Lottery - Decision to pause working with team

Feb 20, 2024


  • Hit pause on the lottery project since current team isn’t set up for success, and finding the right cofounder is highest priority.
  • I’ll resume cofounder matching and am open to continuing this idea, but not tied to it.


  • Proud we were able to build (invite code: PEVLGAME), a positive expected value lottery, with a unique liquidity provider mechanism to constantly build, and maintain, large jackpots, in just 1 month.
    • I wrote the 1-pager on Jan 4 and saw the hackathon announced on Jan 16. I recruited a team and started working together on Jan 18, finalized the mechanism design on Jan 30, and we launched on testnet on Feb 15.
    • Just submitted our hackathon entry. Judging and awards are this Friday.
  • Team of six, all whom I haven’t worked with before
    • 1 fulltime fullstack/smart contracts, in SF. Potential cofounder I was doing a work trial with
    • 3 part-time backend, frontend, and design, based abroad.
    • 1 full-time marketing, ops, based abroad.
    • me handling product, incentives, design

Last week:

  • Recognized that my goal is to build an enduring business. The most important next step is finding the right cofounder and everything else is a distraction.
  • I’m bullish on the idea, think we’re close to a minimal launch, and could get some users. However, it’s not set up for long-term success and the current downsides outweigh upsides.
    • I’ve been bullish on this idea and think there’s a lot to explore. It’s tempting to just work another 2 weeks to launch, but for what?
    • The team is mostly part-time with no commitment, org structure, or equity plan. No one was really all-in on this except for me.
    • This product has significant downside risk.
      • Since money is handled via a new smart contract, a hack losing users’ funds could be a significant headache.
      • While our incentives program does not include launching a token, since we are fully associated with the product, giving up later may lead to reputational risk since folks could claim a rugpull.
      • There is also legal and compliance risk with non-state-sanctioned lotteries.
    • There is limited upside opportunity.
      • We could get some usage and qualify for more of a developer airdrop.
      • A lot more work is needed to fix up the incentives program, and significant marketing is required to get it off the ground.
  • Once I recognized that the potential cofounder I was doing a work trial wouldn’t work out, I informed her immediately. I think she took it well.
  • I believe that for this to be successful, we need to convince users that we’re in this for the long run, and that’s how they’d trust their money with us. For the long run means we need to be invested, and need folks working full-time on this. Any potential cofounder would want a clean slate.
  • I discussed with the team and we generally agree that this is a hackathon, so anyone can build off of the IP. There was interest in advisory shares so will add that in. My goal is to stay on good terms. I’m not in a rush to get legal docs signed but will get to it.
  • This was a tough decision. I continue to believe that uncomfortable conversations are best done early. I’m proud that everyone is still on good terms, with everyone telling me they’d like to work with me again. The potential cofounder and I want to stay friends and keep in touch.

Moving forward:

  • Find a cofounder. I’m still interested in this lottery idea, but not exclusively so.