(This post was in no way sponsored by Dfinity in any way, shape, or form)
I’m a lurker who finally made an account today. I’ve thought of posting this for a little while now, and honestly have wondered what the benefits of writing a post as a nobody online would actually be. What’s the benefit of a random guy on the internet defending a bunch of smart developers on an online forum? Well, I’m a man of action - so here I am.
Lately, there’s been a lot of posts going after the Dfinity team in a negative way again - this time it’s not about the initial launch - it’s about Dom and his leadership style, and it’s also about how the Dfinity team ‘overlooks’ key issues that the community is trying to raise - people feel unheard. Add in the SNS-1 launch (which I was unable to get anything in myself!), a bear market, and the delays to Bitcoin integration - and it’s easy to see why there’s a lot of criticism.
To these critics: you really don’t have much of an idea how to create a quality product. You gotta look at the macro. Blockchain’s an overused concept that we can apply to anything in the crypto world - it’s great, but it’s not the future because it’s right here in the present. When you want to build a successful product, you have to innovate beyond the capabilities of your competition. Trial and error. This is only the first year, and it looks like Dfinity isn’t going anywhere yet in terms of solvency.
There is no chain like the Internet Computer. Every version of the Internet that has emerged nowadays has been in a centralized form. From its original creation by the U.S. military, the Internet as it currently stands operates in a pseudo-decentralized model. Each website and service makes use of a centralized service (a web provider) in order to create individual apps and host websites. Sometimes, it is possible to host your own server to avoid these services, but even that backend runs on a centralized platform - like AWS.
Bitcoin cut out the middleman for making transactions. Ethereum cut out the middleman for banking and non-monetary/service based transactions. The Internet Computer takes out the biggest middleman of them all - web providers. Decentralizing the Internet will lead into the very redefining of traditional property rights and ‘tangibility’ - as NFT images and tokens really don’t present a good case for this. But emails such as those on the Dmail platform? That’s a much stronger case to be made for digital property. Where am I going with all this macro?
Most companies that succeed in massive innovation usually have one or two people driving the show forward. They have an idea, usually coming with a lot of uncertainty and risk, and many of them fail. Even good ideas fail simply because they might not be feasible. Dom had an idea and got the people together to make an attempt at this… and it’s mostly succeeded. It’s also managed to scare almost every other major crypto developer out there because Chain-key cryptography makes Layering and Oracles obsolete. Scale can be achieved directly in the network - this is massive!
People send money once or twice a day. The same goes for non-monetary/service based transactions. But, everyone uses the Internet all the time. What the devs here realized is that you can apply the same middleman logic to the internet; that’s the operating philosophy of the Internet Computer. This is a massive step forward into making decentralized technology plausible with use-cases for the average person. For example, imagine a phone OS built on this system, it could actually work! Because the system runs its own backend, there’s literally no middlemen except for the node providers and participants - the point of the token is to be used for the network and for governance.
Dom and Dfinity have faced a lot of backlash, and a lot of people who’ve tried to kill their tech because there’s nothing like it. The concept is extremely ambitious. If this is the next step in webtech, it makes sense why a lot of notable coders and experienced web developers work for Dfinity. They’ve been quiet because they’re quite aware of what they’re building - and the risk that is involved with that. Dom’s a visionary. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t make mistakes, or that Dfinity will succeed in making this project succeed in the middle of a bear market. But his top down approach more then likely is the reason why Dfinity has been able to move forward to begin with, and I don’t think he gets enough credit. To him, he’s just working every day to build his vision and he doesn’t care about what online critics say.
We as a community need to work on more constructive criticism. A lot of people on this forum do in fact give pretty constructive criticism when it comes to tech complaints, but then devolve immediately into blaming Dfinity for not fixing an existing issue. Yes, the little technical issues do matter - especially like the SNS-1 launch, it was a disappointment for a lot of people. Yes, price action does matter - but building a tech platform comes first - Amazon’s major revenues come from AWS, but it cost a lot of money and took years to get AWS up and running to begin with. Measure progress in years, not months. If Dfinity doesn’t get crushed by the bear market and is able to weather a new recession, I think this tech will take off and go sky high in terms of it’s value add down the road.
Now - besides the praise, here’s my formal suggestions for the future to make this project succeed.
I see a lot about web3. I’m not a coder, but is it possible to integrate existing Web2 architecture - and if so, why can’t we try to get existing projects and services to migrate over? Blockchain could help make their websites more secure, and in a world where getting Ddos attacked seems to be pretty commonplace, cheap server data and architecture on the Internet Computer with a great security architecture could prove very attractive. If this is already possible, why isn’t it being marketed at all? Is something like Python and direct-html calling possible?
Be more active in trying to market the product. For example - despite the flak this takes on r/cryptocurrency, doing an AMA on several notable outlets would bring a lot of attention not just to investors (as a lot of people do care about price action, admittently me too) - but a well-known name brings more developers in.
Develop a no-code canister solution which can allow a user to do some basic dapp development and architecture without having to learn Motoko.
Dfinity, unlike most developer groups, is actually really active in dealing with their developers and marketing their apps, and even in admitting mistakes. It takes time to grow a network. But, Dfinity should focus on identifying competitors and trying to make a case to outsiders as to why they should host on ICP rather than existing AWS architecture. The tech is great - but the tech isn’t helpful if no one knows about it.
I know what’s currently needed to run a node. Make a ‘light’ version of that available to the average consumer who may want to host a node. Decentralizing the network even further allows more users to participate in the network. I know we have to vote on adding new nodes - there would have to be a vetting process, and that sparks a larger discussion - dm me if you want my ideas on this, as this post is already far too long.
ICP. Whether it’s ‘Insane Clown Posse’ or ‘I see pee’, this ticker isn’t very helpful. The name ‘Internet Computer’ works. It’s the ticker - I have told several people about this project in person, and got a laugh each time - no one could take it seriously. Maybe $TIC for The Internet Computer? Sure, people might think the comparison is funny, but in the business world - if your product looks like a joke, it’s hard to get investors.
Help guide developers to migrate their apps to phones, and maybe even initiate a NNS proposal to bring the NNS to mobile as an app. This would DRASTICALLY increase the user base. If Openchat and Dmail had iPhone apps, I’d use them all day over Snapchat and my built-in email.
Most importantly of all, please send me a SNS-1 token as I really wanted to participate in governance and couldn’t buy it! (Insert crying emoji here)
I’m a big believer that if you have a great product, the one mistake that it’s easy to make is to focus purely on marketing the tech while forgetting the benefit of simplicity - especially for a product like this. I know, all things considered, it’s only the first year and so much growth has already happened. But a few tweaks for marketing and for helping guide existing and new developers to the network would increase user generation and use.
If you made it this far, I’d love to hear your thoughts!