Building Innovation Management

Hello,

This is the thread for the Building Innovation Management (BIM) Authority Node Application. The BIM application is not yet submitted. We will update this thread once our application is submitted.
 

David Chapman

Factomize
Thank you for the application. To get started:

A. I absolutely see the use case you outline and think it's a wonderful idea. My question is, why run an Authority Node to fund it instead of a grant? Why not let another entity run Auth Nodes which is their specialty so you can focus on developing your SAAS and integrate Factom via a grant?
 
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David Chapman

Factomize
B.
The team will ensure that every business owner and in-house
development team member is capable of operating and updating the
Federated Servers through periodic training (updating to latest git
build, brain transplants, configuring IP settings, updating firewalls
etc.).
As former owner of some very large online communities, I have a little experience running servers but I know darn well I have no business taking part in the operation of Factom Authority Nodes. I'll leave that to the experts on my team. This plays into question A above. Why train your business owners who should be busy running the business? If you need additional help operating the servers, why not bring on that help or why not just do what I outlined in my question above?
 
First of all, thank you for taking the time to read our application.

A.
This question is something that we discussed at great length within the team before deciding to apply for an Authority Node, but ultimately decided that we would prefer the Authority Node instead of a grant.

We have listed 5 reasons we have applied for an Authority Node in section 2.5 of our submission document. We would like to take this opportunity expand on one of the main drivers behind most of our points; Risk Mitigation:
  1. For BuildingIM Ltd to market Factom as the source of truth on which we will be basing our platform (and ultimately customer’s buildings), we as a business have a moral duty to ensure the integrity of the protocol through promoting Authority Independence. BuildingIM Ltd is located in a different vertical market to most other applicants for an Authority node, widening the distribution of the protocol.

  2. By running as a for-profit entity with our primary revenue stream separate from the generation and selling of Factoids, we will be able to operate an Authority Node without creating unnecessary downward pressure on the market through the off-loading of Factoids. This reduces the risk for the whole network of Authority nodes.

  3. For BuildingIM Ltd to build on Factom, the network needs high uptime and throughput. Achieving these goals will require a great financial and time input from the Authority Node holders. We came to the conclusion that being that reliant on the protocol without having “skin in the game” would be a large risk to our business.
 
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B.
In hindsight, we see that this point was not described well in our submission and that we missed out some information when responding to this point.

Firstly, we must mention that all members of the BuildingIM Ltd team are highly technically literate (all with degrees in either Computer Science or Electrical Engineering); the team trusts that all members could, as first responders, diagnose the status of the server and begin remedial actions themselves.

Our reason for all members having access to the server is to ensure maximum support coverage in the event that a problem with the network or server. We would not have applied for a server if we could not deliver the required level of support coverage to make the Factom protocol a success.

Our plan already included the provision for a remote support service to monitor our AWS instances, but we recognise and agree with your concern. We will re-evaluate how we will administer and support our Authority Nodes with a view to bringing in more external experts to cover a greater amount of the support activities.
 

Matt Osborne

Go Immutable
Exchange Working Group
Legal Working Group
Hi everyone. On pages 9/10, you mention "above market-value purchasing of factoids." Can you go into greater detail on this? Thanks
 

Tor Paulsen

The Factoid Authority
TH #1
By bridging the gap between the digital and the physical representations of a building, huge savings in cost and efficiency can be made (circa 10%) during the construction phase of a project.
Can you provide a source or explanation for the 10% savings claim?
 

Tor Paulsen

The Factoid Authority
TH #3
Once the development of the Construction Workflow Solution (CWS)
platform has reached V1.0.0 (circa 12 months) (..)
And;
We stress that we are aiming to be a global SAAS company and as such we
will be employing a significant number of developers. We will make the time
that our employees spend on development of the Factom protocol
completely auditable through use of Factom itself.
1) Can you expand on the timeframe in regards to "employing a significant number of developers"?
2) At what time do you expect to establish additional revenue streams in addition to the potential Authority server income?
3) Will you move forward with your project even if you do not get selected to run an Authority server? If so; how will you fund the development of CWS during the next 2 years?
 
