We have previously published a report about our private token sale. We have decided to close the private token sale two weeks before the original plan and distributed the tokens to investors on the 20th of December. The past one week has been a fantastic journey for us with remarkable achievements that I would like to share with all of you:
1. On the 21st of December 2017, aelf was listed on six exchanges, including Binance, Huobi.pro, Okex, CEX.com, BCEX, Bibox. I could not recall a project being supported by so many large exchanges at the initial stage from past experience.
2. We grew our community from less a thousand members to over ten thousand with healthy discussion on the project itself
3. We have established marketing channels, such as twitter, medium, reddit, etc. It enables us to communicate to a wider range of audience in the future
The reason I’m writing this reflection has three purposes:
1. To thank the team how far we have gone within one week. Their preparation before and dedication during the holiday season made aelf a successful launch.
2. To share my perspective with future crypto teams on the sweats and joys
3. To summarize my learnings and plan for 2018
From underground to public
We had a very humble start. Despite being highly recognized by top-tier investors in the field and successfully close the private sale within two weeks. We did a low-cap private placement only sale due to the fact that we want to get long-term investors in and reduce the complexity of KYC and compliance for the future. The team and advisors are convinced that this will be beneficial in the long term. However, it also brought us one challenge at the very beginning. Our project was not known to the public without any public sale coverage, minimum marketing campaigns, etc. That led to an initial aelf community with less than one thousand members before token distribution.
It is important to make aelf more visible to the public. Our team has worked diligently with different parties and different channels. Our marketing push on the first day of public trading was a huge success. We immediately doubled our community size within one day. We stayed our focus on explaining what the project is about. We were glad that the community acted with agility to spot us and the words started to spread. To ride with the good momentum, we constantly published articles about the background of the team, the technical aspects of aelf, and launched airdrop campaign. The combination of initiatives led to a daily growth of over one thousand community member and the growth is even accelerating!
How to best engage with the community
A large and active community is a blessing and important asset for any crypto project. To be honest, we did not expect such an exponential growth in the community. It brought up complexity managing the community, as tens of hundreds of messages popped up every minute and some are quite repetitive. It has become obvious that a proper management for the community is required. Despite of being short of internal resources, I was lucky to be offered with two options: 1. Engage professional agencies to run the community; 2. Promote community volunteers to help out and manage the community.
We had no doubt that professional agencies can manage the community well with some initial learning curve. We decided to go with the second option — Let the community manages itself. The reason is simple, we believe in our community and want to nurture it from within. We were amazed with the quality of questions that community members asked, both technical and commercial ones. In addition, it is motivating to see the amount of passion they brought into the community, taking leadership to be organized and helping out new joiners. I do not see any reason why we should not trust these people in our community.
The contributions do not stop at helping each other within the community. The community has indeed taken ownership of aelf, and helped the team to improve it. Since day one, they have shared their thoughts on where improvements can be done, e.g. contact Coinmarketcap and Blockfolio to capture information about aelf (we were one of the rare few which has been supported by exchanges much faster than being listed on Coinmarketcap). Diversity of skills have been offered from them as well, ranging from translation into Japanese language, to making creative marketing materials. Our team is a technology-focused geeky type. We are diligent and learning fast on how to educate the market about aelf. Those brilliant minds from the community is accelerating the process even more!
We have made it very clear in our white paper that the plan is to push aelf adoption in both technical and commercial horizons. A few key initiatives I would like to make happen together with the team and the community together in near future:
1. Launch biweekly/ monthly progress report to update the community and investors
2. Expand marketing exposure on YouTube, crypto media and mainstream media (this is already happening and we expect to see more happening after holiday season)
3. Grow community and diversify into major language groups (Our next target by Feb 2018 is to reach 50k community members with dedicated groups for Chinese, Korean, Japanese, German, English, etc)
4. Launch more initiatives to engage with community, such as bounty program (code name: Azeroth)
5. Iron out substantial partnerships and collaboration for both technical and commercial side
I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Looking into 2018, I’m more confident than ever that it will be really exciting for aelf project and its cohort!