Meet The Women Of The Blockchain: Kathrine Olson Co-founder of Vevue
“We are making the blockchain accessible to everyone. Not to mention, we’re also demonstrating the contribution women have made to the blockchain. For example, our second film to be released on Vevue is ‘Zulu Wedding.’ This beautiful movie is produced by an all-female team out of South Africa. They are drivers of innovation. And in partnership with them and their mission to help blockchain spread throughout their country, we are dropping millions of pins with token bounties via our platform there. This is providing a great opportunity for even people who don’t have formal bank accounts to earn their first crypto. Then, within the Vevue ecosystem, they can spend that on watching this awesome film.”
I had the pleasure to interview Kathrine Olson, the 30-year-old co-founder of Vevue. Kathrine is also a mother of two young children.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! What is your “backstory”?
Thomas originally conceived of the idea to crowdsource video reviews. But he realized the incentives were all out of whack, so that’s when he turned to blockchain technology. With the blockchain, he realized that he could create powerful incentives for both producers and users of any kind of content through the micropayment system that can only function at this moment in time by using blockchain technology. And let me add here that, at the moment, one of the only blockchains that are capable of performing such micropayments at massively large levels is the Qtum blockchain.
As for me, well, I was drawn to this idea because I want to empower creative people. Right now, everyone thinks that these big, digital content platforms, like Netflix Hulu, are the way of the future. But just like the old model of powerful, centralized production studios in Hollywood, these tech companies still operate and promote an industry in which many creative people don’t ever get a shot to participate in it. What Thomas and I want to do is make it so that people who have creative flourishes and ideas actually can show the world what they are capable of; and, in turn, I want to offer them a system that can actually make them money. What I’m trying to say here is that our idea, Vevue, is meant, first and foremost, to enable creatives with the ability to share and consume content while also enabling them to make enough money using the system so that, if they want, they can pursue their artistic passions as a career. That’s hard to do in this day and age, given all the barriers to entry under the predominant system that we hope to disrupt.
Vevue is meant to be a platform that is supposed to help creative people believe in their talent, believe in themselves and believe that they can actually sustain themselves by showing the world their talent and passion.
Can you tell me about the most interesting projects you are working on now?
We at Vevue on July 10 are releasing the first ever film using blockchain. This is monumental! It’s never been done before and it shows to the world that instead of being something just for techies, the blockchain can actually have the real-world impact on the lives of many, if not most, people. This is a technological feat for both the blockchain and film industries. We’re changing the way we view and produce movies, music videos and so many other forms of creative content.
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?
First, we wouldn’t be operational if it weren’t for Qtum. They have been amazing. We were the first DApp to build on their blockchain, and they were so thrilled about the project that they invested and incubated us.
I, of course, have to include my two children. I’m grateful to them. I also want to mention that there’s an uncanny parallel between motherhood and working to build a startup. They are both 24/7 jobs that require lots of care and nurturing. The kids and our project push me to be my best every day and expand the bounds of my creativity. It’s those late nights wrangling with laundry and making sure the kids are sleeping when, suddenly, I get my “aha!” moments on what to do next with Vevue. I think being a mom and working on a blockchain project, in particular, give me a unique perspective. I’m able to translate a lot of the jargon and techie language to something that’s easier to understand for everyday people, for example, and then I use that same concept to explain the world to my three-year-old son. But more than this, I’m working to build something. I want to build a successful company with Vevue, and of course, I work to help my children become good, successful people. Both of those things drive me to work harder and harder each day.
What are the 5 things that most excite you about blockchain and crypto? Why?
- Vevue, of course!
- I enjoy saying f*u to The Man!
- As a woman, we have a chance to pioneer a new space and change ‘bro culture’ that’s come to define the male-dominated tech industry. I hope that we women can make the blockchain culture fair and balanced, and I like to think that we are.
- The blockchain is giving founders and freethinkers a chance at a good life that they might not have experienced otherwise while also actually innovating amazing concepts that stand to make things better for lots of people around the world.
- It’s a quirky space full of quirky people — myself included! — so the meetups are always surprising and fun!
What are the 5 things that worry you about blockchain and crypto? Why?
- First, there’s a lot of speculative buying of cryptocurrencies. This is overshadowing real innovations happening in the space.
- I think valuable projects are underpriced. Many of these bizarre cryptocurrencies are worth huge sums, even though they probably shouldn’t be.
- A lot of the current projects in the space are valued off of promises instead of working products and growing user bases.
- I worry about SEC regulations being too restrictive. It’s not something I worry about for Vevue, but for my own personal portfolio. If I am worried about this, then what’s to say about people still contemplating whether they should invest in crypto?
- We aren’t doing well enough to explain to the world what blockchain is. That’s why translating tech and jargon-heavy ideas into language that is approachable and understandable is one of my main goals.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world? Can you share a story?
We are making the blockchain accessible to everyone. Not to mention, we’re also demonstrating the contribution women have made to the blockchain.
For example, our second film to be released on Vevue is ‘Zulu Wedding.’ This beautiful movie is produced by an all-female team out of South Africa. They are drivers of innovation. And in partnership with them and their mission to help blockchain spread throughout their country, we are dropping millions of pins with token bounties via our platform there. This is providing a great opportunity for even people who don’t have formal bank accounts to earn their first crypto. Then, within the Vevue ecosystem, they can spend that on watching this awesome film.
Plus, Vevue allows people in South Africa and other areas that lack an ability to distribute content easily in markets like America’s an unrivaled opportunity to do so. Vevue essentially tears down the barriers in entertainment and content by using the blockchain to offer access to new markets to creative people around the world.
What 3 things would you advise someone who wanted to emulate your career? Can you share an example for each idea?
- “Just go for it. If you’re passionate about something, then go for it, even if you’re afraid of failing. Your victories will be much sweeter because you’ll have really earned them. And you’ll go through enough pitfalls and learning experiences to learn to trust yourself. I quit my corporate career in 2014 to work on Vevue with Thomas. It was a tough decision because there was lots of uncertainty at first, but it’s been a better and wilder ride than I could have ever imagined.
- You don’t know what you don’t know. So ask for help. Startups are tough, and you can’t possibly do everything yourself. This journey with Vevue has taught me that not only do I need to trust myself but that I also need to trust those working around me.
- Drink a ton of water. And definitely drink a ton of water during networking drinks and events. Stay composed! You may never know who you might have drinks with later, a business connection, your next investor, your next husband. HAH!”
Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this 🙂
Yitzi Weiner is a journalist, author, and the CEO of Thought Leader Incubator, a leading business incubator based in Maryland.
Yitzi is the author of five books and is the Editor-In-Chief of Authority Magazine. He is also a frequent contributor to Arianna Huffington’s Thrive Global and contributed to Forbes and The Huffington Post. In 2017, he created the popular, “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me” series that highlights the lessons learned from the experiences of high-profile entrepreneurs and public figures.
Yitzi is also a dynamic educator, teacher, and orator. He currently lives in Maryland with his wife and children.