Great first introduction by Brian. It is a relieving to see someone take on the marketing aspects of the project. But as others said: actions speak louder than simple words.
That's why I would like to get in touch with Brian and discuss the entire marketing plan in detail. I'm sure that we will have a great chat on the potential of Bitshares/Keyhotee/I3 and share our expansion plans, ideas and just have a random chat to get to know each other.
I may not be the most active on this forum, as I was just a lurker until recently becoming active, but I definitely think that I can and want to contribute to the success of the project.
I3 and Bitshares can be treated as a technologically advanced start-up that is trying to disrupt and resegment an existing market. The I3 team is done a great job on the product-side but as I had mentioned in my thread
, Customer Development is currently being neglected. This is where I want to work with you side-by-side with the I3 team and my people. I will create a short "To-Do" list to present my solution.
But before getting to the fun part, I will give you a brief description of who I am: My name is Dominik S. and I'm an Italian entrepreneur. I fluently speak English, German and Italian. I am an addict of philosophy, reading, start-ups and technology that share my ideology of creating freedom and to completely erase the current threat in our society: Our very own monetary system.
I am well connected in the start-up scene around the world, but I would focus my connections as of now to London, Berlin, Singapore, Hong Kong and India (because of a partner). The industries I worked in are: Affiliate Marketing (learned A TON from there, especially about creating websites that convert), Advertising and Media (different advertising forms and where to buy cheap traffic), Entertainment (how do you create addictive games?) and well, the Adult Industry. I first got to know about Bitcoins in 2010 when a seller requested to be paid in Bitcoins. Since then I kept myself up to date with the entire crypto currency world. And lately I came to a stop at Protoshares/Bitshares. A friend introduced me to the system and I instantly knew that this project had tremendous potential. That's why I want to dedicate my time to work on establishing this project.
Either way, lets get started. As I said earlier, I want to work side-by-side with Brian on Customer Development and eventually, work locally together and build an entire team that works with us on solving centralized problems with decentralized solutions.
Customer Development is a simultaneous process with Product Development. That means that the teams focused on pushing the product out the door (sales and marketing) need to get started with a proper plan already before the release of the actual product. And obviously statements like "build the product, users will come don't worry" are blatant lies and never work. Most of the time, Customer Development is the first step every start-up takes (even before creating a product). The reasons are obvious: You need to get a confirmation that there is demand for your product and that you are really solving a problem that not only you, but millions of people have. After this confirmation, you tailor a minimum viable product that solves the exact problems your users have. During the entire product development process the customer dev. team works on a plan on how to make a perfect product launch, how to go from 1 user to 100k and how/where the product will be advertised.
To my understanding, we are still in a very early stage of Visionaries. The community around I3 is constantly growing but it still mainly consists of Visionaries and Tech-Enthusiasts that are interested in the technological composition and factual use of the disruptive projects. In addition to that, most of the potential adopters are currently waiting for I3 to hold on their promises and release a functional new product (i.e. Keyhotee). If I3 succeeds with that, they(or rather we) need to work on the next step: Widespread adoption of non-techies.
Widespread adoption of non-techies is what the entire ideology behind I3 is: Solving centralized problems with decentralized solutions. As we all know, the problems and needs of techies are distinctively different from the problems of our average citizen. That is why a great effort of the entire operation needs to be put into these 3 steps (pictures taken from the book "The four steps to the Epiphany" - great book, really)
Due to to keeping this thread shorter and since I3 already has done an adequate job on customer discovery/validation with Protoshares, I will only focus in-depth on explaining Customer Creation.
- Customer Discovery
- Customer Validation
- Customer Creation
The only question the entire team should ask themselves is: How do I solve problems that are non-existent in the mindset of my potential users?
That means that before even thinking of gaining widespread adoption, we first need to create problems to solve. We need to make it clear where the flaws inside our monetary system lie, why they need to be solved and most importantly, why our solution is the best for them. This protracted process of creating the problem and offering the solution should take more than 6 - 8 months and requires patience from all parties involved in the project. But once we get started, the snowball of the revolution can not be stopped.
What we can do
- More appealing product websites: I personally know the creators of https://www.giftcoins.me/ , http://buygiftcoins.com/#home , https://www.maxxo.com/ . I know how to create easy to understand websites, where the main purpose of the website will be seen at a first glimpse. With the right product development team and a clear vision by the customer development team, I'm sure that we can create the best looking website in the crypto-currency space.
