The State of hobbyDB & our Roadmap to document 100 Billion Collectibles


As many of you know, we’ve staked our claim on committing to document 100 Billion Collectibles…eventually. To do this, we are building an army of folks that care. Collectors who love hobbyDB and what it stands for, and the beginning of a community that knows that we will be able to ultimately become the home for collectors across the globe. 

As part of our commitment, we’ve also promised to include our community when it comes to updates regarding the overall status and future of hobbyDB. Therefore, without further ado, we give you the first State of hobbyDB report with 5 sections:

  1. Squad
  2. Data
  3. Tech
  4. Finance (how do we pay for the Tech)
  5. Ownership

 

The first essential part of our community is our powerful Squad. Made up of 2,554 members that have added at least one item, these dedicated collectors have added more than 635,590 items to the Database and 93,112 Subjects (such as Brands, Series or Designers).

We have also assembled an international panel of product category experts from across the collecting spectrum. The 74 Members of the Advisory Council own or curate Museums, hold Guinness Book Records, wrote books on collectibles, are Editors of magazines and blogs, and have assembled some of the world’s best collections. 

 

 

The Council members help with advice on how to document a certain type of collectible, with Data Donations (allowing us to use existing data) and introductions to new Squad Members.

429 of the Squad Members are now part of our somewhat recent invite-only Facebook group  (and we have plans to move to our own forum). The Group is a place to have discussions on guidelines, have members make suggestions for new features that help curate the database and to introduce new tools. We have continued to streamline the organization of the Squad which now has 5 levels (you can see them here) and also created an internal audit team consisting of experienced Squad members.

Here our Vision is to have 100,000+ active Squad members.

 

Besides the above-mentioned numbers for Database Items and Subjects, Squad Members have also added 5,010,984 Price Points from now 31 different Price Sources. In our effort to become the ultimate collectible resource, we’ve recently:

  • Come to agreements with 9 other databases to join with their data which will eventually add 400,000 Database Items and another 2 million Price Points (you can see 7 of them here).
  • Received an estimated 4 million Database Items and 11 million Price Points in the form of Data Donations (here‘s an article on this from some time back celebrating the 1 million mark).

 

To ensure we can keep up, we’ve built tools to add these database items and price points faster (for example, we are just about to start importing 130,000 coins). We are also close to releasing a new page for Squad Members that will show automatic feeds of Price Points from an Auction House, which would allow Squad Members to assign them to Database Items; showing the closest fit first. We plan to improve the algorithm calculating that fit over time.

Assuming we receive some more funding in our current Community Round (which ends Friday, April 22, more here), we will be working on Photo Matching for the hobbyDB App (that just had its 100,000th download!). This will allow members to add items to their collection much faster but also make it easier to add new Database Items.

 

We have built a small but very competent team with 2 full-time developers, one part-time product manager, one part-time DevOps person and two developers that help occasionally when needed with our Android and iOS app. The team is using an agile approach deploying code a number of times a day allowing us to roll out more features fast (it takes us 14 minutes to deploy new code and approx. another 20 minutes to revert if we released a code that has passed our testing regime). With all the hard work on our infrastructure, we can now do more.  Here are a few improvements coming that we are particularly excited about:

  • Change of our now out-of-date JavaScript library (while this sounds boring we expect this to almost double the speed of the site).
  • Optional Real-Time Alerts for the Price Guide (allowing Members to see when an item changes in value, so they are ready to make a move when it really counts).
  • Estimated Values for Items that are not in Near Mint or better condition (for example lose mint Hot Wheels Redlines or Action Figures)
  • Trading, the quintessential collecting activity that we all have started with! We’ll make it easy for Members to be able to see another Member’s collection and then make trade offers for the items including negotiation, agreement and feedback (no other website offers this in a structural way).

You can read the rest of our Roadmap here.

 

As you all know, the more resources (especially cash) we have, the more we can add additional data to the site, improve its performance (mostly make it faster), add new requested features (you can see our Roadmap here) or fix existing bugs (a list that we are less proud of).  We currently earn income from ads, affiliate links, token sales and data services. We actively minimize any negative effects of these on our members (for example there are only 3 ad positions with none of them being inline and affiliate income is only from sources of interest to our members). 

This leads us to our most important point –

 

With our 3rd Crowdfunding Round (we think of it more as a Community Round), we now have 1,252 Shareholders. When Crowdfunding became available, we knew it was the perfect opportunity for us to offer our community (and especially our Squad members) the opportunity to own a piece of a project that they use and help build. Now we are proud to share that approximately 180 of our Squad Members own part of hobbyDB and we have another 170 or so community members who have come on board to support us as Shareholders. 

If you believe in our vision and love the project, we’re asking you to join us on our journey to document 100 Billion Collectibles. We want to work for you.

 


Here our Vision is to have 250,000+ owners, helping us to achieve our mission, ensure we got a captive audience, i.e. make money and provide liquidity for investors should they want to sell their shares. We will be opening the capital of the company for new investments once or twice a year.

 

 

 

You can read more about this and invest on our SEC-approved Crowdfunding Portal Wefunder here.

 

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Ted Rubin
Ted Rubin
2 months ago

Super proud of what we’ve accomplished, having the privlage of being a curator to this community. I’m excited for the strides we are making.

Fjaviserr
Fjaviserr
2 months ago

It is pretty clear to me. Finger cross, in order to get 250k investors, it is ambitious, and I like it. I think it is a great idea create an own forum, it will play an important rolei n order to build a stronger community. About the speed on Hobby, now it is a rocket, and I love the new search system. Have a nice Easter Holidays.

Blossomgirl
Blossomgirl
2 months ago

Very informative. The goals, where they are currently, what’s coming next. We need more of this information. We all need to band together to help reach these goals!

Cerulian
Cerulian
2 months ago

Love this new “State of hobbyDB report” ! I definitely appreciate the clear roadmap and goal setting and hope each marker is met and exceeded. “It takes a village” is an all too true statement in this case and I hope like Blossomgirl said we can all band together! I’ve seen so many great improvements over the past year and plan to be around to see many more! Kudos to Christian and the team for all that has been accomplished thus far!

One64Porsche
One64Porsche
2 months ago

This is fantastic! Always love the big posts keeping us in the loop. Thanks for the information, and keep up the epic work!

wsbudman9
wsbudman9
2 months ago

A periodic State of the Union address like this is a brilliant idea. Thanks for putting together such an effective executive summary. I particularly appreciate the direction toward doubling site speed and toward the launch of trading, both of which reflect key opportunities expressed by our collecting community.

Karl
Karl
2 months ago

Thanks, Joschik, for publishing this ‘state of the state’. The five sections really show the breadth of what hobbyDB is and will be. What a great framework for future communications. I also like the features roadmap; it’s a great list that shows what is keeping all your developers so busy! As a curator, I will continue to add new items and subjects – the new search tool really helps me do that. I try to pull in all the model car donations that are willing to contribute. HobbyDB is a great service to the collecting hobby!

Samantha Barker
Samantha Barker
2 months ago

It looks like you’ve got a sound business model, and ambitious plans for the future! I’m excited for you, Isaac!

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