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How much time is needed to prepare for an ICO campaign?

Posted Dec 14, 2017

Time is an illusion when it comes to the development of a worthwhile venture. The amount of time needed to achieve the goals of an initial coin offering is relative to the individual parameters used during the development of the startup. In other words, time is a function of project properties.
The primary objective of every cryptocurrency crowdfunding is to raise fund through the sales of tokens to prospective investors in order to execute its idea.

ICO campaigns are important events in the program schedule of a project. To plan a successful event is no small feat because it requires a comprehensive workflow that leads from the planning activities to the execution of the startup.

One common notion corporate organizations have, is the thought that ICOs are tools for just any project and can be used to raise money without going through the expensive, time consuming and rigorous processes of conducting official IPOs with designated authorities. However, this assumption can prove fatal to the startup if the right amount of skill, time and other related resources are not properly aligned.

In the early days of ICO token launching, it was much easier to conduct a campaign with minimal resources and limited technical know-how. Nowadays, with the alarming growth in the tokenization of digital assets, streamlining of token purposes and complexities related to the development of blockchain technology as the practical use cases of projects expands; it is necessary to think thoroughly through the entire plan over and over again before engaging the public interest (end-users of tokenized digital assets and prospective investors) in the startup.

An ICO campaign comprises of the entire activities from the feasibility study to the token sale. There is no universal rule to estimate the timeframe required for the completion of a startup. However, every unique project tackles the problem of the timeline by relating the complexity of the goal to its feasibility study conducted during the preliminary research process.

ICOs are successful not just because of the funds raised and milestones achieved but due to the entire process involved and the adaptive features of the planning processes.

Initial coin offerings have three major parts:

  1. The research / feasibility study of the startup
  2. The team structure and building – (to include partnerships and membership structure).

Public relation affairs – which majorly concerns itself with public interests (potential investors and users of the platform) and convictions about the project.

Time is an essential value and limited once a startup kicks off. Therefore, time is required as an important vector to process the parts of an ICO campaign.

Two phases can be identified during the campaign process vise:

  1. Pre-public engagement: the entire process before an announcement of the idea to the public.
  2. Post-public engagement: the period from announcement to the successful conclusion of token sales.

Phase I – Pre-Public Engagement:

This takes approximately 6 months to 1 year in most cases, while in other cases, it may be less.

One of the major highlights of a successful initial coin offering is its adaptive features to the changing terrain as the project proceeds in the forward direction and plays an influential role in the management of time. Below are basic factors relative to the time structure that should be considered when executing an ICO campaign:

Questions to answer:

  • What solutions are to be harnessed?
  • What platform is best suitable as a host for the tokenization of the digital asset?
  • Who are the primary users of the platform? (end-users, prospective investors, and traders are to be considered here)
  • Why will the primary users / prospective investors use the platform?
  • What are the effective tools required to convey the ideas to the respective audience?
  • How much money is required to make the startup successful?
  • What benchmark will be used to raise the required capital?
  • What are the human resources required to execute the idea?
  • What will be the indices used to scale the progress along the roadmap?
  • How will efficiency be monitored and excesses be conservatively managed?
  • Does the project need a sequential sales strategy?
  • How long will the presale (if needed) and ICO sales last?

Each of the above questions is to be answered during the feasibility study of the development. It is important to note at this point; much time is invested into the development process during the feasibility study of an ICO project.

The fate of the campaigns has long been decided by the skeletal framework of the project survey/research. Once sufficient time is put into the research process, less time is used during the announcement, publicity, and persuasion of public interest – minor parts of a campaign.

Timeline properties

  • Construction of realistic roadmaps / milestones of relevance to the development.
  • Designing the event schedule.
  • Scheduling of tasks.
  • Report gathering.
  • Deadline management.
  • Risk assessment and investors’ interest.

The second determinant factor to a successful ICO campaign is heavily dependent on the distribution of responsibilities among the development team. While a timeline may be set, the pace of individual components is the ‘rate determining step’ – speed of the process.

Phase II – Post-Public Engagement:

The ideal timeframe to be used between the announcement and sales of tokens is a period of three months. Where periodic and impact-driven strategies are used to capture public interest in the buy-in process. The first month is used to organize a mass awareness and sensitization program, through social media, blog and forum channels.

Up until now, an effective tool used by most ICO campaign officials is the bounty program. Although, this activity is usually employed within an average of a month or more to the main token sales date. Moreover, the startup can innovatively conduct webinars to enlighten their potential sponsors and end-users. This takes time and proper implementation ensures the success of an initial coin offering.

Token sales are not to be taken lightly, as many platforms have missed the cap marks, a value above average have recorded narrowly hitting their minimum threshold. This could be attributed to poor time management during the development process.

Since token sales are synonymous to trading future products to proponents of the ICO projects, it is important to spend time researching the interests of the prospective users of the platform and also include them in the planning process.

In conclusion, most failed startups were sent back to the drawing boards because they spent little time on the important tasks and more time on the less important tasks. Time distribution across the entire framework of the campaign should be a priority and done with prudence.