Construction Blockchain Consultancy (CBC) Ltd

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#1
Legal Entity Name: Construction Blockchain Consultancy (CBC) Ltd
Natural Person: Ben Jeater

Thank you for taking the time to consider my application for the role of Factom Protocol Guide (2019-20).

I have been part of the Factom community for around a year now, and in that time I have tried to show that I am a hard-working, genuine person who wants what is best for the Protocol. I hope that any interactions you have had with me have been positive over this time and have reflected my values as honest, moral, and objective.

My background is as a product manager in a regulated industry. This work involved understanding and applying national & international standards to product design. I think this experience in navigating and influencing standards is a great fit for the role of Guide as we build out the governance for the Factom Protocol.

During my time in the Factom ecosystem, I have often found myself writing posts on governance issues where my opinion isn’t aligned with the majority of standing parties. This shows that I am not going to shy away from voicing unpopular opinions if I believe in them. I think that having a diverse range of opinions in the guide team would be a good thing for the community, and I promise to continue to bring my opinions with thorough and well-reasoned explanations.

Most of you probably know that I hold the position of Marketing Committee Chairman, a role I have held since September 2018. During the time I have led the committee, we have grown from 7 members to 18 members; we have delivered social media engagement, paid marketing of the Protocol website (ongoing), and a media pack among other things.

I have already announced to the committee that I will be standing down as the chairman on the 31st March 2019. The decision to step down as Marketing Committee chair was made separately from my decision to run as a guide, and one has not influenced the other. However, the time I will gain back by not being involved with the marketing committee will be dedicated to acting as a Guide.

I look forward to answering any questions you may have about my candidacy.
 
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#3
@Azn1nvas1on That is a difficult question to answer because the workload isn't going to be constant. There will be weeks with large workloads that will require me to spend less time with my business and family, and there will be quieter weeks where the guides won't be needed as much.

I wouldn't like to be tied down to a number because of the weekly variation in workload; it wouldn't be very good for the community if I said "20 hours" then there was a 30-hour workload one week and I said "I've met my hourly obligation"; equally there would be a problem if I said "20 hours" and there were only 10 hours of work; people would start to say "you're not meeting your obligation"

Those who have worked with me over the last year know that I get things done; in my role as a guide, I will continue to meet deadlines and deliver quality work as required. My aim for my term will be to automate as many processes as possible to free up guides to concentrate on the tasks that add value rather than "secretarial" tasks. This shouldn't change the number of hours dedicated to guide work but should make that time more productive for the community.
 
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#4
Thank you for volunteering for this challenging and valuable role.

At this stage I have one question for all of the prospective guides:

If you were able to change only one thing during your tenure what would that be, why would you choose it and what would you specifically bring that would make a difference to the outcome?

(I recognise that certain guides have already made some of these things explicit in their statement and do not expect them to have to repeat that, in which case a partial answer or simple reference to their statement will suffice.)
 
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#5
@Mike Buckingham Big question. If I have to pick one thing, it would be to increase the number of standing party groups (e.g. give standing to holders). This isn't one thing though because of all the technical and governance hurdles between here and a robust system involving an increased group standing parties. I think it can be done in a year, but it's not something the guides can deliver on their own.

If the activity needs to be deliverable by just myself (or just the guides) then I would like to have automated the secretarial work within the mature processes (announcement of grant rounds, announcement of guide elections, automation of thread locking/unlocking, etc) to free up guides to spend more time on discussions that move the protocol forward.
 
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#7
First, thank you for stepping up as a Candidate. Putting yourself out there like this is not easy and I appreciate your willingness and desire to work for the Protocol.

1. Do you have a LinkedIn? If so, what is it? If not, why not?

2. Certain processes such as Document Ratification require a 4/5 vote from Guides prior to the process moving on to additional Standing Parties for a vote. Do you feel this is a centralization of power in the ecosystem? Why or why not? And under what circumstances would you vote "no" and gatekeep that process from progressing?

