Masters of Scale – Reid Hoffman: Xapo’s Wences Casares Podcast Summary

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Masters of Scale – Reid Hoffman: Xapo’s Wences Casares

What if your idea is so radical that people have trouble grasping what it is—or even believing it won’t harm them? Every founder believes their product is revolutionary, and the more revolutionary their product is, the more reassuring they’ll need to be to get consumers on board.

No one knows this better than Wences Casares, the trailblazing entrepreneur credited with bringing crypto to Silicon Valley (and convincing Reid himself). With his unicorn startup Xapo, a Bitcoin wallet, Wences aims to reassure the masses that Bitcoin isn’t as different—or as dangerous—as they may think.

A revolutionary idea

When launching a revolutionary idea or product, it’s essential to systematically persuade others to join the journey and prove its worth before inviting them on board.

To successfully sell a revolutionary product, it is important to address consumer concerns and create a sense of comfort and security. This can be achieved through clear communication and a focus on providing solutions.

Adapt to the market

Commitment to regulation and security can lead to trust and growth in the industry. For Bitcoin to reach its next billion users, it needs to be user-friendly and adapt to the changing market.

To reach the second billion Bitcoin users, companies must understand their needs and provide reassurance. Hiring locals and gaining firsthand experience can be invaluable in targeting this demographic.

Overcoming consumer fear to sell revolutionary products

When trying to sell a revolutionary product or service, it is important to reassure consumers that it is safe and not as different or dangerous as they might think.

This is particularly important for ideas that overturn expectations, such as self-driving cars or AI phone calls that can trick you into believing they are human. To lead a revolution, you need to speak a language people understand and make them feel comfortable with the idea.

Xapo’s Bold Bet on Bitcoin Security

Xapo, a Bitcoin startup, reassured people of the safety of Bitcoin by building underground vaults with elaborate security systems, protected by armed guards. This bold bet, although expensive, showed people that Xapo was serious about the security of their digital wallets.

When you are responsible for other people’s money, it’s hard to sleep at night if you don’t know if your service will be good enough tomorrow. This move seems very risky, but there is more risk in not taking that big bold bet. This revolution in Bitcoin required investing enormous time and money in conventional security measures to convince consumers to join the revolution.

You can think of Silicon Valley as being super central to getting the first billion people online. And those first billion people who were the first billion people to get online all over the world, they look a lot like people from Palo Alto, even if they’re not in Palo Alto – even if they’re in Bangalore, even if they are in Istanbul, even if they are in Paris. 

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