“I feel so fortunate to have gotten involved in the blockchain space as early as I did and I love helping educate others on the topic. We are still so early in this technological evolution and it has been immensely rewarding giving others the opportunity to experience the same excitement I get every day.”
I had the pleasure to interview Sheri Kaiserman co-founder of Maco.la
Thank you so much for doing this with us! What is your “backstory”?
I had a long, successful career on Wall Street: 10 years as an equity research salesperson, at Oppenheimer, and then 16 years at Wedbush, where I built and ran their Equities division. With more electronic trading forcing lower institutional commissions, I realized we needed to find new products and ways to differentiate. In 2010, I formed a team to develop the Private Shares division which was the first in a full-service Wall Street firm to begin trading secondary shares of private companies. I learned about bitcoin and blockchain in 2013 and understood the evolutionary potential; I had my team publish the first Wall Street research report on the topic. In January of this year I left Wedbush and co-founded Maco.la
Can you tell me about the most interesting projects you are working on now?
The most interesting project is building Maco.la. We created the company to help support the blockchain ecosystem through capital, advisory and HR services. Since we started forming the company at the end of 2017, the landscape has changed dramatically. On the one hand, this market feels like its developing in warp speed given the number of companies forming and raising money. On the other hand, I think the technology is likely to need a lot of time to develop and scale. I believe that blockchain, like most innovative technologies, is being overestimated on how quickly it will be adopted, but the ultimate impact will be beyond what we could imagine today. We are seeing a tremendous number of great projects. Some of my favorites really take advantage of blockchain’s potential like within identity, telecom, supply chain and finance. are Some of the more interesting progress we are seeing is around solutions for identity and proving
While I’m happy the US has not been impulsive, the longer our regulatory agencies take to provide certainty, the more possibility there is that we fall behind the rest of the world.
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?
I actually have several stories about people I am grateful to like Peter Feinberg, Gary and Eric Wedbush but most recently, Larry Scherzer and Joel Berman, two wonderful men took me under their wings and were instrumental in helping me realize what I wanted to do and what I was capable of doing. I was introduced to Larry in September 2016 at an ACG conference. He followed up and asked me to lunch to learn more about what I was working on. At lunch he asked me “how can I be of help to you”. I was stunned. I had never been asked that by anyone in business. I told Larry about how I wanted to expand my network and he followed up with 6 email introductions. The first person I met for lunch was Joel. Half way through our lunch, as I’m telling my story, Joel says, “I now know why Larry put us together”. Joel explained that he was introduced to a business coach midway into his career that changed the trajectory of his career and life and he was going to do that for me. He coached me and guided me to do things I would never have done without his coaching. Being asked to speak at events around the country to help educate people and companies about blockchain was a result of Joel’s guidance.
What are the 5 things that most excite you about blockchain and crypto? Why?
1) The good that blockchain can bring from providing self-sovereign identities for all;
2) The collaborative nature of the technology as well as the participants in the industry;
3) The inspiration it has given to so many people who have gone down the rabbit hole;
4) The amount of money people have made and will make; and,
5) That I’ve been a part of it relatively early on and have been helping people learn about it.
What are the 5 things worry you about blockchain and crypto? Why?
1) People getting hacked or losing their private keys;
2) Not keeping up with my reading and the amount of information there is to know out there;
3) Scaling can take longer than expected and may create a protracted downturn which won’t be fun;
4) The growth in cryptocurrency trading deflects from the importance of people understanding the impact of blockchain technology; and,
5) Governments getting overzealous and stifling innovation.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world? Can you share a story?
I feel so fortunate to have gotten involved in the blockchain space as early as I did and I love helping educate others on the topic. We are still so early in this technological evolution and it has been immensely rewarding giving others the opportunity to experience the same excitement I get every day.
What 3 things would you advise to someone who wanted to emulate your career? Can you share an example for each idea?
1) Be true to yourself — As a female leader, I like to demonstrate for others that its ok to be yourself and that in order to achieve and enjoy success you need to get comfortable with that.
2) Think out of the box. Don’t be afraid to take risks and pursue things others don’t want to. Doing so got me to where I am in blockchain.
3) Execute. Hard work unfortunately doesn’t pay the bills but executing does. People ask me all the time about getting ahead as a female and I have never felt held back due to my gender. As long as I’m good at what I do it doesn’t matter that I’m female and it doesn’t need to be a focus.
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 🙂
My first choice would be my husband who I haven’t seen nearly enough since I co-founded Maco.la. But, if I had to choose someone I didn’t yet know, I’d actually love to have lunch with President Trump. I’d like to experience having a conversation with him first hand and I’d be happy to have a seat at the table to help educate him about the importance of blockchain technology.
Originally published at medium.com