Hayden Williams discusses the future of cryptocurrency across many industries
Hayden Williams is Senior Product Manager for Existing Customers at MYOB, a cloud-based business management platform fit for Enterprise, SME & startup businesses. In his conversation with Adam, Hayden discusses the evolution that MYOB are going through currently, in which they are working towards becoming a platform which small businesses and startups can use to manage their business in a more holistic way. Hayden also discusses the benefits of shorter, more frequent product updates for SAS companies, as well as his belief that both cryptocurrency and NFTs could play an important role in all kinds of industries in the future, though not in the way that they are currently.
Hayden on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/hayden-williams-4a74b759/
Adam Spencer: Hi, I’m Adam Spencer and welcome to Day One, the podcast that spotlights Australian startups, founders, and the organizations that empower Australian entrepreneurship. We go back to the beginning to tell a story of Australia’s most inspiring founders and how they built their companies. You’re listening to a special interview series as part of a documentary W2D1 is producing about the history of the Australian startup ecosystem. On the episode today, we have-
Hayden Williams: My name is Hayden Williams and I’m one of the lead product managers at MYOB.
Adam Spencer: What does day to day look like for you as senior product manager?
Hayden Williams: Yeah. Sure. So in essence, I work with a group of really smart, really capable people. Leading them is my main job. Our collective job is to really decide, well, in terms of how we go about solving customer problems in the market, well, what are we going to do next? What’s the next thing that we want to work on? And so, we’re in the product world at MYOB very much the what are we build and why are we building it? What are the problems that we’re solving? Then we work with our colleagues in tech to really work out the how are we going to build it and when are we going to take it out to market? So, that’s really the crux of the role is at MYOB, what are we going to build next? Why are we doing it and what problems do we think we’ll solve for customers in the marketplace by doing that?
Adam Spencer: Okay. Yeah, that helps me. I mean, I’m a student and I’m always learning. The whole senior product manager thing, I don’t really understand what’s going on there and what you guys do, obviously apart from building and helping to build the product.
Hayden Williams: Yeah. Look, product management is one of those weird dark arts, because everyone’s got a different definition of, well, what exactly does that mean. But at the end of the day, what good product management boils down to is just like if you only have a dollar, where are you placing your next bit in terms of where you put your development resource. That’s what it ultimately boils down to.
Adam Spencer: To lead into the next question, startups, founders, what percentage of the customer base are people that are working for startups?
Hayden Williams: In MYOB’s customer base?
Adam Spencer: Yeah. Yeah.
Hayden Williams: Yeah. Yeah. In digital startups, as you classify them, it’s probably a round about 25%.
Adam Spencer: Right.
Hayden Williams: And then the majority being your more traditional industry based, small to medium businesses.
Adam Spencer: So for that 25% startup base, what was your first exposure to that whole world? How did you get introduced to it?
Hayden Williams: Yeah. Well, it actually predates MYOB. I’ll go into the small business ecosystem initially, and then go into the startup world. But my first exposure to the small business ecosystem was I’ve been in around the small business world for about 15 years now. So, I’m 34, so that’s most of my working life.
Adam Spencer: Wow.
Hayden Williams: And so, I started in telco. So you probably tell by the accent, I’m originally from New Zealand. I was working in New Zealand, in a retail store for Spark, so similar to Telstra here. I was working in consumer mass market retail. This guy comes in. His name is Paul Beswick and he was starting a company called dynamic eyewear. He wanted help setting up a landline and a toll-free number and all of those things. In the stores, we didn’t normally do that stuff, but I got to talking with him. He was telling me about his business and what he was doing to get it set up. I was completely fascinated. I was like this wide-eyed kid like, “Whoa, you can do that?”
Hayden Williams: I wasn’t one of those kids that grew up in the back of a shop. I really didn’t have much of a concept of what small business was, certainly not what it took to start one and understanding what motivated people to do it. But hearing about how he was putting it on the line to go out on his own and to do things the way that he think that they should be done in his industry, which was eyewear, I was really energized and inspired. I was like, “Whoa, this is rad. This is so much more energizing and interesting than selling mobile phones to kids.” In that gig, I moved into the small business part of that company and I’ve been in small business ever since. I’ve really kind of been addicted to the small business and startup community for that time, so that’s 15 years.
