The platform is not a one-piece thing, it is not a car you are buying, but an evolutionary organism composed of many modules that give its own affordances to authors and readers.
In this article, I will advocate a piecemeal delivery approach that will allow Publica to launch earlier and in general coincide with the evolution of its community of users — authors and readers.
First, let’s recap the main affordances Publica is providing to its users
- authors are assisted in spreading their message about their next ebook being crowdfunded on the blockchain
- authors are assisted in deploying their eCommerce on the blockchain — smart contract selling tokens instead of books
- readers need Publica wallets to buy PBL tokens and pay with them for READ tokens with ease. Note, that each author will have its own contract for every single book — each book has its own token e.g. READ-BOOK1 or READ-51-SHADES-OF-GREY
- further, authors need publishing module to actually submit, edit, format their literary work and deploy it to Publica storage that will be in the cloud to start with an eventual move to decentralised immutable storage, tamper and censorship free
- only after this happens, reader wallets should be upgraded to have e-reader affordance to actually use their READ token from a particular book to access it from the storage
- at some later point in time, the community will need a PBL-READ token exchange, decentralised, just like EtherDelta, but surely with a bit better UX!
As you can see these affordances evolve over time — we do not need all of them at once. Even can say more — it will hurt having all of them released at once effectively having a platform with zero authors and books…
What is the solution then? How do we solve chicken and egg paradox proprietary to all platforms?
Publica suggestion is to release precisely the first step authors need to take on the path to a successful ICO of their book or crowdfunding on blockchain as we call it.
Specifically, it involves so simple things as author registration and personal profile set up. Such page features things traditional to an ICO e.g. project — book title, description, download of first chapters, previous works of the author, potential plan to attract professional editors or other people making a success of the title more probable (think about ICO advisors).
Book funding budget, delivery time and links to all social channels, community building areas need to be prioritised. It can also contain some token economy setups like READ token price during the presale and the price to be charged when the book is ready as well as the author may grant “grace” period when the tokens to access ready book will be only purchasable from the community of early buyers.
Technically, it means that we have to work on a piece of technology not even related to blockchain or smart contracts — just simple registration and crowdfunding page builder. While technologically trivial, we have to be in constant sync with authors to calibrate and iterate till the moment, when we see that they literally RUSH TO HAVE IT and once set up, it is actually used for igiting their network of fans and supporters.
What is the next step?
It is smart contract deployment engine. Once an author will be clear with an economics of his or her upcoming book, it will be translated to a smart contracted deployed by Publica, but having an author public key set up there as an OWNER. We will deploy it to avoid author pay for gas, while we will, of course, let author export the private key associated with his profile (we will create public and private key ourselves at the moment of registration unless the author wishes to import his or her own).
And shortly after we need to let author distribute the news that in order to participate, the community has to download Publica wallet that provides seamless connection to an echnage. We think about automation of user account creation with a liit of say, USD 200/year for Publica readers.
Once this three things are done — first, author has registered the book ICO campaign and ignited community, second, author has deployed smart contract, and third — the fans have downloaded the wallets with a wish to support the author buying tokens — voila, organic demand for PBL tokens surfaces.
What is next?
Eventually, author has to finish the literary work and Publica dev team has to finish publishing module. Hope we win the race and there will be no authors waiting for us to deploy their work into Publica storage ;)
Once done, and wallet apps are enhanced with readers, authors announce to their contributors that it is time now to upgrade to actually start reading the much awaited work!