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Alex Bentley

Alex Bentley

4 months ago

Why Bill Gates thinks Bitcoin, crypto, and NFTs are foolish

More on Web3 & Crypto

Vivek Singh

Vivek Singh

9 months ago

A Warm Welcome to Web3 and the Future of the Internet

Let's take a look back at the internet's history and see where we're going — and why.

Tim Berners Lee had a problem. He was at CERN, the world's largest particle physics factory, at the time. The institute's stated goal was to study the simplest particles with the most sophisticated scientific instruments. The institute completed the LEP Tunnel in 1988, a 27 kilometer ring. This was Europe's largest civil engineering project (to study smaller particles — electrons).

The problem Tim Berners Lee found was information loss, not particle physics. CERN employed a thousand people in 1989. Due to team size and complexity, people often struggled to recall past project information. While these obstacles could be overcome, high turnover was nearly impossible. Berners Lee addressed the issue in a proposal titled ‘Information Management'.

When a typical stay is two years, data is constantly lost. The introduction of new people takes a lot of time from them and others before they understand what is going on. An emergency situation may require a detective investigation to recover technical details of past projects. Often, the data is recorded but cannot be found. — Information Management: A Proposal

He had an idea. Create an information management system that allowed users to access data in a decentralized manner using a new technology called ‘hypertext'.
To quote Berners Lee, his proposal was “vague but exciting...”. The paper eventually evolved into the internet we know today. Here are three popular W3C standards used by billions of people today:


(credit: CERN)

HTML (Hypertext Markup)

A web formatting language.

URI (Unique Resource Identifier)

Each web resource has its own “address”. Known as ‘a URL'.

HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol)

Retrieves linked resources from across the web.

These technologies underpin all computer work. They were the seeds of our quest to reorganize information, a task as fruitful as particle physics.

Tim Berners-Lee would probably think the three decades from 1989 to 2018 were eventful. He'd be amazed by the billions, the inspiring, the novel. Unlocking innovation at CERN through ‘Information Management'.
The fictional character would probably need a drink, walk, and a few deep breaths to fully grasp the internet's impact. He'd be surprised to see a few big names in the mix.

Then he'd say, "Something's wrong here."

We should review the web's history before going there. Was it a success after Berners Lee made it public? Web1 and Web2: What is it about what we are doing now that so many believe we need a new one, web3?

Per Outlier Ventures' Jamie Burke:

Web 1.0 was read-only.
Web 2.0 was the writable
Web 3.0 is a direct-write web.

Let's explore.

Web1: The Read-Only Web

Web1 was the digital age. We put our books, research, and lives ‘online'. The web made information retrieval easier than any filing cabinet ever. Massive amounts of data were stored online. Encyclopedias, medical records, and entire libraries were put away into floppy disks and hard drives.

In 2015, the web had around 305,500,000,000 pages of content (280 million copies of Atlas Shrugged).

Initially, one didn't expect to contribute much to this database. Web1 was an online version of the real world, but not yet a new way of using the invention.

One gets the impression that the web has been underutilized by historians if all we can say about it is that it has become a giant global fax machine. — Daniel Cohen, The Web's Second Decade (2004)

That doesn't mean developers weren't building. The web was being advanced by great minds. Web2 was born as technology advanced.

Web2: Read-Write Web

Remember when you clicked something on a website and the whole page refreshed? Is it too early to call the mid-2000s ‘the good old days'?
Browsers improved gradually, then suddenly. AJAX calls augmented CGI scripts, and applications began sending data back and forth without disrupting the entire web page. One button to ‘digg' a post (see below). Web experiences blossomed.

In 2006, Digg was the most active ‘Web 2.0' site. (Photo: Ethereum Foundation Taylor Gerring)

Interaction was the focus of new applications. Posting, upvoting, hearting, pinning, tweeting, liking, commenting, and clapping became a lexicon of their own. It exploded in 2004. Easy ways to ‘write' on the internet grew, and continue to grow.

Facebook became a Web2 icon, where users created trillions of rows of data. Google and Amazon moved from Web1 to Web2 by better understanding users and building products and services that met their needs.

Business models based on Software-as-a-Service and then managing consumer data within them for a fee have exploded.

Web2 Emerging Issues

Unbelievably, an intriguing dilemma arose. When creating this read-write web, a non-trivial question skirted underneath the covers. Who owns it all?

