John Karony, Josh Chilcutt, Hayden Wing and Jonas Harmer
Welcome to SafeMoon’s first Table 32 Podcast episode, Take Me to Your Leaders!
The podcast is a pilot project, so we welcome all input on the title, the format, and the guests we interview, so be sure to tune in!
In the pilot episode SafeMoon leaders John Karony, Josh Chilcutt, Hayden Wing and Jonas Harmer are open, enigmatic and a little irreverent as they pull back the curtain on life at the helm of a fast-paced company poised to impact the world and influence the DeFi ecosystem for blockchain technology. The group covers everything from product development to their favorite lunch as they welcome the world to the new SafeMoon Studio to answer candid questions and share their personal views.
[00:33:22 - 58:31]
To read Part 1, click here!
Five Year Goals
[Timestamp 00:33:22 - 00:37:42]
In an ideal world where #SafeMoon accomplishes its five year goals, what does the ecosystem and exchange look like and what role is it playing on the world stage? How has SafeMoon impacted people's lives?
John: Well, that is a loaded question.
Jonas: That's a deep one.
John: That is a very deep one.
John: Uh, yeah.. Next!
Hayden: Thank you, next.
John: I mean, I talk about this all the time. We're playing Infinite Game. So, and one of our strengths within SafeMoon is our ability to pivot to an ever-evolving industry but we always have, first off, from the product side: security, quality and accessibility are three things we always look at; and then, kind of, that fourth one that, like, truly matters is impact. What impact does this have on the world? Even down to some of the patents that we filed or have filed and that are pending. There's uh– it's very, very impact focused and it is a combination between blockchain, telecom and energy and some other, some other magic that I won't go into. Some other magic.
Hayden: Some magic.
John: Is that copyrighted? Anyway.
Josh: ‘But also, I think we're– we're now at a place where we're starting to actually– Where you've spoken of venture philanthropy.
John: So, that. That, right there is.. I don’t think people understood when I talk about entropy. Yeah, I know it’s like everything exists in entropy and entropy is basically just– you know what? Let me read off the official definition.
Josh: That’s kind of boring.
John: I know.
Josh: ‘But I mean, the thing is, like now, so–
John: “A thermodynamic quantity representing the unavailability of a system's thermal energy for conversion into mechanical work, often interpreted as a degree of disorder or randomness in the system.” Basically, everything lives in chaos and what I was talking about when it comes to venture philanthropy is being able to identify the chaos and actually understand that it isn't actually chaotic and there is a pattern to it. Then, taking advantage of that entropy, putting it into the system in which you want to leverage that entropy, that chaos, and then eventually allowing it, under your terms, to go back into a chaotic existence.
Josh: ‘But I think when we're looking at doing the venture philanthropy, a lot of organizations– they have an idea of what they want to do and so they go into a country or into a community and try to instill their change but they haven't engaged the community to find out, What do ya need? It's like, you know, we can do wind turbines in The Gambia but what do you need? Oh, we need to— our, our crop ecosystem is decimated.
Josh: So, do you need this or do you really need that?
Josh: So, if we help– help them do what they need first, then we can slowly, over time, develop the relationships to then say, Oh, is there an opportunity for us to do what we're interested in as well?
John: ‘And part of venture philanthropy is finding the right partners and that, honestly, is rather difficult at times, you know? ‘Because people that you start things off with, you don't usually or sometimes you don't end up working with them because unfortunately, in a lot of circumstances, people's true nature comes out.
Josh: ‘And their interests, your interests aren't always aligned–
John: ’And maybe their interest isn't necessarily 100% aligned towards impact and you have to always keep that into consideration and not be so locked in where you give power to create impact over to someone else, to where the impact is then reduced and that's something that we've, we've focused heavily on, is making sure that a lot of the products and services we build supplement the impact “stuff“ that we want to accomplish.
Josh: So, I guess the answer to that question is, you know, we're still developing, we're still growing, we're still iterating but we're also, you know, the representations that you've made, John, about what we are and what we want to do. We're now getting to a stage, into a phase, in the business life that we can start doing that venture philanthropy, start meeting with people, start talking to–
John: You and I are going somewhere.
Josh: Yep. We are going somewhere.
John: We’re going somewhere.
Josh: ‘And we're going to talk to some people.
John: ‘And some, some people.
Josh: Around the uhm– how we can do good and give back.
Hayden: Can Jonas and I go?
Josh: There's a height restriction now. No, maybe both of you balance out to about six foot–
John: No, no, no, no, no. He, he tips it over.
Josh: Oh! Right, right.
John: It's a combination. It's plus, not, not a substitution.
Josh: Gotcha. Gotcha.
Jonas: It's all right. We’ll–
Hayden: Well, I guess we're not going.
Jonas: We’ll hold down the fort back here.
Hayden: Of course you will.
John: Um, This is a good one. Uh, It's talking about...
[Timestamp 00:37:42 - 00:41:05]
How far do you expect the SafeMoon blockchain to be utilized?
John: ’And they give some examples regarding, like, utility,
manufacturing and farming as well as, like, a world ledger. All right. So,
loaded question again.. Blockchain is a new– Actually, it's not new. It's been around since the eighties?
Hayden: It's been around for a while. Lynn knows.
John: Lynn knows when it was invented. So, it's been around for quite a while. Maybe in different forms, but it's been around for a while. It is a very versatile, versatile tool that you can use to create or to measure immutable data or create immutable data that can’t be changed, modified, whatever else. Um.. So, where can we apply it? It's– I think we're limited by our innovation and our creativity. Um, I think that's– That's, that’s the limitation. So, short answer is everywhere we can.
Josh: ‘But even outside of monetary gain and monetary benefits– Um, you know.. A lot of having a supply chain and logistics background, the ability to use the blockchain technology to, to say, like Wal-Mart buys a seed from a farmer in some third world country that gets planted. They can track, basically, that seed and all of the products it makes to the end-using customer and if there's a product recall or there's something that happens, they can source back at what stage, at what point through the blockchain and have the ledger be the data that carries everything across.
Hayden: It also creates honesty. Think about, like, just marketing in general. They can say whatever they want and do we really know, like, if it actually came from that third world country? Did they actually go to that, and source it from there and it ended up in Walmart or are they just getting it from–
Josh: Is it a sustainable resource?
Josh: Or are they going and like, you know, cutting down rainforests to go and plant trees?
Hayden: Exactly. So, you know.
John: ‘And being someone who dealt with a metric ton of data, regardless of what I was using it for, but a metric ton of data– Quality of data, where it comes from and whether it's clean data, dirty data or somewhere in between is super, super important when you're trying to provide analytics towards a certain problem or give someone a commander or a– So, what? Why do you actually care? ..Well, here's the data. Here's what it is. This is my prediction. This is why you should care.. Um, and having that quality data—‘and what blockchain enables us to do is actually have quality data that's provable, that it's actually quality data versus just ehh.. Um–so, short answer is everywhere we can. We will use our SafeMoon blockchain wherever we can and it is very much in the works, and you know, I talked about this previously, where building stuff is 90% prep work and then 10% actual programming. Well, when I say programming, like, people just on keyboards doing, doing the things.
Josh: Are you a T-Rex?
John: More like the cat meme or uh, Jim Carrey.
Josh: I just want to say that I appreciate the programmers and the programming and what happens and I know that you're more than just a cat.
Hayden: And a T-Rex.
John: And/or a T-Rex.
Hayden: Or yeah, Jim Carrey.
John: Let’s uhh.
Hayden: Hop on mine?
John: Yeah, hop on over to your page.
Hayden: Okay. So we've already talked about lunch, but the next question that I was brought up was, I want to point this towards Jonas because he's involved in the community a lot.
The Soul of SafeMoon
[Timestamp 00:41:05 - 00:43:02]
What do you think makes up the soul of SafeMoon?
Jonas: I would say it’s the community, which you already kind of said it's the community and like as we have partnership calls with, you know, token partners or other partners, that's one thing we always say is like, hey, the one thing that's SafeMoon and has that no one else does is our community.
Hayden: Those are the literal words he uses.
Jonas: I tell everyone that and everyone knows that, but I remind everyone that. I mean, pretty soon because we have so much stuff coming out, it's going to be a lot more. ‘But like, that's always going to be integral to SafeMoon. It’s our community, it's our following. It's just the sense.
John: It's our people, it's our tribe.
Hayden: Since we've, like, since Jonas and I have come on we brought close to 20 partners on and every time we have a sales call or partnership call, it's always, “Hey! ..The SafeMoon Army! No one else has them.” They are essential to our growth. They're essential to everything that we do here at SafeMoon. They are essential to the soul.
John: Even into our development stuff.
Hayden: Oh yeah. Of course.
John: You know, like that's why we ask questions regarding, hey, customer service, what do you guys want? ‘And I've talked about it in the past where, you know, I think I talk about it a little bit about it at Fund Launch Live, where I'll ask our tribe, our SafeMoon Army, questions.
John: ’Because we actually want the feedback.
John: ‘And then as you, as you put it, the fudders provide that other piece of feedback that we want. Like I think they feel like they're trying to do damage, but what they actually do is they enable us to be just that more effective because if we only got positive feedback like “everything's fine, everything's great.”
Josh: In the, in the DC world, the Joker was right, often.
Hayden: That’s true.
Josh: So, you know, like if we're, we're looking to these people who think that they're trying to tear us down, it helps us to realize where we need to focus.
Hayden: True. That's a great analogy.
John: So, I mean, like continue fudding?
Josh: Fud away!
John: Fud away.
Hayden: Well continue fudding but don't, don't.
Josh: We see you.
Hayden: We see you. Keep it PC You know, fudding is great.
John: It's not.
Hayden: ‘But it's not.
John: I will admit, you know, this is kind of feeds into one of the other questions like:
The Soul of SafeMoon
[Timestamp 00:43:02 - 00:45:13]
What gives you strength and persistence in times when people speak bad about you and don't believe in the long term vision?
John: ‘And then the person said, “Thank you for everything you did and the entire SafeMoon team and what they do on a daily basis.” So first off, hats off to the team that we have built. Hats off. You know, you're only seeing a small dichotomy or small demographic of who we have here at SafeMoon. You know, Kate's not on here. Jake's not on here. Lynn, Robert, David, Tom..
John: Aneesha, Pedro. All these people that come together and we really love.
Josh: So, all the people that are doing the real work, aren't able to be here right now.
John: Wait, what?
Josh: Wait, damn!
Sketch: Sketch is here!
John: Sketch is here! You always forget the guy behind the camera.
Josh: Yeah, right, right, right.
John: So, the team that we have allow/helps me at least, like, because it was more directed towards me. You guys support me and my persistence to continue the mission forward. And then the other aspect of it is the SafeMoon Army. You guys give me the motivation to keep going and keep continuing forward. ‘And yeah, there is some tough stuff that happens and especially, you know, as of recently, you know, some really tough stuff, but for me, because of you, because of the team around me and you know–and our, our impact mission and what we're trying to do–it makes it all worth it. It's a sacrifice worth making.
Josh: ’And can I just say that? Know Yoda, do or do not? There is no try. We're not trying. We are doing.
John: We are doing.
Hayden: Yeah. That was good Uncle Josh.
Josh: I got you.
John: But we have a long term vision. We have a long term mission. We're playing an infinite game and not a finite game. And I'm really glad to have the team that we have now, and I'm really grateful for the continued support of the amazing SafeMoon Army, the amazing SafeMoon tribe; and that gives me the persistence to keep driving forward, and that gives all of us the
team, like take the "I" statement out of it because those, I hate them, but gives us the persistence to keep moving forward.
[Timestamp 00:45:13 - 00:47:07]
Without detailing the products. What other industries might we see SafeMoon technology show up in?
John: That's easy. Telecom, Energy. Green energy, food?
Jonas: I do like food.
John: Food is good.
Hayden: He loves food.
John: He's got to feed those those muscles.
Hayden: So, we have, you said telecom.
Hayden: Green Energy.
Jonas: I mean the biggest thing for people to remember is that we're not like a crypto company, we're tech company.
Jonas: So the sky's the limit, really.
Jonas: Like, you know, we're trying to we're taking this technology from crypto and blockchain web3, putting it in other places.
Hayden: I don't know how many times I've had to explain to my family that I don't work for a crypto company. It's a tech company that has dabbled in crypto. It built itself upon it. But now we are a tech company.
Jonas: You say, blockchain tech company? Like a little of both worlds?
Hayden: That’s a great – Yeah, I should probably start going there. They’d ask questions about that too, like they don't know anything about it.
John: Well it’s cause you have to, you have to simplify it, water it down, like translate it through Rosetta Stone or whatever to.
John: Duolingo. Yeah, and to be able to properly communicate what we do. And, you know, we're, we're I think you can sum it down to an impact company.
John: However we get around that and like technology is the easiest way, not the easiest. It's the most efficient way to create impact in this world.
Josh: Well, we're just merging, you know, thousands of years of how business is iterated.
Josh: And integrating it into the modern day technology.
Josh: So we're combining the old with the new and trying to find our way forward.
Hayden: Once again, Uncle Josh.
John: There we go.
Hayden: I have another question, I think we're all gonna like.
Josh: Okay, I don’t like it.
[Timestamp 00:47:07 - 00:55:37]
What have been some of the funniest moments that involve the community?
Hayden: I have one in mind and I, and we just recently talked about it the day that we were all on, I think it– Was it a Space? A SafeMoon Space?
John: It was a Twitter Space, yeah.
