Uber for Cats

tl;dr: if you haven’t grokked Eris yet, never fear – you’re not alone. (Have a read of this to see an example of someone who has, and was awarded two Eris Industries Stars for his efforts.) We’ll be holding a Google hangout next week to answer all of your questions – so please join!

Long version: We’ve received a lot of feedback over the last few days that our marketing is a bit long-form and technical for most people’s tastes. Rest assured this is deliberate; a lot of cryptocurrency projects have sprung up over the last year promising that their particular implementation of blockchain technology is going to change the world/finance/cats/whatever.

We think Eris will change the world, too. But we aren’t going to scream about the power of blockchains. They’re databases. Like Apache, MongoDB, or SQL. They’re not magical libertarian money machines. And they can do a lot more than the cryptocurrency set would lead you to believe.

Indeed. They’re software. So they’ll do whatever you tell them to do. People are having trouble grokking this because they’re so used to the bitcoin-currency-mining model – so we’ll keep saying it until we shake you loose! And when we release our first DApps in January, we hope to provide you an example of what the next stage of the distributed web is going to look like. 

Why aren’t we waxing hyperbolic about our platform like all the other projects in the space? Because, when you’re trying to sell tokens (as most of our competitors are), that motivation might lead – or at least tempt – blockchain devs to overstate the (unproven) awesomeness of their platforms. 

Eris Industries is different in that we give away tools to software developers to help them to make awesome applications that are secure, autonomous, and serverless. We have no monetary stake, at all, in the applications you build. This means telling you everything a blockchain could do isn’t much good; instead, we need to get these useful tools into your hands, and help you use them. The proof, for us, is not so much in what everyone thinks blockchains are capable of, but what developers actually do with them.

We’ll work on the messaging and make some helpful videos over the next couple of weeks; additionally, our first DApps will be coming out in the second or third week of January or so, which should make Eris’ utility proposition a bit clearer. In the meantime, I give you Theodor Adorno’s Minima Moralia, No. 64: or, “What one learns from launching an unspeakably complicated tech product in measured prose:”

Ethics [Moral] and style. – Authors find that the more precisely, painstakingly, realistically and appropriately they express themselves, the more the literary result will be regarded as difficult to understand, while as soon as they formulate phrases in a lax and irresponsible manner, they are rewarded with a certain understanding. It does not help to ascetically avoid all elements of expert discourse, all references to no longer existing spheres of education. Rather, strictness and purity of linguistic arrangement, even in the most extreme simplicity, creates a vacuum. Shoddiness, moving along with the familiar currents of language, counts as a sign of belonging and contact: one knows what one wants, because one knows what the other wants. To focus on the thing in the expression rather than the communication, is considered suspicious: what is specific, not already hidden away in automatism, appears inconsiderate, a symptom of eccentricity, almost of confusion. Contemporary logic, which puts so much store on its clarity, has naively absorbed such perversion in the category of colloquial speech. The vague expression permits those who employ it to imagine more or less whatever they wish and what they mean anyway. The strictly enforced unambiguousness [Eindeutigkeit: directness, decidedness] of the construction, the effort of the concept, from which human beings are consciously weaned, presumes the suspension of the prevailing judgment before all content, and thereby a radical separation of oneself, something which they react violently to. Only that which they do not need to know counts as understandable; only what is in truth alienated, the word molded by commerce, strikes them as trustworthy. There are few things which contribute more to the demoralization of intellectuals. Whoever wishes to escape this, must see through every piece of advice which tells one to focus on communication as a betrayal of what is being communicated.

Adorno is long-winded. But I love his work.

Lesson learned: if you can get away with calling your product Uber for Cats, do it. Otherwise, be prepared to do a lot of follow-up and writing of marketing material over your Christmas holidays!