It’s no secret that one of the key things Asgardia needs to accelerate its growth is more paying members. The Space Nation is struggling to convince its one million followers to become paying Residents.
I think that we can all agree on one thing; building a nation is expensive. Especially when we’re talking about a brand-new one that’s going to be based on space. This raises an important question. What can Asgardia do to convince its followers to cough up the cash?
Asgardia is an independent Nation. It’s easy for us to say that. But when you take Asgardia and put it into the real-world setting, it becomes more complicated.
Asgardia doesn’t have the luxury of its nationals being born into its society. It needs to attract those nationals and convince them that they should settle down and become Residents.
Only around 0.1% of Asgardians are supporting the development of the Nation
Critically, Asgardia is convincing people to invest in it. This is a model that we’ve seen before. It’s known as ‘crowdfunding’. This is when you get a bunch of people together to invest a small sum of money. All those micro-investments make up a much larger sum of money. This unique relationship allows people to support ventures they’re passionate about.
However, only around 0.1% of Asgardians are supporting the development of the Nation at the moment. So far, Dr Igor Ashurbeyli has put in the lion’s share of the investment. Without more backing from passionate Asgardians, the Space Nation we dream of will take a much longer time to be developed. In a worst-case scenario, it might not be realised.
Therefore, it’s important to find ways to attract more nationals and convert followers into paying residents.
The Open Development Model
Star Citizen is an in-development ‘Massively Multiplayer’ game. It’s a game that, until recently, was completely crowdfunded. Having raised over $300 million purely from its ‘backers’. While I accept that it’s not perfect, it’s been able to consistently raise funds from its backers over the past eight years.
Some quick math shows that equates to over $37 million per year.
It might be unfair to draw a comparison as Star Citizen gets a lot of its money by allowing its backers to purchase digital assets, it’s definitely fair to draw parallels in the fact that both Asgardia and Star Citizen both have an important relationship with their respective communities.
Let Asgardias Feel Involved Again
One thing that Star Citizen (and other open development models) do well, is communicating with its community.
While the Space Nation does make an effort with its announcements and news posts, a lot of the information is superficial, sparse, and doesn’t allow the sort of two-way-interaction that open development provides.
One of the core issues that people have with Asgardia – and one of the highest reasons for people leaving – is the fact that people don’t know what’s going on now, they don’t know what’s happening next and they don’t know where we’re headed in the future.
It would be a huge boon to the community to have regular communications from Asgardia. Companies like Cloud Imperium Games and Intrepid studios have made some great strides forward in this area. In order to attract more residents, Asgardia need to dramatically step up their game.
And not just to communicate news about the signed and sealed victories – but also the progress that’s being made, the challenges and the developments.
Asgardia has a great community of people who want to be involved in the development of the nation. It’s important to bring them in and show them what’s going on. They should be treated more like investors in this respect.
A certain amount of transparency will help people feel more connected with the nation and at ease with their investment – In addition to the current news and decrees that we receive, Asgardia should provide:
- Regular Video Updates from different departments, parliamentary committees, ministries that showcase the continued work and development within the Nation.
- Annual ‘conferences’ that celebrate the Nation, announce new and important developments and allow people to celebrate their identity as Asgardians.
- Clear Announcements of developments that bring direct benefits to the followers and Residents of Asgardia
- Live Public Addresses from the Head of Nation or Government that outlines Asgardia’s position on important global events (such as the pandemic or the US Space Force.)
By sharing the progress and providing a common frame of reference for the people in Asgardia, followers will feel more clear about the progress that’s being made and
Asgardians need to feel like they have some agency in the development of the Nation. right now, it’s very hard for members of the community to speak with Asgardia. There are some contact forms and systems for change, such as referrenda and petitions, but largely it feels like shouting into the void.
In additions to these systems, Asgardia should provide:
- Regular Town Hall meetings where members of the community can raise their concerns with Asgardian officials such as Mayors, AMPs or Ministers. These sessions will allow people to give their direct feedback and raise their concerns.
- Monthly Q&A’s and AMA’s with ranking officials in the nation who can speak with authority.
- A properly fleshed out petition system that’s enshrined by Asgardian Law to allow residents to officially raise their concerns.
Creating a ‘two-way’ dialogue in Asgardia will help ensure that people feel much more involved. Knowing that their feedback is going to help shape the development of the Nation will give people a good reason to invest in its continued development.
If I asked you right now “What is Asgardia working on.” I bet that 99% of you couldn’t answer the question. One of the key things for any ‘Startup’ organisation is a clearly defined direction that takes us from this ‘idea’ to the fleshed out ‘concept’.
The best tool an organisation can use here is a roadmap.
A roadmap will show broadly the steps that need to be taken to reach a goal, it can outline the milestones that we need to reach as a nation, the skills and technologies that we need to invest in to achieve those objectives, and help make sure that we’re all rowing in the same direction.
The lack of a clear ‘roadmap’ is hurting the Nation potential residents don’t know what their residence fees are being spent on, how it will help the nation and how it will ultimately benefit them.
While it’s clear to all of us that Asgardia is an independent nation, it’s also clear that this new digital frontier that is so closely tied to its community needs to adopt a model that will support that unique and important relationship. It’s clear that Asgardia needs to attract and retain its nationals and that the open development model could be adapted to support this.
By allowing people in, we’d be able to boost the number of paying residents and help to achieve the vision that Dr Ashurbeyli has laid out for us much sooner, and support the future development of a spacefaring humanity.