“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.

‘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.

Read more:

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 Tron Virtual Machine is going to rock worlds – yours, mine, everybody’s

Sometimes, you have to let the reality of a dream settle in before you can appreciate it. Then again, being able to see that reality before anyone else is called vision, and there’s a reason why it is such a sought after talent.

Tron is fast becoming that reality for those who follow it — and many more who don’t. It’s what happens when you stop boring the public with barely recognizable terms like “mainnet”, “torrent”, and “blockchain” and instead start mixing in specific panty-droppers like “Twitter”, “Facebook”, “100 million or more users”, “music sharing”, “porn”, “biggest file sharer in the world”, “gaming”, and “Facebook”.

Hi, Tron…er…Shannon.

Yes, friends, those terms are major turn-ons, especially after they’ve all legitimately been linked to Tron in just the last few weeks. (Funny enough, BitTorrent has almost everything to do with that…which has a lot of folks beginning to understand one of the the reasons why BitTorrent was part of Justin Sun’s plan from the beginning.)

When that moment of puzzle-pieces-coming-together realization hits, I imagine it’s like that scene in American Pie when Shannon Elizabeth cozies up to Jason Biggs, who loses control immediately…twice.

Just to make the image clear (because it’s a good one):

Shannon = recent Tron news
Jason = Tron investor

But, this has happened before, hasn’t it?

  • Tron news surfaced late in 2017 about a possible connection to Alibaba, and the charts resembled a Bill Clinton impersonation of the Washington Monument.
  • Tron MainNet goes live, and folks felt like they were led on. (I’m not sure why…it’s like they mistook the vibrating bed turning on for the entire sexual experience.)
  • Ethereum “Independence Day” came and went, and instead of carnal investment bliss, many folks were bored or frustrated with sinking prices amid a prolonged token swap. (I’m still waiting, and it sucks. Thanks, Bittrex.)
  • Never mind that everyone’s current daddy, Bitcoin, keeps sticking its head in at inopportune times and thwarting Tron’s potential growth moments.

And it’s all led to Tron loyalists having to tell the rest of the world that it isn’t about the size of our .0337 coin, it’s the quality.

Hang in there, Tronics. Your Dirk Diggler “star” moment is approaching. As someone who loathes hearing and seeing such a thing from others, it is time to circle a date on the calendar.

July 30.

The Tron Virtual Machine will open for business, and there’s no reason to believe a hungry-eyed group of developers won’t flock to the Sun Bunny Ranch. The list of advantages is well-known by now (easy, cheap, high distribution potential, big partnerships, nice rewards, etc.), and the latest big piece of the machine will be available.

The rest has been extremely nice, but THAT news has me excited. Above a lot of other things, I think that’s when we all will get to see Tron fully come to life and start to grow.

And, if things go right, grow to something big enough to make even Ron Jeremy jealous.

****

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.

Tron token frustration: Where is my Tron, and how is this affecting the Super Representative vote?

Despite really exciting things on the horizon for the Tron network, including the July 31 scheduled date for the Tron Virtual Machine to come alive, there is a legitimate doubt smothering what should be real enthusiasm at this point.

The token migration is taking way too long.

Bittrex (shown here) and many other Exchanges haven’t yet restored Tron wallets. Bittrex hasn’t responded to repeated requests from users for updates.

Or, maybe it isn’t taking longer than it should, but how would you or I know? Short of vague “still offline” statuses and a woefully short current list from Justin Sun of exchanges that are fully functional as of today, neither Tron nor the affected exchanges seem willing to share at this point. Even for a well-reasoned, long-term-minded hodler, that’s not awesome. And, a sudden lack of transparency in the middle of delays gives cause for concern, which then becomes irritation while watching constant airdrop updates.

In other words, just because I’m not locked up on minute-by-minute or day-by-day value, I still want an answer to: Where are my damn tokens?

AND …

What’s going on with the Tron Super Representative election?

I just said it isn’t about the value – I should walk that back a bit. It ISN’T about the monetary value for me and many others at this point. It IS about things like not having the ability to access my tokens and take part in the Super Representative election as was promised.

That’s where, if I think about it long enough, doubt starts to cloud my Tron sky, especially as I’ve watched announcements begin to trickle out that Super Representatives are being elected/named. My question centers on how that’s happening when a giant portion of Tron hodlers haven’t been able to vote. It makes it feel completely against “Every TRX counts”, as Justin said in this April post.

That doesn’t factor in the current open-ended election, which doesn’t feel right at all. Governance, even in this case, should have enough structure to establish order. As it stands, this feels terribly loose and haphazard.

All of that said, this is not to disparage those SR’s who have been named. Nor is this a tear-down of the Tron project’s ideals. But, I think the questions are legitimate, especially as things drag forward. Everything was supposed to have been completed by June 26. It’s now 10 days past that mark.

So, an earnest ask: If you know why some or all of this isn’t a big deal, or why I should feel 100 percent confident in the election structure, please email me. I want to understand.

****

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.

Hi, Justin Sun (and Tron). It’s me, Responsibility

Dear Justin,

You matter. That’s why I’m writing to you.

We’ve met and likely will know each other for the long haul. But, in the time we have had, I’ve come to believe we’re both hardworking individuals, which means we both likely understand stress. And I bet we both can agree that a lot of people enjoy dealing with stress in fun ways like getting close to other people, breathing heavily, and bending their bodies into weird positions.

But, enough about yoga.

It’s porn we need to talk about.

Specifically, can we chat for a second about your now really famous Tweet announcing Tron being accepted as a form of payment on PornHub? The tweet you’ve since edited because it was too dirty for many to accept as the quick in-and-out joke you intended? I got it. I smirked. I moved on. But, as you quickly discovered, many – from investors to interested onlookers to media headline writers – became fixated.

Look, you and I understand that one small sex joke isn’t going to ruin things. But, this incident serves as a tapping of the microphone to test whether it is on. And, guess what, not only is it on, but it is super turned up. Everyone is watching every word and action. That happens when you launch a new blockchain, poke at industry giants, and make a nine-figure purchase of one of the world’s most recognizable file-sharing products to boost your own.

That’s what happens when – at 26 – you’ve been pegged as the Millennial Jack Ma.

You matter, Justin.

That means your words matter, and you have earned the heavy responsibility of having to know when some things are better left unsaid. Of course, that’s extremely easy to say when I’m not tempted by the same level of popularity and influence that you have, but hear me out.

You’re young, charismatic, visionary, and driven, and you are in a situation not often seen by anyone because you have a tangible product that – even in its infancy – is showing (proving?) multi-generational potential. And, despite its youth, TRON’s reach already has a worldwide audience.

Such a varied audience leads to marketing challenges, but what the audience does know, collectively, is that if TRON is going to live up to such lofty ideals like dethroning current crypto leaders and decentralizing the web, then TRON needs to act like it is mature enough to lead such a charge.

Make the deals you need to make. Let them stand on their own.

You have enough branding happening – think about the steps you took before this to create the kind of image that led entities like Charity Compassion Coin to want to use your platform and Cardano wanting to work with you. And, think about the long list of respected developers who are clamoring to be among the first Super Representatives. They are here because they respect your vision and product.

That respect shouldn’t be taken lightly.

In the end, Justin, no harm, no foul. Could have been worse. Strive to be better each day.

Yours as long as you’ll have me,

-Responsibility

****

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) 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.