No. You do not own Steemit, Inc.

in #business4 years ago (edited)

There has been a lot of talk about what Steemit, Inc. should do:

  • Steemit, Inc. should create a roadmap.
  • Steemit, Inc. should not vote on witnesses.
  • Steemit, Inc. should stop powering down.
  • Steemit, Inc. should give away free STEEM to everyone.
  • Steemit, Inc. should provide the community with their financial statements.
  • Steemit, Inc. should add more features to their website.
  • Steemit, Inc. should communicate better.
  • Steemit, Inc. should ...

While these are all good suggestions, there is an important thing that the community needs to understand: Steemit, Inc. is a privately held company. They have no obligation to the community or to SP holders. They can chose to run their company any way they want! They do not have to do anything we say.

Don't get me wrong. The success of Steemit, Inc. is heavily dependent on the community. They should listen to what we have to say, and do their best to try to keep us happy. We are their biggest asset. We are ultimately their main recruiters, onboarders, content producers, investors, etc. Without all of us, there probably would be no Steemit, Inc. That does not give us the right to demand how they run their company though.

Whether you agree with this or not, there is very clear evidence that they do listen to us and care about what the community has to say. Whether they agree with everything we suggest, and actually do everything we say is another thing - but they do at least listen.

Since I joined back in July, I have seen them do tons of things based on wants, needs, and suggestions of the community. I think it is pretty clear that they care.


the cool thing is we all get to assist in getting this new tech off the ground. that alone keeps me excited because none of us are 100% sure where this will take us. yes, steemit inc is a separate entity. however, steemit inc has an investment in steem as well. so, of course they want it to grow into a successful platform.

about the leadership. I will say this much about @ned, he makes himself available to the community quite a bit. being a ceo of a startup, you do not see that happen very that regard i am quite pleased to see him discussing future upgrades and getting our input. he is a busy guy, but takes the time with us.

very good post. with some great discussion coming.

Thanks, this brought me some clarity

This is true. Thank you for making the distinction.

"They have no obligation to the community or to SP holders."

Actually, they do have obligations to the community and SP holders. They chose to take on the burden of those obligations when they made promises at events like Steemfest or when doing interviews on various talk shows in the cryptocoin community.

Without the community Steemit Inc would be nothing more than two guys without a penny to rub between the two of them. Real investors have put real money into the Steem ecosystem based around the promises of Steemit Inc.

I get that you want to give @ned & @dantheman a little slack but let's not pretend that investors don't have every right to try hold their feet to the fire too.

It's a symbiotic relationship both parties need each other.

Making a promise In a public forum is a valid form of obligation, but that is something very different than needing to do what we say, simply because we have invested in the platform. Holding someone to their word is something different, and I would agree with doing that.

The problem lies in some of those promises being very vague and open to broad interpretation. I'm looking forward to seeing a road map so I can set my expectations properly. I believe one was promised by the end of the year during the Steemfest talk?

But yeah there is also a lot of arm chair quarterbacking going on and it's obvious @ned and @dantheman are at the very least listening and taking action.

I concur with both of your points. Cool avatar btw :)

It is a good point and yes, although I am not a holder of SteemIt. Inc. I do make decisions on investing based on how well they do or do not manage SteemIt, as I feel without SteemIt, Steem is just another "token".

I do realize, we don't have voting power in the company. Their decisions and management style have an influence on the value of an investment.

I think it is great to clarify the relationship though, as I didn't understand it before.

Steemit, Inc. is a privately held company. They have no obligation to the community or to SP holders. They can chose to run their company any way they want! They do not have to do anything we say.

Of course. Who's claiming that they must do what we all say?

They should listen to what we have to say, and do their best to try to keep us happy. We are their biggest asset. We are ultimately their main recruiters, onboarders, content producers, investors, etc. Without all of us, there probably would be no Steemit, Inc.

So, then you agree that they should be listening to their valued users and investors? What's your complaint then? That we shouldn't express our concerns because they don't have to listen to us, but they should listen to our concerns? That's quite a confusing message to your readers, don't you think?

That does not give us the right to demand how they run their company though.