Hayden Williams: As far as startups in the truest sense, probably my first experience was actually a pre-MYOB as well, it was a friend of mine bringing me to this meet up in Melbourne in maybe 2010. He was this guy I went to school with from… He was from Washington and he’d spent time in the valley. So he was this really cool guy that was ahead of the game back then. He’d brought these people together. It was in this cafe in the city. There were maybe 20 people there in total and maybe eight of those actually had something that they were working on, that they were doing a little presentation and were looking for feedback on their idea or their product.
Hayden Williams: It was that same feeling of fascination and admiration and that rush of a couple of people getting together and smashing ideas into each other and seeing that change and that evolution almost in real time. It felt like this ragtag, scrappy bunch of outsiders, misfits that were trying to take on the world. I think that was my first exposure to startup land and that was pretty close to when I joined MYOB. Throughout my whole time at MYOB, I’ve stayed reasonably active in meeting with founders and sharing those ideas. I really think that there is still that scrappiness and that edginess that those startups have 10 years later, even though it’s very much in the mainstream, but yeah, that was the distinct first memory I have of the Australian startup economy.
Adam Spencer: Wow. That’s pretty early on too, 2010. A lot of the conversations I’ve had with people puts the date around 2012 is when things really started to ramp up. There was definitely meetups in cafes, pubs, whatever, and just at meet up kind of events happening before then, but 2010 is pretty early.
Hayden Williams: Yeah. I would never have known anything about it if it wasn’t for Jeremy, this guy who was like, “Hey, we’re doing a…” He called it by its name. He’s like, “We’re doing a meetup.” I’m like, “I’ve got no idea what that is, but it sounds cool. Count me in.”
Adam Spencer: So 2010, you’ve been in your current role thereabouts for, I just looked before, eight and a half years or something?
Hayden Williams: Coming up to over 11 years now.
Adam Spencer: Oh, wow.
Hayden Williams: Yeah. No, coming up 12 years. My LinkedIn is just… I’m terrible at updating my LinkedIn.
Adam Spencer: That does dated perfectly right about that 2010 time you joined MYOB.
Hayden Williams: Yeah. I’m pretty sure it was maybe a few months, maybe three or four months before I joined MYOB.
Adam Spencer: How did that happen? Give us some context so that when we start talking about MYOB’s early days and in a second, it all makes sense to people listening.
Hayden Williams: Yeah. I joined MYOB almost by mistake. I was working in that telco in sales. I needed to get out of sales because I was a bit burnt out and I was looking for a gig that I could do for a little while before going on the OE to Canada for a year-long holiday in Canada, which as one does in your 20s. So I started this gig working at MYOB in a service job. The same thing happened that happened to me when I had that first conversation with Paul and when I’ve met those early stage founders in the cafe, I just fell in love with it again and I couldn’t get out. I’ve worked across a bunch of different roles in MYOB, across a variety of parts of the business, everything from tech to product, to marketing, to customer success. You name it, I’ve done it. But yeah, that’s really how I got started was just looking for a job going, “Hey, I’m in small business now. It’d be a nice, easy transition,” only looking for something to do for about six months or so that turned into coming up 12 years.
Adam Spencer: So you joined MYOB in around 2010, but around 20 years earlier, three guys in a garage were building what would be MYOB. We talked about a bit about this before we hit record, but can you just give us a little bit of a look into what that was like for them or just from your point of view, just from what you’ve heard?
Hayden Williams: Yeah. No. No. Absolutely. It’s like one of the classic, I think, Australian startup stories. We talk about it at MYOB that we’re one of the OG startups, definitely one of the earliest ones, certainly one of the best tenured. I was the same story as you hear so often. It is just a couple of founders that are starting a business from a garage that are trying to solve a really specific problem that they’re really close to and really that it grows legs and it almost gets away from them and they’re just trying to hold on for dear life. Through the ’90s, that was that first stage of MYOB’s life.
