May 8, 2023

Episode 266: Jordan Edelson, CEO & Co-Founder of TradeZing

TradeZing is a platform that aggregates real-time information from financial professionals, data sources, social media, and the creator community to help Americans learn about the current economic landscape.

Jordan Edelson is a Forbes 30 under 30 seasoned entrepreneur and CEO/Co-Founder of TradeZing and the groundbreaking mobile digital agency, Appetizer Mobile. Mr. Edelson is also the Director of Chic Sketch, an award-winning fashion mobile application. He has a long history as an entrepreneur from the early age of 17 has included starting multiple companies such as Game Broadcasting Live, a digital streaming video game broadcasting channel that premiered on Time Square's Jumbotron screens, and eSportsTV, a portal for streaming live electronic sports and professional video gaming broadcasts.

He’s made features in Popular Science Magazine, Business Review, Biz Journal,, WABC-TV, World News Now(ABC), Discovery Channel, WRGB-TV (CBS), and CNBC, along with other radio, print, web, and television spots. Mr. Edelson graduated from The University of Albany with a B.A. in communications and a minor in business and sociology.

Julian:Hey everyone. Thank you so much for joining the Behind Company Lines podcast.Today we have Jordan Edelson, CEO and co-founder of TradeZing. TradeZing is aplatform that aggregates real-time information from financial professionals,data sources, social media, and the creator community to help. People learnabout the current economic landscape.

Jordan, I'm soexcited to chat with you, not only because of your experience as anentrepreneur, but also you know, what you're working on at TradeZing. The such kindof interesting phenomenon around communities and how important those are,especially two web three and, and even just like as, as more people are gettingintroduced to investment and what that means.

We're more, moreand more kind of leaning on our peers and. It's kind of exciting to see who'skind of come out ahead in terms of the information and how you're spreadingthat information. But before we get into all that good stuff with TradeZing,what were you doing before you started the company?

Jordan:Yeah, so thanks for having me. First off I have a interesting background. Iactually started as an entrepreneur when I was in my teens. I was actually 14when I was a self-taught. Programmer and I used to create what we call modsback in the day mods of different games. Actually specifically back then it wasthe half-life engine and I was creating different mods.

Had a couple bighits and successes, and then I moved on and I created a company that actuallybroadcasted eSports tournament. So pretty much with Twitch TV is today, I wasdoing that 20 plus years ago. So a little, little early. And I was running thatcompany for about eight years and we broadcasted video game tournaments allover the country.

I like to think Iwas responsible for a lot of this eSports relevance you see today and a lot ofmatching up of brands with different gamers and stuff like that. But I wasthere very, very early in the eSports space and then I became the CTO of thefirst public traded hiphop company.

So I worked withRussell Simmons and Dr. Benjamin Chavis and we opened up hiphop beamrestaurants, which was pretty cool. And my connection to that whole world. Waswe actually integrated Xboxes into the tabletop. So when you waited for yourfood, you'd be able to play games. The venues turned into nightclubs.

It was a prettycool, setup. I brought on Microsoft as a partner in that business in Viacom,and we were producing a lot of different games broadcasts from that facilityand stuff like that. So I did that for about three years, and then in additionto that, then I moved on, I started a mobile digital agency.

One of the firstones actually in the country, it's called Appetizer Mobile. And I built so far,appetizers actually been around for 14 years now and I've built over 400 mobileapplications for different celebrities, major brands, fortune 500 companies, alittle bit of everything. And some celebrities and notables would be like LadyGaga, 50 cent, Kim Kardashian whole bunch of, big people.

I had the highest grossingeducational apps in the app store and my agency was the only firm that actuallyreceived direct praise from Steve Jobs while he was still away. And he actuallyemailed us and asked us if, Apple could do anything to help my company out withsome of the products we were building.

We asked for aniPad, TV commercial, and sure enough, we were granted that just a couple monthslater. So very, very cool accolade in the app space. And then that kind of ledme into what I'm doing today with TradeZing and some other companies that I'minvolved in.  

Julian:It's so amazing to think about, how you're able to capture attention in the, inkind of all the, the adventures that you've done.

It's, it's. Whatkind of, what in your mind really draws people to, whether it's a game or anapplication, something that is exciting or interesting, and how have you beenable to identify what people are, are capturing kind of almost right? You, you,you seem to find this trend right before things are trending which I think is agood thing.

But right beforethat, kind of what cue or what signals do you see to, to kind of help cue to,to what's gonna be popular?  

Jordan:Yeah, I've always been very early with a lot of ideas. I've always been an ideaperson and not always has my, my ideas haven't always co aligned withinfrastructure.

