Will Incentives Kill The P2P Revolution?

The improving maturity of Blockchain technologies is a clear signal that a decentralized world is happening, and is happening much faster than what many of us thought. A P2P revolution is definitely on its way. Everything is in place – the devices, the technology, the regulatory environment (more or less) except .. incentives.

The economics of the P2P revolution have some big unanswered questions. Take Arcade City Vs Uber. The ICO concept makes sense – but it is not the “Initial” that matters, but the “Ongoing”. Who pays for maintenance and enhancement of these P2P apps running on the blockchain? For the revolution to play out, the apps on the blockchain need to compete, feature by feature, with the hubs. Particularly since end users wouldn’t care if the app is P2P or a hub. Price might win some of these battles, but not all. And what about the ecosystem? Who would build apps for the Arcade City API and why?

Will a lack of incentives kill the great P2P revolution even before it is born?

For Interesting Statistics Everyday, Find Statspotting on Facebook and Follow Statspotting on Twitter

Why I’m long Ethereum (and short Bitcoin)

Response to Why I’m short Ethereum (and long Bitcoin)

Ethereum’s ambition

Ethereum is not Bitcoin 2.0 – it is much more than that. Imagine building The Matrix. Lots of moving parts, and tonnes of effort to get there. If you focus on the attacks and other challenges, you are completely missing the big picture – Ethereum looks, sounds, and works too much like the future. Read up the Ethereum use cases – don’t you feel like you are getting a good peek into the future? Would any of us want to bet against something that is SO close to how we all think the future will look like?

Computer network trade-offs

The author states “It prioritizes flexibility and, I argue, compromises on security, speed, and even cost” – totally incorrect. Let us get into this in more detail.

Flexibility – In summary, if you think Turing completeness is NOT the future, we actually have very little to discuss.

From the article – “The way Ethereum creates this adaptability and flexibility is in four ways: radical openness, multiple implementations, multiple contract specification languages, and institutionally endorsed hard-forks.” – All these characteristics of Ethereum – radical openness, multiple implementations and multiple contract specification languages are actually great things. That last point – institutionally endorsed hard-forks – that one is debatable. That too, for a subset of decisions. More on this point, later.

The article also questions Ethereum’s Security. Here is a fact: There have been ZERO security related attacks on Ethereum – all ‘hacks’ are not security flaws. The DAO hack was basically someone exploiting a badly written contract. The current issues are all DOS attacks. Ethereum arguably is the most secure crypto network out there. Try challenging this.

From the article – “First, the founders chose the opposite approach from Bitcoin’s scripting system by pursuing Turing Completeness; in other words, by setting absolutely no restrictions on which type of code can be published and executed on the blockchain.”

Diverse clients and Turing completeness are such no-brainers for a global computing network, we don’t even want to respond. The network is P2P for a reason, and that reason is not that all peers will look the same. Diverse clients adds to the resilience of the network. It is actually as simple as that. For a global Supercomputer like Ethereum, why would you introduce a single point of failure?

Again, this one – “It’s my view that the multiplicity of implementations, in absence of a unambiguous specification, will lead to more problems down the road.” –

Well, where exactly is the ambiguity? Seriously, which part of the Ethereum specification is ambiguous? If you remove the part around “unambiguous specification”, the author’s sentence reads as “It’s my view that the multiplicity of implementations will lead to more problems down the road” – Really? In a decentralized network?

Hard forks – From the article – “Ethereum’s pro hard-fork stance has probably garnered the most controversy?—?I think for good reason” – this is the only point that demands a serious response. Thankfully, Fred already did.. One-line summary: “adaptability is more important than immutability”. But like we said, this one is debatable.

But the author loses the plot here as well – “Finally, a fourth way in which Ethereum promotes adaptability and flexibility is by hard-forking the chain for security or scalability purposes” – the hard fork was NOT done to address security or scalability. The hard fork is a solid discussion point, but not because of these reasons. Bring up the “too big to fail” argument and maybe we have a debate at hand.

Summary: Ethereum looks, sounds, and works too much like the future. Rome wasn’t built in a day, but they were laying bricks every hour.Rome turned out to be beautiful. To build Ethereum, folks are laying bricks every minute. Ethereum will be beautiful too!

For Interesting Statistics Everyday, Find Statspotting on Facebook and Follow Statspotting on Twitter

Ethereum Vs (Uber, AirBnB, Spotify..)

Uber, AirBnB, Spotify.. these services are basically central hubs in domains that are basically solid candidates for decentralization. Each one of them can be (and probably will be) implemented on the Ethereum network, and scale will happen as soon as an App layer gets built for these services on top of the Ethereum Virtual Machine, hiding the complexity to the end user. Uber drivers just care about what percentage gets taken away from them, Period. Unlike Facebook, there is not much of “my network is there” with these services – money would get people to move at lightning speed.

What do these companies think about an Ethereum future? Hundreds of billions of dollars in value – basically for being effective middlemen – will they not be worried?

