10 Predictions for Web3 and the Cryptoeconomy for 2022
By Surojit Chatterjee, Chief Product Officer
2021 proved to be a breakout year for crypto with BTC price gaining almost 70% yoy, Defi hitting $150B in value locked, and NFTs emerging as a new category. Here’s my view through the crystal ball into 2022 and what it holds for our industry:
1. Eth scalability will improve, but newer L1 chains will see substantial growth — As we welcome the next hundred million users to crypto and Web3, scalability challenges for Eth are likely to grow. I am optimistic about improvements in Eth scalability with the emergence of Eth2 and many L2 rollups. Traction of Solana, Avalanche and other L1 chains shows that we’ll live in a multi-chain world in the future. We’re also going to see newer L1 chains emerge that focus on specific use cases such as gaming or social media.
2. There will be significant usability improvements in L1-L2 bridges — As more L1 networks gain traction and L2s become bigger, our industry will desperately seek improvements in speed and usability of cross-L1 and L1-L2 bridges. We’re likely to see interesting developments in usability of bridges in the coming year.
3. Zero knowledge proof technology will get increased traction — 2021 saw protocols like ZkSync and Starknet beginning to get traction. As L1 chains get clogged with increased usage, ZK-rollup technology will attract both investor and user attention. We’ll see new privacy-centric use cases emerge, including privacy-safe applications, and gaming models that have privacy built into the core. This may also bring in more regulator attention to crypto as KYC/AML could be a real challenge in privacy centric networks.
4. Regulated Defi and emergence of on-chain KYC attestation — Many Defi protocols will embrace regulation and will create separate KYC user pools. Decentralized identity and on-chain KYC attestation services will play key roles in connecting users’ real identity with Defi wallet endpoints. We’ll see more acceptance of ENS type addresses, and new systems from cross chain name resolution will emerge.
5. Institutions will play a much bigger role in Defi participation — Institutions are increasingly interested in participating in Defi. For starters, institutions are attracted to higher than average interest-based returns compared to traditional financial products. Also, cost reduction in providing financial services using Defi opens up interesting opportunities for institutions. However, they are still hesitant to participate in Defi. Institutions want to confirm that they are only transacting with known counterparties that have completed a KYC process. Growth of regulated Defi and on-chain KYC attestation will help institutions gain confidence in Defi.
6. Defi insurance will emerge — As Defi proliferates, it also becomes the target of security hacks. According to London-based firm Elliptic, total value lost by Defi exploits in 2021 totaled over $10B. To protect users from hacks, viable insurance protocols guaranteeing users’ funds against security breaches will emerge in 2022.
7. NFT Based Communities will give material competition to Web 2.0 social networks — NFTs will continue to expand in how they are perceived. We’ll see creator tokens or fan tokens take more of a first class seat. NFTs will become the next evolution of users’ digital identity and passport to the metaverse. Users will come together in small and diverse communities based on types of NFTs they own. User created metaverses will be the future of social networks and will start threatening the advertising driven centralized versions of social networks of today.
8. Brands will start actively participating in the metaverse and NFTs — Many brands are realizing that NFTs are great vehicles for brand marketing and establishing brand loyalty. Coca-Cola, Campbell’s, Dolce & Gabbana and Charmin released NFT collectibles in 2021. Adidas recently launched a new metaverse project with Bored Ape Yacht Club. We’re likely to see more interesting brand marketing initiatives using NFTs. NFTs and the metaverse will become the new Instagram for brands. And just like on Instagram, many brands may start as NFT native. We’ll also see many more celebrities jumping in the bandwagon and using NFTs to enhance their personal brand.
9. Web2 companies will wake up and will try to get into Web3 — We’re already seeing this with Facebook trying to recast itself as a Web3 company. We’re likely to see other big Web2 companies dipping their toes into Web3 and metaverse in 2022. However, many of them are likely to create centralized and closed network versions of the metaverse.
