Diary of a Crypto Startup

The adventures of a first-time crypto entrepreneur

Written by an anonymous entrepreneur

As I sat on my uncomfortable hard wooden chair biting my nails I prayed that the last few months hadn’t been a total waste of time. Well of course it wasn’t. I reasoned. I also castigated myself for blowing all my spare cash in yet another one of my business ventures.

This time I couldn’t afford to lose my money. Before I had money to burn. Literally coming out of my ears. Every idea I had got an airing. This time things had changed. Divorce, lawsuits and failed businesses had all taken their toll. It was the last roll of the dice I said to myself. Bullshit! I screamed to myself, you will go again, failure is never an option. And so the wait started.

Was I going to raise the $30,000 I needed for my new cryptocurrency business? Time would tell. The deadline was fast approaching. If I came up short it wouldn’t be over but I would have to have a serious rethink. Rethinks are a good thing most of the time. It gives you time to reflect. But it has to be said they are a pain in the ass. It would be good to get it right the first time this time. As I cast my mind back I realized that nothing had come to me easily. Success usually only emerged from a long line of failures. I usually got there in the end. There were only a few hours to go before I would know if the startup I had been working on for the last few months was going to take the easy road to success or that long windy road that we read about in the biographies of successful people.

My cheap digital watch read 3pm. It was time to update my computer and see if I had achieved my target.

The beginning…

The journey started one summer’s morning as I ran along the sidewalk. I sprinted home and got cracking. It seemed like a stonker of an idea to me and stonking ideas must be worked on quick smart or you lose momentum. Time is of the essence and all that good stuff.

So I sat down on that rickety old wooden chair we met earlier at my makeshift equally rickety old dining room table and started typing my idea down on my iPhone.

It doesn’t really matter what the idea is to be honest. We are not going to go into it for fear of you falling asleep. Suffice to say it was an idea for a cryptocurrency. Something that hadn’t been done before. It was a big improvement on an existing business model and I had high hopes for its success. Maybe it would make me rich again. It had bloody better!

The first thing I did was write a page of bullet points. That allowed me to iron out the idea and work out any limitations and opportunities that I hadn’t thought about. They call this SWAT analysis. I do this every time I think of a new idea. Mostly without even thinking about it. I have had more business ideas than you have had hot dinners!

I was in the game baby!

Next up was the content for the website and the general layout. If you are on fire like I was, that only takes a few hours but it is good to sit on your work for a few days and add to it. When you go through this process your initial idea takes many new paths. When you put pen to paper opportunities that you hadn’t even thought about emerge and hurdles quickly become selling points and so it was with my idea. I hired a web designer and a blockchain specialist and within 7 days I had a finished website along with 1 billion coins sitting in my MetaMask wallet. I was in the game baby!

I still needed to build my blockchain based platform or what is called a decentralized app. I was in such a rush to raise the money I went straight into money raising mode.

Raising money is not as easy as it sounds

Firstly I submitted an application to most of the IDO platforms (Initial Decentralized Exchange Offering also called launchpads), at least ten of them. I didn’t receive one response. Was this because the idea was shit I thought or was it because they only fund projects introduced by friends and close contacts? Having asked around it appears the answer is the latter.

I then discovered a platform called DxSale. DxSale bills Itself as a decentralized platform where crypto startups can raise seed capital. There is no application process, no KYC or vetting. All you have to do is complete the required fields in their online application and press submit. Just the ticket I thought and that is exactly what I proceeded to do. It took me about two hours! And then I pressed submit. An automatic message appeared on my screen informing me that I had insufficient funds in my wallet to pay the application fee of 1.3 BNB, something I admittedly hadn’t contemplated.

I reasoned that if I had to make an investment upfront I needed to be sure this investment was going to have a good chance of paying off. At this point my website was only a few days old and I had no followers on my Twitter or Telegram accounts. Maybe I needed to build my community just in case I couldn’t rely on raising the money from the users of the DxSale platform.

That was my next task and let me tell you that is when the learning truly began.

Building a community

I had no idea how long and how much it would cost to build my community. But I knew I needed to do it quickly and for minimal cost. I set myself a target of 1,000 followers on both Twitter and Telegram. At that point I decided I would then return to DxSale with the necessary BNB and press that submit button.

My first discovery was that many of the crypto Twitter and Telegram channels with tens of thousands of followers aren’t all they seem.

There are many Twitter crypto influencers with over 10k followers. What you find out very quickly is that the majority aren’t really influencers at all. They earn their living by sending their followers a constant stream of giveaways on behalf of crypto projects looking to build their community. These usually consist of 6, 12, 24 or 48 hour giveaways of cash prizes. I figured if I wanted to build my community I had to engage with these people.

