Why I’m Long on Bitcoin

We will debate the pros and cons of Bitcoin for years — and that’s exactly why I think Bitcoin’s long term future is so bright. No doubt about it, Bitcoin has received huge amounts of press the past 8 months. The spike in Google Search Trend speaks for itself.

And yet, despite the press, I don’t think most of us understand the true value of Bitcoin. I’ve been researching Bitcoin for several weeks: reading articles popping up on Twitter and annoying my smarter friends for details. The litghtbulb didn’t go off until reading Marc Andreesen’s NYT article “Why Bitcoin Matters“. Here’s the crux:

Bitcoin is an Internet-wide distributed ledger. You buy into the ledger by purchasing one of a fixed number of slots, either with cash or by selling a product and service for Bitcoin. You sell out of the ledger by trading your Bitcoin to someone else who wants to buy into the ledger. Anyone in the world can buy into or sell out of the ledger any time they want – with no approval needed, and with no or very low fees. The Bitcoin “coins” themselves are simply slots in the ledger, analogous in some ways to seats on a stock exchange, except much more broadly applicable to real world transactions.

Every day, the lightbulb is going off for thousands of new people.

Every day, more and more shops are accepting Bitcoin as a form of payment (see Overstock and TigerDirect).

So while we debate Bitcoin’s value and long term prospects, more companies will accept and more people will pay with Bitcoin. When we come up for air to see who won the Bitcoin argument, the market will have already spoken.

Dreamforce 2013 Speaking Recap

dreamforce13

 

I had the pleasure of speaking at Dreamforce 2013, the world’s largest software conference (140,ooo+ participants) hosted by Salesforce in San Francisco. Alongside Elias Dayeh (Motorola) and Kevin Dowdell (Allergan), our session “Goodbye Spreadsheets, Hello Automation” highlighted companies who have built automation applications on the Salesforce platform. The session was fully booked at 500 people and was comprised of folks looking for ways to reduce dependency on Excel and automate key business tasks (aren’t we all!).

I spoke about the Operative.One Quick Start Guide (QSG), an application Operative has spent 1.5+ years building to help manage complex enterprise software implementations. I’m proud of  what we’ve accomplished with the QSG: we’ve reduced User Acceptance Testing (UAT) duration from 3 weeks to 1 week, standardized our implementation approach, and allowed our customers to guide themselves through key implementation phases.

Here’s a video recording of the Dreamforce session (Operative’s section starts at 25:40). Enjoy!

 

Last Impressions Also Matter

We’re always told, “make a good first impression” or “you can’t make a second first impression”.

Yes, the first impression is important. It defines the relationship and sets the bar for all future encounter. In additions to the first impression, I’ve come to realize that the most recent impression can be just as important.

I recently organized a party and, in true party fashion , bought a keg from a local beer distributor. Getting the keg was great – it came on time and they even lugged it up to my 5th floor walk-up (drinking it was fun too). Getting them to pick up the keg, and return my deposit, was a different story. The distributor didn’t return my calls, missed two separate prearranged pick ups, and was generally disorganized. Needless to say, my opinion of this company was low. However, when they finally were able to pick up the keg, they did it the right way. They apologized for the issues, handed me a clean envelope, my name neatly inscribed on the outside, and crisp, brand new bills to return my security deposit.

Getting to the final outcome was a drag, but the experience of the final encounter was spot on. Despite the troubles, I can’t shake the feeling I had in that final encounter…that last impression really did matter.

So keep making strong first impressions, but remember, the last one matters too.