3. Do you feel Guides should always be a Standing Party? If so, why? If not, when would you like to see the role removed?

4. It's important that our Guides be diverse in their thinking and approach to problems. Which current Guide are you most opposite to in your thinking, how so, and why is that a good thing?

Thank you.
 
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#8
Having worked closely with Ben over the last 6 months in the Marketing Committee. I have nothing but unwavering support for Ben to run as a guide and believe he would not only make a great Guide, but he would excel in the role. He has continued to display numerous qualities of a great leader throughout this time, such as:
The ability to stay laser focused on the topic at hand, despite outside distractions. Confidence in decision making that is rooted in compassion and not arrogance. Transparency through the good and the bad. His overall integrity and passion is inspirational through his actions (not his words). Ben has displayed excellent “open-minded” adaptability and authenticity in decision making. He’s decisive in nature and has displayed several elements of being personable and able to relate to a multitude of people.
Ben has excellent communication skills and ultimately treats results as a collaborative effort, instead of praise for his own efforts or his ANO. His recent post about the Marketing Committee grant update - further displays qualities that not only hold himself accountable, but the ability to hold others accountability, while still maintaining tact and encouragement….and the best part of this, is he had the foresight to take the next steps to make it right. This ability “ to see the forest floor from the tree tops” is rare and should be cultivated.
Best of luck and thanks for making the decision to run as a Guide!
 
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#9
Thank you for applying for the Guide position Ben.

You are part of the BIM ANO. I reckon that you currently have a small team (1 or 2 collaborators total?) and a company to run which is about to launch a new product on the market. If you were elected how would that impact your ANO? I have concerns that your work as Guide would deplete your time and energy invested into your ANO which wouldn't be performing well enough in regards to ANO expectations (as Guide work doesn't count towards your ANO). Can you alleviate my concerns? :)

Thank you.
 
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#10
@David Chapman

1. Do you have a LinkedIn? If so, what is it? If not, why not?
https://www.linkedin.com/in/ben-jeater/


2. Certain processes such as Document Ratification require a 4/5 vote from Guides prior to the process moving on to additional Standing Parties for a vote. Do you feel this is a centralization of power in the ecosystem? Why or why not?
This is a bit of a loaded question (asking if I think the Factom community is centralised). The system of governance we currently have involves guides on the understanding that the role will be phased out as much as possible over time. It is, therefore, the role of the guides to make themselves as unnecessary as possible. This is a conflict of interest, but one that the community can manage by starting a guide removal process without the input of guides.

I feel that the ability of the community to remove guides avoids any centralisation issue as things currently are. I am more animated about expanding the number of standing party groups which will make us more decentralised than we are today.

And under what circumstances would you vote "no" and gatekeep that process from progressing?
The role of guides is an "accepted necessary evil" for the moment as we do not have the technical framework to deliver on-chain voting/processes yet. As we start to move processes to the chain we will be able to see what can and can't be done without the guides. If there is a technical reason why a process can't be put on-chain yet then I will vote to keep it with the guides. I can't predict what these cases might be though.


3. Do you feel Guides should always be a Standing Party? If so, why? If not, when would you like to see the role removed?
This is a hard question because it involves a small amount of predicting the future. If all processes we design over the coming years can be put on-chain then we will get to a point where the guide role would no longer be required and could be written out of the governance documents and processes.

If the community finds that some processes NEED a human gatekeeper then the guide role will still be required. We'll have to deal with those problems as they come up. In summary, I'm saying that I don't want guides to be a forever thing, but I'm not going to vote to remove guides for ideological reasons over technical reasons.


4. It's important that our Guides be diverse in their thinking and approach to problems. Which current Guide are you most opposite to in your thinking, how so, and why is that a good thing?
I think that Brian Deery and I are the most different in opinion. Brian it methodical and extremely technically knowledgeable about the protocol, while I am much more iterative in my way of working, with a "let's just do it" mentality. I think these two ways of working compliment each other because the "just do it" person forces progress to happen (rather than stagnation), but the methodical person pulls the process back to a balance between volume and quality of output.
 
