Tips and stories to add value to you and your organisation
Satoshi Nakamoto …is a name you may have heard of. Interestingly he is famous for creating something that doesn’t exist. Perhaps what’s more interesting is that he may not exist himself. The name may relate to an individual, or a group of people …nobody really knows.
Bitcoin is the thing ‘he’ created and it only exists in cyberspace, protected by the blockchain.
Put simply the blockchain is where everyone confirms the transactions of everyone else, so that naughty fraudy types can’t sneak dodgy things past the crypto masses.
Bitcoin has risen and fallen in value and then risen and risen and fallen and risen.
Which is what all currency does when it’s first launched, it’s just that we weren’t around when most of them were set up, so we have no memory of it.
Also we’ve had crashes and recessions, where currency values plummet and yet we still use them.
Up to now …now we have crypto currency, free of both banking control and central government influence.
Not surprisingly the banks don’t like it, because as more people switch to crypto currency the more irrelevant banks become.
Being ‘helpful’ the banks are of course now making it harder to buy Bitcoin because Bitcoin is bad! It must be bad because it’s nothing to do with them and, even worse, they can’t make money out of it. Curse you Bitcoin!
Banks are, quite predictably, now starting to prevent people from buying Bitcoins with credit cards, to help prevent them from losing money. And yet the same banks love credit cards because people can ‘lose’ money through hefty interest charges and nobody is complaining about that, certainly not the banks!
The press is also gleefully reporting on how people have lost money since the Christmas Bitcoin bubble burst.
But has it really burst?
The BBC ran a story recently of a man who had lost £400,000 when Bitcoin dipped. Disaster! However, I read all the way to the end of article where it reported that the investor had originally spent £40,000 which was now worth ‘only’ £160,000.
In real terms he was actually £120,000 better off, but that’s not as exciting as screaming about a big loss, even if the loss was non-existent.
When the internet was invented Amazon sold books and that was it. People, including me, wondered if we would ever buy complex things such as shoes (which need trying on) or cars (which need test driving) over the net.
Well hmmm…I got that wrong! This internet thing has done very well in the last 15 years and shows no sign of slacking.
So, in essence, Bitcoin is the new internet. The internet of money.
Just because it’s new and we can’t fold it up, or stick it in a car park ticket machine (yet), doesn’t mean it’s not real. Bitcoin is here to stay and so when you read the next example of Bitcoin bananas pedalled by a bank (criminal dealing, bailouts, mis-selling) or read a press article rubbishing it (because new things are there to be knocked) take a step back.
Go back 15 years and think about what the internet was like then.
Think about where it could be in another 15 years from now.
And maybe think about Bitcoin and how (not if) it is going to be part of your business strategy.
I’m not offering investment advice here. I’m not qualified for that. All I’m saying is …it’s here to stay, so make friends with it. Maybe, if you accept crypto currency payments, your business could have a competitive advantage?
What else could crypto currencies do for your business?
Have fun thinking about that and if you bump into Satoshi Nakamoto, buy him a coffee and shake his hand. You might have just met the Alan Turing of the 21st century.
Next week: Leadership In 7 Words
As it happens I don’t drink coffee, as green tea is my preferred hot beverage. However, you’re welcome to have a grande latte machiato choco frotho servo in a glass cuppo special.
Ok, that’s probably not a real drink, but as a non-coffee person I really find all the coffee-combos bewildering. The last time I drank coffee the choice was white or black, and black was considered rather racy when I first had that 45 years ago.
However, now that we have a coffee culture we can tap into it to help our sales activity.
Networking is generally held to be one of the best ways of finding new clients, as we get to develop relationships and thus help people to make emotional decisions to buy with us.
Most people I’ve talked to find networking a real chore, or intimidating, or just plain scary. That’s because they view ‘networking’ as entailing a greasy breakfast in a room full of tired business owners at some ungodly hour of the morning.
Being honest, sometimes networking can be like that. Business life can be hard work and isn’t one long party.
The whole truth is that networking can be many things and it’s up to us to find our own way of doing things.
Having ticked off the early morning style I’ve found that my preferred modus operandi is to meet people for coffee and to make friends.
Too many colleagues have been too quick to sell and they forget that in business ‘easy in can mean easy out’ whereas long lasting relationships take time to build.
Therefore, I like to sell by means of regular, low intensity, friendly coffee cup catch-ups. I take the view that friends do good business with friends and that I’m never quite sure what outcomes will follow. So, I’m happy to meet people and chat and build relationships and see where life takes us.
My experience is that if I start 10 conversations then 1 good thing will emerge. I’m never sure when, or how, it will emerge, but the world is a generous place and good things follow from kindness and perserverance.
So this week we can all flip open our diaries and book up a coffee catch-up meeting with someone who we’d like to do business with.
And we can have cake too!
Next week: Bitcoin Bananas
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Brilliant ways to increase performance, stay employed and keep the money rolling in
Published 2011 Marshall Cavendish
Secrets and skills to sell yourself effectively in the Modern Age
Published 2010 Marshall Cavendish
An insider's guide to working for yourself
Published 2007 Cyan Books and Marshall Cavendish