Talent Protocol Redux – Part 1: Getting rid of legacy

Talent Protocol Redux – Part 1: Getting rid of legacy

It's no secret that as we've grown and evolved, our product has become a bit... well, complex. We've been juggling maintenance of legacy features while trying to push out new ones, and it's been slowing us down. Some of these features have been with us since Season 1, and while some are a tough call, getting rid of legacy is a necessary step for our growth.

To improve our team’s performance, and reach our Season 4 KPIs, we created an internal project called Talent Protocol Redux. Talent Protocol Redux is about killing legacy, but also finding a new path for our protocol. Part 2 of this blog post will present a few experiments we’re preparing to bring more utility to the $TAL token, and more value to our members. It will also address our approach to launch the token in 2024.

To clarify, when we talk about “legacy”, we don’t mean bad features. Those are easy to spot. It’s mostly the cool features that are not essential for our Season 4 strategy, or adding a lot of value to our members. And because they seem to be good features, it’s hard to say goodbye to them.

Our primary focus for Season 4 is to double down on Goals. We want to make it incredibly intuitive for you to set SMART goals and make supporting talent both socially and financially a rewarding experience.


The most important features we’re saying goodbye to are:

$TAL rewards

Probably the biggest change we’re doing is to pause all $TAL rewards. This means we will stop distributing staking rewards for holding Talent Tokens, but both supporters and talent can still trade Talent Tokens for $TAL via the Wallet page, if they wish to do so.

We will also pause the Talent Token mint incentive. Close to 1,000 members received 2,000 of their own Talent Tokens when they launched. As you know, these Talent Tokens are collateralized by $TAL, so they are in fact another form of $TAL rewards.

The Talent Protocol team designed the Talent Tokens back in August 2021 and, until now, that token design remains pretty much unchanged. The initial goal was to leverage crypto as a way to build a closer relationship with talented people, while earning social and financial returns in some shape or form.

The foundational design decisions included: staking rather than buying, a fixed price model, a set maximum supply of 1M Talent Tokens, and consistent peg to $TAL. This meant that the benefit for token holders came from staking rewards, not price speculation. It was our attempt to design a system that incentivized cooperation, not competition. A place where success is collective.

However, as we progressed, several challenges emerged. The web3 onboarding process is still cumbersome, and the Talent Tokens' complexity makes them difficult to understand and maintain. The staking model neither financially rewards the talent nor incentivizes supporters to engage actively with talent. Additionally, the rewards system is intricate, lacks transparency, and is unsustainable due to its peg with the fixed-supply $TAL. The somewhat arbitrary 1M token supply and underutilized perks further underscored the need for reevaluation.

Given this scenario, and the fact that we've already invested 9% of all $TAL tokens in Community Incentives (which constitute 45% of the total $TAL token distribution), we decided it's time for a fresh approach to our tokenomics model. This will be Part 2 of the Talent Protocol Redux project, to be shared in our Community Call and in a follow-up blog post.

It's important to note that you will still be able to claim your rewards in the app until the end of Season 4, on 31st of December 2023. The distribution of new rewards will stop soon, but you have 4 more months to claim past rewards.

Perks

A perk was something of value that a talent offered to their supporters, i.e., people holding their Talent Tokens, as a way of fostering closer relationships. It could be anything from physical goods to digital content. However, as time went on, we noticed a trend. Despite the vast array of Perks talents created, a majority of supporters rarely claimed them. Sure, there were some user experience hiccups that made it challenging to discover available Perks, but the core issue was deeper. Many of the Perks simply didn't resonate. Supporting young talent is about believing in their potential, not seeking immediate returns.

We decided to run a little experiment by temporarily disabling Perks. To our surprise, only a handful noticed. This was the sign we needed. As of now, we've made the decision to permanently disable Perks and focus on what truly matters to our community.

.tal domains

The ".tal domains" project will sunset with refunds processed in USDC for all the members who purchased them. Despite being a complex project to implement and maintain, it made sense to promote the .tal domain as an interoperable web3 identity when our vision was building the web3 resume (Seasons 2 and 3). But given our refocus on goals throughout Season 4, and the fact that this project was still in its infancy with a lot of work ahead, we decided to abandon it and focus on more important battles.

Onboarding

Our onboarding flow (when you create an account) has changed quite a bit from season to season. Our previous approach was adding more steps to it, so that profiles look more complete from the get go. But we learned that it was creating unnecessary friction for people that were just curious about our app, so we decided to simplify it and reduce it to just 3 quick steps. We currently have other ways of nudging members to fill in their profiles, including Quests and a module for Profile Completeness in the homepage.

Simplifying the App’s UX

We're switching off the "Dark theme" option. This is mostly a vanity feature that requires constant effort to maintain. Less than 5% of members chose this option and, despite the fact that the light theme is the default option, we decided to kill the dark theme.

We’re also abandoning all the table views in the app and removing options from dropdown menus and footers. This should result in a simpler app and cleaner experience.

Reducing Connection Complexity

We currently have 3 different ways to support someone: subscribe to their career updates (offchain), stake on them by buying their Talent Tokens and earning rewards (via our staking smart contract), or sponsor them (via our sponsorship smart contract). This means we have multiple connections possibilities. You can be a staker, a sponsor, or a subscriber. Or you can be more than one of those things. Not to mention that the other person can also be subscribing, staking, or sponsoring.

From now on there’s only going to be two connection types: Subscriber and Supporter.

A subscriber is a passive member of your support network that opted in to receive your career updates. A supporter is a member actively supporting another member. Support can come in many forms, like sponsoring a goal financially, or giving thoughtful feedback to it.


In essence, these changes are all about focusing on what truly matters and ensuring Talent Protocol remains agile, user-friendly, and aligned with our vision. We're excited about this next phase, and as always, we're grateful for our members’ continued support.

If you have questions or feedback, please contact us on Discord.

Let's build it together! 🌟

Filipe Macedo

Filipe Macedo

Co-founder and CPO at Talent Protocol. Maker and marketer building mission-driven brands. ✌️ I'm also a 📷 street photographer by day, a 🎧  DJ by night, and a 🏀 basketball player for life.