10. Time for DAO 2.0 — We’ll see DAOs become more mature and mainstream. More people will join DAOs, prompting a change in definition of employment — never receiving a formal offer letter, accepting tokens instead of or along with fixed salaries, and working in multiple DAO projects at the same time. DAOs will also confront new challenges in terms of figuring out how to do M&A, run payroll and benefits, and coordinate activities in larger and larger organizations. We’ll see a plethora of tools emerge to help DAOs execute with efficiency. Many DAOs will also figure out how to interact with traditional Web2 companies. We’re likely to see regulators taking more interest in DAOs and make an attempt to educate themselves on how DAOs work.
Thanks to our customers and the ecosystem for an incredible 2021. Looking forward to another year of building the foundations for Web3. Wagmi.
More on Web3 & Crypto
7 months ago
The Real Value of Carbon Credit (Climate Coin Investment)
Disclaimer : This is not financial advice for any investment.
You might not have realized it, but as we move toward net zero carbon emissions, the globe is already at war.
According to the Paris Agreement of COP26, 64% of nations have already declared net zero, and the issue of carbon reduction has already become so important for businesses that it affects their ability to survive. Furthermore, the time when carbon emission standards will be defined and controlled on an individual basis is becoming closer.
Since 2017, the market for carbon credits has experienced extraordinary expansion as a result of widespread talks about carbon credits. The carbon credit market is predicted to expand much more once net zero is implemented and carbon emission rules inevitably tighten.
Hello! Ben here from Nonce Classic. Nonce Classic has recently confirmed the tremendous growth potential of the carbon credit market in the midst of a major trend towards the global goal of net zero (carbon emissions caused by humans — carbon reduction by humans = 0 ). Moreover, we too believed that the questions and issues the carbon credit market suffered from the last 30–40yrs could be perfectly answered through crypto technology and that is why we have added a carbon credit crypto project to the Nonce Classic portfolio. There have been many teams out there that have tried to solve environmental problems through crypto but very few that have measurable experience working in the carbon credit scene. Thus we have put in our efforts to find projects that are not crypto projects created for the sake of issuing tokens but projects that pragmatically use crypto technology to combat climate change by solving problems of the current carbon credit market. In that process, we came to hear of Climate Coin, a veritable carbon credit crypto project, and us Nonce Classic as an accelerator, have begun contributing to its growth and invested in its tokens. Starting with this article, we plan to publish a series of articles explaining why the carbon credit market is bullish, why we invested in Climate Coin, and what kind of project Climate Coin is specifically. In this first article let us understand the carbon credit market and look into its growth potential! Let’s begin :)
The Unavoidable Entry of the Net Zero Era
Net zero means... Human carbon emissions are balanced by carbon reduction efforts. A non-environmentalist may find it hard to accept that net zero is attainable by 2050. Global cooperation to save the earth is happening faster than we imagine.
In the Paris Agreement of COP26, concluded in Glasgow, UK on Oct. 31, 2021, nations pledged to reduce worldwide yearly greenhouse gas emissions by more than 50% by 2030 and attain net zero by 2050. Governments throughout the world have pledged net zero at the national level and are holding each other accountable by submitting Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) every five years to assess implementation. 127 of 198 nations have declared net zero.
Each country's 1.5-degree reduction plans have led to carbon reduction obligations for companies. In places with the strictest environmental regulations, like the EU, companies often face bankruptcy because the cost of buying carbon credits to meet their carbon allowances exceeds their operating profits. In this day and age, minimizing carbon emissions and securing carbon credits are crucial.
Recent SEC actions on climate change may increase companies' concerns about reducing emissions. The SEC required all U.S. stock market companies to disclose their annual greenhouse gas emissions and climate change impact on March 21, 2022. The SEC prepared the proposed regulation through in-depth analysis and stakeholder input since last year. Three out of four SEC members agreed that it should pass without major changes. If the regulation passes, it will affect not only US companies, but also countless companies around the world, directly or indirectly.
Even companies not listed on the U.S. stock market will be affected and, in most cases, required to disclose emissions. Companies listed on the U.S. stock market with significant greenhouse gas emissions or specific targets are subject to stricter emission standards (Scope 3) and disclosure obligations, which will magnify investigations into all related companies. Greenhouse gas emissions can be calculated three ways. Scope 1 measures carbon emissions from a company's facilities and transportation. Scope 2 measures carbon emissions from energy purchases. Scope 3 covers all indirect emissions from a company's value chains.
The SEC's proposed carbon emission disclosure mandate and regulations are one example of how carbon credit policies can cross borders and affect all parties. As such incidents will continue throughout the implementation of net zero, even companies that are not immediately obligated to disclose their carbon emissions must be prepared to respond to changes in carbon emission laws and policies.
Carbon reduction obligations will soon become individual. Individual consumption has increased dramatically with improved quality of life and convenience, despite national and corporate efforts to reduce carbon emissions. Since consumption is directly related to carbon emissions, increasing consumption increases carbon emissions. Countries around the world have agreed that to achieve net zero, carbon emissions must be reduced on an individual level. Solutions to individual carbon reduction are being actively discussed and studied under the term Personal Carbon Trading (PCT).
PCT is a system that allows individuals to trade carbon emission quotas in the form of carbon credits. Individuals who emit more carbon than their allotment can buy carbon credits from those who emit less. European cities with well-established carbon credit markets are preparing for net zero by conducting early carbon reduction prototype projects. The era of checking product labels for carbon footprints, choosing low-emissions transportation, and worrying about hot shower emissions is closer than we think.
The Market for Carbon Credits Is Expanding Fearfully
Compliance and voluntary carbon markets make up the carbon credit market.
A Compliance Market enforces carbon emission allowances for actors. Companies in industries that previously emitted a lot of carbon are included in the mandatory carbon market, and each government receives carbon credits each year. If a company's emissions are less than the assigned cap and it has extra carbon credits, it can sell them to other companies that have larger emissions and require them (Cap and Trade). The annual number of free emission permits provided to companies is designed to decline, therefore companies' desire for carbon credits will increase. The compliance market's yearly trading volume will exceed $261B in 2020, five times its 2017 level.
In the Voluntary Market, carbon reduction is voluntary and carbon credits are sold for personal reasons or to build market participants' eco-friendly reputations. Even if not in the compliance market, it is typical for a corporation to be obliged to offset its carbon emissions by acquiring voluntary carbon credits. When a company seeks government or company investment, it may be denied because it is not net zero. If a significant shareholder declares net zero, the companies below it must execute it. As the world moves toward ESG management, becoming an eco-friendly company is no longer a strategic choice to gain a competitive edge, but an important precaution to not fall behind. Due to this eco-friendly trend, the annual market volume of voluntary emission credits will approach $1B by November 2021. The voluntary credit market is anticipated to reach $5B to $50B by 2030. (TSCVM 2021 Report)
This article analyzed how net zero, a target promised by countries around the world to combat climate change, has brought governmental, corporate, and human changes. We discussed how these shifts will become more obvious as we approach net zero, and how the carbon credit market would increase exponentially in response. In the following piece, let's analyze the hurdles impeding the carbon credit market's growth, how the project we invested in tries to tackle these issues, and why we chose Climate Coin. Wait! Jim Skea, co-chair of the IPCC working group, said,
“It’s now or never, if we want to limit global warming to 1.5°C” — Jim Skea
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10 months ago
Three Arrows Capital & Celsius Updates
I read 1k+ page 3AC liquidation documentation so you don't have to. Also sharing revised Celsius recovery plans.
3AC's liquidation documents:
Someone disclosed 3AC liquidation records in the BVI courts recently. I'll discuss the leak's timeline and other highlights.
Three Arrows Capital began trading traditional currencies in emerging markets in 2012. They switched to equities and crypto, then purely crypto in 2018.
By 2020, the firm had $703mm in net assets and $1.8bn in loans (these guys really like debt).
The firm's net assets under control reached $3bn in April 2022, according to the filings. 3AC had $600mm of LUNA/UST exposure before May 9th 2022, which put them over.
LUNA and UST go to zero quickly (I wrote about the mechanics of the blowup here). Kyle Davies, 3AC co-founder, told Blockchain.com on May 13 that they have $2.4bn in assets and $2.3bn NAV vs. $2bn in borrowings. As BTC and ETH plunged 33% and 50%, the company became insolvent by mid-2022.
3AC sent $32mm to Tai Ping Shen, a Cayman Islands business owned by Su Zhu and Davies' partner, Kelly Kaili Chen (who knows what is going on here).
3AC had borrowed over $3.5bn in notional principle, with Genesis ($2.4bn) and Voyager ($650mm) having the most exposure.
Genesis demanded $355mm in further collateral in June.
Deribit (another 3AC investment) called for $80 million in mid-June.
Even in mid-June, the corporation was trying to borrow more money to stay afloat. They approached Genesis for another $125mm loan (to pay another lender) and HODLnauts for BTC & ETH loans.
Pretty crazy. 3AC founders used borrowed money to buy a $50 million boat, according to the leak.
Su requesting for $5m + Chen Kaili Kelly asserting they loaned $65m unsecured to 3AC are identified as creditors.
This bankruptcy presentation shows the Celsius breakdown from March to July 14, 2022. From $22bn to $4bn, crypto assets plummeted from $14.6bn to $1.8bn (ouch). $16.5bn in user liabilities dropped to $4.72bn.
In my recent post, I examined if "forced selling" is over, with Celsius' crypto assets being a major overhang. In this presentation, it looks that Chapter 11 will provide clients the opportunity to accept cash at a discount or remain long crypto. Provided that a fresh source of money is unlikely to enter the Celsius situation, cash at a discount or crypto given to customers will likely remain a near-term market risk - cash at a discount will likely come from selling crypto assets, while customers who receive crypto could sell at any time. I'll share any Celsius updates I find.
Only Celsius and the Mt Gox BTC unlock remain as forced selling catalysts. While everything went through a "relief" pump, with ETH up 75% from the bottom and numerous alts multiples higher, there are still macro dangers to equities + risk assets. There's a lot of wealth waiting to be deployed in crypto ($153bn in stables), but fund managers are risk apprehensive (lower than 2008 levels).
We're hopefully over crypto's "bottom," with peak anxiety and forced selling behind us, but we may chop around.
To see the full article, click here.
5 months ago
These new DeFi protocols are just amazing.
I've never seen this before.
Focus on native crypto development, not price activity or turmoil.
CT is boring now. Either folks are still angry about FTX or they're distracted by AI. Plus, it's year-end, and people rest for the holidays. 2022 was rough.
So DeFi fans can get inspired by something fresh. Who's building? As I read the Defillama daily roundup, many updates are still on FTX and its contagion.
I've used the same method on their Raises page. Not much happened :(. Maybe my high standards are to fault, but the business may be resting. OK.
The handful I locate might last us till the end of the year. (If another big blowup occurs.)
An on-chain monitor account I follow reported a huge transfer of $HFT from Binance to Jump Tradings.
I was intrigued. Stacking? So I checked and discovered out the project was launched through Binance Launchpad, which has introduced many 100x tokens (although momentarily) in the past, such as GALA and STEPN.
Hashflow appears to be pumpable. Binance launchpad, VC backers, CEX listing immediately. What's the protocol?
Hasflow is intriguing and timely, I discovered. After the FTX collapse, people looked more at DEXs.
Hashflow is a decentralized exchange that connects traders with professional market makers, according to its Binance launchpad description. Post-FTX, market makers lost their MM-ing chance with the collapse of the world's third-largest exchange. Jump and Wintermute back them?
Why is that the case? Hashflow doesn't use bonding curves like standard AMM. On AMMs, you pay more for the following trade because the prior trade reduces liquidity (supply and demand). With market maker quotations, you get a CEX-like experience (fewer coins in the pool, higher price). Stable prices, no MEV frontrunning.
Hashflow is innovative because...
DEXs gained from the FTX crash, but let's be honest: DEXs aren't as good as CEXs. Hashflow will change this.
Hashflow offers MEV protection, which major dealers seek in DEXs. You can trade large amounts without front running and sandwich assaults.
