Factom Inc.

Brian Deery

Factom Inc.
Core Committee
Core Developer
as an applicant: The important part I would say is that it the individuals who gained the experience for the year leading up to the software sale are the same individuals who are using that experience when running the servers.
 

David Chapman

Factomize
B. High profile members of the Factom Inc team have left over the last year. Your CEO, CMO, VP, and various core developers without any communication to the Factom Community. Word is that another Core developer will be leaving soon. Would you like to comment on these departures?
 

David Chapman

Factomize
C. When I look at your team list, I see one Core Developer who I've seen contribute any code as of late and word is, he's leaving. Do you have any Core Developers left? If so, who are they?
 

David Chapman

Factomize
D. I didn't see anything in your application as to how FCT received from the Authority Nodes would be utilized. Will they be held? Sold? If they're sold, how will the proceeds of those sales be utilized at Factom Inc?
 

PaulSnow

Factom Inc.
Core Committee
Core Developer
B. High profile members of the Factom Inc team have left over the last year. Your CEO, CMO, VP, and various core developers without any communication to the Factom Community. Word is that another Core developer will be leaving soon. Would you like to comment on these departures?
Peter Kirby was replaced by myself, and served as President in a transitional period, and left Factom.

Tiana Laurence our previous CMO left for personal reasons, and has been replaced by Jay Smith.

Jason Nadeau reduced his role to a paid executive adviser, and has taken a position with Fidelity to reduce his travel. He remains a Factom advocate, and is committed to Factom. He continues participate in a reduced, but active role.

Steven Measly will be taking off for the summer, and finishing his degree in the 2018-2019 school year. Steven started as an Intern, and has played an important role at Factom, and we hope to have him join Factom after graduation.

We have hired Clay Douglass, a very productive and experienced Developer and electrical engineer. He has already made huge contributions to Factom and towards M3.

We have hired Ian Seyer, a very talented Dev Ops engineer. We are very happy with the productivity he is bringing to all of our operations.

C. When I look at your team list, I see one Core Developer who I've seen contribute any code as of late and word is, he's leaving. Do you have any Core Developers left? If so, who are they?
This isn't even accurate.

I remain the largest contributor to the code base, and I am not leaving. https://github.com/FactomProject/factomd/graphs/contributors

Note that the production code has several developers contributing. https://github.com/FactomProject/factomd/commits/master

The Community Testnet code has been dominated by Emyrk, sure. But he isn't alone, and he isn't working alone. https://github.com/FactomProject/factomd/commits/communitynet-m3

D. I didn't see anything in your application as to how FCT received from the Authority Nodes would be utilized. Will they be held? Sold? If they're sold, how will the proceeds of those sales be utilized at Factom Inc?
We are going to be utilizing the tokens to support our company. We are designing the next generation of the Factom protocol, and new lightweight clients. We are building application on the Factom protocol that make the protocol accessible to enterprise customers. We are promoting our applications and the Factom protocol at conferences and with our clients.

Specifically, the tokens earned as a Authority node will be held for the time being, but may be sold if needed to support our efforts.
 
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PaulSnow

Factom Inc.
Core Committee
Core Developer
As a VC funded company established in 2015, many internal decisions about our operations are not open for free and public discussion. While it may seem tempting to use this forum to go fishing for answers to questions Factom has declined to address in the past, I am not entirely sure that is what this process is intended to do.

I remain happy to answer any questions the guides may have, but if the question is about internal operations, our clients, our business processes, our staffing, then that answer might be a polite decline to address. We can certainly supply more under a NDA.
 

David Chapman

Factomize
As a VC funded company established in 2015, many internal decisions about our operations are not open for free and public discussion. While it may seem tempting to use this forum to go fishing for answers to questions Factom has declined to address in the past, I am not entirely sure that is what this process is intended to do.

I remain happy to answer any questions the guides may have, but if the question is about internal operations, our clients, our business processes, our staffing, then that answer might be a polite decline to address. We can certainly supply more under a NDA.
Factom Inc has the distinction of being what is, in essence, the first Authority Node Operator. One that has had a multi-year head start. As other Authority Node Operators come online and begin the process of executing on their campaign promises, the Community will need to, "Go Fishing" for answers, especially if that Operator hasn't delivered on stated deadlines.

Point being, I suggest you get used to it as before long, Factom Inc is going to be is one of 65 Authority Node Operators who needs to deliver or they might get replaced. The Standing Parties will only put up with the, "NDA Card" for so long.
 
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PaulSnow

Factom Inc.
Core Committee
Core Developer
Factom Inc has the distinction of being what is, in essence, the first Authority Node Operator. One that has had a multi-year head start. As other Authority Node Operators come online and begin the process of executing on their campaign promises, the Community will need to, "Go Fishing" for answers, especially if that Operator hasn't delivered on stated deadlines.

