Funding for MaidSafe company - update

they are soay, I would not be surprised they could, the crafty wee buggers they are :slight_smile:


Oh man, for a team that does not give time frames, 2 months sounds a lot like a estimated time for something awesome :laughing: . And then going on talking about letting deliverables talk too? You would be getting my product managers all hot and heavy if they started reading such words.

I have 2 months to spare, welp back to work day grind for me. And maidsafe too, community folks stop bugging them so they can focus on code now(including me) :grin: .


I think crypto will go very high right this very moment and thus end all of this discussion.


Hi David,

Don’t you agree that, ultimately, it has to be that simple otherwise there is no hope? Let me explain why I think that… SAFENet should be a revolution, and few revolutions emerge from the 9-5 world of offices - revolutions are born of passion and desperation.

Apart from a group of cheerleaders, like me (most of the time :smile: ) and with a handful of exceptions like happybeing who are hands-on, I don’t think there is any public engagement with the development, why would there be if there is another team getting paid to do the work - an asymmetric market if ever there was one?

Decentralisation is a purely political concept, and politics means people. To arrange the corporate structure of MaidSafe around the development of the concept is a means to insulate and incubate the design until it is ready for release - a rational starting point for any complex enterprise. However, this incubator has become a cage. We are 13 years in to the design - having consumed millions of dollars of investment and the mechanism that produces decentralisation is not yet coherent. As much as you have done and as ingenious as you and your team are, you need an influx of creativity and idealistic enthusiasm. There are plenty of brilliant minds out there who would contribute if they had the opportunity to feel like a true stakeholder and on informational par with other developers. Imagine how you’d feel if you woke up tomorrow to an inbox full of solutions and pull requests from amazing strangers?

I understand that great innovations typically happen from one mind and appear in a similar way to black swans. In this case you are that mind, but I think after 13 years, you have had time to convey the extent of your inspiration to the public so that your swan can be given wings. Please take no offence from this as none is meant, but as a member of the human race, I think it’s safe to assume that 80% of your innovation happened 13 years ago. The investment has happened and the work that you can do as a company has been done.

If you have “some tricks up our sleeve” I have no idea why they are up your sleeve! What benefit could there possibly be from keeping them to yourself? If the company is just a means to an end, rather than a vehicle for having a comfortable life working on enjoyable problems and eating out three times a week then your goal must logically be to recruit as many creative minds to the problems at hand as possible. The open source community will emerge if they are on an equal footing and have been given enough of an idea to build on. Bringing in new money to pay geographically local 9-5 developers to work in an office is a tight bottleneck at this point.

The SAFENet primer should not have been a community effort, it should have been your work and your call to action. The community produced it out of a thirst to bring coherence to the ideas - clear evidence of the revolutionary and passionate force of the crowd that is not being tapped properly.

Perhaps the worst case of MaidSafe running out of resources would actually be the best possible thing for SAFENet’s future. If you are a driven revolutionary, I would imagine that you’d then panic, draw up a paper distilling all the essential ideas and designs as concisely as possible and then spend your free time finishing it in a public forum of like minded, equal footed strangers from across the globe.

So, yeah, that’s why I think it matters if the founders are willing to work for free. If they’re not, it isn’t really a decentralised project and suffers from a high single point of failure risk. Please don’t respond to any of my points here unless you want to, you have a lot to do and I more wanted to air my views in public - perhaps it’s therapy.


I had a thought on patents or at least IP as an attack vector.

Safe is integrating some outside tech, coding it their own way…but coming from the minds of others. This outside tech maybe has a licence that allows free use, no problems there.

But, what if any of this IP has originated from an undisclosed source and actually has been stolen.

I wonder if any claims of the original IP holder could filter through as a problem for Safe. How much due diligence has been done down the line to ensure the origin of all IP is known.

Interesting tought. Attack vector, indeed. Even if all the technical parts work perfectly, the maidsafe net could be forced to be rebooted by a hostile patent holder or patent troll. MaidSafe could be the Achilles heel until it relinquishes any central control over safenet.
This is yet another reason for the need of reducing the attack surface of a certain to be identified core part of safenet. I practically don’t know anything about safenet yet, but I fear the current architecture and design is by necessity (or by lack of proper design) one complex entangled system that cannot be split into smaller autonomous units. This impacts attack surface, upgrades, maintainability, robustness, stability, and required level of perfection for launch. In that case I would like to see a safenet that we could centrally backup and reboot abd carry in without loss of information. Maybe just the economic portion might need to be put on hold until the system has reached the level of perfection needed to live perpetually.)

