The Quigley Rules – William Quigley of WAX, part IV

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“No matter what the news, good or bad, I don’t believe you are in a position, when that news hits, to judge if it’s good or bad for you.” The Quigley Rules

Q What was your best move?

“My best move was being just captivated by the internet. And I can even tell you when I was captivated. It was when somebody sent me an image. And of course, it’s hard for people substantially younger than me to appreciate this, but we thought of computers as isolated devices. You could put a CD ROM in it and play something but the notion of it being connected was awesome.

“And, and then it became, well, how can I get in? How can I dedicate myself to this and fortunately, I teamed up with some guys who were building an incubator. The first incubator, really one of the first internet incubators, called IdeaLab.

“I was doing my thing at Disney and was pretty happy, but I knew this is where business models are going to get disrupted. This is where new ways of consumers doing things is going to happen. And that was a remarkable run for us. This is where the hustle was.”

Q Dodgiest move?

“Oh, man. So, so, so many. Uh, you could call it in the early 90s, selling a bunch of property that I had acquired in the late 80s at rock bottom prices because I looked at it and I said, Well, I paid this. It’s three times higher, without really thinking, yeah, but the intrinsic value is 10 times higher than that. So that became a bit of a rule. For me, winning trades, stay, you know, stay invested in. And yeah, I’ve done a few of those where I’ve, I’ve gotten off the escalator prematurely when I thought, Oh, it’s all over now, and it hadn’t even begun. And by the way, that’s a lesson to entrepreneurs everywhere.

“You know, you’ll often hear people in crypto well in everything, am I too late? And I, I always say, you know, you’re never too late because it’s like the guy who just published the 1000 Churchill biography. It’s like, well, doesn’t he wish he was the first guy? No, because you know, as time passes, you see things differently. So you know, the best travel site of the 90s was Priceline right?. You would have thought well, then that travel opportunity is done. Well then Airbnb comes 15 years later. And so, yeah. If you hear yourself saying, I’m too late, you know, you may very well be too early.”

Q Move you regretted doing?

“Well, in the crypto side of things, I’m annoyed at one thing that my partners and I did not do. And that is we had acquired Mt Gox after it collapsed but we did not think we could relaunch Mt Gox in the name Mt Gox because we thought it was tainted.

“How could we have known that it turned out from that point on exchanges routinely get hacked, and if anything their business grows. And so we didn’t immediately try to reach a return on Mt Gox. And instead, we tried to build an exchange. And guess what happened? I did not authorize it to be released. And the reason was, I could not get comfortable with the regulatory climate that this would be okay. And this annoys me. Because it turned out it was a gray area. No one knew, right. If you know, you just couldn’t figure it out. But most other guys said the heck with it. You know what, it’s not explicitly not allowed So let’s just do it. And, we’ve been running marketplaces for 20 years, we know how to do this stuff. So now I’m going to go and do the thing I told you not to do. But I’ve said to my team, I think it’s too late, you know? And maybe, and maybe it’s not. The exchanges have become much better. Like when we were doing it, the exchanges were still nascent, there were very few, but in 2017 2018, even part of 2019 it was so frustrating. They were so poorly managed, they didn’t understand customer convenience and customer service. I would say they’re getting much better. So yeah, but at this point, that’s probably one of one of my biggest regrets.”

Q Your next move?

“I’m going to be in crypto until I retire. Right now I am most interested in the nexus of blockchain, ecommerce and trading and by trading I mean collectables.

“People have been building on blockchain but they are only making it convenient to use now. That’s what will make the difference – convenience.”