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.

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.