By popular demand, I've taken the automatically-generated transcript of the AMA video and broken it down to bullet points. Of course, this is not a word-for-word transcription and I've paraphrased a few things, so it's highly recommended you watch it for yourself: https://youtu.be/FGOSDZbETr4 Team Goals/Priorities – seen in current and future job postings
Improve network security through Unity Consensus
Developer evangelism: why developers outside of the crypto industry should care about blockchain technology
focus on dev education, tutorials, and events (hackathons, developer conferences, etc.) to directly speak to this community of developers
More coinholder engagement and governance
This is a top priority for Aion: leads to improved security, more developer adoption, and an overall better ecosystem that people feel like they're participating in and getting value from
Each accessibility partner Aion is working with (top listing partners, staking partners, custody partners, and wallets) has its own process, timeline, and engineering requirements which Aion doesn't control, but a number of them should come to fruition in short order.
Can't give any hints, but Aion will announce when integrations are complete.
Not thinking about network adoption solely in terms of how many dApps are on the network because across the crypto industry the vast majority of dApps have very low user and transaction volume.
Aion's focus is on quality businesses building quality applications that have the potential for huge user bases.
Aion plans to increase overall network usage through developer onboarding, tooling, documentation, evangelism, and investor relations.
AVM opens the door into a community of developers who build mission-critical software that can benefit from the advantages of blockchain tech.
Under NDA, stay tuned
In the final stages of getting ready for release on main net
huge potential addressable market
Awareness about Aion (video choppy here)
Java developer community focus given popularity of the language in enterprise software
the mechanics of the tech and how the proof of stake and proof of work are going to interact together is essentially solved
POCs for different models are already built
Working with world-renowned economists and game theorists externally to get the economics right, in research phase right now
variables that lead to the economic distribution of the rewards are still being finalized
will have ways for users to test and give feedback on the Unity design between now and launch date
Building the next “Killer App”
impossible to predict
Aion created an environment where it's easy for people to experiment and innovate and try new ideas through developer documentation and evangelism
messaging about problems Aion wants to solve for the world and why people should build their next solution on top of infrastructures like Aion
not necessarily messaging that to Ethereum developers, focus is on web2/traditional software companies and talking to them about how blockchain/decentralized networks give them a new set of tools to address challenges of trust, centralization, asset distribution and tokenization
Enterprise Ethereum Alliance
Aion has been actively talking about what the AVM means to an enterprise audience because it opens the door to Java on a public blockchain
There have been a lot of limitations and hesitations around Solidity and the Ethereum Virtual Machine
Aion is in the process of introducing the AVM as a potential new standard
Other public blockchain projects outside of the EEA (e.g. RSK) are looking at integrating the AVM because they see a better design for executing transactions and applications on top of a public network
Not in the loop on every project building on Aion
if you have questions about any specific companies or projects, reach out to them directly to get the best info
did 3 leading up to AVM release
none on the calendar yet but developing a more thorough hackathon strategy focused on growing attendance for non-crypto developer audience to introduce them to the AVM and its toolsets
will likely have an online hackathon that spans over the course of a couple of weeks
Awareness in developer communities
more focused on establishing Aion's voice beyond the existing blockchain industry
AVM and Unity are big, necessary milestones that differentiate its network design and infrastructure
focus is on the millions of developers in the Java community over next 6-12 months
Aion's not trying to do copycat marketing to the crypto industry
AVM and Unity are milestones directly tied to how different and distinct building on Aion is compared to other projects
A lot of the marketing strategy to date has been research driven: talking to, surveying, and interviewing developers and companies to understand what problems developers face and the barriers to adoption
we need to differentiate and communicate the problems Aion solves and aim to start doing more aggressive marketing directed to traditional software companies around those problem statements
this research is also informing what we're doing on our documentation
Java developer interest
pretty good since AVM launch announcement, people reaching out to us asking us for more information, Java developers taking a spin of the code base.
One of the largest Java-based companies in the world is now very clued in to what we're doing and has an internal team diving into the design of the the AVM and how it interacts with the Java Virtual Machine
this is leading us into Java community groups, Java conferences, talking to traditional software companies and we're starting to see a lot of interest
culminating into a more deliberate marketing strategy that targets these people
Portis wallet integration and Aion custodian services are ongoing
we're going to be constantly working towards adding to the ecosystem of supporting tools
As we go towards Unity, need to talk to staking and custody companies to allow people to manage their coins efficiently and securely
We understand the concerns coming from the community
We're confident that if we have a differentiated marketing strategy and if we're the only project effectively addressing the concerns of the mainstream Java developer community this will be reflected in our market position over time.
Not ignoring the community but have to address these things in their appropriate sequence. We can't say everything that you'd like us to say publicly.
