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Author Topic: [ANN] Coinvance - Decentralized DApp/DAO Collaboration and Management  (Read 1682 times)
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MCRyan
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May 20, 2014, 06:34:46 PM
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Greetings,


My name is Ryan Keenan and I am the founder of Coinvance. Coinvance is a concept that I presented at the Texas Bitcoin Conference Hackathon back in March of this year and won one of the prizes awarded by the BitAngels Fund.  Coinvance will serve as a management and collaboration platform for distributed workforces that features web, mobile (Android /iOS), and desktop clients. Building an environment where chat content within groups becomes something that is immediately actionable is the focus of the Coinvance platform. Before I introduce the progress of my white paper, I would like to give an introduction to who I am and what I have been doing over the past two years. It has been quite the journey and if you have about ten minutes to spare I would love the opportunity to share it with you.

(For those of you reading that want to jump right to the white paper, the link is at the bottom of this post).



It was a beautiful Spring day in late April 2012 when I landed in San Francisco. I landed with my luggage and a burning passion to change the World. I had spent the past six months in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico with a few friends journeying through the jungle and experiencing a new way of life. I knew that by diving  into the Silicon Valley tech startup scene I would be surrounding myself with the people that would propel my desire to improve this World through technology. As I boarded Caltrain to head to my hostel in Redwood City I absorbed the beautiful humans and nature that surround me. My entrepreneurial spirit was something I was born with.. it is part of my personal blockchain, my DNA. Since receiving my first computer and internet connection when I was around 10 years old, circa AOL 2.0 I have been using the computer and internet to generate an income. The philosophical system that I have grown to embrace is one that being an adopter of the internet at an early age helped install. Sifting through endless information that was just a few keystrokes away and prescribing to truths that seemed self evident helped my mind grow.  With the rare pieces of truth came many of disinfo. Learning how to establish between truth and disinfo what was real from an early age gave me the opportunity to find inspiration in that of inventing and creating the future. I came to the realization in my teenage years that unlimited possibility exist in reality and that the most powerful element in the Universes is the human mind.



As I arrived at my hostel in Redwood City I knew what my mission for the next week would entail. I needed to find a place to call home in the heart of it all (Silicon Valley). Turning back was not an option. The past six months I had spent in the jungle taught me how to be a stronger individual. No challenge was a challenge too great. Over the next few days I realized that my budget for renting a place in Mountain View would only get me a shack. I was fine with that. I was here in the land of milk and honey and the excitement of it all outweighed the fact that my place may not be the most beautiful spot. With my desire came a vision, and a vision is a powerful thing; it causes pieces to come together in reality as the realized actions one takes match it. In fact, that is exactly what happened. With a whim of mindful luck I secured a not so bad one bedroom in the back of a commercial building off the main stretch, El Camino Real. I immediately ordered my bed, desk, and couch online and a few days later they arrived. I was literally building myself into my new reality step by step.



I had settled into my new place in Mountain View in just enough time to discover that The Startup Conference was taking place on May 5th. Excitement built as I embarked upon my first startup event at the Mountain View City Hall. As I explored the booths of many startups, one in particular caught my eye. A crowd had formed around the booth of Draper Fisher Jurvetson. Everyone was in line with hopes to shoot a hoop and be given the chance to deliver a one minute pitch to a man in a suit with a goofy tie. I didn’t know who this man was but I could tell from his magnetic energy along with his revealing logo that he was someone I should meet. I finally got up the courage to pitch for the first time ever. I had this idea for an incentivized check in deals site that I had been toying with.  As I shot the hoop I thought to myself, “Shit! I am really doing this.” I delivered my one minute pitch and received his card in return.

As I made my way into the Mountain View City Hall to hear the keynote speakers I saw the same man I had just pitched to, now up on the main stage. This man is named Tim Draper. As he spoke of the successful startups his venture capital firm had invested into at an early stage (Hotmail, Skype, Baidu, Tesla) and the power of viral marketing, I had a serious moment of self awakening. I had just pitched to someone very high up the pyramid and not even realized it. The steps that experience set into motion are nothing short of mind blowing.



