This week we chatted with Dylan Sharkley, a senior advisor with Photochain and other ground breaking blockchain projects.
Dylan was LinkedIn’s Head of Sales Solutions for Middle East and North Africa where he scaled up the business’ Dubai office from two employees to a hundred. Dylan also has plenty of government sector experience, representing Enterprise Ireland in the UAE, as well investment expertise across Europe and Asia.
Dylan joined Photochain, the decentralized application that is disrupting the stock photography market, in December 2017. Photochain aims to bring back the power in stock photography to the photographers, and we wanted to know what inspires him about the project.
Tell us how you discovered Photochain or how it discovered you and what made you want to join the team?
I came across Photochain while I was still at LinkedIn. I had been working with LinkedIn for over 6 years and had been personally investing in crypto and startups for some time. When I was introduced to Photochain’s CEO Stanislav and his elegantly simple DApp that is disrupting the $2 billion dollar stock photography industry, I knew I just had to get involved.
How do you see Photochain amongst the big stock photography players and how will it cope in the market?
Photochain is the solution to what photographers have been suffering from for so long. The large stock photography companies like Getty Images, Shutterstock and so on have monopolized the photography licensing marketplace for decades with their centralized business models. They accumulate large profits and pay out only a fraction of the value generated from each photo to the photographer.
What makes Photochain so different?
Photochain users Ethereum token based technology to remove the need for a large, rent seeking player to manage the ecosystem and charge high fees. The trustless nature of the blockchain means that photographers and the users of their photography – companies, website designers and creatives – can transact frictionlessly. Photochain only charges an extremely low fee per transaction for maintenance of the platform. Our incentives are aligned with the market participants, we want to keep liquidity high and transaction costs low so that the overall value accrues to the network and the token (not the platform).
How do you see your skills and your experience with LinkedIn benefitting Photochain and your other blockchain projects?
What I bring from LinkedIn to every blockchain project I work with is the experience of building out structure and best in class process to help startups scale effectively. Helping transform a start up from a handful of guys with laptops and a prototype into a hyper growth young business with customers all over the world and millions of dollars in revenue. For me, it’s this rapid growth phase that I love and it’s a daily adrenaline rush to work with the Photochain leadership team as we gain traction and accelerate daily on our roadmap execution.
Where do you see Photochain in a crypto future?
Photochain has the first mover advantage as the first truly decentralized blockchain based project in this area. It has been interesting to see others follow us into this space, including corporate industry players. However, based on my experience, these private blockchains are simply databases by any other name. It is unlikely that true decentralization with a public blockchain and an open source protocol will ever be achieved by a large corporation with short term, profit hungry shareholders. Their incentives are simply not aligned with their users and they will never take any action that will disintermediate themselves from a lucrative market, paving the way for this new generation of blockchain startups – like Photochain – to thrive.
Tell us a story about a particular photo
Personally I am also a photography enthusiast so Photochain was a natural segway. My wife is a published fine art photographer and has exhibited across Europe.
If I had to choose one favourite iconic photo it would be of the man standing in front of the row of tanks in Tiananmen Square after the protests in 1989. For me this photo is relevant in today’s world of blockchain with individuals becoming empowered as decentralization reduces the power and control of the monopolies that have dominated every aspect of human life; from the large corporations to governments. I truly believe that the disruption and disintermediation caused by the blockchain in the coming decade will be every bit as powerful and that caused by the internet in the 1990s.
Photochain has completed their private pre-sale, successfully reaching their hardcap. The main public sale is starting 25th March. Please see photochain.io for more info.