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Is it possible to run an ICO by yourself?

Posted Nov 27, 2017

It’s truly hard to ignore the trendy influence of ICOs, the rated 9-figure USD being raised by many campaigns. The marginal profits being made by the cryptocurrency community is one so big everyone wants a share of it.

This is a very tough question; one we would attempt to answer with a few questions of our own. But while this may not precisely provide you with the accurate ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ answer, it would detail all it takes to run an ICO to give you a quick rundown on the activities involved and the different factors that influence a successful ICO, of course, I think you want to run a successful ICO and so I would encourage you to read on with an analytic mindset. However, it can be approached from different angles:

  1. How much of the blockchain do you know?
  2. How simple is your proposed plan?
  3. Do you have the required skills to hack it?
  4. Would it require the services of experts?
  5. How long do you want to plan before implementing it?
  6. What risks are you willing to endure to see it through?

While these questions may not simply be answered by a yes or no response; it takes a lot of efforts and time not counting the enormous resources involved in making any particular venture a success.

Well, let’s dive in and attempt to give your proposed token sales a direction.
In case you don’t mind, I would like to take the questions one after the other and present practical examples that could help your understanding of the subject here.

Now, how much of the blockchain do you really know?

Firstly, do you have a current business you simply want to expand its services by leveraging the blockchain? Then that would be a good question to start from. Many internet-based businesses today, find it enticing to move along with the flow of trendy networking tools with the aim of improving their business productivity. But the blockchain isn’t just a networking tool it is the advent of a new technological niche that could revolutionize the world economy to a great degree.

Secondly, your vast knowledge of the blockchain would make it easy for you, almost seamlessly to run an ICO campaign. But I guess like many who have asked the same question, you are not so geeky. Else you would have jumped curriculum. I would most certainly resist the urge to start a course on Blockchain 101 here. But in case you missed that class, I would suggest you begin to build from there, the fundamental knowledge on the blockchain, decentralized applications, tokens or tokenized digital assets, real world practical use-case, smart contracts, cryptocurrencies and every cliché terms that would be used subsequently in this article will help you flow.

I am in no way suggesting that you go download all blockchain related resource materials and begin reading about how to build a blockchain. Well, while that could help, it would cost you a fortune by the time you arrive at the point of building a real one. But most of the basic resources related to blockchain technologies and their derivative ICOs, reviews on previous ICO campaigns and their performances can go a long way to ensuring you that success you crave for.

So, how simple is your proposed plan?

If it’s as simple as developing a charity to save kittens that get stuck on a tree, well, you could stop reading right here and jump to the conclusion section of this article. However, if your design has a demand for real life backed use case that has the potential to be the next Bitcoin or Ethereum or Waves – I mean that has the potential to raise shocking amounts in just a few days, then you would require due diligence and patience to read on.

Do you have the required skills to hack it?

Starting an ICO convention requires some basic elements that require diverse skills from different sectors:

  • A website.
  • A social media platform.
  • A blockchain service provider to issue your digital tokens.
  • A smart contract protocol to handle the distribution of the tokens in exchange for your investor’s deposits.
  • Marketing tools
  • A communique channel for press release.
  • You would probably need a bounty program to create a fan base community for your product.

Would your project require the services of experts?

While you may have a specific skill, I doubt you have all the skills; you may need to pick the brains of one or two experts here and there. Also, except you are a jack of all trades, I don’t expect you to handle the tasks all by yourself. But sure, you could outsource certain tasks to freelancers. I mean, since the advent of blockchain and ICOs the rate at which freelancing has increased is over the chart. So you would do yourself a great favor if you could take advantages of freelancers. However, it’s going to cost you – all depending on the size and purpose of the project in question.

But if you are ‘jack’ indeed it should be too hard to climb the stalk – designing a website, with a couple of fancy lyrics and luster designs that helps your investors feel the organization isn’t controlled by an amateur. However, too much designs and fancy sales pitch might tick off certain investors, tagging your initial coin offering as a scam. – Now we don’t want that do we? Hence the division of labor is required to lessen the burden of a task and direct your project to a profitable start.

How long do you want to plan before implementing it?

An initial coin offering requires time to implement. Having said that you would need to develop a whitepaper that details everything you intend to accomplish with your project, – just don’t include the kitchen sink. It takes time to build the right website, even if it’s done in minutes through a website builder.

It takes time to decide how much you want your tokens to be worth and how much money you require to execute your project, or how many tokens will be issued to your investors and how much will be in reserve. If there are too many tokens in circulation, would you use deflationary approach to increase the worth of your tokens once you conclude the sales and your product hits the exchange market? So indeed you see that planning is essential and doing it all by yourself might be risky, except you will be the one investor in your campaign.

What risks are you willing to endure to see it through?

What many cryptos don’t say as they go through the phases of their project development in order not to discourage investors is quite a volume. For example, certain projects may suffer infrastructural damages, technical glitches, hacks, or proprietary theft; depending on how valuable the project is. So what lengths are you willing to go to, to ensure the project succeeds?

In my opinion, I would think it is possible to run an ICO by yourself, if the system has not been clustered with too many ICOs already and you would be competing for attention, especially if your category is in the area of finance and investment, and you are simply starting off a decentralized exchange site for cryptocurrencies. Otherwise, you could say you stand a fair chance of being noticed.

After all, NXT started out in a very simplistic way on and involved just a listing address of the owner and a couple of contributors on the genesis block who contributed to the founder’s personal bitcoin address. So, you see it really was that simple and he raised 21BTC, while issuing out a billion NXT token. However, that was back in the day when the competition was still fresh. Now, people have itchy fingers to tag ‘scam’ on anything without a complex formula and a roadmap that excites the community.

In conclusion, you see it isn’t really whether or not you could handle it yourself, but a lot more of if you could handle the pressure and still stay on top of your game. Even for many projects that seem to start alone didn’t end up alone. As the project grew and expanded, they enlisted the help of others to help carry the burden and accomplish the tasks together. However, Ethereum was one man’s project, or so it would seem. And where it is today; is just right in the center of other DAPPs. So your cryptocurrency project could be the next best thing.