Hi I’m Andrew Levine, the CEO of Koinos Group, creators of the Koinos blockchain and below you'll find the first episode of my personal podcast. The idea behind this podcast is to give me a place to have more open ended conversations and discussions about a wide range of topics whether related or unrelated to Koinos.
What I want to talk about in this episode is the idea of “passion” and the role that passion plays in success, particularly startup success. Passion is obviously a word you hear all the time, but I think actual understanding of it is pretty elusive whether it’s understanding how to find it or just understanding why it even matters. It’s one of those things that’s super hard to measure, and so I think people tend to dismiss it. But I think that’s exactly the wrong attitude. I classify things like passion as “intangibles.” Intangibles are things that are obviously valuable, but difficult to measure. People seem to ignore or undervalue intangibles, which is probably why I like to pay so much attention to them.
The specific motivation for this topic was watching an interview on Sean Mitchell’s YouTube channel with The Limiting Factor--that’s the name of the YouTube channel. Jordan, the creator of the Limiting Factor, goes super in depth into battery technology. It’s highly, highly technical, the kind of content no one would expect there to be any demand for and Jordan was no different.
In his interview with Sean, he made it clear that he never even intended to really become a content creator. He just noticed that while there was a lot of people talking about Tesla like Gali from Hyperchange, those people didn’t seem to have access to great technical information about batteries, which is obviously critical to Tesla’s success. So he started posting videos not because he wanted to get views, but because he wanted to give something to others.
The reason why I think this gives such a good insight into the concept of passion is because it highlights how passion is not this rational, conscious process. In the interview with Sean, Jordan explains that his area of expertise is not even in physics or chemistry, his degree is in Organizational Leadership, which is a combination of management and organizational psychology, and in fact he wants to eventually explore that on his channel because one of the things that makes Tesla special is that even though it has grown massively as a company, it continues to get things done and remain creative. I for one would love to see that content.
What resonates with me about Jordan’s story is how accidental it all seems, and I think that’s a big part of passion. So many people choose the things they do, whether it’s creating content or companies, based on what other people have already had success doing because they want the success. But Jordan started creating content specifically because no one else was creating that kind of content and then he kept creating that content even though I’m sure not that many people were consuming it at first.
I used to work at a content company, Steemit, so I’ve interacted with a lot of content creators over the years, and I can’t tell you how many of them think that success is something that happens either instantly or not at all. Steem, and now Hive, is a great example of one potential use case for cryptocurrencies because it distributes rewards in a way that gets people super excited about using the platform. But here’s the problem, excitement is not the same as passion, and that’s why out of every 100 content creators who I saw get super excited about creating content, 99 gave up with shocking speed. We’re talking less than a couple of posts and that’s because excitement is not the same as passion.
So what is passion? Well, it seems to me like passion is something that actually emerges over time. It’s something that gets you excited over and over. It’s the source of the energy that always refills your batteries. I got into blockchain so long ago I can barely remember, and for years if you had asked me, “What am I passionate about?” I don’t think I would have said blockchain. I might have said, “technology,” or, “entrepreneurship,” or even, “decentralization.” When Steem came out and created an opportunity to merge my interest in content creation with my interest in blockchain, I got super into content creation and at that time I might have very well said that it was content creation that I was passionate about. While all of these things are important to me, when I look back over the last 12 years I can so clearly see the one common thread; blockchain.
I would argue that Jordan’s passion is actually content creation. He is clearly super interested in battery technology and Tesla just as I am interested in entrepreneurship and decentralization … and batteries and Tesla. But content creation is the thing he keeps doing even if he doesn’t think anyone will be interested in what he’s creating, and that’s precisely why I think he will continue to become more and more successful.
Blockchain is the thing that my teammates and I keep doing even when no one else seems to be interested in it, and I actually think that this will be one of the most important keys to our success. So many other projects in the space have people who are excited about getting into crypto and so many projects fizzle out with shocking speed because excitement is not the same as passion. Excitement wears off crazy fast and if you’re stuck working on something that you’re not truly passionate about, then it becomes, well … work. Nobody likes doing work, and so the product suffers and the company suffers.
That’s why I have so much confidence in the Koinos team, because every one of them has remained 100% excited about blockchain technology for years and years, and that’s the only way to know that they’re truly passionate about it.
Koinos will be the first blockchain to launch with free transfers, free accounts, and free smart contract execution. It’ll be the first blockchain capable of evolution, the first blockchain capable of staying forever young, and the first blockchain built on a microservice architecture. But to be honest, I actually think that the REAL secret to our success (there’s a reason I’m burying this at the end of this podcast) will be our developer obsession, our experience, and our passion.
Alright, that’s the first episode of my podcast, if you’re interested in appearing on this podcast, DM me on Twitter, I don’t care who you are. If you’re interested in asking me questions about Koinos, or starting up a company, or telling me about your project or what you’re passionate about, don’t hesitate to reach out. If you found this interesting, obviously like it and subscribe, and if you’d like to learn more about Koinos, be sure to check the Koinos YouTube channel, it’s the one that isn’t for a church, and head on over to koinos.io.