So, back forexample, when I was doing the eSports tv we were originally actually doingAudiocast called Shoutcast over Winamp. And then we were the first ones topioneer actually streaming the video aspect of eSports to the web. But we wereearly and at that time, people were.

Lucky enough, theywere, they had a DSL connection. A lot of people are still on 56 K modems and,and T1 s and stuff like that were kind of the fastest internet speeds. So, it'svery early. But again, in terms of just the principle of it all it's beingcreative, looking for innovative concepts that ultimately save.

People either timeor kind of improve the overall experience. And again, I'm, I'm always lookingat like the experience, really the end user experience with whatever kind ofI'm coming up or how I'm ideating, how is it gonna improve their lives andmake, their lives that much better or make it simpler and stuff like that.

Yeah. And again,you know that you ultimately leads into engagement and that's how you build aeventually kind of a successful property.

Julian:Yeah. And how do you define kind of something that's, say trending or, orsomething that's actually gonna be around for a long time? Like, Eastportbroadcasting, who would've known that?

It'd be a hugecommunity of people and it'd grown popularity, but there's other things thatsay are, aren't as, maybe trending for a certain amount of time. We think aboutthat in fashion, but what in particular kind of helps you key and I for, what'sgonna be, increasing in value versus something that's just popular now, butwe'll throw away in, X amount of time.

Jordan:Yeah. A lot of it is, is just kind of taking a look at consumer sentiment andseeing, in different industries again, that could be a fa fashion, it could begaming. Again, I'll use the the gaming one as an example. Just taking a look atthe gaming industry and understanding there was just a big range around.

At least mods backin the day for me, and a lot of people had kind of like built out theseunderground communities. I saw a lot of chatter around, eSports specificallyhow people were using like irc for communicating around different eSports orthey're doing kind of different matchups themselves.

So kind of takingkind of these raw elements and combining them and making them to something,bigger and kind of powering those efforts. But it all starts with kind ofcommunity as the basis. Yeah, just seeing that there's an appetite there andthat's where I like to kind of invest and spend my time.

Julian:Yeah. And, thinking about, the community aspect and, and getting people, theattention, getting people to use something. And then keeping those peoplearound and keeping that engagement high is, is a challenge. Especially when,like, for Clubhouse is kind of the, the marquee example.

And, and maybe I'llhave them on the show, maybe I won't, who knows? But you know, they got a lotof users. It was a huge buzz. They got a lot of investment. And then, it waslike this weird inability to not only, retain people, but also monetize on theplatform. Being that it, it, it's hard to kind of capture people and continueto capture them consistently over time.

How have you beenable to do that with, people's attention becoming increasingly more challengingto, to keep.  

Jordan:Yeah. I think the trick is timing is everything. Mm-hmm. So striking while theiron's hot type of mentality, clubhouse for example, had a certain window. Theywere, they, they kind of piggyback off of kind of the covid trend being kind ofan outlet Sure.

For people tocommunicate and be creative. So they had that as an opportunity. But again, oneof their downsides or failures is that they kind of kept themselves in kind ofin, in this invite mode only for, yeah, I think a little too long. I think theyshould have opened it up a little bit quicker, gotten out there to more people.

And really kind ofcemented their position. Instead, they kind of skirted it a bit. And I, and Ithink also with Clubhouse, they didn't really know, I think going into it,really what they had. I think they kind of undervalued themselves in that respectand they saw kind of a community shift.

And then, they alsoturned on monetization a little too late. So it's kind of a, a lot of smallthings kind of went wrong for Clubhouse, even though as a platform, it's prettysolid beyond that then it's the copycat effect. So once, everyone saw thatclubhouse. These audio rooms were super exciting and, and, and had potential.

Every platform outthere decided to go create they twittered anyone, so, yep. Yeah, Twitter andLinkedIn, Spotify, they all, they all had them. And then some of them areactually closing down. So again, it's just a, it's kinda a moment in time and,and again, they had their window and unfortunately, I think their, theirchances passed.

Julian:Yeah. And within that timing, what are some key things that you look at? Is itlike, user engagement increasing to a certain amount and you kind of, kind ofshift into focusing on what a certain segment of those users, like theconsistent user base is caring about and double, double down and investing inthat part of the, the technology.

Like what are thosesignals that you see that kind of help, you, you kind of define when the timingis right or kind of, I guess measure the temperature in there.  

Jordan:Yeah. Honestly, I, I, a lot of entrepreneurs don't like to hear this, but a lotof it is just luck, right place, right time with a lot of this stuff.

