Be careful with what you ask for
From time to time I receive tentative proposals from ICO projects to shill for them. Normally I ignore their requests but two of those were insistent enough to elicit a response.
INS was the absolute champion. They contacted me on Twitter twice, then hit me up on Telegram several times. They told me they loved my blog and would like to “collaborate” with me. They asked me about the “closest possible dates” for that and “the format that will fit them best”. They told me I could ask any questions.
I was happy to oblige. I told Mr. Fedchenkov and the other team members that their T&C looked okay and a single tweet saying “INS T&C looks okay” was not what they had in mind, perhaps. And that I would be glad to visit their Moscow office, talk to the team, look at the developers, ask a bunch of silly questions like “who financed your ICO” and “will your advisors stay with you after the crowdsale” and stuff and write it all up in a neat and orderly fashion. They would just have to compensate me for my time — a lump sum or per hour and if I didn’t like something due diligence-wise I would just turn around and leave.
They told me they were not ready to give a big interview yet, they just “wanted to start with some tweets and posts”. I said “you got me wrong, I don’t really do interviews, I am not S+C, I do due diligence; you want me to tell other people about your project - fine, what do I tell them from the DD point of view?”. Somehow that was enough to curb their enthusiasm.
The second project, LiveEdu, was a little more direct. They asked me if I could write a review. I said “ do you realize that you’re asking me for some kind of a public audit of your project?” The reply was “we discussed and we’re fine with this, as long as we don’t have to pay for it”.
I really like founders who are careful with their money. Told them I would get back to them with a checklist. They were impatient and asked me about the expected date for the article. “That’s the spirit” I thought and they received a 43 point checklist (the legal part of which was compiled by Inal Tomaev) in no time at all.
They fell silent. Two days later I asked them for feedback:
Dear marketing people, just to make it clear: a. I don’t shill; b. I am not all that popular; c. You have no idea what you’re asking for, do you?
This is all I have time for now. I hope this helps. Make sure you have read and understood the disclaimer at the bottom. If you come across any factual mistakes or faulty grammar you are welcome to point them out in your comments. To get updates or PM me you can always follow me on Twitter.
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