Hayden Williams: I think that MYOB has been through I would classify three big evolutions. So when MYOB started out, it was very much about enabling small businesses to do accounting. There were a handful of money management products that were out there, but universally accepted to be pretty terrible and really having a real tool that you could use to manage the books was a pretty novel thing in the industry, but really what it was about that idea of enabling small business accounting. You could mount the argument that the small business and the accountant were actually competing for the same business around that record keeping data entry, really core compliance stuff. So that was, I think, the first age of MYOB was very much about that enabling small businesses to do their own accounts, which I couldn’t really do before, certainly couldn’t do easily.
Hayden Williams: And then the next big evolution I would say would be when we really started to build tools that helped accounting practices to work more closely with the small business, so rather than the small business does it or the accountant does it, actually really starting to facilitate that relationship. I think MYOB really started that client-accountant ecosystem, which is still evolving today. I think that we really doubled down on that in around 2004 when Solution 6 joined MYOB, which provides tools for practices to manage their practice and to work with ECMEs. That was ’04.
Hayden Williams: Then the next big evolution I think is where we really started to become an online business and that’s about eight years later, that’s getting into about 2012, but that’s really where I think that we probably learned the most lessons as a company. That was also not long after I joined MYOB. I’ll talk about those lessons in a sec, because I think they are pretty valuable. The third really big evolution or the fourth age of MYOB is the one that we’re in now, which is trying to actually become less about the accounting software and more about being a platform that small businesses and startups can use to really manage their business. It’s a subtle and nuance, but really important shift.
Hayden Williams: In terms of the lessons that I’d mentioned around transitioning to being an online business, I think the biggest thing that’s allowed us to keep up with the changing nature of the market that we participate in, one of the biggest lessons we learned was probably how big an impact culture has. I know that it’s like a cliche thing to say like, “Oh, everything is culture,” but man, is it true. When we first got into online software, we thought, “Okay. Let’s build the same software with the same people.” You put it online rather than on a local machine and that’s online software, right? Surely. But as we all know now, being a SaaS business is so much more than that. It’s not even about having your products and a browser or on a recurring subscription.
Hayden Williams: It’s not that. It’s the customer expectations that come with having a SaaS product. That was the thing that really was overlooked, I think, and that’s ease of use, performance, stability, the service experience, how you communicate with your customers. We really underestimated that, I think, and I think a lot of startups do today as well. That all starts with people and that’s everyone. That’s everyone in the organization needs to have that understanding of the purpose of the company, what problems is it solving for customers, how is it different. You need to have great customer empathy and you need to be hungry for change and restless with the status quo.
Hayden Williams: That’s a collective mindset thing. That’s not something that you change with a company memo. That’s not something that you decide that is going to happen when you want to move from being a desktop business to an online business, in MYOB’s case. That’s a fundamental altering of the cultural bedrock of many businesses, especially businesses the size of MYOB. I think that we properly understand that now and we are making really good headway, but understanding what it takes to be a SaaS business and the customer expectations that come with that and the changing nature of those expectations and really doing it, that cultural shift is certainly the one that’s been the biggest lesson that we’ve learned.
Adam Spencer: How are you and your team and the other teams at MYOB approaching that, tackling that, trying to get it across the entire organization? How is that happening?
Hayden Williams: Yeah. Well, I think the biggest thing is what we talked about around being really clear on your purpose and being really clear in who is the customer that you’re going after here. In the past, we’ve been a little bit ambiguous. It’s kind of been like we build accounting software and it’s kind of like, “Okay. Cool. Well, what does that mean? What do you do with that?” And so, being able to actually really articulate to both the people inside MYOB and the people outside of MYOB, being really clear on what do we do and what do we want to help you to do, I think, is really important.
Adam Spencer: If I can ask, what is that? You’ve got really clear on that. What is that thing now that you do?
Hayden Williams: Yeah, absolutely. So we create tools that help businesses and startups to really run their business.
Adam Spencer: Yeah. Right. So that is that shift more to a platform.
Hayden Williams: Yeah, that’s that distinction.
Adam Spencer: Yeah.