You have no control over [Web 2] online SaaS. People didn't realize this because SaaS was so new. People have realized this is the real issue in recent years.

Even if these organizations have good intentions, their incentive is not on the users' side.
“You are not their customer, therefore you are their product,” they say. With Laura Shin, Vitalik Buterin, Unchained

A good plot line emerges. Many amazing, world-changing software products quietly lost users' data control.
For example: Facebook owns much of your social graph data. Even if you hate Facebook, you can't leave without giving up that data. There is no ‘export' or ‘exit'. The platform owns ownership.

While many companies can pull data on you, you cannot do so.

On the surface, this isn't an issue. These companies use my data better than I do! A complex group of stakeholders, each with their own goals. One is maximizing shareholder value for public companies. Tim Berners-Lee (and others) dislike the incentives created.

“Show me the incentive and I will show you the outcome.” — Berkshire Hathaway's CEO

It's easy to see what the read-write web has allowed in retrospect. We've been given the keys to create content instead of just consume it. On Facebook and Twitter, anyone with a laptop and internet can participate. But the engagement isn't ours. Platforms own themselves.

Web3: The ‘Unmediated’ Read-Write Web

Tim Berners Lee proposed a decade ago that ‘linked data' could solve the internet's data problem.

However, until recently, the same principles that allowed the Web of documents to thrive were not applied to data...

The Web of Data also allows for new domain-specific applications. Unlike Web 2.0 mashups, Linked Data applications work with an unbound global data space. As new data sources appear on the Web, they can provide more complete answers.

At around the same time as linked data research began, Satoshi Nakamoto created Bitcoin. After ten years, it appears that Berners Lee's ideas ‘link' spiritually with cryptocurrencies.

What should Web 3 do?

Here are some quick predictions for the web's future.

Users' data:
Users own information and provide it to corporations, businesses, or services that will benefit them.

Defying censorship:

No government, company, or institution should control your access to information (1, 2, 3)

Connect users and platforms:

Create symbiotic rather than competitive relationships between users and platform creators.

Open networks:

“First, the cryptonetwork-participant contract is enforced in open source code. Their voices and exits are used to keep them in check.” Dixon, Chris (4)

Global interactivity:

Transacting value, information, or assets with anyone with internet access, anywhere, at low cost

Self-determination:

Giving you the ability to own, see, and understand your entire digital identity.

Not pull, push:

‘Push' your data to trusted sources instead of ‘pulling' it from others.

Where Does This Leave Us?

Change incentives, change the world. Nick Babalola

People believe web3 can help build a better, fairer system. This is not the same as equal pay or outcomes, but more equal opportunity.

It should be noted that some of these advantages have been discussed previously. Will the changes work? Will they make a difference? These unanswered questions are technical, economic, political, and philosophical. Unintended consequences are likely.

We hope Web3 is a more democratic web. And we think incentives help the user. If there’s one thing that’s on our side, it’s that open has always beaten closed, given a long enough timescale.

We are at the start. 

Jeff John Roberts

Jeff John Roberts

5 months ago

Jack Dorsey and  Jay-Z Launch 'Bitcoin Academy' in Brooklyn rapper's home

The new Bitcoin Academy will teach Jay-Marcy Z's Houses neighbors "What is Cryptocurrency."
Jay-Z grew up in Brooklyn's Marcy Houses. The rapper and Block CEO Jack Dorsey are giving back to his hometown by creating the Bitcoin Academy.

The Bitcoin Academy will offer online and in-person classes, including "What is Money?" and "What is Blockchain?"
The program will provide participants with a mobile hotspot and a small amount of Bitcoin for hands-on learning.

Students will receive dinner and two evenings of instruction until early September. The Shawn Carter Foundation will help with on-the-ground instruction.

Jay-Z and Dorsey announced the program Thursday morning. It will begin at Marcy Houses but may be expanded.

Crypto Blockchain Plug and Black Bitcoin Billionaire, which has received a grant from Block, will teach the classes.

Jay-Z, Dorsey reunite

Jay-Z and Dorsey have previously worked together to promote a Bitcoin and crypto-based future.

In 2021, Dorsey's Block (then Square) acquired the rapper's streaming music service Tidal, which they propose using for NFT distribution.

Dorsey and Jay-Z launched an endowment in 2021 to fund Bitcoin development in Africa and India.