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#11
@Paul Bernier

I understand your concerns, and I'll be honest and say that I have them too. If the other guides decide that they can dedicate 40 hours a week to guiding then I would probably struggle to keep up.

What I can talk about is how I have performed over the past 5 months in my extra-ANO activity as chair of the marketing committee, a role I am stepping down from. I have put in 10-20 hours a week for the past 5 months for the committee while building and launching our first product Como (which is now live). I have also been present for all activities that are required from an ANO, some of which are duplicated within this role (governance discussion) and will not be an additional workload.

Taking into account the drop in workload from the marketing committee work, and the duplication of work that will not create an additional time drain, I reckon that I am likely to have a similar workload to what I have now.
 
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#12
Firstly, thank you for putting yourself up for election for this important and challenging position! These are general questions that I am asking to all applicants. If you feel the questions are redundant to your previous replies. Feel free to cite that and move forward.

Having recently ratified changes to Doc 001 I would appreciate it if you could take a moment to explain how you will intend to carry out the following as a guide.

1. Under Guide eligibility standards.
(a) demonstrate independence in thought, leadership, and business
(b) be of good moral character with a demonstrated interest in the long term best interests of the protocol, willingness to serve the community of users, and history as a leader in the community.

2. Under Guide responsibilities
(a) make themselves available to the community
(b) Maintain orderly operation of the protocol network and facilitate the relationships between standing parties and the community. Further, by ensuring an adequate number of applicants to run a large enough pool of servers to ensure 65 servers are always available for the Authority Set.
(c) Be responsible for overseeing the application of the protocol governance to the operation of the the protocol.

Finally I see the responsibility of “Maintain orderly operation of the protocol” to extend beyond simply the technical and governance parts of the protocol and extending towards the wider community. Do you agree with this interpretation? If so how do you intend to achieve this?

Thanks Again
 
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#13
@DanG

demonstrate independence in thought, leadership, and business
As I wrote in my original post at the start of this thread, I am often not voicing opinions that are aligned with the majority of those taking part in the discussions. This demonstrates my independence of thought. My businesses (CMC and BuildingIM) is not linked to any other ANO financially or commercially, showing independence of business. I’m not sure I fully understand how to demonstrate “independence of leadership”; leadership is about providing a direction and purpose to those who follow, but if 5 guides all provided their own “independent leadership” we would have 5 factions pulling in different directions. That would not be good for anyone. My guess would be that the writer of this clause intended that guides should not be “puppets” of a small subset or lobby within the ecosystem. In this regard, my leadership is independent because my values (as mentioned in my original post) are honest, moral, and objective.

be of good moral character with a demonstrated interest in the long term best interests of the protocol, willingness to serve the community of users, and history as a leader in the community.
I know I sound like a broken record, but I have served as marketing committee chair for the last 5 months. I stepped up when the committee was in crisis due to a number of departures, and I have stabilised, motivated, and grown the team since then. I stepped into a role which was huge amounts of work, with little thanks from the wider community, and was unpaid. That is who I am; someone who takes on the hard jobs to get them done for the community.

make themselves available to the community
I am on Discord during my waking hours, but you can also email me at ben.jeater@constructionbc.co.uk. It is my aim to attend at least 90% of the guide meetings (46 out of 52 meetings a year) if elected.

Maintain orderly operation of the protocol network and facilitate the relationships between standing parties and the community. Further, by ensuring an adequate number of applicants to run a large enough pool of servers to ensure 65 servers are always available for the Authority Set.
I have read @Tor Paulson’s answer to this, and I agree that it is actually 3 questions in one; I won’t be stealing his answer though :)

“Maintain orderly operation of the protocol network”
I believe this statement was intended to make the guides accountable in the operation of the network such as handling stalls and monitoring the progress of upgrades. The guides should be able to delegate these activities to a competent committee (the core committee), but they shall still be accountable for the performance of the activities that have been delegated. The current guide set has two members who co-chair the core committee which keeps the guides and the committee tightly aligned, but this may not always be the case. If I was elected, I would create a process to ensure delegated activities are monitored and working efficiently even if there are no guides within the core committee.