Hi everyone. On pages 9/10, you mention "above market-value purchasing of factoids." Can you go into greater detail on this? Thanks
BuildingIM Ltd is designed as a for-profit business in a lucrative market building a SAAS with unique selling points. Our cash flow is therefore not tied directly to the price of Factoids.

We see great value in the work of developers creating tools and features for the Factom protocol without a second source of revenue, and it would be a loss to the network if they were unable to continue this work due to a drop in the price of Factoids.

In the event that there is downward movement of the Factoid price once BuildingIM Ltd is established, it would be in the interest of BuildingIM Ltd and the Factom community to assist those hosting an Authority Node without a second source of revenue by purchasing their Factoids at a price which would allow them to continue without hindrance.
 
That's a nice deck you've got there :) How are talks with outside investor going?
Approaching outside investors was part the original plan for BuildingIM Ltd, however at this time we have not approached outside investors. It was two weeks ago that we finished the high-level product design and route to market documentation, and also when we discussed and agreed we have the technical knowledge and relevant experience to run an Authority Node.

After weighing up the options, we all agreed that applying for an Authority Node had benefits over investment funding. We mentioned these reasons in the last paragraph of section 2.5.3 in our submission document.

Our current roadmap forks at the announcement of the M3 server allocation, one fork sees BuildingIM Ltd allocated an Authority Node which goes on to fund the first few months of development of the Construction Workflow Solution (CWS) platform wireframe and functions.

The other fork sees BuildingIM Ltd missing out on an Authority Node; this fork includes pursuing grants from the Factom Foundation, and outside investment to fund the development.

To be clear, we have not rejected the idea of outside investment to fund (wholly or in part) the development of our product, but first we would like to explore the possibility of running an Authority Node to keep our business as closely aligned and involved with the Factom community as possible.
 
TH #1

Can you provide a source or explanation for the 10% savings claim?
Section 5.3 of our submission document gives examples of some savings that have been achieved with tools to increase the use of BIM on site. As we note in Section 5.3, we cannot find studies covering the savings figures for each of the features we will be implementing because some do not exist, and other features have not been studied.

We have taken a view that these savings are not cumulative, but are complimentary. The most detailed study we could find involved the Danish government.

Research supported by the Danish government shows cost reductions of up to 7% by using a digital communications platform on large-scale construction projects.

A six-month research project by the Danish Building Research Institute, initiated by a government fund, shows significant cost reductions if stakeholders in a construction project report their progress every day through a shared communications platform.
http://www.bimplus.co.uk/news/study-shows-7-cost-saving-digitally-sharing-inform/

This study relates to one of our features, Hashed Chat. Using this saving as a baseline, we took a conservative estimate that all other features would make up another 3% saving on the cost of the project. This is an estimated saving and the actual achieved saving will vary from project to project.
 
TH #2
Can you provide a minimum FCT-price you will be able to operate your business at for an extended period of time?
BuildingIM Ltd do not have internal programmers at the moment; we have Scott as our resident development manager who is there to supervise the procurement and management of the external team of developers. This gives us the flexibility to scale our development spend (our largest expense) depending on the FCT-price.

Based on our financial projections, a price below $15 USD per Factoid would require us to start scaling back our development team. A sustained price above $25 USD per Factoid would allow us to scale up our development team.

Once BuildingIM Ltd begin to receive orders for the Construction Workflow Solution (CWS) platform, it should no longer be necessary to rely on Factoid sales to sustain our business, therefore our business would be sustainable at any Factoid price.
 
BuildingIM Ltd have found it hard to project our financials past the first 12 months, hence our submission was light on detail past this point. We decided we would rather be cautious in our submission than overpromise and underdeliver.

We will attempt to answer these questions as well as we can based on our analysis:

1) The first 12 months of development would be completed by contract developers. Based on our financial projects, we would begin onboarding in-house developers from month 12 onwards. Projecting linearly, we would predict an in-house development team of 6 within 18-24 months. This is as far as we are willing to predict at this point.


2) We have predicted that the first projects using the Construction Workflow Solution (CWS) platform would begin in month 9. At this time, the required features of the CWS platform will be minimal (BIM import, package creation and distribution, Factom integration).

Medium size construction projects usually start consultancy 18-24 months before works begin on site, giving BuildingIM Ltd time between contract signing and the requirement for the on-site features of the platform (hashed chat, asset tracking, project dashboards, etc)


3) Most of this question is answered in response to MattO’s question earlier.

Approaching outside investors was part the original plan for BuildingIM Ltd, however at this time we have not approached outside investors. It was two weeks ago that we finished the high-level product design and route to market documentation, and also when we discussed and agreed we have the technical knowledge and relevant experience to run an Authority Node.

After weighing up the options, we all agreed that applying for an Authority Node had benefits over investment funding. We mentioned these reasons in the last paragraph of section 2.5.3 in our submission document.

Our current roadmap forks at the announcement of the M3 server allocation, one fork sees BuildingIM Ltd allocated an Authority Node which goes on to fund the first few months of development of the Construction Workflow Solution (CWS) platform wireframe and functions.

The other fork sees BuildingIM Ltd missing out on an Authority Node; this fork includes pursuing grants from the Factom Foundation, and outside investment to fund the development.

To be clear, we have not rejected the idea of outside investment to fund (wholly or in part) the development of our product, but first we would like to explore the possibility of running an Authority Node to keep our business as closely aligned and involved with the Factom community as possible.
It is not our intention to give up on the Construction Workflow Solution (CWS) platform if we are not allocated an Authority Node. Those who we have discussed the idea with see great power and utility in our offering, and the comments from DChapman and MattO only help to bolster the view we have that the CWS platform is a product the construction world needs.

It is our preference to host an Authority Node instead of applying for grants or outside investors as we noted in section 2.5.3 in our submission document, and in the response to MattO.
 

David Chapman

Factomize
C. Let's say you get an Authority Node. How it performs will be easy to monitor. However, as part of your campaign you also discuss ambitious additional development work which is important despite your Efficiency being 50%. The Standing Parties will likely want to see what progress you're making since it was part of your campaign. My questions are:

1. How would you communicate with the Standing Parties. Examples would be blog, twitter, Discord, Reddit, etc.
2. What would you communicate and how often?
3. What metrics should be used to gauge your development progress and success?
 
C. Let's say you get an Authority Node. How it performs will be easy to monitor. However, as part of your campaign you also discuss ambitious additional development work which is important despite your Efficiency being 50%. The Standing Parties will likely want to see what progress you're making since it was part of your campaign. My questions are:

1. How would you communicate with the Standing Parties. Examples would be blog, twitter, Discord, Reddit, etc.
2. What would you communicate and how often?
3. What metrics should be used to gauge your development progress and success?
C.
We have assumed that "Standing parties" in this instance refers to guides and members of the Factom Foundation who will issue grants.

BuildingIM Ltd would like to stress that the MVP required to sign contracts and start receiving revenue is a small part of the platform we have specified; therefore we do not believe that our plan is ambitious for the first phase of development. Once the MVP is complete and the projects begin, we can increase our development team utilising the platform revenue stream. The MVP consists of the following features:
  • BIM import
  • Creation of work packages
  • Distribution of work packages
  • Link into Factom
To deliver the product within the expected timeframe, our team will follow an Agile development methodology, utilising sprints to ensure good throughput from our team.

1) We would like to invite interested members of the Standing Parties to be part of our development process. We would welcome interested members of these groups to join our RACI matrix as an Informed member. The communication will take the form of emails including the outcome of the sprint and the plan for the next sprint.

During the development process, features will be documented in our help files, but also through video tutorials on YouTube. Each member can be as informed as they wish throughout the process. Those who take up this opportunity to be informed with internal documentation (such as sprint planning documents) will need to sign an NDA as these discussion will be internal to our business.


