By Flora Qu
More and more people are asking questions on Quora regarding how to enter the blockchain field, and specifically how to enter without a technical background, and how women are doing in this industry. To find answers to these questions and more I interviewed the CMO of a lower-level public blockchain, Quarkchain, Anthurine Xiang.
When speaking with Anthurine, she shared about the role of marketing in the blockchain industry, the female employee ratio in her startup, and some suggestions for entering the industry.
FQ: Why is marketing important in the blockchain industry?
AX: The blockchain industry is very interesting. Unlike traditional tech companies, it needs to focus both on the technology and serving the users well.
Blockchain has something called consensus, meaning there is community.No matter what you do, you are apart of a public blockchain.. We are all generally facing big Dapps and need to let them build on our blockchain. Yet at the same time we still have to let ordinary people know what we are doing.
Doing this is what we call “marketing”. Blockchain marketing is not quite the same as traditional marketing. It is not a process of “acquiring” the user, but instead a process of educating the user.
You can also look at marketing in this industry as a bridge. You have to convey what an engineer wants to achieve in a way that people without technical backgrounds would understand. I think women have an advantage in this respect because they tend to have strong communication skills.
In the past, nobody has given special attention to this need for marketing in the blockchain field. They give out free Tokens to attract people, instead of really educating the community to tell them what we are like.
But now a lot of [blockchain] project parties ask me if we can train some CMOs for them.It seems now that everyone realizes how important marketing is, no matter how technical your project is.
Our role in marketing is to let users believe that we can achieve our goals. For example, when marketing, I will explain the difference between Quarkchain and other blockchain companies, aly and how our method is different.
I will also introduce our Roadmap, which is that we plan to achieve 10,000 TPS now and one million TPS after. The user will find that we are gradually achieving our goals. This is our role in marketing; we let people know about our progress.
Marketing staff is also responsible for introducing our background to the user. For instance, we share that we used to be working at larger companies such as Google and Facebook, showing that we are very experienced.. The only difference is that now our project is decentralized, and we have moved the previous experience and ideas over to a new field. This is a tool that marketing staff uses to convince people who are not technical.
FQ: What is the male-female ratio of the Quarkchain team?
AX: It is about half and half. Our company is one-third engineers, one-third marketing, and one-third business development (BD). There are many female employees in both BD and marketing.
FQ: What is the difference between the main work of Quarkchain’s BD and traditional companies?
AX: Our BD is VC+ Incubator + Traditional BD. Because we have our own funding, we will support projects that we think are good. That part is the same as traditional VCs.
Then there is the incubator. Some projects are formed very early, yet have potential. If so, we will just take some time to guide them step by step. For example, we will tell them how to set up their structures, introduce them to investors, and then how to design a public offering process and how to build their own community.
Then the third part is similar to traditional BD. There are some projects that have already been launched and have already raised funds. These projects are formed earlier than us. They might be currently using Ethereum or using other public blockchains, so we might want to work with them and ask them to try our pubic blockchain.
FQ: What is most important quality you look for when you hire? Is it experience?
AX: When recruiting for marketing and BD, we have never said that you need to have blockchain experience because the field is too new. You must first be someone with an international background. The projects you will often come into contact with are all over the world, so you must first have an international vision.
The second quality is that you need to be able to learn quickly. Because I was also studying from scratch at the time I started in the blockchain field, I told our employees in marketing that you don’t need to understand programming, but you must know all the technical features of our technology. Otherwise, how will you tell our story and what we are doing clearly to other people? Those are all things to learn.
The third quality is that you have to be able to take on different roles and really enjoy it . We fly around the world a lot in this field. If you feel very excited knowing all of these things, then you might try this industry.
FQ: Will this industry be more suitable for young people?
AX: Age is not the most important; mentality is. Curiosity is also very important. We have been exposed to some very young people who just graduated, but they can’t switch between roles. They can only focus on one side.
Therefore sometimes I think that it is actually not a waste of time to work in larger companies before trying out startups. Before I joined startup companies, I have also worked for large companies like Linkedin. I think they have taught me a lot about process.
FQ: Is it costly to join the blockchain startups?
AX: The cost of trial and error will be lower if you join a blockchain project. You have more hot money in this industry. You are able to receive funds easier, but also if the project doesn’t work, you will know it sooner.
Compared to a traditional entrepreneurship, you may really need three, four, or five years before you know that it won’t work. In blockchain you only need a year and half.
FQ: How to find a good blockchain enterprise?
AX:The blockchain industry is still in its early stages, thus the industry is a mixed bag. It is recommended to know people in order to judge whether the founding team is reliable. If you want to know more, many people are very willing to teach you by participating in conferences or in Meetup groups. Overall, if you know more people, it is easier to know which project is the most reliable.