NEM Ecosystem - Future Governance and Plans

Today is an inflection point in the history of NEM. As many of you are aware, the Symbol launch requirements have been opaque and never fully defined. The lack of a specific and holistic plan has led to frequent unexplained delays that have been disappointing to all. This is partially due to a lack of accountability and ownership. None of the three existing NEM entities (foundation, studios, ventures) could own the roadmap entirely because each had overlapping responsibilities and dependencies. Unfortunately, this led to some important tasks falling through the gaps.

In order to address this, the three NEM entities were tasked with evaluating the root cause of these problems and identifying a way to fix them. The culmination of this work was a proposal to restructure the NEM ecosystem that has been presented to and approved by the Core Team (including the Core Devs).

The following post is a joint statement from all of the affected organizations. While I am somewhat ambivalent about creating a single “too big to fail” organization, I think it is warranted at this time in NEM’s history. A more centralized approach will break down all of the silos among the entities and let everyone focus on the same ultimate goal: LAUNCHING Symbol.

I have confidence in the new leadership team, and I ask you to give them a chance. Ultimately, we all want the same thing: to launch a Symbol public chain and set it up for future success.

26 Likes

NEM Ecosystem - Future Governance and Plans

Translations:

Summary

This announcement affects all members of the community, all NEM entities and the Core Team. It is made on behalf of the Core Team, NEM Foundation, NEM Studios and NEM Ventures.

Symbol is launching later this year. The work to make this happen requires appropriate support and governance to ensure it is completed efficiently, effectively and reliably. The entities have worked diligently towards this goal, but there have been many challenges. Below is the outline for how this will be more effectively performed going forward.

In short, by mutual agreement between the NEM entities and the Core Team, the three existing NEM entities will move into a single common governance framework, NEM Group. This change does not reflect on the performance of anyone. It is a positive, collaborative step to ensure Symbol is best supported through to launch and beyond. It is also an appropriate structure to help NEM engage open source and enterprise projects post launch.

The new governance approach has three immediate priorities, and plans to address each:

  • Formalise and centrally organise the software development, consulting and treasury management capabilities of the existing entities to be more efficient and operationally effective. This underpins the other two priorities.

  • Create a formal and publicly visible project plan (and roadmap), within 10 days of this announcement, for what is required to get to Symbol’s launch, including anticipated timelines and where the community can help.

An initial baseline of the remaining technical and non-technical work is complete. It is clear that a Q2 2020 launch is not possible, even optimistically.

  • Engage the NEM community. Over time, the community has understandably become disengaged. A plan will be put in place within 1 month of this announcement with recommendations for how to rectify this. It will include opportunities for the community (existing and new members) to get more involved in Symbol’s launch and future milestones. It will encompass specific tasks and incentives.

Each of these points will have a follow up post in the coming weeks to explain them in more detail. Ask Me Anything (AMA) sessions are also occurring to clear up any questions.

In regards to leadership, the NEM Group management team will be sourced from existing entities and will include the Core Team.

Context

Symbol has been under development for several years, as community members are well aware. A lot of work is complete, however there remains significant technical and non-technical work to complete before launching Symbol. This work will help ensure Symbol is a robust and production ready blockchain that can support existing projects, attract new enterprise partners and foster open source contributions to the NEM ecosystem.

Launch Plan

An initial survey of the remaining work has been completed, and it is clear that a Q2 2020 launch is not possible. Aspirational dates have been given in the past, but never a committed date backed by all entities and the Core Developers. The work required to launch has progressed. However, it has been challenging for anyone to obtain a holistic view of that work and to coordinate multiple teams with different goals. This is frustrating for the community and stems in part from not having a detailed, all encompassing and publicly available plan of work, coupled with an appropriate governance structure to ensure delivery to the plan.

In short, not creating and tracking a holistic launch plan and roadmap based on planned work has made reporting on progress difficult. This will be rectified immediately with a baseline taken of what has been done and a plan for what is needed to launch. This plan will be visible to the community and actively updated as progress is made. Work has started on this already.

Governance

Various operational challenges have surfaced over the past few years in the organisational design and governance of NEM entities. With the benefit of hindsight and learnings, those problems can be resolved with a more optimal structure moving forward. There is technical, regulatory and business development work that still needs to be completed in order to launch Symbol that will be delivered more effectively with a more streamlined governance model.

In addition to the challenges outlined above, the wider macro impacts of Co-Vid19 and the financial markets have naturally absorbed much of the world’s attention. There is a window of opportunity to address these challenges as a project in order to better set up a successful Symbol launch, without impacting the timeline for launch.

