Question for DBGrow from Alex

Chappie

Factomize Bot
@DBGrow,

@Alex asked the following question:

Apologies if you have been asked this already. I had a look but could not see it anywhere.

At 0% efficiency, you are being paid more than every other ANO in the ecosystem. Are you able to justify that? Do you bring more value than everyone else?
 

Julian Fletcher-Taylor

DBGrow
Exchange Working Group
Marketing Committee
Documentation Committee
Legal Working Group
Hi Alex,

This will largely be copied from my answer to David.

We have had a strong historical impact across the ecosystem, from large governance work, to extensive legal work, to technical development.

Currently we,
  • Are leading FAT and Smart Contract development and innovation alongside CL
  • Chair the exchange group
  • Lead the Legal Research Working Group alongside GoI
  • Run and develop the Factom Protocol Website
  • Run the Documentation group, participate in the Website and Marketing committees
  • Promote Factom to high profile entities across the world every week
  • Are building a project on Factom that, if successful, we believe has the potential to be the largest project on this protocol for years to come
We believe that the ongoing impacts of our efforts, and high chance of game changing impact in the future, justifies our current efficiency.
 

Benjamin Dufty

The Factoid Authority
While giving standing for DBGrow, TFA asked the following –

Your efficiency is very low, it would be good to get some insights into how your commercial applications are coming along, and the likelihood of significant usage in the future or otherwise how you would justify your efficiency. A bit more transparency will help us determine your value for efficiency and our ongoing support.
It may have been missed, so it seems a good place to ask it again here and look for some more specifics.

Are leading FAT and Smart Contract development and innovation alongside CL
- An important endeavor for the protocol that the community has been very supportive of but as far as we’re aware this has been funded by grants – is this development being subsidized, if so can you go into a little more detail?

Chair the exchange group
- Can you please estimate past and future expected average working hours per week?

Lead the Legal Research Working Group alongside GoI
- Can you please estimate past and future expected average working hours per week?

Run and develop the Factom Protocol Website
- Is this still being actively developed? What was the last update (aside from the roadmap) and is there anything in the pipelines?

Run the Documentation group, participate in the Website and Marketing committees
- Can you please estimate past and future expected average working hours per week?

Promote Factom to high profile entities across the world every week
- This is a little vague – where are you promoting it?

Are building a project on Factom that, if successful, we believe has the potential to be the largest project on this protocol for years to come
- We will happily support any entity at 0% efficiency if they are working to pull off something as significant as you’re alluding to and suggesting there is a "high chance of game changing impact". But obviously we couldn’t support it indefinitely with zero insight. When do you think reasonably we should expect to see some results?

Thanks
 

Julian Fletcher-Taylor

DBGrow
Exchange Working Group
Marketing Committee
Documentation Committee
Legal Working Group
Thanks @Benjamin Dufty I missed that question in your vote. I will go through and provide as much info as I can on your questions.

Julian Fletcher-Taylor said:
Are leading FAT and Smart Contract development and innovation alongside CL
- An important endeavor for the protocol that the community has been very supportive of but as far as we’re aware this has been funded by grants – is this development being subsidized, if so can you go into a little more detail?
Largely covered by grants for the public work. Development up until we released publicly (~6 months of development if I remember correctly) was done not through grants, and we do not have any grants this grant period to subsidize.

- Can you please estimate past and future expected average working hours per week?
Fluctuates a lot, always a few hours a week, sometimes something will come up and require 10 hours for a week, sometimes it will be something like working to create a document needed which a couple months ago took up probably 60 hours of work that week.

Julian Fletcher-Taylor said:
Lead the Legal Research Working Group alongside GoI
- Can you please estimate past and future expected average working hours per week?
Again fluctuates a lot, there was about a year where it was probably 15 hours a week every week? Less right now.

For both the Exchange and Legal committees, I could see these numbers increasing if/when we are able to fold our currently private work into the public sphere, as there is some work being done there that I can't currently count as publicly verifiable.

Julian Fletcher-Taylor said:
Run and develop the Factom Protocol Website
- Is this still being actively developed? What was the last update (aside from the roadmap) and is there anything in the pipelines?
Ya this was a ton of work, started winding down after the formation of the website committee where substantial changes are in accordance with the committee wishes. The last substantial update (outside of small tweaks, security features, etc) was the roadmap. Honestly I wish we would push this a bit more, I'm actually not part of the website committee (though spencer is), but I will see if we can push this forward. I know we have an expansion for one of the other pages, I think technology page, in development, I'll see about what we can do here.

As has been mentioned before, we also have to still deal with things like legal issues with the website. For example tracking down and writing and serving letters to the copycat website that we believed may have been malicious.

Julian Fletcher-Taylor said:
Run the Documentation group, participate in the Website and Marketing committees
- Can you please estimate past and future expected average working hours per week?
Used to be more, but as is the story with all committees in this ecosystem (except the Exchange committee), work is not what it used to be. We were very active in everything marketing when it was active, though, as so much was going through us and our assets (the protocol website, social media accounts, etc), and we were building out everything like tracking and funnel system for the website with the committee.


While there has been a global slowdown in committee work over the past 6 months, largely due to the FCT price (even at 0% with the price we were at for quite some time, ANO revenue was only $4k USD which didnt cover even the basic costs + servers + website/legal/etc). In some ways this was good for us in that we have turned all available attention to our endeavors below, which we think have a very high potential impact. But if there is a pickup in the committee work for website, marketing, and documentation, I expect we will be there for it.

Julian Fletcher-Taylor said:
Promote Factom to high profile entities across the world every week
- This is a little vague – where are you promoting it?
This is, of course, where unfortunately we have to lose some transparency, for now. I will answer this in combination with your other questions,

Your efficiency is very low, it would be good to get some insights into how your commercial applications are coming along, and the likelihood of significant usage in the future or otherwise how you would justify your efficiency. A bit more transparency will help us determine your value for efficiency and our ongoing support.
And,
Julian Fletcher-Taylor said:
Are building a project on Factom that, if successful, we believe has the potential to be the largest project on this protocol for years to come
- We will happily support any entity at 0% efficiency if they are working to pull off something as significant as you’re alluding to and suggesting there is a "high chance of game changing impact". But obviously we couldn’t support it indefinitely with zero insight. When do you think reasonably we should expect to see some results?
Our work over the past year and a half has taken us to the furthest reaches of the world, from all over North America and Europe, to Southeast Asian, the Middle East, and soon its looking like we'll add an African country to that list. Pick any week, and multiple of us were probably off traveling, putting Factom in front of companies, nonprofits, funds, government and inter-government agencies, and entities that have since become partners and co-ventures. Thinking back on it, I think we've probably spent more on airplane tickets than we've made from ANO revenue since M3. And everywhere we go, every conversation, its related to Factom, because we really do believe in the architecture and ecosystem we have here, and even more so we believe in what Factom can become given the right resources to grow.

We believe in what we're building, as do our partners. That's why we have all worked so relentlessly the past couple years to grow and achieve it. We believe that if we are successful, it will have paid off massively and help us take this protocol to the next level. This includes usage as you mention above, but goes beyond that.

We also understand that it can't just stretch on indefinitely. It's a strange position to be in, with work that all ties into each other and that we feel we cannot publicly discuss right now, but that if it is successful we will be able to lay out most of it for all that it was. I'm glad we did so much early on in this protocol that was able to be seen by everyone, our intense governance, legal, marketing, and technical work. Because for those who believe, or for the few that have seen, that while public facing work has died down the past year we have ratcheted up and put more work and resources into the future of the protocol than we ever imagined, it can help people believe that we are still making the best decisions we can for the protocol. But for now, we try to keep up a high value added for the protocol that can be seen publicly, and work tirelessly to make our works successful and get to the point that we can bring it to public view and then run with it. I sincerely, sincerely, hope that we are successful, and that the point in time is in the next few months, because if not then I am worried about a lot more timelines than just the length of time we can go without increasing efficiency a bit. This protocol needs more momentum, we need more being built on it, we need to keep advancing our core codebase, and we need more visibility.

Lastly, there are a couple of people in this ecosystem that have NDAs for a particular reason and know more about what we are doing. If they wish, I'm happy for them to verify any of the above.
 

WB

Factoshi
Exchange Working Group
Website Committee
This is, of course, where unfortunately we have to lose some transparency, for now. I will answer this in combination with your other questions
Are these all behind closed doors or do you also attend public events?

In case of the latter, I would really appreciate a list of public events you've been attending as DBGrow.

Furthermore, in answering Benjamin you're basically acknowledging that many of your activities that you claim justify your 0% efficiency are no longer taking up as much time. Considering that, do you feel that in the meantime it would be fair to raise your efficiency?

We also understand that it can't just stretch on indefinitely.
I've seen no past indication that DBGrow would ever address their own efficiency or lean towards more transparency. While I don't doubt you have NDAs in place where capital and patents are involved, I think overall you'd see more support if you worked on your availability in public discussions, be more transparent in areas that allow it, and thereby rid yourself of the "super busy frequent flyers always working on top secret stuff" image that might eventually start working against you.
 

Julian Fletcher-Taylor

DBGrow
Exchange Working Group
Marketing Committee
Documentation Committee
Legal Working Group
Are these all behind closed doors or do you also attend public events?
Substantially in private, there are some things in public from time to time like hackathon work, netherlands dutch hall of knights event, but these are totally inconsequential in comparison to our private meetings.

Furthermore, in answering Benjamin you're basically acknowledging that many of your activities that you claim justify your 0% efficiency are no longer taking up as much time. Considering that, do you feel that in the meantime it would be fair to raise your efficiency?
As stated, we feel that even our publicly facing efforts are in line with our current efficiency. Efforts toward different areas fluctuate over time, with $2 FCT and thus $4k USD ANO revenue even at 0% (which isnt nearly enough to pay even basic costs covering servers, tech stack, time), the entire ecosystem put less effort towards committee/working groups. So we shifted that time and money into other activities with even more impact for the protocol.

As was seen in the GoI efficiency thread, DBGrow (Actually another entity largely made up of DBGrow people) has a lot we are doing under the surface, things that we do not ask for anything from the community for.

I've seen no past indication that DBGrow would ever address their own efficiency or lean towards more transparency. While I don't doubt you have NDAs in place where capital and patents are involved, I think overall you'd see more support if you worked on your availability in public discussions, be more transparent in areas that allow it, and thereby rid yourself of the "super busy frequent flyers always working on top secret stuff" image that might eventually start working against you.
Re "super busy frequent flyers always working on top secret stuff" I was just asked above where we are having these meetings, so I answered ;)

Also, I believe that we are fairly available in public discussions, no? We're pretty quick responding to questions like this and providing real and detailed feedback.

So while i think our public facing work and costs averaged across time more than justify where we are at, I think there is a secondary component here that is still important. We need leaders in this community, and we need to be putting ourselves out there visibly. We have been walking a line between being out there in the community, and holding our work in private for the sake of
1. Respecting confidentiality agreements (Which we must still do)
2. Respecting the privacy of those we work with without direct confidentiality agreements (we've leaned to the safe side)
3. Not hyping anything before its time (leaned way safe compared to the rest of the blockchain space lol)
4. Not adding the additional overhead of answering questions, and putting all our stuff out there for competitors to see

I will be reflecting on what we can do to update the balance we have played, which may be too conservative at this stage of our development, and this stage of the protocol and its needs. Thanks for pressing this.
 
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