Assets on Chain with Ana Maria Jipa
Olyn's mission is to connect individuals and businesses, remove barriers, and help economies thrive in web3 through API and asset registry. Olyn works with brands, merchants, and payment providers to make it easy for people to hold up an inventory of owned assets and be able to manage, interact, connect and transact those.
With a technical mindset and passion for the history of human progress, in the last nine years, Ana Maria Jipa designed solutions in the space of APIs, Marketplaces, and Fintech, collaborating with leaders within the private and public sectors. She’s been actively focused on the topic of Circular Economy and how current systems could innovate and adjust to the human needs that lead to a better life.
Eve #WealthWednesday Highlight 64: Ana Maria Jipa, Co-Founder & CEO - Olyn
What was your first investment?
My first investment was time. It wasn't an exchange of money but an exchange of opportunity. I invested my time in my belief that there's something beyond what society tells us and what we can be useful for. Spending time learning everything I could about web3 was the best investment I could make in myself.
Beyond that, I also invested in crypto - starting with Bitcoin. That was my first financial investment because I believed in the potential.
How/why did you get into your space?
Like many people, I went through an identity crisis. My background is engineering and I felt a calling to dive in as an entrepreneur to add more value in what I could create in the world. It wasn't necessarily for recognition but more to achieve and see the results I could contribute to in a nascent space like web3.
My various past experiences during my career included healthcare, fashion, API work, and government. At moments in my life, I felt nervous about the random walk and lack of consistency in on field - it wasn't until Olyn that my path started to make sense. The various experiences across fields where physical assets and data have the most value helped me connect the dots about how it could be applied on a chain.
What role do you play in the wealth space and why is it important?
Understanding how a person feels when purchasing something has always fascinated me. When you swipe a credit card to pay for something, you get a rush of dopamine and a happy feeling. Then it quickly all goes back to normal. I was always curious why payments feel that way and what value could exist beyond driving a certain consumption behavior.
What if payments are just a constant bet? For example, you go to a concert with artists that are not known at the time but after two years those same artists became famous and well-known. Can I tokenize that moment? That decision?
Our payments become a vote of our understanding of the value of a certain thing. We buy things that we think are more valuable than others. How can we keep that transaction in the future? How can we preserve the value of that purchase because what might mean nothing to some could be valuable in the future.
At Olyn, we want people to capture ownership when they buy something. A purchase can be transformed into a digital package where manuals, guarantees, and other stuff attached to it shouldn't be printed anymore. And more than that, the purchases we make help drive future adoption from others. We can power a new level of sustainability, circular economy and community with our purchase data.
What do you believe is the most exciting thing you’ve learned and want others to know?
One of the things I learned is how different the interpretation of value can be. Three years ago when I was at a startup, I didn't fully recognize that my imagination, ideas, or input have value. When we have an idea, explain it, frame it, and visualize it - it starts to have value in the world.
A lot of people criticize NFTs and their perception of them is limited to JPEGS or digital content that can be owned. Bored Apes is a good example, all of the effort to create value and fame around a digital asset leads to an unlock of a new type of value. Where in the past, fame has been connected to an individual, now it isn't attached to a person but a sellable thing. A person can own fame or knowledge and make it transferable or fractional. Society is starting to recognize that what you own today isn't only the title or the physical thing itself but that it is also representative as a record of your behavior, decisions, and existence - your legacy for the future.
Is there a person or a company that’s really inspired you?
I was amazed by how Craiglist was initially a meeting place for people who are seekers and providers but became an inspiration to other companies that we have right now. That one simple concept ended up becoming the groundwork for many companies to come. They helped prove the product-market fit and demand for sub-categories like Uber which are now billion-dollar unicorns.
What advice would you give to someone getting started?
One of the mistakes I’ve seen people make is to assume how people think about things. Years ago, I first became curious about why people buy things - I made an assumption about the answer and immediately moved on. But that was a mistake. When you can look beyond your biases and trust the data new realities can emerge. Since then, one of my rules has become when you do something, don’t try to interpret it as if that is how other people or the world think too.
One example of this is Opensea and NBA top shot. These platforms became the biggest collector marketplaces in history. At the time, I couldn't understand what was happening. I couldn't see the bigger picture - but someone out there did. Someone saw and believed something that I wasn’t seeing. That proved to be a major new behavior that has now become a trending topic.
One thing that's helped me most with expanding my beliefs and ideas - playing with getting into someone else's skin - is reading science fiction. I’m a huge fan of snow crash. It has had a huge impact on my ideas.
How can we stay in touch?
Have thoughts on this week’s topic or questions for me or Ana Maria? Post your thoughts in the comment section. Until next week. 🙂
DISCLAIMER: The thoughts and views expressed in this video do not constitute financial or investment advice.
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