Two months??? Wow. Finally its happening :blush:


Not sure where to post this, but I want to mention it at least once: I don’t know enough, and may sound alarmist or criticizing too much but as a stakeholder my intentions are to support the project, it’s people, long time leaders, and post hopefully constructive comments. I think I will put this in my profile.

Interesting thoughts @opacey and very nicely put. You’ve obviously spent some time thinking about this and I wonder if you can provide some examples of similar projects that are achieving greater outreach and if so what they are doing differently?

From my limited research it seems that most decentralised projects are in the same boat, struggling to get third party developers on board for whatever reason, or having to pay a lot for them in rewards (e.g. Blockstack), and even then with most of the engagement being apps rather than the core tech.

In the general case I can think of a number of reasons for this, briefly:

  • The number of get-rich-quick schemes diffusing interest;
  • The combination of ‘revolutionary’ ideals plus technical knowhow being shared by only a few, and with those few drifting to the most visible projects (like Solid);
  • The fact that “this stuff is much harder than we thought” leading to a wait and see approach or a loss of faith and redirection of energies elsewhere;
  • “What’s in it for me?” Most open source development is tweaking stuff that already exits to fit a particular use case, or apps built on top, which is not really possible until a project hits Beta.

In the case of SAFE in particular I can think of a couple more:

  • Rust - we’re fishing in a very small pool of potential core developers;
  • Complexity of the project - maybe it’s hard to see a way in as everything is built from the ground up. Elastos, the other project of similar scope and longevity, seems to be suffering from this;
  • Being first to ICO led to problems and the (relative) poor performance of MAID hasn’t helped;
  • Lack of visibility - in the world of the new and shiny (Tron, EOS) it may look like a has-been.

These are all significant barriers to engagement and it would be interesting to think about ways to overcome them. I’m not sure how realistic it is to decentralise the whole management of the project - can you think of any examples of this? - but we should certainly be thinking about easing the path in.


In the time I have been active here I understand the goal is for them to develop the core of the network and deliver it. Then continue to help work on it but I believe their hope is that they don’t have to be the ONLY ones working on the core at that stage and that the community can start picking up and improving/enhancing as MaidSafe shifts more towards app development at that stage in tandem with core improvements they want to make as well.

I think a project like this that has many components that required being developed at the same time running it more as a traditional company will yield a better product faster(I know the faster does not seem true since everyone knows the origins of this effort is as old as bitcoin without an MVP still). But I bet with no company/core dev group this thing would be like 20% or less of the progress MaidSafe has progressed with it.

I agree at some stage after we get an MVP an effort has to be made to make it “easy” for outside developers to start studying and understanding the core of the design and good videos/documentation on how to play with it in rust as a sandbox or w/e. It will be very important MaidSafe makes it easy to work on their network with quality tools and quick bootstrapping components and unit testing framework etc. But honestly thats so far down the road I prefer to focus on whats needed for a launch and worry about stuff we don’t even know if we need to worry about yet down the road, of course occasional pondering/pre-planning is good but don’t dwell on it too long.


I think we must remember that the goal is to get take a dev fee as part of the farming rewards, which will then feed into dev. This would be maidsafe or others and will surely attract people.

Given what was said above about 2 months and weekly updates, maybe we check back here in a couple of months or so and reflect.


No offence taken at all chap, perfectly valid thought.

No benefit at all, this is why internally we are moving things around and getting our ducks in a row to present these ideas and deliverables in a way folk can understand, also allow marketing to get a story around these and convey the message. Little stays up my sleeve :wink: It tends to get translate into documents and published internally to see what we can do as a team to deliver on them.

Always, but it does not have to include me, I have said this many times. I can be considered, even right now to be the weakest link.

I am not sure I agree here, the more the community get involved the better IMHO. That primer to me is an example of community engagement, just like the safe crossroads podcasts etc. thy are all great, but need fuel and that fuel means deliverables being delivered.

