The beginning of Blockparty
I met Makoto online over 2 years ago and we spent a few months learning Ethereum together. During that time Makoto wanted to build something to learn Ethereum - his first idea was to create something to keep people accountable. His argument was that the retention for MOOC (Massively Online Open Courses) are very low, because they have nothing at stake. He wanted to make something to keep people honest, some kind of staking system that you would lose if you didn't keep your promise. I loved the idea as I had done something with a facebook group, where you had to stake £50 for your goal and if you didn't post proof you would lose your stake.
This was to be the beginnings of Blockparty. During that time he made the Ethereum codeup in London to create a study group for Ethereum. That gave him some social accountability to keep up learning blockchain. The problem with his code up was that it was free, and there would constantly be no-shows, so instead he charged a small fee in fiat, which he took as a donation for charity.
Soon he turned this into the basis of Blockparty. However instead of forcing a donation to charity, the idea turned into a deposit system where you could actually get your money back if you showed and you would have additional incentive as you would share the deposit of people that didn't show up.
The first time we actually met was at Devcon2. This was to be the first real use of Blockparty. I was in Thailand at the time so Makoto actually staked 1 ETH for me on my behalf! (1 ETH = $10 at the time). I came in the end, so Makoto did not lose the 1 ETH he loaned me for that event, but that was the beginning of Blockparty.
Over 2 years later, Makoto has battle tested it at small events. Most recently we used it at the ENS hackathon. We had 70 participants with 95% attendance. A resounding success that stopped any wastage of food or t-shirts we had made. Another hackathon we had visited in London that wasn't using Blockparty had 40 registered hackers - only 12 turned up. Blockparty as simple as it is - it works. It brings people together, it keeps people honest and it stops waste.
With the funding we got from Status, we can finally form a team and turn Blockparty from pet project into a real startup that can solve real problems using blockchain. I'm excited to see where this story goes with my two co-founders Makoto and Ram.