- Could you share how you and your co-founder, A.J., the CTO met and the paths that led to the founding of HODL Assets?
AJ and I met a few years back when I was tokenizing my farm. Around that same time, I had an idea about HODL and I was searching for a developer. AJ and I are not just business partners, but we have an amazing friendship and together, we started the journey of HODL assets.
- Within the blockchain and Fintech industry, there are a number of sectors such as Accounting & Finance, Lending, Exchanges, Mobile Wallets, etc., so why an NFT aggregator and marketplace?
Since not many can fully understand what NFTs can truly do and become, it is difficult to explain our visions. HODL-GalaxE will eventually launch everything we have plans to show NFTs can be so much more than just art. NFT’s will also benefit all of the sectors listed.
- HodlAssets.org is the PARENT COMPANY of GalaxE NFT-social aggregator platform. Could you share with us what distinguishes GalaxE from other NFT platforms such as Opensea and Rarible?
Galaxe is more than just an NFT platform, it is the very first social NFT platform that will be available. With this, artists will be able to easily promote their artworks directly on the platform reaching thousands of potential buyers. In addition, the massive difference is our vision for Galaxe is not seeing NFTs as just art because it is so much more than that.
- How do you see the company changing in two years, and how do you see yourself creating that change?
HODL and Galaxe will be strongly established on the market with fully launched ecosystem
- What are your 3 biggest accomplishments since founding HODL Assets?
It took us two years to launch HODL and encountered multiple challenges. With every single challenge we have since overcome, we learn and continuously move forward and I can proudly say that this is the biggest accomplishment. As we grow and progress, meeting and becoming a partner with Jenny Q Ta is another huge achievement as she became a great addition to our team. Galaxe will be at a different level in a shorter period of time because now, Galaxe does not have just two but it has three prime movers.
- As the Co-Founder and CTO of HODL Assets, the parent company of GalaxE NFT aggregator, could you share with us your journey, struggles and inspirations that have given you this accomplishment?
As anyone else out there, the journey was not always easy. I left school early under some bad circumstances and started out as a packer and a cashier at a local supermarket and worked different jobs from there. I had no formal education and worked for a software company for 7 years starting as an unpaid intern. Eventually my programs ran themselves and I was no longer needed. It was there I decided I will never work for someone else again and started looking into the world of technology and NFTs. Through this I discovered Lenny and we started working on HODL. My inspiration was accomplishing something that people said I will never be able to accomplish. My drive is achieving the impossible.
- What new technologies have you learned over your career and what new technologies do you think we should be using?
Technologies I’ve focused on over my career is .Net, c#, SQL, xamarin, HTML, CSS, and Solidity. As for technologies people should be using, it is dependent on their need. You can only depend on what you need. But a focus should be shifting to decentralization and blockchain technologies.
- What was your last technological failure?
Game development. I tried writing an entire game on my own, whilst working, and realised how time consuming it is and never finished it.
- How do you measure your success?
I consider success to be a process. Being successful is also a step further ahead of the next. There is a good balance in combination of personal goals and company goals that need to be met before I consider it successful. Money is completely meaningless unless you do something good with it. Living life with my family, in business and in daily interactions is how success is measured to me.
- What are you most passionate about?
Sleep, just kidding, that’s a luxury no one can afford. I’m passionate about simplification. It’s about making something people can actually use to fruition, that could actually help people, the community and make life better. Life is a complicated machine with an infinite array of moving parts, so why not make it a bit more user friendly.
- It has been known that the three co-founders of HODL Assets are in three parts of the world. Could you share with us how team members come from different countries and functional backgrounds and are working in different locations function in today’s fast-paced environment?
Jenny Q. Ta:
Yes, you are correct! HODL Assets, the parent company of GalaxE NFT aggregator, has three (3) co-founders, Lenny Schutz is the company’s CEO, Arnold Jean Dre Bosch (goes by A.J.) is our CTO, and myself as the COO.
Lenny is currently residing in the Philippines with his fiancé and newly born baby girl, and A.J. is in South Africa with his wife, whereas I am in Southern California about 45 minutes drive south of Los Angeles in Orange County.
HODL Assets was originally founded by Lenny and A.J., which the corporation was formed in South Africa. After HODL acquired CoinLinked, my founded decentralized social network, I joined forces with Lenny and A.J. to bring the company to the U.S., which is now headquartered in San Francisco and incorporated in Delaware.
Having a global team with everyone in different parts of the world and having to deal with different time zones isn’t an easy task, but I believe what has made our team work and has been functioning well is due to the passion we all have with the company. We have a very strong line of communication among the co-founding partners and everyone of our team members where at times we would forget that we were in three different countries. While that is so, we believe there is a benefit as to when I’m awake in Los Angeles and Lenny would be sleeping, I get a lot of work done from the emails he was sending over while I was asleep and vice versa. A.J. shares the in-between time zone with Lenny and I, so that works perfectly well.
The key to working with a global team is to organize and plan ahead, a strong line of communication between team members, and most importantly the passion for the company with all having the same goals. With Lenny, A.J. and I, we have been in sync since day one.
Yes, you are absolutely right but trust me when I say the only complicated part of having different time zones is setting up calls or meetings with each other. Otherwise it is actually an advantage as we cover all timezones together meaning with Galaxe, someone is always working.
- How did you all meet that led up to the formation of HODL-GalaxE?
Jenny Q. Ta:
The story is as inspiring as that of Travis Kalanick, co-founder and former chief executive officer of Uber and Ryan Graves, who was the first employee hired at ride-hailing service Uber in 2010. He was CEO for a brief period in 2010. They met via a tweet and that was how Lenny and I met too as well – via Twitter.
Lenny was having a Q&A session about HODL Assets on Twitter Spaces one day and the host of that Space invited me to drop by. I did. Toward the end of the Space I asked a question about fundraising because I felt the company was transitioning into something unique and that it had a lot of potential. Lenny responded if we could take it offline since it was about the company’s finances. I was fine of course, and that was history.
Lenny and A.J. had plans to “streamline the crypto-commerce process” and integrate the social aspects of the platform into its current platform whereas I was in the process of looking into building the NFT marketplace on our decentralized social network. After a few months of daily discussions, the acquisition was the right and perfect fit, which we broke the news on August 25th.
When AJ and I first met, HODL was just an idea in my head until I learned that AJ is a developer. We started talking more and had years of brainstorming of what HODL-GalaxE has transformed today. As our partnership grew along the way, we didn’t just develop a great business partnership, but a great bond that has grown and built into an amazing friendship. As HODL continues to progress, I met Jenny through a twitter space and I can say that it is indeed a God’s will for her to be there knowing how busy this amazing woman is, for her to be on that twitter space while I was having a Q&A session is all God’s perfect timing.
As she had a question I am unable to answer in public, I offered to speak with her offline which she happily accepted and what happened next is history. It turns out that she was also planning to have her own company similar to HODL, sharing the same visions we officially became partners and pushing HODL to not just grow but to be the biggest NFT aggregator and a marketplace.