The best results were from an ‘influencer’ with 1 million followers. For a fee of $200 he sent out one tweet to his followers saying that if they followed us on Twitter and Telegram and retweeted his post they would stand a chance of winning $100. The giveaway lasted 12 hours and amazingly generated over 1,000 followers. Another smaller influencer with only 5,000 followers charged a fee of $60 for a giveaway which produced nothing of much significance and a third charged $100 which generated over 600 followers.

I had heard that airdrops were a good way of building a community so I contacted three of the biggest airdrop facilitators for a quote. Only one got back to me and told me my cryptocurrency needed to be listed. The other two just couldn’t be bothered even to respond. That is the story with crypto. Generally very few people have the common decency to reply to you. And then they get pissed if you return the favor!

So I decided to do an airdrop promotion myself. And it turns out I didn’t need these guys anyway. My own airdrop generated thousands of followers. Of course it helped that I had now established a small base to start with.

Within a week I went from zero to 1,500 followers on each channel smashing through my target.

I experimented with a promoter for Telegram who for $60 got me over 800 followers overnight.

I also experimented with someone who promised to promote to the Reddit crypto community but at $30 per post and with no guarantees he was told to crawl back under his rock.

My most successful experiment was persuading a bunch of influencers to take our token in exchange for their services. That ended up being the most effective marketing plan of the lot. Most told me to crawl back under my rock but I persisted and quickly amassed a list of 12 influencers who were willing to accept our token in exchange for promoting to their own followers some of which had up to 800,000 followers.

It seemed as though things were on track as we cruised through over 3,000 followers. It was now time to press that submit button on DxSale and invest the 1.3 BNB. The pressure was one.

Approaching the launch

I set the launch date a week in advance to run from Monday to Friday. When I hit that submit button and paid the required fee the DxSale app quickly generated 7 unsavory looking risk warnings. The kind of risk warning that would put off a kamikaze pilot from investing!

That was a little disheartening to see. You pay to get your project listed on a platform and the platform you send your hard earned money to ends up announcing that your project is a pile of crap.

I quickly focused back on building my community and managing my blooming group of influencers, many who were working like dogs.

The day after listing on DxSale I noticed someone had posted a damning review. He scored my project a pathetic 1/5 and concluded it was a scam. That was the second strike for DxSale. Not only did they produce a bunch of one sided risk warnings but they also allowed some dip shit to write whatever he felt like and post it for everyone who had even a faint interest in your project to see. After some investigation it was apparent the same dip shit went around the DxSale platform scoring most projects a lowly 1/5. But that was no consolation. That review sat at the top of the page and despite a number of positive ones it remained unmoved for the duration of the pre-sale.

I tried not to let that bother me. I held an AMA with my community and that drew in some 700 new followers. And after 2 hours of questions and answers I patted myself on the back for a job well done.

The launch

The day before the launch date of the pre-sale I had put my chances of success at 70%. I had done all I could, which is the ideal position to be in before going over the top.

But then things took a rapid unexpected turn.

On the Sunday before launch I was busily managing my team of influencers when one of them said he could no longer work with me unless I provide money upfront for a campaign I was about to run. I explained to him that the prize wasn’t actually payable until the pre-sale closed successfully so why tie money up now. He wouldn’t listen to my reasoning and told me he was out. Two more influencers quickly followed. This wasn’t a major problem I figured as by now we had amassed over 7,000 followers and had some great campaigns planned to convert these people into paying investors.

The morning of the launch I wasn’t expecting to do much apart from message the community with the pre-sale information and chivvy them along.

But things didn’t turn out so well. The DxSale site was not working. When I contacted them through their Telegram channel they became defensive and blamed it on Binance. When I aired my frustration they banned me from their account. Third strike and I was out!

That was closely followed by an incident on Telegram. A new follower to our Telegram started with an innocent enough question but the more questions he asked the more menacing he became. It was obvious that this individual had come to cause problems. I grew irritated with him quickly and called him a moron and banned him from the channel. That action caused a backlash from a number of the members. How could you ban him? They asked in shock. Because he is a moron and we don’t want morons in our community. Simple! I replied.

Shortly after that incident as I sat down to send an influencer an update I was met with a message from someone informing me that our Twitter account had been suspended.

That was the end of my crypto dream, for now at least. It was highly unlikely that we would raise a bean now that we couldn’t communicate with our followers.

I was shell-shocked.

But it was far from over, we still had our Telegram community and the idea for our platform. I would go again but I would need time to devise a new plan.

This project would make me rich but not just yet. Let me tell you, making money in the world of crypto is not as easy as everyone assumes.

But I’ll be back!

To be continued…

No Financial Advice

This article does not constitute financial advice or a recommendation to buy in any way. Always do your own research and never invest more than you can afford to lose. Investing in cryptocurrencies is high risk, and you could lose 100% of your investment.