“Breaking news”: Justin Sun’s tricky marketing relationship triangle with the Tron community and the general public

Marketing has been Tron founder Justin Sun’s best friend in the company’s first year.

He used it to build an enthused community (some taking it to cultish levels, even) that no other crypto or blockchain can boast.

(He’s also been accused of leading a fraud coin. More than a few have crowned him as crypto’s overlord of overhype; the prince of price pumping. And, of course, something between a liar and plagiarist (hi, Vitalik).)

However, it’s that same community that proved its willing to eat anything and anyone when provoked – including Tron HODL purists or even Sun himself. And, there may be no good way to put that monster back in its cage. The beast has become entitled – no longer satisfied with Sun’s announcements to the public.

Despite it all, Sun has kept Tron on course.

In a year, Tron has proven capable of being far more than a sturdy platform or interesting coin. It has caused people to dream about a different Internet and all the different ways an investor might get paid in the future.

What’s allowed those dreams to happen is Sun’s transparent marketing, and if he’s had a flaw it has been wanting to share too much.

You can be mad that he shares too much. You can also be mad (foolishly) if you believe Tron isn’t delivering fast enough for your tastes.

But, you don’t get to do both. You don’t get to follow Sun and Tron, and see everything the company is achieving in the timeframe it is, research and read about breakthrough partnerships and future plans through inside information articles or Sun tweets, and then complain when those same announcements happen to be the official announcement to the general public.

You didn’t get screwed. You were informed and rewarded for you research efforts. You should revel in that.

Since the announcement, I’ve read reactions that range from asking Sun to stop communicating (not gonna happen) and asking Tron to develop a marketing team (I’m guessing a multi-billion dollar company likely has one), to telling people they should vote out Sun as a Super Representative as a penalty for not delivering enough in his announcement. (I… what?!?)

Guys, c’mon.

Those reactions would be better-suited (I’m not saying deserved, I’m saying better suited if you chose to go down that road) for things like when Sun made a crude joke tweet while announcing Tron’s involvement with Pornhub. (I did write about his responsibility after that.)

Sun’s announcing to the world how he plans to use BitTorrent isn’t one of those things. He did what he needed to do to help push his product to the masses. It’s exactly what you should hope he continues to do in order to put Tron’s name in as many mouths as possible.

It’s a little disjointed to end, but my last thought is this:

If you’re sweating the tenths-of-a-cent swing that resulted from news that you already knew, you’re doing it wrong; especially if you believe Tron will someday achieve the prices you’re dreaming about.

****

Have a tip?

What topics would you like to read about as we all grow with Crypto, Tron, and all the rest? Shoot an email to kitchenski@gmail.com with “Blog idea” in your subject line, or find me on Twitter at twitter.com/curtiskitchen.

And, FULL DISCLOSURE: I am a Tron (TRX) investor. I am not a financial advisor. This content should not be used as a base for or considered to be financial advice.

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‘Face’ plant: Facebook is vulnerable and opening doors for Tron (and others)

I’ve always marveled at the Pan American Airlines story – how it went from a sure-fire, can’t-miss, top-of-the-world, safest-ever, long-term investment to bankrupt and dead within two decades.

It was a stunning collapse because what could have seemed more investment safe at the time than a strong worldwide airline?tron-facebook-justin-sun-mark-zuckerberg

That said, Pan Am’s downfall was brought on by several factors – many of which were outside of the airline’s control. But, that’s the rub, isn’t it? The best strategic plans try like hell to keep a business flexible, but if integral pieces fall apart — for Pan Am it was fuel shortages, failed acquisitions, and the Gulf War — it doesn’t matter.

What I’ve always kept in mind from that is vulnerability can come from anywhere and at any time for any company.

So … about Facebook.

A company that seemed to have the world at its feet and a CEO with rumored presidential aspirations as recently as 16 months ago has been staggered with data controversy, security concerns, prioritizing ad revenues above content value, and waning user engagement.

And that was the good news …

That all was before Wednesday when the actual -$123 billion shitburger was served to investors by maligned Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who also had to warn his audience that the worst may not be over as the company may struggle* with earnings going forward* The loss set a dubious mark by losing the most market cap ever in a single day by a U.S.-traded company.

