Kick Shitty. Spam or Scam
KickCity is an ICO whose creators want to well and truly solve the problem of event PR. Naturally, using blockchain, innovations and money from investors. The token sale is starting on 1 February, so let’s try to figure out whether we should get involved.
Naming and Site
The name is pretentious. It’s like they want to give the city a kick up the arse so it gets up and goes out to party. More seriously, the name suggests that KickCity is a project on Kickico, a blockchain crowdfunding platform. Our boys have been rather active there, constantly holding seminars on trendy topics and recently organising the Cryptospace event in Moscow. Many in the local cryptoscene criticised them for the low quality of their speakers and high price. And also for pumping up their tokens on the EMXO exchange. A link between KickCity and Kickico is also suggested by photos of the ICO representatives together, the KickCity CMO’s attendance at Cryptospace, their tokens both based on the Bancor protocol and an article where the KickCity token is erroneously called KICK (the name of the Kickico token).
The site has a standard structure: project description, links to media publications, advisor list, roadmap, team, partners and contact information. It was designed using Tilda. If you like it, you can make one exactly the same yourself. Four languages are available (English, Spanish, Japanese and Russian). There are, of course, some translation troubles: it is written that KickCity is a “Y combinator startup school Alumnus”. By this logic, a gourmet burger went to culinary classes before finding its way into your stomach.
There are some broken links too. It’s impossible to access the product homepage or one of the events. On the other hand, the second link in the Events section leads to a page whose author honestly admits that he hasn’t written any text for it yet.
The Conference of the Future
We will show, tell and explain you everything about blockchain. More text here that I unfortunately haven’t written yet 🙁
SimilarWeb analytics shows that traffic to the KickCity site is thin on the ground. More than half is direct, while all social media combined only account for 1.42%. They could do with a good SMM.
Their Facebook and Instagram game is weak. On Facebook, they have 500 followers and a well-dressed dude who reposts obscure ICOs and leaves comments on the team’s posts. Their Instagram page is mainly restaurants and eye-catching girls – no one really bothered with a content plan. The Telegram channel is home to 500 people asking about the bounty programme. Nevertheless, on Twitter they have 2,600 followers, with 600 reposts and 400 likes under each post. This is obviously the work of bots – there’s not a single reply.
The publications on specialised platforms should be shown to people who are going to do PR for a new business. So they can see how not to do it. One says that the team “recently received grant [sic] from the Helsinki Government” (at least not the monarchy!). The second mentions that the company’s offices are located in Nevada and Delaware (not bad for an unfinished product and a CEO from St. Petersburg). The third is about cooperation with a Nigerian ICO that is going to overcome corruption in their country by selling land through blockchain. You’ll never find this much trash in an episode of Robot Chicken, no matter how hard its writers try.
The main faces of KickCity visit international conferences, including ICO 2017 (Barcelona) and Block Show (Singapore), but they mostly hang out at Russian meetups. They’re apparently more comfortable there than in Silicon Valley.
White Paper & Product
We read how difficult it is to organise events these days. You have to print posters, get adverts on the radio and post on social networks, which is all unreasonably expensive. KickCity will change this once and for all. It will be a platform where you can promote concerts, MMA fights and business conferences yourself, get your friends to attend them and be given KCY coins in return.
Imagine a cosy Facebook feed that only shows events, and notifications about new invites turn the whole screen red. Sounds apocalyptic. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve unfollowed people who post all sorts of giveaways on Instagram. But KickCity CEO Gideon Gibson keeps repeating his mantra that the event market will collapse without his project.
Let him tell Ticketmaster himself! Microsoft have sued them, the US Department of Justice opened a case against them, Pearl Jam and Bruce Springsteen made do with a war of words. The monopolist ticket seller for events in the USA went on to team up with Live Nation, one of the most powerful promoters in the country. No one is able to take them on in this industry. Even in spite of the Draconian service charges and tickets being resold for an arm and a leg on associated sites.
From the very start of the whitepaper, you’re made to understand that they don’t really want you to be there. A link promising statistics takes you to a site that charges $49 a month to view them. Maybe the real goal of KickCity is to make a killing from paid content? Hehe.
Marketing: 50% of the budget
Our goal is to provide cryptocurrency to everyone on Earth. That’s why half of the budget is focused on marketing. We already have leading marketing specialists on our waiting list and as product ambassadors. We will create many viral marketing campaigns.
