This week we spoke to Ray Chow-Toun, the CEO of CVProof, about his project, how it’s set to revolutionize the global job market and why CVProof decided against an early ICO.
Location: Geneva Area, Switzerland. Facts: Swiss Crypto Valley member. Holder of two patents: patent for a one-click method for triggering mobile apps (in Europe, USA and China from 2004), WIPO patent pending for Method for Validating and/or Authenticating Online Curriculum Vitae using Blockchain Distributed Ledger Technology. Experience: Managed large-scale IT projects in computer manufacturing, aviation and Swiss banks at European and American leading-edge companies for two decades. In 1999 started the first Internet Application Service Provider in Switzerland.
Interviewer: Hello, Ray! In your own words, tell us about CVProof.
RCT: CVProof is the ultimate Career Credentials Validation platform, leveraging the blockchain technology to produce 100% transparency and reliability for the global job market.
I: What pushed you to create CVproof?
RCT: One of our co-founders had been carrying the CVProof idea since 2010-11, but was not aware at that time about the Distributed Ledger Technology, although the Satoshi White Paper was released at the end of 2008.
Our idea at that time would face the issue of trust, as we were going to create a platform willing to store professional credentials. How would one know whether the professional credentials from multiple customers stored on our platform have not been tampered with? When recently we analyzed the technology behind Bitcoin, it appeared obvious that it was precisely the solution we needed to solve our digital authenticity concerns.
I: Apart from investors, who would be interested in your ICO?
RCT: All potential users of CVProof, since our token is a utility for performing standard operations on our platform.
“Surround yourself with strongly motivated people from day one.”
I: How is CVProof different from its competitors?
RCT: There’s two factors. First, our protocol is quite unique, establishing that authenticity is a form of assertion from the issuer(s). What we propose exactly is to prove this assertion exists. We give little weight to the endorsement approach. Secondly, our market segmentation is more corporate-oriented.
I: How have you grown CVProof’s presence in the market?
RCT: We are at the beginning of our journey, and developing a solid interactive community is challenging. We have decided to focus first on strategic segments like aviation, where we can quickly demonstrate the benefits of our product.
I: How does your team work? Do you use any specific techniques?
RCT: We don’t have frontiers, we’ve been “follow-the-sun” from the early days of the company.
I: What are the biggest challenges you’ve had to overcome as a company?
RCT: It’s quite difficult to set up a stable team in the blockchain field. Bitcoin and ICO speculations artificially dry up the market, attract all kinds of amateurs and sometimes are simply the worst thing about working in blockchain.
I: How was it starting a cryptocurrency and trying to take your company global?
RCT: In the crypto world it’s not difficult to be global right from the inception days: we’ve met many projects like ours, our first 10 key team members are based in more than 5 counties.
“Someone who’s never failed is certainly a person missing ambition, as it’s impossible to succeed without failure.”
I: What’s next for CVProof? What’s in the nearest future?
RCT: We plan to work with our first clients in Q4 2018. We’ll be launching our beta version in Q1 2019.
I: Where would you ideally like to see yourself in 5 years?
I: If you had to give one piece of advice to a new entrepreneur, what would it be?
RCT: Surround yourself with strongly motivated people from day one.
I: Researching for this interview, we saw that you are currently not organizing an ICO. Are you planning on holding an ICO in the future?
Correct, CVProof decided not to hold an ICO before we can actually demonstrate we have real, commercial users utilizing our solutions. At the moment, we are planning to sell our token in private pre-sale only, starting Q4 2018. We will make a definitive decision about the public ICO later in 2019.
I: Is there something you believe your team can do better than anyone else? What is your strength?
RCT: We have the best team to implement our protocol vision that brings a straightforward solution to the authenticity problem. Our strength is our motivation create a simple efficient solution.
“I tried to convince a French TV channel to follow the election on the Internet… in 1995! ”
I: What is the skill you wish you or your team could perfect?
RCT: We need to master promoting our initiatives.
I: What’s the best and worst advice you’ve ever been given?
RCT: The worst one came from an investor from France we were pitching to, he advised us to give up our token idea. He also gave the best one, reminding us that Coca-Cola only sold 25 bottles in their first year, so never give up!
I: Do you believe failure can make or break a person?
RCT: Someone who has never failed is certainly a person missing ambition, as it’s impossible to succeed without failure.
I: How do you know when you’ve succeeded?
RCT: When you’ve made your users happy.
I: What is the best investment of money, energy and time for someone who’s trying to succeed?
RCT: Creating a product you’ve been obsessed with all this time.
“Family is essential to my personal balance.”
I: Do you have any weird or extraordinary habits? Any guilty pleasures?
RCT: Not really, or maybe I just don’t realize they are weird.
I: What’s the best decision you’ve made in the last 10 years?
RCT: To restart my startup entrepreneurial life.
I: What are the top 5 books you would say have influenced your life or your work ethic the most?
RCT: I sincerely liked The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz. That’s my go-to book.
I: What would you say is or has been your worst time-waster both at home and at work?
RCT: At home, arguments with family. At work, when I tried to convince a French TV channel to follow the election on the Internet… in 1995!
I: Do you watch TV? If yes, what is your favorite TV show/movie?
RCT: I don’t have a TV at home, I mainly watch TV on my phone. I watch news, sometimes documentaries. As for the TV shows – I loved Suits.
I: How do you wind down after a stressful day? How does one achieve that perfect work-life balance?
RCT: Very simply – I am someone who’s deeply asleep in less than 2 minutes, I can fall asleep anywhere, and usually need less than 6 hours a day. Family is essential to my personal balance and I am lucky to have the best wife and kids in the world.