All of the governance challenges outlined above can be addressed in parallel with the remaining work required for launch. Now is the perfect time to reevaluate what is being worked towards and how best to get there.

All of the NEM entities have been in discussions with the Core Team for some time on the best way to move forward. This plan is the mutually agreed approach.

The Legal Structure

The three existing entities will be merged (and restructured) into a new framework. The NEM Group will provide a common governance layer across all activities, ensuring the effective coordination and alignment of efforts and reporting. There is a tentative agreement that multiple members of the Core Team will join this governance group. Further details on this will be announced shortly.

Most of the community are familiar with the current ecosystem structure. It can be seen here: https://www.nemventures.io/ecosystem/. With this plan, the ecosystem will be restructured as follows:

  • NEM Group – The parent/holding company. The board will set the strategy and budgets and ensure the subsidiaries are working towards shared objectives.
  • NEM Software – A merged and expanded product development team seeded with NEM Studios and NEM Foundation developers. Software will also run the business development arm of NEM Group for enterprise projects, led by an experienced enterprise leader to be named later.
  • NEM Trading – Responsible for managing all of the group’s finances in a central place and ensuring subsidiaries adhere to budgets. It will perform a corporate treasury function and will manage the digital assets held by the group to allow activities such as liquidity management, exchange support and token lending.
  • NEM Ventures – Will continue primarily in its current form as the venture capital and investment arm of the ecosystem, but within the new governance and management structure. Ventures will also assume responsibility for the strategic partnerships signed by the NEM Group, in an account management like function.

The Management Team

The NEM Group Ltd. will have a board of directors that is responsible for defining a common strategy and measuring deliverables across the subsidiaries. This board will include:

  • David Shaw - Chief Executive Officer
  • Iain Wilson - Chief Financial Officer & MD of NEM Trading
  • David Mansell - Chief Operating Officer
  • Niko Mäenpää - Chief Legal Officer
  • TBC - Software Company President/Managing Director (Head of Enterprise)
  • Nate D’Amico - Chief Technology Officer
  • Dave Hodgson - Chief Investment Officer and MD of NEM Ventures
  • Jeff McDonald - Core Team and Brand Ambassador/Key Spokesperson
  • TBC - Tentative agreement with multiple other core team members, to be announced shortly, when finalised

Some of the names above will be known and some less so to the community. There will be a subsequent forum post shortly to introduce the new management team, including details on their experience and why they’re in these roles.

At this time, we would like to announce that Alexandra Tinsman, President of the NEM Foundation, has decided to step back from operational leadership. She will be taking a well earned 6 month sabbatical (paid) after the long hours of running the NEM Foundation.

Immediate Next Steps

The following tangible steps will occur immediately and the community should expect to be able to measure and hold the team to accountable for these:

  • Detailed Launch Plan and Roadmap, within 10 days:

    • The delivery of a full plan and roadmap to Symbol launch. This will include detailed deliverables so the community has a full line of sight into what has to happen and by when in order to achieve a successful launch. This will be a living document.
    • Regular NEM Forum updates on the plan, with a focus on progress and what is happening. This will include any changes to the plan or delivery challenges, which will inevitably happen, as this is the nature of implementation. The community will be informed of any changes, why they occured, what the new plan moving forward is and how they can get involved.
  • Community Engagement Initiatives:

Within 1 month:

  • Share a strategy to increase community engagement with the Symbol launch plan. This will include incentivisation and ways to attract prospective supporters to the ecosystem.

Within 3 months:

  • Organise and facilitate focus sessions with key groups (via native speakers) to effectively capture feedback from the community. Learnings will be shared with the wider community, and the groups will be given additional information and support to help with dissemination of information to various stakeholders.

  • Implement voting and decision making plan to enable the community to express preferences in relation to product, marketing, tokenomics and other decisions. This will introduce more of a DAO approach to project direction. The initial votes will be planned, announced well in advance and held on a regular schedule with the plan that this becomes an ongoing, self sustaining, decentralised process

  • Communication: NEM Group will ensure that everyone is aware of what is happening and has access to all public information promptly. This will include, at minimum:

    • Regular AMAs with the team, starting 2-3 weeks after the first one (below).
    • Forum posts shared on an ongoing basis, with additional focus and detail to be determined based on areas of key interest discovered from the AMAs
    • Several interviews with Alexis Trujillo on NEM Español. He will relay information, ask questions and hold people accountable on behalf of the NEM community.

