Single player Hackathon: 6 projects in 6 days.
My name is Alexander Isora. I’m a web developer from the design company itmeo
and crypto enthusiast.
This year gifted cryptocurrency
a lot of attention. That’s why I call 2017 the cryptofever year.
Many entrepreneurs got drawn in by the allure of Bitcoin and the underlying technology. This led to:
- Tons of new ICO
- Tons of new coins
- Tons of web services and crypto-related apps
2017 taught me blockchain
as well. I’ve read endless Wikipedia and Medium posts about the technology and instantly fell in love with the idea of a distributed ledger 😍
Being an aspiring developer, I simply could not let the world-wide party pass by and decided to hop on the train. Fortunately, I still had 6 unused vacation days, so I decided to have some fun and set myself a goal: develop 6 cryptocurrency & blockchain related web projects in 6 days.
The goal was to create web projects that:
- Demonstrate the concepts and ideas I love
- Are either fun, useful or both
- Look good and has nice branding
It may sound impossible to create 6 complete websites within a single week. But if you take only one problem and accurately solve it staying focused on the problem, the results are always great.
Success demands a singleness of purpose — Vince Lombardi
That is why I was 100% confident I will finish everything in time: the motivation was at an all time high, the well of youth power was full, the skill is sharp. Let’s do this!
Day 1— Researching & Planning
I scoured the whole internet and collected a bunch of all the best apps, web services and tools and wrote short descriptions for each of them. That comprehensive list keeps helping even today. By the way, later I had populated it with a variety of other crypto resources of various types: media, chats, forums, APIs, guides and open sourced
Creating the list was crucial — it was my forest of inspiration. Staring at the lists helps a lot in generating new ideas. It’s like a moodboard for a developer.
Generating ideas in the Aladzha Monastery, Bulgaria.
Day 2 — CoinBuzz
Modern social network looks like a messy salad of 10 ingredients. You, as a typical geek, want to follow web news, science news and gadgets news. Let’s add something individual to your timeline: basketball and video games. Being a social animal you also want to know about your friends' and relatives' updates. Drop a topping of 10 cryptocurrency resources and I promise you are never seeing the important news. You just won’t be physically able to catch all the posts. There is a workaround: having multiple Twitter or Facebook profiles but it sucks by design. Sucks especially if you are a multilingual guy.
(I’m dreaming of a day social networks will pay more attention to geeks’ problems, but it will never happen 😁)
One of the solutions to the timeline mess is categorization. All the categorized timelines should then be represented in one stream of a certain category:
Black — cryptocurrency category news item, blue — videogames category news item, orange — basketball category news item.
There are some cryptonews aggregating solutions (like Cryptopanic
by Kaspars Sprogis
), but all of them miss one important point. Those tools unify their streams converting items into naked text. It’s a protest against the beautiful variety of social networks. My point is to keep Twitter Twitter with its GIFs, pictures and other embeds, keep Reddit Reddit with its supportive upvotes displayed et cetera.
So I wrapped this idea in a form of a kanban board (in Trello style):
The CoinBuzz UI.
Day 3— CryptoHackers
I love Indie Hackers
a lot because of its inspiring content. Besides, I used to enjoy reading interviews
more than regular articles. It’s much easier for one to answer a set of questions than create an article from scratch. Thus, the resulting content is more fleshy and structured
.Since the first time I visited IndieHackers, I wanted to interview someone, but I’ve always been delaying it. “It needs time and a right approach, I’m not ready yet!” — I said.
However, magic happens when you are CRYPTO FEVERED! 😂
Actually, what I was afraid of was that no one will want to be interviewed on an empty website. Who wants to spend hours writing an essay which will be seen by a couple of friends you will send it to?
Nowadays low-quality camera shots attract more attention than well-retouched polished studio photos. It feels more human and cozy.
I have emailed 10 crypto industry leaders: founders of the best apps, communities, web platforms and blockchain startups and invite them to be interviewed.
I was lucky enough to get four ‘yes’ responses. The conversion rate is 40%! It turned out that people are starving for a place to scream their thoughts, to share their vision and experience.
Today Hari‘s story
has been read by more than 600 times and it keeps growing. My goal is to post a new interview weekly and reach 5000 monthly visits by the end of the 2017.
Although I respect IndieHackers and very thankful for the inspiration it’s provided, I still don’t like the Courtland Allen
tendency to unify
all the questions. It is crucial
for an interviewer to find pain points, to provoke and cause feelings flow. Allen said in his blog that he has been focusing on unification since the beginning. I understand that point. No one wants to be spending days working on his side-project (unless you are CRYPTO FEVERED of course 😂). But what I see now is many curious and personalised questions appearing in the comments section, asked by the community, and it’s very interesting to read those!
IndieHackers readers tend to ask personalised questions.
Since IndieHackers already has a lot of active visitors, the logical continuation of this interest would be transforming commentators into interviewers and thereby enrich the content.
I think IndieHackers lacks good AMA functionality. It would be cool if active users could ask and vote for interesting questions, pulling them up from the bottom comments section. Visitors would thus be able to read more interesting questions and answers.Any thoughts, Allen?
