Annual Community Update: 2023

Just like last year, we’re wrapping up 2023 with an annual community update.

A new year is the perfect time to do a retro but also to set the expectations for what's to come. And 2024 will be the best year for Talent Protocol yet.

Let’s dive into our 2023👇

Key Lesson: Speculation is a feature, not a bug.

The Talent Protocol app has been live for 2+ years. And for most of that time we’ve been trying to build a crypto product without speculation.

Now, looking back, we can see how naive we were to assume that speculation had no place in our product. It’s like trying to make a car work without fuel. It can look great, and have the best aerodynamics, but if we need to push it to go from A to B, we’re missing the point.

Trading and speculation are, and will always be, the fuel of crypto. Seems obvious, but it wasn’t crystal clear to us until this year. Yes, blockchain has other benefits like decentralization, transparency, interoperability, ownership, control over personal data, self-sovereign identity, etc. But almost no one would use it if they couldn’t make money.

Everyone wants to make money, but most people also want to do good (or at least feel good about themselves). So let’s use greed for good and crypto to help builders succeed.

That’s why our motto for 2024 is: Play to win!


  • Move fast.

  • Place different bets.

  • But stay focused.


  • From purpose to impact.

  • A-players get the job done.

  • Aim to compete with all consumer social, not just crypto apps.


🏆 10 Wins

  1. Creating the habit of killing legacy features regularly. We call this the Redux mindset. 🔄

  2. Finally embracing speculation with A mobile-first app, with a clear value proposition that was shipped fast. 🚀

  3. The Voting feature brought excitement, engagement and $TAL utility to the Talent Protocol app (next voting for Take Off Denver opens on January 2nd). 🛫

  4. Building and winning at multiple hackathons throughout the year, including at Devconnect in Istanbul, where the core team joined forces with the 15 Take Off scholars to win 10+ awards. 🇹🇷

  5. Allowing our community to manage and use their $TAL in the Talent Protocol app (virtually) was important for transparency and engagement before the token launch. This is still an ongoing effort. 👛

  6. Decision to abstract blockchain as much as possible in our app, making everything smoother both for the users and our tech team. ⛓️

  7. Constantly increasing MAUs and ending the year with an all-time high of +15K! 📈

  8. Great partnership with Worldcoin, that helped us give talent more opportunities to succeed. 🤝

  9. We became a focused core team of A-players, supported by an extended team of hand-picked contractors (we met most of them at ETHGlobal hackathons). ⭐

  10. Last, but not least: surviving the bear market! We kept building, the community flame is still burning and we have a healthy runway. 🐻

🤦🏻‍♂️ 10 Misses

  1. 2+ years of experiments, without regularly killing legacy features, transformed the Talent Protocol app into a “Frankenstein” product. 🧟‍♂️

  2. We should have implemented a redux mindset at least 6 months sooner. 🗓️

  3. It took us too long to accept that speculation is the fuel of crypto products. ⛽

  4. With the exception of WorldID, verification systems didn’t get the job done. 🤖

  5. Shipping the Virtual Wallet took us months instead of weeks. 🐌

  6. Deciding to build our custom Design System cost us a lot in time, productivity, and even UX. 🪦

  7. We failed at deploying permissionless bounties. A distraction for the team that rarely brought any real value. 👩🏻‍💻

  8. P2P sponsorships was a nice idea, but didn’t really work out as we expected. 💸

  9. Builders Week and the Talent Brunches taught us that we shouldn’t be focusing on organizing events. 🥂

  10. Using snapshot to decentralize the voting for the Take Off scholarship was very messy. ⚡

🏦 Financials

The frugal mindset is strong within our core team. Last November we had a 25 month runway and this year we have an incredible 22 month runway. Not bad for a bear market.

🙏 Special Thanks

  • Ian, JJ, Lacey and Brad from Protocol Labs.

  • Ricardo from Worldcoin.

  • Jason from Airstack.

  • Nuno from ETHGlobal.

  • Luuk and Joan from Celo Europe DAO.

  • SJ for helping us break out of Twitter jail.

  • Jacqueline, Paulo, Pamir, Gaia, Arthur, Ricardo, Stark, Morgan, Alex, Gus, Tiago, David, Sanja, Oleg, Mitchell, Sarunas, Diogo, Simão, Rosado, Cerdeira, Cortesão, Violetta, Damian, Joni, Mário, Cristóvão, Michael, Marco, Rene, Marek, Tocha, Gonçalo, Brbara, Jessica, Henrique, Ivan, Russell, Roberto, Elena, Kerf, Cam, Cate, Timo, Tom, Martinho, Jeremy, Thomas, Filipe, Niko, Elad, Andreas, Nuno, Will, Carlos, Robin, Elio, Marta, Tomer and André for being constant supporters.

  • Core Team alumni, Take Off alumni, Ambassadors, Beta Testers and our top-notch team of Contributors: Adriana, Shirley, Said, Limone and the urbe.eth crew.


2024 & Talent Protocol V2

2023 had both challenges and turning points, but all the lessons learned have crystallized into a clear vision of what to build and how to fulfil our mission.

We’re calling it Talent Protocol V2.

Now, as we target a successful $TAL token launch in 2024… community support is more important than ever!

Let's play to win!

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