Hayden Williams: The difference really is that accounting software is very much a consequence of being in business versus the tools that we want to build are those that actually help you to run your business and to be more prosperous and to really get on top of the things that you use to run the business so that the business doesn’t end up running you around. So that’s being able to keep on top of cash flow, being able to get invoices out the door, being able to get the staff paid, all that stuff. That’s the other tools that we build.
Adam Spencer: Yeah. Yeah. So you’re in this fourth age now, whereas you described it, trying to be less about the software and more about the platform and helping the businesses and the business owners. How do you keep up? How do you keeping up with the market and the change and expectations of customers moving forward?
Hayden Williams: Yeah. I think that what I talked about earlier around the cultural piece is still the most important piece to that question as well, because that’s really about caring and being attentive to the market. If you don’t have that and you don’t have the motivations, you don’t really have much to go on.
Adam Spencer: Yeah.
Hayden Williams: In practical terms though, keeping up with the marketplace, there’s a couple of changes that we’ve made that I think have been pretty monumental. The first is really breaking down how we deliver product to market. So we used to have these big, heavy, annual product cycles with really rigid roadmaps. You’d have anywhere from quarterly to annual releases that would go against these big annual plans. Anyone that’s listening that’s worked in software companies over the last 20 years probably is rolling their eyes going, “Oh, I know exactly what that feels like.” Whereas now it’s very much about breaking that down into smaller chunks that are just more manageable and mean that you can deliver faster.
Hayden Williams: Now, we plan in 90-day cycles and we constantly re-plan within those 90 days. So that means that we get to look up and out of the business that what’s actually going on in the market, the industry government, et cetera, and make sure we’re really getting the lay of the land and capturing those customer needs much more frequently, which sounds really obvious when you say it, but it’s the more exposure I get to more businesses, the more I learn that is a thing that’s really underserved pretty much universally. That’s really helped with making sure that our releases and the stuff that we’re building really will meet the need out there in the marketplace.
Hayden Williams: And then rather than those big quarterly or annual release cycles, we are releasing multiple times each week now, which is huge, because it allows us to not just get the value in the hands of customers much more faster and in a way that’s easier for them to digest. How often do you read the release notes of something when you get an update, right? Probably not that often. So it’s really important that you’re not releasing a hundred things all at once and then asking anyone to read War and Peace every time that you release a new version. You got to make sure that you’re releasing small changes that people can understand, can get the value. You got to do that regularly, otherwise people just go TLDR and never understand the value that you’re doing and it’s a if a tree falls in the forest and no one’s around to hear it kind of thing.
Adam Spencer: Yeah. I love this glimpse behind the curtain of how you guys are thinking.
Hayden Williams: Yeah. So I can tell you, having been on both sides of it, it really is a pretty profound shift. It takes a while to translate to the real results that you’re having out in market, but we’re really seeing good shoots of that now. I’m really stoked with how the teams are going. It’s starting to be received really well in the marketplace. One of the other interesting things in terms of how we are keeping up the landscape is actually how we’re helping to shape it now, which I think is another big shift, especially in partnership with the government, and that’s both in Australia and New Zealand.
Hayden Williams: The governments in both countries have been pretty proactive in recent years around digitization of themselves and their agencies and business more broadly. Initiatives like Single Touch Payroll and Super Stream and e-invoicing and SPR, all of these government initiatives really around digitization and digital adoption really have or will help to streamline these businesses by cutting down the shuttling around of data and the manual data entry and human error. And so, I think that they’re really great initiatives and it’s great to see those being put into market in a really strong way by the government.
Hayden Williams: And then we’ve also working with the government to champion the needs of small business and the startup ecosystem more broadly. That’s had some really killer outcomes here and across the Tasman. So here, you may have heard of the digital tax incentive, which is 120% tax incentive for investing in digital technologies. That’s obviously a huge outcome and we’ve been working with the government for a long time on that through to… In New Zealand, we’ve been working with the government to really try and simplify some of the more complex payroll legislation called the Holidays Act, which I spent a lot of time with, which is truly hardcore and that’s catching a lot of small businesses out.