It's what it comesdown to for them, a lot of the signals are there and the community wanted acertain thing, but by the time they realized what the community wanted, it wasa little too late. Yeah. Because it takes time to build a lot of thesefeatures. With that said, for my products, I like to, try to get something outto market relatively, quickly.

Yeah. Get userfeedback and then iterate from there forward. So we're building for a purposeinstead of thinking what we want. I like to kind of operate outside of an echochamber because when you're in dev mode, you're, you are in a kind of an echochamber. Yeah. Now, when you're in kind of a closed beta still, sometimes it'sa, a little bit of an echo chamber.

And then when youfinally open things up, you can start to get some real world. Feedback, butwith, with that said, you have to take that feedback in, but also kind of relyon leadership's knowledge and expertise. Yeah. To be able to kind of innovatefor that next step forward. Because you can't just develop and build for thepresent.

You also have todevelop for the future.  

Julian:Yeah. Yeah. And, and shifting our focus into TradeZing, what in particular gotyou excited about Web three? Kind of when were you first introduced to theconcept of Web three, and then obviously, we'll, we'll kind of go from there,but I'm curious, when were you introduced to Web three and, and what got youexcited about the way it was kind of.

Capitalizing onthis whole community aspect.  

Jordan:Yeah, a lot of web three more So for me, during kind of the pandemic cause Ihad a lot more downtime to kind of like take a look and see, what's the next,next thing, big thing. How are people communicating now? We saw a departurefrom traditional forms of communication over to kind of people now leveraging,VR and building kind of communities within that and the metaverse.

And these allbecame kind of big, buzzwords on, and if you were kind of in those communities,you kind of learned a lot, but. I saw there was just a lot of kind of problemswith the community and, and, and just in general a lot of scams kind of riddledthroughout Web three. Yeah. And, and realizing that there was an inherentproblem with the industry, not just that, even, even just traditional TradeZingpart of the inspiration behind originally TradeZing, I.

Was, was hearingthe story about a younger individual, he's a gen Zer who committed suicidebecause of bad trades he made on Robinhood. And, and a lot of that kind ofstems on just a lack of information and guidance. Yeah. And, and, turning tothese communities that sometimes are riddled with, scams.

So I realized therewas a lack of transparency in a lot of these platforms, whether it be, Twitch.Or Reddit. They've been kind of even Discord. They were kind of repurposed forweb three and kind of for TradeZing stuff, but it weren't really ever built forthat at its core purpose. Yeah. So we set forward to kind of build out aplatform in a community that's really focused as a content hub for financialinsights and, and financial content.

Julian:Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And how is the kind of vetting process like, if I'm somebodywho comes to this community, maybe I had a bad experience, maybe I'm justafraid to engage with someone's content because I'm unaware and, and maybehaven't done enough research, but I come to Tradesy and I want to kind of gainmore of a, I, I guess a legitimate, maybe qualified take on, on what's, either,volatile available, what should I trade in, and all those kind of, financialquestions that I have.

How do I trust thepeople on the community? And, how, how do you go through to make sure thatthose who are on there are giving good information are a bad actor?  

Jordan:Yeah, great, great question. So, I mean, you kind of trust and learn who totrust in the community by the community vetting mechanism that we have inplace.

So we havedifferent tiers of creators, standard affiliate and partner and thoseessentially that kind of work their way up and kind of achieve certainmilestones within the community. They then forget held kind of at a differentdegree or different level and a certain level of prominence across the platformitself.

So again, thecommunity is responsible for that vetting. So if they realize, someone'schannel, for example, is just riddled with scams, then again, they're gonna getdown voted, and they're gonna be kind of almost to a degree blocked or kind ofmuted within kind of the ecosystem.

But again, someonethat's actually pumping out and providing valuable insights. And have, a lot ofengagement, positive engagement behind their channel. They're gonna bubble upto the top, and that's what you're gonna see more on of, on the on the, on thesite and also on our app.  

Julian:Yeah. And, and what kind of mechanisms that you have, kind of in, in thetechnology that allows you to kind of not have to do that manually.

Obviously alludingto some kind of artificial intelligence, maybe some machine learning kind ofalgorithms that you have built in. But what are some ways that you, kind ofcreate a more, not only catered experience, but an experience that rewardspeople who make, good or give good advice and make good trades and things likethat?

Jordan:Yeah, so, so the reward end of it is for our creators is that when they get upto the level of affiliate, so we have three different tiers. It starts withstandard affiliate partners. So affiliate. So if, if you, well, let's startwith standards. So standard users, if they work and they hit certain keymetrics at streamable hours a certain amount of likes on their content, if theykind of hit those type of criteria, then they'll get invited to become anaffiliate.