*Let’s use “struggle” in a sentence. A company may struggle when it can no longer sell data to shitty people for shitty reasons and play dumb about it while cashing checks.

It puts the behemoth in suddenly vulnerable territory, but it shouldn’t be surprising. Why? Pull the hood back for a second and look at the engine.

Facebook’s growth plan, for a long time, has employed a strategy of “build, and if you can’t build it better, buy out the competition” – everything from photos and chat to file transfers, mobile chat, and face recognition. In fact, a lot of Facebook’s best features came from that approach. However, the platform doesn’t have it all, especially when it comes to streaming content. It tried and couldn’t land NFL games, though it found other sports live streaming avenues. And, maybe more topical or relevant to the next point I’m about to make, it recognized about six years ago how awesome BitTorrent was as a tool for sending updates to its servers worldwide.

Wouldn’t that have been handy to have in house? The fact that the company doesn’t own the system it uses for something as important as having an ability to update all servers ASAP? Especially, say, in a security crisis? That’s airline-can’t-afford-fuel vulnerable.

You know who does own BitTorrent? And is growing in its ability to offer super-fast transactions, development, and content?

Of course, you do.

At the risk of making it sound like Justin Sun (slash Tron) just happened to be lucky and fell into securing BitTorrent, Facebook (and whoever else wanted BitTorrent) didn’t lock down a vulnerability.*

*Misstep? Overlooked? Just couldn’t get it? Wish I knew. (Feel free to confidentially email me if you do.)

Bottom line is Facebook, which appeared to be locked in for the foreseeable future as a giant, the giant, in social, online, and digital services, has a leak.

And, just a year old, Tron, with its Virtual Machine becoming fully available in a few days, its growing list of acquired capabilities, and its expanding partnerships, could very well have the kind of glue Zuckerberg needs to patch things back together.

*****

Have a tip? 

Or, what topics would you like to read about as we all grow with Crypto and Blockchain? Shoot an email to kitchenski@gmail.com with “Blog idea” in your subject line, or find me on Twitter at twitter.com/curtiskitchen. And, FULL DISCLOSURE: I am a Tron (TRX) investor. I am not a financial advisor. This content should not be used as a base for or considered to be financial advice.

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Crypto industry has the ‘Tutes?

Crypto media foolishly mixing it up with readers (and later apologizing). An old, crusty, crypto-dumb politician who has your best interest at heart and isn’t hypocritical at all yelling at a crypto dog to get off his paper money lawn.

Boy, it’s been a bit feisty in Crypto world lately.

So, how about we break off from that a bit and focus on a bit of interesting discussion that appeared via the Twitters on Thursday:

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

The article in that tweet — Institutional Investors Brought In 56% Of Capital At This Bitcoin (BTC) And Crypto Management Fund — doesn’t really need explanation, does it?

Whale talk, to me, has always seemed to conjure dreams of shadowy figures in dark corners of the Internet. Not really because I think those folks are bad people (unlike @BradSherman, who you should Tweet…he likes that), but because I couldn’t ever be sure of who or where the funds were coming from.

That’s all changing.

The Crypto world has the 'Tutes

 

Crypto discussion this week wasn’t happening just on Reddit, or Twitter, or Facebook among enthusiasts. Instead, hearings happened on Capitol Hill. The SEC just got an open letter. Crypto also has shown of late in government white papers in the United Kingdom as a solution. It’s popping up as a payment option in Iranian hotels and Spanish taxis and coffee shops. India has a Supreme Court fight on its hands. Malta wants to be “Blockchain Island”. I’m not giving up my campaign of Taylor Swift becoming the face of Tron. (RT this article to @taylorswift13 … tell her she should.)

The conversation feels so different now compared to before, when it was “oh, what’s that coin over there? Why’s it worth so much?” It’s now, “How do we, as ‘X’ nation, use the technology and currency?”

Real questions + real discussions = eventual real answers and adoption.

Jesus H. it feels nice to say that out loud.