Hasflow offers a user-friendly swapping platform besides MEV. Any chain can be traded smoothly. This is a benefit because DEXs lag CEXs in UX.
Wintermute wrote in August that prominent market makers will work on Hashflow. Binance launched a month-long farming session in December. Jump probably participated in this initial sell, therefore we witnessed a significant transfer after the introduction.
Binance began trading HFT token on November 11 (the day FTX imploded). coincidence?)
Tokens are used for community rewards. Perhaps they'd copy dYdX. (Airdrop?). Read their documents about their future plans. Tokenomics doesn't impress me. Governance, rewards, and NFT.
Their stat page details their activity. First came Ethereum, then Arbitrum. For a new protocol in a bear market, they handled a lot of unique users daily.
It’s interesting to see their future. Will they be thriving? Not only against DEXs, but also among the CEXs too.
I forget how I found STFX. Possibly a Twitter thread concerning Arbitrum applications. STFX was the only new protocol I found interesting.
STFX is a new concept and trader problem-solver. I've never seen this protocol.
STFX allows you copy trades. You give someone your money to trade for you.
It's a marketplace. Traders are everywhere. You put your entry, exit, liquidation point, and trading theory. Twitter has a verification system for socials. Leaderboards display your trading skill.
This service could be popular. Staying disciplined is the hardest part of trading. Sometimes you take-profit too early or too late, or sell at a loss when an asset dumps, then it soon recovers (often happens in crypto.) It's hard to stick to entry-exit and liquidation plans.
What if you could hire someone to run your trade for a little commission? Set-and-forget.
Trading money isn't easy. Trust how? How do you know they won't steal your money?
STFX's trader is a vault maker/manager. One trade=one vault. User sets long/short, entrance, exit, and liquidation point. Anyone who agrees can exchange instantly. The smart contract will keep the fund during the trade and limit the manager's actions.
Here's STFX's transaction flow.
Managers and the treasury receive fees. It's a sustainable business strategy that benefits everyone.
I'm impressed by $STFX's planned use. Brilliant priority access. A crypto dealer opens a vault here. Many would join. STFX tokens offer VIP access over those without tokens.
STFX provides short-term trading, which is mind-blowing to me. I agree with their platform's purpose. Crypto market pricing actions foster short-termism. When you trade, the turnover could be larger than long-term holding or trading. 2017 BTC buyers waited 5 years to complete their holdings.
STFX teams simply adapted. Volatility aids trading.
All things about STFX scream Degen. The protocol fully embraces the degen nature of some, if not most, crypto natives.
An enjoyable dApp. Leaderboards are fun for reputation-building. FLEXING COMPETITIONS. You can join for as low as $10. STFX uses Arbitrum, therefore gas costs are low. Alpha procedure completes the degen feeling.
Despite looking like they don't take themselves seriously, I sense a strong business plan below. There is a real demand for the solution STFX offers.
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4 months ago
Billionaire who was disgraced lost his wealth more quickly than anyone in history
If you're not genuine, you'll be revealed.
Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) was called the Cryptocurrency Warren Buffet.
SBF's trading expertise, Blockchain knowledge, and ability to construct FTX attracted mainstream investors.
He had a fantastic worldview, donating much of his riches to charity.
As the onion layers peel back, it's clear he wasn't the altruistic media figure he portrayed.
SBF's mistakes were disastrous.
Customer deposits were traded and borrowed by him.
With ten other employees, he shared a $40 million mansion where they all had polyamorous relationships.
Tone-deaf and wasteful marketing expenditures, such as the $200 million spent to change the name of the Miami Heat stadium to the FTX Arena
Democrats received a $40 million campaign gift.
And now there seems to be no regret.
FTX was a 32-billion-dollar cryptocurrency exchange.
It went bankrupt practically overnight.
SBF, FTX's creator, exploited client funds to leverage trade.
FTX had $1 billion in customer withdrawal reserves against $9 billion in liabilities in sister business Alameda Research.
Bloomberg Billionaire Index says it's the largest and fastest net worth loss in history.