Dorsey is funding the new Bitcoin Academy out of his own pocket (as is Jay-Z), but he's also pushed crypto-related charitable endeavors at Block, including a $5 million fund backed by corporate Bitcoin interest.


This post is a summary. Read full article here

Sam Hickmann

Sam Hickmann

3 months ago

Nomad.xyz got exploited for $190M

Key Takeaways:

Another hack. This time was different. This is a doozy.

Why? Nomad got exploited for $190m. It was crypto's 5th-biggest hack. Ouch.

It wasn't hackers, but random folks. What happened:

A Nomad smart contract flaw was discovered. They couldn't drain the funds at once, so they tried numerous transactions. Rookie!

People noticed and copied the attack.

They just needed to discover a working transaction, substitute the other person's address with theirs, and run it.


Nomad.xyz got exploited for $190M

In a two-and-a-half-hour attack, $190M was siphoned from Nomad Bridge.

Nomad is a novel approach to blockchain interoperability that leverages an optimistic mechanism to increase the security of cross-chain communication.  — nomad.xyz

This hack was permissionless, therefore anyone could participate.

After the fatal blow, people fought over the scraps.

Cross-chain bridges remain a DeFi weakness and exploit target. When they collapse, it's typically total.

$190M...gobbled.

Unbacked assets are hurting Nomad-dependent chains. Moonbeam, EVMOS, and Milkomeda's TVLs dropped.

This incident is every-man-for-himself, although numerous whitehats exploited the issue... 

But what triggered the feeding frenzy?

How did so many pick the bones?

After a normal upgrade in June, the bridge's Replica contract was initialized with a severe security issue. The  0x00 address was a trusted root, therefore all messages were valid by default.

After a botched first attempt (costing $350k in gas), the original attacker's exploit tx called process() without first 'proving' its validity.

The process() function executes all cross-chain messages and checks the merkle root of all messages (line 185).

The upgrade caused transactions with a'messages' value of 0 (invalid, according to old logic) to be read by default as 0x00, a trusted root, passing validation as 'proven'

Any process() calls were valid. In reality, a more sophisticated exploiter may have designed a contract to drain the whole bridge.

Copycat attackers simply copied/pasted the same process() function call using Etherscan, substituting their address.

The incident was a wild combination of crowdhacking, whitehat activities, and MEV-bot (Maximal Extractable Value) mayhem.

For example, 🍉🍉🍉. eth stole $4M from the bridge, but claims to be whitehat.

Others stood out for the wrong reasons. Repeat criminal Rari Capital (Artibrum) exploited over $3M in stablecoins, which moved to Tornado Cash.

The top three exploiters (with 95M between them) are:

$47M: 0x56D8B635A7C88Fd1104D23d632AF40c1C3Aac4e3

$40M: 0xBF293D5138a2a1BA407B43672643434C43827179

$8M: 0xB5C55f76f90Cc528B2609109Ca14d8d84593590E

Here's a list of all the exploiters:

The project conducted a Quantstamp audit in June; QSP-19 foreshadowed a similar problem.

The auditor's comments that "We feel the Nomad team misinterpreted the issue" speak to a troubling attitude towards security that the project's "Long-Term Security" plan appears to confirm:

Concerns were raised about the team's response time to a live, public exploit; the team's official acknowledgement came three hours later.

"Removing the Replica contract as owner" stopped the exploit, but it was too late to preserve the cash.

Closed blockchain systems are only as strong as their weakest link.

The Harmony network is in turmoil after its bridge was attacked and lost $100M in late June.

What's next for Nomad's ecosystems?

Moonbeam's TVL is now $135M, EVMOS's is $3M, and Milkomeda's is $20M.

Loss of confidence may do more damage than $190M.

Cross-chain infrastructure is difficult to secure in a new, experimental sector. Bridge attacks can pollute an entire ecosystem or more.

Nomadic liquidity has no permanent home, so consumers will always migrate in pursuit of the "next big thing" and get stung when attentiveness wanes.

DeFi still has easy prey...

Sources: rekt.news & The Milk Road.

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Matthew Cluff

Matthew Cluff

10 days ago

GTO Poker 101

"GTO" (Game Theory Optimal) has been used a lot in poker recently. To clarify its meaning and application, the aim of this article is to define what it is, when to use it when playing, what strategies to apply for how to play GTO poker, for beginner and more advanced players!