Feels even nicer to know, if we go back to that referenced tweet graphic above, that governments are having those talks not because they want to, but because they are being asked to. It’s being demanded. All the way down to something specific like ETF funds. Big, fat, hairy, swinging institutional money wants in, in earnest, so it is demanding structure from the politicians it helps put in those seats.

So yeah, Crypto has a deep rumbling in its belly. It definitely has the ‘Tutes.

And it feels like it’s just a matter of time before sh….uh… profit winds hit the institutional fan.

*****

Have a tip? 

Or, what topics would you like to read about as we all grow with Crypto and Blockchain? Shoot an email to kitchenski@gmail.com with “Blog idea” in your subject line, or find me on Twitter at twitter.com/curtiskitchen. And, FULL DISCLOSURE: I am a Tron (TRX) investor. I am not a financial advisor. This content should not be used as a base for or considered to be financial advice.

Cause of death: Twitter Bull Run; The deceased: The ICO Journal

Over the past five years, Twitter really hasn’t changed much in the way people use it. Sure, communities are better defined (because we all now know how to hashtag), and there is never a shortage of anonymous tough guys and girls (because…yeah). But, all in all, the platform really hasn’t offered anything new or shocking.

Except…

Even as someone who has served professionally in public relations, marketing, communications, and full-time media roles, it blows my mind, more now than ever, when a brand proves it has zero clue how to use Twitter (or social media in general).

The latest regrettable* example: The ICO Journal.

*Regrettable only because it was wholly preventable. Then again, ol’ Chuck Darwin has an award named after him for a reason. And, at some point, it just gets hard to feel bad for uncoordinated folks who believe they can outmaneuver raging bulls.

So, what caused all of this?

On Tuesday, over several hours, The ICO Journal’s Twitter controller cannonballed like a champ into a shallow pool and hit his or her ass flat on the bottom – from both a journalistic and social media management view point – beginning with this:

Several followers who didn’t appreciate the “dummy” label soon chimed in, and that number grew to many in short order. Meanwhile, the Journal account didn’t seem to mind the new attention, doubling down on that comment with other colorful adjectives to describe Tron enthusiasts they find to be offensive:

It continued, but really, what’s the point in a play-by-play at this stage. It comes down to this: nobody likes a self-important, condescending jerk – especially when there isn’t a good reason for it. And, the result (as of this writing) was a Tron-crowd-led bull run over the account and decrease in about 300 followers.

Earlier, I said this was all wrong from two points of view: journalistic and social media management. Let’s chat about those.

The tweet that began the entire fiasco – even prior to calling out Tron fans – was actually a retweet from a known Tron antagonist (I just joined the crypto community in April, and I’ve already seen the originator blocked by several others) who wanted to peddle a conspiracy theory as hot news and found a willing audience in the ICO Journal account manager.

Instead of (at the very least) vetting the information source and (at least pretending to try) finding more information, the IOC Journal posted it as a “maybe/might have/if/could be possible” rumor.

That flies under my personal level of comfort if I’m running a branded media account. Then again, they all have different standards, you know, like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman – who would do everything but kiss on the mouth.

However … then it got Richard-Gere-just-called-you-a-whore ugly.

Immediately, instead of promising to dig more or work to validate the claim, the account then turned the burden of proof on the public and chose to believe that because nobody would play their game and answer with hard evidence that their conspiracy wasn’t true, then it must be a real something.

(Never mind you spent most of the afternoon rolling around in an unnecessary wrestling match while the entire crypto world had its best day in months. Silly.)

Oy vey.

Look, account person, the public isn’t the media. It isn’t the public’s job to do your job. If you believe there is a question to be answered, a case to be solved, etc., it’s on you. Otherwise, you’re lazy and doing a disservice to your brand and the beat you cover. Or, you’re just gossip.

I don’t think that’s what you’re after, ICO Journal, so do better. Your shrinking audience deserves the best effort you can give.

As for the social media management side, everyone wants to be the master snark these days, don’t they? I hate to break it to you, but not everybody is Wendy’s Twitter. From what I’ve watched, you certainly aren’t, so maybe ease up on the snark since it seems like it might be your Mogwai. You just aren’t ready for the task of using snarky humor in your tweets.

