Protocol of web 3.0: Exclusive interview with CEO of Po.et Jarrod Dicker
Recently, the Washington Post named Jarrod Dicker as the vice president of commercial technology and development, to take the role of intersecting engineering and revenue as well as focusing on driving growth by developing innovative revenue solutions across advertising, subscriptions and technology. Jarrod Dicker is a returning veteran who served as VP of innovation and commercial strategy at The Washington Post overseeing the research, experimentation and development team before his leave to be the CEO of Po.et, a decentralized platform for content ownership, discovery and monetization in media. In this exclusive interview with Jarrod Dicker, you will hear his opinions on how platforms such as Po.et hits the pain point of traditional publishing industry and how blockchain will change the future of the media industry.
Bianca: You mention that the media companies are facing a lot of problems like fighting for viewership, advertising, and also things such as fake news. What is the root problem they are facing and do you think blockchain is the answer for all of them?
Jarrod: So, if I put on my Po.et ahead, of course, it is. But in all seriousness, do I think blockchain today could solve all those problems? No. But I think there are applications that could be built on top of protocols on blockchain like so many of those problems and not just solve these problems but institute new solutions, right, in a new direction. When it comes to fake news, I think fake news is a serious problem.
Truth is not subjective. Perception is subjective. And I think that it's becoming a blend of that where people are getting information, delivered to them because that's the value of the web and social media, and data and retargeting. However, now they don't know what is the transparency behind these ideas and what is the concept and what was created being able to get to the root of that. Blockchain I think can solve that.
When it comes to advertising, not to say that blockchain solves all things but to be able to make things more efficient, to be able to transact, to give some sort of transparency into who's buying the advertisements, of these advertisements actually being engaged with them. I think a lot of people are leveraging and using blockchain in ways that aren't really "blockchain". Because they already have an existing business and they think that they could grow their business by doing so.
Bianca: Let's talk more about how Po.et is working. For example, I wrote a book, and I also wrote several columns, so for someone like me, how am I going to benefit from this new project.
Jarrod: So Po.et means proof of existence to read. It's the second generation of proof of existence and this was mainly targeted toward this notion that we want to be able to enable creators to write to be able to own their ideas, to achieve maximum discovery, and to build a reputation. Everything in the world revolves around reputation. If you take an Uber or if you're booking a hotel or staying at a restaurant, every single thing that you do you get transparency into the information behind it before you make a decision.
Whether you're a consumer that's reading something on a website, or reading something from creator, or you are a creator that's about to submit something or place it somewhere else. There's no transparency there today. And that's where I think Po.et is bringing something very interesting to bear is that, in order to unlock information, and in order to unlock content it needs to be based on reputation.
As a technology, what Po.et really does at its core and on the token level is build a reputation system that is tied to you and I and others based on certain things that we've done in the creative ecosystem. On our product level how it can be used today and help people start leveraging it and putting their information right on public blockchain, is being able to stand and do a kind of proof of existence and time stamp on the blockchain so anything you create, whether that's a song, whether that's a piece of art, physical or digital, or a piece of content.
Whatever you're doing you have the opportunity to step into the blockchain. And why is that valuable, is immutable, is a proof that you created it, the metadata is tied there so that if you do want to go back to the source of certain content or if you do need to prove a claim or if there are copyright issues or plagiarism issues then you do have this proof that's immutable on the blockchain that you can access.
The other side is really giving tools and access to the creators of the other ones we have. When you're stamping and owning that information how can you set prices to do content licensing through cryptocurrencies and be able to say I entered it, I created this article and I don't want to give it to a publisher. I want to sell it on my own. So each time this article is unlocked, it's going to cost 10 dollars. And it goes directly to that creator and they have the opportunity to start using Po.et as a platform to financially benefit from their creative ideas and delivery.
Bianca: Po.et claims to be the protocol of web 3.0. What is the new value that Po.et is bringing to Web 3.0.?
Jarrod: I think what we're talking about when it comes to the protocol with 3.0 is really figuring out what are the core things that make the web better. Transparency or reputation or things that make the web better. Accessibility that also made the web better.