“facilitate the relationships between standing parties and the community”
For me this means giving more groups within the committee some standing to create a feeling of ownership and empowerment for our wider community; this will motivate the increased number of standing parties to go out and spread the word about the Factom Protocol. As I stated in my reply to Mike Buckingham, increasing the number of standing party groups is one of my main goals if elected.

“ensuring an adequate number of applicants to run a large enough pool of servers”
My feeling is that we are not going to jump to 65 ANOs during my first term as a guide, so I won’t talk about getting to 65 servers as stated in Doc 001. I agree that the long term goal is to get to 65 (or more, depending on how we choose to structure the network in future) and I will always strive towards that goal. As I stated above, I think that by giving our community members standing, they will push the Factom Protocol into their industries and domains of knowledge will bring in ANO candidates as a result.

Be responsible for overseeing the application of the protocol governance to the operation of the protocol.
I believe this statement requires that guides have a working knowledge of the governance documentation to ensure that they can recognise an activity or situation that would be in violation of the governance documentation. When creating new governance documentation, the guides will need to be able to remember issues brought up in previous document discussions to avoid going over old ground when discussing new documents. I have a reasonable knowledge of our governance structure at the moment, but I am not the most knowledgeable; if elected I will spend a lot of time going over old discussion threads and ratified documents to ensure I can perform this task admirably.


Finally I see the responsibility of “Maintain orderly operation of the protocol” to extend beyond simply the technical and governance parts of the protocol and extending towards the wider community. Do you agree with this interpretation? If so how do you intend to achieve this?
This is a complicated question because as a guide I believe it would be my responsibility to follow the intention of a governance statement, not the interpretation of the statement that may arise later.

Your question removes the next word from the sentence (network) which completely changes the meaning. The governance document only requires that guides maintain the “protocol network”, not the protocol in general. I, therefore, cannot agree with your interpretation of this statement.

That being said, I believe that guides have a responsibility to ensure a community where polite discourse is embraced and encouraged and people use their skills to work together. I believe everyone should have a voice, and ideas are promoted on their merits rather than the perception of the person who brings the idea. I believe creating this supportive environment is a task that guides can and have delegated to community moderators, but is something that needs a process for dialogue and feedback between guides and the moderators (much like the delegation of the operation of the protocol to the core committee).
 
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#14
For legal reasons, we elect entities, not individuals. As such, the entity is the Guide and not a single individual. Therefore, in theory at least, any individual under the entity's umbrella can act in a Guide manner. This creates a scenario where an entity could get elected and then bring in an unknown individual as a part of said entity to execute the Guide responsibilities.

So the question is: If elected, will any other individuals besides yourself be acting in a Guide capacity for your entity?

Thank You
 
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#15
@Matt Osborne

CBC Ltd is a limited company that I have set up for the purpose of being a guide. I am the only officer listed, which can be checked at https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/11836734/officers.

As the only officer of this company only I will be in a position to administrate any of the duties as Factom Protocol guide. This is not a role I will subcontract out; it's too important!
 
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#16
As a former Guide, I can speak from experience that being a Guide is time consuming and can be stressful. It can take critical time away from one's duties to their ANO yet the health of your ANO is paramount to the network. Is your ANO in good health where you can work less on it and does your business partner(s) or employer support your running for Guide?
 
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#18
With the shuttering of BuildingIM, I will now be acting as a non-ANO guide. This departure from ANO work will free me up to spend more time on guide activities. I think that my experience of being an ANO coupled with my status as a non-ANO will allow me to compare both the views of the community and the views of the ANOs to improve the processes and governance around the Factom Protocol.

I will be unable to answer questions about the dissolution of BuildingIM as I am standing as a separate entity from the ANO that I am leaving, but I am happy to answer any questions you may have about how this affects my views as a guide (my views are still the same; I'm still the same person :))
 
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#19
Hi Ben
Obviously shocking news today with the announcement of BIM's future dissolution. I'm sure that's very difficult considering all the work you have put in. You've definitely contributed a lot of your time to this protocol. Also, thank you for stepping up and leading the marketing committee when no one else would.

I've asked several other Guides (Niels, Tor, Damo, and Brian) difficult questions today. After BIM's earlier announcement, I feel bad for having to ask you hard questions as well. However, the protocol needs to come first. So here goes:

1. I find the timing about BIM's announcement very odd. It appears that the only reason the announcement was made in the first place is because David posed a question about health of ANOs to all potential Guides. Did you know that BIM would be folding prior to today? If so, why did you not feel that this was relevant information for the community during this Guide election process?


2. The paid search grant was paused recently during the previous grant round do to setup and performance issues. One of the potential grants was for about $55,000 in FCT. This grant was introduced by the same person who was overseeing the paused paid search campaign. It is my understanding that a marketing group member had recommended that you make this news public, as it was very pertinent to the $55,000 grant. Would you have made this announcement if not encouraged by someone else?


3. It is my understanding that Vince has left the community and will no longer be working on the paid search grant. To my knowledge, this information has not been made public yet (he had rage quit, but was going to at least finish out the paid search grant). Because you are the marketing chair and are running as Guide, should this information have been shared with the community in the interest of full transparency?

Thank You
 
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#20
With the shuttering of BuildingIM, I will now be acting as a non-ANO guide. This departure from ANO work will free me up to spend more time on guide activities. I think that my experience of being an ANO coupled with my status as a non-ANO will allow me to compare both the views of the community and the views of the ANOs to improve the processes and governance around the Factom Protocol.
You will not be a non-ANO Guide. You will be a Failed Authority Node Operator Guide of a company that somehow failed in less than a year despite receiving thousands and thousands of dollars in funding per month since its inception. I have to ask what message we send to the sophisticated individuals from companies and government that will be performing due diligence on the protocol if we elect you into a leadership role.

If we are to become a GLOBAL UTILITY (I plead with everyone out there to sit back and imagine just what that will take) we need people that can successfully execute leading our governance.
 
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#23
However, the protocol needs to come first
Always, and I hope I have demonstrated that during the last year.

1. I find the timing about BIM's announcement very odd. It appears that the only reason the announcement was made in the first place is because David posed a question about health of ANOs to all potential Guides. Did you know that BIM would be folding prior to today? If so, why did you not feel that this was relevant information for the community during this Guide election process?
David's question did not impact the situation. Calum and I were unable to agree on the next steps for BuildingIM to take. This has been an ongoing issue for a few weeks which flared up since Monday this week. On Friday evening (UTC), we agreed that there was no agreement and that the business needed to be closed as we go our separate ways. This is not what I wanted and this is not what I fought for, but it is the situation in which I find myself.

Regarding the relevancy; I posted an announcement as soon as the decision was made DURING the guide election round. I think this shows that I do believe that it is relevant. No one else brought this information to the community, and the information was given freely with around 30 hours to go until the start of the voting period. I could have waited until after the elections to announce the information to "better my chances", but I decided that was not fair to the community.

2. The paid search grant was paused recently during the previous grant round do to setup and performance issues. One of the potential grants was for about $55,000 in FCT. This grant was introduced by the same person who was overseeing the paused paid search campaign. It is my understanding that a marketing group member had recommended that you make this news public, as it was very pertinent to the $55,000 grant. Would you have made this announcement if not encouraged by someone else?
A full and open breakdown of the marketing committee grant was provided to the community last Sunday (https://factomize.com/forums/threads/marketing-committee-grant-update-and-discussion.1694/). In the thread, I cover all the large moments from the grant and the learnings from them. I absolutely would have informed the community that we had paused the campaign without a prompt; do you believe I wouldn't have?

