This is my third post from a series dedicated to the Ties project. It’s long and boring and would probably be of interest only to the Ties investors.
Dear Mr. Neymark,
My compliments on whiteknighting the whole Ties.network mess that you have created. Just to remind you: sudden ICO “extension”, misleading your investors about refunds, listing issues, inadequate communications, throwing a prominent member of the team out right after the ICO, token price going through the floor etc.
Apologies for putting your more-than-average ability to dodge awkward situations to the test yet again. I just can’t help commenting on certain things that have caught my eye:
Dear friends, we are renaming Übermensch (hyper-human) project for good. Due to the negative connotation of this word, as well due to our rejection of Nazism in all its forms, we have decided not to associate ourselves with this term even through most abstract connections. Despite the fact that this term was supposed to be a symbol for the new society, built upon the crypto economy, we opted to accept requirements of our friends all over the globe who wrote that we have an excellent project, a unique idea, brilliant technologies, but a highly arguable name. So we have changed it.
From now on, we are called Ties.Network. Our database will be named TiesDB. Before 6 of July 2017, the renaming process will be completed on our website, in the white paper, and all our other channels.
Send us your ideas on project development, we will be glad to consider them
Always in touch, Ties.Network team!
2. During the live session on October 13 Mr. Kochin was asked about who paid for the ICO (and that’s a lot of money) and he said it was the money you two made with Krawlly, your previous company. Let’s dig a little deeper into this one, shall we?
Am I correct in my assumption that Krawlly’s business was in collecting sensitive user data like bank and mobile operator account balances and details etc from Mr. Kochin’s app (Anybalance/Anybalance+) and then reselling it to the so-called microfinancial institutions (which is a synonym for loan shark in Russia) without the app users actually knowing about it (which is a little immoral if you ask me)?
And since it looks like Krawlly only received venture funding twice in 2015 ($150,000 and some unknown amount) and was only a local startup (no, not anything like Airbnb) Mr. Kochin’s explanation on how you were able to afford the ICO expenses (my wide estimate is upwards of $700,000) seems to be in dire need for clarification.
Because if the ICO was sponsored by somebody else they would probably want their money back with a nice multiplier and this is something investors do need to know about.
3. Since we are talking about the ICO now, I got three more things to bring to your attention:
a). Kudos on dodging the refunds issue. Nicely done. Don’t think it would work with your tax man though.
Investors who requested refunds were getting really dodgy answers from the support team ever since. But hey, the CEO promised, didn’t he? So they kept on waiting. Until some of them received the following email immediately after the end of the “extended” ICO.
b). Ties.network $3 million soft cap was set a little too low if you ask me — I am pretty sure your own business overview scenarios factored in a much higher soft cap. If I am right, how come you missed that one? And why would you want the $33.6 million after all?
c. Partnerships. I’ve been told that CanyYa you were so proud to announce partnership with removed the information about the Ties from their web-site and decided not to be associated with your project after the Ties ICO fallout. Same goes for WishKnish. Care to comment on that?
4. Natalia Tokar. Immediately after the ICO you fired Natalia, whom you used to attract investors. She wrote a message warning the investors about things happening inside the Ties project.
You countered that with a message of your own:
When we invited Natalia to the project, we hired a talented individual, yet one lacking any experience in crypto. Natalia was interested in our project, so she agreed. We offered a flat wage for the work (plus compensation for business trips and related expenses) or a share of the funds raised. Natalia chose flat wage. We also discussed the possibility of bonuses based on the results of the campaign. In addition, team members could expect to receive TIE tokens after the token sale.
As TGE ended up not reaching the hard cap, so the TGE results were not considered the best, and no team member received a bonus. Wages and the share of tokens were paid in full. Natalia was offered to continue her work on a part-time basis and with corresponding wage cuts. Unfortunately, for Natalia, it wasn’t enough and she demanded to pay her a bonus from the funds raised. I and my partners were left with nothing to do but to explain that no one received any bonuses. The project did not meet all its fundraising goals, so we intend to spend all the money raised on product creation, not rewarding the team. She was not satisfied with this approach and she said that she agrees to reduce the bonus, but not to be left without it. We refused the second time, explaining that in this situation, spending investors money on something not related to the product creation, such as bonuses, is wasteful, and we will not do it. Basically, this was it.
