During HackerStash's first month the community has repeatedly told us how much they enjoy the HackerStash Tournament mechanics, but instead of cash prizes being important, they primarily enjoy the way gamification has driven engagement and useful feedback from their peers. Honestly, we've been pretty blown away by how active the community is with just a small cohort of users.
That said, it's clear to us that each member of the community would benefit if the community was even busier, and the paywall is a big barrier to entry in that respect! Based on our internal metrics we'd have 10x more active community members if HackerStash was free to use. More people would mean a better community for all of you.
So, that presented us with a conundrum. How could we keep the gamification and rewards, whilst changing the way we all pool cash to award to top projects? Well, we've come up with a new plan and been hard at work the last couple of weeks building and testing it to see if it made sense. We're now confident that it does, so let me tell you what we're going to do:
- Starting today, we're making HackerStash free to all existing community members. Anyone with an existing subscription will have that cancelled automatically. New users will be able to join for free from next Monday.
- The tournament is switching from a weekly to a monthly format. There will still be weekly challenges that feed in to your project score, but those points will accumulate over the month rather than being wiped each week. The challenges themselves will still refresh each week though.
- Prizes will be reserved for the top 3 places each month. Those prizes will include things like design, engineering and devops reviews, and access to third party incentives e.g. Airtable credits.
- We've got a few weeks of hard work to build out the partnerships on offer, but we're confident that prize packages will a.) benefit the winners considerably more than a few hundred dollars ever could and b.) make HackerStash more sustainable.
Ultimately, we want to set ourselves up so we can focus on continuously bringing new features and prizes that will genuinely help you succeed - we think this gives us the best shot. It perhaps seems strange to have launched a startup that was growing MRR pretty quickly, then to suddenly completely remove the revenue generating part of it! We believe that strategically this is in the best interest of the community, and we hope you think so too.
The changes will come into effect at the end of this weeks' tournament, though we'll be cancelling your subscriptions with immediate effect. You'll receive a message from Stripe about your subscription being cancelled, it will not effect your ability to access your published project or HackerStash account 🙂
So, what do you think of the plans?
CC'ing some of our more active early users and early prize winners: @mattcrail @mattb @lucas @holger @plasticscore.co @dave @kyler @elias_guineapig @weaver @ctw @ish @jacobsheldon @unmumble @brugeman @ben @kiily95 @andy @funnelll