Grow up. Learn some responsibility in your role as a crypto and blockchain info source. And, maybe, just maybe, we’ll see you and Gizmo all grown up in a sequel.

*****

Have a tip? 

Or, what topics would you like to read about as we all grow with Crypto and Blockchain? Shoot an email to kitchenski@gmail.com with “Blog idea” in your subject line, or find me on Twitter at twitter.com/curtiskitchen. And, FULL DISCLOSURE: I am a Tron (TRX) investor. I am not a financial advisor. This content should not be used as a base for or considered to be financial advice.

Dear Taylor Swift, your music rights unicorn is alive. Its name is Tron.

Dear Taylor,

This letter probably comes 3.5 years too late, but better late than never, right?

In the middle of 2014, you asked Wall Street Journal readers where the music industry would be in 20, 30, or 50 years. You opined that “music should not be free, and my prediction is that individual artists and their labels will someday decide what an album’s price point is.”

Taylor, you finally have a way to cut through the noise of piracy and artists not getting what they deserve. That way is Tron.

You were willing, at that point, to be the example in your industry by pulling your music off of Spotify. (We also know you went back on that later, but hey, business happens.)

Your point was solid then, and it’s better now. Why? Because the technology you, and all artists, desperately wanted and needed in order to protect what’s yours – and be paid for it – now exists. It’s called Tron. (Hollywood is watching after Tron bought BitTorrent, if you hadn’t heard that.)

What does Tron do? It cuts out middle men. It lets you sell your art directly to your fans at the price they and you deserve. It cuts down piracy, finally.

You need Tron. It has the scale to handle your fan base’s requests. It has smart contracts that leave you in control of pricing – and getting paid for every download. It is a blockchain system built for the entertainment industry. It is the content unicorn you dreamed about years ago.

And Tron needs you. You see, because you were smart enough and brave enough to buck the system in 2014, and because you are you – a transcendent, world-loved, public-reaching icon – you are the perfect person to take Tron to the larger general public. Right now, Tron founder Justin Sun is doing great work as a marketer, but he’ll never have your appeal. For many reasons.

This is the cause you picked up in 2014. This is your chance to drive the point home with a real-life example of how things could be so much better for artists going forward.

This is proving to remaining doubters how serious this is to you and how you are a true industry leader.

This is your moment.

There’s no way around calling it one, but I didn’t write this to be a pitch letter. I wrote this as someone who sees a way for you to carry your flag up the last part of the hill. You started this thing. You finally have a way to finish it, and finish it in only a way that you, Taylor Swift, can.

As a content producer myself, I’m pulling for you to do so.

Sincerely,

-ck

****

Have a tip? 

Or, what topics would you like to read about as we all grow with Crypto and Blockchain? Shoot an email to kitchenski@gmail.com with “Blog idea” in your subject line, or find me on Twitter at twitter.com/curtiskitchen. And, FULL DISCLOSURE: I am a Tron (TRX) and Ripple (XRP) investor. I am not a financial advisor. This content should not be used as a base for or considered to be financial advice.

Hollywood eyeing Tron/BitTorrent?

“The old guard are following events, and watching carefully.”

A few weeks ago, the public general reaction to Justin Sun and Tron purchasing BitTorrent ranged on a scale from “BitTorrent is still a thing?” to “What’s a Tron?”

Within the blockchain and crypto communities, however, the move created one hell of a buzz.

In that excitement, Tron loyalists have begun digging into BitTorrent’s history. What they are finding are loads of examples of exactly why Justin Sun made it a priority to add not just any peer-sharing apparatus, but this one. 

Some of what was uncovered in recent days:

– Though it made news this past week by visiting with Sun, Twitter was on board with BitTorrent … all the way back in 2010.

– So was Facebook.

– At its core, BitTorrent’s Paygate service in 2014 was headed in the right direction for putting a lot of money back in the pockets of artists.

