Resilience and entrepreneurship go in tandem.
That’s according to Giacomo Arcaro, an entrepreneur, investor and self-proclaimed growth hacker. A few months back, Benzinga chatted with Arcaro to learn more about his career, tips for success and thoughts on emerging spaces like decentralized finance.
Here is how the conversation went.
Benzinga: Tell us about your early start in entrepreneurship.
GA: I was living the life of a startup entrepreneur and growth hacker in Italy. However, every time I built something, it was cool — it would win a lot of prizes — but it would collapse.
In total, I failed with seven startups. That’s called resilience.
What is growth hacking?
So, if you wanted to go from A to F, you don’t have to do B, C, D. You can design a new path that is faster, cheaper, and more valuable.
How did you muster the motivation to start something new?
I finally found my niche about five years ago when I started growth hacking for companies in Europe.
Then, a guy who was 20 years old came into my office from Switzerland and told me: “I came here because I want you to follow my initial coin offering (ICO), and I’ll pay you with my tokens.”
I said leave and never come back without fiat currency. I lost $25 million because in one night he made like $50 million with the ICO, in 2017.
I quit my business and invested all my time and effort into cryptocurrency.
So you went all in at the height of the ICO craze?
I lost everything, again.
I started sleeping in my car with a [wallet] full of Ethereum (CRYPTO: ETH), Bitcoin (CRYPTO: BTC), and all these worthless ICOs.
So how did you recover and what’s your focus now?
So — I believed in the technology — and I started advising ICO and blockchain projects, and earning Ethereum.
Fast forward, together with my wife, Elizabeth, we are following projects by giving our advice and experience in the growth hacking and technology in tokenomics.
We’re working right now in the decentralized finance (DeFi) space.
What are your thoughts on non-fungible tokens or NFTs?
I was a super fan because of the technology but it is out of control. When DJs started creating their own NFTs, I said, “Ok, this is just speculation.”
NFTs could help us get back the ownership of certain things, but it won’t be the substitution of the democracy and oligarchy of big tech companies.
What are some of the best ways to grow and get exposure to this nascent industry?
We cannot keep going on with the same old structure and servers. We need to switch to new technologies, and grow and switch to the blockchain.
The new cryptocurrency revolution will help everyone get a bank identity — a financial identity — like the internet gave everyone the possibility to see what was happening in their country, as the Arab Spring.
The same thing will happen thanks to cryptocurrency and this is the biggest revolution I see happening within 10 years. So, I say put one-fifth of your monthly income into protocols, tokens like Ethereum, Polkadot (CRYPTO: DOT), and you’ll be a millionaire in like ten years.
You stress the importance of giving back. Why do this and how are you making an impact?
When I was poor, no one wanted to give me money for my projects because I failed at everything.
That said, I started interviewing homeless people during the COVID crisis. I saw they had computers, Wi-Fi, and an entrepreneurial spirit, but no money. So, I’ve been giving away Ethereum in exchange for trust that these people would buy something valuable for their businesses.
Photo: Nataliya Vaitkevich from Pexels.
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