Interview with Mr. Will Murphy, VP of BotChain Talla
‘The Blockchain Platform for Managing Intelligent Agents ‘
Mr. Will Murphy, VP of BotChain Talla
1. Please introduce yourself. How did you get involved in your startup?
I’m Will, a veteran innovator an entrepreneur. I like to work on things that are pretty murky at first and see where we can take them. I got lucky enough to meet Rob May a long time ago, and we’re good friends. So, Rob brought me along to help out with Talla and get it going. I started working on it in 2015 part-time when it was a concept and started working full time on it in 2016 right before our seed round closed. Now, we’re launching a subsidiary to Talla, the BotChain.
When I was head of product at Talla, we were constantly thinking about what the future of intelligent agents look like. And, one thing that our conversation kept coming back to how bots would interact with each other. My thinking on that also evolved into “how do we manage intelligent agents”.
Our goal at Talla is to build the digital workers of the future. So, my proposition was: “how do we manage them?”. So we came up with BotChain – a platform for bots with capabilities to manage bots. There are a lot of common capabilities the bot industry needs (like identity validation and skill sharing)- and that’s where we can share a common infrastructure amongst the industry. What I call a digital commons based on a blockchain.
2. Please tell us about your startups.
I was fortunate enough to sell a small startup I was working on in the early 2000s. I’ve been building software since I was 12. I’ve also built and sold a blog on innovation. And, then there are numerous things I’ve launched – too many to document here. And, I was a corporate entrepreneur at a large company for a while. So, I got to launch (or fail) at a pace that independent startup founders don’t see outside corporations. Some moved forward; some didn’t. But, that was a great learning experience.
Logo of Talla
3. What is the blockchain? Please explain why now it’s important.
I think that blockchain technology is the beginning of a global decentralized computer. It is a global database, as many talk about. But it’s also becoming a global computer that can process data. It can also successfully run a currency, as we’ve seen with BitCoin. I think we’re really early. I think there are a lot of improvements to make, so I’m interested to see how we can improve it over the next decade. Its decentralized nature is it’s most important characteristic.
4. What’s the most special about your blockchain technology?
We’re the first blockchain-based platform for business bots specifically. And, I use the term “bots” to describe all independent, autonomous agents. I think it’s most special characteristic is that it will be used, built, and maintained by the bot industry itself.
5. What problems are you solving?
We’re starting very simple and creating a way for people and other bots to validate a bots’ identity. We’ll then move on to add open source components where bots can be audited and have a marketplace for bot skills. In about a year we’ll have a fully decentralized blockchain-based platform for the business bot industry.
6. How will your service scale?
We’ll run on Ethereum, and we’re working on creating open source nodes that we’ll share. From a business perspective, we’ll scale by actively seeking partners and customers in the industry.
7. Blockchain is intimidating to normal people. What is your adoption strategy?
Our strategy there is we aren’t targeting any “normal” people, so to speak. We are B2B and targeting business bot developers as our partners and customers. We’ll integrate through them. So, you may be using a bot in a year, and you won’t realize it’s partially supported by the BotChain. I would be careful launching a B2C blockchain company that doesn’t make interaction with “normal” people very, very simple or even hidden.
8. How will your service be compelling before you reach critical mass?
The compelling nature of the platform will be driven by the industry and the marketplace. So, new skills will drive adoption and new components that we’ll come up with as needed will drive adoption as well.
9. What do you expect to accomplish in the next 90 days? 5 years?
In 90 days we’ll have our foundation built and in use, and will be in active conversations with our core partners. In 5 years, it will be a stand-alone decentralized platform with dozens of bot capabilities and apps. We’ll be a developer on the platform, like everyone else. It will be a decentralized digital commons.
10. What change would you most like to see in the world?
I’d like to see a return to enlightenment thinking for our information age – a neoenlightenment. I’d like to see us use technology to usher in a golden age. I’d like to see us decentralize many centralized power structures. And, I’d like to see humans populate other planets. So, we have a lot of work to do.