Project image
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$13,102
pledged of $200,000pledged of $200,000 goal
22
backers
7days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Fri, May 31 2019 6:20 AM UTC +00:00.

$13,102
pledged of $200,000pledged of $200,000 goal
22
backers
7days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Fri, May 31 2019 6:20 AM UTC +00:00.

About

Background

The state of social networking is abysmal! You can't go a day without hearing about some kind of scandal. Whether it's data being lost or misplaced, users being experimented on or manipulated, foreign actors influencing elections... we are in a Crisis of Trust!

Today's social networking apps make YOU the PRODUCT. We are here to change that! We want to build a social network and make YOU the CUSTOMER. Using Humane Technology principles, we want to build a modern, social networking experience that is people-controlled and fully transparent... 

Betawave: Social Networking on Core Values

What are your core values? Do you value health? Family? Career? What are your goals for the year? What kind of change do you want to see in the world? 

Betawave is a premium (subscription-only), social networking experience that will connect people based on core values. We want to create a fun, compounding force for lifting up and supporting one another. In a divided world, we need, now more than ever, a solution that guides people to mindful interaction, empathy and compassion.


What Your Investment Will Do

Your support will enable us to develop and bring to market the first version of Betawave. As a Kickstarter supporter you will get early access to the product starting this summer (August) and will have an opportunity to shape the product with your feedback and votes. Betawave will remain private to Kickstarter supporters until our public launch (anyone can signup) in January 2020.

To read the full Betawave business plan, continue reading below or download the whitepaper.

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Betawave V2MOM:

Vision 

To create a premium, alternative social networking experience, built on a system of core values with the goal of freeing people from manipulation and enabling a space for connection and expression. To create values-based digital communities for the people, grounded in mindfulness, humane design and civic responsibility. Ultimately, to create a service that is a positive force for good, spreads joy, and makes the world better offline. 

Idealistic Vision: To eliminate loneliness. To accelerate the move away from the monetization of attention economy and towards one of empathy, compassion and mindfulness.

Values

TRUST is #1 - Nothing is more important than the trust of our citizens (traditionally “users”), employees, community and stakeholders. Our values will apply to both how the product will be built as well as how the company will conduct business. These top 5 values are all grounded in Trust at their core:

  • #1. Security & Privacy
  • #2. Equality & Diversity
  • #3. Transparency & Honesty
  • #4. Mindfulness & Humane Design
  • #5. Civic Responsibility

