Sponsy is a failed ICO that attempted to launch in the summer of 2018, according to the Financial Times. The proprietor of the crypto project currently has it listed on eBay for a price of $60,000 and says the firm’s biggest mistake was building a product first. Sponsy was intended to be a decentralized sponsorship platform, but the proprietor also openly says that the decentralized aspect isn’t critical.
The founder’s interview with Financial Times seems so over-the-top it could be trolling. Or, the burned-out Belarusian ICO creator, Ivan Komar, has no motivation to be less than honest. If he could go back and do it again, he told FT:
We would not have tried to build a product first, we would have tried to run a token sale as soon as possible, to jump into this crypto craze bandwagon, and raise as much money as possible before building any product. And that’s exactly what others were doing.
Because they fully developed the project, Komar thinks the project still has some value to an investor. He mentioned Bosch to FT as a company who might be interested in buying the whole project. One of the more significant mistakes Sponsy made was hiring a law firm, who advised them against rushing into a token offering. He firmly believes their primary mistake was missing the ICO hype bubble, and though he is probably right, his statements spell out a lot of uncomfortable truths about the year 2017.
During that time, it seemed anyone with the ability to write a whitepaper could gain funding in the millions of dollars. The overwhelming majority of ICOs failed to complete a product, or are still in the process of doing so, and most investors have never been made whole. Komar says:
We hired a lawyer and that was a big mistake for us. Because our lawyer basically told us that we should not launch any ICO before we built a real product that might have some users. And I asked him why, because I saw so many ICOs out there who did not have any idea for any product, yet they managed to raise tens of millions of dollars.
The auction includes all the documents you might need to run the ICO yourself legally. It also consists of a pre-built product. Don’t want to use blockchain? No problem. The product will work just fine with a centralized server, as Komar says:
The core business model would run just as well in the centralised world without any tokens or crypto or blockchain… They can easily eliminate the crypto functionality out of this. The core component is a platform — it doesn’t require any crypto or blockchain component to work. Just a typical, centralised server.
Ah, the uncomfortable truth about blockchain products.
Plenty of products designed for decentralized ledger technologies will work just as well in centralized models, if not better. The blockchain is not a cure-all. It’s best for systems where too much trust will get you wrecked: things like exchanges will one day be commonly run on blockchains.
Centralized cryptocurrencies are nowhere near as valuable or sought-after as decentralized ones – you can’t be your bank with someone else’s permission. Products which subvert censorship or the ability to own property on decentralized blockchains are also good uses of decentralized technology. But something as simple as a sponsorship application? The blockchain may hold it back.
If you decided to buy this eBay item, you would get everything from the minimum viable product to the whitepaper. You also get some assessments, coming in at 10s of pages:
Opportunity assessment – 57 pages long, 16k words: Includes competitive analysis, industry challenges, technical description of the solution, business model, biz model innovation, business model canvas, SWOT, market opportunity, traction. Business workflows are depicted visually. Extensive roadmap with detailed milestones and KPIs set. […] Traction of the project – 13 pages long: Describes software development progress with product photos and screenshots, covers social media growth. In text and Excel formats.
You also get 31 pages of market research, 35 pages on the technology, and a legacy of failure. The listing contains an inaccuracy about its social media presence. As FT pointed out, while they boast that “without exception” their posts get likes and retweets, the latest tweet from Sponsy had just one like. Perhaps their Twitter bot subscription expired?
Last modified: January 10, 2020 3:10 PM UTC