OST Community Heroes: Drew Thomas, Owner of Really Simple Store

In August, OST CEO Jason Goldberg wrote “OST Community Heroes: From ICO Purchasers to Alpha Development”, a blog post that followed up with original ICO purchasers developing on OST blockchain technology. OST KIT Alpha III yielded 92 successful proof-of-concept applications built by developers from more than 50 countries. In this episode, we follow up with community member Drew Thomas to share his experiences from the OST ICO to Alpha III and beyond.

What led you to OST?

I first heard about OST when I listened to CEO Jason Goldberg speak on This Week in Startups with Jason Calacanis. It was perfect timing for me, as I was just learning about crypto and blockchain. I had been earning Bitcoin on 21.co (now called earn.com). The podcast started with Jason’s background and startup journey, then the discussion segued to Simple Token. I thought it was a great idea and that Jason was the right guy to lead the project. I was instantly hooked and interested. I really wanted to be involved in crypto and participate in an ICO, but I didn’t even know what that meant at the time. That’s what motivated me to learn everything from purchasing Ether to setting up a crypto wallet.

The Simple Token ICO was professional and legitimate. They ensured that everything was legally compliant, something that many other ICOs didn’t do. I could see that in the future this could cause legal issues for non-compliant companies. I thought developing a token economy sounded interesting, but I didn’t think about it too much. I followed OST’s updates as I was really interested in what the product was going to be like.

How did you develop your use case?

I had an existing platform that I built for myself to use for building e-commerce. My clients wanted e-commerce integrated into their websites, but I didn’t want to build them a Shopify site as it would add monthly costs. I created Really Simple Store as a way for me to build e-commerce for my clients. I never thought of it as something I would release publicly. I participated in OST Alpha I, but it wasn’t until Alpha II that I developed my use case.

Really Simple Store Alpha II Proof of Concept
Really Simple Store Alpha III Proof of Concept

Once I started thinking about token economies and how they could help businesses, an idea sparked around Really Simple Store. I already had a working product. If I could implement something innovative that would attract attention and create network effects, why shouldn’t I go for it? So I went for it. I decided to integrate a token economy into my existing platform. In Alpha II, I implemented the token economy. I built a system in which one order splits into all the different store owners and everyone gets paid. Then I used OST APIs to make enhancements and improve the product as a whole. I think it’s very important for an app to be crisp and function properly when it’s ready to go to market.

What is Really Simple Store?

Really Simple Store is a dead-simple e-commerce platform that removes the barriers of online selling. Users can sign up quickly, it’s low-cost, and users can upload photos on mobile and list items instantly.

Tokens are an added feature between sellers and store owners. The users shopping on the platform don’t have to know anything about the tokens. Shoppers pay in U.S. dollars and they receive products as usual. Store owners can use RSS tokens as an incentive to sell each other’s products. Store owners essentially stake tokens to place their products in the marketplace. They can decide to sell another seller’s product in their store and if it sells, the seller keeps the revenue and the store owner receives tokens in return for selling the item. This offers hobbyists a larger audience for their products and store owners receive tokens that can be used to sell their items in other marketplaces.

What’s next for Really Simple Store?

I’m planning to launch stores in January 2019. I really want do a referral program before the stores open. This will help generate buzz and allow people to use unique referral codes to get free months when stores open. The first milestone in 2019 is the referral program. Then I will take user feedback and start preparing for the OST mainnet launch.

Be sure to follow Really Simple Store on Medium or check out the articles below:

Coming Up Next on OST LIVE: Mick Hagen

Mick Hagen is the CEO of Mainframe, which has developed a decentralized messaging protocol focused on productivity. He previously founded Zinch (acquired by Chegg), an ed-tech company connecting students globally with opportunities in higher education. Hagen will talk about building decentralized applications resistant to censorship, surveillance, and disruption. Subscribe to our YouTube channel or listen to the audio format anywhere you listen to podcasts, including iTunes, Stitcher, and Spotify. We’re also now available on Alexa! Simply add “OST LIVE” to your flash briefing.

About OST

OST blockchain infrastructure empowers new economies for mainstream businesses and emerging DApps. OST leads development of the OpenST Protocol, a framework for tokenizing businesses. In September 2018 OST introduced the OpenST Mosaic Protocol for running meta-blockchains to scale Ethereum applications to billions of users. OST KIT is a full-stack suite of developer tools, APIs, and SDKs for managing blockchain economies. OST partners reach more than 300 million users. OST has offices in Berlin, New York, Hong Kong, and Pune. OST is backed by leading institutional equity investors including Tencent, Greycroft, Vectr Ventures, and 500 Startups.