Maxim Kurbangaleev, an expert on the crypto market, notes that anyone can create their own cryptocurrency – just copy an existing smart contract template and pay a small fee for its execution. Another and much more important question is will this cryptocurrency have any value?
A token without a working model
The market is brimming with trend-influenced cryptocurrencies – memes, sporting event fan tokens, and even professional dental cryptocurrencies – it seems the crypto world has seen it all. However, despite the abundance of digital coins, only a handful survive on the market.
“The source code of many tokens is in the public domain. You do not need to be an advanced specialist to copy the code and create a fork – a basic knowledge of programming languages is enough. What does another clone bring to the market? Nothing at all. Why create so many “dummies”? Often they are implemented for fun and hype, but also for fraud purposes., – Maxim Kurbangaleev explains.
Notably, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of Thailand has banned local cryptocurrency exchanges from selling meme tokens, fan tokens, and NFTs. The reason for the ban, according to the SEC Secretary General, is that the tokens have no backbone or clear purpose, and their creation is dictated by social media trends.
“At first glance, harmless cryptocurrencies have their own pitfalls. Many popular meme tokens turn out to be rug pulls, leaving their users without money. Malicious creators wait for investors to pick up the token as much as possible, and then simply withdraw all the funds”, – Maxim Kurbangaleev warns.
To create or not, that is the question – Maxim Kurbangaleev
According to the expert, the success of any cryptocurrency lies in its uniqueness and value – that is why numerous clones remain forgotten, unable to compete with stronger projects with good USPs.
But a competent USP and originality of the idea is not everything: “It is important to understand that a startup is not an easy way to get rich. To create a truly high-quality product, you need to be ready for hard and well-coordinated work, as well as take on great responsibility. Not to mention the fact that any startup requires investments and time costs”, – says Maxim Kurbangaleev.
One of the most important stages in the creation of a project is the formation of a team, the expert claims. How to assemble a team of real professionals?
To date, there are still not enough specialists in cryptoeconomics and blockchain technology. Specialized education is only just emerging in Russia – the HSE recently added the “Introduction to blockchain technology and development on Solidity” course, while MISIS opened an educational track on “Algorithms of high-tech software”, where students learn to predict and analyze cryptocurrency rates. The search for talented blockchain developers is made more difficult by the fact that the demand for them is growing strongly – over the past year it has increased by 700%. In addition, the mere word “blockchain” in a developer’s resume increases his salary level by 25%.
“For a successful startup, you need a specialist with a good technical background, who can quickly understand the nuances of the technology. Such professionals can be found at hackathons (forums for developers) and events, they can also be seen on GitHub, the largest service for hosting IT projects. Moreover, talented specialists rarely leave their resumes anywhere, they are in demand and it is better to introduce them to your project at a personal meeting”, – says Maxim Kurbangaleev.
In addition to a blockchain developer, a startup team also needs other specialists: a crypto project marketer who will have to bring the project “to the people” – often on an international level, a white paper editor, designer, analyst, lawyer, and others.
Joint work on the project, according to the expert, will require a lot of effort from both the team and the CEO – obstacles await the team along the entire timeline of project development.
“Through hardships to the stars”: how to bring the team to a desirable result – Maxim Kurbangaleev
How to evaluate team performance? How to avoid conflict of interest? What do you need for motivation, in addition to bonuses? These and many other questions concern CEOs around the world.
“In my opinion, the approach of hard penalties, which is chosen by the vast majority of large corporations, negatively affects the creativity and energy of specialists. In a team, it is important to nurture the culture and convey values to each member, as well as give them a clear understanding of what is required of them. Among other things, the personal attitude of team members to work can be adjusted – you must admit that the majority of people have a strong opinion that it is indecent to come to the office without pants. In the same way, you can put the idea that not doing your job efficiently and on time is just as inappropriate”, – Maxim Kurbangaleev explains.
Penalties and other negative motivators are popular with executives who believe that the “stick” is much more effective than the “carrot”. And while the penalty system can indeed work, it’s hard to argue with the fact that employees are losing loyalty and no doubt leaving overly strict CEOs in search of a better life.
In a startup environment where every specialist is literally worth its weight in gold, talented team members are reluctant to sacrifice. Startups in the crypto industry differ from traditional businesses: universal and classic schemes do not work, and sincere enthusiasm is required from the team. “Less formalities, bureaucracy and approvals – that’s what you need for the productive work of the team and a successful startup,” Maxim Kurbangaleev is sure.
According to the expert, in a team where everyone is trying to shift responsibility to each other and pursue selfish goals, there will never be a positive result.
“Culture needs to be implemented at all levels: starting with radical honesty, when goals are clearly defined in the team and team members are not afraid to say “you know, you let me down.” The team has the right to know the financial performance and understand the cause-and-effect relationships, why the company takes a different path in a given period,” Maxim Kurbangaleev believes.
Maxim Kurbangaleev: How to maintain the internal discipline of the team?
The main difference between internal discipline and external discipline is that it is performed by one’s own will. It is believed that external discipline is not enough for effective work – control from the outside cannot last, and as soon as the CEO gives the employee freedom, organization can burst at the seams.
“The ability to make a conscious choice in favor of quality work is the professionalism of an employee. I am skeptical about fines and coercion, and in my projects I maintain discipline with motivation. When a person has an understanding of life goals and willpower, motivation is more than enough for fruitful and well-coordinated work,” Maxim Kurbangaleev answers.
The objective question is how to build a workflow with a new team member who has just joined the project? Especially if he, although talented, is new to the industry and not used to selfless work?
“With everyone who comes for a trial period to key positions, I interact personally and supervise them at all stages. I never do personality tests and prefer not to judge people by their appearance, trusting their competence more. It is important for me to determine the thinking of a person and understand what he is guided by – emotions or logic. Both are useful – I figure it out in order to distribute people to different positions and roles. In the future, owing to high levels of industry exposure, the beginner, with his own efforts and desire, is gaining experience, becoming a full-fledged member of the team,” says Maxim Kurbangaleev.
In the future, teams working on startups in the crypto industry may have their own regulations inherent in traditional business. “Maybe one day we will build a test system for new team members, but time will tell. Today, I prefer to practice and live interaction with each team member, because even with the most ideal technique, there is always a chance of error. If people with the wrong set of qualities get not matching positions, neither fines nor culture and values will help them – they simply will not be able to act. Invest your time in the team and take a personal part in the process, because the team is very important,” Maxim Kurbangaleev sums up.