Maidsafe at Decentralised Web Summit


Oh dear, Gabriel, Hunter, Josh and Krishna might actually be one and the same person!


Shhhh! Thats supposed to be a secret. :rofl:


Watch Gabriel’s demo:


I really wanted to thank you all for the support during these few days, I’m about to leave SF now and I was just thinking how an amazing experience this has been and how important it was to see you all showing your support and helping in spreading our humble and honest vision of how to SAFEly decentralised the web. Being able to meet again with some of the folks from @maidsafe was also great and a lot of fun, as well as meeting some more people from the community like @Sotros25 keeps inspiring me.


I was finally able to sit and watch the presentation. I thought it was well done, but could use some polishing. Part of that is probably just nerves, and people not used to presenting. It seemed like Nick was very comfortable up there, I would maybe start with him for an introduction into the network. Viv was also quite solid, and seemed very comfortable talking technical details. No offense to David, but he has a way of talking slow and deliberate, which while I appreciate the thought and detail put into his responses, is not great for presentations on limited time.

That leads to the one criticism I do have. No one really explained what the SAFE Network is, at least until the end from the question from Brewster. David just dove right into the minutia without establishing a baseline of knowledge on what the network is, and what their goal is, in a clear and concise manner. If I didn’t already have an understanding of what the SAFE Network was, I would have no idea what he is talking about.


The people that would attend such a summit would have done their homework previously about the projects that were presenting. Wasting their time on information they already have is perhaps not necessary. Better use of time to get into the meat and potatoes immediately.


I disagree with this. They might have a general idea of SAFE, such as “they are creating a decentralized Internet”, but there is no way everyone there understands the pieces involved in creating such a thing. There should have been some high level explanation of the functionality of the network, and how stuff fits together before diving into the different pieces from a technical perspective. Brewster wouldn’t have had to ask that question at the end if there was some high level explanation given.

Not to mention, the attendees aren’t the only audience. Perhaps not many people will take the time to watch this sort of thing, but more people will watch the summit on the Internet than attended. You can’t expect everyone who has an interest in decentralized web to know what the SAFE Network is from a high level.


Excellent point. While I think the audience has the wherewithall to dig and find all the answers, and although @dirvine delivery was just fine, there needs to be a focus on finding the perfect elevator pitch.

Maybe a contest here for the best explanation of of the Safenet in the shortest time.

3 minutes would be perfect and then massage that into a visualization so all languages are covered.


I liked the presentation a lot but an introduction to frame the talk was missing. Many good presenters spend a third of the time telling people what they already know, because that makes the audience feel comfortable with the topic and ready to go to the next stage, and then they start hitting them with new information.


Fitting a comprehensive talk into such a short
time is undoubtedly an impossible task. Given the opportunity to present to very specific people the wider audience in this case may be less important.
Different strokes different folks.


I agree the time frame is tight. It looked like they had about 40 minutes, if my count was right. However, just taking what David said at the end, in response to Brewster’s question, cleaning that up into a precise presentation with a couple supporting graphics, it could get stripped down to a 3-5 minutes piece. That, to me, is a reasonable amount of time to spend to make sure that your audience is all on the same page, and there are no misconceptions about what you are trying to accomplish.

For as technical as the talk was, I never really felt like there was a theme to it. There was no overarching outline to the talks, just individual pieces flung together in seemingly unrelated ways. I thought each individual presentation was done well enough to convey their message, but there needed to be some kind of intro to tie it all together so the audience knows what pieces are coming, and why they are important to the goals of Maidsafe/SAFE Network.


Elevator pitch? MaidSafe’s SAFE Network in 90 seconds


Exactly. I think it could be tailored to the audience a little. Seeing as this was a heavily technical audience, a little bit of extra time could be spent on the technical pieces and how they tie together to form the network. But, yes, ostensibly, that would be what I would look for.


Yes, this is exactly what was missing. First of all it is easier to follow with pictures (of the design of the network). But secondly, it gives structure to the presentation. During the last part there was a clear structure where David went from layer to layer. For me it was then much easier to follow.

I would also send Dug for all presentations, from what I have seen so far, he is the best presenter. No accent. Really easy to follow.
With these big events I would also recommend to wear a Safe Network shirt. These streams take hours, so when somebody jumps in, they immediately know it is about the Safe Network, or they got triggered to look it up.


There are many presentations for many audiences in reality. This audience was fairly technical and the questions could have been very deep. In my opinion what was against us was time and the room. It was a very small room with folk coming in and out the door a lot. 20 mins are not enough time to frame the pitch and then explain the solution and that is the lesson here.

I never personally work with slides and I know some folk love them, but it’s not how I operate and I prefer to hear other talks and fit the talk into that. In this case, I feel we had the wrong mix/approach. It worked to an extent, but to do SAFE justice it needs an into of 10-15 mins at least, unless the audience is already very aware of SAFE.

