Down, but not out - An update from The Steem House!
It's been a while since I wrote anything for The Steem House, but I want everyone to know this project is still under construction!
I've run into hard times on the home front lately, and I've had to take a bit of a step back from Steemit, and the internet in general. Because of this, The Steem House has fallen behind...
I wanted to update everyone on where this project stands, and how I intend to move forward. For anyone who may not have heard about The Steem House yet...
The Steem House is an endeavor to start a real world "makerspace" that caters to creatives around the world, and produces unique treasures only obtainable via our most beloved of Blockchains.
If you've never heard of a makerspace, it's basically an open workshop that has all the tools you'd ever need to make anything you can think of. I wrote an article on TheSteemHouse.com explaining the concept in great detail if you'd like to know more about what exactly a makerspace is.
When the first (hopefully of many) physical location is opened, we will immediately begin work producing merchandise and other goods for various Steem-based projects. Much of this will likely be done pro-bono, in order to show what we are capable of creating, and I believe will add to the value of our platform, and the currency tied to it.
The success of this first location will ultimately determine how fast we are able to open more makerspaces, spreading the physical presence of Steem around the world. This is obviously very ambitious, considering I've yet to secure funding for the first, but it's something that's been asked of me from the inception of the idea.
From day one, this has always been a one-man effort.
When I first had this idea, I thought I had two people who were going to be helping with the startup. Neither of these people were Steemians, but that didn't matter much at the time, as this is/was an endeavor to open a real-world business. One of them has a business administration degree, while the other has tons of experience managing various businesses.
As it turns out, I did not receive any of the "startup" help I thought I would, and was all but told that the business would have to be started before I'd have help managing it. In a way that makes sense, but these two were also supposed to be part owners of the company. Not a big deal, though, and I certainly harbor no ill-will toward either, as something like this requires a certain amount of faith and determination to bring to fruition, a thought process which is very foreign to most.
With only myself to depend upon, I've built everything from the ground up, putting countless hours and many long nights into laying the foundations. All of the writing, marketing, website development, discord managment, token setup, and fundraising has been done by yours truly, @thatsweeneyguy.
While I feel I have accomplished quite a bit for being just one person, it's still not enough. In order for this project to become what it's supposed to be, I'm going to need some help, which brings me to my next point:
The Steem House is in need of talented help!
This project is not only focused on opening a physical business, but also on supporting creatives around the world through the power of this platform, and others like it. Shining a light on talented makers should be a priority for such an endeavor, thus I will need a couple people willing to hunt down great content relevant to the niches we support (makers, artists, DIYers, tailors, programmers, and other content based on "making" something.)
I can only write so much content myself given the amount of time I'm able to spend at my desk. In order to not only show support for our community, and gather relevant content into neat packages, but also to increase the project's influence and funding effort, I'll be looking for a couple writers to write short summaries of the content collected by Curators, and to write various other content focused on our niche, and the development/progress of the project.
The Discord Server I've set up for the community has become very inactive, save the few people sharing irrelevant posts in the promotion channel, and those looking for handouts of free tokens. I'd like to find at least one or two people to help manage the server, and organize events to help keep the server active. I believe an active Discord is one sign of a successful project, and can lead to a lot of "free marketing".
I have built a website for The Steem House using Wix. I chose this editor for a number of reasons, including price, ease of use, and flexibility. I'm by no means a professional web developer, so Wix has made it easy for me to inform people about the project, and will help manage our ecommerce and token events in the future, all in one place. Beyond the website, I have set up accounts for the big social media networks, but haven't really kept them active, as with time always being an issue, I have put them on the back burner. I'd love to find someone familiar with using Wix to help with the development of the website, and at least one other person to help manage the project's "traditional" social media accounts.
I'd love to find a partner for this whole thing! Someone to bounce ideas off of. Someone nearly as dedicated to the success of the business as myself, receiving a stake not only in the digital side of things, but the physical as well (when that finally become a thing). Someone to help handle some of the back-end operations and delegation of responsibility. I'd obviously have to know this person, or at least get to know this person. I will essentially be trusting you with my baby, something I have raised into a legitimate business idea, and one I believe will easily scale if executed correctly.
