Innovator of the Week
CEO of LBRY
Please provide your 30-second pitch about your company.
My single-sentence description is jargon overload if you’re outside of our industry, but LBRY is an open-source, fully decentralized protocol providing content discovery, distribution and purchase. This is a fancy way of saying we’ve created a way for services like YouTube to exist without any central authority (including us). We enable publishers, creators and consumers to share and exchange content without any intermediaries — or anyone taking a cut. We’ve partnered with Hollywood studios and popular streamers who are tired of ceding 50% of their profits to middlemen.
Who or what was your best resource for starting your company?
Jeremy Hitchcock and all of the people from Pillar (our VC) have been tremendously helpful. But this answer is not very helpful for other people! If a novice business person interested in doing something big asked me what to read, I would tell them to start with Lean Startup and Zero to One. These books disagree with each other, but what better way to discover truth?
What was your biggest obstacle in starting your company and how did you overcome it?
Starting is easy. Success is hard. When you are starting, you have all of the energy and excitement of doing something new. It is when you’re in the trenches and it seems like you’ll never make it that things are the hardest. To counter this, it is better to be system-oriented than goal-oriented. Rather than focusing on where you want to be, focus on what habits and processes are more likely to create good outcomes. Try to derive satisfaction from doing the right thing, rather than good things happening.
What’s the best advice you have received?
Don’t take advice from people without skin-in-the-game. What is my incentive when giving advice? To give advice that makes me look good, or popular, or furthers my reputation, etc. There is little incentive to be accurate, or brutally honest, unless you share incentives with someone.
What about the NH lifestyle appeals to you?
No state is homogeneous, of course, but I’ve never lived in a place where people are so conscientious while still minding their own business. NH is extremely affordable, close to Boston, is the smartest state in the country, and has plenty of resources available in relation to demand. Specifically to LBRY, no state has higher per-capita usage of virtual currencies.
What does the future look like for your company?
LBRY is a fundamentally better technology for the discovery, distribution, and purchase of digital content. LBRY has the opportunity to become a backbone of the internet itself, facilitating nearly $2 trillion dollars a year in exchange and distribution.