App Mining Rewards Is Totally Broken


#36

Maybe make some sort of script that analyzes how efficiently it runs Like the lease amount of errors in the code the more money you make or the least amount of resources you’re using


#37

Normal people rarely use desktop to chat though. If a chat app which do not support mobile, for me it’s NOT even an app. It’s something else.


#38

Thank you for your reply @muneeb. I know you aren’t doing an easy job, and I do believe you all are giving it your honest best.

I and my team spent 1 year designing an app that arguably:

  • is the most advanced (ie configurable) multisig Bitcoin wallet currently available
  • sets new standards in UX for multisig wallets
  • is the only wallet that provides these features in a non-custodial way

Have we achieved product market fit? Could we have done better? More clearly defined our target audience, is this a useful unit of functionality or is more needed for adoption? etc… of course there are 1000 things that we could be improving.

Building this app as an example of what can be achieved on blockstack and making it open source is what I have provided to the community and is the most constructive way I could engage. The thing is we built this with our own money under the assumption that:

  • if we prove that we are able to build a product at a professional level (= we are a mature team)
  • show that the product is innovative beyond just using some underlying building blocks of decentralization, but actually adds value to the target domain

we would be supported in a way that would enable us to sustain development, either by investment or other funding. This is the implicit promise I heard in the initial blockstack signature fund announcement https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vQSbqwz4TPM&t=77s and one of the big reasons I chose to build on blockstack.

It turns out blockstack signature fund already has an investment in basically the only other start up trying to productize multi-sig (casa) even though they are:

  • not open-source
  • custodial
  • don’t utilize any of blockstacks infrastructure or currently have anything to do with blockstack

I’m not saying they don’t deserve the success they are having. They’re focusing on a different use-case first, high-security individual wealth storage. We are focusing on shared-ownership. They charge $10.000 a year from high net-worth individuals. With Misthos it is possible to setup an equally secure multi-sig wallet where 1 individual owns all the keys for for free.

Anyway… I’m getting side tracked. My point is after 1 year of self-financing I’ve now gone back to spending my time with things that earn money as I must support my family. I don’t have time to engage in this community and I don’t see how opening a ‘Stacks Improvement Proposal’ will have any substantial effect on our situation. Besides I don’t think my lack of engagement, given the time and money investments we made is the reason we haven’t achieved a situation that is sustainable.

In the end I take full responsibility for leading the Misthos project the way I did. Obviously it would have been cool if things had turned out another way, but a bunch of mistakes were made (including relying too heavily on promises made by blockstack) that meant we didn’t achieve what we wanted to achieve.

Wether or not the current state of things as to how you are distributing money is a success or not is not for me to decide, or fix. Thats on you. Due to time and financial constraints in my life I’ve voted by exit (at least for now).


#39

I love this line. We - Asians have an idiom “Blame yourself first,…” - respect!


#40

Good to see this discussion going on here as I figured these issues in the last run and for this run I decided not to update anything i.e. put in any more hours to see how much Blockstack PBC team does in fixing the issues. The situation came out as worst. I have actually closed the project down, going to open source it and leave it there. Already told @Gina to remove it from the app mining.

Here are my two cents, I guess I can be honest and don’t need to go anywhere else to complain.

The main problem is of trust on the team. Trust as in your ability to run such a complex experiment with no prior experience or example, instead of you favouring a project. You can’t keep saying its a pilot run, there are big holes that are fundamentally wrong metrics. It’s not about a fancy algorithm. The game happens below the algorithm!

  • DE voting is centralized, just a bunch of people who most probably belong to the same organization, deciding on the future of the apps! Who are they? What is their experience? Nobody wants to tell anyone!

  • Producthunt votes mean nothing, people don’t even download the apps before or after the vote. I gave an example about Vegan Scanner app in the slack as well.

