To be free or not to be free….that is the question…

Now what’s the bloody answer? Can we decide some shit already……lol
Is it possible to agree a way forward yet on the free storage issue (amongst others). We seem to be talking endlessly but not deciding anything. Is it possible to narrow things down to a few options/models by way of concisely putting forward the various ideas/arguments, then vote, then start doing something towards whatever is agreed?

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Is there a plan to allow “the community” to decide?

I don’t know what decisions are supposed to be decided on what level.
Is the giving away of significant (or any) amount of free space a strategic decision? How do those get decided?

I am not in favor on a vote here because I believe there are existing mechanisms for that, but I confess I didn’t familiarize myself with them neither prior to the “crowdsale” or later.

Again, I’m not sure either, I just want to know if its decided or not, or why we are talking about it if so. I’m also not sure about voting etc but just want to stop talking and start doing, but I can’t without knowing where we’re up to or what the plan is.

The reality is, we (the community on this forum) can decide/vote on any issue. But it does not obligate the Dev Pods to comply. Last I checked, they still have free will. Project SAFE is a voluntary movement.

Early adopters from the crowd sale are in a sticky situation. Their MaidSafeCoins (Safecoin Proxy) are held in the Mastercoin protocol until the SAFE Network is launched.

If anyone disagrees with MaidSafe’s development direction, they can fork their own path and develop their own Network as they wish.

To answer the question.

AFAIK, the MaidSafe “plan” is to offer some amount of free storage, also known as the Freemium Model. The details have not been finalized yet.

I know it’s frustrating to not know all the details. That is because we don’t have all the details. IMO, we need TestNet3 and Beta to finalize the Freemium model.

In the meantime, we have been discussing it on several topics of this forum. Some are against it, some are for it, some are undecided. I think MaidSafe considers all points of view. But they will have to make the development decision.

My Personal Point of View

I have a financial and community interest in this project. I will offer any many ideas as I can to “support” development. The Devs (all pods) are welcome to adopt or ignore my ideas. Hopefully, I am more helpful than hindering. If MaidSafe wants to do a Freemium model, then I’ll help them. I’ll also help them make a backup model in case the Freemium model goes bust.

Every project needs to be polished, improved, and sometimes fixed when broken. Expectations are very high with this one. That is why we are so passionate about it. :smile:


Sorry, I must have misunderstood the situation. I read from the Freemium model you linked to:

“You will notice I used the word ‘we’, as in all of us. The recent crowd sale signified MaidSafe handing over the network to the people and the responsibility is on all of us to make this work”.

My understanding of this was obviously different to yours and I’d like to rule out implementing any freemium models that have any major chance of going bust tbh, well in advance of testnet 3. Anyway, as I’ve clearly misunderstood, then I guess I’m stuck in the “Sticky situation” you describe…

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…and we can be assured the devs are running flat out. There’s actually way more transparency to what’s happening, than what I expected coming in…so a big tick from me.

It has to be one of the reason’s why MaidSafe may be one of the hardest things ever attempted. A moon landing with a skeleton crew. Technical miracles seem to require the miracle of people who just get it right and have some sort of direct insight into things they couldn’t have known or even really figured out ahead of time. And courage.

From reading the threads I have glimmerings of why what I am going to throw out is wrong and not desirable.

  1. People don’t get more space than they contribute, or only the minimum extra needed to make things function, especially initially. I read where I thought David Irvine pointed out its better if this is a non starter. But its hard to let go.

  2. Don’t ask people to earn or pay for space, they’ve been conditioned against this.

  3. Other resources like processing power seem easier to distribute, at least initially as conceptually they seem more transient.

  4. Some people, who contribute heavily to the forums are talking about return on straight money invested in safecoin etc. This seems untenable- project needs their mind more than their money and if it needs their money they should forgo investment return expectations as the project is too important and has to compete initially against endless money- against people who can literally print it. As the project grows people who want to through straight money at the project should not be able to, as the condition would be the project become their ATM machine or pay a forever dividend- it seems like the wrong kind of investment, a speculation weakness. Maybe its only the safe coin that may have this vulnerability and maybe its inevitable?

