Potential competitor: NEM's ProximaX


They will integrate NEM+IPFS+PeerStream, this sounds dangerously like the VHS to MaidSafe’s Betamax: ProximaX is not perfect, nor elegant (technically speaking), but good enough for customers.

Sounds like the user experience they attempt to get is very close to what the SafeNetwork was aiming for.
They are not quite there yet (it feels like a quick and dirty MVP), but they might start having a networking effect.

NEM has the characteristic of being very competent in their corporate outreach since the very early days when they were a mere username in the bitcointalk forums.

And they are really pragmatic, for example, they never attempted to have a full fledged turing complete smart contract, but a series of limited smart contract capabilities just useful enough for a focused number of use cases, it allows the common user to program their needs through a settings menu without the need to learn how to code a smart contract.

NEM is a serious contender because of their pragmatism, they know how to market.
Better keep an eye on this one.

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Is it autonomous?
Does it guarantee to store data?
Is privacy guaranteed?
Can it be censored?
Can it scale?
How do users pay for it?

Enough for starters :wink:

  1. no
  2. Depends on the Dapp creator
  3. it is planned
  4. no idea, possibly related to 3
  5. possibly
  6. fees

But users and companies will be able to:
Communicate/message/stream, store through IPFS, Dapp creators can profit.

As I said, it is quick and dirty, but they have a track record of making it functional and simple.
The economics of “good enough” is something that can’t be ignored.

If it doesn’t do 1. then it’s a different class of product - centralised and vulnerable in key respects. I’m not saying that means it won’t have uses, but there are already many projects in that class, while Maidsafe are intent on solving that problem above all.

SAFEnetwork can’t be all things to all people, although I suspect that 1. + 2. will give it a wide open field until others can match that.

I don’t bother thinking of competition wrt SAFE unless it solves at least 1. and does a good job on all the others.

Scaling is key too of course, because without that you will be left in the dust of this project. The only reason bitcoin and Ethereum still dominate is that nobody has solved scalability yet. The first tech that scales efficiently without centralising is a game changer, and nobody else seems to have a credible story on those two, let alone truly autonomous, and very efficient.

I understand and I agree with you.
But taxonomical differences are not what the consumer care.
As I mentioned earlier, NEM is not comparable with smart contract platforms such as Ethereum, NEO or RootStock. They went to the minimum viable, to specific use cases.

The question is how little is good enough to become a ‘substitute good’ for the consumer. That’s the real danger.

There were plenty of examples in history about lower quality products taking over the market.
I am not saying that this project will, but we have to be vigilant about potential threats

I understand and don’t dismiss the possibility of competition, its that I don’t see it as competition without the above key points (and more really - SAFE has so many killer features I restrained myself :wink:) so IMO such projects are not good enough to be a significant player.

VHS v Betamax isn’t comparable, because it was just qualitative differences (with cost and manufacturers in VHS’ favour).

SAFE is a different product to all these, because they don’t do the basics - in that analogy, they would not record and play video on cheap media. Today we already have cheap cloud storage, so the goal is not just to not be Google, or AWS, it is to deliver a different class of product, which I characterised with those key attributes.

Bitcoin is a good example in waiting. For years it has been proclaimed and now has become very well known, it has massive brand recognition. But adoption is stuck because it isn’t a good enough solution in several key respects.

By comparison, even if SAFEnetwork was just Safecoin (omitted from my list) it would be a massive success and bitcoin would disappear. But Maidsafe aim to deliver the first scalable solution in several different classes all at once.

So I have no concerns about better marketed products, or somebody launching first, unless they can tick off those features. Nobody comes close AFAIK.

While I see that while MaidSafe wants to make the whole elephant, all these little projects are just touching aspects of it.
I’ve been monitoring all these pseudo-safenetwork projects that target just one aspect or some properties of the elephant (Storj, IOTA, Sia, Scuttlebutt, Zeronet, IPFS, Filecoin, etc…), and so far I didn’t really care much because individually they are just that, an incomplete piece of the puzzle. It is just a trunk, just a toe, just a leg, just an ear. No comparison with our elephant.

None of them individually are a real threat to the SafeNetwork.
But when I saw this project I realized that I overlooked another threat: all those pieces combining.

This might be the first of many collaborative integration, assembling like a Power Ranger.

