Someone needs to tell Justin Sun that there’s no shame in unplugging.
With one glimpse of his sprawling office at Tron’s Beijing headquarters, it’s clear that the space doubles as a high-rise apartment.
A twin bed in the corner is “used extensively during tight deadlines,” and Sun himself admits to being a workaholic, saying:
“I will continue to work for 50 years, 50 weeks per year, 80 hours per week. Crypto never sleeps.”
Perhaps but there’s a reason why people do. And while there’s nothing wrong with an amazing work ethic, the Tron founder has begun to show signs of burnout. Sun is seemingly pushing 30, and those all-nighters have begun to take a toll on his judgment. Evidence that exhaustion has begun to creep in most recently involves the way that he mishandled the most high-profile promotion that Tron has ever concocted — a Tesla giveaway.
There’s no other way to say it. It was painful to watch the way Sun’s reputation unraveled during the Tesla giveaway. If you’re going to run a contest that is sure to capture the attention of billionaire and fellow tech entrepreneur Elon Musk, you might want to be sure you have all of your ducks in a row first. Not only is the crypto community looking to court Mr. Musk, but who is going to want their brand tarnished by being associated with a competition that has scam written all over it?
In a nutshell, the Tron team used a “Tweet randomizer tool” that was unfamiliar to them to select the first Tesla winner. This is where he began to unravel. In an attempt to appease followers who were upset that the process wasn’t live-streamed, he created a second draw and offered the first winner a consolation prize.
Honestly, the writing was on the wall. Sun promised a Tesla to one Twitter follower and then later reneged on that, basically using the line it’s not you, it’s us. Incidentally, none of Sun’s blockchain startup founder peers came to his defense, not publicly anyway. Normally, you will see tweets from other CEOs defending one another because they are cut from a similar mold. But this time, crickets. Well, sort of. Some crypto leaders took the opportunity to take shots at Sun.
Eventually, Sun must have realized that any press is not good press in this case and did the right thing — he’s going to award two Teslas, one to the first winner, @uzgaroth, and another to the second, @LeoHuynhPro.
“I’ve happily decided to give away two Teslas to further my mission of creating transparency, reliability and openness about blockchain.”
In his mea culpa to the industry explaining what went wrong with the Tesla giveaway and that their hearts were in the right place, Sun revealed another symptom of being overworked. He said that he “spent many hours thinking of ways to show how blockchain and the newly launched TRON stablecoin will be a game-changer for both consumers and businesses,” admitting that I take that “we will more than likely have a few setbacks along the way” and chalking it up to a learning experience for the team. But maybe that’s Sun’s problem — too much thinking in that golden cage.
We get it. The crypto space is highly competitive. Sun is partly responsible for the rivalries among blockchain startups. Regardless, some time off the grid would serve him well and give him some time to see the forest from the trees. Changing the world is a big job, but Sun doesn’t have to do it alone. Make it a working vacation and take Tron employees with him for some team building exercises. We hear Richard Branson’s Necker Island is lovely this time of year.