  • TryMyUI was a good touch, reviewers comments? Most of them said they can’t understand the product, “maybe its like for work or something”? Seriously? That’s the basis of providing a grant to a project where the user doesn’t belong to the target group, isn’t even briefed or didn’t bother reading the description of the app?

Here is the scenario - I worked day and night for 5 full weeks to complete Timski in it’s current shape. Developing decentralized group chats isn’t easy, the app was for iOS, it needed to clear a certain requirements to get certified while it is pitched against Android and Desktop apps, you can literally update them with a single click at any time of the day or night.

Apps like Timski can’t go and start charging people straight away without going on a full-on battle with Slack and Discord. That’s a huge undertaking, something that can’t even be thought of without initial substantial funding, you are essentially asking us to run companies, the competitors where are unicorns already! What algorithms giving away are $32 and $1.5.

This also have been highlighted by several devs now that without business/consumer/media/entertainment etc categories, you can’t identify which app is better than the others.

All of us are experienced developers and all of us has better things to do! Even while I am writing this, I could go and work on a better project that actually pays while I am still writing it here to make you aware of the problems, just because I liked the project. I am currently working with a layer 2 network to implement whisper/swarm and storage on smart-contracts on ethereum and I am very well aware of what you have done here technically, that’s really good work and good implementation, maybe instead of tying it a closed ecosystem, it can help and become COSMOS of the storage (more on that sometime later).

You can’t go around and say it’s a pilot program and expect that devs will hang-around for 6 months or 1 year before you realize that the fundamentals are wrong and you are reluctant on even accepting them. My advise will be to go back to the drawing board and think of app-mining from the scratch again and meanwhile close this version down, you are just making devs angry and you will lose whatever apps you have currently!

Meanwhile, if you want to give grants to a few flagship apps, you can actually do that easily without running app-mining.

Wrote all of that and I actually came here to let you know of an attack vector! Think about it, I am sure your algorithms will rank it much higher:

Current app-mining requires only auth. I was stupid to think of Slack etc. I should have just built an auth for the Vegan Scanner app (useless, pointless, even while allowing the users to use a skip button). 186 PH community votes, TryMyUI would love it because there is no learning curve, the app’s design is shiny! It has about 100 daily downloads, total users above 8000, so future metrics proof as well. Wouldn’t matter if DE voters never gave it any vote, PH votes and trymyui would have got better grant than Timski anyway! Just punch-in these numbers in the algorithm to know! Until unless, Blockstack PBC would actively block the app by itself but giving what reason?

Then I have another 10 year old app on the Android with more than a million downloads, an auth there? Why are we even spending this much time on making new apps with decentralized storage?

Anyway, I will sign-off from here now! I know everyone’s intentions are really good but please do listen to what devs are saying here, this project does not have a lot of devs and new devs aren’t coming to decentralized tech during this bear run!

All the best!


#41

+1 to most of the issues pointed in this thread.

I am the developer of YourNote.app and the payout we got was equal to 1 hr of my time. YourNote is a project that uses the core features of Blockstack and Gaia and many people use it too (unlike many other projects). Provided that, it’s very disheartening to see such a negative response from App Mining.

App Mining aims to promote the development of quality apps on Blockstack platform but how can we ensure the same when the promotion mechanism is so flawed and unfair. Basic apps with basic (blockstack) functionality get voted at the top and a full-fledged app is ignored.

It’s very tough to continue developing it after experiencing such a response (it’s almost humiliating). I hope Blockstack fixes this soon.


#42

Appreciate all the work you’ve done believing in decentralization and open-source. Startups are hard and everyone attempting them takes these risks. I personally went without a salary for years, racking up credit card bills, when attempting startups (Blockstack and one effort before it).

