I am a huge believer in the applicability of blockchain and cryptocurrencies in the real world. I am incredibly confident that cryptocurrencies will impact the fintech space and a firm believer in the smart contract application of blockchain.
However, when I sit in the seat of an investor, I believe that blockchain is witnessing its AI/ML moment.
Scores of founders are approaching investors with business plans with purported "blockchain applications" that will revolutionize an ecosystem. However, many of them are using the buzz word to get in the front door, only to get shot down when investors realize that:
- There is no actual application of blockchain required
- The founding team has ZERO tech experience or bandwidth with blockchain
I have spent my life in sales; therefore, I respect and appreciate the effort it takes to meet with a potential investor. However, misleading comments that will fall flat on its face during due diligence are too costly in a universe of fewer than 500 funds with less than 5000 employees!
In a nutshell, if you do not know how blockchain is a USP for your business beyond explaining how a smart contract works – you do not understand why you are using blockchain.
So until you can explain that, do not pitch something you do not understand or know how to build upon. There will be more to learn, leverage, and grow on by just trusting your current capabilities and committing to expand upon your knowledge.
It is one of the reasons why I love the guest coming on DamaniTalks tonight: Ganesh Sonawane.
I met Ganesh at the WebSummit in Lisbon. He was very early into an assisted living hardware play that was interesting but difficult to scale, especially since he wanted to go direct to consumer versus the traditional route.
But I liked Ganesh's focus and belief in a challenging product play, and he kept in touch after returning to India. While I was not a big fan of the space (as an investor), I really like Ganesh as a founder. Therefore when Indian Angel Network offered a chance to invest in his startup, I decided to back the founder instead of the idea.
Ganesh endured challenges at several levels, business, personal, professional, and consistently struggled to keep the door open. COVID-19 was a death knell for his venture, but he found an opportunity in his adversity.
He added a range of stylish and comfortable COVID-19 protection products that revolutionized his business. He goes live with me at 9 pm tonight, coming off Arcatron's best quarter since inception (8 figures and growing).
I am looking forward to peeling back the layers and discussing his journey from a struggling startup to a thriving business!