  5. If possible, don’t do things that harm people who put their money where there mouth is. Many may well be a different sort of investor that actually do what investors should do, much more like founders in attitude and contribution. They put their money in things they are passionate about (at least sometimes) and are willing to contribute mind share etc.

I hope @dirvine won’t mind me saying this, but the MaidSafe platform as a new technology is incredibly conservative. There is very little in there which couldn’t have been done twenty years ago, perhaps even thirty years ago, the only real difference is in languages, toolsets and libraries used, and I suppose to an extent modern computers can encrypt and decrypt at almost no overhead which wasn’t true twenty years ago. A number of colleagues of mine, and indeed our most recently added new remote workers for which I did the recruitment effort, have mentioned how this platform is one of those things engineers talk about at the pub as a “why not?” technology because it’s so obvious. I think that part is a large factor in why we have so many top talent engineers working on this platform for what is for them a very low income compared to alternatives - because the technology is long overdue in being available, and we’ve all been wondering why it hasn’t been since we were doing compsci at uni. As most programmers are employed to do no useful work for high incomes, it is refreshing to for once do really useful work that actually is used and makes a difference for once instead of being wasted or thrown away at some corporate whim.

None of the above discounts where the true moonshot effort really lies: in organising the funding and bringing together the resources to make it happen. As with the actual shot to the moon, the technology isn’t really all that hard, really it’s getting all the pieces to come together for some budget, and getting them to hold together long enough to deliver something working reasonably well. That part - startups - is incredibly hard. 80% of Silicon Valley startups collapse or are bought out at a very early stage because it is more profitable to cash out a company which might threaten an incumbant one day than deliver a success. MaidSafe can’t cash out even if it wanted to - either it delivers, or dies. And therein is the real miracle and especially courage - in all the non-technical stuff which makes the technical stuff possible. And I say all that as one of those very unusual engineers with an almost equivalent career in Economics and Management and Systems.



@ned14 I think you are overlooking some key things that @dirvine needed to solve before this technology became feasible in this form. I may be wrong, but logging into data was one, and I suspect the consensus mechanism might be another. I doubt all those years on his boat were spent working out how to get funding for a project that was technically a Lego project! :slight_smile:


It is a shame that so many employees feel this about their work.

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True, there are some technical issues that are really hard (like login and some other parts patented, plus a dht that actually is accurate etc.) , but unfortunately the funding and building the business to me was the really hard part. The number of time I have spent working on the code/project/design is way less than 5%, which is something I vowed should never happen to anyone else, hence the foundation.

It is sad that today you do require to sacrifice so much to do something thats right, but I do hope we change that here. At least a little. I think it makes MaidSafe a great place though as Niall says, its Engineering focussed and a pretty brave proposition in many ways :slight_smile:

Never one to run away from a battle though, but what a battle its been. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel now and thats gonna be amazing.


I’ll let him answer that, but my understanding is that the hard part - in the purely technical not business sense - was figuring out which pieces should go together, and harder again was in which way. Indeed, there were some earlier attempts at a software solution (e.g. the Python platform) which did not work well despite the maths being mainly the same as now.

In other words, it is one thing to reach a mathematical proof and to prove it can be implemented with existing technologies. Most startups not run by incompetents or conmen reach this point fairly easily in fact. The truly hard part is the excellence of execution, and the stamina to keep feeling around in the dark until you find enough of the right pieces to make something which works well enough. For most startups they either run out of cashflow, get bought up, get outcompeted or simply bull dozed - the stamina isn’t there.

So, please don’t interpret my earlier comment as dismissing the technical implementation difficulty, I meant it purely in reference to the age of the technologies utilised. This platform could have been built in the 1990s with not a huge amount of additional technical difficulty over today once the central mathematical proof was in place, though I suspect the encrypt/decrypt/hash all would need hardware assist with a PCI expansion card as then CPUs were not fast enough. That is what I meant by conservative.

I also still believe that the business side of things is underrated by most people when they think of what makes startups succeed or fail. Many startups have world class engineers, they aren’t that rare and usually can be bought in, but what made Facebook into Facebook was managers like Sheryl Sandberg, and they’re as rare as hen’s teeth and vastly underappreciated for their importance.