Vinny Lingham

CEO of Civic | Shark on Shark Tank | Co-founder of Gyft

THIS CHAT HAPPENED ON September 13, 2017

Discussion

Vinny Lingham@vinny_lingham · CEO, Civic
Hi -- I'm Vinny Lingham, co-founder and CEO of Civic - a startup that is leading a global identity revolution - and an active technology investor focused primarily on Bitcoin and Blockchain projects. In 2012, I started Gyft, a mobile gift card company, with the backing of Google Ventures.[7] In two years, Gyft became the leading service in the mobile gift card space and was acquired by First Data Corporation in 2014 for more than $54m
Nick Abouzeid 🕴@nickabouzeid · Social & Ship at Product Hunt
Hi Vinny! What do you think about China's recent move to illegalize ICOs & shut down cryptocurrency exchanges in the mainland?
Vinny Lingham@vinny_lingham · CEO, Civic
@nickabouzeid It's not unexpected. The problem with Bitcoin dominating world headlines is that those who are threatened will react. I've always been in favor of slow and steady growth, and Bitcoin as a stable store of value. Fluctuations in price as we've seen over the past 3 months is not healthy.
Jason van den Berg@jayvdb1 · Make apps and stuff
Hey Vinny, when will the tokens actually start being used for civic services? Is it something you guys are waiting on RSK for?
Vinny Lingham@vinny_lingham · CEO, Civic
@jayvdb1 Yes, and for that we need to wait for the Segwit2X hard fork to either happen or not. Our platform is built on Bitcoin so it's critical that there is clarity here.
Jason van den Berg@jayvdb1 · Make apps and stuff
@vinny_lingham So either way Civic will always be built on Bitcoin? Are there any backup plans if future hard forks popup again and cause issues?
Andrew Falchook@falchook · Growth at MiningStore
Hey Vinny! What do you look for when investing in crypto-related startups? In an industry where many lines are blurred, what goes into your investment decision?
Vinny Lingham@vinny_lingham · CEO, Civic
@falchook People, people, people. I also look for cryptos that can become public utilities, as I explained here : https://vinnylingham.com/why-tok...
Maulik Shah@maulikshah19 · Product Manager
Hi Vinny - I would like to understand your approach to creating network effect for CIVIC and what are the key challenges you are facing or anticipate as you grow the CIVIC network, Thanks !!
Vinny Lingham@vinny_lingham · CEO, Civic
@maulikshah19 We're in the fortunate situation that we have a large number of tokens to distribute and "buy" partnerships. Right now, we're just focusing on delivering on the existing demand that we have and trying to scale the company to ensure that we can onboard hundreds and thousands of partners quickly.
Justin Darcy@justinsdarcy · Alliances, Salesforce
Hi Vinny - Eve Maler from ForgeRock recently said: “Identity will not move to the blockchain if this means personal data will be put on a public permissionless blockchain as this is now widely considered bad practice,” How do you react to this comment? Thanks!
Vinny Lingham@vinny_lingham · CEO, Civic
@justinsdarcy It's just ignorance. Personal data is not stored on the blockchain. It's stored on your device but the hashes are on the blockchain and we use the PKI that exists with blockchain tech. You can't hack the blockchain and get the data - it's not there.
Nick Abouzeid 🕴@nickabouzeid · Social & Ship at Product Hunt
Second question: what steps has Gyft taken to avoid transacting stolen gift cards? With cybersecurity on our minds (#Equihack), curious to hear what steps Gyft takes to protect consumers from purchasing stolen gift cards.
Vinny Lingham@vinny_lingham · CEO, Civic
@nickabouzeid I sold Gyft to First Data in 2014 - I cannot comment further on the company.
Ayrton De Craene@ayrton · Code @ Product Hunt
What surprises you about some of the founders you see on SharkTank? Do you find yourself giving similar advice time and time again?
Vinny Lingham@vinny_lingham · CEO, Civic
@ayrton Unfortunately, it's very repetitive. Most of the time the unit economics of their businesses just don't scale past being a small business with low overhead. That's ok, but then don't get an investor.
Souhail Merroun@souhailmerroun · Software Engineer, Student
Did you ever visit Morocco?
Vinny Lingham@vinny_lingham · CEO, Civic
@souhailmerroun Never been - hope to one day!
Tefo@tefomohapi · Nerd. Media Hacker. Founder @iAfrikan
Do you see governments still playing a role in managing identities going forward?
