Nick Saponaro's Road to Redemption

A good friend of mine once made this analogy about the state of the crypto/blockchain industry: Everyone is so concerned with getting to the moon, but what if we’re already there, and it’s just an empty, desolate place ripe with opportunities to build a new society? Ever since that moment, I have always envisioned the industry I’ve grown to love in this way.

With so many failures to launch (including our own, at one time), it is not unlike the space race of the 20th century. Experimentation, innovation, and competition abound, and when considering the state of affairs, it is easy to get lost in this revolution we call cryptocurrency. Yet, here we are. Planted directly on the surface of the moon, building the future that is to come. But how did we get here?

A Rocky Start

When we three entrepreneurs banded together, having known each other only through fairweather acquaintances, we had only one vision in mind: to bring cryptocurrency to the hands of those who need it most, but can’t fathom the opportunity looming right before their very eyes.

Before the Token Sale launched, we had dreams of a multi-million dollar enterprise that would be the key to realizing our goal of creating a usable cryptocurrency. Then the Token Sale began, the site crashed, the support tickets were flying in, two of our former partners were nowhere to be found, and I found myself going to sleep at 6 am knowing full well I had to be at a class at 8 am.

Once we recovered from that mishap, we figured we were out of the woods. Free and clear! Not so much. The ETH network decided to slow down to half of its average speed, causing our Token Sale, which was based on block time, to become extended by what would have been a month. No big deal, right? We contacted the representatives at the relevant companies we were hosting ads with, updated the site to reflect the new end date, and moved forward. Finally, we could relax and keep planning our next steps.

Then the ETH network’s block times sped up by fifty percent.

Again we set out, contacting every Tom, Dick, and Harry who needed the pertinent information that kept changing on us.

Oh, and did I mention that, despite being the number eight ICO on Earth, the market fatigue was so high that we only capped our sale by sheer force of will?

Kentucky Fry Your Customers

Fast forward a few months and our development timeline are coming to a close (or so we thought, more on that later). We get a notice from our legal team that if we don’t perform a retroactive KYC/AML screening of all token holders before we’re out of, what the SEC would consider, the Token Sale phase, we could be in significant trouble with Uncle Sam.

Oh, but there’s a loophole right? No such luck.

The lawyers told us that if we had been a billion dollar ICO like “some others,” the SEC would not have the funding to go after us and we could probably slip by, unscathed. Unfortunately, we were a microcap token that raised just a few million, and as such, we had to break the news to the community.

Oh, what a joyous occasion was that. But, as usual, we were steadfast in our resolve and marched ahead.

Failure to Launch and Launch Again, and Then One More Time

Leading up to the first launch of the Divi Blockchain, we began to develop some concerns about the readiness of the technology. The Principal Engineer at the firm we were working with on the blockchain assured us that everything was going smoothly. So much so, in fact, that he felt confident running a closed beta test.

There was a lot of hype leading up to the closed beta, as I’m sure some of you reading this will recall. But when the time came, it was not very long before the beta testers became understandably concerned, and some even furious to the point of blasting information about the issue present publicly.

Unfortunately, as the beta progressed, the technology did not. Despite our requests for daily builds to deliver to the beta testers, very few were produced. Still, the team we were working with insisted that they were thoroughly testing everything and that we would be ready for launch day, no matter what.

As the day approached, we became more concerned because it seemed that there were still issues, despite the continued assurances we received from their team.

So, June 24th, 2018 arrived, and I came to New York City, prepared for a week of post-launch media engagements, so graciously organized by Krupp. Around 11:59 pm PST, which was 2:59 am in NYC, at literally the last second, the technology was published to the web for public download. It didn’t take long before the FUD began.

We pulled back, informed the community that we would re-launch everything after making some slight updates, and we would see everyone in the morning.

On June 26th, 2018, we launched again. Sort of. Still, some critical bugs and issues needed to be resolved. So, we informed the community we would wait another week, and launch at that point.

And so the story goes…

Taking Control

After the events that transpired over the course of three failed launches, it became glaringly apparent that it was necessary to take the reigns and do things our way, the Divi way. So, that we did.

We went full force into hiring our own team, building out our own product management protocols, enforcing new community and internal guidelines, we even created an employee handbook for goodness sake. When I say we did a complete 180’, I mean I’m still feeling the whiplash.

In just three months we were able to recover, scrap the old code (yes, NONE of the code the other team created is present in what you will use today), and completely rebuild everything.

Alongside our fearless beta testers, we were able to develop a Minimum Viable Product that I think is sure to astound. Is it perfect? Hell no, but it is a substantial basis on which to build.

Re-Launch

Now we’re here. But this time, it’s different. For all the pain, disappointment, and unfortunate circumstances, we, a small, ragtag band of dedicated individuals have outlasted even the most well-funded ICOs, in one of the most bearish markets since 2014, to deliver an ACTUAL. F***ING. PRODUCT.

I really cannot thank you, the community, enough for all your support, FUD, jokes, death threats, memes, social posts, insults, gifs, anger, happiness, and general good-heartedness. You are indeed the best community in crypto, and we are the underdogs... the tortoise at the end of the race. Here to claim the prize.

So, as we stand here at the precipice of obscurity on the dark side of the moon, I just have one question… Where to next?