I am the CEO of $SMRT

I am excited, bemused, amused, and yes, also hopeful to announce that I am the CEO of $SMRT, a creator coin cryptocurrency issued by Rally.io. And I think it could be a revolution in the way creators make a living from what they make and share with the world.

And, in its own way, much better than NFTs. Or Patreon.

Or, for that matter, Google Ads.

In this post, I’m going to try to explain a little bit about what creator coins are, what $SMRT is, how creators work, and how a cryptocurrency like $SMRT can help creators create, help community members support, help fans follow, and generate a creator economy that provides tangible benefits for all. I’m also copping to the fact that “CEO of $SMRT” is something I totally just invented and made up. It’s my creator coin, but it’s not a company like Sparkplug9, my consultancy.

If I fail to explain it perfectly … well, it’s crypto. This stuff is new, and creator coins were born, geologically speaking, yesterday. We’re all still figuring this stuff out.

Let’s start here: with creators

The creator economy is here to stay. 50 million people now participate in it, according to a SignalFire report by Yuanling Yuan, who I interviewed for TechFirst. It’s a unique period in history, where if you have a passion and a smartphone, you can reach millions.


Or one.

But you can take your passion, express it on YouTube or TikTok or Facebook or Twitter or Instagram or Medium or Substack or any of a thousand other platforms, and you can distribute it globally. You can also find ways to monetize that with ads or Patreon or merch. (Yeah, I should get some TechFirst merch, right?)

Maybe a T-shirt with the TechFirst logo? Totally hot, right?

Maybe just a ball cap, if they make stuff like that 🙂

I’m a creator too. The best way I’ve found to describe what I do is this: “learn stuff and share stuff.” Because I’m fascinated by technology — which is any tool we make to influence our reality or impact our lives — I focus on tech first. (See what I did there.) I do that by talking to innovators and pioneers, founders and engineers, leaders and trailblazers who are making something new in the world.

I talk to them. I record those conversations. I share them, sometimes on live social (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn) and eventually on YouTube.

Then I make a transcript of those conversations. I post it here. I write a story about those conversations. I post it on Forbes. And I share audio of those conversations on Apple, Spotify, Google, and all the other podcast outposts.

How you can participate in my/our/your creator economy

$SMRT is a creator coin. That means it’s a way for people to participate in the economy of ideas and the economy of value that creators make. Mine is the $SMRT coin … not because I’m super-smart, but because I’m fascinated by the way technology is transforming all of matter.

A thousand years ago, only wetware was smart.

Today, an ever-increasing proportion of the matter on the planet can be described as smart. And yes, it’s still pretty stupid — don’t we all love to dump on Siri — but there is a qualitative difference between a smartwatch and a rock, between a modern thermostat and a gauge, between a house that knows its lights are on or a city that knows how many of its ambulances are currently deployed and where … and homes or cities or factories that don’t have senses, data, or awareness. Or between a car that you drive and a car that drives you.

One of my major focus points in TechFirst is that emerging world of smart matter. And that’s why when I had a chance to mint a creator coin, I chose the $SMRT symbol for my coin.

Owning $SMRT is a way that you can participate in what I do. A couple tokens here or there is enough, and I’ll be releasing more ways to do that over time, with additional benefits. Over time, I’ll start being able to monetize what I do via $SMRT, if all goes according to plan.

The first and major opportunity, however, is for brands … probably tech brands. And it’s critical to supporting TechFirst.

Support TechFirst with $SMRT

I do what I do because I love it. But yes, there are bills to be paid.

While I haven’t monetized TechFirst yet, it’s a pretty good podcast. It reaches a pretty sizable audience across all the podcast platforms, generally bouncing up and down in the top 100 podcasts in the U.S., and across YouTube and this website. It also forms the basis for what I write about on Forbes.

One of my TechFirst video interviews on YouTube

I’ve interviewed some pretty significant guests. They include former Apple CEO John Scully. The head of Facebook gaming. Amazon’s head of robotics. GitHub’s CTO. Twitter’s chief information security officer, and much more. Scientists inventing smart contact lenses. Startup entrepreneurs. Google executives. Former Microsoft CTO Nathan Myhrvold. And much, much more.

I’ve set an initial sponsorship amount of 1,000 $SMRT to sponsor TechFirst per month.

If your brand is interested in sponsoring, here’s how to start.

Not a brand?

For colleagues, friends, fans, or just fellow travelers on the fascinating road of tech and the future, grabbing a few $SMRT coin is a great way to join me on the journey.

I’ll be releasing benefits and exclusive rewards for $SMRT coin holders, and you’ll be able to get in on those.

$SMRT coin holders will get exclusive benefits and access …


Anyone who holds $SMRT coin gets rewarded just for holding them: they are currently paying 5% of their value as a bonus dividend weekly, so it’s possible that they may gain in value over time. Which would be cool.

This is just the beginning

All of life and all of business is one long evolving experiment. That’s exactly what this is too.

Join me on the journey!