Methods

  • New Business Model / Freedom from Manipulation - Required paid subscription instead of Advertising. Maximize value while minimizing time investment, eliminating the monetization of attention. $5/mo or $50/year standard citizenship. Kickstarter supporters free for 1 year after GA, $1/mo for life after 2021. Student discount $1/mo or $10/year. Valid 503c Non-Profits get Betawave for free. Advertising is non-existent or dramatically secondary: cornered off in an opt-in section / never intermingled with citizen content. (#1, #3, #4, #5)
  • Security & Privacy is the Default - Citizens own their data, not Betawave, which includes content and metadata derivatives. Data can be hard deleted (“purged”) or downloaded. Data is not allowed to be shared with 3rd parties. Betawave is essentially a Closed Platform Service Provider. No API partners or data sharing. No non-human actors (robots) in the system. Posting options assume privacy and allow citizens to progressively disclose. (#1, #3, #4)
  • Company Culture, Equality & Diversity - The team that builds and operates Betawave will maintain 1:1 ratio of women to men, with first hire being a Chief Heart Officer. Product is accessible for the blind and deaf. Restrooms are gender neutral. All tables in the office are round. Dog owner and cat owner benefits are treated equally. No open floor plans: balance of places for privacy and places for social interaction. Giving back. Adopt the Salesforce 1:1:1 model and augment it to “10:10:10” -- 10% employee time on personal growth - 10% employee time volunteering / giving back to the community - 10% of all membership fees from service are donated to charity. (#2, #3, #4, #5)
  • Product and Operational Transparency - Terms of Service are replaced with big, bold, easy to understand rules and Bill of Rights. Voice and tone of product persistently explains how things work: nothing is presented via black box, information as-is (no algorithm) is the default, recommendations will always show a “Reason” and recommendation algorithms are always open-sourced. Experimentation on citizens is strictly prohibited unless there is direct opt-in consent. Betawave will not make changes to the product without publishing exactly what changes were made and when. Our product roadmap will always be public and will have a mix of effort: 50% are features/changes voted on by community, 50% reserved for Trust and Betawave team discretion. Your $5/mo membership fee will be broken down by how that money is spent and part of it goes to having a vote on what we build next. (#3)
  • Product and Mindfulness / Humane Design - Product is maniacally focused on maximizing value while minimizing time in-app. New features go through a Humane Design filter TBD and a Mindfulness filter TBD. Citizens are required to donate 10% of their membership fee to a charity of their choice and we make this easy to do in the app. By using the product for a few minutes a day, overtime you develop mindfulness skills like gratitude and giving back. (#4)
  • Product and Civic Responsibility - We do not call the people who use our service “users”, we call them “citizens” because to do so otherwise is dehumanizing. As a citizen there is a Citizen’s Bill of Rights. You have the right to vote on what we build next. You have the right to know how we change the product. You have the right to vote on content and how it should be treated. The system has its own democracy for removing and moderating content per region. With great power comes great responsibility. Support your fellow citizens because we’re in this together. (#5)
  • Minimizing or Eliminating Loneliness - Social networks solve a fundamental human need to connect with one another. However even though we're getting more connected, loneliness is on the rise. Focus on creating magical moments of connection to help those in need and to spread Joy. See also: The Book of Joy. (#1, #2, #4)
  • Enabling safe, low/no risk Freedom of Expression - You can be whoever you want to be here and it doesn't necessarily have to be tied to your real world name or identity. Being able to easily "switch personalities" or to be anonymous should be simple and easy. Vote counts are private until the original poster makes them public. Post anonymously, and then add your personality to the post later. Anonymity and pseudonyms are no excuse to abuse the system. You pay for this privilege and agree to uphold civic responsibility. Rules are listed clearly. (#1, #5)
  • Mindful Growth - Growth at all costs does not exist here. We will slowly and methodically allow geographic regions to begin using the service. We don't add a city, school or company unless the community votes to do so and the region is ready for it. (#1, #2, #3, #4, #5)
  • Sustainability - Product and operations should be built with sustainability in mind. Energy for servers needs to come from renewable sources. Leave no Trace. Operation should be sustainable from a funding perspective. (#3, #4, #5)

Obstacles

  • Intentional Friction - Eliminating friction at all costs has been a dominating theme in tech for many decades. With this strategy we are taking a risk at intentionally introducing certain frictions, like a membership fees, that will make it a challenge to grow a meaningful social graph. We will have to get clever on how to go-to-market to make this work.
  • Social Networking Monopolies - There are unregulated, too-big-to-fail monopolies that have already demonstrated a consume-or-copy behavior towards competitors. It will be very difficult to move folks from an ad-supported network to a non-ad network with low education.
  • Education - Most people are going to think big tech social media does what they need and don’t fully appreciate the scope of the problem (see Humane Technology). Most people can’t appreciate the fact that a massive superpower AI is manipulating 2.2 billion people for the sole purpose of maximizing attention, time-on-sight and profit. Most people love their existing social networking tools as-is.
  • Moderating Content - Historically, this has been a challenge for all social products. We will spend significant resources on creating a democratic system, where flagged content has an opportunity for the community to decide how it should be dealt with. AI-assisted tools will be deployed to anticipate high likelihood of harm and to minimize damage, however, everything will have some human eyes and democratic voting for the final decision. 
  • Funding - Typical venture capital firms are hesitant to invest in an industry that enjoys the comforts of monopolistic power with no oversight. Kickstarter and “friends and family” makes the most sense until the product is able to prove adoption and a repeatable business model.