The opportunity is that you've seen this bitcoin on blockchain. Then anyone in the world who has bitcoin can transact or purchase or share money seamlessly whereas before bitcoin they weren't able to do so. I think the same thing is true for information. The opportunity is to engage and share information on a global scale. That one can do so faster, more efficiently and more securely than ever before is extremely important and will continue to be important and that's why I really believe that Web 3.0 becomes a critical point as it's tied to Po.et. Is that building these reputations and accessibility to information and systems that otherwise would have never been done before.
Bianca: I'm curious so if po.et is going to be successful it has a great start. Will the traditional media company be able to participate or it's going to replace them?
Jarrod: Po.et is an open source, its protocol and goal is that every single piece of content or idea is on Po.et. Our goal is to work with every single creator. Large media companies like the New York Times and the Washington Post, even companies outside of media such as in the marketing and agency space. I make sure that every piece of software or Powerpoint document is on Po.et, and stamp it and own it and attribute it.
So by no means do we want to replace any of those. We're kind of looking at an underlying horizontal value that currently does not exist on the web which is trust and reputation. And can we build this so that each individual company sees a value of their best interest. So an example like maybe the New York Times is valued and being able to say all of the content and images and photographs and videos that we've created at the New York Times, we want to make sure are always attributed to us. And how we best leverage Po.et to be able to do that and make sure that anyone receives a photo that a New York Times photographer has taken knows that it's from the Times. It cannot be replicated or duplicated. There's a single source of truth.
I think what you'll see is that Po.et is the next foundational element of what the Web is being built on top of. If you think of the future Google or the future search engine, why wouldn't the future search engine be built on top of the Po.et, which can both search for something and get information that's both recent and relevant but also the top 10 most trusted pieces of content based on the marketplace and community based on reputation.
Bianca: Po.et issued its own token. Why it's necessary to have a token to make this ecosystem work.
Jarrod: So the token mechanics are critical for Po.et. Not just in terms of the access and the kind of authentication of being able to start leveraging the Po.et marketplace for licensing and for other things but to build that sort of reputation. I think you need token as incentives for people to build a reputation off of or else you could be gamed. if you want to leverage Po.et you should put your information on Po.et.
If you want to make a claim that this content is yours then you need to save your token and reputation behind it. And by doing that you have a financial incentive to tell the truth because if you are not telling the truth then you will lose your token and you will lose your reputation. It goes back into the pool of the marketplace. So, we're really looking to build a valuable protocol. We both need all of the information and that is the opportunity.
But if you want to be able to put it in the marketplace and take advantage of building a reputation, licensing, and other valuable features then you need the token in order to do so.
Bianca: Very interesting. We talked about a lot of things like token and how this mechanic is going to work in the future. A lot of people are talking about these ICOs or how these kind of new ideas are attracting a lot of money into this world. Talking about how to really put in work, for example, we need that network effect to get a lot of people to use it, to approach average people on the street. What's your strategy to make this network effect take off?
Jarrod: We're building up products that the world needs and that is extremely ambitious of me to say. But I firmly believe especially due to my background in media that there are critical things that are important for us to focus on today to help media evolve and not just maintain but grow. And that is happening faster and more efficiently in the blockchain space.
Going back to blockchain just being a technology innovation but a philosophical innovation, what I'd say is, with these network effects, if you build a product that is valuable, people will come and leverage that product. And sometimes that takes time. And I think the patience is less than normal because of the way that money is raised and expectations that white papers and product work maps and timelines provide. But I think that that's why it is so upsetting now that a lot of people that are in traditional media or traditional technology or traditional banking are now coming into the space because we're going to really be able to start leveling out what it really means to build these companies and how best to leverage the assets in the way that these businesses grow for the benefit of everyone.
Because I think the most critical thing for Po.et and for a lot of these companies is that they're successful when in use and valuable. And that's the way they're structured. Being a protocol is not just to be a revenue-generating product. There are applications that will be built on top of Po.et that Po.et has no relationship with because it's open source. The are applications being built to commercialize products and sell them on their own that we do not even know about. But that's the value that we're looking to bring here.
Staying true to that mission, having people value that mission and believe in it, spending a lot of our time talking through the product values and help us to use it and troubleshooting user questions, of being able to highlight community development and what community members are building on top of Po.et is the conversation that should be top of mind for these companies that really believe that they're going to change the future and build this afterward effects.