The empowr open-alpha phase is now complete
Read the announcement below (originally posted on December 5, 2019)
Hello empowrians,

Normally I wait until around January 1st to talk about the new year ahead of us, but this year we have some big, very important and timely announcements that we wanted to bring to your attention as soon as possible.

Getting right to it, our three (3) big announcements are:

1. Marketing plan ready for launch: Thanks to a tremendous amount of hard work this year -- A MASSIVE EFFORT -- by more than 200 people in our community, we've finally successfully identified all the details for our marketing approach for getting to critical mass globally in 2020, and are now – FINALLY --moving forward with our big, global marketing push! More details below.

2. Now hiring Vice Presidents: In order to launch and expand everywhere, we are hiring Vice Presidents for cities around the world to lead and manage operations in their city. As we promised we would, we are giving our best citizens who have worked hard for this mission and community for so very long, the first shot at those positions! More details below.

3. The empowr alpha site will be taken down in 30 days from now, to make way for beta and global launch: To pay for our massive global launch, we must cut all costs substantially. That means that we must reduce our computer server costs by 75%, by shutting down the alpha empowr site on Jan 5, 2020 in preparation for the beta launch.

Let's get into details on all three items now.



1. Marketing plan ready for launch

As you may remember, the last time we spoke (much earlier this year) I mentioned that it would likely be months before we chatted again, as our team on this end – with the help of many of our amazing community members -- was about to go deep – very deep -- into a project to try a LOT of different approaches to solve our last remaining big challenge.

That last big challenge related to the marketing of the platform, and how to attract a lot of new users (citizens) to the platform very quickly – without getting and spending investor capital.

As a reminder, together we've built just about all the technology it takes to deliver on our vision of giving the world a democratic social economy.

But the technology by itself has much less – even little – value until it has a 'critical mass' of people using it.

Does this make sense? To illustrate my point, let me use an example.

For our example, think of a platform like the ride-sharing app Uber.

No matter how good their technology is, unless there are enough drivers in your area, the platform would have virtually no value to passengers in your area...

... and until there are enough passengers in your area, the platform would have little to no value to drivers in your area.

There is a magical point at which there are "enough" drivers or passengers in an area to make it work. That point is called 'critical mass'.

So, until critical mass is reached, the Uber platform has little (or even no) value, regardless of how great their innovations and technology are.

Which means every new person that uses Uber, will not be satisfied because they won't be able to get a ride (if they are a passenger)...

... or they won't be able to earn (if they are a driver)...

... and they will likely leave the app and never return again after their horrible (low value) experience.

As you can see, Uber (or Facebook, or Amazon, or most such companies including empowr) have two (2) challenges:

1. First, they must build the technology and platform.

2. And second, they must find a way to achieve a 'critical mass' of users very quickly, otherwise their platform has little to no value to anyone.

In the case of Uber, Facebook and Amazon, all three of them solved their critical mass challenge by raising many billions of dollars in investment capital from investors...

... which they then spent on advertising to attract a lot of people to their platform quickly (at the same time) so that, magically, they would have a lot of (a 'critical mass' of) users arriving at their platform at the same time.

In the case of empowr, together this community accurately predicted that, in the future, the world would desperately need a platform where people could communicate and earn – an economy – but that didn't need to deliver growing quarterly profits to investors.

We've discussed how, thanks to the 'network effect', big Wall Street funded companies would arise that would dominate entire global industries. They would become economies all onto themselves.

And since these tech giant economies must deliver a growing amount of profits each quarter to their (Wall Street investor) shareholders, they would eventually damage society as those profits must be extracted away from the people they serve.

Indeed, we have seen all 3 of the companies I mention above, act in ways that are making it clear that they are harmful for society, but have little choice because if they don't deliver more and more profits to their investors every 90 days, their stock will crash, their employees will leave and their management team will be fired:

Uber's trials and tribulations are well-documented; Amazon is becoming quite famous for how little it pays its employees, and of course Facebook has lost all trust from everyone (Silicon Valley, media and even most of its own users) involved, since it has become clear that they are a morally bankrupt company that will do whatever it takes to survive even if it means breaking democracy around the world with their fake news and echo chambers that are dividing society, and with their continual user privacy violations that it has needed to do, in order to generate profits for its shareholders.

As a result, this community decided that we would take the more difficult road, and attempt to build our platform without taking any money from investors. Indeed, we generated 250 Million U.S. Dollars and were successful in using that capital to build all the technology needed to deliver an economy to the world.

Here's a partial list of the things we successfully figured out, through a lot of hard work, trial and error together:

1. Social network that (unlike Facebook) doesn't create echo chambers

2. Full economy platform – first of its kind to combine social, marketplace, and currency – which is what Facebook is still trying and struggling to bring to market

3. Sharing of everything (Watch video) to attack the climate crisis

4. The software, know-how and techniques to crowdsource all work with our Success Coaches (now called Guides) so that we don't need to hire tens of thousands of employees, like Facebook does

a. Responsible for education, marketplace and social network moderation, dispute management, Customer service

5. Paying users for their usage: Posting, sharing and communications, while beating fraudsters, in order to attack global income inequality

6. Generated diverse revenue streams – while not selling ads, users' data or their privacy to corporations:

a. Transaction revenue
b. Subscription revenue
c. Advertising revenue (only to community members not corporations)
d. Cryptocurrency revenue



As many of you know, NONE of the above was easy, or went right the first time.

