Steemit Update: Leaving "Survive Mode" ... and Beta!
Since the company's layoffs last fall, the Steemit team has been focused on infrastructure cost reductions and advertising sales on steemit.com. By releasing two state-of-the-art pieces of software (Hivemind and MIRA), reducing operating costs, improving the efficiency of our AWS infrastructure, and beginning our paid advertising program, we are now hitting our cost reduction and revenue projections.
We have picked the majority of “low hanging fruit” with respect to cost reductions and restored the organization to a financially sustainable condition with a worst-case scenario operational runway that is more than sufficient to begin scoping future enhancements to the Steem blockchain and steemit.com.
@elipowell & Christi White
These changes began with the decision by @ned to hand over the reigns of Steemit Inc. to Elizabeth Powell who became Managing Director of Steemit about 6 months ago. In her efforts to turn the organization around she was aided by our indispensable Head of Operations, Christi White.
In order to shepard the organization into this new phase of growth, we have restructured the company and assigned four new team leads who have demonstrated exceptional judgment, skill, work ethic, and commitment to the Steem ecosystem.
Justin Welch - @justinw
@justinw has been leading Steemit’s DevOps efforts since its first year in operation and is now leading the team as Head of Engineering. Neither the Steem blockchain nor steemit.com can function without the stable, secure, and scalable infrastructure that Justin oversees. Unfortunately for Justin that means that whenever anything goes wrong, he is absolutely indispensable. Since he is also critical when it comes to just all around "making things better," that means he has gotten very little time off, and very little sleep. If we could clone just one person, we all agree it would be Justin. Since we can’t do that, we’re putting him in charge of our engineering efforts.
@vandeberg has been with Steemit since before its inception and oversees all blockchain development as Senior Blockchain Engineer. Michael has had a massive influence over the direction that Steem has taken and with the benefit of hindsight we have all seen the wisdom behind the difficult choices he insisted be made, and the folly of ignoring his warnings. His insistence on pursuing the utilization of RocksDB to migrate Steem to commodity-hardware well over a year ago is just one example of his foresight.
@roadscape, Senior Product Engineer, was one of the earliest additions to the Steemit team. He was also the developer behind steemd.com, the first user interface for accessing the information stored on the Steem blockchain. @roadscape went on to architect Hivemind, software that not only dramatically reduces the cost of running a blockchain node, but which also unlocks a universe of possibilities for social apps.
Whether people realize it or not, Hivemind also has the potential to offer the strengths of so-called “Smart Contracts” with almost none of the downsides. Hivemind will enable us to create Communities on Steem (among many other features), which is why it will play a critical role in the future of steemit.com, and the Steem ecosystem as a whole. That’s why we wanted to empower its developer to push it to the limits!
@andrarchy has been a part of the Steemit community since before he was part of the Steemit team, creating content on the platform that helped educate new users on the complexities of the Steem ecosystem. Originally hired as Community Liaison for Steemit, he would go on to become our Content Director, and now Head of Communications where he oversees everything relating to content, marketing, and of course, communications.
While these last few months have been incredibly challenging for us, these hardships have not been able to stop this organization, nor this community, from surviving. Thanks to the many hard decisions we’ve made over the last 6 months, and the amazing software our engineers have managed to release, we feel that Steemit Inc. is well-positioned to transition from “survive mode” to “thrive mode.”
Thanks to Hivemind, and the splitting of Condenser into two separate applications (Social and Wallet), we’ve been able to improve steemit.com at a rapid rate, while maintaining our rigorous security standards. And we’re just getting started. For these reasons, we feel the time is right for steemit.com ... to leave Beta!
The Steemit Team