- How-To Websites/Games: Think of this as an interactive websites that explains our intentions and requires actions to be taken from the viewer. What I want to create is something similar to http://www.google.com/green/storyofsend and http://www.google.com/insidesearch/howsearchworks/thestory/ .
- Giveaways and competitions:Giveaways don't necessarily just create costs: They ask for involvement and users get interested in the project/the ideology. Giveaways do also create some form of reciprocation: "I got something for free, I will try m best to pay back the favor." Competitions instead require commitment and consistency. The more work is required to get something, the more committed I get for the project and once I get started my decisions and actions will be consistent. “It is easier to resist at the beginning than at the end.” – Leonardo Da Vinci
- Games:This should not be understood as an actual game where a Bitshares gunman is shooting down Dogecoin and Quarkcoin. But rather something similar to SatoshiGames that increases the adoption and usage of the coin. Sadly, I could not come up with something while writing this down - but I will think of this thoroughly within the next few days.
- Guerrilla Marketing!!!: Lets say f*ck it and make posters of hidden entrances on buildings that say "Enter the future at bitshares.com". Obviously this needs to be planned beforehand and requires the allowance of the state, and obviously we need a better PR stunt than my half-assed idea.
- Videos that actually explain what we do: Simple. Do you want a video that explains our activity in a funny, yet easy to understand way such as http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZUG9qYTJMsI . Or do you want something dull like http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7LPU3RNDuNI
- Public speeches and meet-ups: In May I will be staying at Hong Kong for a month. Currently I'm still negotiating with the Hong Kong government to fund one of my projects (think of it as an open accelerator that gives everyone the chance to learn about start-ups). That means I can arrange a talk (or even a seminar) in Hong Kong and invite the press/entrepreneurs/important people and openly present the ideology behind Bitshares and explain what problems the system solves. I had already mentioned something like this to one of the exec's from http://www.investhk.gov.hk/ and I can definitely push this harder. But obviously we would not stop here, and we can even arrange meet-ups where we can discuss/share ideas. And as someone stated, Ted talks are quite possible and will give us exactly what we need.
- Cold-calls/emails with companies: As I had mentioned, I am well connected in some of the major metropolis in the world. That means we can ask hundreds of companies if they are interested in a system like Bitshares and if not, we will get the reasons behind their decision and understand what is wrong and is halting our growth.
- PR campaigns: The value of a crypto-currency is highly dependent on its marketing. As a confirmation: look at Dogecoin. The difference between Dogecoin and Bitshares is that one is a complete joke and the other is a problem solver. Imagine what could happen if the same hype created from Dogecoin, will be done with a crypto-currency that gives its holders an actual value? Forbes India, Yourstory.com, BusinessInsider, Allthingsd, Techcrunch etc. are potential news-outlets that can and will make posts about Bitshares. In addition to that, I can get us an interview on one of the major TV Shows in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Netherlands called "Galileo".
- Social Media: I know that most of the users here hate Facebook (so do I), but in today's time and age you can simply not look away from the advantages of participating in social media. The potential of reaching millions of people and garnering interest for our project require involvement.
- Trading Platform and Wallet: This is rather a personal project that I am interested in creating. But what I want to do is create a wallet similar to KryptoKit that offers its users maximum security (not discussing how, for obvious reasons) and includes modern technology like NFC. And a professional trading platform for day to day trading for BitShares is also something I have been interested in for a long time. This is a monstrous project that requires the proper licences and investments. I will see what I can do, maybe we can create something together with I3. But obviously I will call for involvement from the community. More about this in the near future.
Sorry for not getting into too much detail but I rather just wanted to focus on a few aspects to not reveal too much - and my ability to write is currently limited since I am not on my PC. Either way, the reason why I created an open thread, instead of messaging this to Brian, is because I first want to get the opinion and acceptance of the community before talking privately with Brian and Dan. Therefore: Please post what you think below and let me know if you have any questions.TL;DR:
I will influence my ideas and experience in gaining widespread adoption in the BitShares project and will work with Brian on creating a Customer Development team that leads to the success of this and other projects. To Brian and Dan:
If you want to hear more, please contact me via PM and we can share contact details.