2) We will provide access to our sprint planning and review sessions, and access to the burndown charts for each sprint (to those who have signed NDAs). We have not yet agreed the sprint length, but it will either be 2 or 3 weeks per sprint. Videos and help files will appear as and when they are finished. We also commit to open-source any modules that are not deemed to be business specific and will benefit the community.


3) In addition to the development information (sprint planning meeting, burndown charts, and sprint review documents) there are also commercial metrics to consider. We currently plan to have 6 small and 2 medium sized projects using our platform by the end of the first 12 months. We have also defined the expected size of small, medium, and large projects, which we will have to review against our actual project sizes to see how accurate our estimations are.
 
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Niels Klomp

BI Foundation
Core Committee
Governance Working Group
Thank you for your application

NK01)
Building Innovation Management Ltd plan to spend 5% of our AWS spend on test nodes for the Factom community. This will scale as our business scales. From the first day of operation after receiving Authority nodes, we will offer 2 testnet nodes. We are happy to scale the specifications for these nodes up to down depending on the requirements of the community.
Since Factom is pure dataplay it is vastly different then other blockchain solutions. If we get into scaling Factom, it could mean testnet has to scale as well substantially. There will have to be load and stress testing. How does your pledge of 5% fit into the above possible future?
 

Niels Klomp

BI Foundation
Core Committee
Governance Working Group
You mention the NDA in your application and only two Guides could sign that. Do note that Guides are individuals and we cannot have guides conduct private conversations or retrieve information under NDA that other Guides cannot receive!
 

Niels Klomp

BI Foundation
Core Committee
Governance Working Group
NK02)
You state that 4 of your direct team members could operate the servers with a combined experience of 15 years. Could you brake that down for me per team member and only about experience running production servers?
 

Niels Klomp

BI Foundation
Core Committee
Governance Working Group
Kudos for you Case Study document. Liked it :)

NK03)
In your document you mention several times how BuildingIM would solve it. Could you tell us what type of information you would put into the Factom blockchain?

edit:
Please note that I started with the Case Study document, so I might scratch or revise the above question ;)

edit2:
Yeah should definitely have changed the order. ;) Will post a new question about the above subject.
 
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Niels Klomp

BI Foundation
Core Committee
Governance Working Group
NK04)
Having a consistent source of revenue with which to develop the platform
takes away many of the problems when looking to raise money from other
avenues such as seed-funding (where the pressure to release often takes
precedence over the quality of what is being released) and start-up loans
(where high interest rates and immediate repayments can stifle
development).
Could you elaborate on the consistent part above?
 

Niels Klomp

BI Foundation
Core Committee
Governance Working Group
Kudos for the overall quality and thought of your complete application :)

NK05)
You mention several integrations with Factom. Most are about audit and hashes some are not. Could you for instance provide us with some insight about the information and how you would be storing it in Factom for chapter 3.2 (Real-time project tracking)?
 

Niels Klomp

BI Foundation
Core Committee
Governance Working Group
NK06)
You have clarified why you applied as node operator and would like to use the node income partly for your development resources. Since you defer the current maximum, have you considered to do grants besides node operator?
 
Thank you for your application

NK01)

Since Factom is pure dataplay it is vastly different then other blockchain solutions. If we get into scaling Factom, it could mean testnet has to scale as well substantially. There will have to be load and stress testing. How does your pledge of 5% fit into the above possible future?
Our response to this question on the application form should be read in conjunction with section 6.2 of our submission document. In the submission document we state:

The percentage (spent on the test node) will be reviewed every 12 months to ensure a balance between the needs of the community and BuildingIM Ltd is achieved.
BuildingIM Ltd recognise the importance to the mainnet of a well-run, properly resourced testnet. It is for this reason that we have committed to spend 5% of our overall AWS spend on testnet nodes for the first 12 months. As we grow, so does our commitment to the testnet.

We have pledged to run two testnet nodes from our first day hosting an Authority Node and we consider this to be our minimum commitment to the testnet. We pledge to never drop below providing two testnet nodes to the network even if this constitutes spending more than 5% of AWS budget during the first 12 months. However, we feel it is much more likely that we are able to provide more testnet nodes as the business scales.