I would also like to reiterate that the paid campaign was awarded based on delivering traffic to the website, something that we have more than overachieved. The main issue's raised by @Greg Forst were on the tracking of the traffic, something that fell outside of the scope of the marketing grant and (I believed) would be part of the website grant. There was no point in spending money to send traffic to the website if we couldn't track it; it wasn't the best thing for the protocol.

This is the second time you have said the "potential grant" was for $55,000. This is incorrect; the original grant was for around $36,000 (10,316 FCT * $3.5) which was lowered to $18,750 (5,000 FCT * $3.75) because of the oversubscribed grant round.

3. It is my understanding that Vince has left the community and will no longer be working on the paid search grant. To my knowledge, this information has not been made public yet (he had rage quit, but was going to at least finish out the paid search grant). Because you are the marketing chair and are running as Guide, should this information have been shared with the community in the interest of full transparency?
Yes, Vince has left the community but is continuing to keep contact with me while the campaign is ongoing. Vince chose to leave the community because he felt that he was the target of much ire within the community. It was not a rage-quit, there was no rage when he called me to tell me that he didn't want to be part of the committee or community anymore; he did, however, want to finish the paid campaign. Given that he is still performing work for the community I don't count him as "left" yet. There was going to be an announcement once the final paid campaign report is finished.
 
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#24
In previous grant rounds, you have not supported Factom Inc.'s development grants. I'd like to understand the thinking especially if you take the role as a guide.

At this point in the growth of the protocol, development is critical in my opinion. I hope you share that opinion.
I will take "you" to be "BuildingIM" as I do not personally have standing in the community. BuildingIM has not supported the Factom Inc grants as a protest vote against the lack of transparency from previous grant rounds. BuildingIM supported Factom Inc in the first grant round, but found the lack of information on the grant delivery concerning. When asked direct questions during the grant updates my questions were not even acknowledged.

In round two, BuildingIM voted with "binary scores" (100 or 0) and without proper information about the previous grant, we chose to vote 0. I have never felt bad about giving this score and no one from Factom Inc ever asked me about it. I assumed the Inc team didn't notice or care.

In round three, BuildingIM ranked Factom Inc as the lowest core grant to show our belief that core development should be decentralised as a priority. With the Factom Inc grant taking so much of the grant pool, BuildingIM were concerned we might end up with only one or two core dev grants being awarded (Inc +) which would have been bad for the protocol.

I absolutely support core development and I hope that we can increase the size of our core dev team this year to improve the stability of the network.
 
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#25
You will not be a non-ANO Guide. You will be a Failed Authority Node Operator Guide of a company that somehow failed in less than a year despite receiving thousands and thousands of dollars in funding per month since its inception. I have to ask what message we send to the sophisticated individuals from companies and government that will be performing due diligence on the protocol if we elect you into a leadership role.

If we are to become a GLOBAL UTILITY (I plead with everyone out there to sit back and imagine just what that will take) we need people that can successfully execute leading our governance.
There isn't a question mark in that statement, so I'll answer "I have to ask what message we send to the sophisticated individuals from companies and government that will be performing due diligence on the protocol if we elect you into a leadership role[?]"

This is 100% not what I wanted and I fought hard against closing BuildingIM, but without an agreement between the two directors, the business had to close. Startups fail for many reasons; this one failed due to lack of agreement.

Do you think that I believe this makes me look good? No, not in the slightest. What I think this shows is that I am honest, open, and capable of admitting when I have made mistakes; these are all good leadership qualities. I could have chosen to keep quiet and get elected without making this information public, but I chose to make it public so that people could make their own choices.

I hope that people do choose me as a guide for my positive traits and historic performance, rather than the single failure that is the freshest in their mind.