– And, an added bonus for you: Want to know why the Tron/BitTorrent match is absolutely perfect? Read this 2014 piece from the Harvard Business Review and keep Tron in your mind as you consider the article’s final paragraph.

Putting ALL of that aside, it’s no secret that Hollywood itself knows BitTorrent’s potential power. It also has been watching BitTorrent’s move. “The old guard are following events, and watching carefully,” a Hollywood production insider told me.

It all has brought legitimacy to Tron’s stated larger vision of decentralizing the Internet and putting creative control back fully in the hands of entertainment creators.*


*If you’re new to this concept, do you know Taylor Swift? She famously wrote an opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal in 2014 and in it said:

“It’s my opinion that music should not be free,
and my prediction is that individual artists and their labels
will someday decide what an album’s price point is.”

Swift was almost right, except, with Tron’s smart contracts abilities, an artist wouldn’t even need the label if they didn’t want to go down that road. Thinking of her words now and pairing her thoughts with today’s Tron option…

Taylor Swift, with her iconic stature, is the unlikely mass-appeal hero that Tron needs and should use to break through to the general public.


But, even still, there seemed to be a large amount of doubt circling Justin Sun’s project – reflected in Tron’s trading price, not to mention in the confidence of pump-addicted detractors willing to share their well-reasoned, logical thoughts via Twitter.

Their issue, of course, is that they don’t, won’t, or can’t see past Tron as anything more than a cryptocurrency. That’s a shame because they’re missing the point.

According to digital content producer Robert S. Seppälä, Tron’s nabbing of BitTorrent is the real deal-maker – far ahead of the Tron token that so many one-pump chumps are hoping to cash in on.

“I agree the ]TRON] currency is cool, but beyond the bean counting, I believe it’s the content and entertainment delivered in the future that will drive this new world of decentralization through Tron,” said Seppälä, who is producer, director, and writer for EverTell. “It’s exciting.”

From many accounts, he’s not alone in that thinking.

****

Have a tip? 

Or, what topics would you like to read about as we all grow with Crypto and Blockchain? Shoot an email to kitchenski@gmail.com with “Blog idea” in your subject line, or find me on Twitter at twitter.com/curtiskitchen. And, FULL DISCLOSURE: I am a Tron (TRX) and Ripple (XRP) investor. I am not a financial advisor. This content should not be used as a base for or considered to be financial advice.

The Crypto Chronicles: Fear the Sun

In a town somewhere off the main highways, where the local economy has been supported by a new mining industry, afternoons are filled with the hum of a power grid that dominates the landscape. In the evenings, in fact, everything bathes under digital light because miners never sleep.

Conversations at the local tech bar lately have centered on recent heavy rains, which have washed away many money trees. Add to that the increased rumors of new government oversight and laws regarding the town’s economy, and folks are nervous, even if they can see brighter days ahead. 

In fact, the sun has been peeking through the clouds lately – a lot more in the past three months. It’s made for a pleasant Friday evening, where we find several of the adult guys huddled on the bleachers during a high school football game … and keeping an eye on the sky.

As we settle on the metal seat next to the group, just within earshot, I’ll take a moment to welcome you to the beginning of the Crypto Chronicles …

Bitcoin: I’ll be damned. I thought it might rain again. It’s been a doozy this year. My money trees are barely producing fruit.

Tron: No kidding. I have lots of money trees but nothing on them. Hoping the sun finally comes out and stays out soon. I think it’s supposed to end of July sometime. That should help.

(Ethereum grumbles something)

Bitcoin: What’s that, Eth?

(A bit louder, Ethereum speaks, albeit much more slowly than the others)

Ethereum: The sun. Screw the sun. It’s overrated and doesn’t really do anything.

Cardano: Okay, easy, Eth. What’s the sun ever done to you?

Ethereum (louder still, but still slow and showing signs of strain with the increased energy): What’s it done to me? You serious, Clark?

Cardano: Oh, shoot. Here he goes. Guys … c’mon. Someone want to help here, please?

Bitcoin: Eth, no need to get worked up. We know you don’t like sun. Some people just don’t dig it.

(Ripple looks up from his Wall Street Journal app on his iPad)

Ripple: Yeah, some people are idiots, too.

