In our introduction post, we announced the first phase of our business experiment, currently underway and scheduled to continue through the end of November. This phase encompasses a few different activities; 1) development of open source web software, 2) a crowdfunding campaign to support that development, and 3) exploration of our business plan concept.
Now that we’ve announced Reprint, our open source framework for creating blockchain-based websites and blogs, we wanted to share some advance details on our crowdfunding campaign. We’ll be sharing more information on our fundraising target and tactics in week 3.
Support for a project, in the form of donations, is the primary focus of any successful crowdfunding campaign. In most cases, these campaigns provide rewards to their contributors, but the organization receiving the funding retains full control of the end product. That’s a lot of risk for a supporter to take on with no upside potential beyond a hat or a shirt, and maybe a discounted price for the product.
We think building a crowdfunding campaign around an open source project allows us to provide a much clearer value proposition; fund this project and anyone, anywhere, at any time, will be able to use it and build on top of it freely. The upside potential for the contributor is supporting innovation, not just directly through the project, but also indirectly through what the community accomplishes with it.
Further, many campaigns end before any actual work is started on the project. As they say, “It’s a long way from seed money to profit.” and most great ideas fall apart in the execution. At least conceptually, this project had been underway for three months before it began in earnest this month. Now we’re committed full-time to pushing it forward until November, concurrent with our campaign, even if we never see one red cent for it.
Anyone who makes the tough decision to give up their hard-earned money or valuable time in support of our vision deserves our respect. This is how we’d want to be treated as crowdfunding campaign contributors, and that is how we’ll treat you. Any funds raised will be used as if they were our own.
We think there’s a lot of potential for innovation in this project, enough for us to grow a profitable business around. We also think there’s incredible value for bloggers, entrepreneurs, professionals, and businesses to supplement their income or promote themselves or their brand to a new audience. The more creators who adopt the software, the more valuable it becomes, and the more innovation it ushers in.
We’re ostensibly crowdfunding for the initial release of our core engine, but we’re also seeking validation that we’re solving a problem the market is eager for, and trying to establish a runway for our business so that we don’t have to get “real” jobs and shift our focus away from the project.
Over the course of the eight week campaign, we’ll be trying our damnedest to convince you that our project is worth supporting, whether you’re motivated by:
- using the software yourself
- developing (and potentially selling) themes and plug-ins for it
- growing the Steem community
- supporting entrepreneurs adding value to the Steem platform
- supporting new businesses building on blockchain infrastructure
If you care about any of the above, we think we’re the team to deliver on them, but we can’t do it without your support. If you’re already convinced, read on to learn how you can donate.
If you’re not quite there yet, we hope you’ll follow @greymass at minimum, and @jesta and @paxmagnus if you want to learn more. We’ll keep official communication to the @greymass account and on greymass.com, but we’ve already been sharing supporting content through our personal accounts, and we’ll continue to do so.
Please send your donations to the @greymass account via the Transfer option in your Steem wallet page. Feel free to leave us a comment in the Memo field, we’ll be reading all of them and plan to share a feed of donations on our website.
STEEM / STEEM DOLLARS (SBD)
Donations received in the form of STEEM and SBD will be recognized immediately and applied directly to our crowdfunding campaign target. If you believe in the potential of Reprint, this is the best way to directly support the initial release of this open source software, scheduled for December.
STEEM POWER (SP)
While we welcome the incentive to stick around, SP donations won’t have much impact on hitting our campaign target. If you want us to continue developing around the software and nurturing its open source development community, this is the best way to support us long-term.
Let’s illustrate how SP donations will work, with an example. Once we have a sizable SP balance, we’ll be powering down at maximum during the campaign. Let’s imagine a generous donation of 50k SP comes in today and we immediately start powering down.
- At a per STEEM value of $0.30, that donation is roughly equivalent to $15k.
- The power down on that investment would pay out a smidge over 480 STEEM a week, roughly equivalent to $145 each payout.
- The total contribution of that donation to our campaign, after the 6 remaining weeks, would come to a little under 3k STEEM, or the equivalent of approximately $865 at the same market price.
As mentioned before, we want to keep developing for the Steem platform and welcome this incentive. That said, if your goal is to help subsidize our costs for open source development, STEEM or SBD are the more efficient options.
We’ll be supplementing donations with rewards from posts, while we share information and updates on our progress. Following @greymass, @jesta, and @paxmagnus and voting on these blog posts is a great way to contribute if you can’t afford to donate directly.
While we’d be happy to discuss alternative forms of donation on an individual basis, we’d prefer to keep our fundraising efforts entirely within the Steem ecosystem. This allows us to be hyper-transparent with the community regarding the funds we raise and how we use them.
Between the two of us, we have over 30 years of combined experience in the web and software development industry, in a diverse set of roles. Though we’ve been involved in fundraising in the past, neither of us has led funding efforts personally.
We’re already asking a lot of you, but we’ll ask for just a little bit more. If you have any ideas for other interesting approaches to fundraising, or ideas for improving any aspect of our project, we’d love to hear from you. Further, we’re happy to answer any questions you may have, and it just might help us refine our narrative.
Feel free to leave comments below or contact us privately through firstname.lastname@example.org. As we progress along the timeline, we’ll be introducing new ways to get involved and communicate with us. Keep an eye out for our posts and thanks in advance!