Forbole #6: Rejection, Review


Like most other startups, we have faced a lot of rejections by incubators, accelerators, VCs, advisors, government schemes, etc. Most of the rejections are simply “no response”. A few rejections will state some general reasons such as “there are a lot of applications…”, “we are prioritizing other investments right now…”, “not interested”, or  “we will pass on this investment opportunity” (actually this one is not a reason). But there is one (and only) rejection with a concrete reason which is so beneficial to us, and this has inspired us to review our plan for the next 12 months.

“You guys felt very excited about Cosmos but not as much about your project.”

One of our fatal mistakes was that we have spent too much time talking about Cosmos. Given the duration of the interview is only 15 minutes, we have failed to manage the time efficiently and we have no time to talk about Forbole.

What if we only have 3 minutes? Are we sure we can explain the entire concept of Forbole, which is composed of a blockchain (with staking token “Desmo”) and a social network (with contribution token “Phanero”)?

How to explain we have created an award-winning block explorer “Big Dipper“?

How to explain we are also on Polkadot?

How to explain we have spent quite a lot of effort on Cosmos?

To us, all the above are not optional. We treat them as the building blocks of Forbole. They are all dots that we will connect to become lines when the time has come. Let me explain a bit further:

  • We can transfer all our knowledge (and even the works we have done) in Cosmos to Forbole Blockchain
  • Forbole Blockchain will also need a community of validators and crypto-lovers. We are confident that the relationship we have built with all these Cosmonauts will speed up the development of our own community
  • Learning in the Cosmos community is an efficient way to become a competent blockchain entrepreneur

Still, we understand that these will obscure the visibility of our project. That’s why:

  • We have not scaled our team yet
  • We keep our expenses as low as possible (eg. US205 for a round-trip flight between Hong Kong and Seoul)
  • We raised fund from people who believed in us such that we didn’t need to spend time to persuade skeptics

A year ago, people should not be convinced by us when we only have an idea.

Half a year ago, people started to show some interest when we have made some progress and have come up with a dual-token model.

Three months ago, some more professionals have joined as our angels.

Bear market is the perfect time to show our resilience, tenacity and ability to execute.

Special thanks to that VC who has given us the chance for an interview and provided us with two precise and more importantly actionable comments. We hope that more institutions will provide reasons for rejections to startups such that they can review and improve.

Forbole #5 – BUIDL Seoul 2018

Not a typo. We believe that “BUIDL” will be recognized in Oxford Dictionary, sooner or later. We are excited to join this amazing BUIDL Seoul 2018 organized by KryptoSeoul. Special thanks to Lunamint for inviting us!

BUIDL Seoul Forbole

Korea is a Cosmos-friendly country. We have heard that there are over 10 Cosmos validators in Korea, which I guess is more than the entire Greater China Region. We are glad to be an early team in Hong Kong to join Cosmos community. We look forward to seeing more Cosmonauts in Hong Kong.

BUIDL Seoul Jae Kwon
Jae Kwon, Co-Founder of Cosmos, is talking about rearchitecting the blockchain ecosystem
BUIDL Seoul 03 Harriet Cao
Harriet Cao, Co-Founder of IRIS Network, on the topic “Interchain Service Infrastructure and Protocol for Building NextGen Application Blockchains”
BUIDL Seoul 04 Awa Sun Yin
Awa Sun Yin, Co-Founder of Cryptium Labs, on “Variants of PoS Networks and the Importance of Building a Strong and Engaged Community”

Just like our trip to Global Blockchain Summit in Shanghai two months ago, in Seoul we finally met some comrades, the fellow Cosmonauts we have known for nearly a year. They included Aurel of Dokia Capital, Martin and Henrik of, JayB and David of, Dongsam of B Harvest, Nodebreaker, etc.

Cosmos is such an amazing community that a group of seemingly strangers are working towards a same goal spontaneously. During the second day of the event, we know about the launching of gaia-9002 and hence we started to move and work on that:

BUIDL Seoul 09 Lunamint
Lunamint team
Aurel, Martin and Kafka (Lunamint)
Martin, Henrik and Kwun
Josh (Lunamint) and Kwun
Erica Kang, Founder and CEO of KryptoSeoul
Jae is sharing his journey with us
BUIDL Seoul 06 Lunamint
Peter Yoon, Co-Founder of Lunamint, is presenting their amazing Project Telemint, which is a messenger and payment application built on Cosmos SDK.

The after party was amazing in the sense that we have shown how gaia-9002 was running, live! (Glad to see Big Dipper was useful).

BUIDL Seoul 11 Gaia-9002
Josh is introducing the validators by showcasing their status on Gaia-9002 through Big Dipper.

