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Aug. 11, 2022

Web3, Marketing and the Ownership Economy [Ovi Negrean Interview]

Web3, Marketing and the Ownership Economy [Ovi Negrean Interview]

We have been hearing more and more a out Web3 and the so-called Ownership Economy, but what does it mean and how can it concretely be applied to marketing our product?

Enter Ovi Negrean, Co-Founder of the social media management tool SocialBee, who has recently launched a new product, ACE Meetings, which has integrated Web3 as a core component of its product.

Learn all about this fascinating case study and see how you can put the power of Web3 to use for marketing your business!

Key Highlights

[02:19] Introduction to Podcast Guest, Ovi Negrean

[05:40] How Ovi Got Into Software and Entrepreneurship

[10:12] Launching New Product

[13:02] What is Web3 Space?

[17:54] The Process and Tools of Integrating A Product Into Web3

[20:39] The Value of Getting Into NFT Space

[24:38] Group Ownership With Ovi's Product

[28:44] Co-founding Decision

[30:05] Group Decision Influence

[35:06] Managing The Community

[37:58] What is Discord

[41:06] Connect With ovi

Notable Quotes

  • Social media is just like one part of the whole marketing toolkit. And it's actually maybe depending on your profile, not even the most important part. 
  • We want to take the same approach that we did with with social be where we are offering our own flavor of something which maybe is existing, but nevertheless, we try to make it a bit better, have good customer support and good price. And try to innovate around the edges.
  • At the end of the day as any tools, some people will use it for good and some some for bad, but I think is a tool that will definitely change the world in the upcoming years.
  • But offering some sort of ownership to a startup will really incentivize the early adopters.
  • I think for the community, and for that ownership and getting people more active and passionate about your product. That's really the key thing.
  • I think the community part is, even though it's now it's web three, it's still the same type of community building. Sure, maybe the tools have changed a bit, maybe it's not Facebook groups anymore, but it's discord or telegram channels and so on. But it's still interacting with other human beings and trying to, to see what are the shared values and the shared visions that you have, why you bought or all of you came together in this, this specific community, and how you can support each other. 

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Transcript

Neal Schaffer:

Web three. It is a trendy buzzword in marketing circles. But what does it exactly mean? And how can we leverage it for our business? Well today, I have a very special guest who is actually implementing web three and this concept of the ownership economy into his own marketing tool. You're going to learn a lot about web three, and how you can implement it in your business. In this next episode of The your digital marketing coach, podcast, digital social media content influencer marketing, blogging, podcasting, blogging, tick tocking, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, SEO, SEM, PPC, email marketing, who there's a lot to cover, whether you're a marketing professional entrepreneur, or business owner, you need someone you can rely on for expert advice. Good that you've got Neil, on your side. Because Neal Schaffer is your digital digital marketing marketing coach, helping you grow your business with digital first marketing one episode at a time. This is your digital marketing coach, and this is Neal Schaffer. Hey, everybody, Neal Schaffer, here. I am your digital marketing coach and welcome to my podcast. In digital marketing circles. There is a lot of talk about, we have three crypto NF T's blockchain, and it's still a very new topic. Although there was there have been booms and busts in NF T's in cryptocurrency. I think the topic of blockchain and web three is a constant and might take another 510 20 years to develop. But it is something that is still emerging. And then I think every business every marketer really needs to be paying attention to if web one was really about the digitalization of communication, web two, or social media allowed us to communicate with each other. Web three, allows us to transact with each other. It's about community. It's about building mutual ownership. And this is exactly what today's guest has done with his product. So today, I have my friend. Ovie Nygren. Now Ovie is the one of the cofounders. But he's also CEO of social be one of my favorite social media tools that if you've been following me, you've probably heard me talk about before, you can go to Neal schaffer.com/social, B, s, OCIALBE, to find out more about the tool and get a special offer from my community. But regardless, Ovie has also been developing other tools, you'll hear more about his vision in this podcast, he specifically created a tool called ACE meetings. And ace is, I guess, it's very similar to a Calvin the type of appointment scheduling tool. And he decided, and I know this from getting emails from him, that he was going to open up ownership of the product to everybody that you would be rewarded by tokens for just using the product. And this is a great example of web three. So I'm like, Ovi, I have to have you on my podcast, not only to talk about, you know, why you're doing this, but what you're learning and maybe what other businesses can do, to maybe implement similar concepts in their business. So that's what today's interview is all about. I know that to some of you, web three may seem very far off. Or you might be thinking, Well, how is that relevant to my product? I guarantee you it is relevant in any industry. This is web three. So like web one, web two, I don't think there's going to be any industry going untouched. It is still we are in very, very early days. But it's really cool to see a company try to become a pioneer. And I want you to get first dibs on that information, so that you can figure out before your competitors how to leverage it for your business. So without further ado, here is my interview with Ovie integration of social B and Ace. You're listening to your digital marketing coach, this is Neal Schaffer. Avi Welcome to the digital marketing coach podcast.

Ovi Negrean:

Hey man, thanks so much for having me here.

Neal Schaffer:

I'm really excited to dig in today. As my listeners know I am a big fan of your tool social be by the time this podcast is published, we would have already done our webinar together and how to integrate influencer marketing or how to easily integrate influencer marketing into your business and looking forward to future collaboration. We've had various you know calls before and it was the other day where I got this email. For those that don't know social media has actually launched another product, which is like a callin the killer is the way that I'm describing it. But there was a very, very interesting component that was added to that. products sort of an ownership component that was very reminiscent of web three. And I know that web three for most of my listeners is still very, very new. And well, how the heck and why would you even consider adding this sort of community ownership aspect to a marketing product. So I thought, Hey, I gotta I gotta reach out to avi, I got to not only have him tell the story, why, but also, I need to get him on my podcast so that everybody can learn so. So Avi, thank you so much for your willingness to come on. Before we dig into that, you know, obviously, you are before this ace this application, you are the obviously founder and CEO of social B. Before that, I mean, how did you get into, you know, software and entrepreneurship and, you know, launching your own company?

Ovi Negrean:

Sure. So I think with software, it's easier. I've been passionate about like software since I was in the third grade or something like that. So I always liked coding. And I started having a career in software development, I kept moving up the ranks. Eventually, I started an outsourcing software company, for, like the Romanian branch of a Belgian company. But I always had the entrepreneurial bug. During my software years, I also had various attempts of starting a startup, but none of them really took off, I think, partially because I was not like fully in it. So after a while, and because I managed to save some money from my corporate jobs, I decided, okay, I really want to go full in into this. So actually, together with Vlad, my co founder from social B, we started another product, which was called nugget, and it brought apps from quotes from business and personal development books, and it was a mobile app. And what we found out by working at nugget is that it's very bad if your product is a vitamin or not a painkiller, because ours was a vitamin, and we managed to get people to download it, but it was hard to monetize it and hard to turn into a business. But in the process of doing so we, we discovered some social media techniques that really worked for us to grow our audience. And we started to build some internal tools to make our lives easier to share our evergreen content and our codes and so on. So, at one point, some of the people that we were interacting with, they kept us as asking us about how we were managing to increase the number of downloads, and we told them about what we were doing. And this how we got the very first customer with a very, very rudimentary version one of social media, which at that point was actually Google Sheets integrated with Zapier and posting to buffer. It was extremely ugly, but whenever people are willing to pay for such an ugly solution, then you know that you have something that you're on to something. So since then, which was a little over six years ago, we built up the product, proper product. So now we have a very powerful social media scheduling platform. But then also the concierge services, which are productize marketing services that sit on top of the platform. And basically, we are helping our customers save time when posting on social media and automated social media, or even come up with content for the social media profiles.

Neal Schaffer:

Yeah, amen. That's a really fascinating story. And I suppose it's that entrepreneurial bug. That is what prompted you to launch ace, but I just want to, you know, congratulate you on social media, because when you launched it, it was already crowded market, you already had, you know, Hootsuite and Sprout Social, and all these others. But you've taken a very innovative, unique approach. And now I get it based off your own success. But I think the best tools are, are based off of, you know, how you did it manually, and then you develop the tool around that. But I think also, you know, two other things I want to point out to the listener, this is not going to be like, a promo, you know, podcast episode for social media in any way. But I do like to give props because it is very different in two ways. Number one is that, you know, I've been a user of your tool probably for five years now. And you haven't veered, have used other social media, you know, tools and dashboards. And they sort of veer from what they originally were. And to become something different over time. Sometimes they focus on different functionality like social media for customer service that I don't need, that's I'm using it for marketing. Other times, they just become bogged down and very heavy, and very slow. And your tool is still, it's really Zippy right really quick, which I love about it. But the other thing are those considered services, which I have used before. And that is something very, very unique is that you not only have a platform, but you have a team of experts, your BS that can help, especially the small business owner, the marketer that just doesn't have the bandwidth. I found the services to be a godsend. And that's another thing to really differentiate your platform from others. So I'm hoping that those listening and we'll put the link in the show notes. We'll check out social media but moving on from social he was about a year ago, I think when he said hey, we're launching a new product. And it's about it's not even about you know, social Media, it's about scheduling meetings. So what prompted you? And once again crowded space mean Calendly is this big 10 million pound gorilla? What prompted you to launch this new product?

Ovi Negrean:

Yeah. So first of all, thanks for all the kind words that that you said about social media. With ace, we realize that, and I'm sure that your listeners know this. But social media is just like one part of the whole marketing toolkit. And it's actually maybe depending on on your profile, not even the most important part. So actually is yes, the problem that you see now with ace meetings, which is a calendar like solution or calendar competitor, which of course, we brought our own flavor, and has some benefits on top of what Calendly has to offer. But the magic of ACE is not in the calendar, the solution, the magic of ACE is going to be in the product suit, which we are building and its meetings is just the first product in the product suit, it's actually going to be a marketing sales and operations unit. Because what we realize is that, especially the small entrepreneur, or the marketer in a small company that you talked about, they are using, I know countless, countless tools. Most of the time they have to pay for each individually, they don't work well together. Maybe they hack them together with Zapier, but I love Zapier, but it's never a same as having it all integrated into just one solution. So we realize that people need this type of solutions. And short, similar solutions do exist on the market. But usually they go for from free to extremely expensive. And there's really nothing in between. So we want to take the same approach that we did with with social be where we are offering our own flavor of something which maybe is existing, but nevertheless, we try to make it a bit better, have good customer support and good price. And try to innovate around the edges. And also to see how we can best integrate multiple such solutions in such a way that we help both lower the cost, but also lower the time you need to spend to learn and operate these types of solutions.

Neal Schaffer:

So it sounds like you found your audience with social V, you found the painkiller, but now you're going deeper into the pain.

Ovi Negrean:

Yeah, exactly. We're trying to now solve more and more of the pains that the marketers and the solopreneurs and service providers and the entrepreneurs have.

Neal Schaffer:

And we as you know, we have lots of pain. So So you've you've successfully, you know, developed a case, I know, you know, you have customers to products maturing. And then it was a few weeks ago, where I got this email that seemed very exciting, that you've added this sort of web three component and emails are really powerful. Even though you know, people might not be responding to your emails. I mean, I read every single one, and I'm sure a lot of your subscribers do as well. So tell us I mean, before you describe what that web three component is, how did you sort of get interested in web three, and realize that you wanted to build it into your product?

Ovi Negrean:

So actually, I bought my first Bitcoin. So just the like, pure crypto part when they were worth $100 Oh, wow. Which, which shows that I was very early on. Unfortunately, I kept these these few bitcoins on Mount Gox, which for the listeners who recognize that name, will know that that was the first major crypto hack, and I lost everything. So because of that, I stayed away for the space for the whole crypto space for many, many years. But now, maybe some two years ago, I started hearing more and more from very respectful people, entrepreneurs, or podcasters, that I listened to that they're going into web three, they're going into exploring more about what this whole web three space is about. So I decided maybe it's a good time for me to take a second look and see what has changed in the meanwhile. And a lot has changed. This is one of the problems I would say almost with the whole web three space is that it's a rabbit hole. And once you fall down that rabbit hole, it's it's never ending and everything changes so quickly. And there's so much innovation and so much activity, that it's really hard to just like keep track of everything. But nevertheless, maybe some two years ago, I started reading more and more I started playing around with some tools, I started following some people in the space. And I realized that just as we moved from what one which was like the first level of internet, let's say, into this web to space where we have all the social networks and we can write and read. So basically, we can also create content not only consume, but now we are moving into this third wave which is web three, where one definition is about, right, read and own. So what three has a lot of meanings for a lot of people. It has the crypto component which some people associate some bad things with it, I think it, the crypto part is also something that, basically it's a tool. And at the end of the day as any tools, some people will use it for good and some some for bad, but I think is a tool that will definitely change the world in the upcoming years. But then also the components that we really like is the ownership part. Because having things on a blockchain and having all of these new paradigms that web tree brings, gives the possibility for people to actually have an ownership stake in the products that they're using. And actually, with socially, our values, they spell out orbit, we adapted them the same for Ace. But the O inorbit. Stays is from ownership. So we always had ownership as a value for us as a company, because we wanted our my colleagues to really feel and act like owners, but now with what's happening with web three, where you can actually offer some level of ownership to early users, or customers or employees and so on. And it's easier to do. So we really saw that this is an opportunity for us to lean into this value, and really base ace out of, of the ownership part of web three as well.

Neal Schaffer:

Yeah, we could talk for an hour just about web three alone, I'm I'm even newer than you. I really just started getting into web three, literally, I'm going to say two months ago, when I went to Joe polities crater economy Expo. And I think that sometimes you hear the news, obviously, when we're talking now, there's been a big crash in terms of Bitcoin pricing and NF T's and other scams. And yes, I think you'd agree that we're still very early on. But the concepts that web three talks about, I think will impact business and society, it might take 1020 30 years. But I do you believe that CO ownership is coming? And I mean, I think it makes sense. And what I always tell people is like, look, you know, I use my son as an example. He's a gamer. So he has paid money for a skin to decorate his character in a game. Well, what if he could resell that skin? What if it is an NF T, there's only 1000 made, and he has the ability to buy it for, you know, five $10 and then sell it for whatever the market will take when he sells it, which gives him part ownership in the game. But it also actually promotes the game because people start talking about so this is community aspect as well, when you have co ownership that I think a lot of people forget about. But I guess up until now the model for CO ownership. We have the these coops right, where you own a share. I guess it's based on this old sort of, you know, stock, you own a share of stock. Web three is I guess, a little bit based on that. But tell me, once you decided that you wanted to have this ownership, part or aspect of the product? Where did you go from there to try to you know, integrate it into web three, what what was some of the process, the tools, the technology that you needed to use in order to make that happen?

Ovi Negrean:

Yeah, sure. So just to just have a bit back. And also, as you said, there are so many scams, and they were really in the early days, I think we're almost at now what's happening today also with the crash is I think, similar to the.com crash, where basically, you had a lot of pets.com and any.com idea, if it had.com, in its name, it would raise millions of dollars would deliver nothing, and maybe the owners would run away with some Ferraris and so on. But out of the same age, we also got Amazon and Google and eBay and many other very useful startups that are really transformational for us as nowadays. And I think that's the same case with web three now. And this is why it's also good to get in early. But then also make sure that you keep an eye out for these things that are scams and so on. But this is also the good part about being the upcoming recession or the fact that the the prices of crypto have gone so much down, because all of not all, but most of the scammers have gone away because they feel that the opportunity is gone. So now the real builders are the ones that are going to just be heads down and double down on their work and maybe don't have so much noise because of everything else that's happening. So a lot of good products will come out of this. Yeah.

Neal Schaffer:

And I think I think just to answer for jumping in there, but just to remind people, you know, there were people back in the.com days, it just bought a domain name and thought they'd become a billionaire. And then there were people that actually built it. And I think what's going to last with web three, what excites me is do you tility aspect of it. So why are all the some people investing in NF T's when they've never invested in art because you're basically investing in a digital art? What's the utility of that art? And that's what's always given me the question marks as to the you know, how viable is this as an economy but once you get beyond that, you start looking at utilitarian, you know, issues. I know that Joe Pulizzi for the crater economy Expo issued a lifetime, you know, a lifetime coin, which makes sense so you can pay 1000 dollars every year to join the expo, or for you know, one a theory in which at the time was $2,000, you get lifetime access. So you're paying a little bit more, but if you plan on going every year, it makes a lot of sense. So that's an example of like utilitarian way of using the same technology that I think is going to last and it's going to become the mainstream. So sorry for cutting in. And I just want to sort of, like, throw that out there. Because I think people still, like, deeply misunderstand. And a lot of people just mistrust the entire thing. So we're not talking about, you know, spending billions of dollars on digital art where you've never heard of the creators. And, you know, what value does this have? This is not an investment, this is a totality. And that's what I want to remind people about. Yeah,

Ovi Negrean:

I mean, the NFT space is whole space on its own. So basically, I think crypto is like the coin parts, the NFT parts. And then it's also this ownership part. And there are novel ways of combining this and building on top of it, of them, and so on. And with NFT is just like some people really appreciate art and wood will pay. I know even millions of dollars for a piece of art, I think some will do that for the digital art as well. And especially with this newer generation, which, as you said, with your boy who is paying money to get the skin in a game, which is just like art, basically. Yeah. So basically, this new generation is also built, they're brought up with some some different understandings of what art is, and what ownership is, and so on. So I still, I think, also the art part of NFS will probably keep growing. But I definitely agree with you. And the parts, which we also like, is the part where there is also some utility, either in the NFT. Or maybe it doesn't have to have an NFT component for something to be web trade. Sure. But the example that you also gave with with that NFT pass, that's actually something where it's a very good example, because Sure, you might go for two years, and you already made your money back, but you still have that pass. And the for some reason, you don't think that that type of conference is something that you're still interested in, you might be able to resell that now maybe also the person who created the NFT in the first place they built in in the smart contract that anytime you sell that they would get like 10%, or whatever exact royalties from that, which is also like a really good model, because it also incentivizes the creators of that conference to come up with better and better content, so more people want to go, so then the price will just go up for that NFT. Amen. Amen. Now also coming back to the point that you made about coops, which is also model I like, actually, I mean, also nowadays, we can have ownership in companies, I own piece of apple and of Tesla and of Microsoft, and so on. But I own them now, when they're really mature companies, and the upside, has already gone to the VCs and to the founders and to the investors. But I think like in maybe five or 10 years, we will look back, and we will think, Oh, you were one of the first users of Facebook, and you got nothing for that. Like, why were you putting your time and energy and effort into that for for for nothing, and they just weren't the ones that grew. So this is why I really believe that offering this ownership, which is more easily possible also from a technical point of view, but maybe also from a legal point of view, to some sorts of tokens or through some sort of NSPS and so on. But offering some sort of ownership to a startup will really incentivize the early adopters who let's face it. Also, when you're an early adopter, in a startup, you still invest your time you invest your money, most of the time, you take a risk, because you don't know like when you started using social be five years ago, you had no idea that we would still be around five years later, or that the product will will keep getting better and better. But it was a risk that you you were willing to take. And I'm sure that people are taking these type of risks all the time, but then the the risks just fail they the startups fail, so it doesn't work out. So because you will also have this ownership part. I think it will really incentivize a lot of people to maybe try your solution over another or to become even more evangelist of your solution and

Neal Schaffer:

so on. So maybe we haven't Yeah, and I've kicked a lot of tires have a lot of tools and nobody paid me. So I you know, Hallelujah to that. So can you tell the listeners who don't get your emails what exactly you did in terms of integrating web three and, you know, group ownership with your product?

Ovi Negrean:

Sure. So I think we just hold space, we're still early. There are a lot of talks about Dow OS, which are decentralized autonomous organizations. There is a lot of talks about crypto and blockchain and so on, but I still think there are a lot of unknowns. And I always try to think from We try to reason from first principles. So we, we took the things which made sense to us, and which we thought would never change or most likely won't change. And we, we really decided those already. But for sons we still left somewhat open. So basically, what we decided to do is that we are having what we're calling an ace coin. And each time basically, you're using ace meetings, even from the moment you just sign up to the fact that you're sharing your calendar invites to the fact that people are booking calls with you to the fact that you are maybe paying a subscription and so on. But each time you interact with our product, you earn these ace coins, and then the whole pool of the ACE coins that we have is split into a few buckets. And actually, the biggest bucket is what we call earn to use. So basically, most of the bucket in this from from the pool, we'll go to actual users who are just using the app, because this is also one of the criticisms of the web tradespace, it started very idealistic and one wanting to do give ownership to everybody. But actually, if you look at a lot of projects, you still see that the big whales that paid their way into those projects on the big majority of those projects. So it still receives who who call the shots and so on. But in our case, we really created the largest piece of the pie, we will put it aside for this firm to, for this use to earn rewards, which will go to individual users that are actually using ace, and then basically what will happen over time, and some decisions are still just like put their let's say in pencil not not final, because we also want once we have enough people who are using the app, and once we have enough of a community who is who has a vested interest, we want to take these decisions together, then we will decide on some of the specifics. Like for example, right now, we've tracking all of these ace coins, but they're not available on a specific blockchain. This is because of a few reasons. One of them being that the whole layer one layer two, Blockchain keeps evolving very, very quickly. And once you go into one, you're not fully tied down to that one. But also, it's not that easy to move to another one. And we want to take this decision together with our community. And also, we want to see how maybe we will allocate any resources that are won by the fact of running ace to the community and what's going to be the percentage that goes maybe into some some rewards that will be shared with the owners of the ACE coins versus how much we'll go back into keep investing to build the product, and so on.

Neal Schaffer:

So basically, you've made a decision, I'm just trying to think my my background before all this, my first job and career was in finance. So I'm just trying to figure out so basically, you're you're you're taking a share of your you know, of your profits or future profits or investments. And you're putting it aside in this allocation of coins. Right now, those coins have no value, but there's an assumption that they will have value at some point when you design the blockchain. So you're basically in Hey, we're going to be giving you these rewards. Right now. They're only virtual coins. But at a certain point, they will be they will be on a blockchain like Aetherium as a as a layer one, layer two, what have you, and they will be tradable. And that's going to be decision as well that you're going to make with the people who actually own the coins. Is that correct?

Ovi Negrean:

That's exactly it. Yes.

Neal Schaffer:

So when you came up with that idea, what did Vlad Vladimir I think your other co founder and and some of the others who was on the executive? What did they think about that idea? Or are they also in tune with web three and agreed wholeheartedly?

Ovi Negrean:

Yeah, so actually, I have two, two co founders, they're both called lead, which is just a funny coincidence. And my original co founder, Vlad, who is the CTO of social media, he is staying and focusing on social media. And the other co founder, which we actually call internally to his he actually took on the role for being the CTO of ESP meetings. And he was already in the web space, just like lurking around and reading and following what's happening there as well, just as I was, so it was a good way to make sure that both social B keeps growing, and we keep investing in the product and so on. But we also have a separate team, which is focusing solely on ace and that is more in line also with the whole web three world

Neal Schaffer:

gotchas. I mean, that's perfect. You hear companies where one person one is evangelizing web three but nobody else understands it at all and therefore it doesn't make progress. So going further into the product then with this coin that people are going to be getting so i i saved from the back end, you'll be able to monitor this and figure out who gets how many coins. How are you going this community aspect now of all these people have the coins. How are you going to make these group decisions and then go Going forward, is that community going to influence things like your roadmap or or other things about the product?

Ovi Negrean:

Yeah, for sure. So also when it comes to, to decision making and to governance, this is also a topic which is highly discussed and highly experimented with in the whole data space. And there are different models of decision making. We also in our white paper, or in our white paper, we put down some links to some of the models that we like, like we like the delegate model. We also like what optimism one of the layer two blockchains did where they have, I think it's called the House of Representatives and House of the People or something like that. So one is based on actual human beings who, who they know that, okay, it's a one person and they can have one vote. And the other one is also based on the sheer number of coins. Because as I said, one of the problems is that short there is decentralized voting. But as long as it's linked to the number of coins, it's still just going to be the big whales, or a few people that make the decisions. Yeah, which I understand that if you have a bigger stake in a company, you should have a bigger say, but it shouldn't be the only factor. So this is why I really liked this novel model of having both like votes, which are uniquely tied to one person doesn't matter if you own one coin, or 1 million, but still, on the other hand, have also some parts of the votes that weigh a bit more for the ones that may be invested more even even, like real money to have those coins. So they should have a bigger say. So because of this also, this is the governance part is one of the aspects that we have some ideas, but we will really nail it down together with the community. So now we're actually focused on first of all on delivering a better and better product. And we are basically now on par with Calendly for most of the functionality that you need, but we still have a few aces up our sleeves, pun intended. But besides that, we are also working on getting more people in on the platform, so we can start having these discussions with the with the community, which then definitely will have a say, both in the roadmap, but also maybe in what's the next product that we are building, maybe even at one point on in some subgroups. What should be some people that we're hiring to help us I know, create a product or, or promote the product, and so on. So it's definitely something that we want to get to a place where we want to give the ownership to the community. It's it's a model, which is called access to community where over time basically, because people will have these use to earn rewards to own more and more of these coins. Plus, at one point, once we will launch on a blockchain, you will also be able to not just buy these coins. Plus as you are interacting with the community, you have a say you will, you will have more than one of these coins. At one point we will get to a point where it's to be more the community that has the power than we do.

Neal Schaffer:

Yeah, and you know, for those of you that are new to the space, we have this notion of an IPO. We're in the blockchain space called an Ico initial coin offering. And basically, you are pre Ico right now. And I love the fact that you're still looking at the technology, you're you're committing to the concept, and to, you know, creating and giving away the coin, and developing this as web three develops. So not making I think there might have been companies that got involved almost too early. And now all these people have coins now they're only worth like 1/100 of what they used to be worth because of the various market dynamics that come when you have a coin on the blockchain and publicly available. So I think you're navigating the waters very, very smartly. And yeah, I think it's really exciting, it's almost going to hopefully become a textbook example of how to do this. So if you're a company looking to acquire, you know, additional capital, this is a great way of doing it. But I think for the community, and for that ownership and getting people more active and passionate about your product. That's really the key thing here is I want to talk a little bit as we you know, near the end of this podcast of this community aspect. So community, I think really came about with social media, we had community managers, there were a lot of companies a lot of in the b2b space that created these communities on the software called jive. I don't even know if it still exists. Now there's, you know, newer solutions. Yep. like LinkedIn groups and Facebook groups. And community has become an important part of marketing today. But this really makes community with web three community really becomes first and you know, and upfront. So I'm curious as to what are your strategies for actually managing that community going forward? I'm assuming and you know, I read your emails, but I don't know if everyone's gonna, you know, with the community. I don't know if email is the right solution. And I have my own community, my digital first mastermind community where we talk a lot about this as well. So how do you plan on all these people that have the coins, how do you plan on you know, getting them to to know each other, getting them to feel their part of the community and getting them aligned with what your company is doing.

Ovi Negrean:

Yeah, I think I think we're still learning to do this. And, yes, the emails, I mean, the email lists, you can almost call like a community, it's just that the community members don't know, they don't know each other between themselves. They just know the community leader. But with web three, almost by definition, it shouldn't be just one leader, it should be more of a community basically. So we started our own on Discord channel, and we started to invite people and to to funnel people into the channel. And then our plan is to basically really try to engage everybody on an individual level, to get them to both introduce themselves, maybe, but also, let us know, what's the level? What's the level of engagement that they want to have within this community? Because some will just be lurkers that will just want to sit around and see what's happening. While others, we want to get actively involved. And we, we have definitely a road long road ahead of us. So any any help, is welcomed. So basically, I think the community part is, even though it's now it's web three, it's still the same type of community building. Sure, maybe the tools have changed a bit, maybe it's not Facebook groups anymore, but it's discord or telegram channels and so on. But it's still interacting with other human beings and trying to, to see what are the shared values and the shared visions that you have, why you bought or all of you came together in this, this specific community, and how you can support each other. And then it will be a lot about creating various community events, mostly online, especially nowadays. But as we keep growing, and as we will have more and more people in specific geographies also offline. So I think the community part is not necessarily that much changed, maybe the language a bit, maybe the tools a bit, but at the base, it's still the same, I would say,

Neal Schaffer:

well said my friend, I think one last thing here is that for those that are still new to the space as I am, that Discord is almost the default community platform of choice that if you have kids, my kids were on Discord very early on. And you know, a lot of gamers and YouTubers have had channels there, but Avi, maybe you can go a little bit more detail of why Discord is the choice. And if you really want to get into space, you probably want to start experimenting and creating your own discord group, whatever you but correct me if I'm wrong, but there is a unique integration that discord has with I don't know, if you wanna call it the blockchain, but a way of limiting access based on on crypto ownership or coin ownership, which makes it very, very advantageous to use as your platform for community can. Can you maybe describe that a little bit more detail? Because I obviously I don't know the technology behind it.

Ovi Negrean:

Yeah, so it's a very simple base level, I would say Discord is similar to Slack, maybe a lot of people are using Slack nowadays in their day to day business to to talk with their colleagues or, or maybe part of some some other communities. But where discord took it to another level was the fact that all of these bot integrations that they have, and on Slack, it will also have some apps, but I think discord took it to another level. And they have many more integrations with bots. And somehow they evolved towards embracing this web three space and these web three communities. And this is why we have a lot of bots that indeed, maybe limit some access to a whole discord or just to some channels based on what's in your crypto wallet, maybe if there is a specific NFT or a specific number of tokens of a certain type, and so on. And there are all sorts of integrations which come very easily to discord. And I think this is probably one of the reasons why the community embraced them. And after a while is just as you said, it just became like the norm. Almost every word every project has a discord as their main community building channel. You know,

Neal Schaffer:

I just want to throw out there the openness of discord. My son, he, he went to a change high schools recently, but he went to a stem high school they have a very famous cybersecurity team, real top notch computer science. And I was talking to the dad of one of my son's classmates. And he had actually created a discord app for a YouTuber that he loved as an eighth grader, which allowed him to manage his community. Now I don't I didn't get the details of it was integrated with NF T's what have you, but that is how open it's almost like, you know, Twitter used to be a lot more open and there were like 1000s of apps that helped you manage it. But I think what Discord is then is great. And then I assume then have you integrated because you don't have a coin yet. So you haven't done any integrations with a bot with your discord channel yet correct?

