Guest post by ShipChain’s Director of Product Development, Daven Jones
I get asked this question a lot in my day to day life. Friends, family, convention goers, technology meet up participants, people I see at the gym while donning my ShipChain t-shirt – pretty much everyone. In general, the vaguely and wonderfully curious. At first, I would fumble around trying to explain blockchain. What it is, what it does, and why it was important for the world at large. Then, I would move on to delving into the logistics industry and the problems it faces. I would discuss its downfalls, its money pits, and its frustrations, and trust me, there are plenty. And for the grand finale, I would marry the two in a crescendo so beautifully crafted that it nearly brought tears to my eyes – only to consistently be met by an audience of blank stares. Countless times I tweaked my pitch, making little adjustments here and there. Nothing. Crickets. Tumbleweeds. Lights off, party’s over. Finally, I came to an alarming conclusion – I had lost them at square one.
The fact is, explaining ShipChain and what it does is complicated. More so to someone that doesn’t have a tech background and thinks blockchain is some kind of physical metal object used to tie things together. I’ve got food on the brain, so I’ll turn this into a food metaphor. Explaining the ingredients in a cake is boring. What is flour? Who cares. What are the chemical components of sugar? Not important. If you’re talking about cake and not actually eating it, people want to know one thing and one thing only – will it be delicious? So that got me thinking, I needed a more simple and straightforward answer to the ever-popular question, “What does ShipChain do.”
So, I decided to downsize. To streamline. To effectivize (as our CRO Sam Rusani likes to put it). I didn’t want one paragraph, or one sentence, or even a small smattering of words. I wanted one to two words max. I wanted to boil down the essence of an entire technological revolution as it pertains to my industry into a few words and somehow make those words make sense, and then build a product around them. Queue the drawing board.
Oh boy, did I draw. Charts, lists, diagrams, equations, plots, doodles. Then I researched, interviewed, polled, re-drew, tested and tested again. More testing. More tweaking. More revising. New convention, new pitchees. More blank stares. More tweaking, more doodles, more revising. Family reunion, new pitchees. Wait – is it just me or was that stare a little less blank?
After 4 months and countless pages of word vomit, diagrams, input from the C-levels, junior-levels – Finally, I had it. Everything that happens in the logistics and supply chain industry is limited by one thing, and at its essence, only one thing -Trust. Queue the lightbulb.
So what does ShipChain do? I got it down to two words. Drumroll please…
ShipChain provides trust. Real and unyielding trust, to the logistics industry. If you can create a single source of truth, populate it with data that both parties can trust, and stop it from being altered -well, now you’ve got a recipe for true and unwavering trust.
To put it a little less simply, ShipChain is using the immutability and decentralization of blockchain technology to create a layer of trust that’s never been possible in the past, and we’re connecting IoT devices and building API’s to interact directly with this layer to create real-time immutable data collection and storage. I’ll save the eye-watering details of this marriage for a later post. Until then, if you see me at a convention and ask me what ShipChain does, I’ve got two words for you….Provides trust.