I boarded Caltrain the following day. There I was texting in an iMessage group with my three closest friends. Back in 2008, the three of us use to share a Blogspot account together and each of us would take turns posting about the funny stuff we would see happening around campus. That was when it all clicked for me. Group Messaging. Social Media. Blogging. Revolution. Why not mix group messaging with collaborative blogging? This was a time when the Arab Spring was taking shape and watching the effect Twitter had on making those revolutions a success was beyond inspiring. The most meaningful content that I produce usually happens while on the go with my mobile phone as I am talking in groups of my  closest friends. What if I could take the most meaningful chat items of this group collaboration within iMessage (texts,locations, photos, videos) and publish them to our public collaborative group blog in one tap? Our friends outside of our private texting group would be able to follow the most meaningful moments of inspiration that we publish outwardly to our blog. This vision seemed so logical and strong as the natural progression of social media (turning life between my close friends into a reality show for our greater circles). Over the next month I found myself sketching out the vision I had in my head.



LivelyFeed (http://www.livelyfeed.com) was born! This is one of the first sketches I created while enjoying a cup of coffee during a beautiful day on the patio at Neto Cafe in downtown Mountain View (https://dl.dropbox.com/u/45988033/3.JPG). After I finally finished up all of the sketches, I was on a mission. I had to make this idea become a reality. I started wondering how I could take these sketches and turn them into an iPhone app. I consulted with a few technical friends at the time to find out what I would need to develop this concept. The first thing I needed to find was a talented UI designer. It was after searching for a few hours that I found a really awesome site called Dribbble.com where all the most talented UI designers flock to display their work. I knew I needed a really sleek design for the chat bubbles. After countless hours of searching through thousands of UI designs I finally found the guy I had been looking for. A talented UI designer living in Sydney, Australia. Fortunately he didn’t quote me an arm and leg and created a brilliant UI for the MVP of LivelyFeed. I turned my stick figure drawings into wireframes (https://www.dropbox.com/s/rycpq7oj68gab9s/Mockups.png). After a few short weeks those wireframes turned into the actual UI (https://dl.dropbox.com/u/45988033/chattab.png).




Now began the real challenge. Getting the server-side backend coded and finding a decent iOS developer to create the iPhone app. My friend and I began working on the framework and wireframes for the backend and frontend of the web version of LivelyFeed. We headhunted for several weeks in an #iPhoneDev chat on IRC before we thought we had met the perfect match to develop our iPhone app. Boy did that turn out to be the decision that almost broke us. I offered the newfound iOS developer (a CTO at a gaming company specializing in creating iPhone apps) $10,000 plus a twenty percent equity stake in LivelyFeed. Things were going great for the first month. I had sent out the first $5,000 and development was on its way. The backend/API was starting to take its very initial shape. The iOS app was about 15% complete when the iOS developer requested I send the other $5,000. Wanting progress to continue, I sent it. A few days later he took off with the money and shut me out of all communication with him. This was an extremely severe blow to my confidence as I had now exhausted my budget to get the iPhone app created. It was only at the point after a few months I rebounded even though my motivation had been shot to hell. I managed to bounce back from my loss and generate a stream of revenue from my marketing business after almost going bankrupt from a series of unfortunate events. As I started earning again I decided I shouldn't give up so quickly on the dream to make LivelyFeed a reality. This time, I hired an agency in Palo Alto to find talented developers from emerging countries that wouldn't bill at $100/hour like most of the local Americans at iOS dev meetups I spoke with do. It was in early November 2012 that I finally gave a green light to newfound iOS developers in Buenos Aires.



