Balance WeFunder Campaign — Charlie’s FAQ for Friends and Family

Introduction

We’re shortly going to launch our WeFunder Campaign. I’ve composed the following to quickly introduce my friends and family to the world of blockchains and Balance as a company.

What is Balance?

Balance is the place to view all the world’s currencies in one place. The founders started it as a small side project. Building a Mint style mac menu app for FIAT (traditional currencies) in the US. It charges a subscription, but unlike other apps, doesn’t use or sell the customer data.

Balance shipped a fast, easy-to-use tool for US bank accounts.

Charlie’s view: the user interface and design is incredible, it has 5star reviews and featured by Apple at launch. All well deserved.

Since the huge rise in the value of Etheruem, the team realised an amazing opportunity to build an app to see traditional currencies and cryptocurrencies in one place.

So far they’ve launched Balance Open, which is a place to see your crypto balance (e.g. Bitcoin and Etheruem). This is open-sourced and will soon be integrated with the mac menu bar app.

In the future, the team wants to build user interfaces for blockchain technology. The industry is growing at an incredible rate, with new blockchains appearing everyday. Yet, there’s very little in the space of user interfaces.

We want to create user interfaces for everyday people to interact with blockchains. Making people using them go from a few million to the billions.

Charlie view: for example, right now, you might have a few bitcoin or Ethereum on Coinbase. Blockchain technology has huge potential. For the potential to realise everyday people need to interact with blockchain apps. The product based team at balance can build those interfaces.

For more information on Balance, see here — https://medium.com/balancemymoney/launching-balance-open-11ec6b7bc848 .

For more details of our Wefunder Campaign, see here — https://wefunder.com/balance

To see our products, see here — https://balancemy.money/

Who are Balance?

The Founders

What are blockchains and cryptocurrencies:

Explaining blockchains could take a book. The following is an introduction:

A quick primer on the technology:

An introduction to bitcoin and the future of money: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3MLy5Z5ISeA

What are bitcoin and ethereum: https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/mbjk5x/the-motherboard-bitcoin-and-ethereum-primer

NY Times on Cryptocurrencies — Grandpa Had a Pension. This Generation Has Cryptocurrency: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/03/style/what-is-cryptocurrency.html

Diving Deeper:

The Quiet Master of Cryptocurrency — Tim Ferris Podcast: https://tim.blog/2017/06/04/nick-szabo/

Really Deep:

Anything by Andreas Antonopoulos: https://antonopoulos.com/

Book — Down The Rabbit Hole — Discover The Power Of Blockchain: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01N9HY76W

Why User Interfaces, Why Not Build Blockchain Technology?

There are many exiciting blockchains being built. For example, Ethereum is an amazing use case of smart contracts. Filecoin, wants to improve how data is managed on the internet. Balance is not building a blockchain.

There is going to be huge value is some of these future blockchains. Again, we understand that people are going to be hugely successful builing these blockchains.

If they’re going to realise their value, someone is going to have to build the place people interact with them.

So far, there is very little good design and products in the blockchain space.

In the above video, Peter Diamandis explains how the internet started as an incredible technology. It wasn’t until people started building the products and user interfaces that it took off.

When Mosaic launched in 1993, there were only 26 websites.

In 1994, there were 10,000.

By 1998, there were millions.

Mosaic (later Netscape) was a “user interface moment.”

At Balance, we believe that blockchains are about to have their user interface moment.

If someone builds the products and interfaces that sit on top of the value of blockchain technology, it will be incredibly valuable.

We want to build those produces and user interfaces.

Why is Balance the best to build blockchain products and user interfaces?

Unlike a lot of people in the blockchain space, Balance has already shipped products people actually use.

Already they have:

The menu bar app.

Balance Open

And, currently developing an iOS app.

They’ve managed to build these products due to their incredible product focused team.

Christian, head of design, worked at Microsoft aged 15 and later for Stripe.

Ben, CTO, worked at Apple and shipped the Photos app.

Richard, CEO, designed the early user interfaces for Ethereum.

The team are currently recruiting and have a set of amazing advisors in the product space.

The Wefunder campaign will mean we can continue to hire an incredible team to build and ship incredible products.

Why are you raising money on WeFunder

We’ve had offers for the full $1million from venture capital. We’ve decided to raise capita from lots of people. Building a community letting everyone benefit in the process. Rather than a few rich accredited investors.

Why aren’t you doing an ICO?

We could and will write an entire blog post on this topic.

What’s going on in ICOs is crazy. Teams who have not shipped a line of code, or product, are raising millions of dollars. They are now expected to create products that may turn out to have little or no value. There are some exceptions in this but, we don’t believe this is the right way to go.

By doing a crowdfunding campaign, rather than giving out magic beans (coins), we’re giving a real stake in an actual business. More importantly, at a sensible valuation.

To give us further credit, the SEC announced in the last week their view on ICOs and issuing tokens. It doesn’t look good.

How did you end up here Charlie?

For the last four years I’ve been building Soulshine Retreats. It’s been very successful journey with almost €1million in revenues in 2016/17. During this time, I’ve developed skills in business, strategy, finance and marketing.

One of my best friend’s, Richard, is the CEO of Balance. At the end of May, he asked if I’d like to help with the companies finance, marketing and admin.

Since seeing the skill, speed and potential of the Balance team, I decided to join full time. I’m hoping that my business, marketing, finance skills can bring the team value at this stage. For the last month, I’ve focused on launching our WeFunder campaign.

What’s the fundraising pitch and what will you do with the money you raise?

You can see all the details on our WeFunder page: https://wefunder.com/balance

And the video below:

Update Question: What’s the business plan and exit strategy?

Question asked by friend: What’s your exit strategy and expected performance Charlie; I’d be happy to invest a bit more if I had more info about the business plan.

All the details of the current business plan can be found on our Wefunder page: https://wefunder.com/balance .

If it looks a little empty, not traditional, or doesn’t mention exits, revenue and growth — that’s because we don’t have those answers. Yet.

To be totally transparent, the team do not have product-market fit or a revenue generating model.

What they do have:

  • An incredible team.
  • An ability to build great products
  • A huge drive to find product market fit and a business model
  • Placed at an incredible time where blockchains could “Change Everything”.

Essentially, this is an investment in a very early stage startup. Or put another way, you’re investing in the potential of a team and the surrounding technology, rather than a refined product, business plan or strategy.

That’s not to say there isn’t a business plan and strategy.

Diving down my personal rabbit hole journey and how I’ve ended up believing in the company…

Before Balance, I believed in solid business strategies, and spreadsheets showing how much was going to be made. Most importantly, returns to investors.

The first questions I asked was about users, revenue per user, profit margins, and how investors would get a return.

However, I’ve learnt, that’s just not how VCs and startup culture performs.

A great book on the topic is “Venture Deals — Be Smarter Than Your Lawyer and Venture Capitalist” — https://www.amazon.co.uk/Venture-Deals-Smarter-Lawyer-Capitalist/dp/1118443616 . Written by a two very successful venture capitalists.

When assessing a start up at an angel or early-stage round, they’re assessing the team and not financials. Their view is, it’s good to have financials and a plan, but they’re most probably wrong. Essentially, you can not predict a start up’s revenue, growth, financials or exit strategy, when the disruption, product and idea is entirely new.

If we were to do a later round, which I hope we most certainly will, we’d expect at that stage to show a huge upwards growth table of revenue, a route to profitability and potential investor returns.

My view, firstly, if you want a business plan, then it’s not a start-up you should invest in.

Secondly, start-up investing is therefore, and well known, incredibly high risk. Few companies make it.

I believe, that the team, plus their experience, and the potential of the industry as a hole, means they will make it.

All this is my views, and should not be taken as investment advice!

I’m interested in investing

Friends and family, send me an email at charlie@balancemy.money or message me on Facebook.

Anyone else, please enter you’re email here and we’ll message you when our WeFunder Campaign launches: https://balancedsoftware.typeform.com/to/tYGOl5 .

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