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Be a Kingmaker, not an Influencer

A letter to Terminally Onchain

Welcome to the 56 new people who joined the onchain letters community since Sunday night!

I'm thankful for all 1226 of you and I hope everyone is having a great start to the week 🔥

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

A letter to Terminally Onchain:

It's been two weeks since I launched my hypersubTerminally Onchain. For those who missed that announcement, you can read about it in my previous post "$6,689 raised in 12 hours".

Overall, the hypersub has totally surprised me. I had no idea it would gain that much traction and so many people would pay actual money to join the community.

So far we're at 123 members and have earned over 2.5 eth.

Terminally Onchain

I put out the announcement a few hours before my flight to Europe and was shocked to see the number of friends subscribing and giving me shoutouts. On the plane, I was praying that my shitty United wifi would work so I could watch the feed.

It was so awesome to see that kind of love. I'm truly grateful for all the amazing people I've met on Farcaster in the past 2 years.

One of my Farcaster friends, @iSpeakNerd messaged me asking how I had planned the launch and timing of the hypersub. And I responded that there was no grand plan. The only reason I even launched it was because I wanted to write a post on Hypersub but didn't have enough context so I decided to just experiment.

That week I spent time studying the previous launches and jammed with a few friends on what I thought would be cool. But really, I didn't care too much and just wanted to get it out there so I could talk about it in my letter to hypersub 😂 Heck, I came up with the tagline "ClassPass for OP stack" the night before and was like "hmm this sounds cool".

What's wild is that Terminally Onchain is now an actual commitment!

In today's letter, I'll cover what I've shipped so far and my thoughts on the road ahead. Think of this post as a product brainstorm - my goal is to build in public and I'm excited for all of you to follow along.

Sections below:

  1. Navigating the idea maze

  2. Providing value, Increasing Retention

  3. The first month

Let's dive in 🚀

Navigating the Idea Maze

Recently, Balaji’s idea of navigating the idea maze has been hitting a lot harder.


When I first started my creator journey more than a year ago (I had two newsletters before onchain letters), I always banked on the fact that it would be a straight path to success. Meaning, I would write a ton, grow my subscriber count, and then do sponsorships…easy peasy right?


The topics I picked didn’t stick. The format didn’t stick. The platforms I used didn’t stick. The name didn't stick (OG supporters remember The bigger picture?). Heck I even switched over to a podcast and private consulting for a bit.

Over time, I realized that if I wanted to build a media empire then I needed to come up with my own model. And the path to figuring out what works would be no different than a startup founder iterating to product market fit.

Now, the reason I bring this is up is because in the past two weeks I was feeling pretty stressed about terminally onchain. Many times on my trip I had the thought “why did I launch this” it’s gonna ruin my newsletter flow. And I had to remind myself to zoom out - nothing I've done so far has been a straight path.

The reality is that I need to be open minded about how I view my work. It could be that Terminally Onchain is a much bigger business than I'm even thinking about right now.

Instead of worrying about how everything will pan out, I just need to focus on making my next turn that doesn't lead to a dead end.

The question that is top of mind for me is, how can I integrate Onchain Letters and Terminally Onchain so that they both feed into each other and make a whole business?

Honestly, I have no idea where this will take me, how it will work, etc. But I guess that's how it's supposed to be right? The only thing that matters is I continue trying to get further into the maze as fast as I can.

That means A) I continue meeting my commitment of writing 3 posts a week for Onchain Letters and B) I follow up on the promises made to my hypersubscribers.

If I can continue to show up, iterate every week, and experiment with the feedback loops between the newsletter and the hypersub, then there’s no doubt I’ll find something that clicks.

The only reason the terminally onchain launch went so well was because for 3 months straight, I publicly made a commitment to post 3 onchain letters a week and I followed up on it even when it was hard. Or simply put, I built trust over time with my audience - they know that I’ll show up.

With that being said, let's dive into how I'm thinking about all this.

Providing Value, Increasing Retention

Recently, it's been awesome to see Hypersub take off. So many creators are launching different subscription services.

But let's be honest for a second. Most people that launched hypersubs so far got the initial momentum because they have a following on Farcaster and a ton of friends in the space ready to support them.

Here's the thing though. The entire concept of this product is time based subscriptions. Meaning eventually these subscriptions will expire. And it's only been 2-3 months of this product even being around! Meaning, there's not enough data on the long term sustainability of the Hypersub model for creators.

Initially, my mind naturally went straight to thinking about how I can get more and more subscribers. But that's the wrong mindset.

