Cover photo

100k higher, 1300 mints, 343 downloads, 25 winners, 1 week

It's time to BeOnchain! Terminally Onchain expands to an app

Welcome to the 476 new people who joined the Terminally Onchain community since my last post!

I'm thankful for all 7253 of you and I hope everyone is having a great week so far 🔥

If you're enjoying my writing, please share Terminally Onchain with your friends in Crypto and join the /toc channel on Farcaster 🤝


tl;dr

  1. In the last month, I launched an onchain game for the Terminally Onchain community!

  2. In 1 week of the game, the app was downloaded 343 times, drove 1.3k mints on Base, drove 1.5 eth in revenue to my hypersub, and had hundreds of people talking about it on Farcaster.

  3. Season 1 was just the beginning, I'm excited to build with the community and take "The Terminal" to the next level.

Hi everyone!

I know it's been a month since I sent out my last post. However, I wasn't taking a break from work...there's a lot that's been going on with the Terminally Onchain community and I'm excited to catch you all up today. I hope everyone is doing well and enjoying their summer so far ğŸ˜Ž

The last time you all got a post from me in your inbox, Farcon had just wrapped up and things were heating up in anticipation for Base's onchain summer. That was about a month ago.

So...what have I been up to since then 👀

Before I get into explaining the screenshot above, I think it might be helpful to share some context on how I felt post Farcon.

Obviously I had a great time at the conference and it was a blast being in LA for the week. I hosted an awesome pizza party for the Terminally Onchain community on Venice beach, I met so many online friends IRL for the first time, and it was incredible to hear about the variety of projects being built in the ecosystem.

And the best part was hearing so many people get excited about my newsletter & hypersub. It felt so freaking good to get compliments on my work from this past year.

But...part of me left Farcon feeling half bored and half filled with fomo. Let me explain.

Bored because I didn't want to come back to my desk, pick a project or hot topic in crypto, and simply write about it. Not that there's anything wrong with that. But I couldn't get myself to do it no matter how many products I tried getting myself excited about.

And the fomo part because I saw so many people building products in the Farcaster ecosystem that I wanted to try building myself. I always dismissed the idea of getting my hands dirty because I thought I wasn't capable enough to get it done. I'm not a "cracked developer" and I barely know how to use figma. So I just stuck to writing because that's what I felt most comfortable with.

But on a walk in LA with my close friend @salvino, he gave me this advice that changed my mindset:

If you have an idea that you are truly enthusiastic about, the only thing that matters is being high agency enough to get it built no matter what.

And with that, I felt inspired to just give it a shot. Why couldn't I ship a product out as well?

Below is the journey of how I went about the last month, what got built, the results, and what's next. I hope you all enjoy and find some inspiration to get going on an idea that's been in the back of your mind as well.

Sections in today's post:

  1. The Buildup

  2. Time to BeOnchain

  3. Season 1

  4. Metrics & Reflections

Let's dive in 🚀


The Buildup

Even after feeling inspired post Farcon, I was still going back and forth on whether I should just stick to writing a normal post or try something new. Then one day, as I was trying to draft a post, I got frustrated and decided to go on a walk.

For some reason I got pumped up and casted this without thinking...

Warpcast

I literally had no idea what it was going to be or what a "TOC client" even meant. But at this point I had publicly committed to building and that cast somehow got a ton of traction as well. People commented that they were excited to see what I would build and many folks even offered to brainstorm with me.

Fortunately, I noticed one of my friends Dylan commented he was also thinking about his own project. I've known Dylan since 2022 when he interned at Chapter One (my last job) so I messaged him and we decided to share notes.

The next day, I got on a call with Dylan and after some jamming, we decided to partner up on this TOC app idea for at least v1 and figure out the rest after shipping. Dylan is a fantastic developer and already deep in the weeds of the Farcaster developer ecosystem. It was a no brainer for me to have him on board. There's no way I could have shipped quickly myself...his coding speed is 10x faster than mine.