Poker GTO

In poker, you can choose between two main winning strategies:

Exploitative play maximizes expected value (EV) by countering opponents' sub-optimal plays and weaker tendencies. Yes, playing this way opens you up to being exploited, but the weaker opponents you're targeting won't change their game to counteract this, allowing you to reap maximum profits over the long run.

GTO (Game-Theory Optimal): You try to play perfect poker, which forces your opponents to make mistakes (which is where almost all of your profit will be derived from). It mixes bluffs or semi-bluffs with value bets, clarifies bet sizes, and more.

GTO vs. Exploitative: Which is Better in Poker?

Before diving into GTO poker strategy, it's important to know which of these two play styles is more profitable for beginners and advanced players. The simple answer is probably both, but usually more exploitable.

Most players don't play GTO poker and can be exploited in their gameplay and strategy, allowing for more profits to be made using an exploitative approach. In fact, it’s only in some of the largest games at the highest stakes that GTO concepts are fully utilized and seen in practice, and even then, exploitative plays are still sometimes used.

Knowing, understanding, and applying GTO poker basics will create a solid foundation for your poker game. It's also important to understand GTO so you can deviate from it to maximize profits.

GTO Poker Strategy

According to Ed Miller's book "Poker's 1%," the most fundamental concept that only elite poker players understand is frequency, which could be in relation to cbets, bluffs, folds, calls, raises, etc.

GTO poker solvers (downloadable online software) give solutions for how to play optimally in any given spot and often recommend using mixed strategies based on select frequencies.

In a river situation, a solver may tell you to call 70% of the time and fold 30%. It may also suggest calling 50% of the time, folding 35% of the time, and raising 15% of the time (with a certain range of hands).

Frequencies are a fundamental and often unrecognized part of poker, but they run through these 5 GTO concepts.

1. Preflop ranges

To compensate for positional disadvantage, out-of-position players must open tighter hand ranges.

Premium starting hands aren't enough, though. Considering GTO poker ranges and principles, you want a good, balanced starting hand range from each position with at least some hands that can make a strong poker hand regardless of the flop texture (low, mid, high, disconnected, etc).

Below is a GTO preflop beginner poker chart for online 6-max play, showing which hand ranges one should open-raise with. Table positions are color-coded (see key below).

NOTE: For GTO play, it's advisable to use a mixed strategy for opening in the small blind, combining open-limps and open-raises for various hands. This cannot be illustrated with the color system used for the chart.

Choosing which hands to play is often a math problem, as discussed below.

Other preflop GTO poker charts include which hands to play after a raise, which to 3bet, etc. Solvers can help you decide which preflop hands to play (call, raise, re-raise, etc.).

2. Pot Odds

Always make +EV decisions that profit you as a poker player. Understanding pot odds (and equity) can help.

Postflop Pot Odds

Let’s say that we have JhTh on a board of 9h8h2s4c (open-ended straight-flush draw).  We have $40 left and $50 in the pot. He has you covered and goes all-in. As calling or folding are our only options, playing GTO involves calculating whether a call is +EV or –EV. (The hand was empty.)

Any remaining heart, Queen, or 7 wins the hand. This means we can improve 15 of 46 unknown cards, or 32.6% of the time.

What if our opponent has a set? The 4h or 2h could give us a flush, but it could also give the villain a boat. If we reduce outs from 15 to 14.5, our equity would be 31.5%.

We must now calculate pot odds.

(bet/(our bet+pot)) = pot odds

= $50 / ($40 + $90)

= $40 / $130

= 30.7%

To make a profitable call, we need at least 30.7% equity. This is a profitable call as we have 31.5% equity (even if villain has a set). Yes, we will lose most of the time, but we will make a small profit in the long run, making a call correct.

Pot odds aren't just for draws, either. If an opponent bets 50% pot, you get 3 to 1 odds on a call, so you must win 25% of the time to be profitable. If your current hand has more than 25% equity against your opponent's perceived range, call.

Preflop Pot Odds

Preflop, you raise to 3bb and the button 3bets to 9bb. You must decide how to act. In situations like these, we can actually use pot odds to assist our decision-making.

This pot is:

(our open+3bet size+small blind+big blind)

(3bb+9bb+0.5bb+1bb)

= 13.5

This means we must call 6bb to win a pot of 13.5bb, which requires 30.7% equity against the 3bettor's range.

