Hello! Who are you and what business did you start?
Hello, I’m Artur Makowka, together with my wife and an amazing team from different countries, I run a successful hosting business with over 1 million users all over the world. In 2017 I started the path to establish my ultimate dream business: MintMe, an ecosystem for the creation of tokens and digital coins as a means for monetization and crowdfunding of projects inside and outside the crypto sphere. This business started with the creation of the Blockchain MintMe Coin and its own cryptocurrency MintMe which is the main currency of use within the platform.
MintMe Coin, the blockchain, allows MintMe to become a full crypto exchange platform as well as a place for token creation, where people can share exclusive material with their followers and communicate directly with their supporters with security and transparency. However, what makes MintMe unique and "one of its kind" is that it offers both: token creators and their supporters, the possibility to earn money through token trading, unlike other crowdfunding platforms in which only one side gets it all, which makes of MintMe a completely new approach to the crypto and crowdfunding world.
What's your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?
I started as a Unix engineer and had been working in different countries and corporations around the world. On one of those occasions, looking for better opportunities for growth I was offered a job in Google, at the time, I had already started my first project: a free hosting service, so I was surprised during my interview when they asked me why I was not focusing on my own project. It made me realize that the project was indeed good and I decided that I wanted to focus on my own ideas instead of working for someone. So in 2014, I focused all my attention on my personal projects and I managed to grow the hosting company to be the biggest free hosting in Poland, and expand to other regions around the world such as Ukraine, Middle East, and Latin America.
However, I was not content with just getting there, because I knew that hosting, a traditional business, and with a lot of competitors, was not considered revolutionary anymore. In 2018 with a small team of people from many different countries, we created our own cryptocurrency, a cryptocurrency that was meant to be different from others in the market, transparent, and focused on equal mining so everyone could have some of it.
Believing in ourselves and our own ideas is the ultimate tip anyone can ever give when it comes to getting started.
We launched it under the name Webchain, our own blockchain solution with our own custom mining algorithm, to allow profitable mining using CPU in contrast to Bitcoin which is primarily mined through ASICS and expensive GPUs.
Then on basis of our coin we created a crowdfunding and exchange platform called MintMe, which was launched as BETA in June 2019 and fully opened in May 2020. Subsequently, to show our users the real purpose behind the Webchain blockchain, we decided to rebrand it and call it after our main project, which is why it came to be called MintMe Coin. MintMe and MintMe Coin grow stronger together to create an ecosystem in which everyone can create their own token, or give support to their favorite artists, buy and sell cryptocurrencies, share and interact, all in one place. Because we value egalitarianism: anyone with a computer and an idea can think of making a truly sustainable project for free on MintMe.com.
Take us through the process of designing, prototyping, and manufacturing your first product.
We are built up as a completely remote company, in the beginning, we started by creating a series of different projects, like a programming school where programmers were paid by the issues they could solve at the same time that we allowed them to learn and interact in a real working environment earning their way through with their skills since they could be promoted to better positions over time. Alongside that, we created an HR system that allowed us to interview over 5,000 people.
We not only wanted to create a project but also to create a favorable situation for our project in the market which is why all of our projects connected through our mineable coin MintMe. Our hosting servers allow MintMe as a method of payment and our main platform MintMe.com uses MintMe as the main currency in which the price of the tokens created is set. It means MintMe is consistent in its utility, from allowing webmasters to profit from their websites, to be a coin that can be easily exchanged for any currency, thus allowing transactions around the world.
Describe the process of launching the business.
MintMe was finally launched on the 4th of June, 2019 as a beta version first. The main financial support for the continuation of the project has been our hosting company and the hands of many who joined believing in the vision. During this beta version period, we worked hard to sort out all kinds of issues that could come out, as well as working on adding many important features such as social interaction, tokens created as smart contracts on the blockchain, better communication between token creators and supporters, deployment of the tokens to the blockchain, and many more features and fixes, while we invited our trusted crypto community to participate actively in the process while they created tokens and started the very first transactions. Every update was announced to create awareness of our advancements and allow our community to grow in trust and continue to invite others.
By the beginning of October, we reached over 1000 Tokens created at MintMe. This was an important milestone that followed the rebranding of the Blockchain previously called Webchain Network to MintMe Coin. Another important move for our project was the reduction of emission of MintMe coins, because there was an abundance of MintMe available on exchanges, we wanted to incentive the price so we decided to limit the supply even more with a total of 1 billion coins burnt.
