Building in Web3: Talent Protocol Season 1 Wrap Up
From Zero to One (May-Oct)
Our story starts almost a year ago, in May 2021, after the founding team realized how blockchain could impact the world of work.
The mission was clear from day one — to use the power of web3 to support undiscovered talent and reward early believers — but the execution not so much.
We’ve been fortunate to receive a ton of help and useful insights from dozens of early supporters and a few accelerators: EIT Digital Venture Program, Alliance DAO, Launch House, Celo Camp and Kernel.
Two of the most memorable moments from our pre-product stage (~6 months) were: 👇
SEASON 1 (Nov-Feb)
Wait, what’s a season? 🍂
A season is a specified period of time with predefined rules and goals. This iterative methodology allows us to improve the product faster, by executing structured experiments. Future seasons will take into account the learnings from previous ones, building on top of what is working and fixing what isn’t.
Stealth Mode: On 🥷
The private beta version of Talent Protocol was deployed on Celo mainnet in November 2021. It was a closed environment that required an invite to access. The main goal was to get feedback from real users, who were investing real money.
Early adopters were mainly digital builders and ambitious knowledge workers that believe web3 is the future (think founders, engineers or designers). As beta testers they earned more rewards and had access to our community token $TAL at a discounted price.
Product: A Social Token Platform 🪙
This first iteration of our product was a simple tool and safe environment where Supporters could browse talent profiles, send DMs and buy talent tokens. Talent could do all this, but also create a personal profile and launch a talent token (receiving $200 in tokens). All active users received rewards in the $TAL token since day one.
Tokenomics: Staking instead of Trading 🏦
The staking model is almost like a private sale, where everyone is able to buy talent tokens at the same fixed (and discounted) price. Buying at this stage acts more like a reputation system, where you’re vouching for a talent.
The incentives to buy come from 1) the rewards in $TAL distributed by Talent Protocol and 2) the possibility of making a profit when the token price is no longer fixed (coming on future seasons).
But why Celo? 🌲
- November: we won silver medal 🥈 at Celo Camp Batch 4 that had 70 participants.
- December: after an initial $350,000 raise in the summer, we raised an additional $1.3M at a $20M valuation, securing a 2-year runway to grow the platform. Current investors include angels like Alex Masmej, Diogo Mónica, Jason Choi and Hiten Shah, and organizations like Protocol Labs, Panony, Good News Ventures, Global Coin Research and Flori Ventures.
- January: we reached +100 talent tokens launched before 2021 ended.
- February: we were the second-fastest-growing protocol on Celo in TVL.
- March: we crossed $350,000 in TVL before ending Season 1.
In Season 1, which lasted 4 months, a total of 220 talented individuals launched their talent token on Talent Protocol. There’s still 8,078 in the waitlist waiting for an invite, but we already welcomed 18,520 beta testers, from which 11,388 connected their wallet and 856 actually invested in talent (5% activation rate). These 856 active supporters staked a total of $355,529, meaning an average of $415 per supporter and $1,616 invested in each talent.
Snapshot on March 6th:
- Tokens Launched: 220
- Total Users Registered: 18,520
- Users in the Waitlist: 8,078
- Users with Connected Wallet: 11,388
- Active Supporters: 856
- Activation Rate: 5%
- Total Value Locked (TVL): $355,529
- TVL per Active Talent: $1,616
- TVL per Active Supporter: $415
Talent Protocol is rooted in the belief that openness and transparency are better for the world. That’s why we’re fully open-source, building in public, and on a path to progressive decentralization. We currently work as a semi-centralized organization with a Core Team, backed up by an extended Team (that includes our investors, advisors and contractors) and our Community members.
- Subscribers: 24,469 (email) + 7,270 (Twitter)
- Members: 5,623 (Discord) + 2,807 (Telegram)
- Extended Team: 109
- Core Team: 7 + 2 full-time contractors
A token is not for everyone, but can be life changing for many 💫
We believe social tokens are one of the most powerful tools in our career toolbox. But not everyone wants to put themselves out there, be vulnerable and share their dreams publicly so that everyone can join them on their journey.
A social token will be most useful for purpose-driven people who have a growth-mindset. The dreamers, the builders and the high-potentials who need a support network around them to achieve their ambitious goals. We’re still so early, but we’ve already witnessed how talent tokens can trigger a big mindset change, and bring much higher levels of accountability and engagement.
Community power 🧠
There is something about having a community around a product. They always push you to be better — they keep you on your toes, remember things you don’t and bring a fresh perspective. You also don’t want to let them down and come out with something they can’t be proud of, the stakes are high. In web3 everyone talks about community, but living it is completely different from reading about it. Every community moment, good or bad, has been productive for us.
Intrinsic motivation beats friction 💪
Our initial hypothesis was that our early adopters would be web3 natives. We were wrong. Some of them joined, of course, but the ones most excited about launching a talent token for their careers are actually coming from web2. We call them the “web3 curious”, and their intrinsic motivation is just staggering.
Web3 onboarding is complex, confusing and full of barriers. Talent Protocol is no different, especially in these early days. But people still find the motivation to understand what a wallet is, top up their account with a stable coin (cUSD) and launch/buy talent tokens.
Time flies (and so does code) ⏱️
Since late September, we have had close to 600 code changes and our product is almost unrecognizable, in comparison to the alpha version. Most of us are used to the startup pace, but web3 it’s a whole other level. We’re both surprised and proud about the speed we’ve been able to deliver and grow.
Plan for upgradeability
The issues and ideas we had 6 months ago are very different from the ones we have today. Everyone always says to plan for scaling but we think the best mindset is to plan for upgradeability, if it’s easy to build on top of it and adapt to the ever changing needs then you’ll be able to adapt to the needs.
Talent Testimonials ⭐️
See you on Season 2.
Let’s do this!