By Robert Neivert, Venture Partner at 500 Startups and Advisor for IOST
Robert is currently a Venture Partner at 500 Startups, one of the leading incubators in Silicon Valley. 500 Startups has incubated notable companies such as CreditKarma, Canva and Hinge. Before working with 500 Startups, Robert served in an executive role for companies such as HighlightCam, Quest Venture Partners, and Fididel, among others. Robert received his degree from Stanford, and has been very active in helping small companies expand. We are honored to have him on the advisory board and believe he will be an invaluable asset as we work to decentralize the world. Below is Robert’s explanation of why he decided to advise IOST.
Hello all, I am writing this post to explain why I have agreed to advise the IOST Team and why I am excited about it. Before I do that however, I want to clarify: This is not financial advice and should not be interpreted as such. Please do your own research when you invest and never risk more money than you can afford to lose.
During my career I have advised more than 15 companies, many of them growing to become extreme successes. One such company, Shippo, I advised from their early days to the present where they employ nearly 100 people. After many years of helping companies, I’ve gotten increasingly selective about who I’m willing to commit my time to. Time is finite and no matter how hard you try, you can never get it back. That is why I look for two key things before agreeing to work with a project. The first is big ideas and ambitions to completely upend existing hierarchies or ways of doing things. However, nowadays, there are a deluge of good ideas attempting to disrupt established industries and add value in unexpected places, and it is no longer enough just to have a great idea. The second thing I look for that tells me whether companies have a good chance to make a real mark on the world, is whether the team has experience, know-how, a tenacious drive to succeed, and the intelligence to understand increasingly fickle markets. When I commit to working with a project, I commit to growing something with the founding team.
The transition from centralized entities such as Facebook and Google to distributed authorities, in essence moving the center of the data universe from corporations to individuals, has been a central theme in discussions about the internet for decades. The recent data abuse scandals making headlines across the globe, combined with the meteoric rise in blockchain awareness and popularity has convinced me that now is the time to make that change. Blockchains allow us to build distributed systems that center on the user and don’t centralize power. However, without a solution for scalability, these benefits are nothing but a pleasant idea. The blockchain industry is racing to come up with a solution to this problem, I see IOST playing a key role breaking down this barrier and enabling the next generation of the internet. The Internet of Services Foundation has taken the first steps in this journey and I am confident that I can help them achieve this goal. When I met with them initially, I saw a team that combines groundbreaking ideas, passion, hard work and talent. I saw a team that was worth giving my time to.