Again - there aren't many "demands" out there, from what I've seen. There are a lot of users expressing some discontent on many issues and many people have either left or have considered leaving because of some of these ongoing issues. That ought to wake some people up in the halls of Steemit Inc. and it's exactly this kind of feedback from users and investors that makes them aware of such discontent and the levels that it has reached.

Now it's surely up to them whether they want to acknowledge issues and seek resolutions. Nobody is disputing that. But that doesn't mean everyone should sit down and shut up. If that's the attitude of Steemit Inc. (and I'm pretty sure that it's not), then they wouldn't have much of a user base anymore. They need users and investors just as much as the users and investors need the product and services that Steemit Inc. is supposed to be developing.

When you're asking people to believe in your idea and product and to invest their time, energy, and money into it, it's not wrong for those users and investors to have expectations - and to question behavior and actions when those expectations aren't being met. It's called being a responsible investor and ensuring accountability, especially when this is supposed to be a "decentralized" network (even though it's largely centralized at the moment).

Honestly, there is very little if anything in your response that I disagree with. Feedback, suggestions, and input from the community are all key. If I had to point to one thing I'd "change" (probably what my 'rant' was targeted towards) is attitude / tone. It is possible to do all the things you just said and still do it in a constructive way. If everyone's "suggestions" came across with the right tone and attitude, I probably would not have written this post.

If everyone's "suggestions" came across with the right tone and attitude, I probably would not have written this post.

Expressing frustration over the same issues over the course of weeks and months is usually going to be perceived as negative or "the wrong tone." Maybe these "tones" and "attitudes" are the result of a perceived lack of action. Maybe the correct response wouldn't be to talk down to those who are frustrated, but to instead ask for better accountability from those who are at the very least partially responsible for the frustration.

This post really serves no purpose other than to say what everyone already knows and already sees - that Steemit Inc. can and mostly will do what they want. Like I said - that doesn't mean nobody should speak up and we certainly should not be telling them that they're wrong for doing so because they have no actual stake in Steemit Inc.

Concerns should be expressed and a dialogue with the company's staff would be the best way to address them, considering the relatively small and relatively tight-knit community we currently have and the fact that this is the beta testing phase. Now is the time to hash these things out.

When you start to go to "that doesn't mean nobody should speak up", then we start to diverge in our agreement. It is not an "us" versus "them". We are on the same side. We want the same goals. It is not a fight between the community and Steemit, Inc. It is there company that we are interacting with, and we are welcome to offer our suggestions on how they can do it better. That much I agree with. If it starts to turn into a "fight" though, then I think you have the wrong idea.

Another way to put this into perspective is that the STEEM blockchain is decentralized, and anyone in the world can make use of the data that is on it.

Consider the steemit site, like a "viewer" or "writer" to the block chain. There will be many competitors to, which is by design. Some are starting to pop up already.

Your account itself, is usable both on steemit, or any other site that talks to the STEEM blockchain where the data is stored.

Just be careful when inputing your private keys and password on new competitor sites until you know they are legit. For now, steemit is the most trusted one.

Well said. I agree 100% :)

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We can have expectations as time and money investors, but this dos not mean steemit, inc. should follow this road. They can listen or not, act now or later or never, in the same way users can leave at anytime.

This being said, a promise is a promise...

Yeah, I mentioned this in a different comment too - but if they make promises to the public, that is different. I believe holding them to their word for anything they have publicly made promises to do, is a reasonable expectation. They are in a sense obligated to do that, in order to stay true to their word.

I have to disagree. I've invested a lot in this platform. While I'm not the largest stakeholder, I do think that my opinion should matter. It's completely reasonable to have expectations from the leadership of the platform.

if you held shares in microsoft would you be calling them to let them know what you think they should be doing all the time?

It's a valid point of view. You can have expectations, and you probably should - but I guess my point is that they don't actually have to listen. I'm not saying they shouldn't listen to what the community has to say (obviously, there is a benefit to them doing that), but they don't have to. At the end of the day, it is entirely their choice as to what they decide to do with their company.

Well, they can do whatever they want. They have free will, after all. But that's a philosophical argument. It's not a very meaningful statement. I don't think it's very constructive to make a post like this, either. This just isn't a good response to the totally legitimate frustrations that many of us are feeling and expressing.

Part of why I wrote this is that this is more than just a philosophical argument.

