Reflections on 2016: Michael Terpin, Transform Group

Story by Michael Terpin


All this holiday season, we have been sharing the reflections on 2016 from the Southern California's technology ecosystem. Here, we have the thoughts of Michael Terpin of Transform Group. Michael--despite a recent move to Puerto Rico--is a longtime fixture of the LA technology community, having founded Marketwired here, and is an expert on Bitcoin. He's also a very active angel investor. You can see all of our holiday reflections here.

What's the biggest news from you or your‏ firm this year?

Michael Terpin: My personal biggest news in 2017 was moving to Puerto Rico. We still have our largest office on the Third Street Promenade (and my firm's headquarters are still in Las Vegas), but I couldn't resist taking advantage of the great tax breaks and weather to live half the year in paradise. Social and instant messaging, plus mobile broadband, makes it possible to serve a global clientele from anywhere – and Santa Monica is still my favorite place overall, so I'm there almost every month for at least a few days to work with our LA team and regional clients.

What's the biggest lesson you learned this year?

Michael Terpin: Biggest lesson is that persistence and hard work pays off. Whether it was sticking with bitcoin and blockchain as a sector when naysayers abounded, working to develop talent on my team, or investing in travel and education as a vehicle for personal and professional growth, I find one generally reaps what they sow.

Michael Terpin: What's your favorite technology gadget, device, or innovation you ran across this year?

Token crowdsales (also called “ICOs” for initial coin offering) grew exponentially as a category in 2016, raising nearly $300 million directly from consumers by issuing useful commodities, known as appcoins (think iPhone apps with their own monetary base) and growing into powerful ecosystems like Ethereum, Augur and Factom, all foundations we are proud to have worked with.

Finally, what do you think will have the biggest impact on the technology industry in 2017?

Michael Terpin: In the long run, A/R and VR will battle robotics and AI for the most disruptive force of our century, but for 2017 it's hard to think of a sector that will continue to grow as quickly as blockchain – which includes not only bitcoin, but other public blockchains like Ethereum, and private and permissioned blockchains, which are poised to disrupt trillion-dollar industries like medical records, real estate title, legal and supply-chain management.

Michael Terpin is CEO of Transform Group, a global public relations and marketing firm, specializing in emerging technologies, including virtual reality and blockchain. He founded in Los Angeles and sold Marketwire, the first Internet-based press distibution company, which earlier this year was sold again to NASDAQ for a reported $200 million. Most recently, Terpin has become a globally recognized authority on bitcon and blockchain investing and trends, running the BitAngels angel network, bCommerce Labs blockchain incubator, and CoinAgenda conferences.