Point being, I suggest you get used to it as before long, Factom Inc is going to be is one of 65 Authority Node Operators who needs to deliver or they might get replaced.
Keep in mind, the Authority Set isn't responsible for code development and "stated deadlines". If I stated any deadlines in our proposal for the authority nodes we would like to run, I'd be happy to talk about them. Otherwise, this is the wrong forum.
 

David Chapman

Factomize
As I asserted above, you've in essence been the first Authority Node Operator for years in that you used community money to partially fund your operations. Make no mistake, Standing Parties will take note of key personnel departing, missed deadlines, and everything a company does as an Authority Node Operator. Everything will be on the table and if an Authority Node Operator isn't conducting itself how the Standing Parties expect, they may be voted out so that another entity can take their place.

Once again, you will, in essence, be using funds the Community allows you via election to the Authority Set. And
PaulSnow said:
We are going to be utilizing the tokens to support our company.
It will be the job of the Standing Parties to not trust Authority Node Operators and grant recipients. It will be their job to verify that the FCT are being used in the most efficient, honest, productive manner possible. And if they aren't able to verify what they're told and there's other red flags, I suspect, at times, action will be taken.
 
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PaulSnow

Factom Inc.
Core Committee
Core Developer
David, I am not sure why you edited my reply to insinuate that we were going to do nothing for the factom protocol by using the tokens to support our company. After all, our company created the protocol. It's behind everything that we do. As I said.

But really, The Authority set tokens will do only a very very small amount to support the totality of what we plan to do for the factum protocol.
 

David Chapman

Factomize
For clarity for those who end up reading this, I did not edit Paul's post. I quoted a specific part of his post (I edited out the full reply in my quote above) which is what he's referring to.
 

David Chapman

Factomize
Paul, I did not insinuate that you are going to do nothing for the Protocol. We all know that Factom Inc is going to work hard on the Protocol. But if FCT will be used, "To support our company" then the Community has a right to audit how that FCT is used. And if the Community does or doesn't like what they see, then they can act accordingly.

I'm not interested in your past companies. I'm not interested in what you did five or ten years ago. I'm interested in the health of Factom Inc which is, in essence, up for re-election as a Factom Protocol Authority Node.
 

PaulSnow

Factom Inc.
Core Committee
Core Developer
For clarity for those who end up reading this, I did not edit Paul's post. I quoted a specific part of his post (I edited out the full reply in my quote above) which is what he's referring to.
Exactly. I was taking issue with taking a sentence out of context to make a point, a point not supported by the sentence in the original context.
 

David Chapman

Factomize
Exactly. I was taking issue with taking a sentence out of context to make a point, a point not supported by the sentence in the original context.
Here is the entire quote:
PaulSnow said:
We are going to be utilizing the tokens to support our company. We are designing the next generation of the Factom protocol, and new lightweight clients. We are building application on the Factom protocol that make the protocol accessible to enterprise customers. We are promoting our applications and the Factom protocol at conferences and with our clients.
The followup sentences in the paragraph support your first sentence, that you will be utilizing the tokens to support many aspects of your company. As that was the point of my response, I didn't feel the need to include the rest of your statement for sake of brevity.
 

PaulSnow

Factom Inc.
Core Committee
Core Developer
Paul, I did not insinuate that you are going to do nothing for the Protocol. We all know that Factom Inc is going to work hard on the Protocol. But if FCT will be used, "To support our company" then the Community has a right to audit how that FCT is used. And if the Community does or doesn't like what they see, then they can act accordingly.
Then just read the following sentences. I DID define what supporting the company means for the protocol.

I also object to the precedent you are setting that guides are going to dive into every use of Factoids earned. This is a level of centralized control we should avoid.

I'm not interested in your past companies. I'm not interested in what you did five or ten years ago. I'm interested in the health of Factom Inc which is, in essence, up for re-election as a Factom Protocol Authority Node.
Now I'm really confused. Are you upset that I provided background history of team members as asked? I've not answered any questions here about what we will do with any reference to our past work.

Is the purpose of this thread to clarify the application? If so shouldn't questions be focused on clarifications of application answers? Because this feels more like a review of Factom inc in general rather than a review of our application for a specific purpose, i.e. running authority nodes.
 

David Chapman

Factomize
I also object to the precedent you are setting that guides are going to dive into every use of Factoids earned. This is a level of centralized control we should avoid.
I'm setting the precedent that STANDING PARTIES will delve into the use of Factoids. Hopefully us Guides will be automated out ASAP.

