Collected Sledgeworx

The collection is out now!

I’ve finally released my collection Collected Sledgeworx on amazon.

I started blogging to share my thoughts and vent frustrations. My first blog was about futurism and politics, my second on fitness, my third was Sledgeworx.io. I ended up being much better at a writing about software than anything else.

In this book I have collected many of the posts on the blog from its inception until the second half of 2021. These writings can be found on the blog in similar form. But you will find that the works in this book have been edited and supplemented in small ways.

Thanks for being a reader as we continue along to 2030!

What happened to Seviipay

Seviipay is a SAAS startup I launched in Summer 2021. The idea was to bring best in class UI/UX to native cryptocurrency payments. Basically the stripe of cryptocurrency payments. The MVP worked on mobile and desktop just for Ethereum. I did a few product discovery calls without getting any buyers.. Eventually the project kind of stalled and I moved on to other projects. 

The big thing here was motivation. My motivation for leaving my job was not Seviipay. The idea for Seviipay just came up at a time when I was really motivated to get out. Handling burnout and starting a business at the same time is not a great idea. 

Another issue with Seviipay and solo-bootstrapping in general is that you need a lot of skills to get a functional business working. Sales, Accounting, product, UI/UX, marketing, etc. I did not have enough of those skills at the beginning of the project to make it work. There is a reason startups usually launch with a product founder and a sales founder. 

One other weakness of Seviipay or me I guess is that I do not have web design skills. And I have struggled to make Seviipay visually appealing. I am a written word guy so if I thought of a product that was cli only I would build it. 

My skill stack now has grown to range from backend development, javascript, content marketing, copywriting, and a bit of sales skills. But that still isn’t enough to make Seviipay work, I need strong web development skills and more sales power. 

What is next for Seviipay

Seviipay is on hiatus for now. I’ve gotten a new software job and am getting up to speed for that. Also working with some friends on helping start up an agency. The next thing I need to do is hire a web developer to help with the UI and team up with a sales person to get a real sales process going. 

I’m also going to look into how I can make Seviipay a real Web3 business. Right now its a cryptocurrency SAAS that relies on Web 2.0 to join the blockchain with the old school internet.

What is Web3? It’s about owning your user identity.

There is a lot of discussion of Web3 lately. Is it a scam? Is decentralized finance Web3? Will Web3 destroy Web2? In this blog post we will talk about what Web3 is now and what Web3 allows us to build tomorrow. 

What is Web3 now? 

Right now Web3 is a technology paradigm which supports two main types of services Decentralized Finance (Defi) and Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs). A lot of online discussion about Web3 focuses on whether NFTs are valuable or if Defi is a scam. People want Web3 to be a scam. In my opinion that is the same as looking at pets.com in 2000 and concluding that Web 1.0 was a scam.  

We are just starting to build software using Web3. And it’s going to be awhile before someone creates the Amazon.com of the Web3 era. Right now we have NFTs and Defi. NFTs are an interesting way to sell ownership of digital goods. An NFT is not a JPEG on the blockchain. Strictly speaking an NFT is a unique identifier on the blockchain. Through metadata you can add any rights to that NFT you want to. Is that useful? Are all NFTs worth $60 million? I don’t know, some people think they are valuable. And we will see what products come out of it over the rest of the decade. 

How about Defi then? There are two main Defi products I know about. Yield farming and token swapping. Yield farming is the idea that you give your tokens to a smart contract, and then the smart contract gives you interest in return. In my opinion yield farms are mostly scams. Yield farms are evolving to combine the characteristics of gambling and ponzi schemes. Does anyone really believe they can earn 10% interest per day by investing their money into Drip? I don’t think there is any real product that yield farms produce. Some claim they provide liquidity, but liquidity does not double dumb money every year. 

However, token swapping is a real product. Decentralized exchanges allow you to swap your tokens for any of the myriad cryptocurrencies out there. In seconds, with relatively low fees. That is useful in a world with incredibly large numbers of tokens.

