Personal update for the community

Hi all,

In a break from the normal kind of comms I have been posting, this is more personal in nature and reflects some decisions I have taken recently with regard to my on/off line life balance.


I wasn’t sure if it was worth posting this or not but have had a few questions/pings in private about what is/has been happening, why I’m less publicly visible than previously etc. I figured it was easier to put it in one place and that the time is right to post this.

As some of you know, others may not, I formally stepped down from the role of CIO at the end of March 2021 following the Symbol Launch. This was for personal & offline reasons; something I decided was right for me and those around me.

To be clear - I have not stepped away from NEM, have not left and still support the various visions
(I know the NEM rumour factory so am stating that explicitly!)

Some Context

The reason for being less visible since late March, is that following the Symbol launch I have been focussed on handing the technical leadership role over to Kristy as CTO and other tidy up work. I was only ever caretaking to help the teams get through launch and I have spent the past few weeks ensuring I am not involved, needed or critical to any process - handing things over and generally extracting myself. Part of that process includes me not being the person to answer public queries on the details (because I am not in the details), providing updates, announcing upgrades, commenting on future technical direction, outstanding delivery items, NGL node ownership etc which is the main reason I have been a bit less visible.

I am pleased to say I have been watching from the side lines largely since late April and the handover process was fully completed a few weeks ago now. I would like to thank all the teams and the Core Devs who have been as supportive in that process as they have through the time as caretaker over launch.

Some Reflections/Ramblings

It was never the original plan for me to take a coordinating role on the tech for launch and much of my time as CIO was spent on doing both tech and investment work, it was what was needed at the time. Before NGL, I and others, were asked to act as coordinating/catalysing forces and later to form up a plan that could be delivered on and deliver it.

That requirement was always temporary and at a personal level it has caused large impacts on various elements of both my life (and those of many others’). On a personal level I am glad to be scaling back after 1 - 1.5 years at full speed and plan to take more care of myself and those around me.

On reflection over the past 18 months, while there were some date/scope slippages, frustrations, recovery work etc. In the end the launch completed with a ~3.5 month slippage from the original committed date we announced in Apr/May 2020. From past experience of large programmes, I am fairly happy with only a ~25% slippage on such a complex and interdependent undertaking, especially when core, client, SDK, community and dev ops work was ongoing, still being scoped and worked on while the plan was being created.

As I have said in the past, I cannot express strongly enough how much credit the various leads on different technical components deserve. While I was one of the public faces and co-ordinating forces, the real work and delivery was performed by 100s of people; core devs, community, NGL tech teams, NF teams, NEM studios teams, external vendors, NGL exec and many many more. Everyone combined to result in a public network which decentralised to hundreds within the first 24 hours and to ~1800 nodes running within weeks! It has been through its first upgrade, its first finality voting key update and is going strong, there are things to improve, and some of those have already, others are still going as should be expected as the ecosystem alters over time.

Working alongside everyone and being in the details has been exhilarating, fantastic, educational, terrifying, exhausting and fun…in about equal measures! I am certainly now ready for the continual ping of slack/telegram/twitter notifications not to be a recurring feature in my dreams :laughing:

So that’s enough reflection, what am I up now the above chapter is complete?

What’s Next

I will very much still be around, contactable and available. I just need to spend less time being spread across multiple things and working at such high intensity, this comes at personal cost and I am consciously resetting that balance.

Short term, I’m focussing on what I was doing before the whole Symbol Launch and NGL work epoch. Thath is contributing to the ecosystem as part of the NEM Ventures team; it has continued to operate but on very reduced staffing for 1 - 1.5 years. The team have done an excellent job keeping day to day operations running with part time support.

There are a few tidy up things that are on a to-do list to catch up on after that time so I will focus on that short term and then turn focus to ensuring NVL is set up to support and/or morph as needed to help enable the revised vision that I look forward to reviewing soon.

I’ll sign this one off with a massive massive thankyou to everyone for the help, support, guidance, criticism, advice and most of all fun while doing the role above and please do look out for updates over the next few weeks as the NEM Ventures work becomes the focus again.


Thank you Dave for update. Having a hard work to release XYM and presure behind it its logical and smart decision to have some personal time for yourself and people around you. As my favorite character says : “Live long and prosper” i wish you exactly that.

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You have successfully completed your magistrate as dictator. The task is finished. It is in the nature of the position that it is limited in time for reasons you have experienced firsthand. It was nevertheless important, as also mentioned by you above, it requires from time to time a superior coordination and driving force.
Thank you very much that you have made yourself available for this. Thank you for the work you have done.


You finally cashed out, good for you!

Thank you very much for all you have done. I have been helped by your warm and faithful messages. greatly I will miss you. Hope to see you again in NEM Ventures.

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Thank you for your efforts and contribution. It won’t be as good without you. I hope you will change your mind and can be more active again in the future. It would be a pleasure and reassuring.

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