3 Lessons Learned from the Santiment Presale

The Santiment presale was a big success, and we have our community to thank for it. We learned some big lessons in the process too. So here’s our recap and lessons learned that the Ethereum and blockchain community at large can apply to their own crowdsales.

Recap of the Santiment Presale

1. We aimed to raise a minimum of 4000 ETH and a maximum of 12000 ETH. We raised the full amount.

2. We hit 85% of our cap (10000 ETH) within 10 minutes. The remainder was filled within 2 hours (see the graph below for contributions over time).

3. There were several dozen participants and no large whales taking the entire capitalization (see the pie chart below for contribution sizes).

Here is the Santiment Presale distribution by percentage.

3 Major Lessons Learned

1. Fair Distributions are Good Distributions

One thing we were aiming at from the start was a ‘fair distribution’. For us that meant maximizing the number of participants, rather than the cap. There’s several reasons why we preferred smaller contributions.

Smaller contributions per participant mean more people are vested in the network early on. A major advantage for blockchain based business models is that they don’t ‘claim’ the market; the market IS the network and all value comes from them. Our hope is that an extremely ‘fair’ distribution will maximize success by building a network of users before the technology itself is even launched.

Here you can see we have a concentration of smaller contributors. Exactly what we wanted!

Second, the Santiment network doesn’t need just anyone; it’s targeted specifically at the crypto-trading crowd. We need sentiment from them, more than any other. So all our early marketing and outreach was focused towards key communities of traders. By bringing traders on from day 1, the Santiment trading community itself becomes an active participant in the development of the product.

Third, more participants mean a larger pool of vested community members. The Santiment slack has an active and civil trading community that’s growing by the day. In our trading channel we do technical, sentiment, and fundamental analysis of various projects. This constant dialogue creates insights on a daily basis. We hope to leverage these into an even more powerful product.

But the distribution could have been wider. For one thing, the presale sold out too quickly for most people. There was also the very real risk of a generous whale claiming the entire cap. There were some large whales in the presale, including ICONOMI, so we asked our local whales to limit their contribution size. This worked this time, but there’s no telling if it will work next time.

While many projects are content to sell out as fast as possible, we’d rather take full advantage of the network effect. With this in mind, we’re considering using an innovative new crowdsale structure that will put all contributors on an equal and fair playing field. We’ll cover that in a future post.

2. A Community-First Approach Gets Results

We have a funny attitude at Santiment: Put the community first. This isn’t just because it’s good for the business and stimulates the network effect; It’s because that’s how we’d like to be treated. You see, we’re traders and ICO participants ourselves. We know how it feels… the excitement, the nervousness, the rush! But at the end, we want the project to be successful for our own sake too.

That’s why we designed the presale with the intention of putting the community first. That meant:
A. Be totally transparent, public, and open to communication. Talk about what we do know, and be honest about what we don’t know.
B. Raise a low cap. We will prove our worth to the you. After we’ve proven our ability, and that we’re worth your trust, we’ll launch the larger crowdsale.

Safety, trust, and community aren’t instant. They can’t be bought. They happen gradually, through honesty and demonstrative goodwill. And that’s the way Santiment is going to operate.

3. The Community HUNGERS for Responsibility

It was a gamble for us to use this approach, especially with just 10 days to market our presale… yet it worked spectacularly. We got a TON of supportive messages. There’s clearly a demand for transparency… so why not give the community what they’re asking for?

We’ve taken the message to heart for our coming crowdsale. We can only hope that the rest of the community does too. With that in mind, we’re inviting the community to critique our model and improve on it. We’ve also given our blessing to anyone wishing to use our smart contract code, which can be found here: https://github.com/santiment/ethereum-presale-contract

If you’d like to get in touch with us to talk about our experiences by all means please do! The fastest way to get a hold of us is via our slack channel, found here: https://santiment-slack.herokuapp.com/

The secrets behind how Santiment will work are yet to come, so follow us to stay up to date!