Hayden Williams: And so, we’ve worked with the government to actually make legislation changes, which will be making their way out, which will help to simplify things for businesses over there. So that’s probably the other really big shift in terms of how do you keep up with the environment is through these types of partnerships with government and industry, really starting to, well, go, “Cool. Okay. Well, we really need to, on behalf of startups and small businesses everywhere, really actually shape that landscape rather than deal with it.”
Adam Spencer: Yeah. So you’ve gone through this monumental change internally, looking at how are you supporting business owners and founders. I’m curious because, again, before we hit record, we did briefly mention the three core values, I guess that’s what we call them, that helps guide your decision making on the product for businesses, for founders that are using your product. Just before we talk about what they are, internally, what prompted to go, “We need to rethink this”?
Hayden Williams: Yeah. I think that it’s really important to make sure that you’re thinking about things in the right way, but more importantly, that you’re thinking about them in these consistent and different sort of like frames of reference. So, you’ve got to look at the same problem through a few different prisms, I think, to really make sure that the solutions that you’re developing are actually the right solutions. And so, this is just another framework that you can use to when you’re asking yourself the question of, “Is there a need for this? Do the customers want it? Does it make sense for us to do it as MYOB?”
Hayden Williams: Yes. Yes. Okay. Cool. If that’s true, what are the kind of attributes that we want to imbue that thing with then? What are we trying to achieve in terms of the type of product that we want to deliver to the market? And so, having some names that we can put on that and kind of like go, “Is it this? Is it this? Is it this?” is just another way that we can help to make sure that we are going to hit the nail on the head first time.
Adam Spencer: You guys have rethought what the focus is, what the values are. Can you talk us through these three what we’re calling them pillars?
Hayden Williams: We’re labeling them as connection, adaptability and decisive. So, what does that mean practically? There’s a lot of software out there in the world now, and you can get software that basically meets any need that you could possibly have as a startup or a small business, and so it’s really important. That is our way of standing out that we want to actually have these as the things that you really feel when you are using the product. So, when it comes to connected as the first one, what that means is that not just are you connected to the tools that you use in terms of that you understand how they work, you understand the value that they give to you and you are getting a meaningful value exchange with them in terms of how they help you to run your business.
Hayden Williams: But the latest data that we have tells us that Australian and New Zealand ECMEs, they’re spending 2.6 billion a year on digital tools, but only 43% of them are saying that most of these actually connect well. And so, there’s this massive gap here of all of these tools that have no interop between them, that are just like a whole bunch of islands that are in your business that you’re having to constantly dip in and out of. That creates a load of wasted energy, time, money, you name it. On average, these people that are working in startups, small businesses, thus spending a full day a week just manually doing tasks that could be automated if the tools that they use in their business just talked to each other and worked together seamlessly.
Adam Spencer: Yeah. This is hitting home for me.
Hayden Williams: Oh yeah?
Adam Spencer: Yeah. Actually, I’m part of that, whatever, two-something billion dollars.
Hayden Williams: No, I think you’re definitely in good company. And so, that’s the mission is to try and figure out how can we actually help to bring those things together in a more meaningful way that’s not just about the exchange of information. We really believe that the next evolution of that is really bringing things together and bringing the experience of using these things together. So rather than having to maintain all of these different softwares and opening this, get that bit of information, close that, open the next thing, get that bit of information, hope that you’ve got a reasonably good short-term memory and then use all of that to make a decision, we want to really find a way to bring all of that stuff together to allow you to make really good decisions on as a business or as a startup, where are you going to put your next bit?
Hayden Williams: That’s what that decisive point is all about, having that more holistic view of what’s going on in your business, having good data integrity so that you can trust the data, making sure that you have the right data available to you in the right place at the right time. You’re not having to do a whole bunch of life admin to figure out how long you’ve got before you run out of cash. All of those things, bringing it all together and presenting it in such a way that allows you to make really good quality quick decisions on what you’re going to do in terms of running your business, that’s really what that decisive element is all about is using that connected data to enable good, timely, high quality decisions, because that’s what’s going to help these businesses that are starting out really survive that crucial first one or two years.
Hayden Williams: And then the adaptable piece, that really is just about us as a business, acknowledging that when it comes to businesses now more than ever, one size really don’t fit all, and so making sure that we have products that are out there in the market that you can tailor them to your specific needs and that it’s showing you more of what’s relevant to you and less of what isn’t. That’s all that’s about.
Adam Spencer: Having gone through all of that, that kind of a lot of changes happened, is there anything that’s come out the other side that you would advise customers on, particularly startups, how to keep up, how to stay relevant, how to listen to the market? Any advice there?
Hayden Williams: Yeah. I mean, I think that I’ll keep coming back to what we’ve already talked about, but it really is just quite simply be really clear on your purpose, be really considered in how you stand out from a big crowd and a crowd that’s getting bigger and bigger, understand the importance of the culture that you’re creating, because that absolutely is going to manifest in the outcomes that you deliver to your customers. Stay close to them, pick the right metrics to watch, and don’t confuse those metrics with activity. The other advice I’d give would be use digital solutions wisely, definitely make sure that you get yourself some good business management early on and don’t wing it out of spreadsheets for too long, because really any time that you spend there is time that probably could be better spent somewhere else, and so it’s really important to…
Hayden Williams: I speak to so many founders are just like, “Oh yeah, but I’m really early stage. I really don’t justify that just yet.” The reality is that software like that is cheap. You’ve got to understand that it’s not the capital outlay that’s the issue. It’s actually the stuff that you are not doing because you are spending time shuffling paper. That’s the big lesson there. I still am surprised week in, week out with how many, whether it’s small business owners, founders that I talk to, that aren’t readily adopting digital solutions that could really help them propel their business forward because they think that their size of their business doesn’t justify it. People still fail to see their time as money and to realize the opportunity cost of time not spent optimally.
Adam Spencer: That’s fantastic. I love being clear on your purpose and stay close to your customers. That’s something that I’m going to stick to the wall right next to my monitor, because we could all be better at that.
Hayden Williams: No, absolutely. Absolutely. It’s an ongoing journey, for sure, but it’s advice to live by.
Adam Spencer: What we’re trying to do is create a documentary that will as holistically and as true to the actual story as possible, create this story that will tell the history of the Australian startup ecosystem. All right. We want founders, investors, academics, policymakers, everyone from every corner of the ecosystem to listen to this story. Anything that you want to share with them? What’s top of mind? What do you think that founders maybe, or maybe policymakers, what do you think they need to hear from you?
Hayden Williams: I think something that I talk to founders a lot is the fact that there are businesses too. And so, founders of startups really tend to forget that the small businesses with a cool title and at the end of the day, that same rigor and discipline and support that any small business needs is not that different for them. I think that ego can sometimes come a little bit into play here as well. As a founder, I think that you have to be a little bit delusional to be successful. An overly reasonable rational person would probably never found a startup or start a small business.
Hayden Williams: You have to have that verging on unreasonable belief to really make it happen, but it’s a bit of a double-edged sword because you can sometimes just get caught up in drinking your own Kool-Aid and forget that you actually have a business that you need to run. You need to make sure that you are managing your costs well and that you’re really aware of your cash flow. And so, it’s really those fundamental elements of discipline around running the business. There are things that so many founders, I think, don’t pay enough attention to, and then all of a sudden get really caught up in the glitz and the glamor that they forget that they need to nail those fundamentals, that they need to in order to keep going.
Hayden Williams: And then on the keep going thing, one of the interesting things that I’ve observed about the Australian startup industry, which may be a bit of a hot take, but I think that we haven’t really embraced the fail-fast thing here, really, I don’t think. There are a ton of startups out there right now, particularly in the FinTech space that have these big vivacious founders that really have a great pitch and a great spiel, but ultimately they have a product that’s looking for a customer problem to solve. They can’t find market fit. They’re not growing volume. They’re not growing revenue, but they keep limping on because they have this borderline delusional self-belief that means that they can’t really see the forest for the trees.
