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Consensys update from joe lubin

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An update on ConsenSys from Joe Lubin on November 30, 2018

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Consensys update from joe lubin

  1. 1. ConsenSys Members, The Ethereum project was initially sketched in the earliest version of Vitalik's white paper in November 2013. ConsenSys was formed in its earliest version in November 2014. At this four- year mark for our company, I would like to lake this opportunity to declare ConsenSys 1.0 an astonishing success, and to congratulate the many, OG and new, who have labored brilliantly and tirelessly to bring forth a technology and an ethos that many of us believe will profoundly reshape human society over lime. It will enable economic, social and political systems to better construct themselves, being erected on a revolutionary trust foundation that enables the world to engage more fluidly and pervasively in trusted transactions and agreements, to construct natively digital financial instruments: to make use of healthier identity and reputation constructs and monetary and financial instruments, and to interoperable across multiple decentralized protocols that facilitate cooperation and enable the old, siloed, us-against-them world to recede into the past. We have played a significant part in ushering in the decentralized World Wide Web, and far beyond Web 2. Web 3.0 will permeate every aspect of society. We can think of it as Web3D. as it will infuse and operationalize space and time, link the internet of things -- the Internet of everything (including us sentient beings) — to ubiquitous compute infrastructure via private keys. secure enclaves, biometrics, public key cryptography, and encrypted messaging channels Soon the clear distinction between the internet of 2D screens and the analog world — the rest of the world —will give way to a unified natively digital world where the elements of decentralized protocols will span their own natively digital universe. It will also enmesh with the physical, with compute, storage, and bandwidth substrates built into everything, and an internet of things encompassing an astonishing ubiquity of things, each with their own digital twin represented across one or more decentralized protocols. ConsenSys Phase One, or ConsenSys 1.0, was about opening up an ecosystem. Early on. was about speaking with anyone who would listen. speaking all day every day about blockchain, blockchain, blockchain, traveling the world to share the vision, kindle and fan the flames of the emerging understanding and excitement. ConsenSys 1.0 was about experimentation. It was about building infrastructure that we erected out of necessity, that we had to build because there was almost nothing there yet. It was about contemplating and exploring how blockchain could ramify in accounting (Balanc3), proof of physical address (POPA), prediction markets (Gnosis), identity (uPort). reputation (RepSys and Reputation Al). discussion systems (Noncense), music (Ujo), supply chain (Want), dynamic workforce assembly (Bounties.Network and Gitcoin), collaborative documentation (Kauri), tokenized assets (Meriden, Token Foundry), legally enforceable blockchain-based agreements (Open Law), and so much more. At ConsenSys and throughout the ecosystem, creative energies have been active in developing early fundamental constructs that will be developed and refined over the years to become the bedrock of our future global infrastructure. All of these experiments were, in my estimation, amazing and successful. All of these experiments, I am extremely proud of. And many of these experiments have taken on a life of their own, maturing beyond the first naive ideas and implementation, and are actively making their way in the world. For ConsenSys 1.0, It was enough to just show up, to show up and do something cool. Everything we built, every story we told, had real impact. The exhalation of every narrative inflated our universe further inflated out big bang moment nearly 10 years ago
  2. 2. (Satoshi's White Paper), to the blooming, buzzing confusion of the stars, planets, galaxies, dust, and dark matter of the blockchain and decentralized protocols space that we inhabit and explore today. But as wonderful and successful as ConsenSys 1.0 was, we must move beyond. Just showing up is no longer sufficient or sustainable. We have opened an ecosystem. And now the varied denizens of adjacent universes are flooding in. It is a Star Wars Cantina bar crammed with different shape, sizes, and colors, and the environment is electric. This is great news and fully validating of our view. But we must recognize that we now find ourselves occupying a very competitive universe, and are thankfully extremely well situated to continue to succeed wildly. We must recognize that what got as here will probably not get us there, wherever 'there' it (hat tip to author Marshall Goldsmith, What Got You Here Won't Get You There) Even during the era of ConsenSys 1.0, ConsenSys has been a few different "companies," rapidly evolving in our capabilities personnel, and pursuits. We must be bold in reinventing and continually reinventing ourselves, because our ecosystem -- In its collective intelligence — will, I strongly believe that decentralized protocols, open source, the ability to fork a project a cede base, or even an operating network, will lead to tech