One lesson I’ve learned and you’d find in most startup advice is that fund raising is extremely hard and never a guarantee. “It’s not done until money is in the bank.” So I, personally, wouldn’t rely on any “potential funding” until it actually happens. Deals have a tendency of falling apart. Initial checks are harder to get than you thought and so on. There are great resources available on this online. Here is one: https://playbook.samaltman.com/

A quick note on Casa, yes the Signature Fund is an investor, and we’re excited about the work they’re doing. The fund is relatively a very small investor though, their fundraising success is because of their own efforts and the fund’s investment, in my view, doesn’t move the needle much. In general, the VC market is fairly mature with many players in it and a startup’s fundraising success depends on how well you do in that market. There are many many factors to successful fundraising and getting into that would be off-topic here. I’m always happy to give advice and share my lessons (as I’ve done with several other teams).


#43

I appreciate your remarks and will take you up on the offer when the time has come to try again. For now I need to pay off those credit card bills… :slight_smile:


#44

This is false. Democracy Earth is an operator that is assisting in getting token holders to vote. We perform explicit audit on these votes and every single vote is tied to a verified token holder. To me this seems like a communication issue, it should be clear to everyone how token holders vote (via Democracy Earth), so we should improve on comms there.

We really appreciate the feedback and the time you’re spending helping us improve!

I think that’d be a very drastic step and I don’t think we’ve hit any fundamental issue that calls for such drastic measures at this time.

Again, appreciate the feedback. This is the issue that has been raised many times that storage integration should also be required. We all agree on this. Question is how quickly can we enable this. We’re on it.

We’re all ears. Keep the feedback coming! :slight_smile:


#45

We feel your pain. This issue has been reported by many developers. Full-fledge apps should get more points than basic functionality. We all agree on this. As mentioned in other comments as well, the only thing to discuss is timing and how soon can this be integrated into App Mining. Please do let us know if you have any other recommendations other than storage vs. only-auth stuff. Thanks!


#46

We are compiling a spread sheet with suggestions/improvements.


#47

Appreciate the call everyone. I think we have some good concrete next steps :pray:


#48

Link to the notes/recording forum post: 1.23.19 App Miner Meeting recording and minutes


#49

@muneeb

When I joined this community in November of 2017 I was amazed at all the open collaboration and genuinely awesome people. I was a mere freshmen among seasoned ninjas. But I fear for the future of this developer fellowship and new joiners if we don’t make some tweaks to App Rewards Mining.

Here is my personal history and journey with the Blockstack community:

Circa late 2017- early 2018 - Training Wheels
@prabhaav ,@alexc.id and @jehunter5811 taught me how to write collaborative apps using this new architecture. I was brand new to community and they took me under their wing. They always answered my DM’s and walked me thru how they architected their apps. I remember the first time I chatted with Prabhaav on Stealthy and suggested an AOL instant messenger throwback theme :slight_smile: .

The first time I talked to Justin and used Graphite I was blown away by the complexity and knew Blockstack was the right platform for my vision with Blockusign. Watching his talks at the Blockstack summit floored me that such a good developer could also be so motivating and articulate (not to mention having a sick beard!)

@bodymindarts Taught me multi-sig when I read all of his Github PR’s and forum posts. It was his advanced uses of Blockstack that really led me to try to develop an app that was different and utilized the blockchain.

It was during this period I felt part of a community building something truly world changing.

Circa Mid 2018 - “Heads Down” coding
It was during this period I was introduced to @aaron and @jude , some of the smartest and giving engineers I have ever met.

They taught me so much and really helped me engineer the core “Verification engine” in Blocksuign. It was that “kindness” that made me want to “pay it forward” and help new joiners in Blockstack learn these techniques.

Circa Late 2018 - 2019 - "App Rewards Mining"
App rewards mining is what keeps me going. It’s that small incentive that keeps me building features. After the December pilot I was really put off by my results and “math error” after spending 40+ hours per week for 6 months (on top of my day job) to build.