Managed and operated by friend and co-founder Kesem
No, I do not have any legal ties or legal attachments to MavenNet
No, the foundation is not an investor in MavenNet
Yes, they are an important member of our ecosystem and we have done some projects with them, including the MavenBridge, which was an implementation of the bridge that we had built last year with our bridging teams
Not something Aion controls. TRS is an automated distribution mechanism that was completely open and inclusive to anybody in the community who wanted to participate. There are monthly distributions and most of those distributions do not come into the Foundation's coffers.
It is part of the economic design of Aion.
We hear you that there are concerns. A big part of our economic design is going through a revamp with the Unity release.
TRS is not something that can be changed or will be changed.
A lot of these economic/supply concerns are being addressed in the design of Unity, and it would be great to have more feedback from the community on that.
Our conclusions after spending a year focusing on interoperability is that as we prioritize what needs to be built to make mainstream adoption more likely, interoperability does not seem as imminent as we originally thought.
We're not saying this is not an important piece of infrastructure, or that we are completely deprioritizing it. We're reprioritizing it to later in our roadmap.
In the meantime, we have a lot of respect for the teams at Cosmos and Polkadot. We're very curious about what they're building and excited to see what they come up with. Our research team is constantly paying attention to new releases and updates, and we have a relationship with both of these projects that gives us a good window into their development. The great part about this industry is that we're all developing publicly and open source, and we'll be able to piggyback off of each other's innovations as the market weighs in on what's important and useful.
Our focus has been readjusted to address what we think are the most significant and imminent obstacles.
AVM, tooling, and Unity economic and security design continue to be the focus of our engineering and research teams
Anthony “Pomp” Pompliano interview
Thank you everyone who helped get his (and others') attention on social media.
We're working on timing
We still constantly hear from companies that they don't understand why they should use a blockchain, and I think this is an existential problem for our whole industry, what problem are you solving, why is this important to business.
There's some really interesting innovation happening on top of blockchain, novel web3 crypto applications, but when we think about why this infrastructure is important to the rest of the world, there's still a gap in articulating the problem statement. Our focus is to get better at conveying why companies should care about this tech and then giving them the tools to see it for themselves.
In the short term, I think this is going bear a lot of fruit because we're now having more impactful conversations with companies that two years ago we never would have been open to building something on top of the public network. Now we're seeing the comfort level of larger companies shift to where many are open to public blockchain applications and infrastructure, but we still need to articulate why they should build parts of their business on a public blockchain and what type of software is best suited for a decentralized network.
We think there's going to be a trend towards large companies shifting their perspective towards public blockchains, which is where Aion comes in.
We're often restricted from talking about non-public POCs
I think our software is gaining the attention of the companies that we were hoping it would
We already have an integration with Microsoft Azure available on their cloud marketplace, and we've also been talking quite a bit with that team other the big tech infrastructure companies around integrating support for Java development on the AVM into their developer tools.
This piggybacks off the work that we've already done with tools like IntelliJ, Maven, Gradle—we're trying to go through the short list of high profile dev tools that are already very well established and well used by big software developers around the world
A big part of my motivation in this industry is understanding why blockchain matters in the bigger picture, not just crypto for crypto's sake, but its potential global impact.
Singularity University is a great vehicle to have those conversations. This is a group of people that are futurists and really creative thinkers that talk about the problem and the world in a way that most people don't, and I think it's going to continue to be a really good stage and great association for me to maintain.
I have a good relationship with Salim Ismail, who continues to be an adviser of Aion and is involved with Velocia, who is in the process of launching its application on top of Aion with their pilot program rolling out in Miami.
We have a great relationship, we've had a number of conversations with Cardano about the design of our VM and I think there continues to be interest
We do not have a formalized partnership to publicly discuss today, but this is going to continue to be a team that we look up to and that we're going to discussing the AVM design with.
I think we've got interest from them. It's a pretty productive conversation about possible future collaboration but nothing concrete at this stage.
Challenges as FoundeCEO
The balance between making sure the community has the information that it needs and deserves while also balancing our focus and priorities. Not every one of our priorities can be measured in weeks and months, and some of our priorities are much more macro than that, and we have to constantly fight that balance.
I think one of our biggest challenges has been making sure that we are shining a light on our successes. We have an incredible, solid, world-class team. I think people that get familiar with Aion are convinced that we are in a very very small class of leading projects in terms of technical substance. I think we still have a long way to go in terms of learning how to appropriately cast a spotlight on that talent. You're going to see constant adjustments from us to do better at highlighting the talent we have and finding new talent. This is not a people problem—I think we have all the right people—and it's a matter of messaging and articulating to the world what problems are we trying to solve. I feel like I'm motivated and surrounded by people that that keep me enthusiastic about the problems we're solving.
