Steeve's Business Plan

in #steeve4 years ago (edited)
During the past two weeks we were exploring the possibilities of how to make the development of Steeve sustainable. We have been studying business models of other online services both from Steem and from outside of it. We have to say that it was a journey down the rabbit hole, especially when digging up the details of how Facebook’s business works or who actually pays for Steem rewards and how they are distributed. You can read more about the findings in a post that @hr1 put together.


Most of the content online (blogs, videos, music, social networks, search) is funded through the “freemium” business model. Users are given a service for free, but somebody else must obviously pay for it. We realized that this system is fundamentally broken because the incentives of the business can’t be in line with the incentives of users unless the users pay for what they are getting.

Our Realization

Long story short, we realized that “nothing of value is actually ever free” and “if you are not paying for the product, then you are the product”. Steem doesn’t rely on any revenue from ads (at least yet), but has nevertheless also a freemium business model, so the fundamental problem is there, too. The problem with Steem is that we, the active users of Steem, are relying too much on the hype around cryptocurrencies and on the mysterious blockchain mechanics which provide us with rewards. So when the markets go down, we have to worry whether the rewards will continue, or all our savings will change to dust.

We have an idea how to fix that. Originally there was a mechanism in Steem design which motivated people to power up - curation. Currently (or arguably never), this mechanism is not working. There is too much new content created every day. No human can ever go through it all and find the good posts. What’s even worse, even if you find a good piece of content, your upvote will be purely altruistic, because no-one will find it and upvote it too. The probability is just too low. So there will be no curation rewards for you, which means no motivation for doing the real curation work, which means no motivation to power up.

Steeve wants to change that. We want to combine the power of AI which can go through all the 20k posts created daily on Steem with the power of human curation. The power of your curation.

We are pleased to announce the Steeve Upvote Program!

We will be selecting the most popular posts on Steeve and upvoting them with our second account @steevebot. We have already gathered 150k Steem Power for this cause and are looking for investors who agree with the importance of our goal.

But let me first explain how this will affect Steem. Since the beginning, Steeve’s goal was to learn what you like using AI and discover new interesting content based on that for you. So Steeve will do the heavy lifting of finding the posts you might like and you will do manual curation on that. This alone might be a game changer for Steem. But we are not gonna stop there.

By gathering a significant amount of SP and upvoting the most popular posts on Steeve, we will not just appreciate the authors who truly deserve their reward. We will be effectively rewarding our users for their curation work. This will further motivate our users to power up and enhance their curation rewards. A higher amount of STEEM locked up in SP will increase the price and push the economics into a virtuous cycle.

Can Steeve be the missing piece in the puzzle of the original design of Steem incentives?

This takes us back to where we began in this post - nothing of value is for free and Steeve can’t be different. We did our first research this spring, started the development in July, working part time on it at the beginning and the last 3 months switched to (more than) full time with a team of 3. If we want to continue Steeve’s development, we have to make a business out of it.


Our goal is to provide the whole Steem ecosystem with the greatest value possible. In order to do that our incentives must be aligned. We analyzed what kind of value Steeve brings to each part of the ecosystem and how each part can support Steeve back.


Steeve provides readers with new interesting content outside of their classic Steem feed, motivates and rewards their engagement through increased curation rewards and other mechanisms (such as unstaked voting, Steeve’s stars, ...).


Steeve is increasing the reach of good content by recommending it to the readers who can appreciate it. This also means higher engagement of the readers on the posts, and finally also higher author rewards!

SP Holders

If Steeve helps Steem to work as originally intended, users will be motivated to gather more SP. The distribution of rewards will be more fair because curators will be rewarded for finding good content and authors for creating it. More STEEM locked in SP together with more actively used blockchain will drive demand for STEEM and increase its price. That is good for the whole ecosystem and mainly for the big SP holders.


Steeve will be rewarded for its work in three different ways depending on which parts of the ecosystem will benefit from its service.

  1. Steeve will take a percentage of each vote going through our platform to the content which the curator wouldn’t have found without Steeve.
  2. Curation rewards from Steeve’s votes using the delegated SP.
  3. Third, as an author you have the option to set Steeve as a beneficiary. This is currently optional and you can use it as a way to appreciate what we do. In the future when there will be more work done on helping authors we might change that, but currently our focus is directed mostly at curation.

Currently Steeve’s services are completely free. We already started gathering SP delegations. So the next step is to start rewarding the most popular content on Steeve together with starting to charge our curators. We will give you more technical details later, but you can expect this feature coming live around the next week.

Join the Discussion

We are really interested in what you think about the plan. It affects you as the author, the curator, the investor, and it may and hopefully will affect Steem in general as well. Let us know what you think in comments or join our Discord server.

