TechRepublic's Dan Patterson asks Po.et CEO Jarrod Dicker about the best way to explain blockchain's importance to the proverbial powers that be. The following is an edited transcript of the interview.
Dan Patterson: How do we explain the blockchain to the enterprise in ways that make sense especially when we're talking about decentralization? Much of enterprises' maintaining control and the value of intellectual property? And centralization makes sense to a lot of people in the enterprise. So how do you explain, not just the technology, but the value proposition of blockchain to those who work in massive enterprise companies?
Jarrod Dicker: One of which is this idea of a future archive, right? Being able to have an immutable ledger for your assets, right? Right now there's cloud storage or they're owned on platforms, and how do you have that ownership in an area that is yours and yours only under lock and key? That is something that's been very clear. The proof of existence concept Po.et, proof of existence to Po.et. That's how the name came to be, a very simple technical application, but one that makes sense.
Going back to what I said before, which is this idea of like why and where does this decentralization makes sense? Money?Absolutely right. We are banking on reputation, identity. Things of which that you do not want a central power to be able to dictate or make decisions for you. And what is happening is that the more and more people understand this, so explaining it to enterprise... explaining it to my mom and dad, right? Or explaining this to anyone else who's new to the space, getting them to understand is a huge value for anyone building on blockchain. Because not to equate it with ad:tech, right? But ad:tech is purposely made confusing, I believe, to keep people out.
SEE: Blockchain: An insider's guide (free PDF) (TechRepublic)
And what's basically happened, is very smart people that could have made ad:tech more valuable in terms of marketing and engagement and data retargeting were kept out because it was over confusing, and now we're kind of in this rot, and we had huge issues with data collection and other things that ad:tech brought.
With blockchain, if we could be extremely cognizant and smart about how we explain it and how we can open up the doors to more people, then that will accelerate, right? Not just where it's going and products being built on top of it, but its value, right, to the entire economy. And how can we do so in a smart way.
So what I'm doing at Po.et and what others are doing in other companies that I think are smart about that portion of it, is really making sure that we explain it in a very smart way, that shows the value on the up front, right? Removing jargon. When I talk about Po.et, I barely use the word blockchain or try not to focus on the word decentralization but really explain the value that it's bringing for everyone and why it's important. And once they better understand that, then it's easier to kind of back into it.
And unfortunately, when you mentioned earlier jargon buzzword, everyone is the blockchain of everything. We'll need the dust to settle a little bit to be able to clearly articulate the broader value as it continues. But I think that smart companies today are making sure that they are explaining it in a way that could be consumable and exciting and not turn people off.
- Blockchain: A cheat sheet (TechRepublic)
- 28% of businesses experimenting with blockchain, but almost none run it in production (TechRepublic)
- How the blockchain can help track important messages and prevent email fraud (TechRepublic)
- Finding a job or saving democracy: Blockchain to the rescue? (ZDNet)
- The enterprise shows little interest in blockchain technology: Gartner (ZDNet)
Dan Patterson has nothing to disclose. He does not hold investments in the technology companies he covers.
Dan is a Senior Writer for TechRepublic. He covers cybersecurity and the intersection of technology, politics and government.