Is the purpose of this thread to clarify the application? If so shouldn't questions be focused on clarifications of application answers? Because this feels more like a review of Factom inc in general rather than a review of our application for a specific purpose, i.e. running authority nodes.
Let's assume that "Authority Node Operator X" is elected this week and made promises that they will do "Y" and "Z" and have low Efficiency as a result. Three months go by and one of the five founders of Authority Node Operator X leaves with no explanation. The month after that, another founder of Authority Node Operator X leaves with no explanation. Authority Node Operator X said that Y would be ready at a certain date and that date comes and goes with no real update. They tell us that Z is coming along nicely but we've seen nothing to necessarily prove that it's going to be anything more than a promise. A little bit later one of their primary developers leaves but is replaced shortly thereafter.

What do you expect the Standing Parties to do in this situation?
 

PaulSnow

Factom Inc.
Core Committee
Core Developer
I'm setting the precedent that STANDING PARTIES will delve into the use of Factoids. Hopefully us Guides will be automated out ASAP.
Really, they should not. An authority node should not be required to effectively be a non-profit: accountable for all spends, and prohibited from taking profits.

This is why we have efficiency. That means there are tokens that go into a pool that can be managed. Tokens provided to authorities should be their own. They can make promises about what they do as an organization, just like any company can claim to be doing great things in the community. But they should not be open to audit. Unless they so choose. It should be perfectly reasonable for an audit server to say they're doing great things, and simply be accountable via the marketplace. In other words, if they say they are going to conferences, people can look for them.

Let's assume that "Authority Node Operator X" is elected this week and made promises that they will do "Y" and "Z" and have low Efficiency as a result. Three months go by and one of the five founders of Authority Node Operator X leaves with no explanation. The month after that, another founder of Authority Node Operator X leaves with no explanation. Authority Node Operator X said that Y would be ready at a certain date and that date comes and goes with no real update. They tell us that Z is coming along nicely but we've seen nothing to necessarily prove that it's going to be anything more than a promise. A little bit later one of their primary developers leaves but is replaced shortly thereafter.

What do you expect the Standing Parties to do in this situation?
Did they do their job? Did they keep the authority node up and running? Were they there to respond to any issues that might occur?

Were they even promising to do development on x y and z as part of their responsibilities as an audit server?

And note you are not asking about what we have promised TO DO as an authority node. You are asking about the past.

To put this in context, you seem to be claiming that attached to the FCT earned by a audit server is a requirement that Factom Inc should be audited not just for the performance as an audit server, but for everything we've ever done as a project. Schedules with our protocols, schedules with our applications, PR around our clients, even every significant staffing change. Not just in the future, but all of our past Staffing changes as well.



Frankly, the FCT earned by running an audit server would not worth those liabilities. If you're going to claim that's the standard, would you do the same thing to a bank, if a bank decided to run a factom node? Overstock? Tim Draper? That's ridiculous.
 

David Chapman

Factomize
Really, they should not. An authority node should not be required to effectively be a non-profit: accountable for all spends, and prohibited from taking profits.

This is why we have efficiency. That means there are tokens that go into a pool that can be managed. Tokens provided to authorities should be their own. They can make promises about what they do as an organization, just like any company can claim to be doing great things in the community. But they should not be open to audit. Unless they so choose. It should be perfectly reasonable for an audit server to say they're doing great things, and simply be accountable via the marketplace. In other words, if they say they are going to conferences, people can look for them.
I'm not saying open to audit in that KPMG rolls into their office. When I say audit, I mean make sure that they're doing a good job, making sure they're doing what they promised, make sure they're a healthy entity so that good money isn't thrown after bad. If they say they're going to conferences, yes, people can look for them but they should also post pictures, update the Community on social media, and do whatever it takes so that it's easy to see they're doing what they promise.

Did they do their job? Did they keep the authority node up and running? Were they there to respond to any issues that might occur?

Were they even promising to do development on x y and z as part of their responsibilities as an audit server?

To put this in context, you seem to be claiming that attached to the FCT earned by a audit server is a requirement that Factom Inc should be audited not just for the performance as an audit server, but for everything we've ever done as a project. Schedules with our protocols, schedules with our applications, PR around our clients, even every significant staffing change. Not just in the future, but all of our past Staffing changes as well.

Frankly, the FCT earned by running an audit server would not worth those liabilities. If you're going to claim that's the standard, would you do the same thing to a bank, if a bank decided to run a factom node? Overstock? Tim Draper? That's ridiculous.
I'm saying that the Community has to ensure that the companies operating their Audit Servers are healthy and doing what they promised. If an Audit Server promises 50% efficiency and no development, marketing, or whatever, then you just look at how their server is performing and keep an eye on the overall health of the company. If that Bank you speak of is fined 1 billion for fraud and then two months later is fined 500 million for libor manipulation, and a month later the CEO is walked out in handcuffs, I suspect very strongly that the Standing Parties might consider finding a new Audit Node Operator.

