I took the entire month of December off (hence the missing last update) but I made up for it with stellar progress in January. The main thing is I finally deployed two months’ worth of dev in the biggest single feature release that the platform has seen thus far. We now have the trading platform and collaboration pieces in place to facilitate remote async contributions and ongoing collaboration after our in-person events. Let me explain why this is so huge…
You’ll see now that the /projects page shows a list of featured projects which have been approved on the site:
This in itself isn’t all that impressive but if you look closer, on the details pages of one of those projects you’ll see a couple things:
This shows all the fundamental data about the project (which problems it addresses, the SDGs affected, basic info, a video pitch, links to various resources for the project, skills required to pull it off). But notice there are two other silent but deadly features: the “Current Cap Table” and the 'Opportunities to get Involved" sections.
I’ve basically taken what we did gamification-wise in the room at the last event with poker chips and paper cap tables for each project and I’ve baked this functionality into the platform. So now every project when it gets approved gets its own cap table instantiated and becomes “tradeable” on the platform.
Anyone can now nominate a Project (bottom of the homepage). Once approved they get knighted as the project admin and have the ability to create sub-projects and more importantly set bounties on each required task:
You’ll find a new section in the admin called “Trades” with a section called “Asset Registry” which enables anyone to register a digital asset and then propose a trade.
They can simply to go to the sub-task of a Project and hit the “claim bounty” button…
and it will create the proposed trade in satisfaction of the asset for the specified reward. The project admin gets notified and if he/she accepts the trade then the bounty pays out to the user in the form of the currency of the project (fictitious tokens for now).
This is the cornerstone piece we needed in order to have the foundation for testing the idea that retroactive public goods funding can be applied in the real world for creating impact projects and not just in the crypto realm for gitcoin blockchain-specific bounties. But it has a number of other beneficial byproducts in that it creates a ledger showing the value exchange amongst contributors on the project, allows anyone to “buy-in” with sweat equity or credits from another project creating an efficient market for services in the impact realm. It also results in a prediction market of sorts in that we should eventually have a market-driven estimate of the future potential impact of a project over time. If this all evolves the way I’m hoping then gets us one step (leap) closer to the vision of becoming a factory/incubator for impact projects and being able to retroactively issue rewards to contributors proportionate to the value they created for the project.
Here’s the original whiteboard when this was purely an idea:
Super fulfilling to finally bring it to reality.
This effort is still physically limited to Lisbon for our events but in the coming months I’ll be prioritizing exposing the admin functionality to make it possible for anyone to bring this effort to his/her city with the events. The good news is with this latest release we now have the ability to accommodate remote, async contributions from anyone regardless of where he/she physically is. The events are just a nice way to convene and have a jam session in person to turn it into a true in-person community.
I’m very excited about partnerships with 42 Lisboa, Le Wagon, ISEG and NovaSBE business school in the Lisbon area for figuring out how to tailor this whole experience to their needs and dial-in the channel strategy.
The big letdown was that I was officially rejected for YCombinator’s Winter cohort (my application here). Rejection is never fun but if anything this fuels me to prove them wrong and succeed without them. Super glad this project doesn’t need funding - I do not miss having to tapdance to win investors. Fortunately on this venture I can stay focused on creating value for the stakeholders.
Primary challenge otherwise for me is purely time. Costs are incredibly low for running the platform and I’m constrained only by my time which is mostly dedicated to developing the platform currently. I’m keeping an eye out for a technical cofounder and Bubble guru who is interested in taking over the CTO role and handling the majority of the app dev responsibilities. Until that point however I’ll continue to advance that torch.
Next Month’s Focus
- It’s time to implement a proper pub-sub message bus and give users control over how they receive comms.
- Once this is in place I can roll out the matching engine that will notify users as projects and tasks come online that meet their search criteria.
- We need some simple marketing automation to save my virtual assistant Marko from the tedious followup process he performs leading up to each event to onboard all our different stakeholders.
- We also need an accountability instrument to reduce no-shows at the events. I have some ideas and am thinking around creating a “buddy system” wherein an applicant pairs with an another applicant and they hold each other accountable and are rewarded with credits if both show up and complete the event.
- Lastly we need profile, problem and SDG pages so that people browsing can traverse through the universe of information here and see everything.
No guarantees I can get all that ^^ done in the next month but shoot for the stars and hit the moon…
I have deferred working on any individual projects short of stubbing out some basic early-stage bounties for each. Once we have a critical mass of the key platform features in place I’ll shift 50% emphasis towards working on 1-2 projects and ensuring their success.
No event planned yet but I’m tentatively shooting for early-mid March at Le Wagon for our next one and then again in mid-April at 42 Lisboa.
All podcasts interviews are paused until I complete all the above. My plan is to interview the winning teams after the next event and release those as an episode and then try to hit a pace of finding & interviewing one problem domain expert per month from then on.
The technical roadmap as always can be found here. If you’ve not yet created a profile and explored the platform give it a spin and leave a comment here. I welcome any & all constructive feedback. cheers