For example, many have made the argument that Steemit employees should not be cashing out large amounts of STEEM. While we may believe that is a good suggestion, Steemit, Inc. may disagree. They may feel that generating enough cash to fund their company for the next two years regardless of the price is what is best for their company.

Then people might say, well then they should explain what they are doing with the money. Again, they might feel that disclosing their financial information is not in the best interest of their company.

The point of the post is that they can do whatever they want. It is their company.

All of these things are valid concerns and suggestions from the community, but at the end of the day, that is all they are.

What's the actual point of saying that, though? Everybody who is pissed off and disappointed at the actions of the leadership of the platform already knows that they can and will do whatever they want. In fact, that's why some of us are pissed off. This is not a revelation. You're just kicking people when they're down.

You're just kicking people when they're down.

That really isn't my intention, I can assure you of that.

For argument sake, is it possible that the problem was that people believed from the beginning that they were entitled a 'say' in how Steemit ran their business?

To some extent I wrote this article because I think that there are people that legitimately believe that.

Investing in the platform and being a part of the community does not give us a voice at the Steemit, Inc. executive table. Despite the SP investment part, we are closer to Steemit's customers than we are it's shareholders.

Again, I am not saying that the community should not have opinions, wants, and suggestions. I'm also not saying Steemit should ignore the community. It is important for a company to listen to its customers.

If people look at it with the right perspective though, then they shouldn't really get upset when Steemit doesn't do what we suggest. If they are at least listening and taking what we have to say into consideration, then they are already doing more than they are required to do.

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I think it is pretty clear that they care.

There is an entirely opposite viewpoint being promoted far and wide outside of Steemit that needs to be addressed, yet they've done little (let others do their talking) to nothing.

I can somewhat understand their desire to avoid the situation, as they have for the past months, but at some point I feel they have to realize the damage that is being done to their brand and finally address the issue head on (respond!).

Tone Vays is not going away, he's only gaining momentum and the longer his critique's of Steemit are ignored, the more they appear to be valid to a lot of people.

Perhaps they are valid points that cannot be properly addressed, is this why Dan & Ned have yet to confront his claims head on (that I'm aware of) and instead have allowed others to do their talking? Who knows.

I can tell you who most people are going to listen to though ... the only one talking. And that's Tone Vays. ;)

Whether they care and whether they respond publicly to Tone Vays are not 100% the same thing. It is very likely that they care a lot, they just have their own way that they want to address the Tone Vays situation. Action is louder than talk, so maybe they feel that after they build the fully functional website, they will be able to prove that he is wrong. Talk is cheap :)

Truth! Preach it, Tim. LOL
Corporations usually have bylaws, a Board of Directors, and a credo or mission statement. A corporation is also a separate legal entity. The reason behind this is to protect individuals from being personally accountable for the contracts of the entity. Anyone who thinks they own Steemit, Inc. should then be willing to write the checks that pays the taxes, the lawyers (which I'm guessing are already on retainer), the accountants, the employees, and be responsible for any debt that may be incurred - and probably foot the bill to keep the lease and lights on at headquarters.
Glad you pointed it out, Tim. I don't think the majority is aware of this.

Yes I don't own steemit, but I'd like to think I have a share in it :)

Nope. You just own shares of SP + STEEM and SBD coins, which give you the powers that are defined by the blockchain rules :)

So that is not tied to the value in Steemit, Inc.?

The two are definitely related, but they are separate. is currently the main website that users can use to interact with the Steem blockchain. The actual website ( is owned by Steemit, Inc. When you get SP/STEEM/SBD, you are getting tokens which give you a stake in the blockchain, as defined by the blockchain rules. There is no ownership of Steemit, Inc or the Steemit website though.

[Edit] Currently, Steemit is one of the main things that is providing value to the blockchain and making the currencies worth something though.

So in a sense we all do have a share? I understand that the tokens are separate but it's like one supports the other. Anyway I do get what you mean but from a point of view, we do have a "share" in the platform.

Yes. We do have a share in the Steem blockchain platform. If the website makes the Steem blockchain platform a success - then we are all shareholders of that :) The distinction is what we are a shareholder of though. Even if becomes the #1 website in the world, we would be shareholders of an extremely popular and heavily used blockchain, but we still would not have ownership in the actual website.