Two decades ago, I exchanged my corporate career to pursue a path more aligned with my inner self - the creation of a surf property marketplace and the cultivation of a community of like-minded individuals. This journey, though fraught with challenges, has been worth every high and low.
Always inclined to challenge the status quo, in school or work, I often found myself pushing against directives that seemed nonsensical to me. The rigid 9-5 corporate structure felt stifling; I yearned for the freedom of ocean breezes and the exhilaration of surfing life's waves, both literally and metaphorically. This desire led me on an unending quest through the seas of entrepreneurship, navigating numerous ventures that failed to find their sea legs before finally conceiving the idea that changed everything - a marketplace for surf properties. While it wasn't the next big tech startup, it encapsulated my passion for surfing and my entrepreneurial drive. The 100k community we've built over the last two decades is a testament to the power of sincere passion and authentic content marketing.
Our venture's growth arrived like high tides, pushing the boundaries of what I believed was possible. I focused on providing value, not just through the marketplace, but also by fostering a sense of community and belonging.
Fast forward to today, two decades since that life-altering decision. We're navigating new waters, exploring initiatives like integrating NFTs into our platform. While a sense of trepidation lingers, the thrill of surfing this new wave outweighs all apprehension. Reflecting on this journey, here are my key learnings:
• Foster a community around what you genuinely love
• Consistently provide value, above and beyond what's expected
• Rewards will follow if you remain true to your path
• Sustain your venture in ways that align with your mission
• When the time is right, bet on yourself.
In 2013, our trajectory shifted unexpectedly after encountering Satoshi Nakamoto's whitepaper on Bitcoin and the underlying blockchain technology. It resonated deeply with me - the potential for decentralization, the power to disrupt established systems, and the concept of democratizing value creation and exchange. This was a wave I knew I had to ride, and it spurred a pivot in our entire business model.
By 2017, we fully committed to decentralized finance (DeFi), diving headfirst into this emerging, yet largely uncharted territory. However, the world wasn't quite prepared for it. Our marketplace, designed to utilize non-fungible tokens (NFTs), didn't achieve the traction we had anticipated. Regardless, we persisted, tirelessly reshaping our business model to fit into this novel Web3 mould.
Come 2020, as NFTs started to gain notable momentum, we grappled with a sense of failure. Our pioneering efforts had been ahead of their time, and it stung to see others riding the wave that had previously knocked us off course. However, much like a surfer recovering from a wipeout, we didn't let this setback deter us. We regrouped and returned to the drawing board, searching for the next big wave.
Today, it seems, we've found our Ikigai. Despite the setbacks and detours, we're emerging stronger and wiser, primed to leave our mark on the decentralized world. Our journey has taken us from traditional business to DeFi and NFTs, but our underlying passion for fostering community has never wavered. Now, we're leveraging these groundbreaking technologies in a manner that's authentic to us.
In the prevailing narrative surrounding the crypto and blockchain space, particularly on platforms like Twitter, the focus often leans towards the negative. Scams, rugs, and bad actors often overshadow the countless innovators and pioneers working diligently to shape a better future. It's these trailblazers we should be amplifying.
Let's collectively celebrate the builders, the dreamers, the innovators - those harnessing these revolutionary technologies to create a positive impact. Let's amplify their stories and foster a community that prioritizes authenticity, collaboration, and mutual support.
Reflecting on my journey, I recognize that a significant part of my success with the surf property marketplace was due to a convergence of timing and opportunity - some might call it luck.
When we first launched, Google ads were incredibly affordable, and Facebook's organic reach was astonishingly potent. We managed to capture the attention of 300,000 individuals weekly merely by posting visual narratives - a feat that seems almost impossible in today's digital environment.
Yes, our determination and innovation were critical, but so was our good fortune to be in the right place at the right time. Part of our success was indeed due to the evolving internet landscape, an unexpected ally that enabled our startup to gain traction and scale rapidly.
The interplay between luck and effort, timing and determination, serves as the canvas on which many entrepreneurial stories, including ours, are etched. The key lies in readiness to seize the moment when it arrives, to remain adaptable, and to ride the wave when it surges in your direction.