Your question also asks if we would be able to scale our contribution to assist with load and stress testing. We are happy to assist the network in any way we can, including periods where we provide an increased number of testnet nodes for stress and load testing.
 
You mention the NDA in your application and only two Guides could sign that. Do note that Guides are individuals and we cannot have guides conduct private conversations or retrieve information under NDA that other Guides cannot receive!
We mention two requests because there was an assumption that those two guides could inform the other guides that "Yep, their number work". The NDA is written only to cover specifics of the figures, not the overall look and feel of the document. We would also add that no one has yet requested the NDA document. :)

We have discussed this and we are happy to release the financial projections to the whole guide team (rather than 2 members) if NDAs are signed.
 
NK02)
You state that 4 of your direct team members could operate the servers with a combined experience of 15 years. Could you brake that down for me per team member and only about experience running production servers?
Only one team member (Diarmaid) has experience specifically running and managing a production server (15 years). Other team members have experience in the Ubuntu environment and performing server-side maintenance functions such as restarts.

In one of our responses to DChapman, we wrote:

Our plan already included the provision for a remote support service to monitor our AWS instances, but we recognise and agree with your concern. We will re-evaluate how we will administer and support our Authority Nodes with a view to bringing in more external experts to cover a greater amount of the support activities.
We have agreed that it is more important that our team concentrates on building the business and platform rather than having every member available to maintain the server. We are therefore in talks with our preferred monitoring and support company to offer a greater level of support for the Authority Node instances on AWS.
 
NK04)

Could you elaborate on the consistent part above?
Earlier, when responding to Quintilian’s question, we wrote:

Based on our financial projections, a price below $15 USD per Factoid would require us to start scaling back our development team. A sustained price above $25 USD per Factoid would allow us to scale up our development team.
The reason there is a window within which we do not need to change our expenditure is because we have planned to not sell more than 60% of our monthly Factoids that remain after efficiency is taken (assuming the hosting of two Authority Nodes). This allows us to scale our sales volume up as well as down to meet our monthly financial commitments. This will provide BuildingIM Ltd with a consistent income except in a highly depressed market.
 
Kudos for the overall quality and thought of your complete application :)

NK05)
You mention several integrations with Factom. Most are about audit and hashes some are not. Could you for instance provide us with some insight about the information and how you would be storing it in Factom for chapter 3.2 (Real-time project tracking)?
BuildingIM Ltd will utilise Factom as a “source of truth” in our Construction Workflow Solution (CWS) platform rather than a “source of data”. We have read expert guidance around GDPR compliance and the use of blockchain technology, such as the following article:

https://cointelegraph.com/news/how-new-eu-privacy-laws-will-impact-blockchain-expert-take

The main takeaway is that personally identifiable information (PII) must not be stored on the blockchain because it cannot be “deleted” due the immutable nature of blockchain technology. To avoid placing PII onto the blockchain, we will be storing all data within the BuildingIM Ltd servers where we can update our security and encryption to the latest techniques as technology improves.

All data stored in the BuildingIM Ltd database will be linked to a chain ID created on the Factom blockchain. As the data changes, hashes of the data will be placed onto the blockchain against the chain ID. If there is a request or requirement to delete the data under GDPR, then by deleting the data related to the chain ID in the BuildingIM Ltd database, we have complied with GDPR.

Deleting the data linked to the chain ID does not break our system because the ID still exists; we can continue to say “worker ID XYZ performed this work”, but have no record of who “worker XYZ” is.

For the “Real-time project tracking” feature, all data will be stored in the BuildingIM Ltd database, and project managers will access this data via the website or apps. Labourers will use an app to register the asset works as “in progress” or “completed”, which will update the records in the BuildingIM Ltd database; the server will then record a new hash to the blockchain against the chain ID relating to the asset.

Verification is simply a matter of hashing the data and checking it against the last entry in blockchain, something users will be able to do via our SAAS portal.
 
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