Halsey Minor has lived many lives.
One of the founders of CNET, Minor entered tech media at a time when the closest thing most of us had to the web was a spider spinning cobwebs on an old NES. Born in Charlottesville, Virginia, Minor worked for Merrill Lynch during the rise of the internet in the early 1990s and, in the words of Wayne Gretzky, has been skating to where the puck is going ever since.
Since his initial foray into media, Minor has taken to cryptocurrency and blockchain in a big way. In 2014, he started an exchange, Bitreserve, which morphed into Uphold, a money transfer product that supported over 30 currencies, including crypto.
Over the last few years, he built Live Planet, a video service, and VideoCoin, a token that rewards idle data centers for serving up video content. Now he’s expanded into NFTs and sees the space as wide open yet in need of serious change. We spoke to Minor about his view of the current NFT market and what needs to be done to turn today’s technology into tomorrow’s CNET.
NFTs are one of those ubiquitous technologies that will touch virtually everything we do, from e-commerce to marketing and entertainment. In three years, everyone will be interacting with NFTs every day. Halsey Minor
These days, Minor is building startups – and running Zoom calls.
“I’ve spent the pandemic educating five children — with two dogs and a cat,” Minor said. “It’s been incredibly hard if you have a lot of children because of all the added work that comes from Zoom-based homeschooling. I’ve been extraordinarily lucky to be able to work from home.”
“With five children in school it leaves very little time for anything other than around-the-clock work,” he said. “People honestly don’t talk about this enough probably because it’s not a sexy story.”
TechCrunch: You’ve gone all-in on crypto and NFTs after a career in content. Why?
Halsey Minor: Much like I recognized the massive explosion of the internet many years ago, I see crypto and NFTs as the technology of the future. As NFTs become more accessible and mainstream, the creator economy will continue to migrate to the blockchain and, I believe, will eventually overtake traditional platforms. I am all-in on video NFTs with Vivid Labs because we believe video is the next great bulwark for NFTs and has the potential to spread into various verticals, from gaming to art to traditional entertainment. Video has always been one of the most compelling, engaging and empathetic mediums across all swaths of entertainment, and we don’t expect NFTs to be immune to that.
What advice do you have for new founders right now? What’s the best route to raising capital?
When I started my first company CNET, 26 years ago, I had no track record. Everything I did was to build credibility. I hired a former head of programming and marketing at Fox and the head of multimedia from Bell Labs with extensive internet experience (rare skill in 1995). You need to sell great people on your vision to build great things. These people helped turn CNET into a NASDAQ 100 company in four years.