To keep it simple, I boil down success to one thing: know your own business. You’d be surprised how many want-to-be-entrepreneurs jump on the next shiny new technology, whether it’s VR, AI, or blockchain, simply because it’s trending in the media. This approach to creating an app or SAAS will not work over the long-haul. Inevitably, the industry will change and markets will shift, and so you need to possess genuine expertise and passion for the solution you are building to carry you through the ups and downs. Know what problem you are solving, how your solution will work, and what makes it stand out from competitors.

As part of my series about the “5 Things You Need To Know To Create a Successful App or SAAS”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Daniel Popa. Daniel is a serial entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience successfully launching numerous telecommunications and software companies, including NECC Telecom, Pulse Telecom, ECS Soft, CCI, TimeWalk, and others. Companies founded by Daniel have generated over $1 billion in revenue over the past 20 years and currently operate in 5 different countries including the USA, Canada, Australia, Romania, and Ukraine. NECC Telecom employed more than 600 people and several thousand contractors around the world earning revenues in excess of $54 million annually. In March 2018, Daniel commenced working on the Anchor project with Co-founder and COO, Cristina Bronescu, and a team of PhD-level academics developing the algorithm behind the Monetary Measurement Unit (MMU), the first financial index representing the real value and growth trend of the global economy.

Thank you so much for joining us Daniel! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?

I started working on Anchor in July 2014 when I first heard of Bitcoin. At the time, one bitcoin was worth about $81 dollars, but the price was extremely volatile, shifting by the hour. Learning about this novel, borderless digital payment system inspired me to begin conceptualizing a new cryptocurrency that would actually retain value over the short-term, be resistant to inflation and external market conditions, while appreciating in value over the long term, thereby solving the volatility problem.

What was the “Aha Moment” that led you to think of the idea for your current company? Can you share that story with us?

Anchor’s “aha” moment came a few years later when my team’s research culminated in the discovery of a stable measure to serve as a value peg for the Anchor stablecoin, or any currency for that matter. The measure is a proprietary index called the Monetary Measurement Unit (MMU), which is based on global economic growth. Despite ongoing fluctuations in various economies around the world, global GDP has been shown to increase at an average rate of 2.5% annually over the past 25 years.

By developing an algorithmically calculated financial index based on global GDP, Anchor has created what is intended to be the first reliable financial standard and measure of value since the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) Special Drawing Rights (SDR). The SDR is exclusive only to IMF member countries and based on a basket of five currencies, whereas the MMU is decentralized, inclusive, and based on a dynamic currency basket of ten of the strongest economies.

Can you tell us a story about the hard times that you faced when you first started your journey? Did you ever consider giving up? Where did you get the drive to continue even though things were so hard?

As a serial entrepreneur, I am accustomed to the usual ups and downs associated with working on a new project. That said, Anchor might be my most difficult endeavor yet. Developing a stablecoin solution to address global economic uncertainty presents the unique challenge of educating the public about the need for a digital economic future, the value of stablecoins, and why Anchor is unique among other stablecoins, including such well-known projects as Libra and Tether. Despite these difficulties, Anchor is my brainchild, and so rising to the challenge is the most rewarding part of my role as CEO.

So, how are things going today? How did your grit and resilience lead to your eventual success?

The Anchor team, comprised of PhD economists, tech entrepreneurs, developers, engineers, marketers, and communicators have traveled all over the world engaging directly with the crypto community to raise awareness and establish brand equity, letting the world know that we are here to stay. One of our biggest challenges was doing the research that led to the creation of the MMU. It was our team’s perseverance and passion that helped us to continue working towards this long-term goal.

On August 26th, 2019, we launched on our very first exchange, Liquid. On November 5th, we launched on our second exchange, IDEX. We also recently released the Anchor (Hot) Wallet and are now working on a Global Remittances Pilot Program to develop our first real life use case, with e-commerce use cases to follow. We are also currently preparing for our very first fundraising round, offering equity in the company in exchange for financing.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘take aways’ you learned from that?