And when theybecome an affiliate, they're actually invited to participate in revenue shareon our platform. So the incentive there is produce good content. Play by therules, the community guidelines and ultimately to provide value across theplatform you're going to, to win in that way and get incentivized throughrevenue share.

And beyond that,those affiliates that really stand out and go that extra mile to produce reallyhigh valuable high value content on the platform, they'll then be invitedthrough a curated process, an editorial process, invited to become a partner.And again, that rev share actually becomes. Even greater for them when theyreach that tier.

So there, thatmonetization kind of tiered system is there. That's the incentive for them. Andagain, the community is helping us through that purpose. Aside from that, thereis kind of a AI component in terms of how our recommendation engine works andbubbling up certain content over other types of content.

But again, a lot ofthat is still derived by what we're kind of pulling from the community. As partof that, the community kinda has weighted more than kind of AI in ourplatform.  

Julian:Yeah. That's such a brilliant way to kind of not only keep people around, buthelp them improve because I feel like with a lot of the marketplace models, it,it's more of a transactional focus rather than kind of, it, it's, it's almostusing a capture score to increase your value as an individual.

And then, going tothis revenue, rev share agreement, which, it's kind of a bold. Statement for acompany to, give to their, high, I guess not even just high output, but highquality output individuals and creators. Was that, something that you thoughtabout as, as a core kind of principle and philosophy of TradeZing?

Or is thatsomething that came about as you kind of iterated on the product and yeah,honestly, kudos. That's such a smart way to keep people engaged and aroundbecause. It's hard and, and you live and die by, I'm sure the, that creatorcontent, but yeah. Was that, was that of conception or was that, by design orwas that something you stumbled upon?

Jordan:Yeah, yeah, great question. So that, that was actually something that was partof the original conception of it, that we wanted to reward, kind of excellenceon the platform, people playing by the rules, creating valuable content andinsights and, and in really, kind of creating a safe environment for this typeof content.

And it was reallyimportant for financial content. As I said, we're trying to. Create atransparent, open platform that, again, we're trying to solve for a lot ofthese issues that, you know Twitter and, and TikTok and all these otherplatforms are honestly, quite honestly, very riddled by, on top of that, we'vealso listened to the creators and their biggest concerns on the otherplatforms.

Their biggestcomplaint is discoverability. So not just are we rewarding them through theincentivization through monetization, but also rewarding them by additionaldiscoverability. And being that we're focused strictly kind of on finance. Weeliminate all that other outside noise. You go to these other platforms, yousearch for finance content or something related to a specific stock orwhatever, you'll be sent in a hundred different directions.

Because that's howtheir algorithms are architected. They just wanna capture the eyeball and keepyou watching as long as possible, but they don't really care what contentthey're serving you, as long as it's sticky and, whatever. On our platform,it's gonna be sticky, educational, and relevant to what you're actuallysearching, and you're gonna find it very, very quickly.

So you'll connectto that financial insights and that intelligence and then you'll be able totrade against that.  

Julian:Yeah, man, it's brilliant to, to, not only create that reward system as, as aphilosophy of it, and, and, and it makes sense, to, to kind of reinforce this,good behavior, and I don't wanna say good behavior, but positive behavior, thiskind of growth mentality for the community as, as you scale it.

And, and in termsof, building trust shifting to the other side of the marketplace, buildingtrust with the consumers to people who come in looking for this vice. What is.Obviously their buy-in is that it's, a a a filtered community. There's vettedpeople in there, but how do you kind of not only continue to expand and broadenand acquire new consumers, but continue to cater through that experience, beingthat it's hard, we see like different apps like Weeble is, is way morechallenging to trade on than, say, a Robinhood because of the user interface.

How do you kind ofthink about not only the acquisition, but also the retention and, and therelationship with the, with the product?

Jordan:So where, where we sit, we sit actually in a really interesting position. We'retrying to position ourselves as kind of a one-stop shop. You come to us kind ofas a gateway point, and then you can go off and kind of on your, financialadventure and journey from there on.

But again, you knowwhat we're building and this is gonna be, so we have our, our app. Is, iswhat's in the market right now. We have a brand new web platform that'sactually launching in just about two weeks in conjunction with Bitcoin 2023.And then we also have our events platform that's actually rolling out right afterBitcoin.

So we have thesekind of three main components to it. The app's been in in market right now butagain, moving into kind of our web platform, it really, our web platform issuper, super powerful. It acts as almost kind of an aggregator of sortspointing from. All the big platforms, all this information and kind of helpingyou make sense of it through kind of social intelligence and also artificialintelligence.

