Marco Streng discovered Bitcoin while studying to become a mathematician in 2011. His bitcoin mining career began when he installed and began operating a mining rig out of his dorm room in Munich, but he quickly set his sights on much bigger plans.
Realizing the significance of blockchain and its role in powering a decentralized world, Marco and his partners launched Genesis Mining, one of the first industrial-scale crypto mining firms in the industry.
Four years later, and without ever raising outside capital, the company bootstrapped their way to becoming the world’s largest cloud mining provider, with over 2 million active customers, 800+ employees, and operations in Iceland, Sweden, USA, and Asia.
Marco Streng is a well-known advocate for industry education, is a highly sought-after keynote speaker, and is regularly featured across business, tech and industry media.
Where did the idea for Genesis Mining come from?
Back in 2011, I was studying to be a mathematician. I ended up buying some Bitcoin after reading an article and not too long from there, built a crypto miner which I installed in my dorm room.
This loud machine buzzed throughout the night which my girlfriend wasn’t very happy about but eventually this led to the realization that blockchain was a big deal, here to stay, and an opportunity of a lifetime. I left school shortly after and launched Genesis Mining.
Genesis Mining provides customers with the ability to mine cryptocurrency via the cloud without the financial risks associated with maintaining their own cryptocurrency mining operations.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I spend over 80% of my time traveling on planes and staying in hotels but apart from those criteria – every day is different. I could be touring a farm in Iceland with Anderson Cooper one day then the next day, I am in Munich meeting with our product teams to discuss an upcoming launch. I follow David Allen’s Getting Things Done methodology in order to keep my mind clear and priorities organized. With so many things to do every day, it can be easy to get distracted but I’ve found this system to be highly effective.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Our R&D cycle begins with listening to customers. We listen to learn more about their challenges, pain points, and frustrations. Then based on what we learn, we develop products and services around these insights. We are big believers in customer-first innovation.
What’s one trend that excites you?
Whenever the price of Bitcoin rises, we see an uptick in traffic and overall new customers. This correlation is common in the industry and something all crypto-focused companies experience as well.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
A few years ago, I began meditating in the morning. While I don’t do it every day, I try and do it most days, even when I am on an airplane. I’ve found that just taking 10 minutes to calm your mind down can have a dramatic impact on your productivity levels day to day.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Be careful who you do business with and never assume that others operate with the same core values that you do.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
We had several projects we started on that we were very excited about, but as the bear market continued, we had to make the tough decision to conclude some of these projects in order to focus our efforts and resources on the core business of bitcoin and cloud mining as a service.
What is the one book that you recommend every entrepreneur should read and why?
The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz. Most management and leadership books are written from the perspective of what to do when things are going well. They say things like hire great people and build a collaborative culture! But that only helps in good times. Ben’s book is a manual for what to do when there are challenges and when you are operating in the cryptocurrency world, there are always major challenges that need to be overcome.