Fri 20 Mar 2020

Holochain and Economikit | Time for a fork?

Sid Sthalekar Public Seen by 28

So, the last few weeks I've stepped up my activity in the Holochain communities. Some of this has been part of an effort to increase traction in Asia (Holo's presence is remarkably low). Through these interactions, I've noticed Holochain's strategy for 2020 seems centred around getting a certain number of apps out and available for users to use.

This is great, because it will build general momentum and activity. But I've been questioning how relevant it will be for Economikit's and its individual projects' aspirations.

For instance, conversations in hackathons, and architecture courses seem centred around designing apps and rolling them out. There's a conscious decision there to not go 'too modular' because it might scatter developer focus.

While this helps Holochain fulfil commitments they've made to their community, I think there's two things to consider:

1. This approach doesn't fully leverage the benefits of agent-centricity. User may not flock to an app simply because of agency over data. I sense the real driver will be agent-centricity leading to new organising principles i.e. collectives/communities supported by micro-services and not apps.
2. With HREA/SC building a bunch of modules and micro-services we need to be speaking with a slightly different set of people. It's not so much people who can build apps from scratch, but people who are thinking about a new cultural pattern they wish to amplify, and are skilful at bringing together tools to make it happen. Basically, I don't think apps coming through Holo's hackathons will be as vested in keeping their stack thin and lean and leveraging Economikit's offerings.

With this in mind, I have three questions:
a. Should Economikit (or whichever name we use Lol) be more visible and drive its own conversations/interactions/seeding process. If yes, to what extent are we talking about? Is this a fork out of Holochain?
b. Do we leave it to the individual groups to do it themselves (I've been itching to get this going for Sacred Capital) or as a collective? I think there's pros and cons for both. It may also relate to Economikit's purpose.
c. Is self-isolation finally getting to Sid and should he stop spending so much time on his computer? :) :p

Hope everyone's safe!


Emaline Fri 20 Mar 2020

Hey Sid. This is a really important and timely topic! I do think first that separating out the social groups you're describing is important...

"Holochain's strategy" - who is holochain? It is Holo envisioning a particular type of design for apps, spread in hackathons and courses, right? I think so, since it needs familiar, user-ready apps as soon as possible to survive and to fulfill its commitments to its crowdfunders/hosting community.

Anyway, I fully agree that agency over data isn't enough of a sell, or realistically that there are plenty of data-sovereign or at least data-ethical apps for those so concerned.

To answer c. first, possibly yes, but it's generating important strategic considerations for us! :D

I think a. and b. are conversations to have on a call. I do believe it is smart to consider Economikit as a welcoming friend of Holo, but I don't think their strategies need be linked. It would be interesting to look at our CRM and actually see the degree to which our connections are connected to Holo specifically, and in what ways. Do we as a group feel indebted to Holo? If so, how? What is the sort of relationship we want to the company? Do we need to rely on their events and trainings for the outcomes we are seeking (or should develop, lol)?

For me Holochain reflects a broader possibility not well engendered in Holo the company. There are many potential allies that I know feel the same way.

Looking forward to discussing -- maybe we do so at the next sync?


Sid Sthalekar Fri 20 Mar 2020

That's well articulated @Emaline. I like the framing of thinking of Holochain as beyond just the company. Great topic for the next call.


pospi Fri 27 Mar 2020

Just looping back on this after our call today. Seems we have broad agreement that these aren't mutually exclusive approaches, and that there is a way to work with the "100 apps" goal with modularity.

If we take the initiative of building smaller modular blocks, people will probably jump on to that anyway. It might be that it pans out in a way where we don't have to break separately, this approach can be introduced into the community just by writing code.

However, whilst devs might get the modularity thing natively as the code evolves, innovators / project leads also need to be given an awareness of it. It needs presenting and packaging. We think the "neighbourhoods" initiative can be a good way of packaging and representing this.


Lynn Foster Fri 27 Mar 2020

Didn't manage to say so yet, but want to say I really appreciate the perceptiveness of Sid and everyone else here around the dynamics within the ecosystem. Those of us who aren't very well connected would never understand this otherwise. So thanks!