Super powerful.It's gonna be a utility that a lot of traders. Are, are going to use. And thenfrom there you can kind of continue on your adventure of, of, of learning aboutfinancial content and connect over to the TradeZing app. Or you can also bedirected and being discovering other content in the financial space that's onthe web that you may have missed.

So we kind of actas this gateway intro intro point into kind of the finance world. And then inaddition to that, we'll be rolling out closer to kind of Q4 timeframe is theability to actually trade on our platform. Yeah. With your. With your brokerageor exchange of choice. So again, we are not a TradeZing platform, but again,we're more so kind of a connector, so we want to make all this.

Insights and thisintelligence and videos and content actionable so that you can connect oververy seamlessly over to your brokerage or exchange and go ahead and make yourtrade seamlessly.  

Julian:Yeah. And, and do you kind of monetize through the access to the, to thecommunity or through the trades that they, what, what kind of, and has thatchanged at all in terms of how you kind of monetize your, your platform?

Jordan:Yeah, so we're, we're not monetizing through the actual trades themselves, butthrough access to the platform. Yeah. So for these other third parties thathave access to our platform, that's who's ultimately gonna get. Charge, butjust in general, our platform, a lot of it's free and open right now, but wemake our money through advertisements.

We make our moneythrough in-app purchases. Again, when you actually subscribe to a creator'schannel, we have a onsite on platform currency that you can use and you can goahead and, and place those purchases to subscribe to these individual channels.And then we also have a subscription that we're gonna be rolling out eventuallythat's gonna put a couple different elements, more premium elements underneatha PayPal.

Yeah. But for now,everything's gonna be free at least till year's end.  

Julian:Yeah. Amazing. And, thinking about just for, for more context for the audience,what's been exciting, not only about the traction you've seen thus far, howmany users do you have on the platform? What's particular, exciting about thepartnerships you've created up to this point, but what's next?

Also, what's,what's been great up to this point and what's next for, for TradeZing?  

Jordan:Yeah. Well, as I just mentioned with the rollout of our apps, our app has been,it was in a closed beta for about. I'd say about four months. And then welaunched it in end of February timeframe. It's been kind of now in a betastate, and we're in the process of also launching our web platform.

As I mentioned,with Bitcoin 2023, we're actually gonna be partners with them as one of thegroups that's gonna be syndicating all the content from their events. So allthe different stages are gonna get syndicated and streamed through our propertyso people can watch essentially for free through our website and through ourapp.

And then the bigthing that we're also gonna do more of a more formal announcement on is ourevents platform. So we wanna kind of bubble up some of these big thoughtleaders across different industries and gear their content towards kind ofEngen z millennial crowd. And again, that'll be available, in our app and onour website as well.

So these are somebig touchpoints, big things for us and super exciting as we kind of democratizeand open up access to financial information.

Julian:Yeah, yeah, yeah. Thinking whether it's external, internal, what are some ofthe biggest risks that tracing faces today?

Jordan:It's interesting we kind of get grouped in a category that like if the marketis, failing or, crypto's still stuck in a crypto WinDor that we're doing bad,but, not so much we're actually on more so, more so on the media end of things.

So as long asthere's kind of fluctuation and there's a story to be told, we actually dopretty well. Even with kind of, for example, ftx, collapsing. You know thatthat whole issue, and even with svb, everything, these like big stories. Aregreat areas, like people are always like looking and scrambling forinformation.

Yeah. And get,trying to get as quickly as possible so they make a decision. As long as thattype of news is actually happening, it's actually good for us. So we're notlike connected to the markets in, in that regard where again, marketsfluctuate. We're, as long as there is fluctuation, it's actually good for us.

If things arestagnant, then arguably you could say, that might hurt us a little bit, butSure. Where we kind of, we kind of sit on a different end or on a different endof the spectrum in terms of,  

Julian: .Yeah. I love that. It's like the, the more drama, the better for, for tradesaying Exactly.

Yeah, and it'sfunny, I actually, my, my partner showed me new content on, on on TikTok. So Iwas, I was, that's how I kind of learned about you guys and, and and it wassuper cool to see what kind of the information access has been giving people interms of not only the opportunity to seek out the right information, but to, asa creator, not only improve the information you're giving, but also, be, be, bevalued for that information in a different way that really kind of.

Feeds into thispositive loop. Thinking about, if everything goes well, what's the long termstrategy?  

Jordan:Well, we're looking, our, our, our main goal right now is user acquisition. Sowe're trying to gain Yeah. As many users as possible on our platform. We wantpeople to use it, engage and direct and really build these communities.

