Dollars and Sense: Dragons discuss cryptocurrency, A.I. and more

In our second Dragon Dollars and Sense discussion, Manjit Minhas, Lane Merrifield and Jim Treliving sat down to share their insights on some pressing questions — straight from our “money bag.” They dished on cryptocurrency, when to act on an idea, digital strategies, side businesses, and artificial intelligence (A.I.).

Are cryptocurrencies a fad or the future?

All three agree that cryptocurrencies are the future. Jim also believes that they’re a bit of a fad, too, and that some new ones hitting the market may not have longevity. “Some will go by the wayside...but we’re definitely moving towards [cryptocurrencies],” he says.

How do you know when the time is right to act on an idea?

“Data is key,” says Lane. Jim agrees and says you need to dig deep and find out some numbers. Lane advises to avoid romanticizing an idea. Instead, let it inspire you to do some “great digging into the data.”

Manjit believes it’s time to act on an idea when you find yourself thinking about that idea all the time and it “takes over your thoughts.”

What can a brand do to start out in the digital space?

All three Dragons believe it’s necessary for all brands to be present in the digital space. “If you’re not in that space now, you’re behind the times,” says Jim. Manjit likens having a digital presence to a business: there needs to be a conscious plan. But it doesn’t need to cost a lot, adds Lane. He advises not hiring someone initially. Instead, use low-cost tools, educate yourself on different resources out there, and then do it yourself.

How do you start a side business while working a full-time job?

“You don’t sleep,” laughs Manjit. She means it though! She says that she’s sacrificed her social life to get to this point in her entrepreneurial career. The biggest misconception about being an entrepreneur is that “you can have it all and eat your cake, too,” she warns. 

Jim says time is of the essence.

Lane thinks most people have more leisure time than they realize, so free time should be spent pursuing a new business — not binge watching Netflix.

How is artificial intelligence changing the business landscape?

All three Dragons dislike the use of A.I. as a buzzword. But they do recognize its impact. Lane believes that in its simplest form, A.I. has the ability for computers to dissect data more dynamically to provide insights faster and more purposefully than they could before. Like with everything else, there has to be a balance with tech, in terms of “how much we take from the machines and  how much we use our own empathy, emotions, values, morals,” adds Manjit.