Ask Me Anything Sessions

The initial AMA sessions are scheduled for Thur 09 April 2020 on Twitter at the times below:

  • UTC 6am in English - covering the Asia Pac + Australasia time zone
  • UTC 11am in Japanese & English - covering Japanese time zone and language
  • UTC 3pm in English (optionally Spanish) - covering Europe, USA and Latam time zone

Submit questions with @NemberAma or #NemberAma

Useful Links:

28 Likes

OMG thanks a lot Jaguar <3

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no mention about Council - what will be with them?

A president cannot take a break for 25% of his term of office and get paid for it. If you resign from office you leave without being paid and you have the duty to immediately propose elections.

10 Likes

Looking forward to a descent roadmap, and more frequent updates. I hope this will finally be implemented, and regularly updated

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A paid sabatical is something you get after 10-20 years of service to your company. A paid six month sabatical for one year of presidency is not earned at all and is an utter insult to stakeholders like me. What exactly did the Foundation achieve other than delegate all their responsibilities to everyone else? What a joke.

I am incredibly disappointed, the Foundation was a terrible idea from the beginning and has been nothing but a waste of money since its inception. All it has resulted in is corruption, embezzlement, nepotism and pork barreling, just like a government.

From encouraging and voting in Mark Price who performed what can only be described as an exit scam with Cache (pulling the same stunt two days into his Foundation term) to silently bringing onboard useless members because they are friends, family or spouses. For example, Brian Tinsman who only has had video game economic experience and has apparently been paid the entire year for his grand suggestion of “lets divide the supply by ten”.

I gave these warnings multiple times but no one listened and were too busy voting in exit scammers and a Youtube personality. The Foundation is capitalism at its finest and everyone there has profited for doing not much of anything, bringing their friends on board to share in the limited funds of the project.

I used to support many people behind NEM and its teams, but honestly it has left such a bad taste in my mouth and the damage is done. It is a shame that no one can see the obvious moves and signs, but I guess being in that environment has attuned my perception to it.

I was here before most others and before the Foundation and I was here when NEM at its core died. I weep for NEM and what it used to stand for. Equality.

Signing off for the last time

Trepid

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In relation to the statements/questions on sabbatical. This is a subject that has been discussed with the management team and member of the core team prior to taking this path, it is not something that is done lightly. The effort and time that has been put in personally since taking office have been extreme to say the least. While the community may not see the time involved and personal life sacrifices involved with that work rhythm, many of us have first hand.

There is no insult intended to anyone by this decision, it is recognition of that effort. Alex has been fully supportive of the new approach and contributed to its direction. It is not an easy decision to step back and take the time off and I would ask people to remain respectful please.

The announced direction has come from all entities and the core team, in the best interest of Nem. Some elements may or may not be how others would do it, but as long as the basic direction is something you see as positive, I would ask everyone please to focus on that.

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(post withdrawn by author)

I realise why it could appear that way, but this is inaccurate, the plans were made and put in motion long before it was ever discussed, they have been being worked through for some time and this decision is relatively recent.

Here is a separate post explaining how the AMA sessions tomorrow will work, this is likely to be very similar for future ones as well: NEM Community AMA - 09 April 2020

Any problems, questions, comments with it, please add on that thread.

Thanks

Another damage made by NEM Foundation 2.0
They banned everybody who were not praying for Alex.

Alex and this new foundation promised Transparancy and roadmap ?

  • Zero transparency at all (No news in 2020 lol)
  • Hiring friends or familly such as Alex’s husband and giving HUGE unknown salaries to some useless people (but we just have to watch on NEM Explorer to get the idea about how huge the wages are)
  • Useless roadmap, delayed everymonth

But they did even worse, they broke all the community by choosing a side (The easiest side)

While they should just be neutral and answering the one who support them OFC but also the ones who ask legit questions, they were calling the unsatisfied “clowns” or “troll” publicly (Then ban them).

Exemple with trepid, a stakeholders who has been called “a troll” by some foundation members and finally got a ban despite he was here long before resulting in Trepid lost hope in NEM

Nice community you made.

I’m very happy with this Jaguar Post and count on him to save NEM.

