Today’s episode is an exciting one — it’s the first time since episode one that your host, Matt Hooper, is interviewing someone from IBM Blockchain.
Kathryn Harrison is the Director of Global Product Management for IBM Blockchain Platform. She’s responsible for understanding what’s happening in blockchain all around the world, figuring out how IBM can build technology and products that help to solve different companies’ problems with blockchain, and then actually pulling together all the different parts of IBM to actually build that product and take it out to market. It’s a very exciting job!
In this episode, Kathryn talks about her position as the Director of Global Product Management, her passion for blockchain, and the IBM Blockchain Platform. She also explains whether blockchain is a platform or a protocol, what exactly a platform is, if blockchain is a “fundamentally economic innovation” as she’s said in the past, as well as how she originally became interested in the technology in the first place and her career journey to-date.
[:01] About today’s episode.
[2:32] What does it mean to be the Director of Global Product Management?
[4:12] About Kathryn’s original discovery and excitement about blockchain and how she came to build the IBM Blockchain Platform in 2017.
[11:11] What is a platform? And is blockchain a platform or a protocol?
[14:00] Why does Kathryn think that cryptocurrencies were the first wave of popularized applications built on this technology? And what does Kathryn think was the shift into enterprise adoption of non-crypto blockchain opportunities?
[17:33] Kathryn explains the big differences between various networks that are considered ‘peer-to-peer.’
[20:54] What are the advantages of IBM’s approach to blockchain?
[23:30] Kathryn has said that blockchain is a fundamentally economic innovation — so what does that mean?
[26:33] As someone with a global view of IBM blockchain activity, what are some of the most exciting projects Kathryn has seen, and where are they?
[29:05] What is Kathryn’s relationship at IBM Blockchain to blockchain startups?
[30:38] When dealing with entrepreneurs and startups, is it a plus or a minus when they don’t have an industry background? Where does Kathryn see startups being really successful and how does IBM help them?
[33:15] Does Kathryn consider herself an ‘entrepreneur’?
[34:40] When will we know that blockchain has reached the mainstream? What will mainstream adoption look like?
[35:36] Kathryn’s recommendation for listeners to check out after today’s show!
“I realized that I didn’t just want to tell the story of what blockchain could do but I actually wanted to build the technology and built the future.” — Kathryn Harrison
“Ultimately, blockchain itself is a distributed decentralized ledger that enables multiple organizations to transact with one another without the need for a centralized or trusted entity in the center.” — Kathryn Harrison
“This is part of what we’ve done with the next generation of the IBM Blockchain platform — we’ve enabled any organization that is using the IBM blockchain platform to have … ownership and control over the components of the blockchain that they want to run.”
— Kathryn Harrison
“The title [doesn’t matter to me], what I like to do is to build new things, get them out into the market, and to be able to make the machine work.” — Kathryn Harrison
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