Carla Rosenkranz, founder of Barterchain, riffs with Pete Townsend about how the Barterchain idea is rooted in her own experience of exchanging English lessons for yoga classes, the core of her conviction to start building Barterchain, the network effects from connecting local communities and virtual communities, how to keep pushing back against the blockchain and crypto naysayers….and her psychic storytelling superpowers!
We’ve also got a short segment at the end recorded with the two youngest contributors to the Launchpool Web3 Techstars Accelerator program that Pete Townsend is leading.
This episode of MoneyNeverSleeps is sponsored by Philip Lee, one of Ireland’s fastest-growing corporate law firms and expert advisors at the heart of the Dublin and London start-up, fintech and crypto communities.
Carla Rosenkranz on how the Barterchain idea started with emailing a yoga teacher:
“I sent an email explaining that I was an English teacher looking to exchange English classes for yoga, i.e., ‘I miss yoga but I can’t afford it, is there any chance anyone in your studio would be interested?’ And then I sent it to all the studios in a one-kilometer radius they all got back to me with multiple emails from each of them.
“I was buzzing about the idea, and I was walking into these studios with no money, couldn't afford it, but I was getting my pick of the lot. I was going to their classes to choose who I wanted to do yoga with, and it felt like an absolute privilege. Ironically, through barter, I was getting this taste of privilege and then I rinsed and repeated the same email with ‘insert service here’.
“I did that for absolutely everything that I wanted for two years, and I got to try so many wacky things that I wouldn't have tried otherwise. It was just incredible.”
Carla Rosenkranz on the how the Barterchain idea is core to her values
“I realized that the intrinsic values that were really natural to me were inclusion, equality, diversity and integration. I realized the importance of human connection and how we're almost nothing without it. You can go to a very good school, you can be very bright, you can go to a wonderful country, but if you're not speaking with people and if you're not connecting, it's nothing.
“I think the whole Barterchain idea was built around that. That's probably where it started without me knowing.”
Carla Rosenkranz on the initial focus of Barterchain:
“We’re bridging the oldest form of value exchange into the crypto future. I think everybody understands barter; we all learned about it in history class. Even if we haven't done it, people do understand barter.
“There just seems to be a connection and relationship between people offering business skills and people offering lifestyle-enhancing services. Business people were looking to integrate more balance in their lives post-COVID. And then the people who could offer these kinds of services, these life-enhancing services, wellness, health, all of that, they needed more business acumen in their life.
“These are the two categories that we're going to focus on first. They both really resonate with me, which I think is important for the kinds of micro-business and freelancers that I really want to support.”
Carla Rosenkranz on the go-to-market strategy for Barterchain:
“As an early-stage startup, we're going against the status quo. With this project, people are not used to bartering in 2022, or they just do it very casually, so we need to get this social proof.
“The best way to do that is in a network, in a community. Also, I want to honor all the people that got me here, who are the yoga teachers, the masseuses, the people who did Reiki, absolutely everything. I want to help those people grow their businesses.
“We're doing a behind-the-scenes barter trial with micro-business owners and freelancers, and the people that we did the trial with were flocking [towards us]. And I really want to honor those people who were motivated immediately [to trial the Barterchain idea] before they knew that it had anything to do with crypto or blockchain.
“I want to start with the local communities. I also want to keep the human connection aspect of it alive and then go atomic network on it. A lot of marketplaces do that; remember that Facebook started their roll out campus by campus and city by city.”
Carla Rosenkranz on steeling her nerves and keeping the faith:
“Thoughts become things and you can attract the right people into your life. You can manifest it if you work hard enough. If you have your thoughts aligned and your mission statement, you can attract the right people into your life.
“Vulnerability is courage; people know that to be true in the emotional world, but I'm finding it's the same in the business world. I'm throwing my hands up saying I don't get this, or I'm scared, or I really need help.
“I think it's even easier to do in the business world than the emotional world, but I'm finding that once you ask for help, everybody is willing to help, and you get so much more done. If you just admit your weaknesses, admit that you need advice and that you need support; that has really gotten me places already.
“He said ‘If you're the smartest person in the room, you're in the wrong room. You want to be the dumbest person in every room, so you can learn.’ That really resonated with me.”
Episode title inspired by ‘Get it Together’ by Drake, Black Coffee and Jorja Smith
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