It gets worse.
SBF's net worth is $900 Million, however he must still finalize FTX's bankruptcy.
SBF's arrest in the Bahamas and SEC inquiry followed news that his cryptocurrency exchange had crashed, losing billions in customer deposits.
A journalist contacted him on Twitter D.M., and their exchange is telling.
His ideas are revealed.
Kelsey Piper says they didn't expect him to answer because people under investigation don't comment.
Bankman-Fried wanted to communicate, and the interaction shows he has little remorse.
SBF talks honestly about FTX gaming customers' money and insults his competition.
Reporter Kelsey Piper was outraged by what he said and felt the mistakes SBF says plague him didn't evident in the messages.
Before FTX's crash, SBF was a poster child for Cryptocurrency regulation and avoided criticizing U.S. regulators.
He tells Piper that his lobbying is just excellent PR.
It shows his genuine views and supports cynics' opinions that his attempts to win over U.S. authorities were good for his image rather than Crypto.
SBF’s responses are in Grey, and Pipers are in Blue.
It's unclear if SBF cut corners for his gain. In their Twitter exchange, Piper revisits an interview question about ethics.
SBF says, "All the foolish sh*t I said"
SBF claims FTX has never invested customer monies.
Piper challenged him on Twitter.
While he insisted FTX didn't use customer deposits, he said sibling business Alameda borrowed too much from FTX's balance sheet.
He did, basically.
When consumers tried to withdraw money, FTX was short.
SBF thought Alameda had enough money to cover FTX customers' withdrawals, but life sneaks up on you.
SBF believes most exchanges have done something similar to FTX, but they haven't had a bank run (a bunch of people all wanting to get their deposits out at the same time).
SBF believes he shouldn't have consented to the bankruptcy and kept attempting to raise more money because withdrawals would be open in a month with clients whole.
If additional money came in, he needed $8 billion to bridge the creditors' deficit, and there aren't many corporations with $8 billion to spare.
Once clients feel protected, they will continue to leave their assets on the exchange, according to one idea.
Kevin OLeary, a world-renowned hedge fund manager, says not all investors will walk through the open gate once the company is safe, therefore the $8 Billion wasn't needed immediately.
SBF claims the bankruptcy was his biggest error because he could have accumulated more capital.
Sam Bankman-Fried, 30, became the world's youngest billionaire in four years.
Never listen to what people say about investing; watch what they do.
SBF is a trader who gets wrecked occasionally.
Ten first-time entrepreneurs ran FTX, screwing each other with no risk management.
It prevents opposing or challenging perspectives and echo chamber highs.
Twitter D.M. conversation with a journalist is the final nail.
He lacks an experienced crew.
This event will surely speed up much-needed regulation.
It's also prompted cryptocurrency exchanges to offer proof of reserves to calm customers.
8 months ago
How Jeff Bezos wins meetings over
We've all been there: You propose a suggestion to your team at a meeting, and most people appear on board, but a handful or small minority aren't. How can we achieve collective buy-in when we need to go forward but don't know how to deal with some team members' perceived intransigence?
Investigate the divergent opinions: Begin by sincerely attempting to comprehend the viewpoint of your disagreeing coworkers. Maybe it makes sense to switch horses in the middle of the race. Have you completely overlooked a blind spot, such as a political concern that could arise as an unexpected result of proceeding? This is crucial to ensure that the person or people feel heard as well as to advance the goals of the team. Sometimes all individuals need is a little affirmation before they fully accept your point of view.
It says a lot about you as a leader to be someone who always lets the perceived greatest idea win, regardless of the originating channel, if after studying and evaluating you see the necessity to align with the divergent position.
If, after investigation and assessment, you determine that you must adhere to the original strategy, we go to Step 2.
2. Disagree and Commit: Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, has had this experience, and Julie Zhuo describes how he handles it in her book The Making of a Manager.
It's OK to disagree when the team is moving in the right direction, but it's not OK to accidentally or purposefully damage the team's efforts because you disagree. Let the team know your opinion, but then help them achieve company goals even if they disagree. Unknown. You could be wrong in today's ever-changing environment.
