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almost 2 years ago

Planathon deadline April 5th - Here are some tips for writing a great plan!

Dear participants,

The Neo Polaris Launchpad Planathon deadline is coming up on April 5th, and the Neo Global Development (NGD) EcoGrowth team has tips for you on what makes a good plan.

The Planathon is an optional part of Polaris Launchpad. You can choose to participate only in the Hackathon phase. But we encourage you to submit a Planathon entry so you can take advantage of these benefits:  

  • You will get early, written feedback on your project plan to help you refine your concept into a competitive Hackathon entry.

  • We will judge your final Hackathon submission against your original Planathon plan—judging the quality of your submission within the bigger picture of your project, not just on the features you were able to deliver within the Hackathon timeframe.

  • Planathon teams with the best plans will win “multipliers” (1.1x - 1.5x) to be applied to any prizes won during the Hackathon phase.

Creating a plan is a good way to structure your ideas and also to present your project to the broader community. The NGD team will review and provide feedback on Planathon submissions. They also are looking for promising projects to incubate. Submitting a great plan is a chance to put Neo leadership on early notice and show that you mean business.

These proven tips can help get you started! 

MAKE IT SMART - (SPECIFIC, MEASURABLE, ACHIEVABLE, REALISTIC, TIMELY)

You can't go wrong with the classic SMART goal-setting tool. Here is how you can apply it to your own plan:

1. Specific

Clearly specify the problem you are trying to solve and how you intend to do so. When a judge or user looks at a pitch/plan, the question that really needs to be answered is: What user pain point are you solving? For example, are you offering an investment opportunity for dormant assets, while improving asset liquidity for traders (AMM DEX)? Or are you making it impossible to clone a digital piece of art while creating a new revenue source for artists (NFTs)?

2. Measurable

The Hackathon phase will last only one month, so you will need a very clear idea of how much you can achieve in this timeframe. As part of your plan, identify which items you intend to deliver: Will you need to spend time on design, or will barebones frontend be enough? How many features do you want to have? What kind of load will the app be able to handle?

3. Achievable

One month may seem like a very short time for development. But the goal of a hackathon is to build a prototype - something that clearly showcases your ability to deliver and demonstrates your concept in a way that can be judged.

When you create your plan, prioritize the core features that can best showcase your project’s potential. You’ll also want to ensure early on that the available technology supports your use case. The last thing you want is to spend four weeks building a dApp and then realize at the final hurdle that a critical integration is technically infeasible.

4. Realistic

Some participants (especially blockchain newbies) have big ideas--change the healthcare industry, upgrade a pension system, or even replace the currency of a whole country. It’s fine to shoot for the stars, but make sure you’ve done your research. There's a reason why certain industries haven't adopted blockchain yet.

Coming up with a realistic plan is critical to giving yourself a chance to both succeed in this Hackathon and to achieve commercial success. If you’re short of ideas, there's a lot to do in the DeFi, NFT and Metaverse, DAO, and deep blockchain tech spaces. For inspiration, you can check out the winners of Neo Frontier Launchpad, the first Neo N3 hackathon. For suggestions on what the Neo team is looking for today, you can visit the Neo Polaris Launchpad Hackathon page and get more inspiration from Neo's Medium post.

5. Timely

Make your best estimate of how long you will need to achieve your goals. You'll want to balance your work over four weeks so you don’t hit an unexpected roadblock just before the deadline. Take into account the size and experience of your team. Also identify which areas you believe will be most challenging, and allow enough time to build them.

For more input on designing a reasonable timeline, you can talk to our experts on Neo Discord and review the helpful documentation on our revamped Developer Portal.

SUBMIT A THOROUGH PLAN

To submit your plan, you’ll need to fill out our Google Form. Here are tips to help you with your responses:

1. Description

What will your project or application do? Why will your project bring value to the Neo ecosystem?

Your plan should be clear and concise. As mentioned above - when a judge or investor looks at a plan/pitch that doesn’t answer the question of what pain point this project will solve, this project is unlikely to be considered further. 

 2. Project architecture + diagram

What is your proposed use of the Neo blockchain and its features? What is your proposed technical architecture? Try to include all the information necessary to understand your project, but don't forget that less can sometimes be more.

 3. Introduce your team

How many members are in your team? (Single person teams are acceptable.) Let us know about any experience that your team members have that is relevant to the Hackathon or to your project.

4. Provide your project roadmap

What are your short-term deliverables for the hackathon? What are your medium to long term milestone goals post-hackathon? Ideally, you will demonstrate your understanding of the development process and of the road from a hackathon prototype to a fully-fledged, profitable project.

 5. Outline your user acquisition model

Who is your target audience? How do you intend to generate users? If your project is profit generating, what does your revenue model look like?

The cryptocurrency industry is quite competitive, so it's crucial to have a clear user acquisition strategy. What niche or industry will you target? How will you convince people to use your dApp? Do you have specific techniques in mind to attract users, such as an airdrop, liquidity mining campaign, social media, traditional advertising, etc.?

6. Show us that you did your research

One more important tip: We especially value plans that demonstrate that the teams deeply researched the Neo ecosystem. Plans that clearly specify how a project will use the unique advantages of Neo and/or benefit the ecosystem get rated most highly. To show us that you did your research, you could to address points such as: What do you see as the best new features in Neo N3? What products will the Neo community members be excited to use? What can be built on Neo N3 that cannot be built anywhere else?

TIME TO START PLANNING!

Now it’s time to start planning! Mentors, a rich set of resources, a supportive community, and the most developer-friendly blockchain in the industry are here to help you succeed. We can’t wait to see what you’ll build!

Questions? If you have questions about Polaris Launchpad, please post on the discussion forum or find us on Neo Discord.

The Neo team