Initially, I thought the final product would be a token gated client of some sort with a feed that people would spend time on. But after the first day of speccing multiple ideas, at 1 am, something finally "clicked".

Warpcast

The truth is, it didn't make sense for to me to compete with Nook, Supercast, etc. All the teams cooking up these Farcaster clients were s-tier. To be honest, the last thing I wanted to do was convince people to scroll through another app. I knew that I wouldn't even use my own product. Rather, my focus was figuring out a way to build an "app" with the traditional iOS game vibe that focused on a different north star metric: retention by day.

Warpcast

So what's the idea we ended up building???


Time to BeOnchain

Simply put, the TOC app is an "Onchain BeReal" game.

For those of you that don't know what BeReal is, it's a social app that came out in 2020 and was just acquired for 500 million euros this past week by Voodoo.

Everyday, the app gives you a notification at a random time to take a selfie and send it to your friends. You have a 2 minute window to send it or else you miss that day's moment.

So for the TOC app, instead of selfies/pictures, everyday the app would send out a notification for the "Mint of the day". After the notification was sent out, players had 1 hour to mint it in order to keep their streaks.

Why have streaks? Because people love streaks! Think back to the Snapchat glory days in 2016 when everyone was trying to flex their friend streaks and see how high they could go.

And what's the point of having a high streak for this game? Well for season 1, which lasted 7 days, any Terminally Onchain hypersub member would be eligible for the 100k higher prize pool (sponsored by me)!

Meaning anyone could play the game, but only the highest ranked hypersubscribers could win. This served as a "perk" for my paid community members as well as a funnel strategy to get new folks to subscribe to the hypersub.

Check it out here

To me, the daily minting habit in this game was a perfect way to lean into the idea of being "Terminally Onchain".

It only takes 30 seconds to a minute and you build the habit of being onchain daily while also supporting creators and collecting cool work.

For season 1, I was able to get a group of 7 artists to collab with me for the game.

Zora

I gave each of them the following prompt:

Capture the feeling of what being terminally onchain means to you

And all 7 of them delivered incredible pieces! Everyone playing the game truly loved the art and it was amazing to see how quickly the squad above was able to put their art together.

Note: 100% of the creator rewards were given to the artists!

Zora Collection

So how did season 1 go?


Season 1

After I pitched this idea to Dylan, we got straight to building. I made sure to cast out daily updates of our progress and bring folks along for the ride.

It ended up taking us 11 days to ship the whole project (Friday May 17th - Monday May 27th)

Warpcast

Throughout the intense 2 weeks of building, I probably hopped on about 20 user calls to pitch the idea, get quick feedback, and continuously iterate.

The best part about this entire process was that I already had an incredibly helpful, high quality community to tap into!

They were so excited to help out and be part of the journey.

Our target for the launch was Friday, May 24th but had to push it back to the following Monday because we couldn't get some things working. Honestly, the fact that we were only 3 days behind on our goal was pretty impressive!

Naturally, with any project there are so many unknown unknowns. The real challenge was finding small hacks that basically served as last minute duct tape to make the game work and not overcomplicate things.

On Monday, May 27th, we launched the app as "phase 0" so that we could announce the idea, get folks to download the app, and do a test mint to make sure the flow worked.

Before I publicly shared the link with everyone, I onboarded about 20 folks myself that Monday. I literally just messaged the TOC group chat the morning of and was able to get that many people ready to hop on an onboarding call by lunch time 🤝

Warpcast

For the launch, I screen recoded me setting the app up which was a solid last minute call as it helped a ton of folks see exactly what they were signing up for before doing anything.

Warpcast

In just the first few hours after launching, we already had 100 people enter "The Terminal" (name of the app)!

And then Tuesday, the game started! By the time the day 1 notification went out, we already had 200 folks that had downloaded the app and enabled notifications 🤯

I had a post ready to send out on this newsletter to let everyone else know about the game but decided not to publish it because I was worried the PWA would break.