We keep reminding ourselves that we're not only in a new industry, but we're in a new industry that can have a fundamental and important change on the world, and that drives us every day.
The support we get from the community is a big part of that, and we're not blind or ignoring any of the concerns or questions that you bring up. We're going to do a better job of giving you a voice in our decision-making process. We're constantly balancing internal priorities with external communication.
Sometimes we're not prioritizing exactly what the community would like, but we're not doing that in a vacuum. We're very specifically evaluating the pros and cons of one priority over another because we have to balance resources while keeping our eye on the long-term goals for what we're building.
No plans to open an office there.
We have a great partnership with a company out of Romania that we've been doing work with for the last year and a half—Centrys—that has been responsible for the THEO Project, Syna wallet, and a distributed marketplace project.
We continue to maintain our offices in Toronto, Shanghai, and Barbados.
We have a good, long-standing relationship with ConsenSys. We have lots of friends who work and worked inside that company. I continue to serve on the board of directors at the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance alongside ConsenSys, Joe Lubin, and others. But ConsenSys's business model is very specifically focused on supporting the growth of the Ethereum ecosystem.
We have interest from certain members of the ConsenSys teams that are working more within the enterprise space around what we've built with the AVM because it addresses a lot of their concerns around Solidity/EVM.
People like what we've done with Java and the AVM, and I think we're going to have a lot of traction around building out a community of users, which will validate our tech stack and start to build out a larger set of templates for smart contracts and tools that are supported on top of the same VM, and turn that into more of an industry standard. I would not be surprised if that ends up having some involvement from certain members or teams within ConsenSys
Value to Aion
This is a massively dynamic market, and there are a lot of factors that feed into this. Many of these factors are short term and many of these factors are long term. We're trying to balance between how much focus should be on the long term while maintaining a view on the short term, but I think everybody who's followed us for long enough knows that we're a long-term, substance-first project. We adjust and we learn along the way, but we're going to continue to stay true to that.
That's not to say that we cannot optimize our messaging and communication strategy. We're in constant discussions with partners that impact coin accessibility and what that means for the security and distribution of our network. We are in the middle of integrations, partnership conversations, listing conversations, and all of those have their own timelines. All of those are independently complicated depending on which company's we're talking to, so this is not something that's universally or only in our control. We have to rely on third parties to support us.
Interoperability (part 2)
I don't want to phrase this as de-emphasizing interoperability. I think we have always been trying to solve how to build a useful infrastructure for developers and what components are part of that. Our thesis has changed over time as we learn and research.
Interoperability is a critical thing to solve, but may not be the first thing that needs to be solved in terms of the barriers to adoption. We are constantly asked, “what's the point of connecting to networks that have no usage?” Interoperability is maybe not the right answer to getting more usage. Our focus has been on how to increase adoption.
Interoperability will probably be part of the long-term infrastructure challenges that we face, but we think there are more imminent problems to solve. I think there are a lot of ways for us to be collaborating with other projects. The way we define what we're building, the language we use, has a big part to play in how we convince people to build on top of us.
People that don't view themselves as blockchain developers are potentially less keen to build out “a blockchain” but maybe more keen to build on a decentralized infrastructure that solves data ownership problems. We're testing different messages and different narratives.
Interoperability will become part of the long term design, but it's a matter of when is it the right time to be investing in that research.
As many of you know, we're very public about our finances.
The next release of our finances will come out for the June 30th date. We release finances every three months. It usually takes us three to four weeks to prepare them and publish them, so March 31st got released sometime in April, June 30th will get released sometime in July.
Our financial stability and our funds are not our top concern right now. We feel very confident about where we're at with our runway and the amount of money we have. I'm very confident that we have more than sufficient funds to prove our thesis.
We can probably set up an opportunity for the community to ask questions after the June 30th statements have been published.
Months of runway changes all the time depending on factors like the price of Bitcoin, but generally speaking, we've continued to maintain a runway north of two years, even when we decide to spend more. Wait until our June 30th numbers are published you'll have a lot more specific information at that point because we are prioritizing new hires that are going to change the amount that we're spending on a monthly basis.
Thank you so much for being patient with us. Stay tuned for our weekly AMAs from different members of the team, community surveys, and these quarterly video AMAs. There's going to be a lot more information coming out of the project especially as we wrap up Unity.
Here's a list of 158 free online programming/CS courses (MOOCs) with feedback(i.e. exams/homeworks/assignments) that you can start this month (September 2015)
This is not the complete list of MOOCs starting in September 2015, just the ones relevant to this community. The complete list of courses starting in September 2015 can be found over at Class Central. I maintain a much bigger list of these courses over at Class Central BEGINNER(35)
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