SONM, which is an acronym for Supercomputer Organized by Network Mining, is a decentralized fog supercomputer for general-purpose computing. That means you can render videos, analyse chemical molecules and even host whole game servers in a decentralized “processing-cloud”, with the potential to upscale the computing power to your demands and requirements. This is extremely fascinating and has an abundance of use-cases. Especially, in today’s world which is moving more and more towards a decentralized sharing economy.
Doing due diligence
.. is vital to survive in the Blockchain industry. At SONM I took a look at five areas to evaluate if it makes sense to dedicate my free-time to the venture.
Team and Publicity
My first encounter with SONM was at Consensus in New York City at which the team had a booth to present their ideas and products. I met various team members and had the chance to conduct a Skype meeting with Sergey Ponomarev, the CEO.
Shortly after, I met the team members Olga and Alexey at the Blockchain Expo in Berlin at which they were responsible for the SONM booth. After the event, I spent some time with them and learned more about the project.
The recurring team attendance on important Blockchain conferences and the passion of individual team members for the idea convinced me to take a deeper look into SONM.
An idea needs to be big, scalable and feasible. If all three properties come together there is potential. SONM checks all the right boxes here.
Big: Cloud computing is projected to have an annual compound growth rate of 19% leading to a market size of $162bn by 2020.
Scalable: Being in a growing field the idea is scalable in terms of demand. Thanks to being decentralized and being able to utilize every computer in the world the resources are (nearly) unlimited as well, as long as the system is designed properly.
Feasible: SONM is based on an existing PaaS cloud platform called Cocaine making it easier to start and giving the team an edge over already existing competitors in the market. It’s still difficult technology but the project is feasible and viable with hard work.
Currently, there are two other decentralized cloud computing platforms in the space.
- Raised $8.6M in 29 minutes
- Today’s market cap of $475M
- 3,800 commits on GitHub by 13 contributors.
- Raised $12M in 3 hours
- Today’s market cap of $55M
In my opinion the majority of the decentralised cloud computing market is still not taken. The current solutions just take a very small fraction of the market and are all very small in comparison. Additionally, the technologies used by SONM are more versatile and promise more potential as stated in the white paper. However, I’m not technical enough to make a final statement on technology. I can just say that the competition has not created a monopoly at this point and therefore it’s possible to either de-throne them or at least grab significant market shares next to them.
Third Party Supporters
SONM is working together with industry experts like WachsmanPR which gives me great confidence in their public relations. Additionally, the team has attracted other promising advisors like Jaron Lukasiewicz and Sergei Sergienko with a lot of experience in the Blockchain space.
Time is limited, therefore one should always look for projects which bring benefits on multiple levels. With the SONM project I receive a nice but not significant compensation paid in BTC. More important for me is the knowledge, experience and resources I receive in terms of decentralized cloud computing. I imagine this area as one of the later core Blockchain applications which will be integrated into the Lisk ecosystem to enable Blockchain app developers to process heavy calculations. We can’t build everything ourselves and are therefore dependent on partnerships and third party knowledge.
Advising correctly on important matters
I’m not a developer and even though I studied Electrical Engineering at one of the best universities in Europe I would never call myself technical. I’m an entrepreneur, a big thinker and rely often on my gut feeling. Therefore, I can’t and won’t advise on technology aspects of SONM.
There are two phases in which I’m assisting the SONM team, during the ICO and post token launch. While being in the ICO phase I will advise them on strategy, economics, public relations, public perception and marketing. After the token is distributed I will mainly focus on strategy and business.
The point of contacts for me are Olga and Alexey, until now I have not advised anyone else from the SONM team. I imagine it will continue like that and I’m looking forward to helping out this interesting project to get from concept to a working solution.
As an adviser I’m not responsible for the team’s decisions or behaviour. I’m only giving advice to the best of my knowledge, experience and feelings. Not all of my advice is always being utilized, which is a good thing. Teams should learn to stand on their own feet.
Very important: Even though I’m doing my own due diligence and would never advise a team without meeting part of the team once, I might be wrong sometimes. Please do not invest in a startup only because I advise them, do your own due diligence!