Antshares / NEO: Tips for the Team

EDIT: Thanks to everyone for the responses. I’ll prepare a follow-up to answer commonly asked questions and perhaps go more into why I’m long on NEO. I don’t normally do this, but because Da Hongfei suggested a reward, I’m linking a new and currently unfunded Antshares address below. I believe in complete transparency when it comes to crypto rewards. If I am given ANS from the team, I believe everyone here has the right to see. Hopefully this spurs more high quality content. Address: AUGHphJGnvZP7vS2WJ6gePbcCk69xa2qk1

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First, about me. I’ve been investing in the crypto space for years now and I’ve been incredibly lucky. I bought in to Ethereum on a whim after a friend of mine in CS mentioned it was “like Bitcoin but programmable” — whatever that meant. Since graduating from Stanford, I moved to NYC to work in finance. I’ve been a consultant and buy-side analyst in both the public and private markets. I am not a technologist.

Despite not being a techie, I have been around the crypto space for a while. I get some things. I don’t get others. With that as context, I want to offer my opinions (operative word: opinions) regarding one of my favorite and most intriguing crypto investments, NEO (AKA the artist formerly known as Antshares).

I, like many folks in the burgeoning NEO community, have been frustrated with what’s happened over the past few days. I’m worried that the NEO team is going to needlessly fumble an amazing opportunity. So I’m going to armchair quarterback a few things. Apologies in advance.

Without further ado, I’d like to offer a few pieces of non-technical advice to the NEO team. Take it or leave it. But you should take it.

Market Talk

Don’t talk about price. Don’t mention subreddits or message boards. Don’t talk about “hype-y” things. At all. Don’t say things like this, even if it’s in jest. Focus on the tech and only the tech. The devs of Ethereum rarely comment on the market. It’s the reason there’s a separate r/ethtrader subreddit. The better the tech, and the better you communicate the benefits of the tech, the higher the share price will go. And the higher the share price goes, the more money you have to hire developers and strengthen the tech.

I mean it. Stop. It’s in your best interest. The second you start looking like a pump and dump, you’re dead in the water.

English

English is your best friend until you get broader Chinese adoption. All that money tied up in Ethereum is scared right now. I know, I’m part of that crowd. Scaling issues, etc. They’re looking for reasons to diversify into alternative assets. Most of these ICO’s are not good long term investments. We want platforms, dammit. And a platform (a good one I might add) is what you’ve got.

So back to the English. Hire someone — right now — to proofread every English thing you write. That includes your tweets (“rehearsaling” isn’t a word). But really, every single tweet Da Hongfei tweets has some grammatical issue. I get it, it’s not his first language. I don’t care. I’m not saying that it’s fair to expect perfection, I’m saying if you want the price to rise (which will lead to more money and more developers, see above) then cater to English-speaking Ethereum whales and come across as a polished, thoughtful, put together, leader. We need a safe pair of hands. Case in point: Everything Vitalik writes instills more confidence in Ethereum. Even his Reddit posts.

This applies to your website too. It’s horrendous. I’m not exaggerating for impact either. It’s really that bad. Please have a native English speaker just read through it once. I’m happy to do this if you’d like.

Team

List your team on your website. If it’s there already, it isn’t easy to find. Make it easy to find. Be sure to include your educations and prior projects. List your advisers. List everyone involved. Strength of team is a HUGE (all caps!) deal to the smart money in crypto.

Developers

Priority number 1: Hire the best damn developers you can find from the best schools in China. Go to Tsingua, Peking, and Fudan, take the millions you’re currently sitting on and pay top dollar for some phenomenal devs. And then put them on the team page on your website. Because team, share price, money, more devs, etc.

Gimmicks

Your rebrand…heaven help us. Don’t do things like have everyone push a button that triggers a NEO logo reveal or whatever horse crap that was. It was gimmicky and cheesy and all around didn’t do anything to make anyone feel better about the team or the tech. It made you look like amateurs. Stop that. I think the share price dropped 10% at the exact moment you pressed those buttons. Don’t do gimmicky things.

Community

Shots about to be fired. The English-speaking Antshares/NEO community on Slack and r/antshares is a burning pile of rotten garbage. You need to take control and put in moderators that have technical chops. You need to delete all the mumbo-jumbo technical analyses and “moon talk.” It’s all worthless and it’s all garbage. I’ll say it one more time — if you want real, sustained price movement then you don’t need market talk (“OMG, we’re going to get a new exchange on board!”), you need technological improvement updates and actual use cases for the platform.

As much as I hate to admit it, this market and every other crypto market is largely based on speculative bets. And you know what drives speculative bets? News. And you know where people get their news? Reddit, Bitcointalk, Slack, Twitter, etc. If I’m you, I would be extra careful to make sure that the news people get isn’t typical pump and dump bullshit. That’s basically all we’ve got at this point.

Rebrand / Website

One more thing. You rebranded without rebranding. Your website didn’t change. Not sure who thought that was a good idea…but it wasn’t. It was a bad idea. You should have had a landing page for neo.org that was fresh and full of new, well written, information. Instead we see this, the old site with “NEO” and the subtext, “A distributed network of intelligent economy.” It should come as no surprise that the subtext is, in fact, not proper English. Perhaps “A distributed network for the intelligent economy” or “A distributed network for an intelligent economy.” Those are two options. They “read” correctly. Your version does not.

CTO

The CTO is the star here. He’s the Vitalik. He should speak more. Well, he should speak more if you want the price to rise. So you can get more money. So you can hire more devs. But I digress.

Let’s wrap this up…

I’m going to catch a lot of hate for this. I don’t care. You may think I’m being unfair. Fine. All I’m saying is this: if you do these things, even a few of them, you’ll see price appreciation which will dramatically help your long term prospects as a platform.

I have real money invested in you. Why? Because you’ve built a great platform with novel technology and tons of potential in a massive tech-savvy market that builds everything in-country. Even now, as the price plummets, I’m buying more. So I’m hoping for a massive outcome and I’m hopeful that you and your team can turn the ship around. I think you will. At this point, I’ve never been wrong on a big bet. Maybe this is my first big loss. I doubt it.

Jimmie S.

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