And at least for,the. I would say for the next couple years that that's a core, element of our,our platform is user engagement and boosting those metrics and continue to developand build tools for them. Yeah, I would say with the addition of kind of ai,that's been kind of a new big initiative for us is kind of make sure.

It was, well, letme take a step back. With ai, AI you have to understand how to use that as atool. Sure. And, and with, the finance community you have to kind of becareful, with relying strictly on ai and the same thing as could be said, asrelying strictly on social. We've kind of finding, or we're kind of navigatingand creating almost kind of sweet spot of where you have kind of AI and humankind of intelligence balance each other.

Yeah. And kind ofwe represent that equilibrium. On our platform so that we see, we're superexcited about that and continuing to kind of bake in a lot more AI powered intelligencethroughout the entire platform.  

Julian:Yeah, I, I always like the next section, I call it my founder faq. So I'm gonnahit you with some rapid fire questions and then we'll see where we go.

First one I alwayslike to break into is what's particularly hard about your job day to day?  

Jordan: Iwould say just the unknown and scheduling and timing. Timing is, is acommodity. And I don't get a lot of, and, and it's something that I have to bereally good at managing, just cause I'm involved with a lot of differentproperties and ventures and, and obviously, just like, TradeZing, it's a baby.

So again, I have tobe available for it As a baby. Yeah. I gotta be on call 24 7 for whatever itneeds.  

Julian:Yeah, yeah, yeah. Thinking about, taking a step back more philosophically interms of the relationship people have had, especially with financial contentand in the, in the US in particular, we've had kind of a fragmentedrelationship with finance in terms of people having access to information andsuch.

But we see hugeshift covid and even post covid people really engaging in financial contentregularly. And kind of how have you seen that shift and what are some positiveeffects that you've seen in. Where are you particularly excited about in termsof how that's gonna grow and impact not only your business, but you know,people in general?

Jordan:Yeah, I think, I think there's definitely been an uptick in it. There's a lotmore conversations around finance. And, and I think it's, it's a lot of, it'sbeen fueled by the media in terms of just creating balancing or balancingrather on these big buzzwords, whether it's NFTs and, metaverse and ai.

It's all thesedifferent things and people are trying to understand how they impact theirindustries and more specifically how they can, capitalize it for kind of thefinancial, gain. So I think just the fact that there's a lot more talk aroundthis industry that helps us quite a bit at, at TradeZing to capture a lot ofthat.

But yeah, we wantto kind of encourage these conversations to have it, we just wanna bring theseconversations onto our platform.  

Julian:Yeah, yeah. Thinking about, web three and, and what's being built today, isthere anything that you are particularly excited about in terms of, keeping aneye on where it's gonna be built or what, what's gonna be built in terms ofwhether it's a particular token, maybe it's a, a framework or technology, ormaybe it's a dap, a DeFi protocol.

What in particularhave you seen in the market that you're particularly excited about that maybeeveryone's not as aware of?  

Jordan:Yeah. I, I honestly now over the, really over the last couple months, it's moreso I've been more excited to kind of see, who survives this downturn. Sure. Theconsolidation, I thought there was a lot of kind of, Fluff as you call it,around crypto and just DeFi in general.

And, and it's a lotof crazy valuations and it just wasn't sustainable. But I think now, companies,since they're kind of tightening their belts and, they can really kind of focuson kind of truly innovating products and do a kind of, in a lean way. And Ithink that's exciting because now we start to build sustainable businesses.

Mm-hmm. So we gottasee kind of who bubbles to the top, for instance, who was just kind of in it tomake a quick buck. Yeah. And, and so that's something in terms of specifictechnologies, I mean, again, I think there's a lot of. Value to a lot ofdifferent technologies that have been built. I mean, it depends which ones, butI think, I, I think with NFTs for example, I don't think we're done with NFTs.

Yeah. I thinkthere's been a cooling off period, but I think again, that was necessary. Ithink now we'll start to see hopefully more of the utility aspect of how NFTsare used. And, and I'd like to honestly see the word NFT kind of slowlydisappear and people just see the technology being used.

Yeah. But notreally understand or realize that it's like an N F T per se. It's justsomething that's kind of understood that this is just how stuff works. Right.But again, it, it all comes down to accessibility and education. And that'swhere again, we as TradeZing kind of come into the picture of helping peopleunderstand these different, topics and concepts and apply them to their, totheir day-to-day.

Julian:Yeah. I guess rather than ask you, what companies will boil to the top, what doyou think, in terms of how companies are built, operate, or, how they, theirrelationship to their, their customer base. What will comp, what will asuccessful company have that will kind of allow them to, be a leader or at least,get through this kind of challenging period with, not only the bear market, butpeople having a, a little bit of a distrust with, with web three and, and kindathe whole community.

