ICO Fever

You can't even wipe your own ass

ICO Ahoy!

Grumbling while doing research has become my norm. If you see me looking for new tokens expect to hear nothing but a long, drawn out grumble.

At every turn it seems to be nothing but marketing fluff and/or an ICO. I’m not fond of this situation.

Loss Opportunities

I’m on the hunt for minimum viable products and proof of concepts. If you’re doing something with the blockchain, have the decency to show me what you’re actually up to and have some kind of working prototype before you ask for my money. I’m not ‘Fuck You’ rich and have to be mindful of my investments. A white paper, promises and slick graphics do not make an investment opportunity. They make a total loss opportunity.

If you have some fancy pants gibberish in a PDF: that doesn’t make you a programmer or the product viable. That makes you a marketing dreamer. I’m a programmer by trade and have been programming for over a decade. Building a product via code is HARD, especially if an immutable ledger and money are involved. It sounds easy on paper but I promise there is some serious nuance in your ‘product’ (read: business logic).

Painful Failure

You want to see a programmer feel pain? Give them a ‘simple’ idea and let them find the minutiae and subtle logic that’s built into that idea. Bonus points if you give them ‘reasonable’ deadlines for something they’ve never done before.

The minutiae and subtle logic become apparent the moment you’re half way into a minimum viable product (MVP). Roughly the point when a project fails or succeeds. Even better? The timeframe the programmer(s) thought they needed is going to be very wrong about half way through an MVP. Especially if they are new to the idea they are charged with buildling.

Timelines and programming are like oil and water. They really don’t mix well but we like to force them togther. Then drizzle over leaves harvested for consumption.

Seriously, MVP

Authors note: I couldn’t find a past ICO for these people. I’m running with it, feel free to correct me if I’m wrong

LBRY is a great example of an MVP. I bought their token BECAUSE they have something built, running and working. WORKING! Fancy that, they actually built something. I also couldn’t find an ICO. Even better.

Yeah, they have something that’s a bit fiddly and not 100% there yet. However, I can play with it, I can buy/view content. I can even publish my own content. I even managed to make it pretty far with deploying a hosting node for my creative output. I actually managed to figure out how to self-host a cloud server that serves content for purchase on the LBRY network. That’s impressive, even if it’s still early in the project lifetime.

LBRY also solves a problem (YAY!). Distribution of content and getting paid is not an easy task. Especially if you’re beholden to ad networks, the bigger video platforms or even big stock photo sites. LBRY can help level the playing field a bit and over time I expect them to be a player in video and photo distribution.

Hell, you can even publish as an author of words. If I was really enterprising I could easily host every page of this blog on LBRY and charge 1LBC (~$0.152619 on 2017/10/30) per page to view/download/read. That’s an additional opportunity for revenue for me as a small time blogger. It may not pay my bills but I’ll take the money, thank you kindly.

What I’m Looking For

LBRY is a great example of what I look for in a token:

  • MVP
  • Solves a problem
  • No ICO (at least none I can find)
  • Engaged overlords/developers
  • Utility
  • Probability of longevity
  • Steady and consistent development

This isn’t an exhaustive list, but it’s not a hard set of concerns to address. If you want to ICO, please consider doing at least the above before you join the ranks of Tech Bros ruining things for others.

Old World Thinking

On final thought…

Traditional investments tend to involve paper at some point. If you fail in the ‘old world’ I can at least wipe my ass with the contract after it’s rendered useless or worthless. It’s not double ply but I still get something in return for failure.

If an ICO fails I get some wasted bits and bytes on my hard drive. The return on failure is far worse: I can’t even wipe my own ass