"So, what do you do?"
Don't you hate that question?
It's that cliché question that comes up during cocktail parties, weddings, business luncheons; you name it. It usually springs up during a brief, awkward silence when you are sitting next to someone new.
Over the years, I have learned to translate the question to "Who are you?"
I prefer that instead because it speaks more to one's passion.
My passion is entrepreneurship. It is who I am. I love building companies.
I am an operator, a CEO. I am someone who truly enjoys creating businesses that will make a positive dent in the universe. Over the past 20 years, I have co-founded several transformational companies, just as the next significant leap in technology was underway.
I now have the opportunity to do so again.
About six months ago, during my sabbatical, I received a call from a friend, Michael Toporek, whom I have known for over 20-years. Michael runs a private equity firm in New York called Brookstone Partners. For the past decade, he and his partners have invested in middle-market industrial companies, including a company that develops renewal energy in northern Africa.
"John! How are you, my friend?"
"I am great Michael,” I said, “enjoying my time with family."
Michael continued, "We’ve known each other for a long time, so I’ll be blunt. I'd like you to come in and look at a project we're working on now. It's related to Blockchain and renewable energy. I want you to run it."
This new venture, soon to be announced, will be the world's first company to bring a unique innovation to the Blockchain: vertical integration.John Belizaire, CEO
I must admit, I didn't know much about Blockchain or renewable power. Of course, I did hear about the madness in the news about cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin, ICOs, etc. but it was virtually impossible to get online or even just watch the news without hearing something about Bitcoin toward the end of last year. Out of respect for my friend, I took the meeting, totally expecting to find a reason to graciously back out of the project.
To my surprise, nearly six months later, I still haven't found a reason to back out.
We are now preparing to launch a new company that will have sweeping effects on the future of the Blockchain, and I am ecstatic!
This new venture, soon to be announced, will be the world's first company to bring a unique innovation to the Blockchain: vertical integration.
Over the next several weeks, I will share more about my next great adventure.