Jordan:Yeah, I mean, I think it comes down to, focus. I think companies need to kindof really focus and try to do a little bit of everything they need to kind offocus on kind of a core product. Yeah. Or core service and what they'reoffering. They need to, still engage their community in a transparent way.

And, and use thatengagement to kind of power their products direction. And, and again, I stillthink consolidation will be kind of the key to success. I think you'll seecompanies going out and inquiring other companies. Yeah. Cuz it's gonna be,more beneficial to do that, less time spent.

But I think again,that consolidation piece is gonna be critical. Yeah. At least kind of for wherewe're at right now. Especially when capital a little bit sparse and evenlending is drying up a little bit kind of in a corporate landscape.  

Julian:Yeah. Thinking about, you mentioned when you were building the product forTradeZing and, and kind of.

Something aboutrolling out, and I was curious, I didn't catch it in particular. How, what wasyour kind of go-to-market strategy? Did you kind of flow, grow through thecommunities you were already engaged with? Did you, spend a bunch of marketingdollars on paper clip, ads on Instagram and, and Facebook?

What inparticularly was whether it was unique or what was successful in your strategyto reach, your customer base and how can other companies maybe even kind oflearn from that  


Yeah. For us it's,it's going to the thought leaders within the community. Mm-hmm. So really forus, it's been going after the creators investing time, effort, energy, money,into getting it right for creators.

Because again, ifcreators can't win on our platform or the experience is suffering, then how canwe expect them to bring their followers over? It has to be an experience that'sseamless for them and makes sense for them to live on our platform. So part ofour go-to market strategy has been going after specifically targeting creators,building those relationships.

And those inroads,listening to their feedback in terms of what they need and what they want onour platform. Yeah. And allocating resources towards that. And then movingforward, again, there will be a time where we're gonna spend large amounts ofmoney on advertising. But again, at this stage in time, we're kind of doing itmore of an organic approach.

Sure. Yeah. Andkind of seeing what works, what doesn't work and just kind of listening andcollecting data. Ultimately that's what it's about, collecting data. So that wecan make better informed decisions and also spend our money, wiser and moreefficiently. Yeah. So we have higher levels of conversions when we go out andwe do that more formal kind of advertising marketing component.

Julian:Yeah. Yeah. What, what's something that you're good at now as a founder thatyou wish you were better at early on?  

Jordan:Well now I'm managing, a lot of different things at once. I feel I'm, I'm moresuited and able to do that. And I think actually balance has been another big,part of that.

Yeah. Just, I'vealways, When I started my first companies going through like high school and,and college, running those and kind of balancing that with, with also having acompany that was running again at, that's how I was doing like one company. NowI'm involved in like five or six different companies.

So juggling all ofthat, keeping a social life. Also having a newborn, that was just like eightweeks ago. All that combin with like the lack of sleep. There's like a lot ofbalancing that I've figured out. Yeah. Yeah. And I'm still figuring out not,perfect at it yet, but again, it's something that, you kind, it takes work andyou have to kind of practice it, but balance is super, super important.

Yeah. If you wantto be a successful entrepreneur.  

Julian:Yeah. The, a lot of founders talk about prioritizing is the biggest headacheand, and what's tackle first. And is there any I'm just curious, is there anytools, like, do you use Evernote? Do you use Airtable to kind of task manage?

Are you a Trelloboard kind of guy? What in particular do they use to kind of prioritize and,and that's been helpful.  

Jordan:So, I've tried probably almost every single like task management system that'sout there. I still kind of go back to honestly just putting a lot of things Ineed to do on my Google calendar.

Yeah. That's it.Like, very, very simple. I just kind of put things, on there. Because again, Ifind just even the time involved to go into, log into these systems and getnotified, like I'm getting hit by so many different, sources. Like, do this, dothis for different, it, it's kind of crazy.

So I usuallyprioritize a lot of my stuff. Yeah. My day to day really through just buildingmy agenda, writing Google Calendar and that, that's, that's worked for me thebest.  

Julian:Yeah. Yeah. I love that. I love that. I always like to ask this next questioncuz I love, how founders extract, information out of anything that, that theyingest, whether it's early in your career or now, what books or people haveinfluenced you the most?

Jordan:I. So I had I have a, there was a professor at the university that I went toschool at SUNY Albany, and he was in the business department and he was part ofkind of the, he had ran this small business development offshoot of kind of theSou SUNY Albany campus. And I would intern there well, I was intern there and Iwas actually running my other business and I was helping other people actuallybuild their business plan.