Over the coming days and weeks, I will be posting "Help Wanted Ads" as needed, searching for the right people to help us make this one of the top projects on the blockchain. If you think you have something to bring to the table, and would like to fill one of the positions listed above, don't hesitate to comment below, or come talk to me on Discord.
The future of The Steem House will be a bit different than its past. While I have always promised transparency, I haven't posted nearly enough updates about the regular goings on, and how the whole project is being managed. I will make sure that moving forward, the public will be much more informed about the things we're doing, and what we have accomplished. I will soon be posting "budget updates" that will explain how funds are being used, and who's being payed what. These posts will lay out a clear plan to raise the funds required to start the physical side of the business, and compensate those who work to make that happen.
Support for creatives around the chain will grow through at least one weekly curation article, and possibly a weekly discord show where creatives can come to talk about the things they've made. I will also be working diligently to get the concept of a 'Maker Mall' set up through the website, allowing people to list their handmade products and art for sale.
I would like for our online presence to act as much like a physical makerspace as possible. While we can't exactly offer physical tools to people around the world, we could do things like educational content, like crafting and other maker/DIY tutorials, and a couple other surprises I have up my sleeve involving digital tools. Our Maker Mall will also likely offer project supplies at the very best price we're able to offer, giving those in our community a place to restock for their next creative endeavor.
A note to the Dream Team:
You guys know who you are, and I'm eternally grateful for everything you've done thus far. Don't think for a second I've forgotten about you. I appreciate the patience most of you have had, and the concern some have recently brought up. For this patience and concern, I will bump the monthly dividend to 15% for the months of September and October. These next couple months should see a significant spike in revenue.
As some of you know, I mentioned at one point that I would understand anyone wanting a refund of their initial investment. I have since rescinded that offer, two of the largest investors jumped at the idea. While I will not name these two publicly, their investments equal 400 STEEM, and with a lack of posting, there are no funds for those refunds. Here is my proposal to hold my word:
There is now a total of 2% of the liquid earnings for this account up for sale for a total of 400 STEEM.
This STEEM will go directly to those who currently hold that stake, and will chip away at their refund until it's finished. The minimum buy for this will be the same as the original stake, at 10 STEEM. If you would like to buy a portion of our lifetime liquid earnings, comment below, and we'll be in touch.
Until these refunds are made, 10% of our liquid post earnings will go into a fund to buy back that stake, essentially lowering the amount of earnings given out. Just like for other purchases, this stake will be bought in chunks, whenever the buy back fund has reached an increment of 10 STEEM.
When these refunds are facilitated, that same 10% of earnings will be devoted to buying back STEEMHOUSE tokens at market value, in an effort to bolster back and forth activity. The token is, after all, the main means of raising funds for this startup. If I can get the token moving, the physical makerspace will be funded in no time at all. I will be writing soon about a plan to somewhat downsize the initial startup, so as to get the physical side of the project started in any form possible, as soon as possible.
I'm also still seeking an angel investor who could supply me with the startup funds, in exchange for a large stake in the entire business.
The Steem House LLC is a registered business in the state of Kentucky, USA. I have laid out a full business model including information about the various inner workings, revenues, and expenses. In the past I have been looking for around $40,000 to begin work on the physical space. This has included rent, a "utility fund", and my own salary for the entire first year of operations. I believe by lowering some of my beginning standards, and locating the makerspace in a more affordable location, I would be able to get this whole thing up and running in its earliest form for around $20,000.
I am offering a 35% stake in the entire business, both digital and physical. This would include revenues from monthly fees, sales, workshops, and other revenues, up to and including franchise royalties (again, the idea of franchising and scaling is a long term idea, but definitely viable).
This angel investment can be done by only one person, or a group of people acting as a single entity. Dividends would be paid monthly both in STEEM for our digital end, and USD for any physical revenues. This investor(s) would not be required to do any of the heavy lifting for the project, as I will continue to manage the entire project, and delegate responsibilities as needed. This investor(s) would, however, have a strong influence on the future of the business, as they would own nearly as much of it as myself.
If this interests you, or you know someone who might see this as a worthwhile investment, by all means, reach out to me, and we will talk about what we can accomplish together. I'll be posting a bit more about this in the future, depending on how much activity I can get rolling on the crowdfund end of things.