By Vladimir Nikitin (TOP ICO Advisor from the company Top ICO Advisors).
Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing Simon Cocking, the ?1 rated Expert on ICObench and Senior Editor at Irish Tech News among other works.
Could you tell us briefly about your background?
I have worked as an advisory board member for over 50 successful ICO launches who have achieved their ICO targets, helping with marketing, media, PR and strategy. They also leveraged my digital footprint of 118,000 followers on Twitter (31% in US) and 25,000 on LinkedIn, as well as being the top-ranked member of the People of Blockchain #1/1000. I’m Senior Editor at Irish Tech News, Editor in Chief at CryptoCoinNews, and freelance for the Sunday Business Post, the Irish Times, IBM, and others. I have also been named on many global Twitter influencer lists and speak at international events and organizations. I have been based in Ireland for over 22 years and have co-founded or founded six successful companies (and introduced one sport to the country — Ultimate Frisbee).
What was your first ICO and what challenges did you face?
My first ICOs were ClearPoll and Hydrominer and they were both very successful in their campaigns. However I think both have also illustrated that the challenges don’t end with the completion of your ICO campaign. That said, several other of my early ICOs also illustrated what the challenges are to even reach your ICO target. This is a very important fact to remember: while it may seem that money is falling off the trees when it comes to other ICO campaigns, if you don’t get everything lined up and do it right then you will struggle to reach your targets.
Which projects are you involved in at the moment?
Phew, in total it is closer to 60 than 50 now. However, as David Drake describes it, they have a short time-frame before graduation, so I am not working with that many at any one time. That said, I keep in touch with the successful ones, such as Covesting, Iungo and others. Currently I am working with Friendz, who have an insane level of interest on Telegram; last I looked they were heading towards 80,000 members in their group. Syncfab, Moonlite, and Omnitude are all going well too. Each are doing things in their own ways, but there are some common elements to those who are successful such as a good team, good organization, a good product, good strategy, and a willingness to work hard to get it over the line.
Why did you decide to continue build your career by getting involved in various ICOs as an advisor?
It wasn’t a deliberate choice. The first ICO that asked me, I said no to, because I couldn’t see how I could be an advocate for what they did and maintain my reputation as an independent journalist. I then thought about it for a month or so and considered what I could offer to an ICO. I realized the insights I can offer are around marketing, communication and media strategy, because I have been on the receiving end of so many press releases and good and bad media campaigns. Then, when another ICO asked me if I wanted to be an advisor I had a clearer idea of how I could offer value and actually help them to achieve their goals.
Then someone told me I had risen to the top ten of the ICO advisor rankings. From here things snowballed a little and I began to get more offers, and, the higher you rise in lists like this, the more offers you receive. I have currently been at #1 for almost two months now, so as you can imagine I get even more offers coming in. Not all are a good fit for me, and it’s nice to be in the fortunate position to be able to only work with ICOs that excite me and that I can offer value to.
How do you help ICOs?
I help with promotion, endorsement, strategy, media advice and insights from the 50+ other successful ICO campaigns I have worked on. The fortunate thing for me now is that experience has given me a mental checklist of things that I know are important to do well. This is why I am in demand, and fortunately I can offer useful tips and insights to each new ICO I work with. Good ICOs will have most elements covered, but as I mentioned, to really be successful you need to cover all the bases and this is where I can help and bring value.
What makes a normal ICO successful these days?
Firstly there is probably no such thing as a normal ICO. I like the variety of ICOs I work with: (Dermavir — HIV cure), Jolyy (Bulgarian based beauty care treatments), Elpis (AI investing), Quasa (shipping logistics). If you are using blockchain to fix a real and specific problem then an ICO, tokenised solution could be the right approach for you. After that decision, it comes down to how good you are at communicating, marketing, and managing your fundraising campaign. With hindsight it may seem very simple to review why your campaign was a success, but there are many points at which you can go down a potential rabbit hole. All of this means that there are no 100% guarantees of success, and if someone is promising you that, then you need to be very careful.
Can you name some major trends of 2018 for the ICOs and crypto in general?
Yes: increased regulation, which is not a bad thing as more KYC and AML will help to reduce the possibilities for scams. There are more and more wallets being opened and more people looking to trade in crypto, and institutional funds will move into this space once it becomes less risky. This will probably mean we see less speculative, fluffy ICOs (no bad thing) and more solid, well-prepared ICO campaigns. For crypto in general, I imagine Bitcoin will do its own special, volatile thing, but still, by year end be back up higher than it is now. Ether, on the other hand, offers more functionality, and you would hope and imagine it will rise again, and mature as a currency, becoming less tied to the fluctuations of Bitcoin.
Are you planning any exciting partnership(s) in the near future?
This is the part of what I do that I love — every day you never know what interesting proposal might come through in your message box. I try not to be online 24/7, but at the same time I do aim to stay on top of the emails and messages that I receive because it is cool, the offers coming in. With Nick Ayton, for example we are chatting about doing an ICO reality TV show, where the winner gets their ICO funded. With David Drake, he has already become a regular guest writer for our media outlets and we are now looking at other possible collaborations. There are other events I will be keynoting at, and an event ambassador which is fun and a great way to meet other interesting people, which invariably ends up creating new exciting partnerships, and so it continues.
Please explain why some current ICOs are hyped and others are not?
From a general principles perspective, if the team have no digital footprint, if there is no history of previous products, or evidence of the current one, if the numbers look too good to be true, well these are all important factors in identifying if you are looking at a lot of hype. With all ICO investments, you must carry out your own research and not invest solely on FOMO (fear of missing out) or simply because everyone else is raving about it. Beetoken for example had a lot of hype and that didn’t end well.
Do you think 1 Bitcoin will ever cost over 100k USD?
Yes, eventually, and higher.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Thanks, it’s been fun, and that’s probably long enough for our readers, but everyone is welcome to drop me a line via Linkedin or our media outlets and we will do our best to help.
Last thing: how can people find out more about you & your work?
Twitter, Linkedin, Cryptocoin.News and IrishTech News is where I seem to spend most of my time these days! Thanks for having me.
Below are some links to connect with Simon and his work:
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