Interview with Barbara Bickham
Barbara is a CTO and Advisor with extensive experience in Technology, Monetization and Entrepreneurship for companies in industries: FinTech, Fashion, Wearables, Wireless, Security, Media & Entertainment, Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain. Her current areas of expertise are in Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality, and Internet of Things. Check out ReChain here
What are some of the main challenges faced by startups when it comes to monetization and growth? What are some ways they diversify and broaden their monetization potential?
When it comes to monetization and growth for startups, most startups want to give their product away for free and then monetize on the data side which is a strategy for monetization. However, most startups don't understand that you need to amass a large number of users in order to have that plan be attractive to partners and be attractive to investors. So in order for that monetization strategy to work, you need at least five hundred thousand million users very quickly and you can do that as long as you partner with the right kind of people but then when you decide to turn on the revenue engine which is charging people directly or upselling people you also have to look at you know how many people are going to convert. How many people are going to churn and out of those five thousand million people. How many people are going to stay. And because you given them the idea that free has inherent value. So some of the ways to diversify and broaden your mom's potential is charge even minimally initially you can have you know create huge strategic partnerships with large sets of users that will charge, you can do yes which will charge, you could do revenue shares you can do transactional types of fees that will help diversify run your mom's potential and some of the monetization is specialized. It kind of depends on what your product is. I mean if you're doing an e-commerce site that's a fairly common monetization and revenue strategy versus if you're doing a blockchain which could have transactional pieces that could have you know per use piece. You know, there's multiple pieces that it could have versus a traditional kind of.
Hi Barbara! Could you please introduce Trailyn Ventures and what led to your working with the company earlier this year? What were the main challenges the startup was facing when you first joined the company?
Hello I'm Barbara Bickham I'm the managing director and founder and CTO at Trailyn Ventures.
Trailyn Ventures is a BlockChain advisory company. We help companies grow and skill their company on a blockchain. We do their token economics, we do their white papers, we do their own chain off chain architecture, we do the roadmaps, we do traditional revenue and monetization models, we do intellectual property analysis, we do our while analysis, we do everything that a CTO would do in and including watching portions of that.
Some of the main challenges facing my company are this is my second company I started actually, at a company in 2000 I was my company and we did wireless strategy and digital strategy back then.
So I didn't have too many challenges starting another one. The main issue was is kind of where did I want to put this company.
My position in the blockchain space and trail originally came out of products and I have a product waiting to be placed onto the blockchain I'm doing a connected car app that helps you find your car when it's lost and that app is done in a traditional way, and I said Well why don't I just put this on watch I'm in a blockchain in space so I might as well just put this on the blockchain.
So I would and would blockchain makes the most sense to put Trailyn on top of it done. The app is done. I mean I've written it for I was an android. So as soon as I migrated onto watching that's a part of what Trailyn does it kind of helps do those types of things.
What separates Trailyn Ventures from other blockchain companies that might be vying for investors' or partners' attention? How do you ensure that the company stands out from the crowd?
Trailyn Ventures is a blockchain advisory company so we're not seeking any investors. We actually work with investors to help them determine what is a blockchain and what is not a blockchain and what kind of innovations are happening inside of companies that come to them that have blockchain elements. As far as vie for partners attention or other people's attention we do all the same things that a traditional company would do.
We have websites, social media, crypto social media, blockchain social media, so we do podcasts we do interviews like this. We go to conferences we're going to do some more speaking and other things soon. So we do all that same things that a traditional company would do. The way we stand out from the crowd is our unique value proposition is that we help companies grow scale utilizing the blockchain and innovating using the blockchain. So we have kind of two prongs there. We have a blockchain accelerator. If your company is already on a blockchain or would like to enhance their blockchain and kind of accelerate what they're doing and make themselves more funding ready and go international very quickly.
And then we have the kind of technical advisory where we do your white paper, we do your token economics we do your moms and we do your blockchain on chain all chain architecture architecting designing the blockchain pieces which bar chain do you build on. You know what kind of speeds and transactions do you need anything related to that type of technical work. We do that also. So that's kind of how we stand out from the crowd.
How do you balance your work with Trailyn Ventures and your other ventures and consulting work? What does your typical work week look like?
Well, I'm something called a fractional CTO so I actually divide myself up very well. I work with people on either a kind of a box of hours bases or a retainer basis. You know the time that I do is always kind of and I have a team that I work with I resources I bring in or resources that I can come in and have and I have other people that work with me.
My typical week. It varies, so I'll either have a lot of phone calls or I'll be out. It's kind of that binary. So I do have meetings and I do take meetings. I am a tech mentor here in Los Angeles kind of around. So I do go and do that. I do have advisory clients so I from an advisory side. We'll do that via a phone call. And I am at the bits of change which is the kind of local chamber of commerce so I'll have calls there and then I have my trail and ventures advisory. And when you look at my LinkedIn it does look like I do a lot but it's all in a fraction wise the way so everybody has their time, no one really feels like there, they all feel like they're very well taken care of which is which is great and I always ask my advisory people like hey you know I am servicing you well because if I'm not doing it well then you know I have to look at that from my advisory side and say you know maybe I need to change some things or make some adjustments.
What's next for your work with Trailyn Ventures, as well as your other ventures and advisory work? What are the main clients, partners, and markets you'll be focusing on in 2019?
The next thing for Trailyn Ventures is we're going to wrap up 2018 this last couple months has been very intense. We started the accelerator where week five of twelve. So this is very exciting. We have six companies in there and we're preparing them for funding readiness and we're preparing them for a global expansion. So two very very important things in order to growing scale a company and then as far as my advisory clients, I have several advisory clients that are going to come on and I realize that are going to continue on which is exciting.
I've signed some security clients and I've signed some more blockchain clients and you know we're all in various stages of negotiation. So that's that's a wonderful thing.
The main types of clients that I take on is I really look at who the people are. I don't have any kind of specific you know like this is what I'm going to focus on specifically. If you're not in the blockchain space, I'm probably not going to take you, if you're not doing any advanced tech, I won't take you, and if you're not doing kind of watching and ORI I won't take you. So that kind of narrows it down kind of industry agnostic because I like solving all different types of problems so I'm not I'm pretty I look at kind of anything because technology is technology and it really comes down to the types of problems you're going to solve. But those are kind of the things that I'm going to be focusing on I'm already in a global market I'm already worldwide. I mean I've got clients all over the world. So I mean I could take clients from anywhere because I'm very virtualizing. So that's kind of what's next for Trailyn and that's what we'll be focusing on.