Before diving deeper into this, I will just remind you that the title line above ("back to reality, here comes gravity") besides being made famous by Eminem, was also the last sentence of my previous article about what it means to be into crypto. It seems I have a (rather unsettling, to be honest) ability to catch the vibes of the market lately. Let's see if this ability will remain after the trend reverses. :)
And now, to the topic at hand.
First and foremost, letting people go sucks. Big time. I've been an entrepreneur employing other people for more than 18 years and I know that first hand. You look at the expenses spreadsheet and it's all red and you cut some rows and it turns green again and you think you're done. But you're not. Those rows you cut from the spreadsheet are actual people. And, most of the time, they also have people who depend on them. So, just like you empower more than one person when you employ somebody, you push into misery more than one person when you lay off.
But, as sad as this is, sometimes you just have to do it. You have to unload a bit of your cargo, hoping that the ship will continue to float.
I'm in no position to emit opinions about how @ned is managing his company. I can only speak about the parts in which I'm directly involved. And that would be the decentralized part of the Steem ecosystem, where I am a witness (one that didn't get "the freedom vote" - meaning I'm not approved, nor supported by the core Steemit INC voting power) a content creator and curator, and a developer of dapps on top of the blockchain. So, please keep in mind that what I'm going to write doesn't apply to Steemit INC, but rather to the decentralized part of this business.
I came to Steem more than 2 years ago, by invitation. At that time I had a fairly popular blog (that's why I've been invited by @wadepaterson) and a few books self-published. I wasn't doing bad. And yet, I decided to switch completely to Steem and almost abandoned the other platforms. The reason: I believe in the vision. That vision made me contribute more than 5,000 articles in two years and put up resources (hardware, bandwidth, time and skills) in order to become a witness. Every day, a few hundreds transactions are witnessed by my nodes. That's a wonderful feeling, to be honest.
But, as promising as the vision may be, a vision without execution is just a dream. And the execution part of the Steem ecosystem degraded a lot during the last year. I don't know the reasons, and, I repeat, I'm not giving entrepreneurship advice here, but for the entire 2018 we had pretty much nothing in terms of execution. All that we had was a block-halting HardFork 20, which alienated thousands of users. The benefits that HF20 provided were almost forgotten because of the bad execution.
So, for me, as a witness, it became increasingly difficult to do my job. Add to this the lack of communication, the slow progress on other fronts (like SMT, for instance) and the picture you see is rather gloomy.
And now, 70% of the Steemit INC is gone.
Will that make the role of witnesses more prominent? Will they have more to say in how the development progresses? Will it be an increase in the quality of the execution?
All these are just questions now. The answers are yet to be discovered.
As far as I'm concerned, I will continue to do exactly what I was doing until now: I will monitor my witness nodes, ensuring they're working flawlessly, I will continue to contribute and curate content and to onboard other users, I will continue to post regular updates about my witness work (I've been doing that pretty much every week, for as long as I've been a witness) and I will continue to maintain and improve the products that I built on top of this infrastructure (steem.supply being the one that many users know, for instance).
Will that be enough for Steemit to grow and become the vision I bought into?
To be honest, I don't know.
And the wave of sentimental reaction, like "I will not leave, I'm here for the long run, I'm a believer, let's stick together, etc" is becoming to feel a bit unnerving, at least for me. I've been seeing this mix of enthusiasm and naivety for the last two years every time there was a major crisis. Was that helping? Well, looking at where we are right now, it doesn't look like. On the contrary. Looks like the more sentimental and pseudo-sacrificial people get, the worse the situation.
We need to stop bragging that we're here for the long run, if we actually need to be a long run somewhere beyond the horizon. We need to shut up and put in the work. We need to accept our differences and support each other, to the point we stop being just a collection of castes (minnows, dolphins and whales, fighting for a piece of the rewards pool in a red ocean) and become a real community.
We need to accept reality and the gravity that comes with it.
I'm a serial entrepreneur, blogger and ultrarunner. You can find me mainly on my blog at Dragos Roua where I write about productivity, business, relationships and running. Here on Steemit you may stay updated by following me @dragosroua.
Wanna know when you're getting paid?
|I know the feeling. That's why I created steem.supply, an easy to use and accurate tool for calculating your Steemit rewards|