I previously believed that it would be possible to finance Anchor through an Initial Coin Offering (ICO). Instead, regulatory crackdowns made ICOs impractical for projects intended for a global audience. I had to shift gears and consider other options, eventually coming to the conclusion that opening an equity round of fundraising to accredited investors would be the safest bet for the company. This experience taught me to never be tied down to one solution. When the environment or situation changes, it’s normal to feel stuck unless you can keep your mind open to other possibilities that may turn out to be even better.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

Anchor’s peg to our proprietary measure of global economic growth, the Monetary Measurement Unit (MMU), is what makes us uniquely positioned to offer a real solution to the problems of uncertainty and volatility that plague fiat and crypto markets alike. Unlike other stablecoins, Anchor does not rely on fiat currencies like the US dollar, Euro, or Chinese yuan. Fiat currencies will inevitably be devalued due to inflation over time, and so stablecoins pegged to fiat currencies will fail to offer genuine value preservation over the long term. Even in the face of a likely global recession, Anchor is likely to preserve purchasing power over time, like a bulldozer leveling the market’s hills and valleys and carving a smooth path through the harsh periods of financial distress.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

Working in an ever-changing landscape like cryptocurrency can be tough, as it requires constant strategic pivots to adjust for shifts in regulations, public perception, and consumer demand. When faced with a new quandary, I find it helpful to remind myself and my team why what we’re doing matters and keep the big picture front and center.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?

I’m fortunate to be supported by many talented people, including Anchor Co-founder and COO Cristian Bronescu, who has always been able to come up with innovative solutions at times when others become doubtful and pessimistic. In March 2018, my Co-founder Crisitan and I hired a team of PhD macroeconomists to start officially working on Anchor’s Monetary Measurement Unit (MMU). The MMU is a financial index that tracks various macroeconomic indicators, such as global GDP, forex markets, and premium sovereign bond yields to calculate and predict global economic growth and is the value peg for the Anchor stablecoin. A few months into the project in July 2018, our team attended a workshop and Cristian defended the value of the MMU against naysayers at a time when it was still just a theoretical concept on paper, and he helped critics realize its potential to transform our economic systems. Our Chief Communications Officer Olya Moskalenko, Chief Product Officer Tijana Gertner, and Chief Marketing Officer Milos Milosavljevic, also all bring their own expertise in product development, project coordination, marketing, and communications to the table.

Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s shift to the main focus of this interview. Approximately how many users or subscribers does your app or software currently have? Can you share with our readers three of the main steps you’ve taken to build such a large community?

We currently have 12,179 subscribers and followers. We built our ever-growing community by following these strategic steps:

1. Create genuine and interesting content across social media and community channels, including Telegram, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

2. Understand the needs of your specific community so that you can maintain honest relationships with members, which means incorporating their feedback to create a better user experience.

3. Craft a carefully-planned marketing strategy focused on expanding beyond your current audience. For us, this means connecting with individuals who may not be familiar with cryptocurrency but who would benefit from the stable store of value that Anchor provides.

What is your monetization model? How do you monetize your community of users? Have you considered other monetization options? Why did you not use those?

We deploy a multifaceted monetization strategy that includes offering bonus rewards for referrals and organizing bounty campaigns to incentivize community members to spread the world and become project evangelists. As we continue our international rollout, we will keep building upon this model.

Based on your experience and success, what are the five most important things one should know in order to create a very successful app or a SAAS? Please share a story or an example for each.

To keep it simple, I boil down success to one thing: know your own business. You’d be surprised how many want-to-be-entrepreneurs jump on the next shiny new technology, whether it’s VR, AI, or blockchain, simply because it’s trending in the media. This approach to creating an app or SAAS will not work over the long-haul. Inevitably, the industry will change and markets will shift, and so you need to possess genuine expertise and passion for the solution you are building to carry you through the ups and downs. Know what problem you are solving, how your solution will work, and what makes it stand out from competitors.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

If I could start a movement, it would be one that encourages mutual respect and care for one another. I believe that each person should have the opportunity to live their best life, which is partly what motivated me to found Anchor and lead the development of the Monetary Measurement Unit to provide individuals from around the world with the ability to preserve the value they earn whether or not they have a bank account. Those suffering from the impacts of war, natural disaster, or other humanitarian crises should not endure economic hardship as a result. Each individual, organization, and government should have the ability to hedge against market volatility and preserve purchasing power, even in the face of disruptive market events.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

Stay up-to-date on our latest news and developments by joining our community groups and following us on social media:

Website: https://theanchor.io/

Telegram: https://t.me/theanchorprojectcommunity

Twitter: https://twitter.com/theanchor_io

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/theanchor/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theanchorio/

Quora: https://www.quora.com/profile/Anchor-16

Medium: https://medium.com/@theanchor.io

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqCEuLzsvSnmJUM9U9Yt05A

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!


“5 Things You Need To Know To Create a Successful App or SAAS”, with Daniel Popa, CEO of Anchor was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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