Working in the Open
In the corporate and traditional startup world, secrecy is preached as a competitive requirement. NDAs, trade secrets, stealthy product roadmaps, and IP protectionism are the norm. Beyond that, most people have a strong psychological defense mechanism to shield their new ideas and in-progress work.
The nature of the Geo Web as an open source, public good turns that all on its head. The vision for the Geo Web still faces stiff competition (other AR metaverses/metaworlds, operating system lock-ins, hardware based solutions, etc), but if our public goods-focused thesis is correct, then transparency is really the only choice.
If egalitarian public utility is the only metric of success and not private profit, why wouldn’t information be shared with the public every step of the way? No person or team has a monopoly on the “right” answers to complex decisions and value-based tradeoffs that we need to make. We believe that public good decision making and outcomes improve with transparency (even if it means a fork of the project).
In other words, a public good mission statement can be faked; building in the open (with permissive OSS licensing) to back it up can’t be.
“...[E]ven a billion dollars of capital cannot compete with a project having a soul.”—Vitalik Buterin, Endnotes on 2020: Crypto and Beyond
We’re definitely not perfect in enacting this open ethos. It is a skillset that needs to be consciously developed. I’m personally still unlearning habits from previous work experience and pushing past introverted tendencies. Striving for better and more transparent project communication will always be a challenge, but a worthwhile one.
So after an awesome (hopefully impactful) week of offline whiteboarding “the future of the Geo Web,” we’re recommitting ourselves to better building in the open. We opened a repo in our Github org called the Garden. Inspired by ideas from the digital gardening community and tools like Obsidian, Roam, and Notion, we’ll be sharing meeting notes, progress updates, and concepts that we’re “tending” in real-time.
There will be kinks to work out in our practice and toolset, but starting now is a meta part of the ethos. We hope that our current/future stakeholders, contributors, and selves will benefit from this transparent evolutionary history that we’re able to capture.
- Cody and I spent >24hrs over 4 days whiteboarding short-, medium-, and long-term initiatives and architecture last week. It was our first time together in-person since ETHDenver 2020. The shortest summary I can give is that there’s an unlimited amount of ideas to build, and we’re confident in our modular architecture being supportive of iterative development + scale. Also check out the notes in the Garden (more still to be added).
- We’ll be releasing an updated Cadastre map styling (with better performance) later this week (https://github.com/Geo-Web-Project/cadastre/pull/64).
- A recording of our first Geo Web meetup is available on YouTube. Thanks to all that attended in-person and online! The awesome questions that we fielded at the end gave us a boost of confidence that our ideas are starting to resonate.
- Our friends over at Ceramic are sponsoring the “Let Data Flow” hackathon on Gitcoin. It starts next Monday, August 16th. If you’re interested in hacking on a Ceramic+Geo Web idea, let us know!
- Continue L2 research and experimentation
- More Cadastre updates