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TonySwish
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I'm Tony Sakich, Director of Marketing for Augur, AMA

Sat Dec 12, 2015 7:55 am

My name is Tony Sakich (or TonySwish on social media) and I've been the Director of Marketing for Augur since January of this year. Apologies for the delay as I had some confusion on when this AMA was starting (totally my fault, but definitely not intentional). I'm hoping to answer any questions about Marketing as I've not only managed the marketing for Augur's $5.2 Million crowdsale, but also have been responsible for many other successful campaigns with BitPay.

For those who are unaware, Augur is an open source decentralized prediction market platform built on Ethereum. For a short introduction of what the project's all about, check out our "How Augur Works" video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yegyih591Jo

In my time at BitPay, I managed the #BitcoinBowl social media campaign partnership with ChangeTip and ESPN, oversaw production of the first two national TV commercials involving bitcoin and participated in some of the biggest announcements and campaigns the company had.

To clarify for any possible questions, my role at BitPay was "Digital Marketing Manager" and I handled exclusively digital matters. Events and sponsorships were not a part of my job as I had zero input on those campaigns. For more on my background and further details on these campaigns check out http://TonySakich.com

With that said, I will check back periodically for any questions and I hope there are a few good ones!

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Skin_in_the_game
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Re: I'm Tony Sakich, Director of Marketing for Augur, AMA

Sat Dec 12, 2015 3:59 pm

Hello Tony

I was re-reading Antifragile by iconoclast thinker Nassim Taleb recently. He writes
"Never ask anyone for their opinion [...] Just ask them what they have -or don't have- in their portfolio"
I have come to think it's a very relevant question and you can better weight people's opinions having an idea of how many Bitcoins they hold (or do not hold.) So Instead of asking their opinion on bitcoin, I'm now asking every participants the same question:

- Do you mind to tell us which percentage of your personal net worth and/or liquid assets you hold in Bitcoins ?

Edit: Nevermind, I saw somebody already asked the question.

TonySwish
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Re: I'm Tony Sakich, Director of Marketing for Augur, AMA

Sat Dec 12, 2015 6:25 pm

Hello Tony

I was re-reading Antifragile by iconoclast thinker Nassim Taleb recently. He writes
"Never ask anyone for their opinion [...] Just ask them what they have -or don't have- in their portfolio"
I have come to think it's a very relevant question and you can better weight people's opinions having an idea of how many Bitcoins they hold (or do not hold.) So Instead of asking their opinion on bitcoin, I'm now asking every participants the same question:

- Do you mind to tell us which percentage of your personal net worth and/or liquid assets you hold in Bitcoins ?

Edit: Nevermind, I saw somebody already asked the question.
Skin_in_the_game, I actually haven't answered this question yet, but I'm happy to.

First of all, I am the far from what anyone would consider "an investor" so I"m not sure how accurate you can gauge my opinions on my holdings. My interest in this space is much more with the technology, to the degree that I try to avoid the investment side of the space as much as possible.

I'm not comfortable giving away my total net worth, but I will say this. I own a total of about 5 Bitcoin and am not very bullish on it as an investment at this point. To be clear, I'm proud to declare my ignorance and tell everyone reading that I have no clue what the future holds for BTC, only what my opinion is. While I'm very convinced in the future of Cryptocurrency, I'm far less convinced that Bitcoin will be the one that becomes mainstream and ubiquitous. This is all happening at the same time I'm seeing so many brilliant people building projects on Ethereum (the dApp presentations from devcon were fantastic).

If I could drop one unsolicited piece of advice before wrapping this response up, it's to not trust anyone's financial advice, including my own. Someone's opinion is not the same as in-depth research into whatever the investment is, anyone who claims to "know" is just full of shit and immediately loses all credibility when they make such a comment.

rtyler79
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Re: I'm Tony Sakich, Director of Marketing for Augur, AMA

Sat Dec 12, 2015 8:06 pm

Hi Tony,

What would be your advice for Augur Market Makers - when it comes to promoting the markets they have created.
Especially when comes targetting the average Joe to use the system.

Thanks,

Rob

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Re: I'm Tony Sakich, Director of Marketing for Augur, AMA

Sat Dec 12, 2015 8:36 pm

What challenges if any have you guys faced with getting the general public to understand the idea and benefits of a prediction market?
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TonySwish
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Re: I'm Tony Sakich, Director of Marketing for Augur, AMA

Sun Dec 13, 2015 2:24 am

Hi Tony,

What would be your advice for Augur Market Makers - when it comes to promoting the markets they have created.
Especially when comes targetting the average Joe to use the system.

Thanks,

Rob
Rob,

From this point, I would say the best way to promote a market is to identify what online communities would find the market most interesting. If it's about an election, post it on political forums....if it's about the completion of a software project, post on developer forums, etc.

We are going to make it as easy as possible for anyone to promote a market, it just seems at this point that the discretion of where to promote it would be best left in the hands of those who are actually trying to get visibility.

