Product Management Intern
Will the bubble pop? Are we headed towards a cold winter?
Or is this just the nascency of something truly special? Are we sitting on top of perhaps the single most important technological breakthrough of our lifetime?
I find myself, time and time again, coming back to this piece by Steve Blank, an esteemed serial entrepreneur, titled: Are You The Fool At The Table? Written in 2011, the piece debates the question of whether or not the tech community (back then) was headed towards a bubble.
I suggest you read through the full piece, but a few anecdotes I pick out (that can be applied broadly) are the following:
One of the least understood parts of a bubble is that there are five types of participants: Smart Money, the Shills, the Marks, the True Believers and the Promoters. Understanding the motivations of these different groups help make sense out of the bubble chart below.
He details each of the following groups in the article. He also alludes to Warren Buffet’s famous quote:
The only way you get a bubble is when a very high percentage of the population buys into some originally sound premise…that becomes distorted as time passes and people forget the original sound premise and start focusing solely on the price action…
Every bubble is a big-stakes game — played for keeps. In it the usual cast of characters appear; the Smart Money, the Shills, the Marks and the Promoters.
There’s a saying in Poker, “If you can’t figure out who the Mark is at the table, it’s you.”
Figuring out if you are the “fool at the table” requires you to do some serious research (internal and external).
Whether you end up deciding that the bubble is about to burst or, conversely, become extremely long on the technology, it is generally a good idea to get heads down and really try and understand the space. It is up for you to decide on what is really important and where you should spend your time/capital.
With the crypto-economy constantly changing, it may be of your best interest to download a few helpful tools to stay informed.
There are a number of trackers/tools you can use to help you do this!
PrettyCo.in, built by self taught developer Fernando Rojo, is a beautiful coin/portfolio tracker that gives you all of the crypto-information you need to know, right when you need it. You can use the website to get both a high level and detailed view into how your investments are performing.
One of the most inspiring parts about the crypto-community is just how willing people are to give back and explain to you the “details within the details.” While there are a lot of fraudsters/scammers out there, and you should definitely be careful, there are also a number of people who are investing serious time in creating resources to help you out.
Many companies building out blockchain projects are also creating lots of content around the technicalities of their solutions. Reading a variety of these free resources is a great way to learn about the frontier technology.
The team behind the NAGA Coin Token Sale, for example, created some interesting/valuable content around how they plan to disrupt the financial, crypto, and gaming markets. They write many in depth articles describing both the backend technology (of how their coin works) but also about the macroeconomy as a whole. You can read all about their efforts on their blog and in some of their trending pieces.
There are also a number of communities, like The Bitcoin Pub, who have hundreds of thousands of active blockchain fanatics who spend their days talking all about crypto!
You can learn a ton participating in their community!
ICOList is a fairly straightforward, but super helpful resource that provides a list of all of the trending, upcoming, and ongoing initial coin offerings (ICOs).
It is interesting to see which coin sales are trending in different communities. You can often find unique opportunities depending on where you look.
For instance, I first found ConnectJob’s offering topping ICOList, as they are building a blockchain tool to disrupt the hourly labor economy. You can read more about their ICO sale here. ICOList also provides a number of links to the company’s profiles and community (super helpful tools to help you make your decision.
There are a number of alternative lists that I also found that you may prefer:
Another great way to stay informed in the space is to attend in person blockchain conferences and conventions. Coindesk provides a list of upcoming events where you can connect with other people in the space.
The major events, like Tech Crunch Disrupt, have some of the biggest projects headlining. Last year, SparkleCoin took the stage to display their “next generation cryptocurrency.” They gave an early peek in how they plan to bring the power of cryptocurrency to the real world. You can read more about the development of their token offering here.
In addition to finding interesting projects, you can also just go ahead and meet some of the smartest minds in the space.
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