Colleagues, not competitors.

With the new Governance Working Group in place - we have the opportunity to address a number of things. After 2 years it's a good time to look back and assess how the governance we originally envisaged worked out.

Competition
One aspect I'd love to fix is the notion of us competing against each other.

Accountability has been a hot topic - yet almost everything we do is subjective - with the only measure being a divisive comparison to one another.

From the very beginning, we've been pitted against each other. The original ANO applications - I flew to Singapore and spent a week locked in a hotel writing up our application. Because I knew there was tough competition out there for spots.

The scoring matrix from guides, the grant system, efficiency, standing - it's all designed to be a subjective comparison between other participants. It's created a negative atmosphere of distrust, frustration and infighting.


Problem
This has led to people competing for resources, not supporting projects, because the misaligned incentives actually mean we benefit from others failing. i.e we look better in comparison.

We've seen people sabotaging grant rounds, and voting dishonestly. Teams pulling in different directions. We've seen people blatantly screwing efficiency, whilst others suffer from it.

In short, there are winners and losers. And that's not healthy.

Although we are all on the same side, we act like we aren't. We have no network effect. Each post, or update, blog, or tweet should be getting minimum 50 engagements from fellow ANOs. Why doesn't it?


Next Steps
I hope we can have a governance structure going forward where people feel part of one big team, rather than competing all the time. As part of the new Marketing Working Group, we're here to be a platform to promote all of us and everything we've been doing.

We have spent the last 2 years looking to Inc for leadership, ideas and success. We've deferred to them for most major decisions, infact the whole governance today is basically part of their original vision.

Now the opportunity is here to forge the protocol we want.

We need to reignite the community spirit, and get people working together towards a common goal. We have come so far, and achieved so much.

We are all tired, we are all frustrated - we all deserve more. But damn it we've worked too hard to lay down swords at his point.

Imagine the day we finally get 'sharding' before anyone else, imagine the day US Gov signs the big contract. I don't want to miss that; I want to be part of the future we made for ourselves.

Let's create a structure to this organisation. One that can make decisions, take ownership and inspire our sense of community again. One that doesn't need ANOs to be constantly voting/judging each other all the time, that only needs you to be engaged as a unit.

The one that leads us into the next wave of the Factom Protocol as a team.
 
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Hi Colin,

You make some excellent points about the status of the protocol and the community and how we should be working together. I am fortunate enough to be playing a role in the new Governance Working Group. Please do not take this as a formal statement from the group but I can assure you that I and the others involved see ourselves as servants of the community we want to see grow.

We do seem to have got to the point where there is too much competition and not enough collaboration. We do seem to be frustrated at not being able to "get our act together" and that may well have it's roots in a whole host of things. Some of that seems to be about lack of alignment in terms of our overarching goals and some seems to be about some of our "structures" (committees and working groups) not being quite as accountable as they should be. This has to change.

It would be good to hear the views of members of the community about how we can work together better. I am confident that, should the community approve, the Governance Working Group and possibly other self-forming working groups would be happy to work on these ideas and suggestions to turn them into things we can agree on and implement. This should not be a series of ad-hoc initiatves but should become part of a considered plan to grow, develop, attract usage and promote ourselves.
 
Thanks for your response Mike.

Firstly, we've got a lot of personal experience to use as examples. Regulations are far more clear and advanced. Other protocols to analyse and compare to.


Future of the Factom Protocol
Ultimately, I think we'll need an Executive Board of the non-profit foundation. Similar to Guides but with the ability to effect change on their own, in consultation with all standing parties of course.

We need to elect people we trust to do the job, under protection of the non-profit foundation. We need traditional roles to look to - CEO, CFO, CTO, CCO, COO etc who have specific responsibilities within the foundation.

We were initially too cautious with potential regulations, which just haven't played out. Other protocols with a similar Executive Board in fact are flourishing.

The only voting/assessing that ANOs should be doing is 6-month terms for Board elections. And changes to the controlling document that puts limits on what the executive board can do.

For example, the controlling document could say - "Executive Board must keep between 15-30 ANOs". But within those bounds, the board are free to do what they think is beneficial for the protocol.

Standing parties still have their say - can still ask questions and look for answers before the Board vote. But pitting everyone against each other in a battle royale is creating disharmony, where early losers quickly become disengaged.

If standing parties have an issue with the board - simply vote them out. But we need decision makers that steer this ship, a small sub-set to be held accountable, and to formally raise issues to - Not just some behind the scenes chats with someone you think has some influence.


Outcome
This will be an impressive front to present to FCT investors. This is a professional outfit they can get behind. They want to know their money is a sound investment, well managed with a plan behind it. They know who to talk to about it. They can get official communications from the Board.

At the moment, is it any wonder people are hesitant to invest more money into FCT? Or build a business on Factom? Or sign a partnership with Factom - Who do you even sign with?

We could be signing public partnerships with business's to support them as they build a commercial solution. We could be signing/renewing public partnerships with ANOs to support the network infrastructure.

The most important thing we need to do - is to attract resources in. Not wait until the floor price of FCT from present usage - but to inspire investment in the future.

Let's look at the successful protocols that have attracted hundreds of millions in crypto investors cash, and work out how they did it.
 
Future of the Factom Protocol
Ultimately, I think we'll need an Executive Board of the non-profit foundation. Similar to Guides but with the ability to effect change on their own, in consultation with all standing parties of course.

We need to elect people we trust to do the job, under protection of the non-profit foundation. We need traditional roles to look to - CEO, CFO, CTO, CCO, COO etc who have specific responsibilities within the foundation.
We hear this a lot, people just give it different names. This is ultimately inevitable, so rest assured that we'll be exploring this as soon as the Guide vote changes are pushed through. It's been brought up in all Governance WG meetings, but we're stuck fixing the boring aftermath of the Guide vote first.

Either way, I agree 100% on the overall idea and have been vouching for a "protocol-side" standing party for a long time. It's just semantics. The devil will be in the details, but I think those can get worked out quickly if people don't dig their heels in.

What's going to be important is that we at least start with SOME semblance of the above idea (like, you can start out smaller with 1 electable 'CEO', slap a budget on it, and let him/her hire whoever) and improve it through various iterations rather than forever be stuck in an "it's my way or the highway" discussion and end up doing nothing.
 
Thanks Vidale.

I’m glad to hear there have been similar thoughts elsewhere.

One decision maker (CEO) could be problematic in anything other than name. A board that votes on all major decisions at least keeps some semblance of decentralisation.

And rather than the CEO hiring his friends, they could be elected by the community.

But I think there’s nothing wrong with starting more centralised and then further distribute control once heading in a good direction.
 
I'll be very open to any ideas related to re-centralizing efforts. I think it's been an interesting experiment, but now we're seeing some major road blocks due to indecisiveness and lack of direction.
I think the challenge will be to do this without too much loss of decentralization. Ways we could consider include making any central players accountable to the Standing Parties. I'd value any thoughts on this.
 
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