What I've Learnt: James Bennett, Co-founder & CEO at BitAssist

Charlie Spargo's picture
by Charlie Spargo
James Bennett, BitAssist

James Bennett leads research & advisory firm Bitassist, which specialises in blockchain and cryptoassets.

The London-based consultancy collects complex data feeds from public blockchains and translate them into meaningful insights. It helps investors structure their portfolio and maximise returns in the rapidly-changing world of cryptocurrencies.

We spoke to James to find out what motivates him.

Which single daily habit or practice could you not do without?

Breathing properly. It sounds obvious but actually we forget to breathe properly all the time. On average people use less than half of their lung capacity and when you consider breathing is our energy core, that means we are running at half power.

What's been your luckiest break?

I can’t think of a time when I got particularly lucky. I don’t believe in luck, it’s more about working hard and in the right way. Maybe it’s just because I didn’t get lucky yet that I feel this way…

What's your best failure?

Everything is a learning process so I try not to think about failure.

What is the best investment you've ever made, either financial or time?

I think time invested into self-improvement is never wasted. I try to keep learning new skills and understanding new concepts.

How would you describe your work/life balance?

It peaks and troughs. There are weeks where life is work and then times where I’ll take an afternoon off just because I can. Ironically, I feel at my best when I’m working at full capacity, but a break is always welcomed.

Doing something immersive that isn’t work enables me to reset and improves motivation.

Which book would you recommend others to read and why?

'Guns, Germs and Steel' by Jared Diamond. It’s just an incredible overview of how geography was fundamental to the differences between the developed and developing world. It got me thinking about the bigger picture and what drives humanity forwards.

What one piece of advice would you give your 21-year-old self?

Don’t think about what you should be, visualise what you can be.

Who or what has had the single biggest influence on your working life?

A boss that I had when working in corporate finance at General Electric. Nothing was right and nothing was enough… she made my life hell, but I learned that there isn’t always a shortcut.