David Gokhshtein is many things. Financial professional, blockchain technology enthusiast, and marketing guru are probably the first things that come to mind. David is also a major figure in the field of nascent technologies. Known by many as the “anti-hero of the blockchain world”, DG is known for not pulling punches and telling it like it is. In similar fashion as well known business motivators like Gary Vaynerchuk & Grant Cardone, David is helping take entrepreneurs and emerging businesses to the next level- not by telling these greenhorn startups and High Net-Worth individuals what they want to hear, but rather what they need to hear.
The industry is taking notice. In the current landscape of the world of tech and finance, businesses are struggling to do two things:
Adapt to an ever-evolving market where tech goes from cutting edge to obsolete in the blink of an eye (effectively endeavoring to future-proof themselves and provide scalable solutions).
Find some way of standing out in a field where user experience and marketing are king. The best ideas not marketed well or providing sleek UI are quickly cast aside like peanut shells or the remnants of a thin foam inside a $6 glass of warm beer at a Yankees game. The price doesn’t accurately reflect the value, and (once the utility is used up) it is quickly forgotten.
“I got involved with Blockchain technology first by reading about it and doing quite a bit of research, after I had fallen in love with the idea of how useful this can be and understanding the fundamentals of how it worked, I started digging deeper into startups and ICOs that are trying to develop this tech. I’m passionate about it because this is going to be the technology of the future that we are laying the foundation for. Much like the internet’s foundation was laid before us.”
This is where many industry leaders are now turning to David Gokhshtein as their new secret weapon. As the market grows, so does the pile of Non Disclosure Agreements on his desk in Long Island. Many a stymied project have turned to David as their last hope to help carve their name into the quickly growing tree that is the fintech industry. His name has become synonymous as a whispered code among entrepreneurs… “Better call Gokhshtein”.
David is also an esteemed member of the Forbes Finance Council and a contributing writer for Forbes Magazine. Even though he primarily focuses on the emerging field of cryptocurrency, he couldn’t shake the feeling that “it wasn’t enough”. So, in late 2018, he turned to longtime friend, Vinny Riley with a proposition. There wasn’t that much of an outlet for really getting the word out about this new industry. Beyond a few publications and podcasts aimed at existing cypherpunks and knowledgeable investors, there was a huge opportunity for creating content. So the two went about the task of creating what is now Gokhshtein Media.
They scoured message boards and online communities (many of which David helped create) in search of the cream of the crop of writers, content creators, analysts, traders, product reviewers, and industry experts. Their head-hunting mission paid off, with many jumping on with vigor the moment they heard it was to be a Gokhshtein project. The magazine would be the spark that ignited the passion projects stemming from a singular vision: inclusion in the blockchain space.
“I didn’t want to just spit out articles hastily thumbed through in bumper to bumper traffic by the bridge and tunnel crowd. Didn’t want to simply cater to those already in the know. This is still a market in its infancy. Huge swaths of demographics underrepresented in the space. I wanted to hire a team with diverse backgrounds. Different races, religions, genders, and socioeconomic backgrounds. Different political views, levels of knowledge, realms of expertise, and motivations. This isn’t a “one size fits all” nation, and the crypto community should reflect that.”
David is especially motivated to help insure that women get their due credit in the industry.
“I do feel there is a gender equality gap because for years, since the inception of the IT industry, it is and always has been for the most part a male dominated industry. I feel like this has put a stigma on the “women of crypto” as much as it has the IT industry. To see a female network analyst is surprising but not unwelcome or as uncommon as people may think, much as it is in crypto. Women are welcome everywhere but in male dominated industries I think it comes as a surprise to other IT professionals because the stigma is that women aren’t interested in tech enough to work in the industry, which is a largely false conception.”
The first issue was released in March of 2019 and was blessed to have none other than Tron CEO Justin Sun grace the cover. Since then, it’s been riding hell for leather with a huge variety of tech and project reviews, insights, lifestyle pieces, and a focus on the arts.