Together, we dreamed, we built, we failed, and we kept picking ourselves back up and we kept working at it until it finally came together.

And of course we did all of that without giving up on our mission and selling the community out – we're still at it -- and continue to not take a single penny from profit-seeking investors.

And, as it turns out, together we were right:

As we predicted, the Internet has made it easy for people with a lot of money, to monopolize entire global industries, sending inequality to new heights.

As an example of how bad it has gotten, now 26 individual people own as much wealth as the bottom half of humanity (4 billion people).
Also as we predicted together, people are being squeezed economically and they are rising up everywhere, shaking democratic institutions to their core, demanding change.

But that change is not coming, as the combination of the Internet and big capital is not slowing down and will eventually drive 99% of the income and wealth into the hands of the richest top 1%.

We are also right that the most powerful companies on the planet would attempt to bring together the very thing we've been working on (an economy based on cryptocurrency).

If you haven't noticed, Facebook has been working on bringing cryptocurrency into its platform so it can become an economy.

That is exactly what the world does NOT need at this point:

An economy of 3 billion people that's set up to extract money (IE: suck out profits) away from the community of people it pretends to serve, accelerating the economic haves/have nots (master/slave) class that's already rapidly forming globally.



Again, to be clear, we were right with a lot of things, but none of it came easy to most of us:

Our community members, Success Coaches and employees have all experienced differing levels of personal difficulty in keeping the faith and staying focused.

Each of us, needed to decide for ourselves, if we could find the energy and optimism -- and funds -- to stay with the program and keep moving forward. Of course many of our amazing community members could not hang on and ultimately had to quit empowr to go find a way to provide for their families.

And yet many of us hung in there, despite the immense difficulties, and managed to keep our chins up and find the optimism, not matter how hard that was to do at times.

And some of us were even able to help others in the community, that were having the hardest time keeping optimistic, to find the light and hope.

And so, on this end, here at the company headquarters, in 2019 we went deep into a project to see if we could find a way to get the platform to critical mass, WITHOUT taking money from investors.

As some of you know very well (since you were working hand-in-hand with us on some or all of it) we tried many different marketing approaches.

Without big marketing dollars to spend, this surely has been a gigantic challenge and quite difficult to solve.

But after trying nearly 30 very different approaches, we now believe we have the optimal set of answers, approaches and tactics.

Without revealing too much to our competitors, the answer is that we break the problem down to smaller pieces, and start with micro-communities.

In other words, instead of trying to bring new citizens into the platform when there are not a lot of people around them (locally, where they live) yet....

... we start by targeting very specific, smaller communities of people, that are the most likely to:

A. Understand and believe in our mission

B. Be open-minded to trying new things

C. And most importantly, immediately benefit from our offerings

The idea was that, somehow, if we can identify smaller, local communities that are the most likely to meet those three (3) criteria...

... and are able to reach them and bring in many of them into the platform quickly...

... then they will find value in the platform and stay engaged.

Then, from there, and with their help – and with their knowledge and experience with our platform, we can start expanding and reaching out to the adjacent communities and people...

... and start bringing them into the platform too...

... until nearly the whole world is utilizing our platform.



The ideal market

So, which local community is most likely to benefit from our offerings, be open minded, and believe in our mission?

Students

Think about it for a moment. Students (in particular college and university students):

Could use some extra income while they are in school, benefitting from earning from posting and sharing

It is hard for them to work 'normal jobs' given that they need flexible work schedules because their class schedules are constantly changing every academic semester. That schedule flexibility is exactly what our platform offers.

Many of them do not have cars, and it is hard for them to physically get to a job location. Again, that location flexibility is a benefit our platform offers.

They are young and will be on this planet for at least another half century, and therefore have shown to be the most motivated to ensure the planet is in good shape (and therefore are most likely to value our Sharing of Everything effort).

They are the most optimistic and idealistic – able to believe in big ideas and missions -- as life has not beaten them down as much as it has beaten down many older people. This ability to stay optimistic and hopeful is what defines most of you; without it you wouldn't still be reading this.

They still believe in a sense of fairness, and are more motivated to see a world where inequality is getting better, not worse

They are the most capable and willing to learn and try new things – like our platform -- and less likely to get stuck in their old ways as much as older people are

They often live within small distances of their campus – sometimes ten thousand, twenty thousand or even more of them living within just a kilometer or mile of each other...

