Friday, 10 January 2014

Bitcoin and its Entrepreneurial Challenge

By Skinner Layne from the Exosphere team

Once in a while a technological sage pieces together a riddle for the world and says: “Here - see what you can do with this!" Alan Turing did this in 1946 with his proposal for the first stored-program computer. Tim Berners-Lee did it in 1989 with his paper proposing the merger of hypertext and the Internet. Steve Jobs did it 2008 with the iOS App Store. And most recently, Satoshi Nakamoto did it in 2009 with Bitcoin.

As Eli Dourado observes, Bitcoin isn’t just money, it’s the Internet of money. It is not an application, but a platform, and that platform is begging to be used. Having survived this long, it is unlikely that it will simply disappear, but what form and direction it takes will be decided as ever, not by governments or academics, not by journalists or bloggers, not even by customers--it will be decided by entrepreneurs.

It was entrepreneurs that took Turing’s machine and transformed it into the desktop PC - and then the laptop and tablet and smartphone. It was entrepreneurs who made the hyperlink into Amazon, eBay, Google, and Facebook. It was entrepreneurs who took the App Store and transformed it into a marketplace with more than 60 billion downloads.

It will be entrepreneurs who transform Bitcoin into a substitute legal system, identification system, micropayment processing system, and probably much more. The web today is rife with speculators, trend-tenders, and prognosticators who spend hour arguing about Bitcoin’s future on Facebook, Twitter, and commentsphere. If even half of that energy was spent inventing, innovating, and building, Bitcoin would have already toppled the Dollar, the Chinese government, and the McDonald’s Big Mac.

Many Bitcoin enthusiasts are sitting around waiting and hoping for the world to change, but are not actually doing anything to change it. Many of you are saying “Well, I don’t know where to start,” or “I don’t have anybody to work with.” The list of excuses goes on:
"I’ve never started a business.”
“I don’t know how to write software.”
“I don’t have enough capital.”

Enough with the whining. You are the only thing standing in your way, and the whole world is knocking on your door, asking why you won’t come out to play.
If you could go back to the 1990s and build eBay, would you?
If you could go back to 2003 and build Facebook, would you?
If you could go back to the 1980s and build Microsoft, would you?

Well, you can’t. But what you can do is to take up your place in the world you are living in today, a world being transformed by Bitcoin, and be an active part in that transformation, be a leader in determining what kind of future the world will have.

If you need help, need focus, need people to work with, or need to practice the skills and discipline needed to succeed as an entrepreneur, come join us at Exosphere. This is what we are all about, and we are amassing an army of Bitcoiners who are already working on start-ups and building businesses in the cryptocurrency universe.

The time is now. You don’t want to be the guy who looks back on 2014 the way so many look back on past eras of technological change and say “If only…”

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