TonySwish
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Re: I'm Tony Sakich, Director of Marketing for Augur, AMA

Sun Dec 13, 2015 2:27 am

What challenges if any have you guys faced with getting the general public to understand the idea and benefits of a prediction market?
This is an interesting question as the first phase of our marketing strategy specifically focused on the crypto-community, academia and those with pre-existing interest in prediction markets. These audiences completely get the project, it's when we deal with anyone outside of this realm where things get dicey. A good example is how many LinkedIn requests I've received from people who think we are anything from a predictive analytics company to a straight up remittance company (no idea how they got that one).

Our "How Augur Works" video helped quite a bit to ensure this was presented in the right way to the general public, but a project with as many moving parts as this requires much more than most mainstream users would be willing to put up with. It's this reason that our goal is a platform that everyone can uses regardless of their history with cryptocurrency, this goal may take a while, but it's definitely the right one we need in the end.

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Re: I'm Tony Sakich, Director of Marketing for Augur, AMA

Sun Dec 13, 2015 5:31 am

@tony, appreciate all you are doing in this space!!

Questions:

What are you currently doing to encourage journalist to use prediction market data instead of the old and warn out "poll" methods they currently deploy? (I had seeing all these poll numbers revolving around presidential candidates because they are sooooo far off!!!!)

Do you have concerns that as prediction markets become more mainstream they will halt a lot of important innovations? My question is stimulation by my interactions with people; sometimes I talk to people about medical innovations and longevity and I am shocked at how often people say "I don't want to live too long"... so what if a Pharmaceutical company did a prediction market on whether or not they should make an anti-aging drug and the market interest was too low? At some point prediction markets will likely become a tremendous sorce of "demographic research" and since it's deadly accurate it might detour a lot of things we need... like a cure for ALS or Pancreatic Cancer??? IDK... I'm kinda just talking aloud. What say you?

TonySwish
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Re: I'm Tony Sakich, Director of Marketing for Augur, AMA

Sun Dec 13, 2015 11:38 pm

@tony, appreciate all you are doing in this space!!

Questions:

What are you currently doing to encourage journalist to use prediction market data instead of the old and warn out "poll" methods they currently deploy? (I had seeing all these poll numbers revolving around presidential candidates because they are sooooo far off!!!!)

Do you have concerns that as prediction markets become more mainstream they will halt a lot of important innovations? My question is stimulation by my interactions with people; sometimes I talk to people about medical innovations and longevity and I am shocked at how often people say "I don't want to live too long"... so what if a Pharmaceutical company did a prediction market on whether or not they should make an anti-aging drug and the market interest was too low? At some point prediction markets will likely become a tremendous sorce of "demographic research" and since it's deadly accurate it might detour a lot of things we need... like a cure for ALS or Pancreatic Cancer??? IDK... I'm kinda just talking aloud. What say you?
Regarding the first question, our goal is to target the right audience for early support at this time and there hasn't been much reason to believe that traditional journalists (who I would classify as pundits) would be keen on using our platform for data until it is fully realized and proven. This will eventually be a goal, but not in the short-term.

The second question was interesting as hell, so thanks for that. My belief is that it would do the opposite and potentially be responsible for the funding and further interest in innovations that are currently deemed by many to be less important or not worthwhile. Regarding your interactions, it's important to understand that there is a huge difference in what people say and what they actually do. If someone in 2015 says "I don't want to live too long", it's a response to a hypothetical question in their mind as there hasn't been a huge spotlight on anti-aging medicines or techniques...meaning they are answering a completely hypothetical question that most likely seems unlikely in their minds, making the answer likely irrelevant.

Generally, I'm not too keen on anecdotal evidence as there are too many variables that go into the end result.

Finally, I would argue that PMs aren't "deadly accurate" but rather have the potential to be the most accurate of any forecasting tool available (especially with a global audience). It's important to note that even if a market has a 90% likelihood of an event occurring...there is still a 10% chance that it doesn't occur. If the event doesn't occur, it doesn't mean the market reduces accuracy, it just reflects the existence of the 10% chance of it not occurring.

TonySwish
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Re: I'm Tony Sakich, Director of Marketing for Augur, AMA

Sat Mar 12, 2016 6:57 am

Wanted to say thanks to everyone who asked questions! Wanted to share one final thing which is a talk that I had prepared for Ethereum's DEVCON1, unfortunately I was unable to attend so I gave the same talk at my college (Oakland University). The talk is about marketing blockchain projects, the challenges of doing so and some of the strategies I used to be successful. I hope some up and coming projects can use some things that worked for me in what they are doing!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hpugs8HM2so

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Re: I'm Tony Sakich, Director of Marketing for Augur, AMA

Sun Dec 11, 2016 10:18 am

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Re: I'm Tony Sakich, Director of Marketing for Augur, AMA

Thu Dec 15, 2016 6:10 am

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Re: I'm Tony Sakich, Director of Marketing for Augur, AMA

Sun Feb 18, 2018 6:49 pm

Thank you for investing in crypto

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Re: I'm Tony Sakich, Director of Marketing for Augur, AMA

Sun Mar 18, 2018 8:57 pm

Amazing work. Just keep it up.

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