... which makes for a great 'local' (as in, close proximity to each other) community to get the most value out of our platform:

  • With the our Sharing of Everything approach, as well as simple selling and delivering of products and services, a close geographic proximity to each other also means offering services becomes viable (near-impossible to do most services if the buyer and seller live far apart)...
  • ... and delivering products to each other is quite possible and even easy to do without having to pay for shipping

Ideal target market: College and university students

After trying many different approaches during the course of 2019, we have slowly but surely become more and more convinced that the college market is the best way to reach a critical mass of citizens, at a local level.

And therefore, we have been working on a comprehensive plan to target the college market in cities around the world, that includes everything we've built plus:

Local merchants around campuses

o Students will be able to use their mobile phone to pay merchants with their earnings from posting content, along with other earnings

And due to the local nature (close proximity of customers to each other):

  • Earning by Transporting (finally!)
  • Services and of course Sharing (as opposed to Selling) products

Rather than take everyone's time here, in this blog post, discussing all the details of our marketing launch, we'll share it with our new city Vice Presidents – who are the people that will be leading and managing each city's college campuses, students, merchants and Guides.

For a list of the incredible community members that contributed to this massive effort, go to the bottom of this post.



2. Now hiring Vice Presidents

Each city will need a leader, to work with the local universities, students, Guides and merchants.

Naturally, for their work, Vice Presidents will earn a % of all the revenue that their students and merchants earn.

This VP role is looking like the very best opportunity to earn that we've had in our history.

Our process of training Vice Presidents will get started in the coming days, so that immediately after the New Year rolls around (in just 30 days from now) they'll be able to start working and earning.

I know you have many questions, including:

  • What are the Vice President's responsibilities?
  • Will I have support? How do I know what to do?
  • What kind of merchants can I bring in?
  • How much can each VP earn? Are there any limits? How much time will this take?
  • Who can be a Vice President?
We will answer all of those questions for you; rather than go into all those details here, simply take a few seconds to raise your hand to indicate your interest, and we'll answer all of that.

Thanks to all the hard work and incredible focus and persistence, the empowr community has figured out what it takes to arrive at critical mass quickly and without taking any funds from investors.

Those steps with now be detailed for Vice Presidents.

Our first step together will be to show you the exact steps you need to do, to bring your city into critical mass.


3. We must now take down the alpha site to cut costs and make way for our global beta launch:

The monthly cost of keeping the empowr alpha system's computer servers up and running is approximately $100,000 USD.

Up to now, all such costs have been paid by our community of citizens, Guides (success coaches) and employees.

In order to have the resources to pay for the global launch, we must cut that cost.

Since we know everyone has already more than done their part, instead of asking the community for donations that total up to $100,000 per month, we think it makes more sense to take the alpha site down, in preparation for the beta launch and marketing push.

The empowr alpha site will be taken down in 31 days from now -- on January 5th, 2020. When that happens:

A. The empowr product will become inaccessible.

B. Everyone's data will be gone forever, unfortunately, since the storage of the data makes up a lot of the monthly cost.

That means that, when the beta site is launched, everyone will need to start with a fresh new account.

To be clear, your coins that are on the blockchain will be fine and won't be affected; but your empowr balance will be inaccessible until the beta site is launched unfortunately, since it lives in the empowr site and cloud.

When the beta site is launched, your alpha coin balance will appear in the new beta site.

When the beta site is launched in January, the monthly cost of hosting our servers will be much lower because all the data will be gone.

In order to give everyone some time to back up any blogs, photos or other content they have, we are giving the community 31 days before taking down the alpha site.

So please, take some time over the holidays to back up any amazing blogs and other items that you think you will later miss.



Imagine critical mass

Just think of all the benefits that will come once the new platform is up and running and the marketing process has begun:

A wider variety of people in the community and things in the marketplace (merchants, services and product sharing)

More people transacting

= more liquidity on the exchange
= more buying and selling
= more cash outs for everyone

An empowr platform with critical mass is not something any of us at empowr have ever experienced.

(Again, as an example, an Uber with critical mass has little value; but an Uber at critical mass has immense value).

Just imagine the empowr experience after we surpass critical mass soon.

Our process of training Vice Presidents will get started soon, so that immediately after the New Year rolls around (in only 30 days from now) they'll be able to start working and earning.



2020 is only 3 weeks away!

With the big, and very difficult 2019 'research year' finally behind us now, 2020 promises to be our most exciting year yet.

(And there will be a few surprises that I am not at liberty to speak about quite yet, to ensure that our competition doesn't hear about it).

Personally, I cannot tell you how incredibly excited I am to finally be back to working with everyone on the product, making it faster, bug-free and adding all the features you've been asking for, speaking with you more often, and charging forward together again...

... like we did together for so many years before we all got sucked into this last big challenge.



A huge thank you to some very special people

A big THANKS again to everyone that worked hard in the efforts to figure out how to achieve critical mass without investor capital.

It was a long and difficult process, but together we did it.

Here are those superstars – sorted in alphabetical order. Thank you!!!

Please accept my sincere apologies if I accidentally forgot to include you on the list.
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