Cardano: Ripple! Would you stop? I think it’s obvious Eth is having a hard time.

Ripple: That’s pretty sweet coming from the guy who just tried to kiss Tron on Twitter a few days ago. You get those digits?

(Doge, decked out in a cartoon dog t-shirt, cargo shorts, and a backwards ball cap, giggles and breaks into song)

Doge: And this is craaazy. So, here’s my number. Call me MAYYYY-BE!

Cardano: Hey, partnerships are important. We all know that. Right?

(Tron nods and whips out his smartphone, adorned in a bedazzled Jack Ma jacket. Ma’s face is in the center. His pupils are tiny Tron diamonds.)

Bitcoin: Man, that’s just weird.

Tron: I like it, and it’s mine, and it’s precious.

Ethereum: Seriously, you couldn’t be dumber.

Tron: Wanna race?

Ethereum: I hate you like I hate the sun.

(Ripple sighs and puts his iPad away.)

Ripple: So, I just read that our free-wheeling days might be numbered.

Bitcoin: What’s that mean?

Ripple: Well, you know how you were allowed to run a lottery and basically got to make up the rules for the game while you ran it? Because nobody really knew what kind of game you were playing? And then you raked huge because tons of people just started throwing money at it because they didn’t want to miss out? But nobody cared because you shared the wealth with a whole lot of people who signed up to play at the beginning?

Bitcoin (dreamily): Yeah … that was so darn fun.

Ripple: Apparently, it was so fun that our government and regulatory friends think they want in.

Cardano: A little cooperation and structure might be nice, actually.

Ripple: Might be, especially in the financial industry.

Tron: And entertainment.

Cardano: And science.

(Ethereum mutters again.)

Doge: Dude … you suck when you do that.

Ethereum: I just said I hope you all burn in hell. Especially Tron.

Bitcoin: Bitter isn’t a good look on you, my man.

Ripple: Have you ever seen him dressed any other way?

Doge (singing): Cuz ev’ry girl’s crazy ’bout a sharp-dressed man!

(Tron jumps up, dances, and takes a selfie with everyone behind him.)

Tron: Yeah!

Ripple: He wasn’t singing about you, T-shirt boy.

Bitcoin: Okay, so more on this regulation thing…

Ripple: There’s not a lot there, yet. But, while we’ve been setting up our products in town here, countries are starting to notice how cool our way of life is.

Cardano: It is pretty sweet. Maybe sharing with them is a great option! I can tweet an invite!

Ethereum: Dumb.

Cardano: You have something better in mind?

Ethereum: I might. Just give me 10 years.

Tron: I can do it in a minute.

Doge: That’s what your girlfriend said.

Bitcoin: Ohhhh…. watch that Tron burn!

(Tron takes another selfie with Doge)

Tron: Good one, Doge. Actually, I’ll name this Snap “Burn, Tron, Burn!”

Ethereum: Stop.

Tron: I’ll snap right now. My peeps will love that. They love how fast I am.

Ethereum: Jesus H. … stop it.

(The sun breaks out from the clouds overhead)

Tron (looking up): Yeah! Maybe I’ll put a big ol’ sun on it.

Bitcoin: Ah, damn it. Here it…

(Ethereum stands up, clenches his right fist, and swings, too slowly, at Tron. The momentum carries Ethereum off the bleachers and onto the ground. Doge hops down and stands over him – his smiling face inches from Eth’s.)

Doge: Duuuuuuude. Swing, batter, batter! Swing!

(Tron jumps down in front of the other two, smart phone in hand, arm extended)

Ethereum: You mother…

(The image shows on Tron’s device.)

Tron: Totally going on Twitter. Holla!

****

Have an industry tip? What topics would you like to read about as we all grow with Crypto and Blockchain? Shoot an email to kitchenski@gmail.com with “Blog idea” in your subject line, or find me on Twitter at twitter.com/curtiskitchen. And, FULL DISCLOSURE: I am a Tron (TRX) and Ripple (XRP) investor. I am not a financial advisor. This content should not be used as a base for or considered to be financial advice.