Day 4— Altcoins Racing & QR
It’s a quite simple app. And it is both fun and useful. What Altcoins Racing does, is show the best gainers and losers for the past/hour/day/week. You can see which currencies have been the the most volatile and may present a good buying opportunity.
The main goal was to create an attractive brand, I wanted people to remember it since the first meeting. One good way to do a memorable app is a breathtaking illustration. I went to Dribbble and started seeking an A+ work.
The problem was that 10 of 10 Dribbblers disallowed using their designs. Sometimes it is hard to negotiate with designers, but the one who seeks will always find.I finally found Maxi, who allowed me to use his fantastic illustration (follow him on Dribbble
, he is damn good!).Cooking the code was a routine. Soon Altcoins Racing was ready.
Radical! 3 of 6 done 🏋 But I still have a few hours today. What project should I start next?
The biggest and the most useless QR code I’ve ever met.
I love the QR code concept a lot. It’s much simpler to share information in a form of a square image rather than an unremarkable text. A perfect solution for a Bitcoin (or another cryptocurrency) public key — address.
I have decided to create a cryptocurrency address QR code generator. The tool will be useful for website owners who want to accept BTC/ETH/LTC/DOGE as a donation. In the nearest future, millions of people will start using Bitcoins. As far as we know, more than 50% of Facebook users only login from a mobile device
. Thus one should not be a prophet to predict a global popularisation of mobile cryptocurrency wallet apps. Eventually, you will need a QR code to accept cryptocurrency from the crowd.
Day 5— CryptoChan
I love the concept of anonymous communication. While unnamed, people leave their masks and feel free. Although, freedom makes people nuts 🌰That is why imageboards
(like 4chan) need a lot of control and constant moderation.
Who may want to launch a capricious forum which needs a lot of promotion and floods your server’s disk with tons of images? You know the answer — a CRYPTO FEVERED 😂
So I’ve decided to create Crypto Chan
. It runs on the vichan
engine with some security and styling modifications. I have also injected the dollchan
. This monstrous script adds tons of cool features out of the box: like AJAX posting, autoupdating and drag and drop files uploading.
CryptoChan contains 16 crypto boards to discuss all things crypto.
Although the imageboard is technically 100% finished and already launched, I do not plan
to promote it and populate with attractive content. I simply do not have enough time to moderate the whole chan when new users start coming. If someone wants to rule a specific board or even the whole chan, please feel free to contact me.
Day 6 — CryptoList & Newsletter
There are plenty of cryptocurrency lists. The most noticeable certainly is https://cryptominded.com
by Dylan Damsma
. CryptoMinded today is far from a simple list of links. It’s a huge community including 1300+ members.
CryptoMinded, however, just like the other lists are under a risk of being forbidden. Simply because they all rely on one man, who may lose his motivation or simply lack time.
That is why I’ve created CryptoList. It’s an opesourced list of the greatest cryptocurrency/blockchain/Bitcoin-related links from all over the internet. It contains many tools, web/mobile apps, media, blogs, Mediums, Telegram chats, forums, APIs and much more stuff. Feel free to contribute a nice link
Every hour there are quattuordecillion of cryptocurrency events happen. Even if you simply want to follow essential news, you need to be a really tough guy having plenty of free time. The hardest thing is to jump into this news ocean and not get consumed by all the clickbait/junky/seo stuff that the most media use to publish daily. As to Twitter… Well, It’s near impossible to follow all the cryptoheroes on Twitter and catch important stuff.
I was always dreaming of a kind of superman who collects all the important links and Tweets, then filters bullshit. Then filters unimportant stuff. And finally, compiles a nice-looking short digest and sends right into my inbox weekly.
As you wish, Gandhi.
That is why I have founded CoinPride Club. It’s a weekly newsletter for the ones who need only the top, the most important, the most noticeable, the most exciting news from the huge crypto world. Zero hooey and zero ICO spam.
A secondary goal was to create a really sexy
landing page. This codepen
by Tim Holman was very useful. I loved the idea of the unbreakable network — its a perfect metaphor for the Bitcoin concept.
What I had missed
I must have created consistent branding across the projects. Since the root site
of all the projects has a leo on its logo, the master context must have been lions. Thus CryptoHackers would more aptly be named “CryptoLions”, CoinBuzz — “CoinSafari” and Altcoins.Racing in its turn misses two running lions on the main screen.
I still have plenty of things to do with all the projects. Each of them has its own roadmap and I will continue developing and improving.
Why did I decide to create so many apps and services instead of focusing on one thing like Hari Krishna did? Well, I always wanted to create all those projects, but have always postponed their creation. While surviving my CryptoFever I was given a strong impact, a feeling like it’s the time to start doing. That little impulse had released my energy and potential so I started creating.And I had created. All of them. And even some more. And jeez it took less than a week.
The lesson the crypto fever has taught me is that the right time to start the project of your dream is now. It’s a trivial thought, but — funny thing!— all those Medium articles are here to remind you the myriads of important little thoughts we use to forget.
Wish you to survive your crypto fever 🦁
Where to go next: