A Founder’s History

From the desk of Kristopher Gano.

I started programming at a young age, and was taking on freelance work long before I really should have been. The power of the internet, even back in those days, was mind-boggling. I’ve learned a lot through both success and failure, and I want to take a little time to visit some of the things I’ve been able to learn from over the years in hopes that it will give you potential early adopters some insight into how this project will be approached.

In 2009, I began working with a friend to build a social media site (codenamed Baffle) that gave advertising revenue generated from user-controlled pages back to the owners of said pages. Ownership was given by holding a “Baffle Chip”, which could be transferred or bought and sold on our exchanges. Dividends were then distributed based on the percent ownership of each individual page. We had no idea what crypto was then (and unfortunately neither did investors), or how this vision may ultimately unfold in the promise of Web3. Ultimately we couldn’t secure the funding we needed, but my goal with Baffle was to even the playing field in the game against corporate giants like Facebook.

My next large project was Heartstrings, my attempt at gamifying charitable donations, in 2010. It presented a 3D globe to site visitors, with white strings wrapping around the globe to show where a dollar started, and ultimately the impact it had. The goal of the project was to “wrap the world in string”. I learned with this particular project that just wanting to do something good in the world wasn’t enough to make it happen. It wasn’t until my next attempt that I saw some success. 

I’ve had the luck and privilege of creating and running a collectible pet MMO project managing the flow of millions of dollars moving between users in a virtual world, and precursor to the metaverse, called Second Life for the past 9 years. Through this work, I’ve had the opportunity to tackle issues around strategy, systems architecture, team management, community building, complex economic design, and so much more. In the end, though, that’s still a relatively small project. It does allow me the flexibility needed to pursue other endeavors, though, which is our next stop.

In late 2017, I began working to launch a benefit corporation raising money for kids in children’s hospitals by making video games out of artwork they create. That project is called Pyxld, and one day I believe I just might be lucky enough to do it the justice it deserves, especially with the new landscape Web3 is creating! While pursuing it, though, I realized that I needed to grow my skills in leading around a vision and a mission, and not just around financial incentives. Luckily, I was given the opportunity to co-found a nonprofit that has provided an immense amount of experience in just those things I’ve set out to learn. That was three years ago, and I currently serve as the President of the organization Dev Launchers, where we provide real opportunities for people to gain experience building meaningful products together, providing mentorship and environments for learners and teachers to thrive in. I serve in an entirely volunteer capacity, and could never have imagined just how much there was (and still is) to learn.

I plan to bring all of these things to BLANK_ Humanity. The experiences, the relationships, and the never-ending desire to bring something impactful and truly meaningful into the world.

© BLANK Humanity 2022