Working Group Session - 04/28/20

Table of Contents

Video Recording

There was no video recording this week.


Today’s meeting took on a slightly different format, and was moderated by @shannon, @jrmith, and @patrick at Blockstack.

Business Models Competition

Shannon outlined that after speaking to everyone last week, discussing ideas that have been coming up over the past few weeks, there is interest in running a business model competition.

How do we create value and wealth from PoX?

We would love to get input from the group, and Shannon has since done some research, connected with people, and got some ideas that are in the bottom of the Paper doc linked above.

We are curious how it would eventually take place and what we would get out of it. Ideally run this competition for about 6 weeks in June, or a potentially shorter term.

Shannon’s idea for the group was to potentially start off with a mini event, bring in speakers and community members, people who can inspire what would make for great business plans. Maybe having the group break out into different teams to lead into a competition, inspired by this first event that would lead into a hackathon.

  • Pros: very defined, advantage for teams involved
  • Cons: how do we control what plans are received, where do we want to go after it’s wrapped up

What does the group think of the idea, and what success metrics could we use?

Jenny: agreed that pretty much covers it, and echoed excitement about the potential of launching this idea. It is the culmination of a lot of things that we talked about in the group, and gives us and the wider community space to work out these business ideas. This type of model would be a good fit alongside what we are doing as a working group. Would love to get feedback. Shannon talked to someone about this and it was very exciting because it would be the first time this type of competition would happen in this space.

Shannon: Cameron had some great input, works with blockchain acceleration foundation, schools on the west coast, would be a great idea reaching out to his students.

Cameron: Works with a lot of students who build contracts, they just don’t know what to build, give more support on platform development, businesses people are starting here, more business schools themselves. A lot of applications happening in computer science, but there is a lot of interest from business schools. Could be a great opportunity.

Phillip: think it’s a great idea. we have ambition and complimentary idea to what you’re doing, but based on what Shannon was saying: what should we do?

Decentralized Collaborative Synergy

@proe: We have the concept of what Blockstack has, the concept of integrating, would like to share four slides as a general idea to present.

Rodrigo: Thank you to Blockstack team, very short overview for what we are thinking (with Phillip), took the idea of developing businesses in parallel, the goal is to achieve, developers decentralized market, how to develop ideas together. At the end of it, we have a marketplace, operating on Blockstack, and would not like this to become like an iTunes system where developers do not cooperate with each other. We have 400 apps and 3,000 developers, what are we doing with them? We need to empower them.

Rodrigo: Create an environment where they can collaborate, we have to cooperate to find solutions, but at the same time there’s a chance of a monopoly or oligopoly, have to base in the principle that together we are focused on a single task. With that it becomes possible to share earnings, smart contract, take the ideas of a centralized system to put them into a decentralized system: how would that work? that’s the basic concept.

Rodrigo: We have a trustless system, so we need to make that work. One principle is independence, even if we cooperate through an alliance, we must maintain independence. Benefits: creating an ecosystem that that emulates centralized in terms of payments and market.

Rodrigo: Technically how? Use the principle of microservices, share data enabled, one type of user interface, earn directly from involvement, one ID, based on appchain.

Rodrigo: From a single dapp to a super dapp. There are a lot of simple apps doing things, but what happens in the future is interesting. When we look at the level of cooperation and what we can do together, if we join forces somehow we can create a higher level of complexity, without creating something that can be controlled like a single corporation.

Patrick: My takeaways, great to have a modular type app system, work together to create something better than it’s parts. coordination / cooperation been a big topic, with anything big there is a free rider problem, there are makers and takers, one thing I would suggest is to take a look at the free rider problem and the graph of it. Internalize what that is, and maybe there is some good product magic that can be done to solve that free rider problem to enable coordination/cooperation.

Patrick: one example - everyone has their own personal building, and people transact in it, whether it actually works in a complex system I don’t know, but this is a cool idea. Maybe even consider thinking about how app mining or something could be integrated with it as a kick starter.

Phillip: for example, if we want speed, we cannot do everything. different groups will develop different functionalities. For example, using Paradigma Crosscheck, we need a CRM, we need accounting, do we do it all ourselves and get all the money or do we get different people to do different things. Or do we help others, allow them to get their own profits. They are using the same gaia storage, so we have to share the info there. How we have to establish cooperation across the different parts.

Rodrigo: it is inevitable that we will always have friction between the developers. we can compete or work together to create a better system.

Patrick: my personal take is this is a very complex topic, looks simple on the surface, has all sorts of nuance to it. game theory to it. I’m down to continue conversations around it if they want to start a github issue or forum post, we can continue the conversation. could be a really interesting one. Is that helpful? did you want to arrive at something on the call?

Phillip: I think that’s a good idea.

Protecting the End User

Nako: new here, would like to make a comment, think we’re in a great time for this business model competition. we’re in quarantine, people have a little more time, think there are a lot of issues that our community (personal communities) are facing right now. People are getting banned, there are problems that Blockstack can answer too, but don’t know how many people are savvy but building a decentralized Youtube - if I were a developer that is what I would try to do. Our community and the greater Internet community could use this. Great what you are doing and this comes at an awesome time. Zoom as well, we are using Zoom. So there are a lot of business models that can be developed and hope that somebody does something.

Patrick: Youtube has some pretty big network effects, but differentiating enough that might be something that’s worth going down that road. Nako, were you interested in creating a delegator?

Nako: Yes.

Patrick: That’s a great idea, if I weren’t working at Blockstack I’d be building that. CoronaVirus is not going away any time soon. Sorry for bad news if that’s not already clear, essentially our governments have been failing us in terms of response, instead of crushing the curve we crushed the economy, we’re not moving fast enough to solve broad testing people can use. Could see a world where we get an app, we get an exam proctor to say you have or don’t have the virus, have been somewhere or haven’t been somewhere, over 5 different dimensions you can test someone on. Getting a green pass essentially as Corona-free or not having symptoms.

Patrick: There is a whole business model there, concerned about us all losing our privacy to eventual testing, wonder if there is way to have a ground up kind of way of solving this. Could be the ability to pay money to see someones report in a pseudo-anonymous way, relevant today.

Jenny: we talk a lot about making money, but doing so in ways that protect end users, Shannon and I are excited about it but find it challenging for the competition. If we are looking at proposals, what do we add to the criteria to make sure it fits? Feedback before launching the program this would be really helpful.

Jenny: Taking that step forward or a level above that, what makes a business model “can’t be evil”, or determines that it protects end users. I know we have a few minutes left, on the business model competition front - helpful for this group and the community, feedback on the length of the competition, judging for it, prizing for it, as competitors how would you want it structured and what resources can it offer you to do your best work. what kind of success do you want to see? find the best proposal and reward that? do we want to see follow-up? see them go on to build something in collaboration with blockstack or teh foundation? ideas on all those things we can put into a forum post, we have access to the doc, can flesh out the details and have it launched in June if everyone wants to do it.

InHolland Tokenomics Course

Louise shared a quick update that Rodrigo and Jason will be presenting on behalf of Blockstack for the InHolland Tokenomics course mentioned during last week’s meeting.

Action Items

In @shannon’s words, let’s get something moving!

If we want the business model competition to happen, there are some key questions that came out of the meeting and we need community input to get them answered.

  1. Does June sound like a good target for the competition?
  2. How long should the competition be?
  3. How should the competition be judged, and what are the prizes? (as competitors how would you want it structured and what resources can it offer you to do your best work)
  4. Should we find the best proposal and reward that, or do we want to see follow-up, such as seeing the contestant go on to build something in collaboration with Blockstack or the foundation?