I’ve had the great pleasure of speaking to Colin Miles, one of the latest high profile hires by the Zilliqa team. Colin boasts vast experience in marketing and has hit the ground running with the Zilliqa community, with many welcoming the marketing veteran with open arms.
Colin has worked for many traditional tech companies from the dot.com age all the through to blockchain, carrying a lot of experience and the ability to adapt to his surroundings. After working with Colin on a few of my posts and video ideas on Twitter, I knew he had a lot more to offer and tell us of his background and how he stumbled upon the Zilliqa project, so I put together a few questions and Colin agreed to answer, so lets get started!
Q-1/ — Looking at your background Colin, you’ve been around in technology a lot in the past. Would you say blockchain technology is the new wave of technology?
Obviously, career wise, I have picked up a few tee shirts along the way, especially with dotcom and mobile startups. Around 2010, I was looking at a post mobile world — and experimented with Augmented Reality (AR) while looking at Machine Learning (ML) and the other impactful acronyms like IoT (Internet of Things) as well as the (at that time) fast emerging Artificial intelligence (AI) buzzword. Nothing really grabbed me as something the average person might be able to adopt until I was told about Bitcoin — and the exciting prospect that there was finally some digital currency that would actually (finally) be accepted in coffee shops!
The next step was to do some research and understand if it has anything more powerful (as a solution to a significant human problem) than transactions. Once I read the White Paper and had intense conversations with Bitcoin evangelists (libertarians), I realised that a completely different future for humanity had been born.
Peer-to-peer trustless incentivisation made me think that hundreds of years of industrial inertia could be blown up in a decade or too. People could interact and reward each other without seeking permission or getting partial control of their own wealth. Business could fully trust digital transactions flowing through their network and the world would finally be made a better place, without ‘bad actors’ being in charge. Long answer I know.
Andy — Such a great answer, you’ve clearly thought long and hard about the possible out comes of blockchain technology and the benefits in the long term.
Lets move onto the next question.
Q-2/ — Having had experiences in websites from the early days would you at all compare the dotcom bubble to crypto?
A lot of people have done so, and it is fair to say the “Wild West” that the Web constituted in the nineties, has a familiar flavour for sure. The idea that the Internet could not be taken down, fortunes could be made, a vision of censorship resistance and so on, certainly lends itself. Eventually the chaos died down, serious money came back in and some of the big boys we know today, have risen to become global players both in the West — and in the Far East.
The nature of the blockchain and hopefully it’s more decentralised culture will create new, more personal way of exchanging value without centralised intermediaries trying to hoard all the data or revenue or both. It is a fine line, as all creators and providers still want to get a cut, but it is a lot more propitious as a global commercial opportunity that can scale.
I also attended a lecture by Jim Barksdale with him talking about how Netscape was trying to create ‘friction free’ commerce using the internet. To me Blockchain enthusiasts also offer that kind of worldview: friction free commerce!
Andy — Can definitely see the comparisons between both of the technology myself and totally agree. Like the dotcom bubble, there will be winners and losers and we will soon see an influx of large global players making serious money.
Q-3/ — When did you first hear of Zilliqa and what made you want to join the Zilliqa project?
I mentioned before being invited to a meetup event at SGInnovate in Singapore on Thursday, October 5, 2017. I actually bookmarked it — and keep it as a reminder (410 sign-ups for that one). I spent most of the time trying to understand sharding and thinking that 2828 transactions per second was definitely a whole lot more than 15 per second!
In terms of joining, for me personally I wanted to leverage a blockchain project that had truly global aspirations, world class technology (that was live) and offering a solution for ‘use cases’ that are compelling. Zilliqa was that project and I was in the right place at the right time. Having conversations with the leadership team gave me confidence that those objectives were achievable and the commitment to this was total and unrelenting.
Andy — I have been around the Zilliqa community from around the same time in 2017 as a community member, then starting to write on the project. We never know we could’ve met earlier!
Zilliqa, in my eyes, has the technology and the team to drive adoption on their revolutionary blockchain. Now with yourself on board it’s time to market to the world.
Q-4/ — What do you think really sets Zilliqa aside from other projects?
I think the standard response would be to talk about USPs — and the obvious technology advantages Zilliqa has over most blockchains currently (or even proposed) for public adoption. But in truth, if you are to grow a ‘two sided’ platform community that can underpin a huge amount of future human transactional activity, you really do need to be driven by a passion like no other.
The founders of Zilliqa demonstrated that and continue to build the company forward to achieve this inclusive vision of a decentralized world. The ability to be practical — and deliver on what a lot of other projects simple talk about doing is a clear demarcation for me. Zilliqa is working in the real world today, and the use cases are getting more exciting each quarter.
Andy — I can definitely see this, Zilliqa has broadened its horizons into different fields, and I personally think DeFi could be a huge coup for the project.
Marketing has really stepped up since your arrival with social media stats edging towards new highs and the overall sentiment is great within the communities.
Would you say your actions have caused a knock-on effect within Zilliqa and the communities?
Well, of course, I appreciate the shout out, it’s been nearly six weeks of focus and commitment from the team, with my (hopefully) calm guidance. Doing some initial triage and then pushing into areas that are very important to the community. Offering as much insight in real time as possible and planning — then delivering — some high-quality video campaigns that build credibility and more specifically, a larger developer base too.
I was always a big fan of social listening methodologies — and especially humanizing ‘crypto twitter’ as well. We are basically a bunch of passionate Zilliqa people, talking with a highly engaged audience of blockchain devotees. So, I believe we have harnessed those two components to make a stronger connection. There will always be positive actions coming from myself and the team, so anything negative doesn’t ever affect that. Constructive criticism is seriously valued and always encouraged.
More enterprise marketing is to come, but the bounce-back to positive has been important and well deserved by the team. I am checking Telegram and Twitter morning, noon and night, just to stay on top of things for the time being. I am really enjoying the rather useful Twitter recaps as well!
Andy — Zilliqa definitely has a good core on Twitter and Reddit, the engagement around the project is amazing and I love interacting with everyone online as well.
Now we’re edging onto the finally question I have for you Colin!
Are there any hints or pointers you can provide to the community for the future of Zilliqa or any exciting news coming soon?
The best place to check is Telegram usually. Amrit and other key team members often update as-and-when they can, on any-and-all matters, including projects past, present, and future. There have been so many announcements in any one week since I joined, it can be hard to keep up, so we are hoping to have a Quiet Quarter in Q2, and report back on all Q1 activity. That doesn’t mean nothing is happening; it just means we are focused on very specific improvements or key work with partners.
Andy — Great, yes we have been spoilt with information over past quarter and there will be a lot of work required to get the likes of staking fully ready to launch.
It’s been an absolute pleasure talking to you Colin, and I hope we can talk again in the future about updates and changes within the Zilliqa project.
I hope you liked this mini-interview I had with Colin, subscribe to keep up all the latest news from Blocking It.
Till the next time,