and business. Infrastructures that are very low Motion and quite responsive and agile. Dust will not collect on the infrastructure of the More, and there will not be opportunity for rent seekers to trade intermediated trust conferred by their long-term incumbency for the bulk of the value developed by content creators and service and resource providers. We have the tools to move from our scarcity mindset to one of fast- developing abundance: zero sum to infinite sum positive feedback loops. ConsenSys is sitting in the eye of the blockchain hurricane, embedded in a system of rejuvenating storms known as decentralized protocols and overlapping exponential technologies. Agility amidst this ever- evolving complexity is the only way an organization will be able to survive going forward. ConsenSys 1.0 was about being present. creative and communicative, to the extent we were able to accomplish those ideals. ConsenSys Phase Two — ConsenSys 2 0 — will continue along these tracks and expand beyond. ConsenSys 2.0 will need to focus relentlessly on excellence. We need to raise the bar, all bars, We need to up our game across the board: in Labs, Solutions, Academy, Capital Markets, expanding, contracting, creating, creatively destroying, process definition and implementation, process rejection and reengineering when necessary, responsibility taking and discharging, developing mechanisms to ensure accountability to our peers, immediate and distant, and feeding back to our peers openly, honestly, and immediately, yet respectfully and sensitively, so that we all remain more In sync more often. ConsenSys 1.0 was not overly concerned about the monetary bottom line — at the project or hub level. We were pioneers, intrepid explorers of a new continent — a continent on which we would develop a better foundation upon which all the requirements, constructs and technologies of the old world could be re-envisioned and re-architected into better forms. We landed on this pristine continent and girded for the land grab. ConsenSys 1.0 sent out scouts to explore, map and report back, coordinated waves of reinforcements from the old world to join us, stocked the wagons and organized the wagon trains for the many years ahead of us of populating the new world. ConsenSys 1.0 measured ourselves by gauging impact. We gauged ourselves often in terms that were not so measured and objective: it works! cool project, nice idea, big event with great energy, .... We graduated to # of
  3. 3. downloads, # of users, # of readers, # of attendees, tweets, retweets, ... Eventually we stumbled into the (then crazy) notion of revenue, and after a while the idea caught on and several of our projects began to explore the notion that external money could come into ConsenSys and fuel some of our activities. Over the last year or so we have started doing a better job of measuring our activities and performance. In order to improve, we need the ability to measure, compare and adjust. We need to be continually setting up many overlapping feedback loops that help shape better and better outcomes. We need to focus on financial sustainability so that we can continue to do what we all believe to be important for the long-term growth of ConsenSys. Though we are experiencing some headwinds, I expect our ecosystem to continue to grow and for ConsenSys to be very successful financially in the near, medium and long term. But ConsenSys 2.0 requires us to evaluate our endeavors more rigorously. We will seek to run leaner projects because often better decisions are made in a context of more constrained resources. Scarcity sharpens the senses and forces discernment in decision making. Lush plentitude, while perhaps a noble goal in many circumstances, should be hard won; otherwise it leads to complacency and dull-wittedness. We must retain, and in some cases regain, the lean and gritty startup mindset that made us who we are. We will more quickly declare projects a learning success" and disband them, enabling their elements — technology. technologists, and entrepreneurs — to diffuse back into the sea of potentiality and reconstitute into another project with the benefit of greater experience. Consensys 2.0 will center around 5 core pillars to allow us to continue our journey and achieve our vision of building out the technological foundations that will enable the world to create more effective, efficient, and inclusive economic, social, and political systems. 1. Driving a sustainable business centered around a culture of excellence and accountability We cannot achieve our long-term vision and ambitions if we cannot maintain a more profitable enterprise in the short term. This means we most change certain behaviors and expect changes across the mesh. While we have always promoted a culture of transparency and autonomy, we will supplement these with a strong focus on core values of excellence and accountability. Across ConsenSys, we will be paying much greater attention to the bottom line for every project. But it will be a bosom line measured in diverse ways, encompassing: • Return on monetary investment • Ecosystem value creation at 4 possible levels: ConsenSys. Ethereum, Blockchain, Decentralization, which include pure R&D projects • Social impact, both at the local/regional and global level Projects that score well along all three dimensions will be prioritized, though a project that scores highly along only a single dimension can still be considered for funding.
