At Colony, we use the OKR method for setting quarterly goals and keeping our distributed team of 12 in sync and accountable. Below is our quarterly report on Q2 and a look ahead at Q3.
Get outta here, Q2
We had two main goals for last quarter:
- Publish the whitepaper
- Launch the beta
At the end of the quarter we grade our performance against our set OKRs. This isn’t a performance review. There’s no manager nitpicking your behaviour. It’s a self analysis. Grade yourself against what you expected.
Well…. Yeah, about that. It wasn’t our best quarter.
We may not have hit the due dates we set for ourselves; however, unlike Calvin, a lot of effort was put forth. Let’s see….
Now that’s a whitepaper!
Here’s the thing we’re most proud of amongst our team: we don’t settle for good. Our standards for our own work is greater than anyone else’s would be.
Why didn’t we get our whitepaper published on time? We could’ve. It’s just — it wasn’t good enough. And we wanted to publish a real whitepaper, not one of those marketing docs that are being passed off as “whitepapers” nowadays.
Our real whitepaper, V0.1, is now done. It’s being peer reviewed, and once we incorporate the received feedback, we’ll publish it publicly.
(Our favourite quote from a peer reviewers so far? “Now that’s a whitepaper!”)
The Colony Beta is for teams who want to create their own “Collaboration Network” — a place to work with, incentivize, and track the contributions of a network of collaborators. It combines task management with “payments” and tracking.
From the 500+ applications we received, we selected 40 teams to join the beta and across those Colonies 175 collaborators have signed up.
After working on the product for so long behind the scenes, it feels real good to have actual users.
That said, we’ve barely just begun and our product is rough around the edges. But that’s okay. As LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman has said, “If you’re not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.”
A little embarrassment has led to a lot of learning. To make our product valuable we need to improve three things:
- Workflows. Incentivizing and valuing work needs to be simpler and more flexible.
- Token meaningfulness. The token needs to have real value. Right now it’s basically Monopoly money. Hard to incentivize people with Monopoly money.
- Discovery. Users need a way to discover relevant available opportunities.
We are working on those now, and will imminently begin a second round of beta testing.
We Wrote Some Things
We published a few articles last quarter, including one in VentureBeat that garnered over 150k views.
Sofia All Hands
We run a remote company with a team of 12 operating from 10 countries. We’re good at doing the work-from-home thing, but there’s no substitute for some genuine face time.
Last year it was Amsterdam. This year Sofia, Bulgaria. Here’re some snaps.
Also, a big welcome to our two newest team members who joined in Q2: Chase, our Community Manager, and Griffin, our Communications Lead. You’ll see both of them in our Slack.
Oh Hai, Q3 👋
Get outta here, Q2! We’re shaking off the first half of the year and are ready to begin H2 with Q3.
We have three goals this quarter:
- Get to beta-II
- Publish our whitepaper and distribute tokens
- Deploy the initial functionality of the Colony Network to testnet
We know where we need to improve. Once we fix up the workflows, make the token meaningful, and improve discoverability, we’ll begin sending invites to additional users for round-II of beta testing.
Do you have a use-case in mind for Colony? Want to be a beta tester and help us shape the product? Reach out to Collin and let him know what you’re working on and how you think Colony would help.
Whitepapers and Tokens
After incorporating the feedback from our review committee, it’ll be published publicly. Two weeks™.
In the meantime, here’s a snippet from the introduction in our whitepaper.
Colony is the people layer of the decentralised protocol stack — an emerging collection of technologies built on Ethereum, which provide open, permissionless protocols for developers to create sophisticated products without having to build complex backend software. Augur provides a layer for prediction, 0x for exchange, Golem for computation, and Colony for human capital.
The Colony Protocol allows developers to integrate decentralised and self regulating division of labour, decision making, and financial management into their applications.
Colony brings about a new “Nature of the Firm” by significantly reducing both the transaction costs of the market exchange mechanism for labour, and trust required for people to work together. This innovation makes pseudonymous, peer to peer organisations possible. Rather than centralised ownership and hierarchical management, smart contracts distribute ownership according to the value each individual contributes, and influence emerges from the bottom up through systematic peer review of contributed work.
Naturally, that will lead us into doing a … something. Doing something. We’ll talk about that later.
Colony Network, Live on Testnet
The Colony protocol outlined in our whitepaper is what we’re building. It’ll come in stages. For this quarter, what we hope to achieve before the end of September is to implement a plutocratic governance model for simple task-based organizations, and get that live on testnet.
We’ll also be open-sourcing our contracts and will start a bug bounty program.
But wait, there’s moar!
- Colony Labs
- The Great Colony Dogfooding Experiment
- Open sourcing our employee options pool docs
- Funny stories 😆
We don’t want Colony to be merely theoretical. We want people — the mainstream — to actually use it.
To get there, a lot needs to happen within the Ethereum ecosystem. Costs need to come down. Scalability needs to happen. User experience has to be better.
The average internet user would feel as though they’ve been transported back to the dial-up 90’s if they were to use most dApps as they are right now.
This is not okay.
Usability needs to improve if dApps are to expect any real mainstream usage. We think this is super important, and isn’t receiving enough attention within the Ethersphere.
That’s why we are forming Colony Labs which will work on the usability problem. An announcement of Colony Labs, along with its mission and goals, will come later this quarter.
If you’re a dApp creator and facing the same issues, get in touch at email@example.com.
The Great Colony Dogfooding Experiment
- Mint 2000 tokens at the beginning of the quarter
- Each token is the equivalent of £1
- Allocate a portion of those to each team member, leave the rest in the Colony wallet
- Allow people to use their tokens in any way they want (tip, hire, assign, reward, whatever)
- At the end of the quarter, cash in your tokens for £ (or hodl)
This is what we’re calling The Great Colony Dogfooding Experiment (of Q3).
Real hands-on experiments with Colony. This should give us insight about our product, which we’ll write about later.
Open Sourcing the Employee Options Documents
Last quarter we talked about the work we did on making an employee friendly options doc and asked if people would want us to open source it.
We got a lot of interest in that. So, we’ll open source them. We are working on this now and we will have it published before the end of the month.
The Ethereum Fandom is Real
If you thought the last three months of Ethereum’s market cap madness wasn’t enough to signal its rise into the mainstream, consider these two (ridiculous) Q2 stories.
- Collin and Jack, while out for a casual meal in London, had drinks bought for them after someone overheard their conversation about blockchain and Ethereum. (The nerd equivalent of a pretty girl getting drinks bought for her at a bar?)
- During our company All Hands in Sofia, we watched the Status token sale on the big screen. No, there wasn’t popcorn. Yes, there was shouting at the TV.
Ethereum: ground breaking technology, earning you nerd celebrity status at your local digs, and your favourite new sport.