Vinny Lingham@vinny_lingham · CEO, Civic
@tefomohapi The only way we solve identity is ensuring that everyone is involved. Privacy is another matter entirely. We should be very concerned with creating and maintaining large centralized databases of personal information.
Jake Crump@jakecrump · Community Team with Product Hunt
What is the best advice you ever received? How did this impact you?
Vinny Lingham@vinny_lingham · CEO, Civic
@jakecrump Talent shouldn't chase money. Money chases talent. Do what you love and the money will come. I try not to do things that I'm not passionate about. I've taken lower salaries for more exciting jobs, for example.
Mike Coutermarsh@mscccc · Code @ Product Hunt
Hi Vinny! So far in your career, what's the biggest risk you've taken? How'd it turn out?
Vinny Lingham@vinny_lingham · CEO, Civic
@mscccc Risks are all relative. Risking $10k when you're worth $10k is higher risk than risking $500k when you're worth $10m, for example. When I sold my small town home in 2003 to raise money for first company, and maxed out my credit cards was probably the biggest risk I've taken, on a relative basis.
Emily Hodgins@ems_hodge · Community and Marketing, Product Hunt
Hi Vinny thanks for joining us today. What fundraising tips can you offer for first time founders looking to get their initial investors onboard?
Vinny Lingham@vinny_lingham · CEO, Civic
@ems_hodge First time founders should focus on an area that they are extremely passionate about, and learn as much as they can about it. First time founder need to also not be valuation sensitive - find investors that you think can really help you and get them on board. Don't argue about valuation and don't raise too much money either. Focus on getting enough cash to get you from one step to the next. I gave away a lot of equity early in my life to investors in order to ensure that I became a success - without them, I may not have made it. Don't be greedy.
Jan Sobek@jan_sobek
Hello! Where Civic can be used now?And which companies you might be thinking for future to cooperate with? Would be apple and their apple ID a posibility for your future, or is it completely different product?
Vinny Lingham@vinny_lingham · CEO, Civic
@jan_sobek We're open to working with any company that wants to improve user privacy and decentralize identity.
Manjunath Bysani@manjunath_bysani
By when do see global acceptance of CIVIC?
Vinny Lingham@vinny_lingham · CEO, Civic
@manjunath_bysani Realistically 3-5 years from now, but we will make a lot of progress as we get there.
Sid Ramesh@sidrmsh1
Hi Vinny, how do you view Enterprise Blockchains (ie, permissioned/private instances) and the potential impact that they can create?
Vinny Lingham@vinny_lingham · CEO, Civic
@sidrmsh1 These are still centralized data sources. There are use cases for them, but it's not about decentralization or trustless application.
Has the live stream started?
Emily Hodgins@ems_hodge · Community and Marketing, Product Hunt
@iamjoejoe hi Joseph, this is a text based chat only. To ask Vinny a question, simply type it in here and he'll type you back a reply within the next hour 🙏
Do you see yourself and Civic venturing in India? 1.25 Bn people, that's a lot of identities to be tackled.
Vinny Lingham@vinny_lingham · CEO, Civic
@iamban Civic will be available worldwide and be borderless. Right now we are focusing on ensuring that websites and companies are ready to accept Civic - we will onboard users faster after the ecosystem is established. India is on the list - but it's not our immediate priority. It's not going away either :-)
@vinny_lingham Thanks for the reply Vinny. All the best for the future. :)
Seth Williams@sethbwilliams · Designer, Product Hunt
What is you morning/daily routine?
Vinny Lingham@vinny_lingham · CEO, Civic
@sethbwilliams If I'm not traveling, I wake up at 6am, tackle emails/messages, head to the gym, then phone calls in the morning, lunch meetings, meetings in the afternoon and in the evenings I do more emails. I typically work 14-16 hours per day Mon-Fri and then 4 hours per day on weekends. I try to take a week of "downtime" every quarter where I'm only working 4 hours a day.
Arvind Mishra@arvind_vnit
how many btc do you own? above 1000 or less than 5000?
Vinny Lingham@vinny_lingham · CEO, Civic
@arvind_vnit First rule about Bitcoin: Don't talk about your Bitcoin :-)
Arvind Mishra@arvind_vnit
@vinny_lingham you can convert it into usd and tell.. :)