How is Web3 different from Web2? 

Web2 is probably best exemplified by Facebook. You have a Facebook account, using that account you can post on Facebook and Instagram, message your Facebook friends, sell things on the Facebook marketplace, etc. Facebook owns your account data. If you want to rebuild your friend graph on another platform its going to take a ton of effort. And if you don’t follow Facebooks rules they can simply delete your account. In a core way you have created a digital identity using Facebook’s platform which Facebook owns. 

The key difference between Web2 and Web3 is that in Web3 you own your digital identity. Your cryptocurrency wallet is now your digital identity. Specifically, your wallet’s public key is now your digital identity. This is very different from Web2. In Web2 you use other people’s services and your identity lives in those services. You create a Facebook account using your Gmail account. Your root identity is just an entry in somebody else’s database. 

Why does owning your online identity matter? 

First of all getting banned is much less of a concern. You control your online identity via ownership of your private key. If you buy NFTs via opensea.io and subsequently are banned from opensea.io all the NFTs you bought remain your property. In contrast if you bought League of Legends skins and were banned you lose your entire investment. Does it matter if NFTs and League of Legends skins are really valuable? No, but you definitely spent money on them. And you would be pissed if your $300 JPEG was lost.

Web3 is the difference between being a guest on Facebook’s servers and being a citizen of the internet. Being a guest is nice because Facebook takes care of everything. But guests don’t get a say in how they are treated.

It is hard to tell how big of a deal owning your digital identity will be in the future. So far we have Defi and NFTs as examples. Whats good in the Defi and NFT world? My favorite is how user accounts work. You may never have used opensea.io, maybe you bought an NFT from another platform. But you can still log in to their platform. They will ask for your email, but its not required. All they need is for you to prove ownership of your public key and they can populate your account data from the blockchain. Don’t like the UI or the fees? Log out of opensea.io and find another NFT marketplace. All your NFTs will be there too. 

The process of logging in and out of websites is totally different because you own your digital identity. You don’t need to use an email to prove you are a real person. You don’t need a password because you just sign a message with your private key to prove your identity. The biggest losers of Web3 may very well be password managers. 

Conclusion

The interesting part of Web3 is that the users own their digital identities. It will be a paradigm shift in how the internet works with some control moving from software platform providers (Facebook, Google, etc) to the end users. It’s not a scam, you really will be able to control your digital identity. But Web2 is not going anywhere anytime soon. Email isn’t going to stop relying on someone else’s machine. But you might finally be able to encrypt your emails because you know your friends public keys. 

So you’re making an NFT….

Hey, everyone I’m working on an NFT project. Originally, I wanted to get programmer NFTs for the team at Guava Labs. I wanted to do something like Coders waiting for Compilers, but that didn’t have enough pizazz.  Then I was talking to some NFT artists and seeing if we could sell them a website with web3 components to tie into their NFT projects, but none of them were ready to go. So I ended up getting getting an idea and making up a mythos.

Compiler Fighters Club

Synopsis

The compiler fighters are a group of people dedicated to fighting compilers. This band of software developers, engineers, testers and hackers is taking the fight to all enemies of good code. Against them are arrayed the fearsome forces of disorder. The Infinite Bug Army, the Zero Day League, and even the compilers themselves. 

The Compiler Fighter Club is an NFT project exploring the meaning behind ‘fighting the compiler’. We hope to create a fun set of collectible NFTs and identities for all the hackers out there. 

Portraits

I am trying to figure out a way to let people have NFT characters created based on them. The really big NFT projects so far have mostly relied on computer generating 1000s of NFTs. Generated art is neat, but at this point do we need more computer generated projects? Maybe if someone did a ML GAN style NFT run it would be unique. And why 

Characters 

Compiler Fighters

The Compiler Fighters are a group of misfit web developers, software engineers, software testers, sysadmins, hackers, and anyone with the will to fight the compiler. Most Compiler Fighters align with the software engineer or IT stereotype. But as Compiler Fighters are a misfit group in the real world as well as in the NFTs we expect to see body builders, metrosexuals and all kinds of crazy characters. 

