Now is the Time to Get Involved in Blockchain & DLT
As Blockchain Week NYC descends upon us this week (8 May - 17 May), I am reminded that last year's cacophony actually gave me confidence that I made the right choice in reinventing my career in this innovative space. For those considering a similar transition or looking to test the emerging technology waters, here are some thoughts to consider:
1) Your timing is right.
You're not too early and you're definitely not too late. As this technology transitions from Winter into Spring, you've seen headlines about the most influential companies exploring or even implementing solutions. We are at a unique position given the technology has been validated, but the use cases are still in development and we are nowhere near mass adoption. This situation provides an excellent opportunity to get involved during a higher upside and lower risk period. These windows don't last. I was early, but today, the timing is right.
2) Don’t be intimidated.
I certainly was. I used all kinds of tech during my years on Wall Street, but jumping into a brand new, unproven tech like Blockchain was really intimidating. But once I got familiar with the industry concepts and vernacular, I realized that most people have been in this space for less than 4 years. And every single person started from the same spot - Zero. I chuckle at the first Blockchain event I went to and how completely lost I was. A year later, I publicly speak on the topic on a regular basis.
3) Physically come and engage with the community.
In era defined by the internet & social media, the best way to approach this community is to schedule the time to physically attend events and meet with people in-person. I shouldn't be surprised to have to say this but there’s nothing that replaces the personal connections you build than by physically making and fostering those relationships. The Blockchain community, for the most part, is very welcoming and understanding because everyone was recently in the “Newb” situation. Yes there are some bad actors & scammers and there are ridiculous headlines ruling the news, but don’t let those create your opinion of this industry. Come out and create your own.
4) Invest in learning the right way.
In the age of internet learning, it's easy & convenient to consume educational content through the web. There are two issues with that.
The first is qualifications. How do you know that what you're reading or listening to is coming from someone who is qualified? Yes, maybe this person has a few well written pieces out there or has their own podcast, but this is a new technology that did not exist when most of us were in college. Investing in formal curriculum is vital to building a strong foundation that will allow you to quickly and effectively pivot your career.
The second is retention. With Time ROI being a key metric, are you actually retaining what you are consuming? Personally, I can't remember the last time I was able to get through a one hour online session without getting distracted. It took me physically attending a class to actually retain the knowledge that was being presented to me. There is no question where my Time ROI is best spent.
Ensure your Resource (Financial & Time) ROI is maximized.
5) Use Blockchain Week NYC as your catalyst.
Go to as many events as possible, especially ones that are out of your comfort zone. Last year, I incorrectly assumed that I should only attend events that focused on finance & capital markets, given this was my background. I couldn't have been more wrong. This innovative technology is evolving all industries & functions and it's important to get exposure to what other issues the technology solves for. Use this as an opportunity to expand your industry knowledge while you learn a new technology.
6) Discuss your interest with your company.
Given most of you are working professionals, you should approach your company about your interests. If it's a company you want to stay with, it's basically guaranteed that they are either also looking to understand this technology or they are already exploring it. You can further strengthen both your and your company's profile in a collaborative way.
If you're in NYC from 8 May - 17 May, come out and engage with the Blockchain community.
If you're interested in learning the right way, consider attending our Introduction to Blockchain course on 21 May.
Now is the time to get involved!