We met some old friends…

BUIDL Seoul Cosmonauts

… and new friends

BUIDL Seoul Kakao


Seoul Gelato and the Hyperbolic Time Chamber of Cosmos

This was 4pm Nov 30 2018, Seoul time. After fixing Big Dipper for the late live show that night, Kwun and me (Terence) of Forbole, secretly walked out of Le Méridien Seoul, the base of BUIDL Seoul for another mission – searching for gelato.

Kwun on Big Dipper and Gaia-9002
Kwun on Big Dipper and Gaia-9002

But we are spotted by Kafka of Lunamint, one of the most active validators of Cosmos, a sponsor of BUIDL Seoul and a guardian angel for Cosmonauts.

“Where are you going?” Kafka asked.

“Urrrr…” I stammered.

“We are going to have ice cream.” Kwun saved me as always.

“See you guys soon!” Kafka replied.

We disguised him successfully. Ice cream is NOT gelato. We arrived at our target gelato shop and spent an hour there.Seoul Gelato

And this has made all the difference – for that the Gaia-9002 testnet is the Hyperbolic Time Chamber in Cosmos.

Hyperbolic Time Chamber 00
Hyperbolic Time Chamber

In the chamber, the inflation rate of Atoms is 1,000X of the normal level. An hour in the chamber is equivalent to almost a year outside. This is an amazing place for training Cosmonauts to fight in the upcoming Game of Stakes.

Missing some hours in the chamber does matter:

We need to transform to Super Cosmonauts. It’s time to enter the chamber again.

Cosmos is such an amazing community that a group of crazy strangers working together for the same initiative. Bugs and haters are everywhere, and they cannot stop us. Thanks to the amazing Cosmonauts.

Bitcoin Freefall

Forbole Newsletter #4 – Award

Nice! We have won a prize in HackAtom3. We have had a wonderful learning experience. The more we know, the more we know what we don’t know. Thank you!

By the way, the prize is USD5,000 equivalent of BTC. Timing is key… …

Bitcoin Freefall

Big Dipper  – Lead you the way to explore the Cosmos

We are excited to announce the launch of the Big Dipper (beta), a Cosmos explorer, and it is also our contesting project for Cosmos HackAtom 3: The Validator Series.

The Big Dipper is an opensource explorer tool to monitor the status of any Cosmos compatible blockchain using the BPoS. We aim to provide a better user experience with nearly real-time response to show different information and metrics in different aspects regarding the network. We utilize different endpoints from Tendermint, Cosmos SDK and the Command Line Interface to aggregate data into a single web interface.

Governance proposal details being updated on the Big Dipper in a very short time.

Currently, the Big Dipper offers the following features.

  1. Monitor the consensus status of the network
  2. View blocks created time and number of transactions
  3. Monitor the change of validating power
  4. Show short term uptime and latest seen time of validators
  5. Track proposals creation, details and status update
  6. Easy to switch colour theme with any Bootstrap CSS themes.

We do not stop here. We keep enhancing the Big Dipper to show more information about the Cosmos. Features on user registration, status alerts, WebSocket event subscription on transactions, Prometheus metrics integration, etc. will be available very soon. Stay tuned.

You are welcome to give us feedbacks and fork the project to run with your blockchains. Please visit the project Github.

Souvenirs from Global Blockchain Summit 2018 in Shanghai

Forbole Newsletter #1

Souvenirs from Global Blockchain Summit 2018 in Shanghai
Souvenirs from Global Blockchain Summit 2018 in Shanghai

Dear Bo-Le,

Thanks for your support to Forbole. As the number of our stakeholders are growing, it’s time to start our regular newsletter. Below is our recent progress:

  1. As of 30 Sep 2018, we have 12 individual investors based on SAFE. The latest valuation cap is USD1.5M.
  2. Our resources can support our development for the next 12 months, and invest in the network infrastructure we need.
  3. We have become an active validator on Cosmos (current testnet version: gaia-8001).
  4. We have developed the Big Dipper, which is a real-time block explorer on Cosmos Hub. Big Dipper helps people to keep updated on the status of Cosmos Hub.

The last 12 months was our age of enlightenment. We finally chose to use Cosmos, which aims at creating the Internet of Blockchains. And that has made all the difference. After joining the Cosmos community, our value and philosophy about blockchain have changed completely.

What’s next:

  1. Join Cosmos’s HackAtom3 and Game of Stake competitions
  2. Launch the beta of Forbole Referral Network
  3. Apply for blockchain-specific accelerators in Shanghai or Singapore

Thanks for your support. Feel free to follow us on Telegram and Twitter.