Community Update — February 23, 2018

Marketing updates, customer success and new team members.

Marketing Update

Our first functional smart contract is almost ready for launch, so we’ve been busy connecting with key influencers from YouTube, podcasts and news outlets to ensure we have a sizeable platform to talk about it after it’s released.

While we realize that marketing will be a key factor to our success, we’re also conscious of our brand — which is why we’re primarily looking to align ourselves with individuals and publications that we feel have a similar vision for the future of this industry.

We’ve also been working closely with an external designer to help us visualize the workings of our first smart contract. While the image below might not make sense yet, this is just a sneak peek at the visual style we’re aiming for.

Behind the Scenes: Check out the visual style for our first functional smart contract.

The next few weeks will be primarily focused on honing in our messaging, structuring our ad campaigns, conducting key interviews and polishing our contract in preparation for launch.

Product Development

Here are some updates directly from our dev team.

Dev Notes
This week we did a deep dive with our upcoming contract and worked out dozens of small user experience challenges:
- how we handle fiat conversion rates
- representing dates consistently across all timezones
- standardizing how we express ABI and Ethereum addresses
- ways to indicate blockchain progress to the user, as they wait for transactions to confirm.
- minor details like tooltips, error messaging, formatting, etc.
This UX work included some big questions and design discussions: what does the perfect user flow look like, how do we make concepts like function calls via transactions clear to new users, and how do we appropriately deliver technical errors that arise from interacting with the blockchain in a user friendly way.

Spearheading Support

If you ask any crypto holder about their most frustrating experiences in the blockchain space, they’ll likely tell you a story about how ‘X’ company completely dropped the ball on support + communication.

This ranges from unanswered emails, out of date documentation, ignored support requests and a lack of meaningful two-way communication.

This is something we’ve not only noticed ourselves, but have been on the receiving end of numerous times. Needless to say, it’s incredibly frustrating. While this appears to be a trend for our industry, we can assure you that this is not the norm for the rest of the SaaS world.

As we inch closer to the release of our core platform, it’s becoming more and more apparent that providing top-notch guidance, education and support will be integral to our customers’ success. To spearhead this, we’ll be building out a detailed FAQ for our software, as well as a robust support system to track and respond to customer requests quickly and easily.

Our goal is to not just build great software, but to make blockchain more accessible by empowering our community with the tools, resources and guidance needed to get even more value out of cryptocurrency.

Welcome, Adrian!

This week, Adrian Schneider officially joined the BlockCAT roster and has begun his integration into the development team. Adrian is an experienced programmer with a tremendous amount of professional practice in architecture, operations and testing.

The initial onboarding this week included:

  • deep dive on the current state of our codebase, providing us with a valuable “fresh eyes” perspective
  • building a path towards deployment operations, including Dockerization, initial cloud deployment work and a repeatable build process

I asked Adrian for his thoughts on joining the BlockCAT team.

Q. Why BlockCAT? 
One of the biggest reasons for joining BlockCAT is the sheer dedication of the co-founders. After meeting them and hearing their passion for the future of this technology, the best way I can describe their focus is ‘refreshing’ — especially after working in edtech the past few years.

Q. What is your history in product development? 
I started developing when I was 16, and after 10 years of contracting (and 500+ projects) I decided to join the FreshGrade team, where I was able to lead a product development team. My biggest areas of focus recently are in process automation and QA (testing, critical errors, hack prevention, etc.).

Q. When it comes to blockchain tech — what are you most excited about?
I would definitely say the ability to digitize traditional contracts and in due time, removing the middle-man. There is so much potential in automating the menial tasks and removing the possibility of human error from the equation.

That’s all for this week! Be sure to join the conversation in our Discord channel, follow us on Twitter or subscribe to the /r/BlockCAT subreddit.