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Lessons From Applying to Optimism’s RetroPGF 🔴🚀

Launchcaster’s Experience, Learnings, and Mistakes Applying to RetroPGF 3

Originally posted on X and cast on Farcaster.

The RetroPGF process forced us to think about how Launchcaster can better contribute to the Optimism ecosystem.

Launchcaster built on Optimism and highlighted Optimism and other Superchain-related projects because it was the best thing to do for our users. When Cush reached out in October and encouraged Launchcaster to apply, I didn't know what RetroPGF was. I thought it was an interesting experiment to get more awareness and support for the Launchcaster from the Optimism community, so I completed an application. The application process was easier than I thought. I created a profile in 2 minutes, researched applications from previous rounds, and completed Launchcaster's application in less than 30 minutes. A lot of other applications were lengthy and complicated. I wrote Launchcaster's in plain, simple language that someone can understand in a few minutes. I highlighted KPIs like users, subscribers, deploys, transactions, and features related to Optimism.

After completing the app, I didn't think about it until I saw DWR's cast on Farcaster on 12/4/23. I checked our application and saw that Launchcater was on more ballots and for way more OP than I expected. I quickly realized I did not take the process as seriously as I should've. When Optimism says they will distribute 30M in OP to projects that have supported the development and adoption of Optimism, they genuinely mean it!

Here are some mistakes and learnings:

  • OP KPIs — Think about Optimism's (the protocol) KPIs and how your project impacted them. I completely forgot to include Launchcaster's total number of users, active users, Optimism-related features, and the thousands of Optimism and Superchain-related projects Launchcaster has impacted over the past year.

  • OP Ecosystem — Consider the impact of your project not only on Optimism but also on other chains, protocols, and apps within the greater Optimism ecosystem. Think about its impact on the Superchain!

  • Awareness — Badge holders and the OP community will not know your application or its impact unless you share it. If you spend time applying, make sure you also think through how you will let people know you've applied. We used Farcaster, X, Telegram, Linkedin, and Launchcaster's web app to get the word out. We probably should've included it in our newsletter.

  • Feedback — If you are going to apply, get feedback on your application from other builders who have applied or have had success in previous rounds. I completed mine in a silo and made mistakes while also missing a lot of key info.

    I spent the past day hustling to ensure Launchcaster's application gained more awareness. I posted and replied on Farcaster and X. We created videos, gifs, and images using Screen Studio and Figma, highlighting the metrics and features that have impacted Optimism. I DM'd members of the Launchcaster community, asking for their support. We added a temporary banner to Launchcaster to let people know. I chatted with friends like Mac (Kiwi), Chase (VSV), Matthew (Eventcaster), and ccarella (CharmVerse) and learned how the process worked. I learned about the 17-vote threshold, the voting deadline (today), and what badge holders were.

    Yesterday afternoon, we crossed the quorum of 17. As of this writing, we’re at 24 and couldn't be happier to have been a part of this process. Launchcaster is a public good — Optimism and other Superchain builders should have a great place to share what they're building, and it should be easy to discover the best and highest signal new projects on the Superchain. That's Launchcaster's mission, and it's just getting started!

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