Measures 

  • FY ‘20 - Complete funding for 1 team / 9 months of development. Approximately $200,000 seed via Kickstarter.
  • FY ‘20 - Formation of B Corp. Launch version 1 and version 2 to Kickstarter supporters. Generally Available (version 3) shipped early January 2020. 
  • FY ‘20 - Launch with at least 1,000 founding citizens, 3 cities, 3 schools, 3 companies.
  • FY ‘21 - Provide services to 50,000 registered citizens by end of FY ‘21.
  • FY ‘21 - Raise a Series A round and hire founding team members. 

At Product Launch: How do we measure our business? 

  • Total # of Betawave Citizens (Membership) and Revenue
  • Total dollar amount given to Charity (10% of all membership fees)
  • Daily Active Citizens (DAC) / Monthly Active Citizens (MAC) 
  • Maximize % of DAC that use the app 5 minutes or less while minimizing DAC over 5 minutes. (Goal is “Social Media Microdosing”)

Timeline

Phase 1 

  • 4/26/2019 - Launch Kickstarter Campaign
  • 5/26/2019 - Complete Kickstarter campaign. If funding goal reached, continue.
  • End of August (3 months) - Version 1 launched to Kickstarter supporters.
  • End of November (3 months) - Version 2 launched to Kickstarter supporters.
  • Jan 2020 - Generally Available. Launched at 3 cities, 3 schools, 3 companies. 

Phase 2 

  • Feb - April 2020 - If adoption targets met: Series A and first hires. 
  • TDB next steps

The Phase 1 Team 

  • “Jae Daemon” (aka Jon Pappas) founder, product in San Francisco.
  • TBD engineer #1 in Belarus 
  • TBD engineer #2 in Belarus 
  • TBD engineer #3 in Belarus 
  • TBD engineer #4 in Belarus 
  • TBD engineer #5 in Belarus 

Phase 1 Funding (Why we need it!)

  • Kickstarter funding is for the sole purpose of getting the product built and 100% of the funding will go to engineering resources.
  • Other business expenses to get the company moving, I will be paying out-of-pocket or from other funding sources. (Company formation, Contract UX/UI Design, Software and services to build product, Servers to host the product)
  • I am excited to work full-time to complete and deliver a Phase 1 product. If funding is completed successfully, I will be spending the vast majority of my time on product specification, product design, scrum and general development process in close partnership with Alex to get the product built and shipped per the outlined schedule. 
  • May this project find you well, happy and peaceful. <3 Jae

Risks and challenges

See the "Obstacles" section!

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    Register to be a Founding Citizen of Betawave by pledging $50. Get early access and lock in at a low $1/month for life.

    Includes:
    • Subscription to Weekly Operational Updates on Kickstarter
    • Early access to Betawave.app (Aug 2019)
    • After January 2020 launch, 1 year for free-of-charge
    • Ability to invite up to 10 users with the same $1/month benefit
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    Same benefits as "Early Member" except 1) "Early Supporter" badge of recognition on your Beta Wave profile and 2) t-shirt memorability mailed at public launch (December 2019 GA)

    Includes:
    • Early access to Betawave.app (Aug 2019)
    • After January 2020 launch, 1 year for free-of-charge
    • Starting 2021, $1/month for life (regular $5/month)
    • Ability to invite up to 10 users with the same $1/month benefit
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    Enthusiastic Supporter Recognition

    Same benefits as "Early Supporter" except 1) "Enthusiastic Supporter" badge of recognition on your Beta Wave profile and 2) you also get a physical trophy mailed after public launch (December 2019)

    Includes:
    • Early access to Betawave.app (Aug 2019)
    • After January 2020 launch, 1 year for free-of-charge
    • Starting 2021, $1/month for life (regular $5/month)
    • Ability to invite up to 10 users with the same $1/month benefit
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    Executive Supporter Recognition

    Same benefits as "Enthusiastic Supporter" except you get access to an exclusive Weekly Executive Update, featuring details of items in development and more specifics on short/long term roadmap plans.

    Includes:
    • Early access to Betawave.app (Aug 2019)
    • Starting 2021, $1/month for life (regular $5/month)
    • After January 2020 launch, 1 year for free-of-charge
    • Ability to invite up to 10 users with the same $1/month benefit
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