View this post on Steeve


I like the idea. I always wonder will steemit change their algorithm to make it more personalize on my feed, but looks like you guys are one step ahead. I also love the idea of curation, 100% aggree that every user should be encouraged to do their own curation. I curently have a role as curator for curie, and people sometime ask me about how to become a curator, my answer always: if you already have a steem account, then you’re a curator too :D
I love the UI btw, will start posting with steeve a.s.a.p


It is not a great deal but I just delegated 500 to steevebot to show some support. I am interested to see how it will develop and whether people will feel comfortable with the AI finds. So far, it has offered me some stuff that I have liked and wouldn't have found otherwise.

🙇🏻‍♂️ is all I can say ;-)

Posted using Steeve

Oh, it is a big deal to us! You are our biggest supporter, me and the whole team are very grateful for that.

Posted using Steeve

Hey @steeveapp, thank you for your post. I found you via @crypto.piotr.
Your system sounds amazing and since it is already available I will defiantly check it out :) It seems legit that you ask for curation rewards. I am looking forward to use this option as an author because I am relative new and do not get attention :(
I keep on steeming how you guys keep on working!
Keep it up

Very interesting and ambitious plan. I am looking forward to that! I am currently using Steeve just for content discovery. But on my mobile phone, I am still using Partiko more. Similarly, for new posts, I am using Steempeak more.

Just wondering if Steeve will ever create APIs for other apps to leveraged on your AI powered Steeve feeds. I think that will open up many potential partnerships opportunities and bring Steem to the next level as a whole. :)

Posted using Partiko Android

It's not like we haven't considered sharing the API, but really, what would be the point of having our own web interface then? Opening the API and giving it out freely doesn't make much sense for us since we have invested so much energy into it.

I am not saying that our decision is not going to change ever. We are totally for sharing with others, but this must be communicated with particular projects, which are always welcome to get in touch. The cooperation must have a shape.

Posted using Steeve

I do understand. The APIs can be consumed under a paid model, which will provide funds to improve sustainability of the project. That's just my thoughts as a user of multiple interfaces. Each project has it's merits and there isn't one perfect interface.

Anyway, great work and I am loving what the team have delivered so far!

Posted using Partiko Android

Yeah, I understand, it is sometimes driving me nuts when I imagine that we are all implementing basically the same set of features with something specific to one particular interface on top. It is a huge waste of energy.

Throwing things away is hard, especially when you have spent a lot of energy on it, but if it turns out that someone wants to consume our AI and pay us for it enough, we would definitely consider it as a direction to gain funds. But it is pretty hard to do things optimistically. You implement something that nobody wants, ending up wasting even more energy. That is why I am for communication first.

Posted using Steeve

I've added a 500SP delegation. Can't wait until you've released a stable version!

Wow, thanks a lot! Also thanks for writing the review :) we appreciate your support

Posted using Steeve, an AI-powered Steem interface

interesting! i will tell all my fri about that. But i have one question that only the article in English is accepted or other mother-tongue can join this program?

Posted using Partiko Android

Well, currently we are recommending only English posts, but it should be easy to let the user set another language. We will try to do it asap.

Posted using Steeve

The idea of AI to find quality content is great and could definitely add a layer of value creation that does not exist here yet. I look forward to reading more details to see how I can support. Best wishes!

Posted using Partiko iOS

Thanks for your support! Actually the best way to support us as a regular user is to simply use our platform :) Or you can write a review if you find Steeve useful, we need to get the word out, too.

Posted using Steeve

Interested to check out Steeve. I think I saw it in the earlier days, and it seemed pretty cool. The idea for having something dig up some interesting content is especially compelling these days, as it seems my feed has gotten very quiet...

starting to charge our curators.

I'm not totally sure what you mean by charging your curators. You mentioned further above that you would take a percentage of each vote cast through the site. I didn't realize that this was possible -- like a beneficiary for votes? Or am I misunderstanding?

Posted using Steeve

Great! We hope you will like it :)

And yes, you understood it correctly. It's not directly supported by the blockchain, but it's possible.

Posted using Steeve

Interesting project and here I am checking it out on Steeve. I don't mind the voting bots, but I do think we have too many of them and not enough other competing businesses.

I'm some how not understanding how you are going to reward SP holders which is something I have always thought is missing.

Anyway, interesting project and I will give it a try for a bit.

Posted using Steeve

Do you mean direct (short term) reward for SP holders?

Btw. let us know what you think about Steeve after you give it a try.. We are grateful for any feedback :)

Posted using Steeve

Ah, there's nothing better than getting home after a really long day and reading about all the awesome stuff the creative guys are doing (and beer) :)

I really like that you took step back to see the bigger picture and look for solutions of the existing problems - and I totally agree with your conclusion. I find myself constantly switching between steeve/steempeak/steemit and steevie by far has the greatest potential/usability. I probably use steemit only because I'm so used to browsing content there.

