ICOs. Dudes, where is your code?

Tech startup should have at least one strong tech founder or tech core team member, right?

Source: http://www.computerworld.com

The team

From my personal experience, I have a deep belief, that a team developing some technical innovation or product should always have a technical person on board. He would understand how the product’s software work, even get his hands dirty with coding, collaborate on the prototype, build MVP or even join the team in some latter stages and help when tough times come. Otherwise, the team will have a long process of looking for development partners, freelancers and all random people joining the team without clear leadership and vision of the architecture. This leads to a slow pace, a poorly written software, security issues and a lot of refactoring in the future stages.

MVP

“Vision without execution is hallucination “— Thomas Edison

On the other hand, all those startups have a big vision and ideas how they will revolutionize the standard processes. To get anyone interested, the team would prepare a prototype, show continuous work and even get their product to real clients hands for feedback and would improve it in an Agile way. Only then they seek financing to make it a reality.

Source: https://www.smashingmagazine.com/

So we have a very healthy and clear path: strong team with tech talent -> vision -> MVP -> constant contribution -> financing -> success (or maybe not).

This is how it was till the blockchain and ICO’s (Initial Coin Offering) came into play.

Crypto world

In the crypto world, new teams are now raising tens of millions of dollars. However, probably half of them (or even more) do not have published a single line code or haven’t built at least some prototype where people could come and see that such huge visions are actually possible, provide feedback and see constant contributions from the development team.

The blockchain idea, various implementations, and applications of it, cryptocurrencies were built by geeks, right? But what we see now, is that teams performing ICO’s are simply just a few business and marketing guys, or have a single engineer who hasn’t written and published any code. All they have — is ideas written in the Whitepaper.

Some teams say they are developing in the private repository. For example, Patientory raised over 7 Million USD without any prototype or even github repository). What? Why? The whole blockchain idea is open source, therefore, your MVP or at least part of it can definetely be the open source and shown to the public. Unless you have nothing to show.

A great example is Status.im which committed to their repository constantly.

status-react repository commits graph

Conclusion

My point is that ICO investors should look more closely at the team’s development progress and pace, not only beautiful schemes in Whitepaper probably prepared by some contractors. This will indicate that project team can deliver results and won’t just run away with your money.


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