Latest Rally.org News
Dec 7, 2018
Dec 7 Rallypad was a incubator space that we launched to bring Rally.org’s customers and prospects together Marketers know that turning customers into advocates is a sure fire method of accelerating product adoption. But many marketers at early stage ventures miss the opportunity to bring customers and prospects together to make the magic happen IRL. Here are two different ways that I’ve approached this opportunity. Rallypad — An incubator and event space for causes by Rally.org San Francisco, CA. 2011–2015 First, let’s be clear that Rallypad was not my idea. In fact, I thought is was a pretty bad one when Tom, Rally ’s CEO pitched it. It’s really only after we launched it that I understood how it was a meaningful strategy to accelerate our customer acquisition. I came across the Rally.org team in Austin, Tx in 2009. At the time, I was growing a startup incubator called Tech Ranch Austin with my co-founder Kevin Koym. 3 young guns from the University of Texas came by to pitch their new venture — a software service to make it really easy for causes and political campaigns to raise funds from friends and constituents online. This was before Gofundme and Indiegogo, and Kickstarter had just launched in NYC. I really liked the vision and introduced the team to a well known angel investor. Before we knew it, they had raised a sizeable seed round and were headed to San Francisco to grow their venture. I jumped at the opportunity to join the team and made the move to the bay area as well. In the early days, Rally had tremendous success with political campaigns. We noticed that word of mouth in a city among the local candidates made the platform grow virally. One city council member would get another. The mayor would get a judge. And the judge would get the local school board. We could easily travel to a city and sign up a dozen or more new campaigns in one meetup if we wanted to. Unfortunately, there are 86,000 municipalities in the US, and we did not have a revenue model that would scale to a massive number of meetups around the country. San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee visits with Jonas at Rallypad CharityWater’s success in NYC was seen as a great model for hip, young, tech-connected cause creators to get their ventures growing, and Tom realized that San Francisco was a nexus for these groups, and Rally could become ground zero for their growth. We opened RallyPad in the basement of our building on 2nd Street in Downtown San Francisco, and offered the space up for qualified startup causes to use for fundraising events. They just needed to use our platform for online fundraising. The results were impressive. The hip and trendy cause creators brought engineers and VCs to their events. SF politicos showed up. Even the Lumineers did a concert. And word spread that Rally was a great platform to use for online fundraising. Within 4 years of launching, we had over 25,000 different causes using Rally, and cumulatively raised over $1 Billion for those organizations. It’s a bit hard to quantify the exact impact of Rallypad, but the aura it provided to industry thought leaders went a long way in popularizing our tool. Tezos Community Meetups Over 30 cities and counting. July 2017-present Tezos is a blockchain project that was announced in 2017 and launched in the summer of 2018. I learned about the project in early 2017 and became enamoured with the technology and philosophy of the founders. Tezos is a “digital commonwealth” where no one person or organization is in charge, and all community members need to collaborate to move the ecosystem forward. In the spring of 2018, I launched (as a side project) an informational website , forum pages , and twitter account under the Tezos.Community brand. These platforms grew aggressively during that time frame, reaching over 100k unique visitors during the month of August 2018. Jonas introduces Tezos’s delegated Proof of Stake consensus model in Bucharest, Romania As Tezos progressed, the community realized that we needed to fund awareness of Tezos, and attract developer interest to our platform and the unique aspects of our technology. So in the spring of 2018 we created a US based non-profit called The Tezos Commons Foundation (TCF), and received funding from the Swiss non-profit that held the Tezos ICO funds. A typical meetup lineup. In Luxembourg we had a local tech expert, a government official, and yours truly. We embarked on an aggressive plan to host Tezos meetups around the world. We launched a call for meetup locations with the caveat that the submitter had to be our local organizer and work with us to secure a venue, lineup, and attendees. By the fall of 2018 we’ve had nearly 100 cities apply, and we are on track to host 30 meetups on 4 continents during 2018. To keep the quality of the meetups on track, team member Sam Harrison (Ops Director at TCF) developed a set of guidelines and funding hurdles that local organizers needed to conform to. We also agreed that a TCF board member or Sam should attend each event to talk about Tezos in a consistent fashion. Once the success of TCF was noticed by the community, it didn’t take long for other community organizations to launch. In the fall of 2018, we celebrated the launch of Tezos Japan and Tezos Korea, and look forward to many other organizations joining the cause in 2019. The growth of the Tezos ecosystem shows what a group of like-minded enthusiasts can do on a small budget with a lot of passion.