Why we went live at Consensus 2018. And what’s next for our Data Marketplace.

TL;DR — Consensus was totally worth it. No argument — our pavilion rocked. We learned lessons and our Data Marketplace can only improve from here on.

Streamr co-founder Nikke Nylund helping to demonstrate our Data Marketplace to guests at our pavilion

It has been two weeks since we travelled back from Consensus after having launched our Data Marketplace and announcing our global partnerships with Nokia, Hewlett Packard Enterprise and OSIsoft.

Since then, we’ve had lots of questions about our direction, how we intend to move forward with our partnerships and much more. To aid this process, the communications team is taking part in an AMA session on Reddit on Monday 4 June at 4pm CEST, so feel free to join in and post your questions.

For those who can’t join us for the AMA, we thought we’d answer a few questions and cover some of the most discussed topics, including:

  • Why did we spend so much effort for Consensus and was it worth it
  • What’s next for the Marketplace?
  • What do our current partnerships really mean for Streamr?
  • What’s on the horizon for Streamr?

We hope this post will help answer those questions and, as always, we welcome any and all constructive feedback, from suggestions to criticism.

Was Consensus worth it?

Before signing up to Consensus we identified some goals to galvanize our actions and give us a measure on whether Consensus has been successful or not. A month before the event, we published a post where we outlined those goals:

  • To garner visibility and increase our project profile when we launch our Marketplace
  • To promote our technology (with a focus on the Marketplace) and our wider vision
  • To make contacts with other projects, both in and out of the crypto space, and with new potential partners
  • To connect with our US followers and expand the community presence in North America

So did we hit those marks? Well, here’s what we achieved:

  • Our pavilion was praised as the best at the event by scores of visitors and even the CoinDesk event team themselves. It was a space to discuss and understand Streamr away from the massive hustle and bustle of the hundreds of smaller booths and stands. A success like this helps you stick out at an event with more than 8000+ people. You can get a feel for what it was like in the video above.
  • We invited many high profile partners to join us at Consensus, which definitely raised Streamr’s profile by sending the message that we are serious and ready for business.
  • Hundreds, if not thousands, of people visited Streamr’s pavilion, and many were happily surprised to see real-world use cases coming from a blockchain project.
  • We launched our Marketplace on the Consensus main stage, which was live-streamed across the globe. Henri and our partners delivered an impressive speech and panel discussion. If you haven’t watched it, we would highly recommend that you do so here.
  • We also made contacts with many new potential business partners and Marketplace vendors (big and medium sized), marketing agencies and other crypto projects not just from US but also from many Asian countries.
  • We had over 50 press articles about our Marketplace launch and Consensus appearance including Forbes, Fortune, CoinDesk and Nasdaq:

In short, we think Consensus was wonderfully successful for us on many fronts — but we also recognise there were a number of things we could have done better.

More Use Cases!

In the last two weeks, our community has talked about us needing to have solidified more real-world use cases before stepping on to the stage. Of course, we’re still at the start of the process of fulfilling our potential, but our use case with Hewlett Packard and our test car — an Audi Q2 — demonstrated that Streamr’s technology can already be put to use. We’ll continue to develop that brilliant project with HPE, and we hope that towards the end of 2018, we’ll be better able to demonstrate that entire fleets of cars can be connected and take part in “real-time data conversations” using Streamr’s Marketplace and Network. VTT’s anti-theft sticker prototype was also impressive. And you can read more about that on their blog here.

We also have much more up our sleeve in this regard which we’ll be sharing in the coming weeks and months.

Our connected car demo in partnership with Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Why launch the Marketplace at Consensus? Should we have waited longer?

For those who know the project well, we initially announced that the Marketplace was going to be out by the end of this year. Instead we managed to more than halve the time it took for us to build our Marketplace, and we’re proud of this achievement. We want to gain a reputation not just for delivering on time, but for delivering ahead of time.

But our reason for cutting down development time also had to be fixed by externalities such as the date of Consensus itself. If we wanted to leverage the attention Consensus would garner, then we had to be there launching the Marketplace. That further reduced our timeline, and as a trade-off, we didn’t have as much time as we’d like (who would?!) to add functionality, curate vendors and work to incentivise data buyers.

There was, however, another reason for getting the Marketplace out early. With the Marketplace live, we can now showcase Streamr’s technology stack, from stream creation to data monetisation, or from stream subscription to real-time data delivery to data buyers’ platforms and applications. Doing this in the abstract is much harder. Now, Streamr biz devs can walk into an office anywhere in the world and show what we have in a very concrete fashion. This strategic move is already paying dividends.

Of course, there’s plenty to do. We are in the process of developing additional tutorials and other functions within our Marketplace so new users can get acquainted more easily and begin using a platform that truly works for them. The good news is, with an MVP in our back pocket, we have far more time to do this.

Henri Pihkala welcoming HPE’s Jennifer Smith on stage at Consensus 2018

What do all current partnerships really mean for Streamr project?

It would be an understatement to say that we currently have many high quality partners that are eager to test out potential integration with Streamr platform. We are also talking to many more potential partners. For crypto projects, partnering with existing large enterprises represents strong recognition and validity of the project. For Streamr, this is more important than ever because it is today’s large companies that produce so much data or are the caretakers of products that create data on behalf of their users. Think everything from mobile phones to consumer technologies like Fitbit. However, there is more to do in terms of digging into the details of what those partnerships really mean and how the integration and business processes will work.

And as you can now see for yourself, all transactions on the Marketplace are settled only with $DATA. This means just about all partnerships (excluding say, technical partnerships such as ours with Golem), if successful, will potentially increase the token utility in the long run. However, real partnerships with large companies such as OSIsoft typically involve lots of coordination, technical integrations and step-by-step onboarding. Big companies want to know that they are using technology that is not just beneficial but secure and robust. Building that trust takes time. This is part of the reason why you will not have seen a lot of data products on the Marketplace from some of our large partners.

Over the next few months we and our partners will be elaborating on how these partnerships will develop and giving updates on progress.

Henri Pihkala chatting with partner OSIsoft’s Michael van der Veeken

What’s coming next for Streamr?

Although we announced many great partnerships, celebrated our first product launch, and got mentions in dozens of publications, Consensus was always meant to be a launchpad for the Streamr project — a means to an end, not the end goal itself. Our work doesn’t stop here. It’s only just begun.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be assessing what resources we need to devote to the Marketplace and then firming up internal schedules on furthering the development of our Network. (Our Network is the means by which we will be able to port data across the globe in a decentralised fashion). The whole team is also working to address suggestions and feedback from the community and our all-hands retreat towards the end of this month will be a great moment to draw all of that critical thinking together.

Oh and always, stay tuned (join our telegram channel here) because we hope to bring you more exciting news during the next month or so.

Additional thanks to Wei Yu for his input on the community front.