Max Thake is co-founder of peaq, a decentralized blockchain network powering the new machine economy, the ‘Economy of Things’. He is dedicated to leveraging blockchain technology to enable a more inclusive, transparent and equitable world.
In 2021, peaq raised €2.5 million in a round led by Scherzer & Co. AG, the former vice-chairman of Procter & Gamble Werner Geissler as well as Meteoric VC. peaq is in the middle of another funding currently, in anticipation of the launch of their cryptocurrency this year.
peaq enables individuals and enterprises to build apps for users of vehicles, machines and devices, while empowering both app builders and users to govern and earn from them. peaq’s clients include Fortune 100 companies such as Audi and NTT, and is supported by current and former executives at Cisco, Skype, VW, P&G and Standard Chartered, among others.
What is the elevator pitch for peaq?
We’re building a decentralized machine economy that works for the world. We enable people and organizations to build decentralized applications for users of vehicles, machines, robots and devices, while empowering both app builders and users to govern and earn from them.
Ok, can you tell us a bit more?
Today people use apps like Uber for taxis, WeShare for car-sharing, PlugShare for electric-vehicle charging, and so on. These are what we refer to as ‘Web2 apps’. They’re centralized, run by companies looking to maximize profit. They develop apps that provide a service, users give them their data and pay fees to be able to use the service.
Peaq is a decentralized network which enables a different way of doing things. We provide app builders with all the tools they need to develop decentralized apps (dApps). dApps are run by communities, not companies. dApps run on the peaq network, which is also decentralized and empowers dApp users to have a say in how they are run and earn from them too.
When you order a taxi on an app today, you pay a fee and give your data to a company. When you order a taxi through a dApp on peaq you decide what data to give or sell, you have a say in how the dApp is run and you can even part-own the taxi that picks you up, and earn from it.
Did you have any previous experience with startups and what made you decide that this was a good idea to work on?
Beforepeaq we built Advanced Blockchain AG, the first blockchain development company to be listed on the Frankfurt stock exchange. That gave us enough exposure to the blockchain space to know peaq had massive potential.
A combination of aligning trajectories; blockchain technology maturing, crypto gaining traction and acceptance, a deteriorating economy and intelligent machines becoming more intelligent.
Which skill have you had to work on to meet the challenges of being a startup founder?
Time management. How to get the most value for yourself and the company out of each minute, each hour, each day, each week – without burning out. Burn-out is terrible for you, your team and your company. No amount of all nighters can make up for the productivity, creativity and opportunity losses you’ll suffer from a burn out.
What gets you out of bed in the morning?
Literally; the sun, I haven’t used an alarm clock in over two years.
Figuratively; work is play. I love what I do.
What keeps you up at night?
Literally; Leo (my co-founder) snoring in the next room.
Figuratively; we’re juggling a lot of balls at once. When I skip meditation too many days in a row, work-thoughts can race and I find myself scribbling notes at all hours of the night.
What piece of advice would you give your younger self (or aspiring startup founders)?
The things you think will be difficult are way easier than you expected – and you’ll know you’re facing something difficult because it doesn’t have a formula, that’s the hard thing about hard things.
Where do you see peaq in 5 years’ time?
Well on its way to establishing a fully digital, decentralized economy for people and machines everywhere.
peaq is currently looking to grow its team. Anyone interested in joining the journey of this exciting startup can find out more here.