So next time you have a team member who seems to be dissenting and you've tried the previous tactics, you may ask the individual in the meeting I understand you but I don't want us to leave without you on board I need your permission to commit to this approach would you give us your commitment?
9 months ago
I sold my side project for $20,000: 6 lessons I learned
How I monetized and sold an abandoned side project for $20,000
The Origin Story
I've always wanted to be an entrepreneur but never succeeded. I often had business ideas, made a landing page, and told my buddies. Never got customers.
In April 2021, I decided to try again with a new strategy. I noticed that I had trouble acquiring an initial set of customers, so I wanted to start by acquiring a product that had a small user base that I could grow.
I found a SaaS marketplace called MicroAcquire.com where you could buy and sell SaaS products. I liked Shareit.video, an online Loom-like screen recorder.
Shareit.video didn't generate revenue, but 50 people visited daily to record screencasts.
Purchasing a Failed Side Project
I eventually bought Shareit.video for $12,000 from its owner.
$12,000 was probably too much for a website without revenue or registered users.
I thought time was most important. I could have recreated the website, but it would take months. $12,000 would give me an organized code base and a working product with a few users to monetize.
I considered buying a screen recording website and trying to grow it versus buying a new car or investing in crypto with the $12K.
Buying the website would make me a real entrepreneur, which I wanted more than anything.
Putting down so much money would force me to commit to the project and prevent me from quitting too soon.
A Year of Development
I rebranded the website to be called RecordJoy and worked on it with my cousin for about a year. Within a year, we made $5000 and had 3000 users.
We spent $3500 on ads, hosting, and software to run the business.
AppSumo promoted our $120 Life Time Deal in exchange for 30% of the revenue.
We put RecordJoy on maintenance mode after 6 months because we couldn't find a scalable user acquisition channel.
We improved SEO and redesigned our landing page, but nothing worked.
Despite not being able to grow RecordJoy any further, I had already learned so much from working on the project so I was fine with putting it on maintenance mode. RecordJoy still made $500 a month, which was great lunch money.
Getting Taken Over
One of our customers emailed me asking for some feature requests and I replied that we weren’t going to add any more features in the near future. They asked if we'd sell.
We got on a call with the customer and I asked if he would be interested in buying RecordJoy for 15k. The customer wanted around $8k but would consider it.
Since we were negotiating with one buyer, we put RecordJoy on MicroAcquire to see if there were other offers.
We quickly received 10+ offers. We got 18.5k. There was also about $1000 in AppSumo that we could not withdraw, so we agreed to transfer that over for $600 since about 40% of our sales on AppSumo usually end up being refunded.
First, create an acquisition channel
We couldn't discover a scalable acquisition route for RecordJoy. If I had to start another project, I'd develop a robust acquisition channel first. It might be LinkedIn, Medium, or YouTube.
Purchase Power of the Buyer Affects Acquisition Price
Some of the buyers we spoke to were individuals looking to buy side projects, as well as companies looking to launch a new product category. Individual buyers had less budgets than organizations.
Customers of AppSumo vary.
AppSumo customers value lifetime deals and low prices, which may not be a good way to build a business with recurring revenue. Designed for AppSumo users, your product may not connect with other users.
Try to increase acquisition trust
Acquisition often fails. The buyer can go cold feet, cease communicating, or run away with your stuff. Trusting the buyer ensures a smooth asset exchange. First acquisition meeting was unpleasant and price negotiation was tight. In later meetings, we spent the first few minutes trying to get to know the buyer’s motivations and background before jumping into the negotiation, which helped build trust.
Operating expenses can reduce your earnings.
Monitor operating costs. We were really happy when we withdrew the $5000 we made from AppSumo and Stripe until we realized that we had spent $3500 in operating fees. Spend money on software and consultants to help you understand what to build.
Don't overspend on advertising
We invested $1500 on Google Ads but made little money. For a side project, it’s better to focus on organic traffic from SEO rather than paid ads unless you know your ads are going to have a positive ROI.