Read the full transcript below.
Q: Now we have a huge lineup of guests, now we’re going to interview a bunch of entrepreneurs and here’s our first one, his name is Casey Kuhlman, and he’s the CEO of Monax Industries, welcome Casey.
A: Thank you for having me
Q: Can you tell us a bit about Monax
A: Sure, Monax is a platform for rethinking how digital contracts work, we view the legal function of small businesses as being the Final Frontier, an entrepreneur can go get an accounting system, can go get an HR system, and those will all be first class citizens of their digital office, but in terms of legal, this is stuck in the old ages. and we’re trying to be able to digitise that and bring it forward.
Q: So it says here that you were part of Somaliland first law firm, for people who don’t know about Somaliland tell us a little bit about that.
A: Sure, so Somaliland some would say is an undeclared republic in the horn of Africa. So it is a piece of Somalia technically
although I don’t want to bring the Somaliland trolls down on me on Twitter and it identifies as its own country and it is one of the > most interesting places I’ve ever lived and worked.
Q: That sounds exciting, so it’s the same concept as Liberland and Croatia have you heard about that?
A: Yes, similar idea, they have a old colonial context that’s quite different from the other parts of Somalia in so there is a lot
of distinct differences between the two.
Q: So let’s talk about crypto, so it’s not just cryptocurrency, blockchain technology has a lot of uses, so tell us about that and the future of everything.
A: Ha, yes the future of everything, the hype machine does say it’s the future of everything. I think that blockchain technology
really has something to offer and that is an ability to provide a platform that can be managed across an entire ecosystem, to apply
problems of coordination. It’s very sexy for a lot of people to say this is going to be the future of money, and that may or may
nothappen from a cryptocurrency perspective, with what we’re working on we’re really focused on problems of business coordination,
and so this is where we enable companies to track and manage their contractual obligations and the fulfilment of those obligations
leveraging the technology more as a suite of software.
Q: So how does your software solve a problem that exists in the current legacy world?
A: Sure, so in the current legacy world, if you and I are in a contract and we want to make that digital in other words we want the computers to run this contract, we get to a difficult place because if the computers are going to run the contracts and you and I are in the contract, whose computers are going to run this contract? And in legacy systems, where I have my computers and you have your computers, there is really an inability to provide a collaboratively managed data and events infrastructure where we could both be running the contracts, and that’s what blockchain technology offers to the fulfillment of legal rights and obligations, and the tracking of those.
Q: Can you explain that in a bit more detail as some people don’t really understand how blockchain works.
A: Sure, so blockchain is built to get at this idea that throws away an old idea, in an old idea we said we might have many computers running a data infrastructure and those would all be owned by one company, and blockchain technology says let’s throw away this assumption that that they’re going to be all owned by one company, and so what the technology does from a software perspective is that it allows us to have our computers in sync and we take the assumption that those computers are not owned by the single company and this is what gets at the decentralised nature of the software
Q: So if I may extrapolate how your product works, so you are saying that we have a legal contract here, and if I have a computer and you have a computer I can edit it and then change it, and then at the end, you’re going to say well that’s not what we agreed upon, so there’s a problem because it’s not in sync, but there’s the blockchain, which is an immutable record, that can be downloaded on different devices where you can have one copy of the contract, basically that one party cannot change without the agreement of the other party. Is that more or less what it is?
A: That’s part of it, the piece that’s related to the pieces of paper, the other piece of it is being able to actually track in a digital manner, what have we agreed to and what has happened, and what’s the delta between those two.
Q: But you can’t change it without my consent and I can’t change it without your consent?
Q: So, a former infantry officer in the marines Casey, and also a best selling author for the book ‘Shooter’, the autobiography of a top ranked marine sniper - that’s you?
A: No it wasn’t me it was my co-author.
Q: Really? So tell us about that book.
A: That book was a long time ago in a place far far away actually, so we were together in the very beginning days of the Iraq war and that chronicles that time.
Q: Round one or round two?
A: Round two as we would call it, the long one not the short one.
Q: Okay so early 2000s
Q: So how has that experience writing that book influenced the rest of your venture, because you seem to be someone who has done a lot of stuff; you have a law degree, you’re a lawyer, you’ve written a book, you represented a non-recognised country, you have a pretty interesting resume here!
A: Yes I’ve lived a windy road through life I must say and a lot of it was influenced in my early career by being an infantry officer in the marines, I think that it’s a good analogy for being an entrepreneur actually, one of the things that was beat into my skull as a twenty something infantry officer was that you have the resources you have, and you need to accomplish what you need to accomplish, which is excellent training for being an entrepreneur.
Q: And what do you think the future is for your company, what would you like to see?
A: I would like us to be able to offer to small businesses for the first time, the ability to bring their digital function, not only the cost of that down, but also bring it into the digital age and reduce the need for folks to red-line in Word and negotiate documents that way.
Q: Cool, well thank you so much for joining us Casey.
A: Thank you so much for having me.