Hayden: A Twitter Space. And his mic wasn’t working. All of a sudden everyone hears John say… *pause*
John: Alright. So here's the context. I'm on this Twitter space and we're having, like, massive issues with it. We've got ten, like ten over 10,000 people on it or something like that and I keep cutting out. ‘And then on my, on my phone, which I don't know why they don't have (they do it on desktop as well, but anyway) on my phone, it shows that I'm off and as soon as I hit off I'm like, “Are you f@#&ing kidding me,” is what I said; because this is, like, the third time, and Sketch can bleep that out. You know– I was like, Are you f@#&ing kidding me? This is happening!?
Josh: You get one more.
John: One more reason: TV rules, and all that came out; and all [of] everyone, the SafeMoon Army heard was, Are you f@#&ing? ..’And the memes that came from that just made my day. They were hilarious. ‘And you know, I try to keep it very clean. You know I served in the military. Josh has been in the military. A lot of our people are veterans and everything and, you know, I do use profanities on a, on a quite, quite often... You know, I work on my language and everything, but in six years of that, where it's just–
Josh: Let’s just say my virgin ears have been awakened to a whole ‘nother level.
Hayden: This is the first time I’ve heard a curse word from a CEO.
John: Josh no, Josh! No, no, no.
John: ’But I mean, It's never, like, directed at anything. It's just, it's just a sentence enhancer if you're using a SpongeBob reference.
Josh: Yeah, that’s right.
Hayden: What about you?
Jonas: As you said, Hayden and I go home with our ears bleeding every day.
John: No, no, no, no, no.
Hayden: HR! We just wipe them off before we get out. It's all in a day's work. What about you, Jonas? What was a community involvement that was funny?
Jonas: I don't know. I mean, anytime anything happens and the memes pop up– John kind of mentioned it. One thing that was funny for us, wasn't as much funny for me at the time, but it is now was kind of like we talked to earlier, like before I was doxxed and I was in these pictures with our partners and people were like asking who I was and I remember like reading them and then the one that did me in forever was this guy who was like, “Who’s McCheesin?” and I'm like, Oh no, and then all of a sudden, Hayden texts that in a group chat with me and John “lol,” and then John starts calling me Cheese; and it just kind of stuck.
Jonas: It’s funny now, but at the time I'm like, “Oh.”
Hayden: Yeah, he legit hated it. It was, it was amazing but it's a term of endearment now.
John: The tribe– the tribe picked your name.
Jonas: They chose.
Hayden: They chose Cheese.
Josh: You don't get a nickname that you like. You get one that you're given.
Hayden: True. I have to stick with Mac because of you. Most of them don't say it, but that's good. Josh, what about you?
Josh: I don't have any like, I think they've memed me.
John: You're behind the scenes a lot.
Josh: I'm, I'm the quiet guy. Like, I think I had 32–
John: Ahhh, 32.
Josh: 32 Twitter followers,
Everyone: Cheers! Cheers! Cheers mate! Cheers mate!
Jonas: I’ll drink to that.
Josh: SafeMoon followers or SafeMoon followers? Twitter followers. Before, before I joined because it was, like, I don't need to put myself out there. Like, I'm always the guy in the background making things happen, trying to get– just the duck on the pond. The legs are going, but on top of it, I'm just like a swan.
Hayden: Wow, Uncle Josh! Uncle Josh that was incredible.
Jonas: Wise old.
John: Yeah, wise old.
Hayden: Wise old, all these sayings came from Uncle Josh.
Josh: Yeah, right! So, yeah. So I think for me it's just been amazing that you know, that, you know, like, I've taken a picture of the studio that I didn't do it, Sketch did it.
Hayden: But still–
Josh: It blew up and it was crazy. And people like, follow this guy. So I find it just, you know, it's amazing.
Jonas: He’s an influencer now.
Hayden: Woooo congrats!
Josh: But I'm not looking to like again, like the people that were hiring, the culture they're having. It's not about the ego of the self.
Josh: You know, it's, it's about what we're building. So, you know, it's–
John: The ego of us versus the ego of self, you know what I mean? Maybe that's not the right terminology, but it's, it's more about the commonality of mission versus individuality.
Josh: But it's I think we're, we're, we've pivoted from what can we take–.
Josh: –to what can we give.
John: It's just even down to like, you know, the products that we're, we're focusing on and like one of them, like we might have innovated ourselves out of one of our products.
John: And that, that I remember we were in a whiteboard session and I'm going through this and you know, Jake is there, you're there, Hayden’s there. I'm like, Oh no, did we just innovate out of our, one of our products?
Hayden: 'But it’s great!
John: ’But we’ll still do it. We’ll still make it like it's going to come out and everything. But it's just like–
Josh: If we innovate ourselves out of a product, that we have.
Jonas: It’s a good problem.
Josh: Well, guess what? Then we've fundamentally s