  4. 4. The transition from ConsenSys 1.0 to 2.0 has, in many respects, been underway for some time. In fact, most of this document was written some time ago. This transition period has also seen a marked shift in some of the dynamics of our ecosystem. In order to maintain our commitment to the ecosystem and its development, it is necessary to consider the tradeoff of short-term expenditure vs investing over the longer-term. To this end. we have begun a review of expenses and projects, to prioritize our ability to fund ConsenSys 2.0, with an appropriately sustainable burn rate. In parallel with this, we are accelerating plans to review external fundraising options, with a view to the longer-term financing of our development. This is something that we have been considering for a while, as many of you know. Our structure to date has been atypical, as our mission for ConsenSys 1.0 was not necessarily aligned with traditional investment mandates. ConsenSys 2.0. with its focus on excellence and sustainability, is, I believe, one of the most compelling and unique opportunities in what will prove to be one of the greatest economic transformations of our time. 2. Building foundational infrastructure for Ethereum and Web 3.0 ConsenSys has, since its inception, focused heavily on building some of the core infrastructure of the Ethereum ecosystem. We have since built up a very strong team of protocol engineers with PegaSys, Infura, MetaMask and throughout the organization. Their work and that of their counterparts in the ecosystem has to be considered foundational. Going forward. we will continue to invest in R&D and infrastructure, as these efforts: • Accelerate and enable the success of our spokes and enterprise work • Assert our market position as a market-leading technology company • In the medium to long term will yield net new commercial product opportunities that wouldn't otherwise have been possible 3. Investing in and building value-generating ventures that enable effective, efficient, and open business models ConsenSys is at its core a Venture Production Studio, and this business has been largely shepherded to date by Labs. We will continue to invest in excellent entrepreneurs and support them in building out the application layer of the Web3.0 stack. However, we must recognize that our portfolio has increased very quickly in multiple directions, and for our portfolio to continue developing in this maturing ecosystem, we must nurture it and keep it focused. Moving forward, Labs will get more rigorous and discerning. Creating an exploration group will be accessible, but graduating to a proto-spoke, and eventually a spoke, will be hard work and require excellence in several facets — mirroring the 'real world' more closely. Being onboarded into ConsenSys as a spoke will only be available to projects with great promise. Continuing at ConsenSys as a spoke will no longer be the default. It will have to be earned.
  5. 5. 4. Investing in and building value-generating ventures by partnering to build customer driven solutions Solutions will require tightening and a re-evaluation of our performance in certain regions. Business selection frameworks will increase in rigor and selectivity. Moving forward, Solutions will prioritize: • The delivery of services that center around providing market-leading blockchain expertise. blockchain advisory, blockchain architecture. and token design • Target industries that make the most sense given current market melody, for example: finance, supply chain (x-Industry), telecom. and energy • Working with industry players and consortia to develop open platforms and transform, even disrupt, historically intermediated markets Solutions will continue to seek customer driven venturing opportunities but it will do so where the mix of immediate monetary compensation and other less immediate but speculatively more long-term valuable forms of compensation, leans towards comfortably covering costs. 5. Continuing to educate users to drive the mainstream adoption of Ethereum and Web 3.0 It Is vital to keep expanding the Web3.0 ecosystem, inviting reinforcements from the old world to join in and populate this new world that we are building. We will continue to empower our Academy team to keep creating excellent learning materials and training programs for developers and the general public, while enabling our talented UI/UX designers to make it increasingly intuitive for the mainstream user to use our decentralized applications. A number of people at ConsenSys have already been working hard to put better corporate infrastructure into place to achieve the transition to C2.0: measurements. feedback loops, governance tools, self-organization tools and guidance, attempts at building a scaffolding involving vision, mission, core values and operating principles, total compensation systems (Salary, bonus and equity), onboarding systems, communication and feedback systems, and performance evaluation systems. Significant progress has been made, but we still have far to go. We have a shared responsibility to accelerate the pace of this work to successfully transition to ConsenSys 2.0. Over the next weeks and months, we will continue to share and collaborate on the work being done on all of these fronts. Smaller groups have stepped up to do the heavy lifting on these projects, but everyone is expected to and voice, express opinion, vigorously debate, and collectively author the systems by which the ConsenSys organism will operate, function and evolve. The note that you are reading can be considered a sort of introduction to various other notes that I will share for your feedback and will touch on the themes and Ideas outlined above. I hope and
  6. 6. expect that we will all collectively author the multifaceted set of documents that emerge horn this extended presentation and the resulting discourse, and that we use these conceptual explorations to collectively erect the skeleton, nervous, organ, perceptual and effector systems or the ConsenSys organism, and that it will be composed of processes, software, and people —lots of brilliant people, or intelligences — of every conceivable and not yet conceivable shape, size, and color. The whimsical view is that In ConsenSys 1,0, we built a laboratory instrumented to demonstrate the moon existed, using venous demonstrations, maths and creative philosophical arguments. Now, we need a powerful, streamlined rocket ship to get us there, since the actual proof, ultimately, is in the landing. Even in the face of enormous gyrations over the years, our ecosystem reams its sights onward and upward, to the moon. l am extremely proud or what we've built and very grateful to everyone who has contributed to building this company. I look forward to the next stages as we evolve to ConsenSys 2.0 and beyond. Joseph Lubin Founder and Alignment Chef