Speaker’s Corner: Featuring Sandy Carter, SVP and Chief SVP at Unstoppable Domains
Tell me about your company – it’s work and projects…
Unstoppable Domains is pioneering user-owned digital identity. We believe one of the core pillars of web3 is people taking ownership over their data, and owning their own digital identity is the first step. Beyond that we are developing tools that make it easier for businesses to interact with customers in this new web3 world and grow along this digital revolution.
The IT industry is vast and often has its challenges, what are the challenges that most affect your business? Are you engaging in any kind of problem solving?
One of the biggest challenges of working in web3 is how fast the space is evolving. You aren’t going to find someone with a decade of web3 experience because they just don’t exist.
The COVID-19 and the pandemic has mandated change in the way we go about business and operations. How has this time influenced you? What are the trends you see within the sector?
As a remote company, Unstoppable Domains was actually pretty well positioned to deal with the changes from the pandemic. We’ve always been believers in talent not being geographically constrained and have been optimizing for a remote workforce since the start.
What is your biggest objective as a speaker?
My two biggest objectives are to Inform and Inspire. Web3 is still so new to so many people that I really enjoy helping educate them. The space is growing like wildfire and we’re going to need lots of smart people working on it, so I hope to inspire many more to join us. One thing that I am particularly excited about is our Unstoppable Women of Web3 initiative where we help educate women about web3 and connect them with other inspiring women in the space.
Could you share with us the points of discussion (the input that you provided) during the panel(s) at the SXSW Conference?
At SXSW, I spoke about the 5 essentials for Web3. Web3 is an open movement to broadly decentralize the internet, allowing for individual ownership of identity and personal data. The main difference between Web2 and Web3 is about Ownership. And Ownership is driven by 5 core things:
- Decentralization– a system that operates without the control of a central figure or authority, and replaces it with a distributed peer-to-peer network. Today, we are not there with complete decentralization but we will get there!
- Digital Identity– Your digital identity in web3 is crucial. It travels with you and in the future, it is your wallet, your healthcare data, your education records, KYC and more. It’s going to become much more important than it is today. It will be used in all sorts of apps we can’t even imagine now. It’s extremely important this ownership rights power is in the hands of users and not in the hands of governments or corporations.
- Blockchain– a publicly-accessible digital ledger used to store and transfer information without the need for a central authority. Blockchains are the core technology on which cryptocurrency protocols like Bitcoin and Ethereum are built.
- In Web3, we become members not users. The community aspect is so much more important in Web3 than in Web2. As Lazy Lions says “The community is the project and the project is the community. Most communities use Discord as an in-group community platform and Twitter as a public space to operate in. Influencers in Web3 activate their own personal networks to spread the word about projects because they are so invested in them. Communities build the roadmaps for their communities. One thing you’ll find in almost every single community is a public roadmap.
- Financial Rewards. In web3, the value of being in a community means that there are financial rewards as well. When you buy an NFT, you can place it on a tshirt and sell it, as it is yours. Data is also important and can be monetized by the person. Individuals can choose with whom, how much, and when they share their data. We are still in the dial up phase of Web3 – but WAGMI!
As a leader, what are the factors both professional and personal that drive you? What keeps you going?
First and foremost, I make time to talk to customers and partners every day. It’s an Amazon term, but I am truly committed to customer obsession. Second, it is all about the team and the community that I get to help coach, shape, and support. My grandmother gave me a necklace that’s one of my prized possessions. It has a single stone surrounded by several other stones. It signifies that even while you’re in the center, you cannot be successful with your team, family and friends who surround you.
In your opinion, do digital events give you a similar level of feedback/result vis-à-vis the live versions? What would you say were the biggest pros and cons of both formats? Which do you prefer?
I love both online and in person events, but it’s really hard to compete with the excitement and energy that comes with an in person event. Especially after having to take a break from the conference scene for a few years, I think everyone was excited to have a chance to meet up in person again. On the other hand, we’ve all gotten more familiar with digital events recently whether its twitter spaces, a youtube live or zoom call, and you can make some really valuable connections digitally as well.
What is your take on in-person events? Do you prefer in-person events as compared to hybrid or virtual? How soon do you think in-person events would return?
I love in-person events, but I also think it’s great to have a hybrid option. Not everyone has the same comfort level with attending an in-person event or may be facing travel restrictions, so it’s important to have options that cater to everyone.
In your opinion, what are the top 3 challenges to returning to ‘In-Person’ events? How could we mitigate risks?
Travel expense budgets have changed since pre-pandemic. Difficulty in some areas of international travel. People having various comfort levels with in-person events.
Eventible.com is a review platform specially catering to B2B events. Given how review-driven our lives have become today, do you think reviews will bring in a level of transparency to the events industry? Would you rely on event reviews from other speakers if you had to make a speaking decision?
People hardly do anything without reading a review first. Right now event reviews are more informal inside a company or by word of mouth, so it would be great to have more transparency around event reviews.
About Sandy: Sandy Carter is Senior Vice President and Channel Chief at Unstoppable Domains. In this role, she is responsible for driving new partnerships and integrations for Web 3.0, Blockchain, and NFTs. Her mission is to onboard the world onto the decentralized web by building a digital identity platform. Previously, Sandy was Vice President for Public Sector Partners at AWS. In this role, she was responsible for driving next-generation partnering in cloud, machine learning, IoT and blockchain, growing the ecosystem over 45%. Sandy was a founder and CEO of a startup in Silicon Valley. This startup created a set of recommendations, through an AI engine, for innovation tactics that would fit with a company’s culture. In her last role at IBM, she ran the AI/ML Ecosystem on behalf of the IBM. Sandy is the Chairman of the Board of Girls in Tech, and an adjunct professor at Carnegie Mellon University Silicon Valley. She is also the author of Extreme Innovation. She is the founder of Unstoppable Women of Web3 (WoW3).