Ever since Satoshi Nakamoto released the blueprints for Bitcoin almost a decade ago— Whitepapers have been a cornerstone of almost ALL crypto projects.
If you are not in the loop…
A Whitepaper is a long, detailed document that describes what a team is setting out to build.
It’s meant to broadcast the creator’s expectations for a project while inciting confidence in folks who might be interested in (financially or morally) supporting the project.
The problem is, 99% of Whitepapers are complete garbage.
I am sure you are already familiar with plenty of projects that have raised millions of dollars and still have NO WORKING PRODUCT as it was originally promised in the Whitepaper.
One would have better odds with the predictions of a street psychic than from a crypto whitepaper.
Not only that, but writing a whitepaper is like an early stage startup with no customers writing a 5-year business plan.
Crypto Whitepapers are the Engineering Equivalent of Horoscopes — a theoretical, “feel good” hypothesis clouded with optimism, with no real-world validation.
How can ANY early-stage company possibly know with perfect accuracy what their end-product will look like, when they haven’t yet established product-market fit?
Hint: You can’t.
A common question we get from our growing audience is “Where is your Whitepaper?” 🤔
Plus, many people are confused about our ethos here at Loom Network.
So, here’s the deal…
Loom Network doesn’t have a whitepaper because Loom Network is too busy shipping code.
No one emerges from a magic cave with a perfect understanding of what their final product looks like on day zero.
The best way to build a product (or any system, really) is to ship early, ship often, and improve iteratively based on the feedback of real users.
To give you a real world analogy…
If you look at a map of a major city like Paris, it looks ugly, disorganized, and very messy:
Conversely, if you look at a city like Brasilia, things look modern, organized and quite neat:
From a design perspective — Which city do you think is better?
Where would you live if you had to choose?
The difference in approaches between Paris and Brasilia is oddly reminiscent of the nascent blockchain technologies being built today:
Though Brasilia looks beautiful and elegant on a map, the result in the words of one resident is that “the city center feels markedly devoid of life in plazas, where the pigeons far outnumber the people.” From the planner’s perspective, it should be better, yet, it’s less popular and worse.
Similar to the best crypto networks, the best cities where people want to live (like Paris) are compelling from a bottom-up perspective, not a top-down one. Despite their unsightly appearance on a map, people actually want to live there and so the cities continue to grow and thrive.
— Taylor Pearson (via Coindesk)
It’s the difference between building something with a perfect plan (Brasilia) — and letting something evolve organically (Paris) to serve the precise needs of people that inhabit it.
In Brasilia’s case, it’s all about centralized planning from the top down.
…and Paris is all about organic evolution from the bottom up.
At Loom Network, we are building the Blockchain equivalent of Paris, not Brasilia.
Technically speaking, this phenomenon is called Gall’s Law.
A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that worked. A complex system designed from scratch never works and cannot be patched up to make it work. You have to start over with a working simple system. — John Gall (1975)
So, why exactly is the analogy above important?
Because not only does it describe crypto networks in general — it is essentially the same approach we use to engineer and architect all of our products at Loom Network.
Instead of writing the “perfect” blueprint before building a product, our blueprints are in the form of minimum viable products that evolve organically based on real world data.
It’s the Blockchain equivalent of Derek Sivers’s campus walkways example where instead of making walkways at a new college campus, a professor suggested the idea of looking at where the grass is worn away (where students were naturally walking) and THEN paving those paths instead.
It’s the difference between a top down, centrally planned “perfect solution” versus an organic evolution of a system from the bottom up.
As Sivers puts it:
Of course I think about this with business plans.
As time goes on, we get smarter. We learn more about our customers and what they really want. Therefore, we’re at our dumbest at the beginning, and at our smartest at the end.
So when should you make business decisions? When you have the most information, when you’re at your smartest: as late as possible.”— Derek Sivers
Why we will NEVER write a Whitepaper
We are pleased to find that most of you LOVE what we are up to.
We are also grateful that some of you sent us harsh, well-thought-out criticism as well.
Ultimately — honest, unfiltered feedback (collectively) translates into quality engineering because it forces us to think about different scenarios we hadn’t considered before.
So, thank you.
Within the first 6 months of founding Loom Network, we’ve released 3 major products (CryptoZombies, DelegateCall, and EthFiddle) — ALL without R&D , Whitepapers, or twiddling our thumbs like a bunch of wishy washy wannabe engineers.
Much like a busy Seaport, most of our time is (and has been) focused on shipping stuff into the wild.
This allows us to test our hypotheses in the real world, collect feedback, and do rapid iterations MUCH more quickly.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, Egypt was built one stone at a time—and the tech that we are building will follow a similar path.
This is precisely why the following slogan is on our website:
We don’t write whitepapers. We ship product.
If you’ve ever asked us for a Whitepaper (especially on Our Telegram Chat) and were dumbfounded when we replied “We don’t have one” — now you know why 😉
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