What inspired you to start Seeds?

The most painful driver behind this has been the amount of discrimination I’ve seen against women in institutional finance.  I used to be a futures and equities trader, and was paid a 15% lower base salary than the men I started with, despite having a better educational background than all of them, and previous experience as a profitable trader than none but one of them had.  I had even negotiated the starting salary, so while it’s certainly possible that I could’ve negotiated more aggressively, it was so obvious that misogyny played into this that it was really eye-opening for me.
From there, I started to think reflect more on the roots of the systemic discrimination baked into institutional finance.  I made a documentary about the impact of microloans on women around the world, which we shot on 4 continents.  I was interested in them because they benefitted women who were ignored by the traditional banking system and these women were a fantastic investment, repaying the loans nearly 100% of the time.
The film project led to Seeds.  After a lot of iterating and reflecting over the years, it became clear that there was a way to leverage blockchain to build greater wealth for all of us.  Instead of a one-dimensional, zero-sum economy, we could create a multi-dimensional economic system.

You used profits from Bitcoin to fund your company.  Can you tell us about that?

In our early days, traditional startup investors were ignoring Seeds, so I was forced to become more resourceful.  I did things like Airbnbing my bedroom in my Brooklyn apartment and sleeping on my couch to bring in enough money to stay afloat while working to keep Seeds moving forward.  
Since founding Seeds, I counted that I’ve gone broke at least 11 times, and a significant part of the reason for this is that traditional investors fund male startup founders much more readily than they do female ones, often even when the women have more traction, better teams, and bigger market sizes.  One of the times I went broke, in late 2013, I had to sell off my Bitcoin to pay employees because investors were still ignoring me.  I was grateful that Bitcoin existed and that I was aware of it at that time, so that I had that option, but it’s a bummer than I was forced to do that in order to survive.
Instances like that are another example of the current system failing us when some of us are desperate for cash, we’re forced to sell off items that we’d rather hold on to because we know they’ll continue to increase in value over time.  With Seeds tokens, this type of problem is no longer an issue.

What is Ethereum and why do I need to use it to make seeds token purchase?

If you Wikipedia it, it’ll tell you that Ethereum is an open-source, public, blockchain-based distributed computing platform and operating system featuring smart contract functionality.”  

This can make for a lot of exciting possibilities, and in our case, smart contract functionality allowed us to make our own Ethereum-based cryptocurrency using Ethereum’s programming language, Solidity.  

Thus, you need ETH to make a Seeds token transfer by design.

Do you have a wellness practice? If so, has that been beneficial to you as a founder?

I’m so happy you asked this question!  I began practicing Vipassana meditation in 2013.  The Buddha emphasized this practice and taught that it was the specific one he used to reach enlightenment, but how to actually do Vipassana was mostly lost to the world for something like 2500 years.  I was beyond blessed to learn about these free 10-day courses that anyone can go to, which are held in more than 200 locations around the world.  They feed you, house you, and teach you Vipassana while there, all for free.  They’re the most wonderful places I’ve ever been, and I hope that everyone experiences them.  
It’s been a gradual process, but over the past 5 years I’ve deepened my practice such that I now sit for over 2 hours every day, which would’ve sounded completely crazy to me not too long ago.
 But it’s amazing to experientially understand how much happier it’s made me, how much more productive, and how it’s helped me to see reality much more clearly, as I’ve gradually released pieces of my own uniquely warped filter.
My hope is that Seeds will be as successful as I believe we can be, so that people all around the world are using Seeds tokens to get the support they need to no longer feel trapped in undesirable situations for financial reasons.  
From there, I think more people will have their existential crises at a younger age people won’t be distracted by working jobs that they hate, and so they’ll have the luxury of being confronted by their issues earlier in life.  I recently watched the Mike Mills film Beginners,” and there was this beautiful line toward the end: Our good fortune allowed us to feel a sadness that our parents didn’t have time for and a happiness that I never saw with them.”  I believe Seeds + Vipassana can bring more of that to more of us, because we have to move through the pain, and truly release it, to reach the true happiness that is always available to us underneath.
And I hope that I can then be there, going around and telling everyone like, hey, I know how painful it is, but Vipassana is by far the best thing I know to help move through that and hone in on your reason for being in this world. to hone in on happiness.  So we’ll see. 

What books and podcasts helped you navigate the VC/startup world?

There’s so much information out there, and there are pockets that I’ve found to be truly useful for instance, Paul Graham’s essays informed my thinking about startups in what I think are important, impactful ways.
But at the end of the day, my best business insights have come to me when practicing Vipassana.  I feel certain that our inner guidance, as we get better and better at hearing it clearly, is where’s it at it’s the thing that we’re meant to follow.

What is the best way for people to connect with you, and Seeds, online?

Thanks for asking!  Our token sale is ongoing at www.seedstokens.com.  When you buy a token, you can ask our system to grant you anything that you need, and we’ll share your need through the apps that are using our front-end products, to the users of those apps who will be happiest to help.  When your request is met, we gift that to you, no strings attached.  We’ve found that our front-end tools can boost an app’s revenue by up to 30%, because people are more likely to spend in apps when they know that they’re micro-purchase is also going to help somebody who needs it.  And Seeds receives a portion as well, so the idea is that every member of our ecosystem receives more wealth, and we’re creating a bigger pie for everyone.
If you want to check us out on Twitter, we’re @seedstweets, and on Facebook we’re @seedsgives.
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