It did not take Natalia to think long, neither did she consult me or suggested options for further collaboration. She defiantly blocked me in the Facebook and wrote the post which you refer to. I cannot and do not want to say anything bad about her, because, above all, she is my friend, we have been together since 2013 and have known each other for many years. From the human perspective, this story was very unpleasant to me, so I called her and said that the most insulting thing for me in this story is that she left with pain in her soul and with resentment in her heart, because this is what I despise most. However, I cannot and will not spend investors money on team bonuses when the project faces complexed and ambitious tasks. The team received some very good payment in our tokens. And tokens is what team members should count on, not short-term gains. Those who believe in the token and ready to develop it with us will continue doing the job. Those who don’t and feel alright to quit or demand a prize in fiat or bitcoin is not the kind of people we want to work with. We are making a big project, with ambitions to become the first of its kind in the history of decentralized systems, and as the projects CEO, I cannot spend money in improper ways.
I am sorry that I had to sacrifice my friendship to go on with this project.
So, according to you, you offered someone who used to be the face of your project during the ICO phase a “part-time basis” and “corresponding wage cuts” after the ICO. Which implies that you could afford less of Natalia after the fundraising event. Okay. With $9.2 million raised and a really tiny team what kind of salaries are we even talking about? That’s barely enough to afford co-working space and ramen noodles.
Sacrificing your friendship for the project. Who wouldn’t tear up on reading that? That made me want to talk to Natalia about what happened. Of course it’s her word against yours, but you see, I (personally) am a little disinclined to trust what you (and your close associates) say because of the paragraph above and issues 1, 2, 3 and 5 in this post.
To my genuine surprise, Miss Tokar told me she had never been friends with you, Mr. Neymark. You worked together in 2014, you invited her into another project the following year and failed to pay her for the work she had done — because, according to you, you were “having troubles with an investor”. You ignored her requests for payment ever since.
When you found her and tried to convince to join the Ties she didn’t want to work with you again, but you promised her you would pay out your debt along with the bonuses after the ICO. This time you had an investor and he had a marketing team (oh, it looks like somebody else did pay for the ICO after all).
Natalia attracted the lion share of attention to the project, brought in new partnerships (for whatever they were actually worth), charmed the investors and did all the talking (because you can’t really speak English, can you?). She was the figurehead of the Ties and you fired her immediately after the ICO. As well as the Head of Product Development. And then you told her her work had not been appreciated anyway.
As a true friend, you only gave her a third of the promised tokens, you paid her no bonuses, you still owe her money all the way back from 2015, you paid her only 50% salary for the final month of work and you “forgot” to reimburse her for her business trips to London and Milan for which she had to pay out of her own pocket.
Here, let me quote you again, Mr. White Knight:
I called her and said that the most insulting thing for me in this story is that she left with pain in her soul and with resentment in her heart, because this is what I despise most.
According to Natalia, you also “forgot” to pay the Chinese SMM manager and translator and a couple of journalists as well.
Apparently, $9.2 million is never enough for anything nowadays. Glad to see you still had a little something left to reward yourself with (see below).
5. Immediately after the ICO, having a crisis on your hands, you made a very brave decision for a CEO — you went travelling. Switzerland and Italy. Nice choice. You were so Übermensch you posted loads of pictures in your Facebook — and pulled them down when investors started asking questions. In case you accidentally deleted your memorabilia — there you go, I made some screenshots:
Question: why Switzerland? Were you opening a bank account or visiting a fiat gate perhaps? Or maybe you “forgot” you were supposed to be in Moscow (whatever happened to your Rotterdam office?) busying yourself with making the Ties ICO investors happy?
Since you are going to visit the Blockchain Conference in Kyiv I really hope some of the Ties investors will be there to compliment you on your stellar performance and perhaps give you a friendly pat on the back, or two. If I were there, I would.
Let me finish off with the words from your rather self-aggrandising interview to Coinfox:
If we talk about a team that is trying to add value to the community, then they work towards capitalization. They care that the project can operate and benefit the whole community. This is our philosophy. Don’t look at what founders say, look at what they do.
P.S. Apologies I am not technical enough to check on your Github progress. I only figured out that what you had there during the ICO was actually Apache Cassandra and your legal disclaimer there said as much. Alpha version Q3 2018 or whenever, right?
P.P.S. In you interview you say you participated in several ICOs as a team member. Really? Would it be too much trouble if I asked you for a list, please? Just to make sure their investors are doing okay?
Disclaimer: I am not a Ties investor, not a member of their team and I have no connection to the project apart from talking to some of the investors. I had a brief history with SONM after their ICO (and there is a post about it), but I was not on the team there.
This is all I have time for now. I hope this helps. Make sure you have read and understood the disclaimer at the bottom. If you come across any factual mistakes or faulty grammar you are welcome to point them out in your comments. To get updates or PM me you can always follow me on Twitter.
Virtually nobody seemed to get that IBO and IEO hint. It’s a tip jar, okay? Do you want me to put the “please donate” picture of Jimmy Wells here?
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