I realized none of the effort I put into building up this community was going to effect my rank. So I selfishly took time off from helping people on the Slack Channel. I thought to myself “why should I help the competitor”? After a well needed Christmas vacation i came back with a renewed sense of what this was all about. For me, it was never for the money. It’s for the vision of decentralization for future generations, for my future kids, for our future society. It’s a much larger scope than my small app. So I re-joined the Slack community full steam ahead and helped troubleshoot login issues with @markmhendrickson and @jehunter5811 and a handful of other Blockstackers!

Proposal - New App Reviewer - The Core Blockstack Community
I truly believe we need the core Blockstack community as an App Rewards Reviewers (Slack + Forum contributors) @patrick . The discourse trust ranking system does a great job at this: https://blog.discourse.org/2018/06/understanding-discourse-trust-levels/

Everyone on this thread has contributed great comments. but i fear if we continue forward we are going to break up this community. I value the community and decentralized future above all else. We cannot lose our early Blockstack ninjas!

#BlockstackStrong :muscle:


#50

Thanks so much for sharing your story and for the feedback! We’re open to incorporating ideas around Blockstack community. Also, what I mentioned on the call, we’ve been working extremely hard at a legal framework that can allow the core community to hold tokens and participate (like the existing token holders can). It’s a difference of going from 800+ Accredited Investors to 9000+ community members and can iron out a lot of issues.

Agreed to not losing early Blockstack ninjas! Cheers :slightly_smiling_face:


#51

Today’s meeting was an interesting start towards improving the App Rewards Mining system. Unfortunately there was little clarity, commitment, or action items related to how things would be improved in the short or long term.

Stealthy will participate in the next two App Rewards Mining cycles while looking for signs of improvement in the scoring. We specifically are watching for progress on the resolutions identified below and will update the forum after each rewards cycle.

@muneeb, @patrick and @hank, let us know if we can help with more specifics or information related to improving App Mining Rewards and thanks for today’s discussion.


Blockstack February App Mining Progress Review
#52

@alexc.id Thanks for the action item list! I agree 100% on every line item.

Blockstack Forum Trust Rankings - Fun Facts:

862 basic users, 87 members, 17 regulars, and 2 leaders. (Looks like a great pool of app reviewers with skin in the game to me :wink: )


#53

We agree that App Mining should be for apps that dive headlong into both the Blockstack community/mission and technology. As you can imagine, Blockstack Authentication is much easier to add than integrating Gaia.

Thus, we added Authentication to SpringRole quickly (giving it prominence on our login and signup pages). It took longer to add Gaia which is a core part of our Notes functionality. Additionally, Gaia has technical limitations that we are discussing with Blockstack to see how we can use Gaia for other features on SpringRole. If it’s possible, we will use Gaia for those as well.

While App Mining rewards are nice to receive, SpringRole is involved with Blockstack for the long run and we are doing what we can to grow the community. We hope the App Mining calculation will add metric to reflect these types of growth in users and usage.


#54

Justin, I would love to know your thoughts on this, a couple months later? I don’t mean to single you out, and I mean no malice by it, it’s just fact of the situation; in fact your ascent is admirable; you are the de facto dev standard of Blockstack and can be a huge voice for the developers who may not have one.

This resonated with me:

I believe you may not have that problem anymore haha (I know nothing’s guaranteed and I don’t mean to assume). But as far as being in someone else’s shoes, do you feel as if Blockstack has broken out of game-ability? And do you still feel comfortable participating? Do you think the program is more or less fair since this post? You and others have reiterated the same issues with App Mining that I just recently posted, since its inception, but the flaws still exist, and the chasm is widening as time slips on.


#55

I think my silence on the topic since my last post may be misconstrued as not caring. The fact is, it was becoming unhealthy for me to be so passionate about this so frequently. And I think, as you mentioned, it was clear that I was advocating for everyone else.

I read your other post and agree with a lot of what you said. I would say that some of the points on quality are subjective, but points on how the system works are valid. But to answer your specific question here:

I do think Blockstack has made progress in the gameability area. I do not think they’ve made progress in transparency. Much of your posts and my previous ones are the product of a lack of transparency.