Here's some questions/feedback from me:

  • if there is a new steem user that makes his first post and this is a really good post - long article with lots of keywords that I'm interested in - can it be "picked up" by steevie and displayed in my feed? I'm asking because @trufflepig has an AI for this and I think there's a huge potential of cooperation here
  • I think that you could increase your visibility by adding an option to add a footer to the post, when it's created using steeve. Something like "this post was created using steevie, AI powered steem explorer".
  • I really like what @share2steem is doing with their ranking system. Some elements of gamification/leaderboards would be awesome but I guess there are many other tasks that need to be completed first.

We are adding

View this post on Steeve

as a footer. It could be extended, that is for sure.

As for other points, it's almost 3am and I am brain-dead, GN for now ;-)

Posted using Steeve

Hah, I didn't expect replay in few seconds :) GN!

Thanks a lot for your feedback, you've been giving us tips (and tips as well :)), advice, and all kinds of useful information right from our launch. We always tried to use it wisely and now we will have to do it once again :)

Posted using Steeve

So, what are you missing in Steeve that forces you to switch? :-)

Posted using Steeve

I think that you can do a lot with story rating we put in place and which is not being used for anything really right now. New story listing, leaderboards, show top rated today, this week, this month etc.

Posted using Steeve

Added a new footer, wondering whether it is not too long.

Posted using Steeve, an AI-powered Steem interface

my brain is running out of "steem" today, but count me interested ... peace and thankks

Yes, it's been a long day.. Thanks for checking Steeve out! We hope you will like it :)

Posted using Steeve

This sounds like a very good idea - I understand very little of this whole steem and steemit stuff, but it sounds like you know exactly what you are doing - good luck in your ventures.

Ok I roughly got what you are trying to do. But we need investors to put money that comes from outside of this blockchain. So maybe sell data in such a way that you don't hamper the privacy but in return you get some real money and invest certain percent in buying steem itself with that. Or a great SEO so that we get our contents at the front page of google.(Like prioritizing the meta data to stuffs that google love but internally we don't rate what content is good).

From what I read in your business plan, everything is great but I don't see any incoming money and the steem just circulates within without increasing the true monetary value of the blockchain.
But surely it has potential to attract more customers and more investors if they get to see what they love in their feed. Great Job!

You are motivated to power up. And one way to power up is to buy STEEM, right?

Also any kind of subscription can motivate people to just buy the necessary SBD every month if they are not able to make necessary amount by writing/curating.

And anyway, when you get someone to buy SBD or STEEM and they give it to you, it only affects the price positively when you are not immediately going back to the exchange to sell it. So even services like SteemMonsters are not going to positively affect the price unless they keep what they earn on the blockchain, I think.

Posted using Steeve

hi @steeveapp

That post you've mentioned at the beginning is full of typo mistakes which makes it super hard to read :(

nothing of value is actually ever free

That's pretty much true. If I see word "free" then I do not even bother.

Steem doesn’t rely on any revenue from ads

Indeed. And this is huge problem and main reason why Steemit probably will not have bright future. Without ads this platform will not get to far. That's just sad reality.

I think you guys are trying to build a great tool, but bringing AI to Steemit is not what people may want. This will be considered by many as a threat. Anyway your idea ... it's very interesting concept.

After reading your post I still have only blur idea of what Steeve will look like. Will follow you closely to learn more about your project.

Upvoted and resteemed. Good luck guys! :)


Hi Piotr! If your idea of Steeve is blurred, than you should just go to and find out for yourself, the project is already running :)

Why do you think many would consider AI as a threat? In case of big companies like Facebook, Google, and others I can see that the AI can be used against (or at least not completely in line with) the users. But the problem is not in the AI, it's just a tool. I argued in my post that the biggest problem is when the incentives are not aligned.

Btw. which typos are you talking about? I agree the post is a little harder to read as I needed to cover many difficult topics in one post, but I am not aware of any typos.

Posted using Steeve, an AI-powered Steem interface

Thank you @hr1 for your kind reply.

I just conntected with and will test it now :)

You're guys (together with @mor and @void) doing such a great job.

Why do you think many would consider AI as a threat?

I myself consider AI as a threat because AI can analize patterns and learn from it. If we think that bots are annoying then wait until AI will be so good, that most people wont be able to recognize if they received comment from AI or real human.

As a digital marketer I see AI as a huge competition in the future.

ps. about typos:
I feel so silly now. I just re-opened your post and I cannot find any typo at all. And just before I've seen many words broken in half. Like "everyt hing is paid by inf lation.".

Perhaps page just loaded wrongly. Strange. Sorry to bother you.


Thanks for your kind words :)

I agree with you - AI can be a competition, and thus a threat. That's why it's so important that the incentives are aligned. This way we can turn competition into cooperation.

