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A letter to Bountycaster

Start niche, Smart composability, & BountyGPT

To: Linda & Daniel

It has been a blast watching the both of you build Bountycaster the past few months.

As someone who is young in my career, I feel like I'm getting a free class on how to build a useful consumer product that people want.

I was fortunate enough to be one of the first (if not the first) user to give product feedback on Bountycaster v1. I've been following you (Linda) on twitter for years now and have been in constant awe of your writing and investing. The fact that you wanted feedback from me felt crazy. To me, it was a perfect demonstration of founders being truly humble and operating with a "day 1" mindset.

To me, the best thing about Bountycaster is that it is built on top of Farcaster. This has kept the go to market strategy so simple: engage with the active users on the purple app and see what use cases make sense to them. And then...build those use cases quickly. Need a new bounty tag? Ok cool. An answer on the FAQ doesn't make sense? Ok fixed. Additionally, by staying active on Warpcast, it's helped you two stay culturally aligned with the early users: "wowow" tag, $points to pay bounties, etc.

I know the classic lesson for founders to start with a hyper-focused user group is well established. But watching both of you implement it with Bountycaster was a fantastic case study on how builders should think about finding product market fit. Choosing to actively engage with the Farcaster network was a perfect example of working smart. Heck, the both of you even decided to keep an upper limit on the FID# that could engage with the product!

In reality, Linda, you have the following and network on Twitter where you could have easily brought a non-trivial amount of users from the beginning. But why bother building a new "Bountycaster community" when you can just bootstrap the product with a high quality open-source social graph that the Farcaster team has been working on for the last few years?

It also underscores the composability feature of crypto that so many founders talk about but don't actually apply in practice.

Elad Gil has a blog post from December 2007 talking about the 3 premises to building product - I think the both of you are nailing all three. Simple tool with the use of the AI bountybot, increasing virality within Farcaster, & fun to earn some cash.

Elad Gil

In just a few months of this product being out in the wild, I already find myself thinking "oh I can just make a bounty for this" in a variety of situations.

However, I am deeply nested in the Farcaster community and it's important to remember that Bountycaster is still far from spreading even to the crypto masses. Not that this process needs to be rushed, but it's worth noting there will probably be unexpected challenges as growth continues.

Dune

Right now, I know the user base is small, positive-sum, etc. but it'll be interesting to see how Bountycaster prevents the trolls and spams as the product grows. In regards to this point, I'm excited to see how onchain attestations & onchain provenance prove their purposes.

There's also the point of finding ways to ensure the tougher & more niche bounties are picked up. And making sure bounties are priced fairly as well.

Now, in terms of what's ahead. Here are some things I'm rooting for:

  • I'm excited to see the first anon earn a $10k on Bountycaster. This goes right into Balaji's pseudonymous economy talk from a couple of years ago.

  • BountyGPT: where users can input something like "I want to make $5k in the next month" and using your onchain attestations and history will go find work for you that adds up, doesn't conflict, etc. Eventually, earning on Bountycaster should literally feel like completing quests in a video game.

  • Hopefully, crypto founders start realizing that posting bounties is an awesome top of funnel marketing strategy to get users onboarded quickly. Check wallet --> if user hasn't interacted with dapp --> green light them for the bounty.

  • Product features such as customized user profiles, earnings dashboard, AI curators & matchmakers, retainer type bounties, etc. I don't know if all of these will be implemented but just fun to think about.

This letter is getting long, so I'll go ahead and wrap up here. For anyone who hasn't used Bountycaster and is reading this, I highly recommend just giving it a shot. Go post a bounty on a task you've been holding off or complete a bounty and get your next coffee paid for.

It feels fun, different, and there's clearly something brewing that's going to grow a ton very soon.

- YB

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