My fear is the scenario of a frankestained version like Linux that is way more popular than something elegant like BSD.

And while biologists are debating if it is an elephant, a hybrid or another species; the consumers are only asking themselves: so… can I eat it?

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If I thought you could make an elephant by gluing bits together that would make sense. But, since Frankenstein’s imagined success we learned that big leaps require more than assembling disparate components.

So I think your analogy is pretty accurate :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

I won’t say it’s impossible, and I think it is great that you take the time to look into these projects, because I benefit from the insights you and others share. I don’t lose any sleep either.

It’s a really hard problem, so the teams just coming together have a mountain to climb compared to David who has been thinking about this for maybe 15 years or more, and the team that have been working on discovering the solutions for over a decade.

So again, I’m not saying don’t look at these projects - that is valuable in several ways, just = DON’T PANIC! = to quote Douglas Adams. :slight_smile:

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We can’t underestimate the power of division of labor and iteration.
Gnu wasn’t Unix (doh) and Linux wasn’t Unix, it wasn’t even a coordinated effort, they accidentally learned about the existence of the other, and together they ended up becoming the dominant OS *nix player even though it is a mashup. It took several iterations
to be a full fledged OS, for several years it didn’t even have a TCP stack.

Purists are still swearing by the BSD family, and rightly so it is objectively elegantly designed, coherent, super efficient and its stability is legendary.

GNU/Linux was literally mishmash that was a good enough product, was way inferior to BSD but hit the market first, and after a bunch of iteration and polishing ultimately they ended up owning the *nix mindshare to become popularized.

BSD is now reduced to a technical niche for high performance or mission critical systems.

If BSD wasn’t in the middle of a lawsuit with AT&T, the development wouldn’t have stopped and today we would have had BSD everywhere.

Timing is essential. Right now the competitors lack of certain features, just like Gnu/Linux did back then.
But if they end up figuring out how to glue it properly together, it will be history repeating itself.

The fundamental difference between BSD and Linux or between one of the early social networks and Facebook is monetization. I don’t know how it’s going to play out, but that the technically superior option this time around doesn’t need to depend on institutional or government investment and/or business models does rebalance the rules of the game this time around for the underdog. AT&T will have trouble stopping this, but they are trying to undermine its appeal already: http://about.att.com/story/consumers_need_an_internet_bill_of_rights.html

The comparison is about adoption and the mindshare that translates into market share.
The only reason I mentioned AT&T is not because of commercialization, but because it was the reason BSD was late to the market, embroiled in legal battles.
That lawsuit forced everybody to halt development until it was settled.

The parallelism is that BSD was superior, it was complete, it was elegant.
And yet, it was available much late, and by that time GNU/Linux even though it was initially inferior, now it was in everybody’s mind.

And by then it was late.

I gave ProximaX a look…and, honestly, I almost laughed. It’s a joke. And it sounds more like the name of some minor star 30M parsecs from here…and have a look at their team. HA!

Blockstack seems much more legit, and even then I can’t take their leadership seriously. Those two might have consulted for Silicon Valley, but they nor any other project holds a candle to SAFE. Not…even…close.

The self-monetization that I mentioned is key. There might be some patch-worked solution that comes together and people like, but that’s not the whole issue. It has to be orders of magnitude better than the clearnet also, not just faster to market with louder marketing bells and whistles than SAFE.

I think we are simplifying the elements at play too much. It’s easy to look into the past, and for certain, we should expect rhyming. Anyway, I appreciate the paranoia. Only the paranoid survive!

The lesson to learn from this is:

  1. Do not laugh at a project just because it is not perfect.
  2. Do not get beat to the market, an inferior product can be “good enough” for common consumers

Do not think, “they are inferior to me”, but “how many iterations away are they to become dangerously close to us”.

It is easier to get first adoption than convincing people to change to something else that is comparable.

Still, none of them are a threat by themselves, and Proxima is not there yet, but the idea of bundling them into a solution is a threatening idea.

I’m on board with #2 for sure. I can’t do much to make things go any faster, but we can get eyes to look this way and hold them while the project finishes up. Laughing or crying, that part has to be executed, and I agree that a purely ideological grass roots PR strategy might be nice for its utopian aims and shoestring budget, but the competition are hungry sharks who won’t wait around while we sing Kumbaya.