“At this point in my life, I don’t consider anything I do a “success” unless it’s contributing to the overall goodness of the world — I live on what I believe is the “right side of history.” In my 20s, I had no idea what that meant. Because of my visibility in the industry sometimes I get calls for help. I am most proud of using my success to help a team create enough noise to move the US. Department of State to take action to safely return two journalists from imprisonment in North Korea. I designed the first ever campaign to use a hashtag to force the hand of popular opinion. I was instrumental in enabling the journalists to be freed. When I received a call from the sister of one of the journalists personally thanking me — I can’t think of a prouder moment.”
I had the pleasure of interviewing Jennifer Fader, Founder of Bring in Fader. Jennifer’s greatest accomplishment is being a mom. Among many other lessons, becoming a mom showed her that biology is the most powerful technology. on the planet As a parent she can say she is truly a futurist — invested in being part of the solution. All of her work is about creating a more dynamic and amazing future.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! What is your “backstory”?
I’m a lifelong geek. When my father refused to buy me an Atari 2600 but agreed to let me “play” with my first computer, a Commodore Vic-20, I began my journey as a technologist. After realizing that I would never enjoy being an attorney, I feel into PR by “accident.” I continued to expose my inner geek as PR pro — whether it was working on global consumer brands like Coty , the Grammys or Kraft, I continued to push for ways technologies could help consumers and others connect and do things differently
Can you tell me about the most interesting projects you are working on now?
▶︎ XYO Network — This company isn’t your average blockchain project. The team has been working together since 2012 and is developing a way to connect (literally) the entire iOT (internet of things) via the blockchain.
▶︎Wunder.art — A project that’s leveraging the power of blockchain technology to new media — redefining the art museum experience the world. Soon to launch a blockchain based Art Museum.
▶︎ Blockchain Girls — I’m grateful to have met Alex Boerum recently at a panel I participated on featuring Women in Blockchain. Alex working closely with high school girls (in Los Angeles now, soon to expand) to learn, use and build their opportunities by learning and using blockchain. It’s amazing to observe how these young minds not only “get it” but take the technology and run with it. The current Santa Monica-based team is now trailing presenting their business plan to others.
▶︎ Etherprise.io — Ethereum (a type of blockchain) s a great technology for many reasons , but it’s not to yet ready for the “Enterprise” due to scaling and speed challenges. Etherprise.io is launching products ramp things up so that so it can be used at the speed and scale of actual business.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
In 2007 I wanted to “break the PR system” and start using social media, blogs and online influencers in the mix of tactics for my clients. I shopped the idea around to over 20 PR agencies — most of them thought I was nuts. Michael Terpin, who is now known as the “Godfather of the ICO” and one of the world’s most respected minds on all things cryptocurrency and blockchain actually listened. After one meeting, he enabled me to expand my ideas and build a business as President and I later co-founded SocialRadius with him, the first social media agency in the US.
The clients I was introduced to through Michael set the stage for my massive career successes, and I am eternally grateful that he gave me a chance to do things no one had ever tried in the Public Relations industry. It was the work he enabled me to do with his team that sparked interest from others and set my career on “turbo”! It only takes one person to listen and take a risk. Every day I am glad I walked into his office — and that he listened !
What are the 5 things that most excite you about blockchain and crypto? Why?
Blockchain and crypto technologies present us with a new canvas to build businesses. There is no such thing as an “expert” — we’re all learning together to create new ways and means of doing business and more.
2. Reducing our dependence on intermediaries and middlemen.
By leveraging the power of smart contracts (on Ethereum for example) creators, workers, makers and others can instantly be compensated for their effort without needing to “break off a piece” to managers, agents and other “middlemen” who slow down and make it hard for creators to profit. During my tenure at Rogers & Cowan, I was immersed in the world of entertainment and learned first hand how even household name talent struggled to profit and I had a first row seat into the nature of how hard it is for the creative class to succeed due to the nature of a centralized system. It’s wonderful to be a part of a change that enables creators to thrive without restraints.
3. 24/7 Markets and Instant Liquidity:
Have you ever had limited access to your own money because it’s a Sunday and the bank is closed? Or not able to work when you want to because it’s a “bank holiday” and you can transfer funds to a vendor? Blockchain and cryptocurrency shatter our old model and operate around the world, borderless and free 24/7, enabling us to create, build and transact anywhere we want, any time. No bank account? No problem.
4. Levels humanity up because transparency is baked in:
I’ve realized that my idealistic (and naive) desire to make the world a better and more honest place isn’t exactly practical. I am confident that the blockchain will will train us to assume transparency as part of doing business. While we as humans are subject to human nature, code isn’t. By building a new operating system for humanity, with honesty “baked into” the architecture, I believe that we will all “level up “ in our ability to do business more honestly and as a result, create more positive ways to live our lives.
5. Open Source — “Free Software, Free Society”
Satoshi Nakamoto’s 9 page white paper on Bitcoin is suitable for framing. It was the product of many faiilures to create a “digital money format” by many others before him (or her!). By establishing a new way to transfer, create and establish value without the intercession of a government, authority or centralized group is a rebel’s dream and I’m a rebel.
The limits and gatekeeping required by Establishment and Legacy systems is erased. I love the idea of blockchain and crypto providing us all with a new “scaffolding” to go beyond our limits and solve problems that have plagued us for generations.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world? Can you share a story?
At this point in my life, I don’t consider anything I do a “success” unless it’s contributing to the overall goodness of the world — I live on what I believe is the “right side of history.” In my 20s, I had no idea what that meant.
Because of my visibility in the industry sometimes I get calls for help. I am most proud of using my success to help a team create enough noise to move the US. Department of State to take action to safely return two journalists from imprisonment in North Korea. I designed the first ever campaign to use a hashtag to force the hand of popular opinion. I was instrumental in enabling the journalists to be freed. When I received a call from the sister of one of the journalists personally thanking me — I can’t think of a prouder moment.
What 3 things would you advise to someone who wanted to emulate your career? Can you share an example for each idea?
I will preface this answer by saying: I am not a role model!
When I took “career” tests in high school all directions pointed towards me becoming a florist.
I was certain I would become the next great defender of the Constitution and went deeply into debt (and angst) and wound up at Georgetown Law, possibly the biggest “mistake” I’d ever made.
Take it from Bob Ross and consider detours “happy accidents.”
If there’s anything I would share it’s the following. Plans are for…..the delusional. My life “plan” as a Type A overachieving young person went totally awry. Was it a failure…nope. I would advise anyone building a career to remain 100 percent open to change. Ignore titles and continue to try and fail And whatever you do — don’t hold back because time really does fly.
An example: I was at the library (one of my favorite places) in 2000. I picked up the autobiography of Lynne Franks, a force of nature who is synonymous with PR and the inspiration for “Absolutely Fabulous.” I read it in one day and decided I wanted to work with her. Did I know her? No way. Did she know the young me? Nope. I took a chance and called her directly after reading that she had an office in Venice. Long story short, Lynn hired me to work directly with her at her US based agency at the time — GlobalFusion. I had ZERO contacts at the time — but I took a chance and picked up the phone. The takeaway — always ask yourself “what’s the worst that can happen here?” In my case, it would be never getting in touch with Lynne or perhaps her hanging up the phone on me, neither which would have been fatal! She happened to lead me down a whole new pathway on my career.
Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this 🙂
If Elon Musk is available for coffee, I’m game.
Originally published at medium.com