Don't worry about the typos, I was just curious what you found :)

Posted using Steeve, an AI-powered Steem interface

hi @hr1

you're very responsive which is absolutely great and steemit community surely will benefit by having you here.

if you would ever like to keep in touch and support each other closer, then drop me a message [email protected]

This will allow us to communicate easier.

Or perhaps I could reach out to you on Telegram? (crypto_piotr). I would like to talk about the opportunity to collaborate. I think we could both help each other a lot.


It's me again @hr1

I was just wondering, if you could consider adding night-mode to

To tell you the truth - it's really hard to use sites that cannot be switched into night-mode the way I can do on It's just so much easier to read and eyes are not getting tired so quickly.

Perhaps you guys could think about it :)


Night mode is already there, just navigate to the tune Steeve icon on the top right.


Posted using Steeve, an AI-powered Steem interface

I love your business model of only getting paid for the benefits that @steeveapp provides instead of taking a cut from each and every vote on your platform @hr1 that will make a lot of people like me happy about using your service.

I would like to report a glitch / error though:

  • Whenever I use an iPhone, and click on the individual posts, it doesn't let me scroll down to read the entire post or to read the comments.

  • In order to scroll down I have to switch it from Mobile View to Desktop View or from Desktop View to Mobile View on the iPhone in Google Chrome.

I hope this report helps the development of @steeveapp and I will continue to use it in the future.

Posted using Steeve

Thanks for your support! And for the feedback - I created an issue in our issue tracker and we will look into it.

Posted using Steeve, an AI-powered Steem interface

I had a question and maybe, could be a point to think about.
One thing that I want to see is people whose I comment in their posts and people who comment in my posts too. I think, in that way we also can improve the interaction between people, not only votes.
What you guys think about that?

Posted using Steeve, an AI-powered Steem interface

Do you want to see the comments? Or to see the posts of people you interacted with via comments?

The former is already possible in the comments and replies section when you click on your avatar. The latter is a feature we are currently working on :)

Posted using Steeve, an AI-powered Steem interface

Yeah, it was the last one.
Because if I comment in somebody post, I think that I could - or not - like posts of them, even if I won't follow them. Showing the post of that person that I comment, sometimes could help me to follow them.

Posted using Steeve, an AI-powered Steem interface

Interesting approach.

Take this this a grain of salt. I speak harsher than I mean, to get my point across, but I do not mean to be rude.

Nope I'm an original recipe guy myself. I disagree with the opinion that natural curation does not work. It costs nothing, and provides consistent returns, and my own feed takes no extra effort to build a feed of quality content. Yes, it's easy. Follow quality content creators, and avoid trending feeds like the plague. I do not support pay to win alternatives to channeling my full steem power for manual curation, because earning is not my primary goal. Rewarding good content is my goal, and providing a little of my own content in a free speech zone for engagement is the reason I came here. I think I can do that better without an AI system making decisions of what I get to see and don't see. That's why I left facebook. The AI can't possibly be finding the best content if it is restricting its parameters to only its group of pay-to-play customers. Why would I want Steeve to help me do this better, unless my aim was purely primarily profits? Like I said, I can find quality content on my own feed easily without help. Even if I run out, it isn't rocket science to find quality posts in the feed of any #topic I enjoy under the New listings (never trending, hot, promoted).

That's my opinion, and I hope that doesn't bother anyone that I speak freely, as was welcomed by the author. Nothing I said was meant to be mean or insulting to any specific people, just my feedback about this transparent business model, and why I am not comfortable becoming a participating investor. Sometimes even negative critique can be used to create positive change for those willing to adapt and grow. I think you probably have a very effective success model with all of your supporters for the turbulent waters we are all in together. Please use it for good and enjoy!


The idea is very interesting, but who will determine that one content is good and the other is not good. In the world many people have many opinions. Some like it, others don't like it. How to determine subjectivity in decisions?

Our users will decide by their activity. Based on that @steevebot will upvote the posts.

Posted using Steeve, an AI-powered Steem interface

That's interesting, maybe it will also solve the problem of inactive users on steemit.

Posted using Partiko Android

I think it is a good idea but I wonder: Who is Steeve to say what is good content plus will Steeve really read everything written or should I say what is posted? Will Steeve scare away those who just post a (bad) picture or joke, people who can not write or...
For me it is not possible to join Discord. Still I hope to hear more about this idea and no matter what I share/resteem what I like or like to re-read.

Posted using Partiko Android

Who is Steeve to say what is good content

Steeve doesn't say what's good or bad, it's up to you to decide! Steeve just tries to learn what you like and what you don't from your past activity on the blockchain. Based on that Steeve will recommend you those you might be interested in checking out :)

Steeve really read everything written or should I say what is posted?

Yes, Steeve is an AI, so going through all the new posts is no problem for it!

Posted using Steeve, an AI-powered Steem interface

Thanks for your explanation

Posted using Partiko Android