In the Spring and early Summer of this year, I was hosting semi-regular Google Hangout session which I called the “DAO Design Jams”. During those sessions, which were wonderful and I’m hopeful can resume in the new year, we spoke at great length about big topics. I look back on those sessions from the perspective of the cool winter with joy. So what has happened in between?
The DAO Design Jams brought together an interesting collective of individuals and skill sets which were one of the greatest things about it. One of the first things that came out of the DAO Design Jams was a working relationship with some of the regulars. Dennis and I first built the original concept for Eris – the DAO Making Platform.
Although it ended up being structured in response to the Bitcoin Foundation Bounty, we had been working on the idea before the Bounty was announced. The original idea we had was to build a forum on smart contracts as a way of putting precision on some of the ideas we had been thinking through at the DDJs. I was frustrated at the time because the DDJs seemed to be not progressing beyond a certain level and I wanted to give the group some sort of a “project” which could be used as a basis for discussion. Dennis felt similarly and so we started thinking through how to do a simple forum.
We were early in the forum development process when the Bounty was offered. At that time, Preston came on board as he was also interested in the capacity of smart contracts to build automation into organizations, but he was also very interested in the harmonization of both the real world legal entity and the DAO system of contracts we were building. Over the course of the month we finalized the original Eris concept and released it.
That release went well. We were at the front page of Hacker News and received tons of (admittedly, mostly low-quality) page views. At that time, we were working under the moniker of Project Douglas and we had welcomed into our Slack room an increasingly diverse and interesting mix of people.
Also, around this time, we received an email which changed the nature of my own interactions with the group and also with the idea of smart contract systems. On top of many other emails, we received an email from the founder of a venture capital firm specializing in financial tech companies. I took one look at their portfolio of companies and told Preston and Dennis “almost every one of those companies can use smart contracts”. For that reason, and a number of others which became evident over the courting process, we increasingly realized that our own goals with Eris Industries (which was incorporated towards the end of June this year) were very well aligned with that firm.
As the elaborate courting process which is a capital raise continued, Preston, Tyler, and I worked to put the pieces into place of the company we would need.
The first person we spoke to was Andreas Olofsson. Tyler and Andreas knew each other well from previous work, and Andreas having built PRODoug was eminently qualified to join our team; when we spoke to him, he was interested immediately, and joined us two weeks later. Since then, he has been working nearly non-stop on the Decerver. The Decerver is at the middle of our stack, where the base components and modules are integrated into a cohesive application. The entire way that the Decerver works is generally Andreas’ design and I can’t say how relieved and happy I am that he said yes when we asked him if he wanted to come along for the ride.
Soon after we spoke with Andreas, we were successful in luring Ethan Buchman into our lair. Ethan joined us in the second week of September and he hasn’t stopped building the “blockchain client of my dreams” as he likes to call Thelonious. Ethan is our blockchain guy, so he works at that level of our stack. He has also completely reworked my original design for EPM into a much more resilient and usable tool – admitedly along with a lot of pestering from Tyler!
Our capital raise concluded in the beginning of October and we were thrilled, honored, and humbled to join the amazing portfolio of Anthemis companies. We were the first company which Anthemis has supported from its new Anthemis Foundry entity, an in-house incubator, and we could not be happier with the assistance (both technical and business related) from the Anthemis team. It truly is a dream come true.
The third week of October, five of our small team of six (with Preston remaining in London for a bunch of meetings we had previously set up; he joined us two weeks later) met up in Ontario, Canada. After all this time, it was wonderful to meet all these people who had either been on my screen or in my ear for the very first time. We had rented a lake cottage in the Ontario wilderness for a month-long developer retreat. Despite a few hassles with the brcks and the Canadian internet services generally, we successfully ate a bunch of food, drank a bunch of cider, and more importantly, slung a ton of code.
Since Canada, we’ve been working on getting our systems ready for today, our release day. So that pretty much gets us up to date.
From my perspective it is utterly amazing. I am humbled to lead this wonderfully talented, diverse, argumentative, understanding, and generally punk group of individuals as we begin the public journey of Eris Industries.
Come along, we think its gonna be a fun ride.
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