After-Action Report: RVM #56 with Ron Poe

Before we get to this week’s guest speaker, I’d like to acknowledge a huge debt of gratitude to RINGKNOCKER Sponsor Dennis Volpe (USNA ’96), who guest-hosted this week’s Meetup. I asked Dennis for help at nearly the last minute, when it became clear that my COVID-induced pneumonia would prove too severe to permit me to run the Meetup effectively. As will be clear in the video, Dennis ran it like a pro. Thanks again for the assist, shipmate!

That said, many thanks to Securrency co-founder Ron Poe (USNA ’92) for sharing the fascinating saga of its rise! Securrency is an early crypto play that offers software to establish institutionalized finance on the decentralized blockchain. They just secured a $30M B-series financing round, but when Securrency went after their first round of funding in 2015, the blockchain was almost unheard of and the challenges they faced were extreme.

The story Ron told us this week had a lot of moving parts. An important one had to do with conviction: faith in an idea that is at once powerful enough to transform an industry but crazy enough to be lucrative. We talked a lot about what it takes to carry such a conviction across multiple economic cycles and the ablation of support networks, layer by layer.

We also talked a lot about the nature of that support, in all the forms it takes: family, friends, and—most specifically in the case of Securrency—classmates. Securrency was and remains very much a USNA-centric endeavor, which seems at one point or another to have involved most of the great Class of 1992, either as employees, as investors, or as cheerleaders. Ron’s argument was that one does not accomplish much of significance alone, an argument that finds fertile ground at a RINGKNOCKER Meetup.

There was an interesting side discussion on patents. Securrency holds several, and the question on the table was whether these are worth what they cost. The answer, in Securrency’s case, is that they do… but the process is arduous, and that outcome is not certain. Patent attorneys should often be consulted, less often employed, but when you need one, you need one!

As is always the case when a member of the great USNA Class of 1992 addresses a RINGKNOCKER Meetup, there were a ton of classmates in attendance last night, including a few whom we haven’t seen in a few months and even a couple of new ones! Just when we thought we’d met them all… 🤣

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