Fast forward to March 2013. $35,000 of my savings and thousands of development hours later it was looking like Livelyfeed might finally reach its first working prototype within the next month or two. As I emptied my wallet, Tim Draper’s card fell out and that pyramid was once again staring me in the eye. I thought to myself, “hmm I wonder what Tim is up to these days?” I googled his name and one of the first results that appeared was an article on a new boarding school for young tech entrepreneurs that he was starting called Draper University. Tim was purchasing a vacant hotel in downtown San Mateo and renovating it into his own tech accelerator school. I knew immediately that I must apply. A week later I received a phone call that I had been accepted into the inaugural class of 42 entrepreneurs to go through the eight week program. We learned the failures and successes of running startups directly from 40 of the top CEOs, founders, VCs, angels, and lawyers in Silicon Valley (Naveen Jain, Jim Steele, Dr. Joon Yun to name a few). The experience was life changing in a very positive way and toward the end of the eight week program I decided that I would apply to the tech accelerator right next door, Boost. At the end of the eight weeks all 42 heros from our class were given the opportunity to pitch our businesses for two minutes to a panel of VCs and angel investors. My pitch for LivelyFeed is found here (https://vimeo.com/79342276). The day before we delivered our pitches, I along with a few other Draper University students that had applied to Boost were informed we had not been accepted. While no one from the inaugural class received funding on pitch day from anyone on the judging panel, one statement echoed in each of our heads. “I will fail and fail again until I succeed.”



I left Draper University with a mind filled with knowledge, a savings account that was down $50,000 from bootstrapping my startup, a working prototype of LivelyFeed web and iOS applications, and a severe blow to my confidence. For the first time in a long time I was doubting my vision and my path. I took the advice that a few VCs had offered me while I was at Draper University. I really needed to get back to the “why” of what I was doing. Why am I creating a social communication platform and what is the larger problem I am trying to solve for group collaboration here? What would be the pivot that would furnish a vision that these VCs wanted to fund? Why would that pivot make this the “one in ten” investments that return 100x+ to their billion dollar pockets?


 
Enter December 2013. I knew in my soul that I needed to get involved in the cypto space. Since I first heard the word Bitcoin back in late 2011 the idea of decentralized digital currencies stuck me as fascinating technology. I was intrigued enough to start searching for how I myself could start my own currency. One of the first articles I found as I googled for the answer was an article in Forbes showcasing an emerging player in the space; Mastercoin. Mastercoin was creating exactly what I needed to launch my own currency! A protocol that would enable me to create and distribute my own smart property tokens. I knew immediately I needed to join them in order to learn about the technology they were building and contribute to the launch of it. I contacted the executive director, Ron Gross over Facebook. I will never forget how welcoming he was to me initiating conversation with him. I asked if any positions were available to join the team. I was informed that a position for “Foundation Chapter Planter” was becoming available in order to spread word of Mastercoin to the greater crypto community. I knew there were a few others vying for this position so I decided to fly to Inside Bitcoins being held in Las Vegas to put myself in front of the team from the Mastercoin Foundation and the BitAngels.



It was at this conference where I first met Ron Gross and David Johnston. They were on a panel discussing the future of Bitcoin and where the space was heading. It was all new to me and quite exciting. It was at this conference where I met several of the minds pushing the space forward. It was in late December that I learned I had been accepted into a part time position with the Mastercoin Foundation as Foundation Chapter Planter. As the Mastercoin team continued to grow, so did the enormous number of resources we had floating between multiple platforms (github, google docs, wikis, trello to name a few). This was the largest entirely distributed team I had ever been part of. I could tell that communication and collaboration were becoming major bottlenecks that hindered optimal co-creation. The Mastercoin team naturally evolved to centralize communication between teams in group Skype chats. Over the past six months Skype served as the centralized location where resources were communicated to the team and greater public looking for real time up to date information. I was beginning to understand the “Why?” of collaboration and what the larger problem was that need to be solved. As workforces of the next generation become more specialized and nearly entirely distributed with team members plugging in from around the World, communication and collaboration should naturally evolve with them.


