SAFE for dummies. Pre-Crowdfunding Proof of Concept

Hi there,

spoiler alert: this is not another awesome app for the yet to be launched SAFE network. This is a pitch for an info folder that I plan to do and that essentially needs to be financed. I am not raising money at this point, because I wanted to discuss the project with you guys. Also, since the network is not yet up and running with Safecoin, there are still too many open variables to get serious about the concept.

Click here to check the mockups in a decent resolution.

My personal background

As some of you may know I do 2D design (check out parts of my portfolio at as a sideline to my work as a researcher. I got in touch with Bitcoin in 2012 and ever since fell in love with cryptocurrencies. When I first started to follow Maidsafe it took me a lot of time to understand how things are supposed to work. Still today, after reading all sorts of posts and papers I fell like not quite grasping everything and I guess it´s very likely I am not the only one. The barrier between a non-technical yet interested person and this person becoming part of the network is, as I believe, even at this point too high.

The videos released by Maidsafe are quite a good start for newbies. However, they lack a comprehensive step by step instruction how to start using the network (thanks to @dyamanaka we have a first tutorial video). One of the obvious reasons for that is that we are not even in beta and it´s too early to have tutorials for people who want to be part of the network. Anyway, I thought it would good to plan in advance and think about a medium that reaches out to people outside the community bubble who are interested in privacy and security.

The Concept

The concept is pretty simple as you can see from the mockup below: A 4 column paper folder (50cmx12,5cm) with a unconventional polygon folding scheme that informs in ~20 illustrations on a very broad level about the current internet structure (servers), the innovation that SAFE brings in and how it can contribute to an internet that belongs to the users (frontside).

It also contains a 4-step instruction how to become part of the network (for the mockup I used topics like “installing the SAFE plugin” etc, but the eventually relevant topics still need to be discussed). A more precise step-by-step “How-to” on a webpage flanks these instructions. The 4-step instructions contain QR-codes which guide the reader through each of the points.

The main target is to create a storyline that within one minute gives the reader an idea about what SAFE is and within five more minutes knows how to get started. The folder will be released in English and German. If people assist with translations, other versions can be added.


The folders is meant to be distributed in basically all places where potential users can be expected (bars, hostels, but also hallways of universities or at your city library). Since cryptocurrencies “live” online, print media are probably not the first thought, however many people are positively surprised that they can even “hold” cryptomoney on paper, so there is a direct relation. It would even be possible to “attach” Safecoin to the folder (faucet-style).


I decided to design the folder in a noticeable folding style that catches people´s attention. This has to be done manually, however is pretty straight forward. The style is based on the twisted lines in the Maidsafe logo. For the illustrations I am going to use a style similar to this one with one basic color in different shades. The illustrations are connected using the “road” metaphor.


The main costs for this projects is the time spent on the illustrations. I want them to look appealing, funny, yet serious, like a small, little world. The money I am going to raise will decide on how much time I am able to spend into detail. I will also use money to set up a webpage on both - the conventional internet and the SAFE network - that provides mainstream users with additional, yet compact information.


Since I am currently finishing my thesis and going to have my second child in May/June I will not start working on this project before July, but I also believe that it needs this time since the MVP is not out and if its out, the product yet lacks Safecoin. On each illustration I will spend about 8 hours plus additional hours for finishing and adjusting. I plan to write a story line and discuss it with the community to make sure everything is described precisely and comprehensively. Also I am going to share the results with the community, so there is a steady flow of content and adjustment can take while the whole work is still in progress.


I plan to do this full time, so the support I plan to raise is mostly for my work on a product that allows to disseminate information on SAFE. However, with each contribution I will also print the product and give it to the donator (in some cases local printing will be the better option, I still need to figure that out). I will also think about additional creative products based on the illustrations that I create: Posters, T-Shirts, Clubcards and more to reward those who allow to make this happen.

I hope this gives you a broad idea of what I plan to do. As I said this is NOT (yet) a crowdfunder. I post it to give you an idea about what I intend to do in the near future to improve visibility of the project and to give you the chance to add ideas how to make an even better product.



Thank you for the kind words. All did was fill a need. To that point, I agree… we don’t have a “physical” medium to reach others.

My thoughts
The favorite promotion tool is “digital,” especially social networks. But your “info folder” will probably be very useful for people “on-the-go” and need a handy flyer/pamphlet to read later. That is where your concept will shine. I think MaidSafe and this community will be your best supporters for a crowdsale.

If it’s not already obvious. We should order many of these info flyers/pamphlets to give out at speaking events, where a concentrated “interested” audience is present. Anyone wishing to promote the SAFE Network will benefit from your creation.

I’m on the run right now, but I think this concept can be achieved cheaply and will have lasting benefits for everyone.


Glad you like the concept. Spending a lot of time into illustration also means that the results can and will be used public domain e.g. on social networks. The elements in the example I linked are all isolated an can be used in different contexts. I will consider to use vectors only, but I think highres images will also do. How much time I can dedicate to that really depends on funding, so there will always be a budget solution, but as I said: the work on illustration can and should be used on every other platform. This is just to focus on a specific segment and a specific demographic.

Of course i will support this in the future, but only the digital version of your work.

I hate it that trees get chopped down to serve as paper
:evergreen_tree: :evergreen_tree: :evergreen_tree: :stuck_out_tongue:


This sounds fantastic!


How much money do you think you need to draw these things?

:wink: Hopefully those trees are not only chopped down but also replanted.

As I´ve written, this is a pre-crowdfunding POC. I might switch from this idea to another. What will always remain is my interest in creating appealing illustrations that allow users to get into SAFE quickly and to know the steps needed to become part of the network.


If I am hired I work at about 40$/h. In this case I will probably calculate 25$/h, this means work-only = about 5000$. I will consider a set of products designed additionally based on the illustration that I am going to create that are given as perks. In the end it all comes down to what people are willing to give. If I only collect 200$ I won´t be able to do what I intended to do and in this case I will create something else based on the given ressources.


Couldn’t you just draw it In the interest of bringing knowledge of SAFE? If you have any MAID at all then this would bring value to your investment

I don’t think SAFE, the product itself, needs promoting, although @ioptio 's outreach activities to the IT community does usefully serve to draw in developer interest.

EDIT: I know, there will be howls of outrage that I’m bashing SAFE or wish it to be hidden, but the opposite is actually the case:

The fanciful or delusional aspirations that some people attach to SAFE won’t come to anything anyway, with any amount of promotion. And the truly valuable functions that it provides, some of which we cannot presently imagine, will sell themselves, so we couldn’t promote them even if we tried.

Conclusion: There is little to gain from promotion to the public, although more dev interest will speed things up.

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The answer to your question is pretty simple: no, I can´t, because I have a family to feed and a flat to pay. I can do simple animations in my spare time, which is about an hour/day. I couldn´t do a professional illustration as I promoted. Interesting question, though.

You could Take up Donations if u Post your Coin address… A litle will add up in the long run. Maybe do a Youtube and post your Coin Address… I would post Multi Coin addresses for donations…

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Let´s put it like this: for a tech-savvy person a guide through the process is not needed. If he or she is interested, it´s just a matter of time. However, as a poll has recently showed not a lot of people have tested running a vault, even though atm it would be very helpful for Maidsafe´s testing. There is also a reason why there are basic explanation videos out there - otherwise many people wouldn´t grasp what the whole thing is about. So yes, I believe information is helpful and it´s helpful on every scale. Of course, you can have it in different forms, mine is just one possible approach.


Sure, I might consider doing that. ATM I am not raising money, just reviewing ideas.

There will be “SAFE for dummies” videos, and I expect it will be a common choice for newcomers as a way of informing themselves, without even being told in many cases: they will just google how to set up a vault, say, and find them. In many other cases such videos will be learned of from social networks. What compelling advantage does your proposed format have compared to such methods of learning how to set up a vault?

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Shit it’s nice as a lurker to see posts like this. Keep bringing rationality to the party, it’s appreciated.

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Good ideas and the effort to put yourself and your ideas in front of the community and the public will pay off so stick with it. Marketing 101 " Get The Word Out"… Any amount of exposure one can provide to a new or existing product/service is worthwhile but there are other factors that need consideration. Print media in a new evolving tech is a dangerous concept as changes are impossible once into circulation. Also with print media, distribution is unreliable and reach is difficult to measure and often flawed. How many dumpsters have you seen filled with bundles of Pizza Flyers?

This is all part of Customer Aquisition/retention Costs which are the largest components to new business.

Take your ideas and fine tune them in digital form. You have a talent that will bring returns so stay with it.

Paige has done some great things in the Dev community and developers are key here but developers are focused projects/startups that have greater exposure to success and a big payday. The good news is the ethereum hype is trailing so MS is next.

Good luck.

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Videos need to be produced, illustrations need to be illustrated. If there are comprehensive and illustrative videos, they will be there because someone dedicated time and money on them. Maidsafe has already spent money on such videos and they will probably spend more money on them in the near future, but I don´t see why the community should depend on Maidsafe or expect them to do all work since it is a decentralized project.

Look, I don´t wanna talk you into supporting my project, I am perfectly fine with people who believe instructions for dummies are needless promotion. I also agree that people will always be able to google their way through the result. However, I personally don´t believe in sitting and waiting. I prefer reaching out to demographics which are potentially interested but feel unable to get into it.


I think it really depends where you want to use it, but I agree that a hybrid approach is certainly more feasible than print only. Thanks for your feedback!


Stick with it, every decent idea has it’s critics and it’s your prerogative to say what you’d like to do and to try it. Nobody knows how useful it will or won’t be. IMO there is a significant possibility that raising awareness amongst the masses could be very worthwhile. I can’t prove that, but I’ll support people willing to test it out.

Also, at conferences, meetups, presentations and so on having something novel like your fold out to take away will definitely increase take up by geeks and so would help accelerate adoption in the crucial early phase. I’d really like to see this - maybe it can fold out to an ant shape, or an ant colony :slight_smile:

The cost of doing this is very small, so I can’t see any reason not to try it.


I never pay for information or educational materials. There is already a superfluity of such materials on the Internet way beyond what one needs to learn any subject.

Volunteers already do an adequate job of such things, and bittorrent takes care of the rest.

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