/hopes for the world.
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