This was when I put it all together in my head. The pivot that LivelyFeed needed made sense. Coinvance was born. I took the idea for Coinvance to the hackathon at the Texas Bitcoin Conference in March and delivered a pitch I didn’t realize I was capable of. Winning one of those prizes was one of the most life changing experiences in my existence.

Group chat should be an environment that nurtures co-creation between distributed teams. Chat between distributed teams should be decentralized and immediately actionable. Next generation distributed desktop workspaces will compliment the many open source applications where resources are created and tested, all done in a socially collaborative way. So what do I mean by that exactly? I proudly present the growing white paper for Coinvance and explainer video  below.

My hope in communicating my story to the community is that I will inspire you through my words to join together in building this vision. We each have an inspiring story that is telling of our passion and life work. Let’s combine resources and talent to collaboratively build a suite of tools for the next generation. A way for everyone to beautifully document their collaborations and milestones in life. We are the future. Together as One.

Signed,
Ryan Keenan
Founder, Coinvance
Ryan@distributed.buzz
Skype: ryan.keenan.11  

Disclaimer: My white paper is in its experimental stage right now. I do not by any means claim to be a technical genius and this is the first release of it to date. Nothing is 100% set in stone and may change frequently. I am looking to form a greater team of bright individuals in order to form a more complete vision.

White Paper: http://www.distributed.buzz/btc/CoinvanceWhitePaper.pdf

Explainer Video:
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/45988033/Coinvance%20presentation%204.mp4

Take LivelyFeed for a spin:
http://www.livelyfeed.com   Login: demouser@livelyfeed.com  Password: ez2get

Try out the iOS app too with the same login!
https://itunes.apple.com/uy/app/livelyfeed/id644842244?mt=8
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May 20, 2014, 06:46:49 PM
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Slack just raised $120MM in funding. I have here an amazing communications product that just needs some final touches to compete with Slack. I am now looking to form a team of talented Ruby and iOS developers or investors to partner with. A large part of the functionality is already built out for web and iOS of Coinvance. Let's get this awesome product up and rolling as it is already almost there!!

http://techcrunch.com/2014/10/31/slack-confirms-120m-fundraise-led-by-google-ventures-and-kpcb-at-1-12b-valuation/


New website up for Coinvance: http://coinvance.com

Contact me on Skype: ryan.keenan.11
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May 21, 2014, 05:48:32 AM
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I had get some infomation about Mastercoin from the official forum - mastercoin.org.

It's pretty good team.
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May 22, 2014, 04:32:12 AM
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I had get some infomation about Mastercoin from the official forum - mastercoin.org.

It's pretty good team.

JavaCoder,

They have been some pretty awesome people to work with. I have learned a lot from everyone there.
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May 27, 2014, 09:05:09 PM
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I had get some infomation about Mastercoin from the official forum - mastercoin.org.

It's pretty good team.

JavaCoder,

They have been some pretty awesome people to work with. I have learned a lot from everyone there.

Ryan this is extraordinarily good news.  Congrats!

Craig

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May 27, 2014, 10:00:27 PM
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awesome
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May 28, 2014, 04:13:40 PM
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I had get some infomation about Mastercoin from the official forum - mastercoin.org.

It's pretty good team.

JavaCoder,

They have been some pretty awesome people to work with. I have learned a lot from everyone there.

Ryan this is extraordinarily good news.  Congrats!

Craig


Thank you Craig!
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October 31, 2014, 06:56:51 PM
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Slack just raised $120MM in funding. I have here an amazing communications product that just needs some final touches to compete with Slack. Would any talented Ruby developers or investors be interested in partnering on this?

http://techcrunch.com/2014/10/31/slack-confirms-120m-fundraise-led-by-google-ventures-and-kpcb-at-1-12b-valuation/


New website up for Coinvance: http://coinvance.com

Contact me on Skype: ryan.keenan.11
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