Progress Update: October 2023

October brought the following platform feature enhancements:

  • It’s now possible to message users in the member directory via their profile (assuming they’ve specified their discord and/or forums usernames).

  • All aspects of a project (project details, tasks, links) are now editable when you’re logged in as the project.

  • The project directory is now sortable via key metrics like follower count, create date, last update, last contribution, task count and trade count.

  • There is a new, more-sensible handshake workflow when applying for a task on a project. The new flow is: aspiring contributor applies for a task and commits to deadline → project owner grants or rejects task application → contributor submits the deliverable → project owner approves or denies deliverable → task bounty either funds upon successful task completion or it expires.

  • Solved a bug wherein traversing the problem taxonomy via the upstream/downstream links, the problem details page would retain the forum comments of the first problem.

  • Project links now support custom names

  • Event registration closes X hours prior to the event start time depending on which type of event it is.

  • Each member’s fungible and non-fungible asset holdings are now visible to other members provided you’re logged in.

  • Squashed a bug related to event times getting stomped when updating an event


Part of the value of monthly #buildinpublic reports is the accountability of having to regularly distill and expose one’s thinking. I just finished reading Shane Parrish’s Clear Thinking and one of the many takeaways from that was edification of an idea from Annie Duke’s Thinking in Bets was the value of logging decision making logic at runtime as a way to gain immunity from hindsight bias. So in no particular order here are a few of the learnings/epiphanies from this past month:

  • It’s becoming clearer to me the importance of the role of the channel partner here in reaching talent and capital. The whole platform is now essentially feature-complete and yet adoption-wise the direct B2C effort has not remotely achieved any kind of escape velocity. While the fundamental premise I believe is sound, it’s lukewarm PM fit at best right now. I believe the move at this point is to go heads-down on developing a feature I’ve been tinkering with called “Clans.” This will enable anyone to create a co-branded version of the site that gives them an “impact portal” or “innovation hub” powered via Problemattic. You can already use your affiliate link to see who you originate and what they do on the platform. This would be an extension of that concept giving you the ability to offer a custom, co-branded version of the site to people who come in via your referral link and see the impact they generate. At some point I can add in controls giving you the ability to apply constraints and rules on the problems, solutions and bounties for people in your “clan.” I just made this low-fi wireframe as a first attempt to think through this. I’ve had a few calls with some fairly sizeable NGO’s and government entities now and there is real interest in coordination fabric for aligning its members and optimizing allocation of talent and capital. Figuring out and implementing v1 of this Clans feature will be my main focus for November.

  • I attended a talk at Microconf Europe last month via Einar on how he’s using ChatGPT to outsource functions like data science and leadgen. This talk alone was worth the price of admission of that conference and it’s got my wheels turning on the possibilities with LLM’s and how to think about them as outsourced teammates.

  • I was at BubbleCon last week in NYC and got some insight on their roadmap. You can find recordings of all the talks here but the main takeaways are emphasis on scaling and stability as well as adding support for generating native iOS and Android apps. This is great to see because at this point this whole effort is incredibly dependent on Bubble. Having met a number of their employees and other customers from the event gives me confidence that this platform has a good future. They raised $100MM two years ago so I don’t think they’re going away anytime soon but it’s great to gain confidence in their roadmap and company values.

Next Month’s Focus

“Clans” is the One Thing for November.
We had our Buildathon in October and I’m aiming for quarterly frequency now with events. No plans for for the next Fixathon until January.
Project Success
We had Nourahealth and Burn Bright emerge from our last Fixathon. I’m suspending any direct project involvement until Clans are launched. I am actively seeking a full-stack dev for Message Everywhere though and welcome any intros.
I published a solid interview with my Dad during his visit to Portugal recently. I’m not pushing the pod currently but I do have a dream list of future guests and if any of those connections materialize I’ll definitely do the interview. If you have connections to anyone on that list and can facilitate an intro I’d welcome that.

Key Stats

It’s clear that the physical events and all the promo around that drive a good portion of the current traffic. There was a significant falloff from last month:

The KPI’s of trades, contributions, TVL are all essentially flat from last month. Excluding these from monthly reports until I have PM fit and they’re moving again.

The technical roadmap as always can be found here. Thanks for reading.