For Interesting Statistics Everyday, Find Statspotting on Facebook and Follow Statspotting on Twitter

Facebook? Let Us Get Serious

It is indeed funny, that in 2016, planet earth values a company whose core asset is everyone’s personal and social data, at 377.32 billion dollars. One central entity, that is a place for people to share stuff. 377.32 billion dollars. Seriously? In 2016?

Let us all get serious. It is not like decentralized technology to replace this stone-age centralized social sharing model does not exist today. We don’t need a dotcom to share our stuff now, do we? We are all walking around with supercomputers in our pockets.Let us just move our social data to some P2P stuff built on Ether or some other blockchain or something.

And most importantly, take back the 377.32 billion dollars and decentralize it. It is high time we did that.

For Interesting Statistics Everyday, Find Statspotting on Facebook and Follow Statspotting on Twitter

Keep It All In Your Head

There is something very powerful about keeping it all in your head. Like Ramanujan with numbers. Or Steve Wozniak with circuits. This is from Steve Wozniak:

“If you can just quickly whip something out and it’s done, maybe it’s time, once in a while, to think and think and think, “can I make it better than it is, a little superior?” What it does is not necessarily make the product better in the end, but it brings you closer to the product and your own head understands it better. Your neurons have gone through the code you wrote, or the circuits you designed, have gone through it more times, and it’s just a little more solidly in your head and once in a while you’ll wake up and say, “Oh my God, I just realized a bug that’s in there, something I hadn’t thought of.”

Or, if you have to modify something, or add something new, you can do it very quickly when it’s all in your head. You don’t have to pull out the listing and find out where and maybe make a mistake. You don’t make as many mistakes. Just believe that what you have is better than whatever has existed before. We should only move forward in technology and not backwards.”

Keep It All In Your Head. Great advice.

For Interesting Statistics Everyday, Find Statspotting on Facebook and Follow Statspotting on Twitter

Review Sites, One Level Down

Food, Apartments and pretty much everything else – reviews today work at level 1. You can find a lot of reviews for an apartment community – but if you are searching for reviews on a specific unit in an apartment community, you are generally out of luck. Same with restaurants – if you are looking for how good a restaurant is, you have tonnes of help. But try looking for how good a specific item on their menu is – and you are generally out of luck. And so on and so forth.

What we need are reviews, one level down. Why Not?

For Interesting Statistics Everyday, Find Statspotting on Facebook and Follow Statspotting on Twitter

Any Transaction Has Two Sides

Most internet companies are basically intermediaries – they facilitate a transaction and take a small part of the transaction. It is a proven way to make money for any business, and as new ways to reach people are invented, new intermediaries will emerge on that medium.

Here is an important thing to remember when you try to solve a problem and position yourself as an intermediary – try to solve the problem for both sides. Take Uber as an example. New ways of making money for drivers and push a button, get a pickup for the users. Or, take Amazon’s small business solutions – click and buy for customers, sell with no setup for the businesses. How about AirBnb?

It is an obvious point but well worth remembering – if you keep both sides of the transaction happy as you move your product forward, your probability of success would increase exponentially.

For Interesting Statistics Everyday, Find Statspotting on Facebook and Follow Statspotting on Twitter

Startup Ideas: The Excel Sheet Heuristic

Here is a simple but efficient way to spot Enterprise Software ideas – just look at what Excel sheets are being circulated over emails inside any organization. Every single Excel sheet is a billion-dollar enterprise software business waiting to happen.

If that sounds too simplistic and tough to believe, try thinking through the excel sheets that you are aware of – and list down which ones could potentially be addressed by a neat little piece of software. You will see it for yourself.

Every single .xls in any organization is a billion-dollar enterprise software business waiting to happen. Simple, but true!

For Interesting Statistics Everyday, Find Statspotting on Facebook and Follow Statspotting on Twitter

Double Down On Your Bright Spots

Here is something that is undeniable – there will always be bright spots in anything that you are working on – the tricky part is that in most cases, they might not be directly related to the thing you are working towards – and that makes it extremely difficult to notice these bright spots. Not only should you take the additional effort required to spot these bright spots, you should do all you can (including just throwing away the stuff that you are working on if needed) to double down on these bright spots.

Flickr, Slack, Twitter – these were all bright spots that the folks running the entities where these showed up were confident enough to double down on. And this concept of doubling down is applicable to elements in your skillset, areas in your project as well as ideas in your company – bright spots can be anywhere.

Double Down On Your Bright Spots. It is a proven recipe for success, no matter where these spots are hidden.

For Interesting Statistics Everyday, Find Statspotting on Facebook and Follow Statspotting on Twitter

A Thing About Labors Of Love

Moving an idea from napkin to market takes a lot of effort. And most ideas (many people say 9 out of 10) die in various stages before the finish line. Sad, but true. So many things need to come together, and most ideas and efforts just do not stand the test of resistance from the world. In all shapes and forms. With one exception: Ideas that are executed as labors of love. Here is the only secret you need to know: Labors of Love, succeed.

Make whatever you are doing, a labor of love. Labors of love never die. Period.

For Interesting Statistics Everyday, Find Statspotting on Facebook and Follow Statspotting on Twitter

Page 1 of 1512345...10...Last »