- Could you introduce yourself and your background?
I graduated with a Master’s in Computer Science and joined Kortide in 2003. Kortide was the previous company founded by Rong Chen when he came back to China from Microsoft. I worked as a kernel engineer and developed kernel OS. A few years later, I left Kortide due to personal reason. I worked for Siemens, Flextronics, Reuters, and Libratone those following years in different areas of expertise including mobile phone design, big data, smart devices, and security, etc. In early 2018, I joined Elastos and am so happy to be part of the Elastos family and to work with Rong again.
- You lead the Elastos Operations Team together with Ben Lee. Could you tell us a little more about your team structure?
Elastos operation team is primarily a cross-functional team and is responsible for the overall day-to-day operations of the Elastos Foundation. Some of the main functions include project development (e.g. Elastos blockchain, Trinity, Carrier, Hive and DMA), ecological project support, public relations, and other support services including personnel and finance coordination. Elastos Foundation adopts holacracy management model in which autonomous decision-making and governance of each of the small groups are coordinated.
- Elastos Operations team is responsible for several important areas. Could you brief us about your job scope, objectives, and day-to-day operations? What operations are outsourced to external parties (e.g. program management, legal and accounting) and what is performed by the internal staff? What are some of your challenges that you encounter and how do you resolve them?
My job responsibilities are more focused on engineering development and project management between the Elastos Smartweb infrastructure development teams which are working on Elastos blockchain, Carrier, Runtime, Storage and DMA. Meanwhile, we are also providing support for ecological projects, PR, and overseas teams.
Most of the day-to-day operations are managed within the Elastos Foundation, except for legal consultancy and audit services which are outsourced to external professional third parties.
As Elastos is a global blockchain project, we are vigorously expanding our overseas developer communities. The main challenges that we encounter so far are language barrier and the cultural difference between eastern and western communities. To further improve our communication process, we hire personnel with both eastern and western backgrounds as well as bilingual capabilities to narrow the communication gap.
- The Cyber Republic is a diverse and robust community with skill-focused teams and sub-groups. To ensure the success of CR, skilled talent is highly sought after. Does your team face difficulties in talent acquisition? What are your short-term and long-term strategies to attract and retain the right talent?
CR is a generic term for Elastos community. It consists of Elastos token holders and contributors, including founding members of Elastos Foundation, all token holders, ecosystem partners as well as individuals and groups of people who are willing to contribute to the Elastos blockchain technology and community development.
CR is not a corporation in the traditional sense. It has no organizational structure, no central management, and does not employ full-time employees. However, CR indeed needs to attract as many skilled professionals as possible to participate in the development of Elastos ecosystem and communities. CR in return gives rewards to community members who make contributions.
Currently, the main difficulties are that CR is not widely known yet, how to join CR and the way to become a contributor is not clear to many people. We will help more people become aware of CR, understand CR, and participate in CR through the promotion of CR website, suggestions page, and CR forum.
- How will your roles and responsibilities transition once Cyber Republic gains full control in August of this year? Will you become part of the secretariat? What are your subsequent goals and roadmaps for your team?
It is not clear to me yet at the moment, but in the future I will still be working with the Elastos core team until we complete the development of the smart web infrastructure. The members of the new CR Council will form a Secretariat with the appointment of a new Secretary-General.
- How do you feel about the progress and effectiveness of CR Suggestions and Proposals at the current stage? Any areas of improvement in workflow that you would like to share?
CR Suggestions is designed to give community members a channel to express any ideas and suggestions and to solicit feedback. This is also an important way for CR Council members to understand the needs of wider communities, which is a crucial method to form a pragmatic proposal.
However, looking at either CR website or its suggestions function at the current stage, the level of participation from community members is insufficient. This is clearly reflected in the number of suggestions posted and at the same time, the response rate and the heat of discussion is not high. As the responses to the suggestions are not high, it becomes difficult for council members to accept them as proposals for voting consideration.
We aim to seriously promote the suggestions function to our community. There are community members who have proposed whether to introduce some incentive or reward mechanism for voting. Meanwhile, CR council members will also spend more time focusing on the suggestions made by the community. However, one thing to highlight is that it is not a necessary process to turn a suggestion into a proposal. If any of the community members wishes his own ideas to be realized, the best way to to do so is to seek advice and support from the community and at the same time get support from the council members.
With regard to the CR Proposals, I personally think that it is pretty good at the moment. We already have nearly 90 proposals, many of which have also been approved and are in the implementation stage. Through this model, some of the community-led teams will receive CR funding in order to carry out Elastos development support or regional expansion. All these will help the development of the Elastos ecosystem a lot.
All proposals are open across the community, including funding, team members, and voting status from council members. So personally, I think that proposals are basically in line with our plan and direction at the moment. We aim to present an implementation status for proposals in the near future for the community and this is currently being designed.
- Where do you see Elastos and Cyber Republic in 5 years?
From my personal point of view, the focus of Elastos Foundation will gradually return to its original role, that is, to achieve the technology of a blockchain powered smart web. We still have a lot to do, including decentralization of file storage, personal assets ownership and realization etc.
Meanwhile, the Elastos ecosystem and community development will be carried out by Cyber Republic in the form of an autonomous community. It is believed that based on CRC (Cyber Republic Consensus), the decision-making for the community and ecosystem development should be entrusted to the autonomous community. This can reflect and implement the will of the whole community to the greatest extent, and in the long run, it can guarantee a healthy and independent development of the Elastos community.
Most importantly, EF, as the founding team and core development team, is an important part of CR and contributes to ecological and community development like other community teams.
- There’s a lot of confusion, even with people close to the project, about the difference between work being done by the EF versus CR, especially with the people working in EF and CR. Since CR can’t “hire” anyone and is community run, that adds additional confusion to the delineations. As someone close to inner systems, could you give us some ways of distinguishing guidelines around work, roles, and the state of affairs of EF versus CR?
Following the answer to the above question, in the long run, the Elastos Foundation is mainly responsible for the smart web infrastructure development. Other areas such as PR, community building, ecological project and so on will be taken over by CR.
In the early days of CR, members of the Elastos Foundation have been involved in the development of CR, and so currently there are a few people who both serve at the Elastos Foundation and take on important roles in CR. This is a transition period that indeed does cause some confusion to the delineations, but as CR grows gradually, a clear boundary will eventually emerge. The duties of CR and EF were answered in the previous questions.
- Can you share your hobbies or things you do during your leisure time?
I have a lot of hobbies but I am not necessarily good at them. During my spare time, I like jogging, listening to music, skiing, playing football with my son, and so on. The best moment for me is to have a talk over a cup of coffee with my friends.