Release Terminology Clarified -- MVP?

In looking at a bunch of posts and reviewing my own history of how I’ve thought about it, I’ve seen some confusion about how we talk about the release cycle, MVP, etc., that I think we should clarify.

The SAFE Network Release Cycle blog post does a thorough breakdown of this, but there’s still the term MVP to clarify in association with this. I actually didn’t understand this till David clarified it in our interview.

The Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is the result of the Release Cycle, not the start of it. The MVP is when the key, minimum aspects of the network are in place and released to the world. The MVP is what we could refer to as the launch of the network which will exist and be there from that point on–improved and expanded from there, but key features, including safecoin in place.

The Release Cycle as per the post above, is the path from here to there, laid out so we can see where we are on the path.

Of course, if I’ve got this wrong somehow, I’m sure @nicklambert or @dirvine will correct me, but I this finally made sense to me after the interview and I see the confusion persists with others.

Hope this helps.


yes, clarification would be nice here - I thought that MVP would be what comes after TestNet4 and that the only criteria that would have to be met for MVP are:

  • network not going down anymore
  • data won’t be deleted anymore

safecoin would come at a later date i thought. or am I confusing now MVP and alpha release?


It seems a simple idea… a MVP is the network as it will be without bells and whistles. Something that can provide the core functionality that Maidsafe set out to deliver. Less than that is not viable and more than that is not a minimum. On that roadmap then you would hope the Release candidate is close to being an MVP but it’s a candidate that needs to prove itself.

As I suggests a while ago, building a network that can work is one step, building a network that cannot fail is another. I wonder that’s where the confusion comes from, one person considering any network is sufficient and then missing the point of what SAFE needs to be to achieve privacy; security; and freedom. The full product should be consider that which cannot be compromised by others. Those set against the idea that people should have freedom to choose; or security they don’t have to ask for; or privacy with exclusions, will play dirty because they don’t like not getting their own way - just like all selfish and conservative minds. The MVP then should be resistant to base motivations and defend the interests of users in a reasonably robust manner… without kill switches then all sorts of alt-ideas about what is best for other people.

A gentler definition might be a network where data will not be lost, and upgrades are possible from Maidsafe.


Yeah, that’s pretty much it. Listen to the interview with David and that’s basically what he says, plus basic messaging, etc. Safecoin is necessary to the basic, promised functioning of the network, so I’m sure that would need to be included in the MVP. As I say, any chiming in from Nick or David on this would be best.


Consider this a chime :smiley: Yes this is all correct, a minimal product but a product never the less :smiley:

[EDIT - as below MVP will not require safecoin/messaging but store retrieve data, safecoin messaging will come via alpha and beta releases to release product]


From memory, in the interview David described the MVP as the network with storage. I don’t recall him mentioning Safecoin, and I’m pretty sure he didn’t mention messaging.

But TBH I’m not sure it matters. My understand is that the MVP was put forward in order to provide a baseline for VC investment, and since that is now off the table and in the trash where it belongs :wink: I think MaidSafe should have the freedom to review, and define MVP in accordance with what they think fits best with their marketing strategy.


Same understanding here. So VC is off the table now?

1 Like

Isn’t safecoin nessesary for the network to run? What with managing data and all. After all safecoin is more than a currency it’s a data management and measurement resource. How can the network function without safecoin and messaging?


It’s my understanding that these would have to be part of a Minimum Viable Product, which would be achieved at the point that a release candidate proved to fit that definition. And by @dirvine’s “chime” above to what I stated, I took it that he would agree. But then he liked @happybeing’s post, which seems to contradict the point on safecoin.

You fly through forum responses with incredible speed, I know, and give a lot of clarity usually. But this is this is still muddled.

MVP ==> store data forever + messaging + safecoin = true/false


It can’t be without safecoin, unless there is a capability albeit temporary to wipe data, as otherwise you’d have people frontloading their PUTs for free.

1 Like

Yes at min a product would be a network that stored and retrieved data. However, until messaging / safecoin this network is still a test network. It will drop data until it’s paid for. There is an option obviously, but we should consider it, until full product, as a minimum viable product. It will need to still prove itself secure etc. and that will require safecoin.

NVP != the released product with safecoin and messaging, It will be a network that works, but not as we want the final network to look. So there will be a new network started that has safecoin and messaging in it, if this makes sense ?

Sorry for confusion, I was wrapped up in iterators there :smiley:


Yes but my question is how does the network work without safecoin and messaging because from my understanding safecoin and messaging is essential to the functioning of the network and there doesn’t seem to be a work around for that. It’s a key feature in making encrypted decentralized internet happen. You can’t really store and retrieve encrypted decentralized data without safecoin and messaging. Yes we have the demo app and launcher but even that isn’t secure. And it certainly isn’t decentralized yet as any data transfer still relies on using the clearnet and centralized server inferstructure. Yes you can create a website but even that application is limited. And more to the point how do vaults function and meter out network resources without safecoin? One could upload the entire internet and overload all network resources. And if we keep relying on droplets then it again is back to relying on servers and not an MVP. So I really don’t see how MVP cannot include safecoin and messaging because they seem essential to creating a decentralized encrypted internet. They aren’t extras to tack on to “get SAFE just how we want it” but essential core functions we need for the SAFE network to function as required.

