Tony Sakich = Blockchain Marketer, With Actual Successful Track Record
The first point I wanted to make is more of a personal opinion, that being my hatred of the phrase "marketing consultant" and its connotations. I feel it immediately implies slimy douchebags that crawl out of the woodwork when a company gets funding. Unfortunately that phrase is the one I have to use to express what I do for a living and it's necessary to use it when explaining why it's a good idea for a company to fork over money for my services. With that said, I used "Blockchain Markter" in the heading, I guess I'm still offering marketing consultancy services (if you can't beat em, join em).
On October 1st, Augur announced that we raised $5.2 Million dollars in our 45 day crowdsale, making Augur one of the 25 highest funded projects in the history of crowdfunding! I wrote an Augur blog post shortly after the crowdsale ended to let the community know that my role was being reduced and my marketing services would be available in the future. The post didn't feature a link to TonySakich.com, nor did it emphasize the level of my availability for future projects. Even with the lack of lengthy emphasis, the response was overwhelming and it became clear that my planned "month-off" during November wasn't going to happen. Besides the companies that spoke with me, speaking engagements began to spring up and there were two I wanted to go into some detail on.
Offered To Speak at ÐΞVCON1 & Oakland University
The most flattering thing that happened was Vitalik Buterin personally invited me to speak at Ethereum’s ÐΞVCON1 conference from November 9th to 13th in London, UK. Unfortunately, I couldn’t accept the invitation as it was too late notice and there were other timing issues that just made it impossible. What really did mean a lot to me was the honor that Vitalik and the Ethereum community thought highly enough of how Augur’s Marketing had been handled, that they wanted me to share it with the core community developing on the platform. Additionally, Ethereum’s External Relations Director George Hallam said some amazing things to me as well, the best being that when asks he tells other projects to study and market themselves like Augur!
It crushed me to not be able to accept the speaking engagement at ÐΞVCON1 as the biggest weakness that many of these brilliant projects have is marketing and it sometimes leads to unscrupulous individuals sliming their way in, pretending they know the industry/technology and taking advantage of these brilliant developers that simply lack marketing savvy. I hope in the near future another speaking opportunity will come up as marketing an Ethereum Dapp exists in it’s own world and I feel that sharing my experiences, successes and failures is essential for the success of future projects.
As disappointed as I was that I had to turn down the opportunity offered by Vitalik, the AMA (American Marketing Association) requested that I speak at my college, Oakland University on November 17th. This opportunity I was able to accept and I am thrilled to be able to come home to Detroit and talk at OU about Augur, Ethereum, Bitcoin, Blockchain Tech, Decentralization and most interestingly, the challenge and experience of managing the marketing plan for Augur’s crowdsale. I’m also hoping to use this engagement as an opportunity to grow an Ethereum community in Metro-Detroit, I am hoping to write a blog post or two focusing on this in the near future so I will leave it at that for now as there is one huge update I wanted to share.
The speaking engagements, offers to teach classes and company requests really were overwhelming and made me confused as to what step to take next. As I announced that I was looking for opportunities, I had no idea what the market would be like for myself. I hoped that my track record with both BitPay and Augur and my notability from Decentralize.fm would help me out. As mentioned, it was very overwhelming and I am just now starting to execute a strategy to ensure that I can get connected with the most interesting projects and continue to pour my heart and soul into this Ethereum Ecosystem.
Introducing: Paula Cruickshank
That strategy included hiring someone, and I wanted to introduce Paula Cruickshank as the person who is going to be helping me going forward. The first paragraph of this blog illustrated my distaste for the term “marketing consultant” and I knew from the start that a person who fits those traits was to be avoided at all costs, which made asking Paula to help me out one of the easiest decisions I have ever had to make.
Paula is one of the most genuine, honest and kind-hearted people I know, more importantly she's excelled at every position I've seen her in. These are the type of compliments that really are generic when stated to describe someone online, but the type that mean EVERYTHING when interacting with clients ranging from a singular developer trying to bootstrap a project out of his basement all the way to Corporate Fintech lifers that arrive in groups of 8 to every meeting or call.
The aforementioned strategy of attracting and connecting with the most interesting and influential people/projects in this space is a difficult and multi-faceted process. For every industry giant I have met and developed a relationship with, I still have never met and/or conversed with Sir Richard Branson, The Winklevoss Twins, Blythe Masters or Marc Andreessen (wink wink, nudge nudge....seriously though, I would love a conversation to learn, not money at all). Something huge I learned from connecting with the "Big Wigs" in the Blockchain space like Roger Ver, Andreas Antonopoulos, Brian Armstrong, Bo Shen, Jeff Garzik and so many more is the old adage I would hear in hip hop:
"Real Recognize Real"
Paula Cruickshank is real and that is exactly the kind of person that is needed to market the most exciting technology being created on earth today. Her background at CBS, ability to effectively communicate with C-Levels to 15 year old developers along with being someone I completely trust make this something I'm very proud to announce.
Both myself and Paula can be contacted regarding our services. I'm happy to speak to everyone but the continued success of Augur as well as the surprising amount of interest in speaking with me has made it difficult to do this. As there are just two of us working on campaigns, we are being selective and really want to make sure that the projects we accept are ready both financially and conceptually as it's important for all parties and both the Ethereum and Bitcoin ecosystems that important projects are launched and promoted in a unique way that accentuates the strengths and is honest about but doesn't overstate the weaknesses.
I'm personally aware of more than a few amazing projects being developed in this space that I would love to work with, additionally I am aware that some of these projects desperately could use our help. We are not the type who will pursue these projects unless either of us have explicit knowledge that the other party has interest, with that said, please contact us as we are not the type to maintain/spam a mailing list or the type to constantly offer you bullshit web statistics that mean nothing in this space.
Personally I (Tony Sakich) would like to request to speak with the industry giants I previously mentioned. There is no desire to solicit or sell you anything, nor to ask for funding of any sort. My reasoning for a conversation is to learn what successful minds are thinking about this market and those are the kinds of tools that I find invaluable when working with a client. These are individuals who are invested heavily in this space and I'm sometimes shocked at the attempts at marketing that are continuing to happen by companies funded by these visionaries. I really would like to make contact as I typically avoid the conference scene but would love to both learn from these individuals, and provide some perspectives I'm sure they aren't getting from anyone around them or in the bitcoin community.