The story of why we did this and what the world will look like is a big message, but it is a very exciting message and easy to deliver if you are passionate. Condensing it down is akin to encrypting the message and that is the lesson for sure here. A few talks would have been better, spread across the days, so we will try and get closer to that in future conferences.

I would also expect to see the marketing and dev teams doing many more presentations for sure. We need several speakers with different approaches for different conferences, otherwise, we just repeat a story and we should not do that too often. For me, it’s a whiteboard and a pen and an hour and I am happy. Others will have their own approach and that is great. I met 2 folks straight after the presentation who said they were in this space because they saw me do a presentation on line just with a whiteboard and pen. So diff strokes, diff folks and diff spaces.


Well I thought the mix and approach were fine but I wasn’t there in the room so I couldn’t pick up on the vibe, but I must say I was slightly surprised by the self criticism. The presentation was as good or better than most of the others I watched - although of course I’m biased.

Totally disagree. You said yourself that it’s actually conceptually very simple, so best not to overcomplicate things. My suggestion, first lay out the issues that everyone can agree on - the fundamental need for data security, privacy, permanence and control.

Then you might want to step through those one by one and give a high level view of what’s needed to solve each of the issues, or use some other device that presents SAFE as the solution.

That then gives you a basic framework you can keep referring back to as you go deeper into the tech and talk about the vision in order to tie the whole thing together. Reiteration of the core messages is good!

That way you’re making common cause with the audience, and keeping everyone with you on the journey. It also gives you the flexibility to go off piste for a while, which is what you do best, without confusing people. Just my 2 MAID.


Incidentally I feel the same about the website. I like the component parts but feel it needs a strong masthead (read theme, slogan, brand, USP…) to pull it all together. Freedom and creativity and even anarchy do best within some sort of structure IMO.


I’d like you and the team to review this David because what I’ve found is that the process of preparing slides is important in itself, as well as helping people understand the presentation.

For me at least, it makes me think about what I want to convey, and as I practice I find I have to continually trim and prune the slides, and at each attempt I get closer to the key points. This seemed lacking to me in your presentation, and I’m a really big fan. I could sit down now and write a list of things which I would have liked to be presented to that audience, but which I don’t think were clear, or in some cases mentioned. Not just from you, but overall.

This project has almost too much to it, so I think it’s understandable that it’s hard to distill it into something suitable for short segments, but I think it can be done and would be worthwhile.

Nick seemed to have a clear idea of what he wanted to say, but very little time - so I was curious about what might have been cut there. Maybe that was part of what was missing for me, which comes down to using the available time well.

When I did the DevCon talk I had to work very hard to get it down to about ten minutes, there was soo much I wanted to say. But I’d have needed forty minutes, not ten or so. After many cuts and reviews and practice runs (it took about three weeks of prep) I’d realised what it was most important to say, and I think this is often much less than we think we need to say.

In my case, the slides became less important so while I published the full set I only used a handful and they were repetitive - just the important stuff I wanted people to take away.

I also think the slides were useful because some people (me certainly) like to see as well as hear the message. I found this helped a lot watching other presentations and was disappointed that there was so little visual support except from Gabriel’s demo.

I don’t know which other presentations you got to see, but there were lots of short presentations which I thought were very effective because they were obviously focused, practiced, and supported by slides or really nice live demos.

I know I tend to see and voice flaws rather than highlight the positive, so I apologise if this feels harsh or overly negative. I am only responding to what I see, and not able to truly appreciate the hard work and effort which you are all putting in, because it isn’t always visible. I think it was great that you went there in force, and obviously were very active and having a powerful influence (Tim and Brewster in the room and clearly very engaged is amazing - so bloody high fives everyone) and I do thank you for the incredible effort that goes into these things. I do find it hard to keep my mouth shut or just cheer, when I think things could be even better. So I hope it helps a bit, but am open to feedback on how I engage with you folk, here or in private.

EDIT: I’d like to add that, as someone who has given presentations but who finds them very, very difficult and stressful, and who never wants to do that again, I have a lot of respect for those who can and do stand up and do this. :slight_smile:


Yes @happybeing. Your video presentation at DevCon was excellent and concise, and obviously the result of some serious and beneficial editing. The acid test of a good presentation for me is ‘what did I remember the next day?’ Yours definitely passed muster, as did @nigel’s (in part due to his excellent gurning to camera).

To my eye most of the other presentations at Dweb were a standard fare and didn’t pass the memory test, although I did at least understand what they were about straight away, which is not something I could say about Maidsafe’s.


I’m hoping gurning is a British compliment. :joy:

I actually plan on amping up my presentation next time and making it as flashy as possible. Hoping to attend the next DevCon if possible so either way I’ll be putting some thought into it :slight_smile: