So let's preface this post by saying that JellyChip is going to change the planet - it just needs a few tweaks to get there.
At the same time the team really feels it's time to change, we must change, and our current environment gives us the perfect opportunity to do just that.
This post covers two things:
Honestly put we've spent the last three weeks receiving numerous rejections from Apple when we submit an update to the App Store. The Google Play Store has no problems. Several weeks ago, we submitted the same update to Apple three times with minor fixes each time (based on their requests) and our update was still rejected.
We've been encountering this more and more frequently with our iOS updates. Our recent rejections have been due to our Facebook login not working (it worked), support links not working (we changed them), actual text in our app (which they didn't like) and in app purchases (which they banned).
This culminated last week with a recommendation that our "business model" was "unacceptable". This was mainly due to the fact we included in app purchases in a charity app (which is disallowed) but it was also a cause for concern for us. Receiving additional scrutiny for every single part of our app, including the text that you see in the app, also means that we're being characterised as a charity app by Apple - and that's not a good thing.
We're not a charity app. The charity is done outside the app. We just give the users the ability to buy free gifts in the app with free points. I mean, we're not *technically* a charity app - but we understand where Apple is coming from. This is something we're never going to beat, and if we want to be available on iOS, and send regular updates out to you, we need to change some things. Also, we don't really like the intense scrutiny we seem to face.
Please note: some of the design choices you see in the app are quirky and strange partly due to this very reason. We've often sculpted JellyChip around requirements determined by Apple. And that includes making changes to allow Apple to bring our in app purchases back online in the last update. But these have been removed in the most-recent update due to the above.
Now at the same time, our community is not growing.
This is another cause for concern for us - it's a real red flag. I'm relatively okay sharing this with you because I like you. We've had to sit down and work out why.
We're not gaining popularity likely because people may not *believe* JellyChip, and if they do, they lack the *magical feeling* to love JellyChip. This also means inviting their friends to JellyChip.
Why? Because people want to see their giving. This proof forms part of the final part of the JellyChip Lifecycle:
But users are unable to see the end result of that donation. We seem to lack the special feeling you get from a social product that keeps you engaged - an instant reaction, or sort of instant gratification, for your action. The one that makes you invite your friends to the platform. The one that makes you talk about JellyChip with everyone. It may be great to donate to a gift with free points, but how can people *see* their giving? How can people visualise all their efforts and impact?
We don't want to get too complicated here - but 1. our hand-written receipts from our current charities are simply not enough, and 2. our focus is spread too thin.
Nobody wants to see hand-etched pieces of people with numbers and figures that barely resemble our financial impact for a cause. It's really unauthentic and it belongs in the history books. I just don't think people even care whether those receipts are posted to our website or not. It doesn't justify all the efforts you've made in the app to buy 500 school meals or 10 vaccinations. This is not an authentic or long-term solution.
If I were a user in JellyChip (I am!) I'd want to see verifiable proof of my donations, and in the absence of detailed pictures and pictorial evidence (to start with) I would like a document from each charity showing our contribution to their cause. I would also want to see the JellyChip logo on their website via a partner page or something similar to verify what JellyChip is saying about you.
This is where we need to consolidate our focus. What I want to see in JellyChip are shareable facts and a JellyChip people can trust.
Quite frankly, we've sponsored more than 30 charities and donated over $3,000 since we launched. But there is no proof of our giving, no support from each charity (what a shame), and no quantifiable statistic that explains our impact via these charities. We've tried to impact too many causes in JellyChip over the last 3 years, and we've made a micro-impact in each of them. And our charities have not provided proof of that impact.
Without proof (1.) and focus (2.) we're missing the point of JellyChip - a community of givers that are changing the world. We're building an incredible platform for change but it's constantly hampered by the inefficiency and inefficacy of our charity foundations. Without that *special feeling* we are doomed to fail.
So our charities have failed us and that is such a shame. We've trusted them time and time again to provide us some ounce of impact of our giving, but nothing. We've created gifts for them, designed icons, created descriptions and found appropriate cover photos - we've given them the best exposure in a digital world. But none of that has helped them to help us.
And they still didn't help us to this day. Between you and I, we even stopped caring about the agreements we had put in place with certain charities to bring their users to JellyChip. We just started over the past couple of months to beg our charities to update us on your giving - but nothing. And this means JellyChip doesn't grow.
You notice Feed sitting there humble and quiet. You see gifts bought slower and slower. We play Friday Trivia in Feed with a reduced audience each week, and you notice that the life of JellyChip is missing. JellyChip is missing the *special feeling* that keeps people addicted and online. So let's change.
Apple has given us the perfect opportunity to change, and we feel it's time to make that step.
So - we're going to refocus our app on making a difference that is *considered* and *specific*. We shall no longer do vaccines, neuter dogs, pay for baby meals and etc. without proof. JellyChip will become an app that people believe in and one that makes an impact they can *see* and visualise.
JellyChip will now turn into a nature app that partners with charities to help us clean up our planet.
We need charities that understand us and want to be innovative and radical. We want charities that break the mold of the "traditional charity" and want to show the world what real giving is about.
We've now secured two partnerships with two of the largest environmental charities located in the U.S. and they actually do what they say - one is a tree planting charity called [One Tree Planted](https://onetreeplanted.org/) and one is hell-bent on reducing our carbon emissions [Carbonfund.org](https://carbonfund.org/).
This will allow us to start making a specific impact. First, they love JellyChip. Second, they are creating partnership evidence on their website to show a formal relationship. Third, they have signed contracts with us. Fourth, they are willing to provide us certificates of proof for your giving, and eventually pictures. This is fantastic.
And we want to go one step further.
We will be setting up a legal office in the Philippines shortly and calling it "JellyChip Philippines". JC PH will partner with local charities that help clean up the Philippines. We love the Philippines and want to remain invested in the region. This will allow us to create our own verified impact in the Philippines, and provide our Chippers all the proof they need of that impact. This will come sometime next year.
The idea for now is to commit to charities that believe in us, understand our impact model, are digitally aware, and want to complete our cycle of proof. Our new digital charities will help us deliver that proof promptly with the help of certificates. We also want to focus on one cause - nature - that we have neglected for far too long. JellyChip needs a *home* and by that I mean we need a place to start our impact.
The planet is a great place to start. More information coming soon on the needs of the planet but our new gifts will help to make a life-changing impact in the area.
We also believe that a nature-based focus will allow us to manage our updates to Apple better. There are far less questions associated with a relationship with two charities and a simple impact - our planet's nature - than our current model of giving. Going forward we will have quantifiable evidence to justify our considered impact.
Our new focus will have everything in-house, proper partnerships, proof, and a mission we can all achieve together.
Obviously this is going to be an immense task to change JellyChip and you will already be able to see the effects of that in the app. We have gone green, we have added our new gifts, we have changed our website, and I have lost so much sleep.
But we must run JellyChip the right way. We have a real opportunity to change our planet and it's now time to seize the day. Thank you for being part of this fledgling community with us - I hope one day we can all sit down and laugh together about our journey. Our mistakes, our stories and our baby steps into the foray of world-changing things.