This time I had the pleasure of interviewing Simon Yu, CEO of Storm project. This project offers a new way to monetize your content and work through the blockchain technology.
How would you describe the main pillars of the project?
- Our overall goal is to allow anyone to earn anywhere, anytime, from any device.
- The beauty of blockchain we discovered early on was the fact that we now had the ability to send someone halfway across the world $0.02 with minimal fees. This was never possible before and allowed so many new opportunities to the emerging countries as well as the first world countries allowing people to earn additional income each day. To accomplish this goal we have three products we are focused on building to allow a better lifestyle for billions of people across the world.
- Storm Play — Earn by playing videos, and trying out new products and services.
- Storm Gigs — Earn by shopping for products and services.
- Storm Shop — Earn by performing micro-tasks, like machine learning, QA testing, and P2P freelancing tasks
About the team and supporters, what are your strengths?
- I believe the strength of our team is the biggest differentiator. Outside of myself our executive team come from 15+ years in their own respective field. Coming from a diverse mix of large companies such as Microsoft, Amazon, Accenture, KPMG, and also executives who have also sold or had successful start ups of their own. It’s extremely easy to have an idea, but when you look at the statistics 80% of the tech companies fail within the first two years. I don’t think blockchain is any different, or if anything it might be worse because most of the companies are pre-product and pre-revenue. It’s extremely difficult to run a company and having the right people manage the daily process is the most important part of anything out there.
- Our other biggest strength is the fact that we have been operating in the blockchain space since 2014, and have built a solid user base of 1.7M people across 187 countries. In addition to that we have over 200 brands working with us including Uber, Zynga, Final Fantasy, Hulu, and many more on Storm Play. There aren’t too many companies who have a live product or something that’s growing. We have a network effect that continues to grow quickly each day.
Thinking about the future, do you have any roadmap with relevant upgrades?
- Our current focus is to build the three products and continue to expand these services to a billion people across the world. Our aim is to achieve this within five years. We believe this is possible because for the first time in history, blockchain technology allows anyone to earn if they have a mobile device and don’t require a bank account or other strict needs. If there’s a person looking to earn we can help connect them right away.
- As our user base continues to grow, we are also evaluating whether Ethereum is the right solution for us in the long term.
What’s the added value of STORM in comparison with other competitors ?
The network effect of users and the number of brands working with us has helped our ecosystem grow quickly. There will always be many competitors out there, but it’ll ultimately come to who can execute the best. How many social media companies existed before Facebook thrived?
Evaluation of the current scenario for STORM and the gaming industry
- Storm has great synergy with the gaming industry. As a company working in the advertising space for four years working closely with gaming companies we found gamification was a powerful tool that allowed users to be hooked and want to continue performing an action. It was amazing when we started diving deep into gamification how powerful it was to the human psychology. The game companies were able to figure out how to keep users hooked and want to continue playing the game. Users are assigned quests which if you translate to real life would be considered a chore, but are incentivized at the end of it with fake gold or a fake sword or weapon that made he or she feel more powerful at the end of it. The game designers are able to identify when to empower the user through flashing lights, rewards, and a congratulatory message that helps people feel they are enjoying the experience.
- A perfect example of this is a game a friend of mine plays where the objective is to deliver “fake in-game” coffee to your “fake” customers. I saw her play for two hours straight and I asked, “Why don’t you just work at Starbucks for two hours and earn $30?” She looked at me like I was crazy. Why is it that we’re willing to do the same task in a game but not in real life where the financial reward is clearly there?
- With Storm Gigs it’s something we’re building by connecting gamification with jobs. As a result even the most boring machine learning tasks such as photo recognition, or data entry, a task that would normally be boring, fun. But it’s not limited to only small labor, it can be applied to skilled labor even as a developer or a designer to level up and enjoy working more.