“I want the community to feel involved in what we do. There are so many brilliant and creative minds in the space, out there making content. It always puts a smile on my face when we approach an artist or creative in the space and tell them we want to feature them. They get so excited. It’s heartwarming to know that they care about the success of the magazine as much as we care about including them.”
This has culminated so far this year with a special free double issue given to the broader community, highlighting this year’s World Crypto Conference in Las Vegas, NV. With already hundreds of thousands of views across all platforms, Gokhshtein Magazine viewership has skyrocketed with this event and shows no signs of slowing.
“This is just the beginning. We’re expanding our platform to better serve the community. We’ve mainly focused on putting out a gorgeous magazine every month. The written word is powerful, and our designers pour their heart and soul into it around the clock. We want to make videos and podcasts as well, with transcripts and captions available for the hearing impaired.”
David is also a bit of a sports nut. Constantly using sports analogies with his staff and clients.
“I’m a hockey man, myself. I love my New York Rangers. I’m convinced Lundkvist could stop a fly going 90 with a pair of chopsticks in full pads. Don’t get me wrong, though, the baseball tradition in New York is in my blood. I favor the Yankees, but any New York team in an away game. I’ll try to catch the highlights, at least. I wasn’t around when the Dodgers moved to LA, but there’s people in my family that act like it happened yesterday. One of my favorite quotes is from Tommy Lasorda:
There are three kinds of people in this world: people who make it happen, people who watch what happens, and people who wonder what happened.
Since I was a kid, I always vowed to be in that first group.”
This love for all things sports related has prompted Gokhshtein to develop a keen insight into the future of the industry. The many use cases for blockchain technology in the sports sector were highlighted in a recent article “Blockchain in Sports: In a league of its own” in August’s issue of Gokhshtein Magazine.
“One major advantage we have today is the power of the internet and other forms of technology to give legs to parts of the sports industry that couldn’t even be dreamt of 20 years ago. Take eSports, for instance. This is a sport. I don’t care what anyone says. Maybe it doesn’t have the physical requirements of mainstream sports but the amount of mental acuity and honing of skills that goes into eSports is insane. Similar to NASCAR. You’re not judged on your ability to physically overtake an opponent, but the lightning fast wit and reflexes are so demanding. The immense growth we’ve seen in the industry is just incredible.”
David’s love for eSports has just resulted in him being named CMO of a major up and coming team in the eSports community- Mazer Gaming.
Gokhshtein is constantly shelling out advice to those that care to listen and many pay a substantial sum for a few hours of his time, but here are a few freebies for you:
On the future of Blockchain:
The future of Blockchain will be prevalent in many systems and integrated into our current technology, improving the way we manage systems, organize records, and transact goods or services between one another. This will be done more on a peer-to-peer level and I feel it will bring more of a “realness” to the internet that has seemed to be lost. In the next 5 to 10 years I see larger industries like medical and automotive industries adopting this for implementation first, and then later it would be more widely available on a consumer level.
Advice for entrepreneurs:
One of the hardest things for new entrepreneurs to achieve is the level of dedication and commitment required to grow a new business from the ground up. This takes more dedication than you could ever imagine, a timeframe no one wants to admit, and what most startups lack, capital. The answers to these problems will be found within a single question. How much are you willing to risk, and how far are you willing to go?
Sacrifices will be made, sometimes of unimaginable proportion, time otherwise unaccounted for, will be one of these sacrifices dedicated to your venture. Only through hard work, devotion of personal time, and brainstorming of alternative ways to fund your venture, will your goals be met. Only when you start looking upon some of the greatest minds of our time will you see that their achievements took years of planning, organization and creative thought. If you do not lay the foundation of your business properly, you will fail. In modern times anyone can market a shiny new idea that glimmers in the form of a whitepaper or business model and promote it for fundraising through social media, but having the dedication and uniqueness to solve a new problem and more importantly, follow through, is an entirely different business model in and of itself.
