Decentraliser reports: An interview with Jayson, Head of China
Today we are introducing you to Jayson, the Head of China. He is giving you an insight into China’s community, and telling us his story!
Hi, please introduce yourself.
My name is Jayson Hu, I am Head of China for Decentraland since June 2018. I am based in Guangzhou, China. I am taking care of Decentraland’s China operation, and currently we have 4 full time staff working in China. Before joining Decentraland, I was the founder and CEO for two companies, one e-commerce company which was successfully sold in 2016, and another fintech company which raised two series of capital. Before founding my own company, I was working at two of the top five largest real estate private equity funds, and I was in Investment Banking with Goldman Sachs in Melbourne, Australia before that.
How did you get into the Decentraland Community, and to the position of Head Of China?
I participated in the MANA ICO. I am a big believer in metaverses. I was an online player of Multi-user Dung3eon and also played Ultima Online when I was in high school. Unfortunately, I missed Second Life. At the time, I was working full time, and I had no time to play videogames. But I remember that I read from the news that in 2008, there was a lady from Germany who was trading online real estate in Second Life, and made about two million dollar in profit every year. That really shocked me. I missed Second Life, and I cannot miss the opportunity to participate in Decentraland. So I bought a large number of MANA and also participated in the land auction. Since then I've been fllowing the project. Ariel was giving a speech in Singapore early this year, so I flew to Singapore to see him, and asked him a lot of questions. I kept close contact with Ariel since then, and I tried to be more active in the community, doing my best to contribute. I was feeling that blockchain gaming was trending this year; I told Ariel that if Decentraland was not doing well this year in China, they might need to spend 10 times more budget next year to achieve the same result. After a very long conversation, I convinced Ariel to let me join the team and lead Decentraland’s business in China. I remember reading the story that Google CEO Eric Schmidt told Sheryl Sandberg,
‘You love the mission. This is a rocket ship. When you get offered a seat on the rocket ship, you don’t ask what seat.’
Decentraland is the rocket ship.
What is the current state of Chinese community, what's the evolution you have seen since you are involved, and what is your vision for the future?
At the moment, we have 6 official wechat groups, every group has close to 500 people (Wechat has a limit of 500 persons per group). We have various other Wechat groups for different purpose (Landlords, Developers, Dragon City, Dragon Kingdom etc. ) We have 2 QQ groups, which have 2,500 members each. Previously, Wechat groups were not actively monitored and the communication with our members was not optimal. I always believed that blockchain projects must be fully transparent to their communities in order to build trust. Good and bad news have to be delivered, communication on the team’s progress has to be done and members have to know what the have to work on themselves.
This is not a “The team do the job, and you watch” project. Everyone needs to be involved, everyone needs to contribute, instead of just the people on Decentraland payroll. Whether or not Decentraland can succeed or not is determined by its community. This is the most important point for Decentraland to become something big. We are hosting offline meetups, we are giving away free Decentraland T-Shirts, we meet our members face to face get to know them, we spend time talking to them, listen to their life stories, how they want Decentraland to become, what skill or resources they have, how they can contribute to the community... We listen to their comments and concerns, and addressing all of that with our best answers.
We are hosting hackathons, allow developers to use our SDK. We are doing roadshows, trying to get more players from the crypto and gaming worlds. We are giving speeches at top universities like Tsinghua (Number 1 in China), or CEIBS (Number 1 Business School in China), we are giving speech at ChinaJoy (China’s largest gaming expo). We are working with artist on their shows in Gallery. We are talking to some really good gaming studios, trying to bring them to Decentraland. We are finding partners who could do the outsourcing job for individual landlords. There are a lot of things happening. I can see that the community is really bounding together, people are making friends already even if we are not yet officially live. This is a good progress that we are making, and I do believe that this trend will continue.
Q3: Are you planning to have any activities in Decentraland ?
Yes, I still own a large number of LAND on which I am going to build. I am in touch with a number of game studios, and will build a lot of fun stuff on them.
Q4: What would you enjoy to see others build in Decentraland?
We have to face it, as of today, the stuff people are building, in terms of graphics, is not up to the standard of the gaming world. BUT! it is evolving very quickly. A lot of interesting people from all over the world getting to know Decentraland and get involved in it. This is happening very fast. Everyday, a lot of innovative people are building interesting things. This is a brave new world that we are working on. This is very exciting.
Q5: Auction 2 is coming, can you tell us about Chinese community's sentiment about it?
The crypto market is very cold now. But Decentraland’s Chinese community is not, there are thousand of messages in all Chinese wechat groups everyday. Most of the members are quite positive about it, they have good faith in Decentraland!