An Interview with Entrepreneur Josh Fraser

Josh Fraser is a co-founder of Origin Protocol. Josh started coding at the age of 10. Prior to Origin, he co-founded three other venture-backed companies: EventVue, Torbit (acquired by Walmart Labs) & Forage.

In the following interview, Josh talks about his entrepreneurial journey, struggles and the lessons learned along the journey.

When did you first discover your entrepreneurial spirit and How is your entrepreneurial career developing so far?

When did you first discover your entrepreneurial spirit and How is your entrepreneurial career developing so far?
I have always wanted to be an engineer and build things and I've always wanted to be on the cutting edge of technology. When I was a child I always answered the question "what do you want to be when you grow up" with "I don't know, that job doesn't exist yet". I studied computer science in college and started my first company immediately after college. It's been a fun journey ever since.

Tell us about your latest endeavor, Origin Protocol. How did you get the idea for this project?

Origin is building tools for creating decentralized marketplaces on the blockchain. By creating marketplaces without middlemen, both the buyer and seller can get a better price. These new and decentralized marketplaces are also resilient to censorship and overzealous regulations that might otherwise prevent them from operating. The idea came from seeing Uber and Airbnb extracting really high fees and being banned in cities all over the world.

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What are your growth plans for Origin Protocol in the near future?

We are focusing first on building tools for developers and empowering them to create new marketplaces that aren't currently possible today. We want to have hundreds of marketplaces built on top of our platform. We will continue to grow our team, develop new products and expand our community.

You have also co-founded & headed Torbit, which was later acquired by Walmart Labs. Tell us more about that.

Torbit was a tool for optimizing slow websites and making them load faster. We worked with some of the largest websites on the internet to speed up their websites and increase their revenue. The company was acquired by Walmart Labs after 3 years, but the years I spent working on Torbit taught me a lot about internet infrastructure, security and how web applications are built.

What has been the biggest success and biggest failure stories you went through?

While the story is still being written, Origin is already a success in my mind. On our team, we have one of the founders of PayPal, the first engineer at YouTube and the head of engineering from Dropbox. I'm incredibly humbled to get to work alongside and learn from some of the smartest people I've ever met. No matter what happens with Origin, we're having a blast and building important pieces of the decentralized web.

My first company, EventVue failed and we had to apologize to our investors for not returning their capital. It's been said that you learn more from your failures than from your successes and that certainly rings true for me. You build better muscles when the work is hard.

Looking back, what did you learn and what would you have done differently?

One of the most important lessons I've learned is to make sure you're working with the right people. I'm incredibly lucky to have Matthew Liu as my co-founder and am constantly learning new things from him. Finding people you trust and work well with is the first and most important thing to get right in your business. Dealing with people is the hardest part of any business and most of my biggest regrets are the times when I failed on an interpersonal level.

In your opinion, what are the hurdles that keep people away from starting an entrepreneurial career? What advice would you give to the new entrepreneurs?

Fear. People are scared to start a company. But you can always go find a job if things don't work out. You have nothing to lose, but you'll learn a lot more from having an adventure as an entrepreneur.

Are you an entrepreneur looking for your MVP built? Get in touch with us at hello@devathon.com

Devathon has built software for companies backed by the world's leading investors like Betaworks, Greylock, Andreessen Horowitz, Accel, KPCB, Lightspeed and many more.