The project we’ve all been following, championing, working on and willing to completion for so long has pretty well understood Objectives. These are what we are all working to meet, and the reason that the project, and MaidSafe exists. By their nature, much like the fundamental rights in which they have their basis, they are something that we will always be striving towards and aiming to protect.
Getting the Network off the ground is, of course, what we are all focused on. It will momentous no doubt, but it’s a milestone on the journey towards meeting our objectives, rather than a culmination of them being met. It’s helpful to recognise like this, because it also aids us in thinking strategically about how we work towards them, and how plans we make impact our success. The quickest path may not be the straightest line, and the fastest route may be the riskiest journey.
So I’d like to set out some of our thinking on the primary strategic aims that can help in developing an overall strategy, and plot a route through launch and what comes after. I thought it could be particularly helpful to share this thinking at the moment!
Strategic Aims are specific areas of focus that can be foreseen and decided in advance as being necessary in order to achieving our overall objectives. They allow us to assess risks, and weigh the merits of specific programs of work, prioritise, and aid in decision making. They are part of building a strategy, and formulating a plan.
If the Project Objectives are where we want to end up, Strategic Aims set up how we are going to get there, and will be further supported by Strategic Goals of what we need to do to, to make the trip. And then of course beneath that we have the tactical goals and objectives to meet in support of the strategy.
So, here are what I see as the high-level Strategic Aims. Note here that these don’t need to be balanced against each other. They don’t form a trilemma. They are complementary, and reliant on each other:
Without planning for a resilient and durable Network, we will fall short of our aims at best, and at worse have it fail entirely.
A durable Network will be one that has broad support, enduring growth, and stable direction; and a resilient Network is one that will have breadth of adoption, depth of integration, and minimised threat surface.
So, in particular, things we need to be cognisant of when planning with resilience in mind: reputational risks, regulatory risks, capture resistance, network security, diversity in resource supply, and ubiquity of demand.
I know that feels a bit word-salady, but I’m happy to elaborate on each of these in due course. Aiming to keep it high-level and low-word-count for just now!
Next up is accessibility. By that I mean the maximising access to data and services the Network provides.
So this includes strategy to maximise the number of people who can:
- Read data from the Network
- Store their data
- Offer resource and services to the Network
- Access the economy of the Network
So with this strategic aim in mind, we’d be thinking of a path of least resistance for things like allowing integration with the protocol, broadening availability of SNT, regional support requirements, and paths through app stores or other incumbent gatekeepers.
Accessibility is one of those aims that might at times seem to bump into conflict with the overarching objectives, but it is strategic in that it may call for decisions that better serve the overall objective in the long term. For example, working to maintain accessibility through existing app stores or payment providers might seem at odds with the aim of removing middle men, but it might be a shorter path to ubiquity of provision that enables users to do without them over the long term.
The last of the three main strategic aims is enabling the Network to provide maximal utility to its users and the platforms building upon in.
Providing utility means focusing on the USPs of the Network design, and providing better solutions than alternatives for a given market—a stronger offering, or lower costs, or a more trusted solution.
It also requires providing the tools that platforms require so we can get depth and breadth of integration considering their needs, inline with the various tiers of Enterprise use-cases we have envisaged, and being aware of the gaps between centralised product offerings that end users are reliant on, and the promise of what decentralised solutions can provide—and filling them.
This does of course aid in fostering a resilient Network, and requires ready accessibility to realise that utility. Ubiquity of Safe as an infrastructure layer will lead to the most resilient Network, with the most chance of meeting its objectives, and that will happen through providing the most utility, in the most broadly accessible way.