Kirill Shilov


Test. Can you explain the blockchain to a 4 year-old?

November 9th 2017

With the rapid development of technologies and the never ending appearance of new ones, it is important to have a person on the team who can explain your project idea in simple words. Such team members are often considered to be product evangelists (on a small team, the PR representative often plays such a role). In this article, I will explain the methods that we use at (educational materials about the blockchain) on how to find such people. There will be a small test at the end of the article, and we also hope that we can see some different solutions from you, our readers, in the comment section.

Check out the game at the end of this article.

What is the problem?

We are in the very beginning of a revolution that is currently taking place throughout the world. And this is all thanks to the blockchain. I’m sure our parents felt the same way at the advent of the Internet.

When you go to you will see that there are more than 1,000 different tokens and projects. The costs of these two things show that there are people who understand the value of that particular item, and are ready to invest their funds into it. The 10,000% growth rate is really quite impressive! These days it’s all about finding that special something, be it a project or a profitable token. But do the majority of people, who could participate, really understand what’s going on?

An uninitiated user usually falls into a panic after going through the first few rows on the list. What is the difference between Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash? Why do Waves cost more than Bitshares? How can all of this be explained to me easily and clearly?

It is vital that you have someone on your team who can highlight the uniqueness and value of your product to your audience, that way your project doesn’t get lost in the listings. If everything is going well then you will be able to hear people say something along the lines of, “Oh, this is Uber(your product name here..) for…”

How to explain?

The idea for Howtotoken appeared this very way. After a chat with experts from all over the world, a simple test of who could explain difficult terms in simple words was created. This is no joke, not every expert can do this. It is especially sad when the person is a highly qualified expert in his or her respective field. It’s not good when you have to ask an expert dozens upon dozens of questions just so you can get even the vaguest idea of what it is they are working on.

There should be a team member whose sole job it is to create explanatory materials to provide a clear and regular flow of information. It doesn’t matter whether you are developing a product or offering a service, you need someone who can explain what is happening in your company on a constant basis. To give you an example, below is a list of the roles at our company.

The Howtotoken team consists of:

  • An editor
  • An explainer
  • A scout
  • A designer.

An editor is usually a developer or a crypto-enthusiast who is deeply invested in the crypto-world and can define the direction of future articles. A great editor must have a wide range of skills and up-to-date information about the blockchain.

The explainer is an expert in a particular field. This could be mining, development, algorithms, security, etc. His or her most valuable skill is the ability to explain difficult topics using simple words. It is one of the most challenging tasks to find such people.

A scout finds experts for a particular field and gets the necessary feedback. Such people can be found on social networks. In most cases these people already have an account with a vast number of followers, and they also have a deep understanding about which experts can answer any questions.

A designer visualizes content and creates diagrams. They do all the necessary things to provide content using visual aids.

If we were to determine the themes of Howtotoken’s materials then they would be the ones that answer the following questions: How? What? Why? All of the materials which appear in this information field should pass through this list of questions, and when they does, the usefulness of the content can be determined. The person responsible for this part of the work is the editor, who can compare the facts and guide the explainer in the right direction.

Test. How do you find an explainer.

In order to explain something clearly the explainer usually gives examples of related topics or uses metaphors to clear up any confusion.. This method is commonly used by teachers in elementary school. They become proficient in this skill when teaching young children, and they can explain anything just by using examples.

So, in order to find an explainer we have provided a test: think of an analogy for a given concept.

For example, think of an analogy for mining.

The answer should be (there are several of such examples on the Internet):

  • It’s like a coin flip.
  • It’s similar to looking for a needle in a haystack
  • It’s like to get a red ball from a barrel full of colored balls.

The more detailed and colorful analogy a person can provide, the higher the chance that you will see an expert in this field. And it doesn’t matter what kind of background he or she may have (based on our experience, most of these people have technical experience). If you meet such an expert, you can easily add this person to your team. In just a short amount of time you will notice that your product has become more interesting, and is discussed by more and more people.

The game for readers.

In comments below, try to think of an analogy for the Equihash algorithm (used in BGold f.e.). The analogy must not only explain the principle, but it should also help people to understand the context behind it: ASIC, sha256, bitcoin core, mining centralization.

About the author:

Kirill Shilov — Founder of and Interviewing the top 10,000 worldwide experts who reveal the biggest issues on the way to technological singularity. Join my #10kqachallenge: GeekForge Formula.

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