Ovi Negrean:

That's correct. That's correct. At one point we will because also the whole Well, governance mechanism, depending on the one that we choose, the voting structure will be unchanged. So we will have to do that. But we're taking it step by step and working both on the on the product, and also to grow the community. And once once together with the community, we decide on the blockchain then we will also start to, to implement these features.

Neal Schaffer:

They're very cool. But you can imagine if you really want to invest in the community of being able to have bots that automatically automatically manage the access level is really a killer thing that's going to make a lot of lives easier. So anyway, you know, if there's a few things you get out of this interview here with Avi obviously, check out social media checkout ace meetings, and then check out discord and check out web three in general. Avi, thank you so much for your time, I'm really looking forward to the future of both of your products and your future products, we, I suppose for those listening, you probably want to send them to ace meetings. But there any specific, you know page within eight meetings that you'd like to send them to, to give them more information about the product.

Ovi Negrean:

Now, they should just go to use a stock calm. And they will, they will see there that the first meeting, the first product industry is Ace meetings, they can sign up to to use it already. It's with social B, we don't have three accounts, free free trials. But with ace, we do also have a free plan. And we also have a very good deal running right now. So maybe there will still be able to get it. But nevertheless, just if they go to use aes.com, they will find out everything about ace. And for me, they can just look me up on Twitter or on LinkedIn. And I'm really happy to connect with that with everybody.

Neal Schaffer:

And we'll put all those links in the show notes the obvious last question, because last time we talked, I was recommending this TV show called Vikings. So I'm curious as to what you're watching these days.

Ovi Negrean:

I've not only watched Vikings, I've also watched Vikings Valhalla. Yes. And now I am looking for more Viking series. Thanks so much for the recommendation.

Neal Schaffer:

Yeah, I went through that period, then I sort of ran out of Viking stuff. So I'm currently I don't know if you ever watched Breaking Bad? Yes. Okay. So Better Call Saul has a new season out that I'm watching it. And obviously, Stranger Things I want to watch the new season. But my my high school daughter, she never saw, you know, the previous season. So we're starting over season one. But yeah, lots of lots of TV to talk about. So that's cool. It's good. All right, I'll be well thank you again for your time and your best success with with the whole suite of tools that you're building for Ace. Thank

Ovi Negrean:

you to Neil, it was great to see you again. And thanks a lot for all your support throughout these years.

Neal Schaffer:

All right, I hope you really enjoyed that interview as much as I did. Web three is still very much a futuristic type of concept. But the development of the blockchain, and the emergence of tools actually allows you to more easily do something like this, than you might not have thought possible. So still, like I said, very early days, I'm really excited by the developments. And hey, you know, why not use a tool that actually pays you to use it. And we're seeing a lot of these types of models, companies that reward credits or discounts if you consume their content. This is the type of new wealth, mutual ownership economy that is slowly emerging, that I'm excited about. It makes us all part of it together. It builds community. We all have ownership. And yeah, I'm excited for the days to come. So I hope you enjoyed this interview. If you want to get more Hey, do you know that you can access all of my podcasts not only in your podcast player, but if you want to get the show notes, do searches, access transcripts, they're all on my podcast website, podcast dot Neal schaffer.com. And hey, while you're there, you can also go over to Neal schaffer.com, where I have more than 500 blog posts. In fact, just going into my my podcast directory here, right now listening to this podcast, we are on episode number 278. Whereas on my blog, I already have 535 blog posts publish on any topic you can think of in digital content influencers, social media marketing, and so I really do my best to provide a resource to all of you so that no matter what stage you're at, I have some content for you. And guess what, if I don't have content for you, or maybe you need something more applied to your own business, I urge you to check out my digital first mastermind. It's a it's a paid community of a very small group of members right now it is maxed out at 15. So it's actually a waiting list to join. But it is where we have weekly zoom calls and I really give attention and offer group coaching and consulting to help you apply all this to your unique business needs and other members are also experts in their field. That's why I call it a mastermind rather than group coaching, but I hope you'll check that out. That's at Neal schaffer.com/membership. Well, that's it for another episode. I want to remind you all to keep your eye on the goal. And until next episode, this is your digital marketing coach Neal Schaffer signing off. You've been listening to your digital marketing coach, questions, comments, requests, links, go to podcast dot Neal schaffer.com. Get the show notes to this and 200 plus podcast episodes, and Neal schaffer.com to tap into the 400 Plus blog posts that Neil has published to support your business. While you're there, check out Neil's Digital First group coaching membership community if you or your business needs a little helping hand. See you next time on your digital marketing coach.