The most important metric to focus on by far is subscriber retention rate.

How can I provide enough value so that people want to stay in the community?

In 15 days, all of the folks below will churn unless I can prove to them that it's worth staying and extending their memberships.

This week, I spent a lot of time overthinking what partnerships I should do, how the perks should look like, if an idea will be liked or not, etc.

But that's a time sink...and time is everything right now! So instead of trying to swim in ideas, it will be a lot more useful for me to just be in the arena.


If I ship a ton of value these next few months, there's no doubt people will stick around. In my opinion, patrons are more interested in following the journey and sticking with a creator who will do anything it takes to serve the community.

Of course, some will naturally leave. And that's okay as well.

Kevin Kelly has a fantastic essay Better than free where he discusses how humans want to be part of a community and crave that sense of belonging. Why? Because in a age where everything is becoming free, most are hunting for authenticity.

Better than Free

If there's one thing I've learned from my newsletter journey is that if you are consistent over a long period of time and try to improve/listen to feedback, there is no doubt you will grow.

The truth is everything is a numbers game at the beginning of a new journey. There's no way I give "perfect value" to my community right from the start. But if I try a lot of things, eventually one kind of perk will click and I'll know when it's time to double down.

Okay, so if that's the case. What am I doing right now to prove the value for Terminally Onchain subscribers?

The first month

There's 5 things I wanted to quickly discuss in this section.

  1. Token gated onboarding doc

  2. First airdrop & Building in public through my Zora page

  3. ClassPass Partnerships

  4. Distribution through Onchain Letters

  5. Monthly value add "LP updates"

Token gated onboarding doc

On Tuesday, I shipped a subscriber only doc for new Terminally Onchain members. The doc is hosted on Onchain Letters - that's why you all didn't receive a post in your inbox on Tuesday. Try clicking on the link below, you won't be able to access it unless you have the hypersub NFT.

The onboarding doc gives members access to:

  1. A private Warpcast group chat

  1. Access to a token gated form where subscribers can fill out requests for distribution services

  1. Access to the community rolodex

First airdrop & Building in Public

On Wednesday, I launched the Terminally Onchain Zora page!

Terminally Onchain Zora

Additionally, I airdropped the first NFT to my hypersubs! The mint was called "gm Terminally Onchain" and it was a collage of all the pfps in the community.

My goal with this Zora page is to truly build in public by building onchain. Anyone should be able to go to this page and know exactly what the community has been up to.


I also bought the domain but I'm not sure what I'm going to use it for. I think as a start, I'll probably just have it redirect to the hypersub page.

ClassPass Partnerships

This past week, I locked in 4 partnerships! I'll only talk about the first one here since it's happening today.

In a few hours, with the Neynar team, I'm experimenting with a "public read, private write" AMA.

Note: if you don't know what Neynar is, check out my letter to them Hivemind-as-a-service & the Farcaster cloud.

Before Farcaster launched frames and things were a lot quieter on the app, I used to host AMAs. But I stopped the week after frames launched in January because so much changed overnight and I felt disoriented.

The goal of this AMA is to give Terminally Onchain community members a chance to participate in something that's only for them and give a sense of "early Farcaster vibes".

Also, the Neynar team offered to give 10 subscribers 2 months of free API access!


Distribution through Onchain Letters

On next Tuesday's post, I'll be trying out a quick experiment.

There were a couple of folks that filled out the token gated form (mentioned above) for distribution services.

My goal is to do these in a way that's high quality and shows intentionality. Initially, I was thinking I would just slap the link at the top, but I don't think that drives conversion rates and it doesn't seem high value to the Onchain Letters subscribers.

Instead, my plan is to pick 3 of the form submissions and actually put thought into how I present them on Tuesday's post.

I'm not 100% sure how I feel about this just yet and what subscribers will think. But the best thing I can do is just try it out once and see what happens.

If folks enjoy it, then we'll continue. If not, I'll figure something else out.

Monthly value add & LP updates

Around the end of the month, my plan is to write an e-mail to all my subscribers showing them exactly what I've shipped for the month.

Think of this as like a "LP update" that I'm giving out to the community.

The value add should be clear and ideally that e-mail should serve as a no-brainer call to action to resubscribe!

I'll let you all know how it goes in ~2 weeks.

That's all for today's letter! I'm excited to keep all of you updated on Terminally Onchain and am grateful for everyone who is joining me on the journey.

I hope everyone has a relaxing weekend 💤

I'll see you all on Sunday :)

- YB

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