This document provides a brief overview of Iteration X. Starting on June 2nd 2009, this Iteration will focus on the creation of Espra which will be built upon the foundations of the:
- Plexnet — A Set of Open Web Standards for a Decentralised App Platform.
- Plex Economy — Capitalism 4.0 built around Common Economic Protocols.
The first deliverable will be the Bootstrap version of Espra during Q3 2009.
Feel free to join in and enjoy the ride!
Espra will solve the following very real pain points in the current market:
- Information overload and the time cost of managing one's online activities.
- Lack of being able to make a living contributing on the internet without having to resort to advertising, e.g. bloggers, open source coders, musicians, &c.
- Lack of trusted and verifiable sources on the internet, e.g. who should one trust on Twitter w.r.t the Iranian electoral proceedings?
- Dramatically increasing levels of complexity and costs of developing scalable applications in today's world, e.g. YouTube having to take on the cost of exponentially increasing video content.
- The lack of composability of applications due to architectural issues, e.g. want to make a mash-up between a Maps app and a Banking app — current architectures don't provide a secure base for service composability!
Espra will do this by leveraging:
- The various open source components that have been independently developed over the last decades.
- The huge amount of data that people have already put into various services, e.g. Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, &c.
- The fact that a little “glue” applied in the right way — and in a decentralised way — will enable a lot of gain for relatively little effort.
By doing this Espra will enable the Espian Vision to be realised. The vision is simply an answer to the three questions:
- How can we all live comfortably and be doing what we love?
- How can we efficiently organise people, ideas and resources?
- How can we be united in our diversity so that culture truly flourishes?
The creation of Espra is effectively the creation of a parallel public infrastructure — a socio-economic-technological platform catering to the needs of humanity.
In short, we'll be creating weapons of mass construction.
The tagline for the Iteration captures the intent well — Web 4.0. A Web 4 the people by the people.
The core development will last for a period of 10 months:
An agile and iterative approach will be taken with regards the development. Bootstrap — the codename for the set of Espra apps running on the first usable version of the Plexnet — will perform the dual roles of:
- Demonstrating the ideas (especially Trust Maps, Pecus and Dolumns).
- Facilitating the further co-ordination and development of the Project.
The Plexnet, being open source (public domain), will be developed at:
Accounts on GitHub will be needed for all collaborators contributing code. Development will be co-ordinated over Bootstrap as soon as it's ready, but to start with it will be done over IRC:
The launch of Espra — along with Plexnet.org with reasonable specs/tests — sometime during the course of Q3 2009 — will be accompanied by a Fundraiser which will follow two complementary paths:
- Peer Funding
- VC Funding
The Peer Funding will be kicked off by a video that will act as a call to arms for cultural creatives (developers, writers, musicians, designers, film-makers, architects, lawyers, &c.) and invite them to join in a 6-month journey.
The invitation will be limited to 60,000 people (30,000 men and 30,000 women) who, in exchange for paying £10/month for 6 months, will get:
- Access to a hosted Plexnet Node running the Espra Bootstrap apps with a reasonably sized quota.
- Front-row seats to capitalise on the opportunities that will be provided by the Plex Economy.
- A chance to be one of the 6,000 members of the Ecclesia (half of whom will be chosen by lottery and the other half by election).
The VC Funding route will, in contrast, seek a lump sum investment of £5 million from a number of VC Firms — some of whom we are already in contact with.
In both cases, Tav-branded Pecus will be provided in place of traditional shares-based equity — with the Peer Funders getting a bit more Pecus per Pound Sterling.
The funds will be used for:
Which will allow us to have an ideal team of the following size and form:
New members to the team will join the following initial dev team who will either be self-funded or part-funded by any money that Tav brings in through income/debt:
Rules of Engagement
The development of the Plexnet is totally open for everyone to join in — just like in any open source project.
All Contributors will have to agree to the following Public Domain dedication:
- http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/ [Make sure to read it!]
In addition, Contributors will also have to waive any claims relating to trademark and patent rights relating to their Contributions.
And, finally, similar to how Guido van Rossum is the BDFL (Benevolent Dictator for Life) of the Python project, thus Tav will be for this initiative. If you do not like this, then simply don't join in and/or feel free to fork the code.
Those considered “Core” by James will be rewarded post-fundraiser with:
- A base rate of £2,780/month pro-rata.
- Bonuses paid out roughly every 2 months according to Pecu allocations by Tav.
The initial set of Pecu allocations by Tav will be updated with a version on Bootstrap once it's ready.
The whole process will be co-ordinated by Metanational Commons Ltd. — a private limited company incorporated in Engalnd & Wales — Company No. 6834341 with Tav and Sofia as the legal Director and Secretary respectively:
It's no secret that the global economy is totally screwed, so one will be forgiven for wondering how money will be made from the Plex.
In fact, not only is the intent of this whole venture to be very profitable, but it is intended as a way to take the entire Global Economy beyond the crunch.
With the Plexnet removing technological complexities and inefficiencies, the Plex Economy bringing together gift/eco/reputation economies, and Espra enabling decentralised collaboration on a level never before possible in the history of humanity, we shall all be able to Run, Dance and Frolic!
There will be several opportunities to capitalise on the Plex, but we will be focusing on just 3 streams to start with:
- Hosted Plexnet Nodes. Just like one can run open source Web Servers, users will be able to run Plexnet Nodes wherever they wish. But for those wanting a hosted Node, we shall provide a premium quality version which will benefit from low latency connectivity to the other nodes hosted with us.
- Pecu Payout Transaction Fee. We will be charging a 1% surchage in addition to paypal/banking/credit card fees for Pecu payout transactions. Given the amount of cash flow we'll be dealing with here, it might make sense to become a bank and save users the bank fees.
- Plexmail Introductory Fees. Users will be able to set a price for receiving messages from those not in their Trust Map. We will be charging an additional 30% on top of this.
Not all of this revenue would be profit as we would also have to use some of it to subsidise:
- Commons Data Hosting — A bi-weekly generated set of Commons Data from Trust Maps generated with the Ecclesia as the “seed”.
- Plexnet Event Routing — A free service offering free event storage/routing (matching minimal patterns and up to certain limits) for all Plexnet Nodes.