In May 2020 MintMe Coin's reward dropped to the level of Bitcoin’s. As a result, MintMe became a scarce asset than originally planned which had a positive influence on the price.
MintMe, as any startup project, underwent many changes through time, such as the remake of the original logo and additional changes to the website, welcoming the release of version 1.1 which contained one of the most important features of MintMe: the deployment of tokens. Version 1.2 brought the possibility to create paid posts, allowing creators to share exclusive material with their token holders, Airdrops, and personalized avatars for profiles and tokens.
Further versions ( 1.3, 1.4, and 1.5 ) as well enhanced the interface to become more user friendly and functional. Direct messages, comments, notifications, and the implementation of Defi plans. Until now we work to improve MintMe to the fullest.
Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?
As a company, we encourage intrapreneurship, so we always ask our employees to feel free to share their ideas and contribute to the improvement of our platform from every point of view. We have asked and opened doors to give each employee the possibility to develop themselves in any other area they are good at and contribute to important matters. Because we are a remote company, each employee is expected to have some entrepreneurial freedom and can perform each task by understanding the purpose of our project in the first place so that they can identify if something is missing or push forward and make things work.
By experience, I know that at least within the crypto community people are eager to see that the project is in constant development and that things don’t look stuck or about to disappear. Constant communication through diverse channels and continuous and fast improvement and responses for any issues present and about the general functionality of the platform has kept our community interested and has increased their belief in our project.
Direct engagement has been an important task/method that has brought magnificent results in the second half of 2020 for us. Because we understand that it is important to relate to people and offer them real and useful alternatives, the response from our clients has been much more assertive in this way than any other advertising campaign. We approach our clients by addressing their situations and offering them a personalized alternative for their projects or personal initiatives, through open social media channels, direct messages, and email, using the best native advertising style approach.
How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
MintMe offers something truly revolutionary, we believe that it is more than just profitable, it is a real alternative that will help in the huge endeavor of making crypto mainstream. Because it allows entrepreneurs of all kinds, digital creators, artists, small and medium-sized businesses, and personalities to profit, being supported by their communities with a sustainable ecosystem of customized cryptocurrencies issued as their own money. Giving them the possibility to crowdfund, sell, buy, share and trade directly with their clients, followers, or supporters.
Many problems have persisted in our society for a long time: People that cannot be self-reliant, people that are limited to make business because of money regulations in their countries, people that cannot receive support in small countries even if they have an internet connection, people that want to be able to get paid directly without depending on a third party, huge fees, lack of security, lack of transparency. These and many more issues are the reason why we believe that MintMe will thrive in the near future, because it responds acutely to them all, and people are starting to realize that.
Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?
The path of creating a startup and making it grow is hard. Only 1 or 2 out of 10 startups produce substantial returns or are successful, but how to know that we are within the successful ones and not the failures? I believe it is a mix between surrounding ourselves with the right people and making the right choices. But overall I believe it is important that we strive for what can truly answer the market and society’s needs and wants.
If I had focused completely on my own ideas since the very start. I may have been in a totally different place now with the development of my projects. Having taken the chance to join other entrepreneurs or attend more seminaries and events and invest earlier, yet I know that the knowledge I have now and the path we have created is also a result of the choices I made, including my mistakes.
What platform/tools do you use for your business?
Thankfully I own my hosting service to start with. Other important tools we have used for years to communicate with the employees, improve remote work communication, organizing tasks, and following up with progress, are Rocketchat and Redmine, both very useful modifiable tools.
What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?
Lean Startup by Eric Ries made me rethink my approach to running my company. I honestly recommend reading it to anyone who wants to create, manage and grow something innovative.
Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting?
Creating something different and innovative will probably be rejected in the beginning, most investors won’t want to support a project that they don’t understand or that seems too risky, but this is where we put our personal efforts into action. I have invested on my own in a project that I believe to be revolutionary and that will have success in the future, that alone, is meaningful enough.
Believing in ourselves and our own ideas is the ultimate tip anyone can ever give when it comes to getting started. Why? Because the world is full of people that want to take us down, or people that just want to discourage you and steal your ideas. So, we have to start by asking ourselves what that guy asked me once during a job interview: why aren’t you focusing on your own projects? Because, why no? I hope that can be the push you needed.
Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?
For the time being, we're only looking for PHP/JS Programmers.
Where can we go to learn more?
- Telegram chat
- Telegram announcements
If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!
Hey! 👋 I'm Pat Walls, the founder of Starter Story.
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