Three additional factors must be considered:

Being out of position on our opponent makes it harder to realize our hand's equity, as he can use his position to put us in tough spots. To profitably continue against villain's hand range, we should add 7% to our equity.

Implied Odds / Reverse Implied Odds: The ability to win or lose significantly more post-flop (than pre-flop) based on our remaining stack.

While statistics on 3bet stats can be gained with a large enough sample size (i.e. 8% 3bet stat from button), the numbers don't tell us which 8% of hands villain could be 3betting with. Both polarized and depolarized charts below show 8% of possible hands.

7.4% of hands are depolarized.

Polarized Hand range (7.54%):

Each hand range has different contents. We don't know if he 3bets some hands and calls or folds others.

Using an exploitable strategy can help you play a hand range correctly. The next GTO concept will make things easier.

3. Minimum Defense Frequency:

This concept refers to the % of our range we must continue with (by calling or raising) to avoid being exploited by our opponents. This concept is most often used off-table and is difficult to apply in-game.

These beginner GTO concepts will help your decision-making during a hand, especially against aggressive opponents.

MDF formula:

MDF = POT SIZE/(POT SIZE+BET SIZE)

Here's a poker GTO chart of common bet sizes and minimum defense frequency.

Take the number of hand combos in your starting hand range and use the MDF to determine which hands to continue with. Choose hands with the most playability and equity against your opponent's betting range.

Say you open-raise HJ and BB calls. Qh9h6c flop. Your opponent leads you for a half-pot bet. MDF suggests keeping 67% of our range.

Using the above starting hand chart, we can determine that the HJ opens 254 combos:

We must defend 67% of these hands, or 170 combos, according to MDF. Hands we should keep include:

Flush draws

Open-Ended Straight Draws

Gut-Shot Straight Draws

Overcards

Any Pair or better

So, our flop continuing range could be:

Some highlights:

Fours and fives have little chance of improving on the turn or river.

We only continue with AX hearts (with a flush draw) without a pair or better.

We'll also include 4 AJo combos, all of which have the Ace of hearts, and AcJh, which can block a backdoor nut flush combo.

Let's assume all these hands are called and the turn is blank (2 of spades). Opponent bets full-pot. MDF says we must defend 50% of our flop continuing range, or 85 of 170 combos, to be unexploitable. This strategy includes our best flush draws, straight draws, and made hands.

Here, we keep combining:

Nut flush draws

Pair + flush draws

GS + flush draws

Second Pair, Top Kicker+

One combo of JJ that doesn’t block the flush draw or backdoor flush draw.

On the river, we can fold our missed draws and keep our best made hands. When calling with weaker hands, consider blocker effects and card removal to avoid overcalling and decide which combos to continue.

4. Poker GTO Bet Sizing

To avoid being exploited, balance your bluffs and value bets. Your betting range depends on how much you bet (in relation to the pot). This concept only applies on the river, as draws (bluffs) on the flop and turn still have equity (and are therefore total bluffs).

On the flop, you want a 2:1 bluff-to-value-bet ratio. On the flop, there won't be as many made hands as on the river, and your bluffs will usually contain equity. The turn should have a "bluffing" ratio of 1:1. Use the chart below to determine GTO river bluff frequencies (relative to your bet size):

This chart relates to your opponent's pot odds. If you bet 50% pot, your opponent gets 3:1 odds and must win 25% of the time to call. Poker GTO theory suggests including 25% bluff combinations in your betting range so you're indifferent to your opponent calling or folding.

Best river bluffs don't block hands you want your opponent to have (or not have). For example, betting with missed Ace-high flush draws is often a mistake because you block a missed flush draw you want your opponent to have when bluffing on the river (meaning that it would subsequently be less likely he would have it, if you held two of the flush draw cards). Ace-high usually has some river showdown value.

If you had a 3-flush on the river and wanted to raise, you could bluff raise with AX combos holding the bluff suit Ace. Blocking the nut flush prevents your opponent from using that combo.

5. Bet Sizes and Frequency

GTO beginner strategies aren't just bluffs and value bets. They show how often and how much to bet in certain spots. Top players have benefited greatly from poker solvers, which we'll discuss next.

