MP chatted with James Shannon, CEO, and Co-Founder of XONE, which aims to onboard the next 100 million users in web 3.0. Shannon grew up in Montreal, Canada, and balanced his time between hockey, music, and his love of technology. After college, he threw himself head first into music technology and eventually web 3.0. 

XONE founder James Shannon
XONE founder James Shannon / Photo courtesy of James Shannon


How do you take care of your mental health while running XONE?

I drink smoothies and treat workouts as vital as I do meetings. 

How do you foster creative thinking?

For me, it’s never taking myself too seriously. Creativity comes from the emotional side of our beings, the side we can’t always control. So I believe we have to foster that side of ourselves in all aspects of our lives. 


What is XONE?

XONE is a mobile augmented reality social network that allows users to build and share 3D worlds. XONE's vision is to become the web3 version of TikTok, focusing on user-friendly interfaces, discovery, and music to onboard the next billion users into web3.

What does XONE stand for as a business, and why?

It stands for HOME—you're home in the metaverse. So you can display your digital identity and related things. 

Why did you start XONE?

Because I believe that augmented reality will change how we see and interact with the world around us, the technology isn’t there yet, but we need to be ready for it when it is. 

How do you stay on top of industry trends in XONE’s industry?

Lots of newsletters and coffee chats. 


What are three obstacles you’ve faced since founding XONE, and how have you overcome them? 

1. Thin Skin

No quick fix. Once you’ve been told no or that your idea is terrible enough times, you learn to thicken up your skin which is imperative to moving forward. 

2. Time Management

As a founder, you are constantly being pulled in multiple directions. As a result, you must learn to put blinders on and focus only on the most critical tasks. 

3. Humility

Admitting what you’re not good at and hiring people are better than you. 

What three things do you think most entrepreneurs miss, and why? 

1. Work at Your Own Pace

At some point in your founding career, you will need to work long, hard hours to get stuff done. But that’s not going to be forever, and there will be down times. So take advantage of those down times to recharge. 

2. Treat Others Well

Find one or two people you love spending time with early in your career and treat them well above all else. Having people by your side when things get complicated is more important than anything. 

3. Be Kind, Always 

You never know who you’ll meet and where they will end up. It could be you asking for a favor one day. 

Photo courtesy of XONE


What are three pieces of advice you can share with people looking to become influential leaders in their businesses, and why?

1. Emotional Intelligence Is Paramount

When someone comes to you for advice or guidance, put yourself in their shoes. Understand where they are coming from before rushing to conclusions. 

2. Pick an Industry You Are Passionate About, Find a Niche Within That Industry, and Just Own It

The world is too big for you to tackle an entire industry. But for example, in my case, augmented reality experiences for musicians were just small enough for me to make a difference. 

3. Always Dress As if You Have Somewhere Better To Be Afterward

Take care of the way you look and act. If you can’t manage yourself, you’ll never be able to manage others. 


How do you keep your team motivated?

Constantly re-iterate what you are building and why. The vision is what people believe in. 

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