Piotr Michalak, CEO and founder of the ccFOUND.com
Chris: Tell us about the creation of ccFound. What prompted the creation?
Piotr: Google did a good job back in the days by making it easier to access information stored on computers connected to the web. Provided first that someone wrote an article about what you were looking for - and in many cases your search would end up with nothing.
Then Wikipedia did a great job organizing the world's information. But information is not applicable, only knowledge is. We have yet to find a solution to organize the world's knowledge and wisdom as we move from the information age to the wisdom era.
We want to bring back what was great about the internet by creating a community incentivised for helping each other out. By doing that we create the world's largest question and answers database translated into other languages allowing communication between nations and across the borders.
ccFOUND.com was born as a second layer over search engines as the largest aggregator of evergreen questions and answers or a “Wikipedia of questions”. In the past, when you typed a topic into Google, you’d often find Wikipedia in the first place. In the future, whenever you type a question into Google, ccFOUND.com will most likely pop up on the top.
When you’ll dig into it you will find that there are many other problems that we have solved by designing ccFOUND.com as a decentralized autonomous organization with an information products marketplace, $FOUND governance coins generating tokends and allowing the ecosystem to appreciate people who are most helpful to others.
Chris: Who is your target audience?
Piotr: You wouldn’t ask this question for Google or Facebook. Similarly here. ccFOUND.com will become a general-use device for all of the people online.
We have everything in one package for knowledge providers, for people who want to share, who want to help others, and this really incentivizes them. What it does is that people will be, at last, happy to share their knowledge online - especially those who don't do it currently.
We start with an 80000-person strong Polish community. ccFOUND.com itself has 12000 registered users on its crowdfunding platform. And social media platforms grow by word of mouth. ccFOUND.com will be opened to the public in 1Q 2022 and then we will see how fast it grows organically, as well as thanks to the automatic-translations of all the content into other languages, thus getting indexed by search engines in other countries.
Chris: What value do you offer to the people?
Piotr: You could call ccFOUND.com a knowledge and wisdom search engine. It connects you with other people's minds – not with computers, like Google does. Google connects you with computers and searches them for information. We connect you with people and you search for knowledge within the community. That's a big difference. So, you can ask your question, which may be way more complicated than what you can ask Google nowadays. When you receive answers from other people, these answers are upvoted. The best ones are always at the top. People then receive reputation points and get subscribed by their followers.
Later when they are most helpful, when they earn a reputation, they are gradually allowed to monetize by offering their information products. This is a huge game changer. People in the information industry may not be aware of how hard it is for an expert nowadays to monetize online because he has to build his traffic on sources like YouTube or Facebook. Then he must move the traffic into his website where he can sell something like an ebook or a course.
There is no platform currently on the worldwide web that would merge two realities into one where you both build your community and or tribe. And in the same place, you're allowed to monetize via all the different ways, without moving people from one website to another and losing them while doing so.
Chris: Did the DeFi movement change the industry in your opinion?
Piotr: It most certainly did, and as with every movement in the crypto industry (especially now with NFTs), we see a number of great projects, game-changers, but we also see projects that aren’t so great and are either scams or just projects without a potential.
DeFi created an alternative to the banking system with people being freely allowed to borrow against their assets or to stake their assets and generate interest that is not negligible given how fast fiat currencies erode due to inflation.
When I first invested in Bitcoin in 2011 this was all just about creating an alternative to fiat currencies, as a solution to inflation for freedom lovers, actually. But it is DeFi that has ultimately made this vision a reality.
Chris: What is your opinion on the current state of the STO market? What are the most promising asset categories to be tokenized?
Piotr: The STO market is very tricky, because of the SEC and similar authorities in other countries. Projects need to be very careful while classifying their tokens, that’s why many security tokens are simply being advertised as utility or hybrid tokens.
In terms of the most promising asset categories to be tokenized - maybe art, land, companies, patents? All of this depends on how the legal framework will evolve, either allowing small ventures to emerge or closing this avenue for entrepreneurs.
Chris Did COVID19 affect your business? How did you adapt?
Piotr: As ccFOUND.com we weren’t really affected by COVID-19 - our team mostly works remotely, so we weren’t affected by the ‘work from home’ restrictions.
However we are also a group of companies, ccFOUND.com being an internal startup. So I have to report that most of our companies grew, as we mostly offer financial education for investors, and this market grew immensely during the pandemic. So due to COVID we have strengthened our backup.
Chris: Let’s imagine I do have a team of developers and we just released an innovative DeFi or STO project. How much investment do you think we need to pour into marketing and PR to become a well-known and “hot” project today in 2022?
Piotr: I think you definitely need to have connections, good tokenomics, and transparency. Surely, you need to have your social media, PR, digital marketing and influencers. And to be honest, everything in the crypto market costs quite a lot of money, so you definitely need to have a large marketing budget, and something on top of that.
Chris: Can you tell us about an accomplishment you are most proud of?
Piotr: Creating ccFOUND.com - building a great team of 30 people and getting to where we’re now, having collected over $3 million dollars from thousands of investors so far.
Chris: I wonder if you have UK-based projects in your portfolio? Do you plan to get any?
Piotr: We actually also have a few companies in the UK, however the pandemic has not made it easier for us to build anything based in the UK. On the other hand many Polish immigrants live in England and most of them save their hard earned money. Thus we have a large number of both customers and investors from the UK and this is a very strong market for us and for which we are grateful. Regarding our cryptocurrency investment portfolios, we do not analyse specifically where the project is based when purchasing. More and more projects are spread throughout the world anyway and there are more important things to be considered when you invest. Geographic location becomes less and less important nowadays as we move into the cloud, blockchain or metaverse.
Chris: What kind of partnerships are you looking for (integrations, media partnerships, contractors, etc.)? Do you have any specific plans for the UK market?
Piotr: We’re a rapidly developing project, so we are constantly looking for partnerships, launchpads, advisors, investors both private and institutional. We are obviously looking for media coverage and technology partnerships as well. After all, we’re building a complex product and appreciate all advice or technology solutions that would help us. In the end, ccFOUND.com will be a social media for everyone and the more people contribute to building it the better!