5 Likes

The lack of consistency and leadership continuity is killing NEM.
LTC, ETH, EOS, ADA, BCash even damn TRON have the following attributes we should adopt:

▲ know who is the Visionary behind the project
▲ what the development plan is for the next 2-5 years
▲ communicate updates frequently about what has been accomplished and what is next on the docket, even if it is just to delay it another 3-6 months you at least know what they are doing and that they are discovering the challenges in fulfilling the plan.
▲ Real WORLD USE (other than nemgraph in the 3 years I’ve been here I haven’s seen real world use)
▲ Substantial development announcements or partnerships that validate use-case

Who is our: Vitalik, or Charlie Lee or Charles Hoskinson , Dan Larimer, or Justine Sun? Who is the one constant we can trust? Jaguar? Who is the visionary the community can get behind? Who is our Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, and when I say this I don’t expect us to have a genius leader that does everything, but a visionary that can motivate the community to work towards a great goal. Steve Jobs did very little but he set high goals and pushed for results.

IMO, Jeff McDonald has been a consistent member of the leadership and I would like to see him step up a bit more in communicating with the community.

7 Likes

I’m happy there’s a point on engaging the community. My suggestion: embrace the open source approach, be transparent and develop in the open. Open source doesn’t work when you develop behind the curtain and drop the result at once. Even Microsoft got this. For example, it develops .Net in the open, at https://github.com/dotnet . This doesn’t mean there’s no private discussion possible, or that no one from Microsoft is in charge. They still have internal meetings, they still take final decisions. But everyone can see what happens, try to contribute, or build on what’s still in development, give early feedback. That might also open new opportunities: new code contributors, new users, new documentation contributors,… It doesn’t come for free though: it require an investment (in time and effort) from the developers.

So let everyone feel they are part of the journey to Symbol’s success. Don’t work behind closed doors, that only raises questions and suspicion. The best example of that is Symbol’s mobile client. What is the value of developing this privately and drop everything at the end? Why shouldn’t translators be able to contribute from the beginning?

I don’t think Free and Open Source Software is the core team’s usual environment (otherwise Symbol’s code would have been developed in the open from the start I suppose), but I hope even the core team is ready to evaluate to change their way if it is for the better of Symbol. That’s what we are all striving for in the end…

And even if going the open source way is not the way chosen by the team, some interesting ideas to build the community might be taken from this RedHat book: The Open Source Way.

6 Likes

What the hell? It’s incredibly dishonest to point to my work as corruption or nepotism. I’ve been contributing to NEM in both volunteer and paid capacity for over four years, long before Alexandra joined. I have a U Wash. MBA with econ focus and several years of crypto systems and econ experience, with over a dozen paid consulting projects outside NEM. And my pay from NEM was far below market rates because I am a believer and investor in the project. I put a ton of time into NEM projects that I never got paid for. I’m sure you didn’t intend to damage my reputation, but come on man, why would you call my work useless? And Alexandra has never been corrupt. She has a Linkedin with 20 years of tech industry colleagues recommending her genuine integrity. When I see misinformation like this I need to correct it.
Brian Tinsman

11 Likes

I am Alex’s husband and I was working for NEM a long time before she started working there. I have put in countless unpaid hours and late nights for the good of the project. Please don’t spread such misinformation.
Brian Tinsman

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A 6 month “paid” holiday is not on. Alex can take what ever holiday term she wants, but being paid for more than 2-4 weeks is a joke and its totally unheard of in the business world!

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Slowly it reminds Groundhog Day.

After Lon left with some drama, I was hoping for better times with the new Foundation.
But unfortunately it continued to be like before:

  • “soon”
  • “NDA”.
    …followed by delays an barely outputs for that time.

Now again some new personas who want “to change things for good”.

The only authentic leadership I have seen over the last years was from Jaguar, despite his rare appearance here, which is totally understandable.

Wish Jaguar would get more into an ‘official’ leadership role in NEM-sphere.

3 Likes

Lon’s drama appeared during the last elections, Alex drove the drama against Lon (As well as previous concil) to win the elections.

There was not lot of drama before this.

NF 2.0 is made of dramas and will end with dramas unfortunatly.

Hope it will change… The most important IMO is having qualified people. We are in 2020 with a lot of competitions and now, you need employees with big background and/or education to beat them.

Time of Crypto companies raising millions of dollars with bunch of friends is over, it is a serious business.

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@TulipMaina

Those are all good points.

For most of 2019-20, I was focused on tech and I think when Symbol launches, we will have a basic but nice set of tools for the community that we all will be happy to use.

Now that Nate and Greg have taken over as CTO and head developer of the Foundation, I’m in a much better position to move out of working on tech everyday and move into more community engagement and public facing events, so I’m really looking forward to that under my new role at NEM Group so you might just get your wish. :slight_smile:

There are also a lot of talented people at NEM Group that I’m sure we will see more of starting now even though they have been working behind the scenes for a while. And of course, it is nice to see Jaguar making a lot of effort to interact with the community. He continues to impress me through the years.

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