Rome was not built in a day, and neither is your new business. Take time to grow your network and connect with people with similar interests without disclosing all you have planned no matter how excited you are; tricksters and cons lurk around every corner waiting to steal thoughts that you talked about too much publicly. Grow capital, however necessary, to fund your venture and never squander the company chest. Take risks no one else is willing to take, and always keep an extra idea or solution up your sleeve that no one sees coming. In terms of marketing a new idea or solution to a problem that is as unique as you are is your most valuable asset.
Partnerships with people and organizations outside of your business can be extremely important in helping you grow. Entrepreneurs should build this network of partners because many of these relationships could flourish into alliances between companies and be mutually beneficial. This brings to mind also that flexibility can be the enemy of growth. Managing operations with hands-on involvement solely by founders will eventually limit growth. If a start-up is going to grow, owners need to implement standardized and repeatable processes through company policies and have proper delegation. Unfortunately, this may require investments in purchasing support staff and training personnel, but this is an investment nonetheless. Once a business has grown to the point that the founders need help to continue proper management, one must learn to let go of certain tasks to be passed off to trusted individuals to delegate work properly and efficiently. If you do not trust your employees, you shouldn’t have hired them. The ones you surround yourself with from the inception of the company are the ones you should trust most if you need to expand your workforce. The networks you have achieved over time should be able to deliver you enough experienced and trusted personnel to continue achieving your goals.
Many entrepreneurs fail to look at their business through the eyes of their customers, without doing so you cannot solve previously unforeseen problems. This is one of the most important aspects of your new business and should not be taken lightly. If you offer a product, find out through polls utilizing social media how the product is performing. Work to resolve common issues, address complaints, and satisfy every consumer’s need. When this is achieved you will not only retain repeat customers, you will also gain a large base of word of mouth referrals which is the best form of advertisement. If your product works, people will talk, and if people talk about it in a positive manner, the more consumers and repeat customers you gain. Remember, no criticism is bad criticism, it is only an opportunity to improve. As a new business owner, if you are too proud to see this opportunity, you will fail where someone else will succeed.
One would be forgiven for thinking that the quickly growing media platform, consulting, and eSports endeavors would be enough for David Gokhshtein. One would be wrong. David’s passion extends to many fields, chief among them aiding in the shaping of the world we live in… for the better. He spearheads the Youth Entrepreneurship Movement.
“When we think about the future, we often get trapped in this mindset of what the current generation is doing to fix things. While that’s helpful, the real future is our youth. If given the option to consult for an established billionaire or big name company and a young aspiring entrepreneur just getting his or her feet wet, I’m always going to choose the latter. They aren’t jaded yet. They are more apt to be open to creative solutions to accomplish their goals. They aren’t set in their ways. I get tired of people thumbing their nose at millennials. This is the generation building a brighter tomorrow, and I’m going to do everything in my power to help.”
With that goal in mind, David is even going as far as running for New York’s 1st Congressional District. As an independent with an open world view and a focus on building an environment where innovation can thrive, David is a stark contrast to those politicians that are complacent with the status quo.
A quote from one of David’s recent articles in Forbes sums up his mindset perfectly:
“Sometimes, after a long and stressful days work, I just have to clear my head. I take a drive. I usually end up going somewhere to think. Reflect. I like Gantry Plaza in the off season. No tourists. Just me and that gorgeous view of the FDR skyline across the water. Just me, breathing my thoughts into the cold night air. And that view. Lately I look and I think -How can the same America that built these giants that defy gravity…these wonders of concrete and steel… these monuments to true American innovation… still be so backward in accepting the biggest innovation of the modern age? The America I love is afraid of the future. I’m not that old, but I can still remember an America that wasn’t afraid of anything. Blockchain technology is as the foundations of these buildings. Building a base to reach for the sky. Some shout, some troll, some trade, some cower. I stand… I think… I write… I hope. Hope for a tomorrow when America is no longer afraid.”