So I was supposedto be an intern working there, like learning on how to build the businessplans. But I was actually, because I already had a business, I was teaching allthese other clients of this group on how to actually put together businessplans and, and raise capital and do all these things.

So that was really,interesting me. And, and again his name was Bill Brigham. He like took a likingto me. Mm-hmm. And, and really kind of put me. Put me into a lot of reallyinteresting opportunities. He kind of brought me into one of his MBA classeswhere actually as a freshman I actually gave like a whole presentation talkingabout entrepreneurship and stuff like that.

So I was givingthese really unique opportunities to kind of show what I was doing at a reallyyoung age, which I think was also inspiring for a lot of people, but also gaveme a lot of confidence and motivation and continue to kind of press forward anddo other things. So yeah, definitely kind of as a mentor, he was a big, heplayed a big role in my life in that  


Yeah. And what'sone thing that, one piece of advice that you would give to founder is somethingthat they can implement in their day-to-day, whether, when they're first kindof on, going from zero to one, what a particular was valuable for you, kind ofwhen you're kind of growing your company from that point and, and, andbuilding, what, what's one piece of advice you'd give another founder?

Jordan:Especially when you're just starting off, be very selective in terms of who yousurround yourself with mm-hmm. In terms of either another co-founder or otherfirst hires and stuff like that, because they're essentially gonna create andshape the culture mm-hmm. Of what you're building.

And if that's likereally super inefficient or there's some bad actors in that place, yeah, it'sgonna screw you up. So regardless of how good your idea is or how fast youwanna move, if you're being held back by a co-founder or by the employees onyour team, again, you just have to be very careful.

Yeah. So again,that kind of sets up the, the. The runway for you in the trajectory. Just wannamake sure, again, you have a good team that motivates you and ultimately youbring on people that are smarter than you. That's, that's how it's supposed towork. Yeah. But still, again, you are still the ceo, you're the co, the founderor co-founder.

It's gotta be yourvision that you carry through and you gotta stay true to that.  

Julian:Yeah. I think you mentioned earlier, but what are you particularly focused onright now? Is it acquiring new customers, fundraising, hiring? What, what's onthe top of the agenda?  

Jordan:So we're doing a little bit of, of everything.

We are fundraising.So you know, what we wanted do is we first wanted to get get to market. So wewanted to get a product out. We wanted to kinda hit that milestone, verymilestone objective driven. So in this case we wanted to get to market. Thatwas our big thing. Get to market so that we have, an app product that works.

Now we can go outand we feel like we can go raise an institutional raise. Yeah, so outside of,before that we were just funding it internally ourselves. But now we're in, themarket. We're, we're going out right now presently, and we're doing ourroadshow going out and, and trying to bring in some venture capital.

But again, thelandscape changes. You have to understand, where we were a year goes differentthan where we are, today. So you have to kind of raise appropriately, but thataside, goes hand in hand. So fundraising also goes hand in hand with userengagement and acquiring. People for the platform to use it.

Yeah. So the morepeople we acquire, the easier it's gonna be to actually fundraise. So these areall things we have to kind of work on simultaneously.  

Julian:Yeah. I love that. Last little bit is I always like to make sure we didn'tleave anything on the table. I know we're going close to the end of theepisode, but is there any question I didn't ask you that I should have oranything that we didn't talk about that you wanted to bring up last little bit?

Did we leaveanything on the table? Jordan?  

Jordan:No, I think we hit on, on all the bitcoins. I would just tell people to checkout, and check out our coverage from Bitcoin coming up. And justdefinitely go on, get your account and, and register and start communicatingand creating content.

Julian:Amazing. Jordan, you beat me to it. We, we heard about where we can find moreinformation on TradeZing, but where can we find more information on you? Giveus your plugs, LinkedIns, Twitters, where can we find in chat or, or at leastbe a fan and support what you're working on at TradeZing.  

Jordan:Yeah, my, my handle just across the board on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram.

It's just at JordanEdelson.  

Julian:Perfect. Awesome. Jordan, it's been such a pleasure. Not only learning aboutyour early career as an entrepreneur, but where you kind of brought, what youkind of brought to tracing in terms of the idea of rewarding this amazingcommunity that's giving great financial advice, giving people access to it, tonot only become more familiar, but more active.

It's incredible to seenot only what engagement and where you are today, but where you gonna lead to.So I hope you enjoyed yourself today on Behind Company Lines, and thank youagain for being a guest today.  

Jordan:Thank you.  

Julian:Of course.

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