The Future Is Now: Arie Trouw Of XYO On How Their Technological Innovation Will Shake Up The Tech Scen
An Interview With Fotis Georgiadis
Don’t be afraid to fail because failure is just a step towards success. It’s nearly impossible to learn from success, but learning from failure is relatively easy. So, when you fail, the best use of that event is self-improvement and the desire to try again and hopefully succeed the next time you try. My investment philosophy is that I always want to invest in the first success of an entrepreneur, not the last failure.
As a part of our series about cutting edge technological breakthroughs, I had the pleasure of interviewing Arie Trouw.
Arie is Co-Founder of XYO Network, the world’s first blockchain geospatial oracle network backed with cryptography. Arie is an accomplished serial entrepreneur with a rich history of technological breakthroughs and business successes involving multiple 8-figure exit events. Arie founded XY Labs in 2012 and is a strong believer in decentralization and the creation of the integrated owner/user model.
He currently serves as Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Directors at XY Labs, Inc. At XY, he also heads the XYO Foundation, which is responsible for the open source development of the XYO Network and the promotion of the XYO Token.
Prior to starting XY Labs, Arie was CEO and Chairman of Pike Holdings. He received his Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from the New York Institute of Technology.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
I moved to Ohio from South Africa when I was seven and had to learn English. I basically fell in love with learning new things, and that interest translated over to computers when I was a very young child. I actually tore apart every machine in the house trying to figure out how they all worked — just my curious mind wanted to know. Then when I was a little older, in the early years of the internet, I started managing a bulletin board called The Sidewalk. It was just sort of a natural progression to get into coding and engineering, and here we are.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
The most rewarding thing has been seeing people use our software at scale. Having 100 people use your software, 1,000 people use it, and 100,000 or 1 million is really exciting and cool.
Can you tell us about the cutting-edge technological breakthroughs you are working on? How do you think that will help people?
XYO’s decentralized network of devices anonymously collects and validates data associated with geography, temperature, humidity, and even speed, among other components. Our unique cryptographic protocol is designed to be implemented in any project or place and in many different coding languages — ensuring the data is verified and trusted by all participants. It’s a Reality Oracle and can provide concrete data — the applications are pretty far-reaching.
How do you think this might change the world?
By leveraging a decentralized network of devices to collect and validate data from various sources, XYO can harness the power of data to address current and future real-world challenges — from directing disaster response to more accurately assessing underwriting risk, analyzing behavioral patterns, or even addressing supply chain issues.
These are just a few of the exciting use cases discovered each day on our network. With no cap for potential, our users are accelerating digital transformation on a global scale and helping change the world for the better.
Keeping “Black Mirror” in mind, can you see any potential drawbacks about this technology that people should think more deeply about? Every new technology can have flaws, nothing is without pitfalls. But, I think there’s a meaningful conversation to be had around the balance between protecting users while allowing innovation to flourish.
Similar to Bitcoin, and most blockchain technologies, the most compelling property of blockchain is the built-in accountability inherent in a fully-public ledger. This accountability derives from the fact that each transaction is completely open and viewable. Bitcoin can be interpreted as a platform that is anonymous but not private.
The XYO Network shares these traditional blockchain properties, yet, since location data is sensitive, additional thought into how privacy concerns are handled becomes necessary. For this reason, the XYO Network is built with privacy at the forefront of how its platform runs.
To accomplish this, we allow for the binding data (Bound Witnesses) to be stored on public archivists and Payloads to be stored on either public or private archivists.
Sharp tools can be used for good or evil, but if it isn’t a sharp tool, it’s not worth building.
What do you need to lead this technology to widespread adoption?
Developers. We need more developers to start utilizing the potential of XYO. We recently launched the newest version of our network, XYO 2.0, which aims to accelerate the adoption of both its proprietary technology and blockchain overall. With XYO 2.0, we’re very confident adoption will steadily increase because developers of all experience levels are invited to participate in the network and discover new and innovative ways to use its potential.
What have you been doing to publicize this idea? Have you been using any innovative marketing strategies?
XYO has a dedicated and engaged community of people from all over the world. We love hearing about our community’s ideas and use cases on social platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Our community is one of our most vital assets, helping evangelize XYO’s technology.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
My mother helped me buy a computer in the 1980s, and it changed the course of my life. I spoke about it in a previous answer, but it truly was a formative experience for me in my youth, and it has led me to where I am today. So, thanks Ma.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
As the world’s first Reality Oracle, we’re committed to making the world a better place by harnessing the power of data to address real-world issues, like supply chain disruptions or public safety monitoring. We put the power of data back into the user’s hands, incentivizing people to participate in the global data economy by validating anonymous and secure geospatial data.
What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why ?(Please share a story or example for each.)
Ok, let’s see…
- Be a jack of all trades AND a master of one. Without being a jack of all trades and understanding many things in your field, you struggle to understand the context in which you work. Without being a master of one, you’ll struggle to provide expertise and be at the top level of your chosen field.
- Always check your own work before assuming the problem lies on other people’s shoulders. The most embarrassing thing (at least to me) is to be sure others are wrong when you are actually at fault. There’s absolutely nothing lost in being modest yet confident.
- Love the journey you’re on and not just the outcome. You’re guaranteed to be on the trip and not guaranteed to get the result you’re seeking. Being an entrepreneur is much like being an artist. You do it because you’re compelled to. You’ll always be doomed to fail if you do it for the lottery ticket. But if you embrace your journey, you not only learn from it, but you’ll be guaranteed success, even if it is just for the joy of the journey.
- Having a work/life balance doesn’t require you to choose life over work when you love what you do for a living — they can be symbiotic. I can think about my projects 24 hours a day but still have time for my family, friends, and myself. This allows me to achieve at the required level to succeed without destroying my personal life.
- Don’t be afraid to fail because failure is just a step towards success. It’s nearly impossible to learn from success, but learning from failure is relatively easy. So, when you fail, the best use of that event is self-improvement and the desire to try again and hopefully succeed the next time you try. My investment philosophy is that I always want to invest in the first success of an entrepreneur, not the last failure.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
As most people know, I view myself as a type of Dataist. The view that a person is the sum of their memories, experiences, and accomplishments is something that I firmly believe. One’s legacy is the level of the sum of events that one can accomplish before time eventually runs out. I would love to see more people find purpose and direction in their lives and focus on personal enlightenment and the pursuit of self-improvement through building their legacy.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“Good enough” is never good enough. People often utter “good enough” when they give up on trying to reach the bar they set out to reach rather than when hard decisions need to be made on priorities. My goal is to put my head on my pillow every night, feeling that I tried my best that day and did not just do ‘good enough.
Some very well-known VCs read this column. If you had 60 seconds to make a pitch to a VC, what would you say? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂
At XYO, we’re constantly striving to change the world, but with tactics allowing us to succeed in lesser circumstances. Our current path for XYO is revolutionary in how it converges data-permanence and real-world integration with the virtual world. Combining that with my Dataism views, we provide ‘Data Immortality” to projects, people and organizations.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
XYO on Twitter here.
Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational.
The Future Is Now: Arie Trouw Of XYO On How Their Technological Innovation Will Shake Up The Tech… was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.