To me bells and whistles would be a better UI or customization of the interface. Bells and whistles are the ability to intergrate addons and a more advanced app manager. But no safecoin and messaging are core functions in my book. They’re essential for the transfer of data, public ID, resource allocation, and a whole host of other things.


It seems like a simple question, but how it is answered is massive on proportion. After reading the discussion of SAFE Network Brand ID Competition it created a similar set of questioning for me. I think a well defined MVP that is clearly stated and followed exactly would be helpful here on out. We should be able to ask anyone who has been here more than a week and they should know it. Yes, one could say an MVP is difficult to define as development causes changes leading up to the MVP; because x may not lead to y that then won’t lead to z…etc. I would counter that time period for MaidSafe has come and gone; if we truly are ‘on the brink of achievement.’ If we (MaidSafe and community) are not to a place to say we need x y z to complete and then we will be at sumMVP, then we are in no different place than two years ago.

I have been doing a lot of soul searching the last few days and I am at piece with my decision to see this ride to SAFEcoin Network MVP conclusion. One of the gifts MaidSafe have already given us is the open and transparent development process, which allows anyone to see this to the end. IMHO The Minimum Viable Product for the SAFEnetwork is SafeCoin. It is okay if the core developers want to call it whatever else, but filling in a roadmap with a legend of where we need to cut a road would be massively helpful.


Looks like were still missing a trick on the roadmap page, no mention of a MVP in text or on the diagram. Is this important enough to clarify there?

The main phases of the release process are:

Alpha – the core network and fundamental functionality is provided via an initial implementation, this is the first public testing phase.
Beta – alpha implementations are reiterated and improved, based on user feedback.
Release candidate – the fundamental feature set is stabilised to provide greater security, resilience and efficiency.
Release – privacy, security, freedom!

The first alpha release (alpha 1) will provide:
Public ID management.
Public and private data storage.
Vault configuration.
Desktop installers (64 bit Windows, Mac and Linux).

This sounds more like it is a Proof of Concept (PoC) rather than Minimum Viable Product (MVP).
In short both attempt to validate an idea, but PoC test feature validity, but MVP’s test market viability.

A true MVP should be feature complete in all its alpha versions, which is a preliminar version of what would the customer get in the full version. A true MVP should include a working vault, a working network, messaging and safecoin. All in their buggy but minimally functional version of it. Otherwise it is not minimally viable nor a product, so it can’t be called an MVP.

IF you still need testnets to go through, it is not ready for the end user, therefore it is essentially a PoC.


still looks like all we need to get to alpha is that test remote network. What’s the roadmap look to get to beta?

I think it’s the stuff on the right side of the page we’re real interested in.


I have been doing a lot of soul searching the last few days and I am at piece with my decision to see this ride to SAFEcoin Network MVP conclusion.

And there we go again, suggesting MVP is network complete, and includes Safecoin. It has been restated above what the MVP is, and it is not network complete.

On the forum I clarified the MVP way back when it was first mentioned, but people don’t read or retain the detail whenever it next comes up. Instead many imagine it to be what they expect/want it to be: i.e. network launch, and forget that the primary purpose of this MVP was stated as being a milestone against which one or more VC would invest.

The MVP is not and never was intended to be feature complete. MaidSafe are free to redefine it if they want, but they haven’t, so it is still not feature complete, no matter how much we want it to be!


So do we need like a MVFCP? Minimum viable feature complete product? Honestly mutilating language isn’t really becoming of a company such as Maidsafe and this STILL doesn’t explain how the network would run without safecoin or messaging. How is it a viable product if the network can’t run? And how can the network run without safecoin and messaging? This isn’t an argument about terminology it’s an engineering question! Without messaging or safecoin I’d question whether the network could fullfill the “viable” requirement in the “Minimum Viable Product” definition. I don’t care if Maidsafe ever intended it. All I care about is how they plan to pull it off. How do you decentralize vault archetecture without safecoin? Even now while we’re testing vaults we’re limited to how much we can upload. So we get to an alpha network. Is that considered an MVP? If so how does it manage data? Can you just keep uploading infinitely? What happens if there are insufficient resources on the network to support the needed demand? How does maidsafe plan to run a network without safecoin? And better question: If a network can be run then why is safecoin required in the first place? A minimum viable product that is not feature complete seems to be false advertising to me. Something that is not feature complete is still a test network or pre-release software. It’s not even beta software yet. How can Maidsafe seriously claim to be releasing an MVP, publically, that is not feature complete. That’s major bad PR. If I was a newbie and just coming across the company I’d expect any software labeling itself MVP to be feature complete. It doesn’t need all the bells and whistles like say pay the producer or something but safecoin and messaging ARE major core functions of the network. They’re part of the whole resource cycle that’s talked about on the front page. You’d think that would be in the MvP. But like I said for me it’s more a question of how it would be pulled off. It’s like how do you get the jet to fly when you plan to install he engine at a later date.


The answers to your questions hinge on the meaning of “viable”, which can be taken three ways:

  1. Technically viable (it works)

  2. Commercially viable (it is competitive, and makes money, or fulfills its non-profit goal)

  3. Proof of concept* (it is sufficient to bring in further investment)

* thanks to @piluso

@dirvine Could you clarify? (my apologies if you’ve already answered in different words)


Or, as I’ve repeated ad nauseum, Minimum Viable Product to form the basis for a VC investment.