In the ending of March Bruno Silva (24) was reported lost to the local police of Rio Branco capital of Acre on the north of Brazil, but something got peculiar on this case, Bruno left his room’s walls and fourteen books full of handwritten encoded texts. This texts choked the local population and became viral on the national media, rapidly Bruno became known on the internet as the Acre alchemist, but no clue of what the texts talk about was found till the first week of April.
On the first week of April me and my business partner Igor Rincon — cyber security researcher— we were finishing another usual sprint on Antecipe (a Cyber Security startup that we founded alongside with other partners) late night when Igor was too much quiet for his personality. When i came across with what he was doing i saw Igor was almost finishing the decoding one of Bruno’s text called Caminho Dificil, so i started to help him until i thrown on the table one idea:
Why not create an website that helps other people to decode other texts with this decode alphabet that you discovered? And why we don’t try to unify all translations in one place? Why not open the code of this site for everyone that want to collaborate with its improvement?
So we created an MVP (minimum viable product) of the idea in the site called decifreolivro.com and open the code to the community via Github repository called Hardpath (github.com/hardpath) and went to sleep in our inflatable beds.
On the other day later in the lunch time we’ve got our first pull-request from a woman that wanted to improve the layout of the site. Few hours later we received more than fifteen pull-requests from people i never knew before this project. These pull-requests purpose to improve our site in many ways that we never expected (like the creation of the font-family Giordano representing the first alphabet that we solved) to improve and thanks to the community we were always walking forward in quality, and this is the community punch that i would like to talk and show to you why you must think twice in the possibility of open the next project to the community.
In the first week of the project we got more than two hundred of thousands unique visitors and more than 50 stars on our Github project. We shared our knowledge to the community and the community retribute with a large variability of knowledge which considering alone would be a great answer to your question the possibility of share you project to the world.
Me and Igor got thousands of connections via email, Facebook, Linkedin, which let us to be in touch with people engaged with the same interests ta we have. Some of this connections open the path to other fabulous social projects like Findrr.org (an app to find lost people near you based on the current search radius that spread according to the person was seen in that area).
The community quickly discovered other encoding that Bruno used on other texts and translated many other Bruno’s text in less than a month so our purpose to unify the translations was accomplished thanks for the community.
We had the chance to interact with extraordinary people, created friends and we invited some of then to work with us in other projects (the knowledge we shared was immeasurable), we were also invited to talk about it on some conferences and our career achieved the next level on development community participation.
No matter what is the objective that your project aim to achieve, if you open it to the community you probably accelerate the speed to reach your goals. You probably will learn new skills by collaborating with other members. I call this Community Punch.