GTO Poker Software

In recent years, various poker GTO solvers have been released to help beginner, intermediate, and advanced players play balanced/GTO poker in various situations.

PokerSnowie and PioSolver are popular GTO and poker study programs.

While you can't compute players' hand ranges and what hands to bet or check with in real time, studying GTO play strategies with these programs will pay off. It will improve your poker thinking and understanding.

Solvers can help you balance ranges, choose optimal bet sizes, and master cbet frequencies.

GTO Poker Tournament

Late-stage tournaments have shorter stacks than cash games. In order to follow GTO poker guidelines, Nash charts have been created, tweaked, and used for many years (and also when to call, depending on what number of big blinds you have when you find yourself shortstacked).

The charts are for heads-up push/fold. In a multi-player game, the "pusher" chart can only be used if play is folded to you in the small blind. The "caller" chart can only be used if you're in the big blind and assumes a small blind "pusher" (with a much wider range than if a player in another position was open-shoving).

Divide the pusher chart's numbers by 2 to see which hand to use from the Button. Divide the original chart numbers by 4 to find the CO's pushing range. Some of the figures will be impossible to calculate accurately for the CO or positions to the right of the blinds because the chart's highest figure is "20+" big blinds, which is also used for a wide range of hands in the push chart.

Both of the GTO charts below are ideal for heads-up play, but exploitable HU shortstack strategies can lead to more +EV decisions against certain opponents. Following the charts will make your play GTO and unexploitable.

Poker pro Max Silver created the GTO push/fold software SnapShove. (It's accessible online at www.snapshove.com or as iOS or Android apps.)

Players can access GTO shove range examples in the full version. (You can customize the number of big blinds you have, your position, the size of the ante, and many other options.)

In Conclusion

Due to the constantly changing poker landscape, players are always improving their skills. Exploitable strategies often yield higher profit margins than GTO-based approaches, but knowing GTO beginner and advanced concepts can give you an edge for a few reasons.

It creates a solid gameplay base.

Having a baseline makes it easier to exploit certain villains.

You can avoid leveling wars with your opponents by making sound poker decisions based on GTO strategy.

It doesn't require assuming opponents' play styles.

Not results-oriented.

This is just the beginning of GTO and poker theory. Consider investing in the GTO poker solver software listed above to improve your game.

Benjamin Lin

Benjamin Lin

3 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

Unfortunately, there was no real handshake as the sale was transacted entirely online

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.

You should always ask yourself the build vs buy decision when starting a new project

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.

Growth flatlined, so we put the project on maintenance mode

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.

Everything is negotiable, including how long the buyer can remain an exclusive buyer and what the payment schedule should be.

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.

Lessons Learned

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.

Adrien Book

Adrien Book

2 months ago

What is Vitalik Buterin's newest concept, the Soulbound NFT?

Decentralizing Web3's soul

Our tech must reflect our non-transactional connections. Web3 arose from a lack of social links. It must strengthen these linkages to get widespread adoption. Soulbound NFTs help.

This NFT creates digital proofs of our social ties. It embodies G. Simmel's idea of identity, in which individuality emerges from social groups, just as social groups evolve from people.

It's multipurpose. First, gather online our distinctive social features. Second, highlight and categorize social relationships between entities and people to create a spiderweb of networks.

1. 🌐 Reducing online manipulation: Only socially rich or respectable crypto wallets can participate in projects, ensuring that no one can create several wallets to influence decentralized project governance.

2. 🤝 Improving social links: Some sectors of society lack social context. Racism, sexism, and homophobia do that. Public wallets can help identify and connect distinct social groupings.

3. 👩‍❤️‍💋‍👨 Increasing pluralism: Soulbound tokens can ensure that socially connected wallets have less voting power online to increase pluralism. We can also overweight a minority of numerous voices.

4. 💰Making more informed decisions: Taking out an insurance policy requires a life review. Why not loans? Character isn't limited by income, and many people need a chance.

5. 🎶 Finding a community: Soulbound tokens are accessible to everyone. This means we can find people who are like us but also different. This is probably rare among your friends and family.

NFTs are dangerous, and I don't like them. Social credit score, privacy, lost wallet. We must stay informed and keep talking to innovators.

E. Glen Weyl, Puja Ohlhaver and Vitalik Buterin get all the credit for these ideas, having written the very accessible white paper “Decentralized Society: Finding Web3’s Soul”.