We talked to Erik Rind about how ImagineBC offers a wide range of exclusive content experiences that pay users and creators back and the following is what he said about it.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Erik Rind: All in all, we are okay. Thankfully both my wife and I have been able to continue working throughout the pandemic. I had already shifted over to virtual management prior to the pandemic and my wife was able to switch over without too many hiccups.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded ImagineBC.
Erik Rind: I’m not what you might consider a typical founder of a startup. At nearly 60 years of age, I should be thinking more about retirement. I’ve spent nearly 28 years in the Human Capital Management (HCM) space. First as a management consultant for 9 years working for Price Waterhouse. Yes, that shows you how old I am. When I was there it was still Price Waterhouse. Not Price Waterhouse Coopers or PWC. And then as an entrepreneur. I’ve had ups and downs like most entrepreneurs. My most recent company, OneTouchHCM, was no small boutique business. The key thing is that the business was profitable. About 2.5 years ago a few things started to popup up on my internal radar that led to my founding ImagineBC.
First, I believe the HCM space is going to be contracting. The gig economy is going to significantly overtake the traditional W2 economy which is bad news for a boutique player like me. Next, the birth of my first grandchild got me really thinking about the world he is going to inherit. Suffices to say that I did not like what I saw as our world isn’t necessarily in the best state at this time. I was inspired to move well beyond mere rhetoric and toward action. That’s what ImagineBC is all about, taking action and forging ahead to create a more balanced system for consumer data.
Lastly, I got very interested in blockchain technology and realized that it had game-changing characteristics and wanted to build something meaningful. I convinced my Board of Directors to redirect our HCM Company’s profits to fund ImagineBC. That’s what led me to launch a new media company, one that benefits the economics of everyone’s data, not just a few.
How does ImagineBC innovate?
Erik Rind: We are focused on creating a single integrated platform where all users have an opportunity to turn their data, time, and creativity into fair compensation. There are a number of platforms out there that focus on one part of this same equation, but we are the only platform that combines personal data monetization with content monetization.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business and how are you coping?
Erik Rind: The pandemic has impacted some of our initiatives, primarily that of community growth. We’re wrestling with the surrounding conditions pretty well overall. In point of fact, the delay has been somewhat advantageous as it has allowed us more time to test our UI/UX. Speaking of which, we are just about to release a complete update to our system which we are really excited about. Once restrictions begin to be lifted, we will be able to move forward with our existing community growth strategy with what we believe will be a product which resonates well with our audience.
Did you have to make difficult choices and what are the lessons learned?
Erik Rind: I started ImagineBC as a virtual company with a very small internal staff. I elected to use 3rd party contractors and consultants to fill our needs of managing our day to day business. Because of this approach, we have not had to make many choices regarding staff reductions.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety?
Erik Rind: One word, compartmentalize. Every morning I divide my day up into things I can get done today, things that need my attention, things that I should be thinking about for the future and so on. After getting everything sorted out into their appropriate compartment, I prioritize each action. The rest of my day becomes focused execution of my mental checklist. At the end of each day, I review my progress towards the list. Typically, I have completed all things I expected to get done but as we all know, life and business are unpredictable. So, if I did not complete everything, I review why, plan for catching up the next day and head to sleep. Following this daily discipline has helped me control any forces of stress.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Erik Rind: There are a number of startup enterprises competing in the space we are focusing on but none of these companies’ products offers a similar fully integrated experience to the end-user. Our differentiation is that we are focused on creating a balanced media marketplace where all members, both consumers and content providers, have the opportunity to earn equity from their participation on our platform.
Your final thoughts?
Erik Rind: For the reader, I say this. If you believe that every individual is entitled to receive fair compensation for the use of the personal data you generate then get involved in making this happen. Follow groups such as the DataUnion or Radicalxchange. Keep checking in on data unions like Streamr and, of course, become a member of my company’s community. It is only through the sheer force of numbers that we can together create a brighter future for ourselves, our children and in my case my grandchildren.
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About Erik Rind
As a serial entrepreneur, Erik has started a number of companies as the main inventor and technologist. Being a veteran of the tech industry, his passion for innovation and belief in the power of creativity has led to the success of several leading startup and high-growth technology companies. As Founder and CEO of ImagineBC, his current mission is to unlock data for more equitable outcomes for users of data. He has kickstarted a new data economy and, in doing so, worked to align data practices with growing consumer expectations.
Prior to launching his latest venture, Erik was at the forefront of the human capital management and technology intersection with his company Benepay Technology. Benepay Technology, the parent company of ImagineBC, remains operational and well positioned. Coupled with the successful activation of Benepay Technology, Erik also founded and , later, sold PowerPay software for $22 million. Erik is also the president of the Data Union, a global movement aimed at creating a more equitable and ethical data economy.
Erik’s industry accolades include his appointment to the Forbes Tech Council, Rolling Stone Culture Council and the Radical Exchange.
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