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Getting screwed over by senior management ... and why blockchain is the answer!


So the start of this short article was actually the response I had made to another post on Leo Finance earlier today. I kept writing as I found I had a bit more to say, and then my comment reply became too long and started venturing off-topic so to speak lol, so I thought maybe it deserved a little post all of it's own ;-)

This is my own perspective, based on personal experience of a few things I have come across recently here on Leo Finance. One is the issue of early adoption of cryptocurrency and blockchain and the benefits of jumping in feet first into the relatively unknown. The second is based on some of the key benefits of blockchain over centralised systems which would have been of major benefit to me in the 1990's had it existed viz: transparency, security, and protection. I will explain how both of these are so important and would have made a huge difference to me in the days when cryptocurrency and blockchain were simply wonderful ideas within the minds of some extremely clever individuals.


Early adoption of any new technology that has massive positive implications for humanity, can be very rewarding. It gets you ahead of the pack, slightly further along the adoption curve, and inevitably increases the financial rewards available to those who get in at the outset. I missed out on Bitcoin. I had heard of it in the early days but like so many others, it was an unknown entity to me. I had no experience of it and everything I read in the media suggested that it was very high risk; too high risk and that it wouldn't be around for long! The cost of entry seemed absurd for something that was above my head in complexity and so I didn't bite. I should have! If only I'd had the knowledge and courage to jump in, even with a small investment, and start stashing away those seemingly low-value tokens...It's crazy because I'm one of those people who, if the price of entry is affordable, I jump in feet first if I fall in love with the concept and utility of new tech. I love anything and everything that pushes the boundaries and possibilities of humanity's limits; that offers new solutions to age-old problems; that provides promise and hope where none existed previously. Bitcoin itself still has a way to go and the opportunity is still there to a much lesser extent, in relation to the growth rate that early adopters achieved. I am getting in slowly now, although I do have a small bag of Eth and other alts at the moment that I have bought over the past 6 months. I only got into crypto in March but I am so glad that I am in before it explodes completely, in a positive way. At least the opportunities for the top cryptocurrencies, as an investment for higher growth, still exist, as it may not one day when the ones that survive become more widely accepted standard decentralised currencies and probably have a far more stable value than their current volatility suggests.


The emergence of crypto and blockchain is a bit like the birth of the internet, which started slow, had its doubters, and then exploded. I started using the net at University in the early 1990s and would log on every day to chat in forums and make connections with people around the world. I loved the genuine engagement and the potential for learning. Ironic that I actually missed a few Uni lectures each week just to get my internet hit and learn from others in far away lands ;-) It was like a drug and I was addicted. I could see the potential a mile off and just could not understand anyone who couldn't. I love that 3 decades later and I am still connecting, engaging, and learning online, but this time on blockchain and earning from my engagement and authorial works, which are primarily creative pieces in Proof of Brain community.

When I finished Uni, I was still living at home and convinced my parents to get a dial-up modem at home using an old-school telephone handset so that I could continue to engage with the wonderful connections I had made in those early days online at University. It was painfully slow and I can still hear that darn beeping pattern in my head of the modem dialing up to the net: You know the short burst of beeps, followed by the high-pitched scream of the 'handshake' and finally the long hissing of the data stream which sounded like a bunch of radio interference on your FM radio as to tried desperately to tune in to your favourite station ;-) Fond memories indeed!

When I started working, I was shocked that the company I worked for, which was a major vehicle finance bank in South Africa, did not have a website presence. I advocated for it and was shut down. I advocated for email and was laughed off. It was seen as a social outlet only; something that staff would abuse. It wouldn't last, let alone be of any use for commerce. Ha! Look how that turned out!

A couple of years later and we still didn't have our own commercial website, operating only under our parent umbrella. We had a vehicle repossessions department that ran auctions once a month across the country and I recognised the absurdity of having so many vehicles being transported across the country to a centralised location so that an in-person auction could occur. The sheer costs and logistic challenges were outrageous at times. So, I advocated again, and this time wrote a paper which was presented at a Junior Management Training seminar wherein I presented the plans for an online vehicle auction platform, which would use 3d live video technology and online bidding with all details of the vehicles online, videos clips of the cars, links to valuation tools, maintenance histories etc. This time, my idea gained traction! It was encouraged and pushed in front of the regional Manager who sent it on to the Repossession manager for review. I heard nothing ... for months.

I followed up through the correct channels and still received no feedback. Then one day I was standing chatting to one of the company PAs and she was telling me about this amazing new idea that the Repo manager had come up with that she was busy typing up for him for his MBA thesis. Wait for it...you guessed it! ...it was my idea to take our business online and implement an online auction house. I literally reeled in shock. I was blown away! The audacity that he had had to have stolen my idea as his own and used it as the basis of his MBA thesis!

I marched straight into the MDs office and lodged an official complaint. I was promised that if anything came of the idea that I would be suitably rewarded. Not completely what I wanted to hear as I thought the offense was sackable at the very least. Anyway, I ended up being called into the office of the Legal Manager and asked a bunch of questions with profuse apologies being made to me. Apparently, both the Legal and Repo manager were raked over the coals by the Regional Manager for what had happened. But...here's the rub, and I am sure it will surprise very few of you. The MBA submission went ahead, the Repo manager won accolades and went onto earn a promotion at work as a result. The companies website and auction house were born off the back of my idea. I on the other hand got nothing, not an apology, not a thank you, not a single bit of recognition.


Honesty and Integrity in themselves are innate values or virtues that one either has or does not have, and lack of honesty and integrity has its price. Realising that they could not be taught or learned, and that ethical values clearly were not at the heart of the managerial structures within the organisation that I was working for, I resigned at the first opportunity. I wanted to be part of a team that valued each other, individuals who had each other's back, and weren't instead focussed on how quickly or slowly to turn the knife! Now, perhaps I was just naive, but in those days, if you submitted an idea to your boss or to a more senior official, it was handwritten or typed on a pile of paper, and stapled together in a binder. There was no evidence as to its origins, be that authorial or related to timestamping. Everything was taken on trust. These days, I would never risk an idea as important as the one that I had had to a paper submission.


These days we have the internet. We have time and date stamping. But more importantly, we have a public blockchain. Anything and everything that we do on the blockchain is recorded transparently for perpetuity, providing time-stamped, audit trails of our digital lives. It is immutable. Nobody can dispute it. It provides a priceless layer of security and protection for everyone on it and exposes malicious activity to the masses. Nobody can hide. If blockchain had existed in the 1990s... things would have turned out very differently for me and my idea, and for the people who screwed me over, to say the least.

So for me, there is a great future to be had in blockchain and crypto and I am not going to stand by on dry land and be a passive observer of the fireworks that are yet to come. No, I want a seat right in the middle of the greatest show on earth!

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