Hayden Williams: They keep a business that really doesn’t have a good future limping on by either selling it to investors or tipping in more of their own money. You don’t see that culture of the head in the sand cling onto the last moment to the same extent, and other countries, I think, as to what you do here. So that’s why I think that having that rigor around running the business and keeping an eye on those really fundamental business metrics is so important because not just does it enable you to run a business well, but it helps you to become grounded back to reality no matter the scale of that reality.
Adam Spencer: I love that. If the person listening to this right now is feeling like we’re talking to them, we are, so take this as a wake up call.
Hayden Williams: Absolutely. Failure now is better than failure later and it’s not the last go.
Adam Spencer: Now, for the fun one, and I don’t know what your answer is going to be here, but I’m just curious, how do you think the emerging crypto, whole NFT world is going to impact startups?
Hayden Williams: I actually think that there’s a lot of opportunity in both crypto and NFTs, but definitely not in the way that we are using them today. So crypto, for example, it depends how you look at it. The way that people look at it today is pretty much like a commodity. So you got to look at it and go, “Crypto, is it a commodity or is it a currency?” I think that the opportunity that crypto has, and you’re starting to see this with… There’s a couple of things that are starting to prove that this is the way that it’s going, so the emergence of stable coins and the interest from banks in crypto more broadly, and then also the way that crypto is starting to become tethered to the broader market. We’re really seeing crypto falling with the broader economy in a much more closely linked way than we have before.
Hayden Williams: So there are a couple of demonstrations on how it’s moving a little bit more towards a much more embedded part of the economy rather than this bizarre thing that sits off in its own. It’s often its own economy, but that’s kind of as a commodity. But if you think about it as a currency, the ability to have a universal currency to facilitate global trade, but that’s where I think that it has interesting application, particularly for small businesses. At the moment, for example, it’s a really tough time to be an Australian importer. The dollar falling to 69 U.S. cents. The Australian importers right now are really vulnerable to shifts in the U.S. dollar. And so, the idea that you can have a currency that is normalized globally is less susceptible to those sorts of shifts. I think that there’s opportunity there, but yeah, the opportunity I see for crypto really is around less reliance on banks and facilitating global trade more than it is investing in it like it’s a commodity.
Adam Spencer: Yeah.
Hayden Williams: NFTs is a kind of similar story. I think NFTs applied well could become an entire industry on its own, or certainly have the potential to change a bunch of existing industries, so everything from property, cars, healthcare, you name it. I think that NFTs have potential scope for real change. Think of you buy a house. How do you prove that you own the house? I think that an NFT that says that you own the house and then all of the records that are attached to that, you could have plans, ownership history, value over time, all of that sort of stuff, the ability to have that record uncorruptable and in the blockchain, I think, actually creates some really interesting opportunities as Web 3.0 is coming up. I think that there’s actually a good potential for a lot of more traditional industries to actually jump on that.
Hayden Williams: It’s the same deal for cars. Imagine that there’s a universal ledger that anything to do with your car actually is put into. Recently, a friend of mine bought a car from a dealership that turned out to be a lemon, because it had been in an accident and it had been really poorly repaired. Imagine if anyone that’s repairing a car has to make this entry into… You’ve got a token which is the car and the token is transferred to the owner and then linked to that, a variety of entries to the blockchain of its service history and every repair that it’s had. So, I think it really does have the potential to change those types of industries, but it’s not how it’s being used today. It’s not paying 400,000 for a picture of a monkey to flex on your mates, but I think that it does have real applicability and it’s actually something I’m pretty excited about.
Adam Spencer: Yeah. That’s a great answer. I love that. Yeah, it’s all very interesting.
Hayden Williams: Yeah, it really is. It really is, but I have to say, I really hate how it is today.
Adam Spencer: Yeah. Yep. All these pictures of monkeys, man.
Hayden Williams: Yeah, it’s crazy.
Adam Spencer: Thanks for your time today, Hayden. Appreciate it.
Hayden Williams: No. Hey, thank you. No, it’s been awesome. I really appreciate it.
Adam Spencer: I hope you enjoyed that interview. More interviews are on the way. Follow the podcast wherever you’re listening right now. Stay tuned for more interviews with many, many more amazing people from the Australian startup ecosystem. Thanks for listening and see you next time.