Progress Update: August 2023

The One Thing for this past month was getting a definitive explainer video to inspire & educate people on how & why Problemattic. Mission accomplished:

I broke it into two separate videos because 9min seemed like too much and this felt like the right separation to give a conceptual overview in one then a concrete example in the other to make it more tangible. It was a huge undertaking but I wrote the script, recorded the voiceover, found the music and used Ableton to remix it to get it to the right length and then used Doodly to animate it. Very happy with the final result.

Other Wins

The other main thing I rolled out was what I called the “Kickstarter viral unlock” feature for events. Events now go through a gauntlet of progressive statuses in order to get featured and confirmed on the site. It needs to meet a threshold of approved attendees by a deadline in order to be confirmed and visitors/participants are given an easy way to promote the event via their referral tool to help get it to critical mass:

Other noteworthy developments:

  • Added a Q&A section to the forums to serve as a knowledge base addressing key questions.
  • I finally hunkered down and got all the SPF & DKIM records setup to ensure email deliverability.
  • There’s now a scheduled task that keeps currency conversion rates accurate within the hour. This means bounties can now support alternate forms of currency like BTC and ETH and those valuations will be reflected accurately in the bounty’s fundraising status.


The number #1 challenge at this point is getting our initial set of bounties funded. I have applied to a few grants and have begun loosely approaching high net worth individuals but thus far we have only the funds seeded by Problemattic (me) for the bounties. My strategy remains the same with a two-pronged approach of going after low-volume/high-dollar money from foundations and municipalities while simultaneously figuring out the high-volume/low-dollar outreach to individuals for crowdfunding. This is the linchpin of the effort and once I’ve cracked this equation all the other pieces should start to collapse into place under their own gravity.

Next Month’s Focus

The main thing for September is the “wikipedia-fication” of Events to make it so anyone can host an event in his/her city. In order to do that I need to first build the UI for managing events via the app instead of cheating by direct database access the way I’ve been doing it. We have our next pair of events coming up in Lisbon and I’m aiming to get the tooling in place before that so that I can manage every aspect of this next event exclusively as a user of the platform. That will lay the foundation that enables anyone else to use the same tooling to run events in their own locale.

Project Success
Onesta and Message Anywhere remain the two most promising projects in the queue right now. I have not had time to focus on either but am hopeful for finding them talent at the next events to move them forward.

September 23rd is the next Ideathon and October 7th is the next Buildathon.

I did a great interview with my friend and former boss, Josh Strebel of Pagely. He built and sold his company to GoDaddy in a spectacular exit. I had the privilege of working at Pagely for 4+ years and this conversation was a long-overdue unpacking of that whole experience in an attempt to extract the lessons & inspiration that could be valuable to our first-time founders.

Open Questions

  • Biggest question is “What is the optimal strategy for funding the bounties?” I think this is only answered via trying a handful of calculated approaches and seeing how it plays out.
  • Are all the tokenomics and incentives aligned properly? Is there any opportunity for gaming in the system as it stands now? Any perverse incentives or principal agent bias in the way it’s currently setup?
  • This isn’t an issue yet but assuming I’m successful in funding the bounties then we’ll draw increasing participation and there will be an expectation of a well-oiled machine re: the judging process of awarding bounty payouts. This is something we will only figure out through trial & error and doing it in practice. It seems like a mistake to devote a ton of energy to war gaming that now until we have the luxury of funded bounties and a ton of activity on projects but I do need to make sure the process is credible enough for participants to trust it.

Key Stats

  • MAU’s: 286
  • Total users: 277
  • TVL in Bounties: $8,256
  • Trades (fungible): 10
  • Trades (non-fungible): 0
  • Events (Private / Proposed / Confirmed): 0 / 2 / 0

The technical roadmap as always can be found here.