Compiler Fighters should be dressed in attire appropriate for professional programers at work. Since dress codes are rare in the industry that means anything from t-shirts and flip flops to suits. Although, few hackers would be caught dead in a suite. 

Compiler Fighters are typically armed with whatever weapons they can salvage from their offices when the forces of disorder attack. This includes nerf guns, pool cues, nerf swords, and anything else hackers are known to carry. Artistic license is encouraged in the armament of Compiler Fighters. 

Infinite Bug Army

The Infinite Bug Army is a force of bugs which seek to sow disorder wherever they can. The Infinite Bug army does not include any humans and some people even question if computer bugs are alive at all. Nonetheless they are fearsome foes. 

I’ll make sure to include an NFT of the original bug, a moth which got trapped in a relay in old school computers. 

Bug Army NFTs can be anything from images of bugs to images of code containing common or meme worthy software bugs. 

Zero Day League

The Zero Day League is a collection of software vulnerabilities, bugs and hacks. Examples include Heartbleed (https://heartbleed.com), ShellShock, StageFright, etc. Thematically they should all probably be actual zero days in the initial launch. Meaning serious bugs that were exploited in the wild before being announced publicly such that there were zero days of warning before people were hacked. 

Compilers of Doom 

The compilers of doom are a force of software compilers which have risen up against the forces of order. They seek to overturn the software universe and end the era of human machine cooperation. 

Compilation errors are one area to explore for Compilers of Doom cards. Anyone with coding experience will recognize compiler errors from different programming languages. 

Whats next?

I’m having a great time with the concept. I’ll keep building out the mythos and some character ideas. Then we will work with some artists to do an initial release. I’m hoping to launch with some thematic NFTs and of course the Guava Labs team NFTs which was the original inspiration.

How will Remote Works effect the Employee Employer relationship?

The American workforce has been operating in a post-Organization Man https://www.amazon.com/Organization-Man-William-H-Whyte/dp/0812218191 manner since the 1990s when outsourcing ended the job security paradigm. 

The current paradigm ‘millenial’ (1990-2020), expects workers to work for a single company at a time. The corporation provides the buildings, furnishes the offices, provides all the tools and requires everyone to work from the comforts of the corporate office. Middle managers accompany the workers sharing out of touch jokes and ensuring that the office is a place of work. 

Workers typically have little ‘skin in the game’ they do not have equity in the business and do not have much of a say in how the system is organized. The corporation decides what equipment they use, where they use it, and how they use it. For historical reasons workers in the United States acquire health insurance and save for retirement through their employers’ pensions, 401k, etc. Critically, workers do not have any job security. They can be fired at any time except for a certain set of reasons including racism, sexism, etc. 

Employees are classified differently from ‘contractors’ based on several criteria. But typically questions are asked like “Does the company control how the worker does his job?” and “Does the business control the tools and expenses of the worker?”. 

The contractor classification is interesting because remote work changes the answers to these questions. It is a lot harder to control how I do my job from my home office than it is to control how I do my job with a middle manager looking over my shoulder. Likewise as a permanent remote software engineer I provide my own office and equipment. This really leaves only the third criteria which is “Are there written contracts or employee type benefits (i.e. pension plan, insurance, vacation pay, etc.)? Will the relationship continue and is the work performed a key aspect of the business?” – https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/independent-contractor-self-employed-or-employee

I don’t know what will happen but I expect to see even more workforce mobility. Switching jobs only requires that you join a different slack and connect to different Zoom meetings. Does it still make sense to have company provided computers? I’m providing all of my other equipment, why is the computer an exception? Since I am building my own office I can accommodate any disabilities or other needs that I have.