Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in finance but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Sean O'Connor, Chief of Staff of Blocknative, located in Denver, CO, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Blocknative is the real-time Web3 infrastructure company that enables users to see the future and act on pre-chain insights. Blocknative delivers Web3's most accurate gas fee prediction, enables prescient decisions, and improves transaction outcomes. Blocknative democratizes access to mempool data across multiple chains, including Ethereum, Polygon, Gnosis Chain, Fantom, BNB Chain, and Bitcoin, empowering users to see what is happening and what will happen next on leading public blockchain networks. Founded in 2018, Blocknative powers many forward-thinking Web3 developers, Defi protocols, and core infrastructure projects, including Curve, Ledger, MetaMask Compound, Synthetix, Bancor, Gitcoin, Aavegotchi, Polygon Foundation, Fantom Foundation, and the Ethereum Foundation.

Tell us about yourself

I first learned about crypto in college - while studying finance in NYC during the financial crisis. I stumbled into Zuccotti park and got a zine about bitcoin. I passively paid attention to blockchain-based systems. Shortly after, the Ethereum ICO started working to find a role in building the future of the web.

I am extremely passionate about helping to accelerate the arrival of the Block Native generation. And I believe that blockchain-based systems will be able to make a massive impact on humanity - by making the entire global financial system more efficient and equitable.

If all crypto does is make the global financial services industry ($22.5 trillion/yr) more efficient, then there is the ability to unlock massive amounts of capital to direct towards the most pressing global challenges.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

The thing I am most proud of is the team we have been able to assemble at Blocknative. At over 40 people, I believe we have one of the best teams in the industry. And we work deliberately to foster an open workplace environment - where individuals are empowered to act like owners.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

One of the hardest parts of scaling an early-stage startup is driving alignment and ensuring all team members are on the same page. Especially since we are fully remote, it takes a lot of investment in your team to make sure it is aligned.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Focus on your customers. In emerging technology markets, you can gain an advantage by working with people at the bleeding edge. If you can solve their problems, then you can gain an edge.
  2. Business all comes down to people. Invest in recruiting and retaining world-class talent. A small, focused team can outperform.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

I am the Chief of Staff at Blocknative and was the first employee. I have been with the team for about four years.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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