The white paper (and entire website) is so full of fluff that it would make a comfortable pillow. “We propose a socially viral model. Revenue generating. Reed’s Law states. Unique users with the greatest reach” and other nonsense brazenly eradicates your free time, leaving only anger and hatred in its place.
There’s also a website for the KickCity app, but it doesn’t load. Google Play says that it was last updated on 10 June. 500-1000 people have downloaded it. The rating is 3.4. The personal email address of CEO Gideon is given for personal feedback. The application for the App Store doesn’t work. Gideon promises that he will fix it.
Github shows that code for the smart-contracts was started on 3 October and finished on 4 October. The first signs of activity came in September. At the same time when the team started to go to conferences. Gideon helpfully explains that work is being done, but in secret…
Team and Advisors
The KickCity team is as international as Daenerys Targaryen’s army. The CEO Gideon Gibson is a black guy from St. Petersburg who studied business in Barcelona and worked as a hall manager at an exclusive W Hotel. He likes the Chicago Bulls, white robes and the Russian winter.
By all appearances, the cofounder Brylan Chinonso has been banned by Facebook. He’s a Nigerian who works as a pharmacist at Kroger. Yes, the supermarket chain. Since when do supermarkets make medicine and why would a pharmacist need an event marketing startup? The CMO Artyom Shatilov is very much a real, cheerful person who has recently been popping up in Skolkovo (Russia’s answer to Silicon Valley and home to Kickico HQ) with increasing frequency. But the most interesting character is backend developer Danil Kolikov. The white paper says that he worked for Odnoklassniki and Facebook. But his own Facebook history is a complete mess. If he’s an idiot, what was he doing at Facebook? If he was just young and stupid, how did he manage to mature to Facebook standards so quickly? Zuckerberg, give us an answer!
10 May 2012
I can’t live and work while there’s a page on the internet with my name on it. See you, spineless vegetables!
4 May 2012
I’m absolutely furious. In October last year I drew an apple-shaped hat and submitted it to Steam Workshop. Today, a hat was added that’s exactly like mine, but isn’t mine 😀
Geoffrey Weli-Wosu, the same fellow who wants to beat corruption in Nigeria with his land blockchain, is one of the advisors. Alongside Eric Benz, two guys from Wings DAO (Product and Developer) and a couple of anonymous Russians. There’s also Yonatan Ben Shimon, the founder of Matchpool, a company whose token plummeted in value while one of the team members apparently ran off with an impressive amount of money.
We wrote to all the advisors, but only one replied. And even he didn’t want to talk about KickCity.
Crowdsale and Budget Allocation
Judging by the roadmap, the company should already have a platform, a beta version and initial revenue. But Gideon is still chipping away at the application for the App Store. So it’s time to move onto the crowd sale. A total of 500 million KCY tokens will be created. During the crowdsale, 160 million tokens ($12.5m) will be sold. 100 million will be distributed among users (70% over four years), 50 million will be kept by the team and another 140 million will be held back for future sales. The tokens will be placed on the Wings platform. If you recommend that someone buy them – you get a reward!!
The team plans to dump exactly half of the raised 12.5 million into marketing, promise to hire the best marketing specialists in history and take their product to such a level that it will be talked about just as much as Kevin Spacey. 30% ($3.75m) will be spent on the team. The boys will buy themselves a few apartments and cars – who knows, they might even finish off the product along the way. 13% ($1.6m) will go on administrative expenses. Running offices in St. Petersburg, Nevada and Delaware, probably. And – your attention, please – 7% ($875k) is put aside for “unforeseen costs”. Imagine you wake up in the morning, stroke your wife and your cat, make a coffee. Suddenly the doorbell rings. You open it and there’s a man standing there who asks for 875 thousand dollars. You ask him, “Who are you then?” And he’s like, “An unforeseen cost”.
KickСity seems to have a decent idea, good connections, initial capital and real people on the team. But everything else is a complete fuck-up. It’s hard to believe in people who are unable to explain how they’re going to transform the entire event industry for $12.5 million, can’t get their app done and don’t bother with commits on Github. For God’s sake, they can’t even tell the difference between a city and a state or a parliament and a foundation! This is the level that we usually see from stupid Russians, poor Africans or hype hunters that don’t have the time to put together a high-quality scam.
Some things are “city” and some are just “shitty”. Feel the difference.