There is only one founder and I repeatedly say I will launch SAFE, I do not know how to say it louder or if I should. I have made that promise, indirectly to every equity investor and crowd sale participant. I even stand ready to be critiqued at every step and encourage that, even so far as giving away my shares, setting shareholders with the ability to remove board members (instead of the board members deciding) and much more. Sometimes though there is not enough you can do and the more you give the more vulnerable you become to those with a different approach, their approach, and their approach is at times pontification, what I do note though is the pontificator is rarely the one that stands tall and says, you know what I will give my time to this, I will do what I am asking others to and so on. However community members often (as with the primer) do give their time and that is amazing, but the ones that do seldom are the ones that are pushing for clarification of the last drop of blood being given to the cause :wink:

Just in case you read this wrong, I am not directly speaking of anyone, just being open in my thoughts as this is, I think, what people expect.


If you want SAFE to be more decentralised, get involved! :slight_smile:


This is exactly 100% on the mark and I hope the next few months means the big picture is there. All on a working network mockup or similar, data, safecoin et’ all. None of these being perfect but all of them available. Then we can drill into each one, superseding the RFCs we are rushing through right now to get iteration 1 up and running. This should allow many more to be involved as the parts become orthogonal and less coupled that we had to in the past. This is how I believe we can have MVP where the V is obviously barely viable :wink:


Reading the Welcome thread I see so much potential! Amazing and excited people. How to convert this excitement and energy into contribution? Where can I find a “how can I contribute” page?
I suppose many read this forum with interest, some comment, but then get lost in the vast size and complexity. The new websites are great steps forward to explain and inform. However, is there also an open wiki for people who want to contribute and help others contribute by organizing information, ideas, experience?
Also, I suppose many people just don’t have the time to dive into development. So breaking down task to much smaller ones could help. Like tweaking or translating documentation.
I feel that the threshold to get involved needs to be lowered somehow, to get involvemend beyond this forum.


Thanks @dirvine, as always, for the considerate responses.

Indeed, I wanted to contribute as much as I usefully could and so supported the price at various times, did my best to organise a meetup group, joined in discussions on the forum and spread the gospel - all of which is sadly only peripheral to the invention of solutions like I’m asking for. My attention has turned more to a critical kind of engagement just because of the involvement of public investment and the responsibility that brings - they have given blood so blood is expected in return. I just really don’t want to see the ideas lost because of a trifle like funding or the assumption that this was just another software project, so am trying to shake things up - the occasionally duty of every stakeholder.

@JPL You make excellent points (and excellent primers by the way!). Perhaps there is no great success story in the model I’m advocating. Bitcoin was mostly functional by the time Mr Finney got involved. I love the Mimblewimble/Grin development story. They have been as purely decentralised as they can: donation funded (time and money), FLOSS licence, published white papers early and public mailing lists of development discussions. There is basically no chance the work done so far is lost if anyone in Grin loses funding. For a while Andrew Poelstra was working in private to enhance the ideas of the initial white paper before publishing them so his work could have been lost, but he was at no proprietary advantage over anyone else. Though the talent pool engaged with core Grin is small, it is organic and diverse and has found brilliant minds, idealistically driven and from around the globe.

Projects like blockstack, Elastos, ZCash and others I think (but haven’t checked all) are similar to MaidSafe in that there is a company with investors behind each and is therefore suffering the same issues. New devs and designers are reluctant to contribute because there is the sense of a profit making entity in the background. Satoshi’s disappearance was his best move in ensuring the adoption of his baby.

If MaidSafe can deliver a working OS system using the corporate model then more power to them. If they need public funding in a non-equity way then I feel the core intellectual property should be in the public domain in return. Indeed MaidSafe do publish code and so on, which is great, but there is no core solution published yet in terms of code or design. This implies either an informational disadvantage to the OS community or that there isn’t such a solution yet which I think is well… not great given some of the implications given over the years.


Serendipitous timing:

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This is what is happening with the more focused push on the RFCs, Oscar. They are discussed internally first and then published on the forum for community involvement and discussion.


Just to pick you up on this specific point if I may. Marketing for the masses is all well and good, but would you take this opportunity to briefly explain these up-sleeve tricks in a paragraph or two here? We understand that they are semi-baked ideas at this point (that’s why it will be 2 months), but if they are enough for your to raise hopes it seems there should be enough of an idea to convey here.

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These are great. More of this!