Meet The Women of The Blockchain: Nicole Boyar Founder of Rare Species and CMO of shEOS
Nicole Boyar – “Our company is a female founded, female led company with a powerful mission, beyond our role as a Block Producer on the EOS blockchain. With blockchain we are building a whole new universe and we have the opportunity to break the mold, and to address some of the imbalances, out-moded discrimination that is strangling the Old World. With shEOS, our community outreach will take the broader form of education. And at first, we will focus or bringing to parity the ratio of men to women who work on the blockchain and are served by it.”
I had the pleasure of interviewing Nicole Boyar Founder of Rare Species, a marketing collective launching disruptive companies, Co-Founder and CMO of shEOS, a female-owned and managed Block Producer on the EOS network.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! What is your “backstory”?
Creative problem solving is what makes me tick! That’s what attracted me to marketing: My work is all about finding creative solutions for connecting people to the companies and products they want and need.
I have always loved good storytelling. My first startup was founded at the age of 15: it was a web development company focused on growing small businesses. I graduated from a “global headquarters” located in my family home to marketing positions in fields ranging from non-profits to the music business, and eventually landed at a young agency called LeadDog Marketing Group. At the time it was a small shop that gave me a breakthrough opportunity to roll up my sleeves and immerse myself in every vertical including brand strategy, experiential, social/digital, partnerships, and more. They say that if you want to own a restaurant, first be a waiter, a host, and a chef. I am so glad I got to do it all! Programs I led earned me a diverse shelf of awards including a Telly for Best National TV Commercial, a Reggie for Best Digital Campaign and diverse leadership opportunities on integrated global campaigns for industry leaders like Audi, Intel and (my personal favorite) Barbie!
I fell in love with blockchain technology as soon as I discovered it, and, being a natural-born problem solver, I dove in face first. I did a stint with AirSwap leading the marketing behind the launch of their decentralized token marketplace. Shortly after that, we launched Fluidity Summit, kicking off BlockChain Week NYC with a 700 person summit on the future of finance. I made blockchain marketing my full-time focus: I founded a badass collective focusing on launching companies and products built on the blockchain. I am also a Founder of shEOS, and I serve as the CMO of this innovative and forward thinking Block Producer for the EOS Blockchain. I love the applications of blockchain technology, I love working alongside visionary entrepreneurs, and I love the fast-paced fun I have at work every day.
Can you tell me about the most interesting projects you are working on now?
Now I understand why my mother gets so frustrated when I ask if I’m her favorite child! But since you need to know: I’m collaborating with an incredible crew of brilliant minds to launch Verses, the foundation for Web 3.0, the spatial web. I am beyond thrilled and deeply honored to work on a project so profound and that will change our day-to-day lives for the better. Verses have built the protocol that will allow all of the future-thinking technologies across AR, VR, and MR to communicate and flourish. To give you a clearer picture of what I am talking about: today, we live “inside” our phones heads down playing on a flat internet that lets us search pages and content like a library does. The protocol Verses has built will take technology out of our phones and into the world, spatially. Our new technology will enable us to look up and out, to engage with the world. And the most rewarding part of this project, for me, is that we’re building the company as a non-profit. So I’ll never say any project is my favorite, but, holy crap, it’s epic!
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?
No contest: it’s my grandfather, Irving Miller, from Brooklyn, NY. A few weeks ago he turned 91, and then, days later, he had a stroke. When I called to check in on him there was a ton of noise in the background, and I asked him, “Grandpa why is the hospital so loud?” He screamed back, “Hospital? The stroke was two days ago. Now I’m on vacation, and I’m about to go to a dance!”
My grandfather taught me that life is meant to be filled with pleasure; we can do epic things AND live it to the fullest. For 20 years he’s had the same outgoing voicemail that says, “Have a great day today and an even better day tomorrow.” He showed me that’s how we can all live, with every day even better than the last.
What are the things that most excite you about blockchain and crypto? Why?
All the good we can do! The potential for applying this technology for “good” are infinite. Think tracking assets digitally in natural disaster areas to ensure the right materials and equipment get to people in need, think tokenizing water in Cape Town to help them navigate Day Zero. Projects are popping up across every side of the social impact space, and it moves me deeply to see what great minds and great hearts can do with great technology.
Efficiency. Inefficiency is my biggest pet peeve.. If I’m standing at point A, trying to get to point B, why do I need to talk to C, pay off D, walk thru E, do a dance for F? With blockchain we’ve got smart contracts, atomic swaps, all the ways to just go from A to B, skipping the scenic route.
Creativity. I don’t buy it when people claim that everything that can be thought of has already been imagined. Well, not anymore. The blockchain is like discovering a new continent. No, scratch that, a new universe, and it’s totally accessible to everyone! I can’t wait to be among the first people to explore it by taking the first steps on the land and deciding what to build on it. For anyone who loves creation, this promises to be the most exciting moment in our lives. We’re making history.
The Humanity of This Challenge. You might ask how can it be human if it’s tech? Well, it’s people who are building the technology and building the companies using the technology. There is so much thoughtful conversation happening about what we are building, the implications, using it for good and building this new universe so it’s inclusive, diverse and positive. It’s a privilege for me to be a part of it all.
What are the things worry you about blockchain and crypto? Why?
Bad Actors. For all the good that’s being done, it only takes a few bad apples to drive the hacks and the scams. The existence of darkness is an unfortunate fact, but so long as enough of us are carrying the light, eventually the darkness will drown.
Regulation. Regulators have a duty to protect citizens, and therefore they do have a place in the new world. However, regulators don’t come to their task pre-loaded with the information they need to do their job well. It’s our job to educate and inform them from the inside out.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world? Can you share a story?
shEOS! shEOS is a female founded, female-led company with a powerful mission, beyond our role as a Block Producer on the EOS blockchain. With blockchain, we are building a whole new universe and we have the opportunity to break the mold, and to address some of the imbalances, out-moded discrimination that is strangling the Old World. With shEOS, our community outreach will take the broader form of education. And at first, we will focus or bringing to parity the ratio of men to women who work on the blockchain and are served by it.
What 3 things would you advise to someone who wanted to emulate your career? Can you share an example for each idea?
“If all you can do is crawl, start crawling.” So said Rumi, the great Sufi master. I say, whatever stage of your career you’re in, just go for it, all in. Throw things against a wall, try this, then try that, and then try this all over again. Don’t sit still, don’t over intellectualize it, just start crawling and eventually you’ll end up somewhere.
Do cool shit with cool people for the greater good. That’s my career filter. A career doesn’t have to be linear or even have a logical trajectory. Ask yourself what is your filter? How do you want to feel? Make sure everything you do meets your personal standards. Don’t ever give in to an idea that doesn’t reflect what’s in your heart, and everything will fall into place.
Remember, it’s all an adventure. I’ve been so fortunate to work with smart people and successful companies, so, years later when I’ve asked “Why the heck did you choose me?” they all told me the same thing: “Because you made it fun.” I am really proud of that, even more than I’d be if they told me I was the smartest person in the room. (I’m still waiting for that one, wink wink!) Yes, we’re doing big work here: we’re crafting the future and pushing it towards the light — there is literally nothing more important — but that doesn’t mean we can’t have fun every step of the way.
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 🙂
Donald Trump, I have some very real questions. Even if it means eating an Egg McMuffin for breakfast.
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.