Overall, considering that the app was built in less than 2 weeks, most things went pretty smoothly. But there was a small cohort of people that were having issues with getting notifications or not being able to connect their wallet or their streak not updating on the leaderboard.

So for the following 3 days my DMs were flooded with all sorts of questions. I was basically a customer support agent for the rest of the week. But by days 4 and 5, most of the problems had either been solved or I knew the answer to the issues that came up.

In my head, everything seemed like a complete mess because I was dealing with all the chaos, but the most refreshing part of using Warpcast that week was checking the TOC channel or group chat and seeing people get so competitive and excited about the game! It truly made my week when I saw how much fun people were having with it.

Though it was a crazy week, I honestly enjoyed it so much! The number of people messaging me saying that they were having a great time playing the game and were so impressed by how quickly we got it together made the entire experiment a success in my head :)


Metrics & Reflections

Metrics

Here are the numbers that I was tracking throughout the project:

  • # of days to build: 11

  • # of app downloads: 343

  • ~125 people paying the game till the last day

  • # of mints from The Terminal (on Base): 1,300

  • Total creator rewards: 0.33 eth

  • 25 winners, 4,000 higher tokens sent to each (using gaslite)

  • Earnings from new Hypersubscriptions: ~1.5 eth

Reflections

Overall, a fantastic experiment! Definitely feeling a lot less bored now 😂

Things that went well:

  • I'm so happy that I just jumped into it and used the momentum from the community to ship as fast as possible. I was convinced that the only way to make the most of this experiment was to not let it drag on by any means --> it wasn't going to be perfect if I postponed by 1 or 2 weeks so the mindset was to just ship asap.

  • I didn't have to worry about GTM, product feedback, etc. Fortunately, having a community from my content has its perks. The only real challenge was getting the app out asap. In fact, as I mentioned above, I literally had to limit the community members I pitched to. If I had sent out the game to 7k+ newsletter subscribers, I'm sure the numbers above would be way higher. In fact, even the name "The Terminal" and the launch strategy came from the community.

  • I got so lucky that Dylan commented on my original cast and we were able to work together for the 2 weeks as a friend & contract developer (of course I paid him for his hard work!). There were so many learning issues that came up with the dev side, and it was amazing to see how calmly he handled all of them. To me, a bug is frustrating. To him, it's a challenge. And that was one of the biggest mindset shifts I took away in approaching development. Be curious about the error, not annoyed.

Things that could have been better:

  • Even though I gave us some breathing room with deadlines because I knew things would come up, it still wasn't enough! This isn't necessarily a bad thing because sometimes giving yourself too long also takes away from the "productive pressure" that comes with a deadline. But there were just other stakeholders (i.e. artists) that I had to work with and I felt bad messaging them about rescheduling / pushing back multiple times. Fortunately, they were all friends and understood how new this was.

  • It was a tiring 3 weeks! As you may haven noticed, I didn't have time to send out any newsletter posts out or do much else work wise. After season 1 ended last week and I paid out the prize pool to the winners, I was sooo exhausted. Pretty much took off the latter half of last week just to recharge and go touch grass.

  • I realized it sort of late, but I wish I would have put together a small screenshot of frequently asked questions about the game so that whenever I got DMs with issues I could have forwarded that to them. The amount of time helping folks out was a loooot more than I expected. No regrets but I could have been more efficient for sure. It was just tough because I was bombarded with messages right after the notification was sent out each day.

With that being said...what's next for the app?

The honest answer is that I'm not sure myself. I have a few ideas but the next step I'm taking is doing user interviews with people who enjoyed (and didn't enjoy) the game next week, collect some data, and see where it makes sense to lean into.

In next week's post I'll provide a more clear picture as to what's next for The Terminal. The game was just the hook to get people excited to try out a new product. But what's next? Maybe the same game or a different game or no game at all. We'll find out in the next few weeks!

If you haven't checked out the app yet, give it a try here: toc.fun!


That's all for today, I hope all of you have a great weekend - see you all next week!

- YB

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