If that Audit Server promises 20% efficiency and to, "Use funds for the company" with no specifics, they're probably opening themselves up to more prodding. If that Audit Server promises 20% efficiency and to deliver X and Y, they better damn well deliver and be ready to answer questions about X and Y along the way.

3.4.3. A withdrawal of support by Standing Parties can trigger the removal of an authority.
 
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Matt Osborne

Go Immutable
Exchange Working Group
Legal Working Group
Taking a step back here, I'd just like to point out that everyone here truly wants what is 100% in the best interest of the protocol. That doesn't mean we aren't going to have disagreements though. I think that's just part of evolving from centralized to decentralized control. We are in uncharted territory. This is going to be messy at times. However, we are all 100% committed to the same goal though: To build a world-changing protocol. Everyone's heart is in the right place.

Speaking for myself, this is my main issue: Factom Inc is slated to receive a tremendous amount of FCT relative to the other node operators. While the Guides do not know everything that has gone on inside the halls of Factom Inc (nor are we entitled to know, obviously), we have seen a decent amount of staff turnover (I personally have assumed it's for the better) and do have concerns about the limited manpower on the tech side of things (how did we find ourselves in this situation?). As with any start-up/young company, nothing ever goes as planned though. Turbulence is to be expected. Additionally, the dirty laundry gets aired more than all the good things going on. With that being said though, I guess it comes down to this for me: Factom Inc has had some rockiness (not to be unexpected) over the past year+. Factom Inc is slated to receive what will most likely be millions in FCT over the coming months. (1) What measures are being put in place to assure the community this rockiness is behind us? (2) How would you suggest the community hold Factom Inc accountable (just as the community will hold every node operator accountable) going forward?

Thanks for your time
 

PaulSnow

Factom Inc.
Core Committee
Core Developer
Appreciate that MattO. What I'm saying is that this forum thread is about running the authority nodes. We are not taking a unique position there, other than perhaps taking an extraordinary responsibility in helping launch the protocol and setting up the authority set and perhaps responding and coordinating responses to issues. We are not getting more rewards than anyone else in the Authority set for running Authority nodes.

If we get a grant, or as we discussed grants, athis management and accountability comes into play. But by diving into the broader issues here, precedence are being set for how Authority nodes are evaluated. Which I think is an unintended consequence.

I'm happy to answer questions, but I'd like them to drive to clarification of the application we filled out, and issues around running two authority nodes. I think that is the purpose, not as an excuse to try to drag out public statements I can't make.
 

David Chapman

Factomize
I'm happy to answer questions, but I'd like them to drive to clarification of the application we filled out, and issues around running two authority nodes. I think that is the purpose, not as an excuse to try to drag out public statements I can't make.
I asked four questions. A, B, C, and D. Which of those asked a question which has an answer you can't make in public? Because as far as I can see, you answered all four.
 

Matt Osborne

Go Immutable
Exchange Working Group
Legal Working Group
Hi Paul. I thought that may be your response :) and I do agree with your logic, that's a totally valid argument. Here's where I am coming from though:

Section 3.0
"...Guides will subjectively evaluate candidates based-on both technical and non-technical potential contributions to the Factom Protocol. "

*Heading-up development of the protocol is a contribution.
*All AS candidates are being evaluated on contributions and ability to execute said contributions.
*All AS candidates will be accountable to campaign contribution promises made

Because our decentralized environment is so new, I think it is in the protocol's best interest to establish a clear distinction between the protocol itself and Factom Inc. Part of establishing that distinction is applying the same application evaluation process to Factom Inc as we are applying to all other entities. So, that's how I am personally proceeding. Obviously, Factom Inc is free to proceed however they see fit as well. Just like any other candidate, they are free to not answer our questions if they so choose.

That's where I am coming from. Like I said in my first post, we definitely won't always agree on what is best for the protocol, but I am 100% confident we all have the protocol's best intentions at heart.
 

Niels Klomp

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

NK01)
The introduction of large enterprise clients has created a growing base of support for Factom Inc. independent from server revenue.
Could you elaborate on "server revenue" in this context? I am for 99% sure, but want to make sure we are talking about the same thing ;)
 

Niels Klomp

BI Foundation
Core Committee
Governance Working Group
NK02)
Factom launched the protocol in September of 2015 and has run the protocol without rewards for over two years.
Could you give us the main reasons according to you as the creator of the protocol why there were no rewards in these two years?
 
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