A letter from the (former) Editor

Hey everyone!

It’s been a while.

I’m sorry I haven’t formally updated you here, I recognize it was inconsiderate of me to leave without giving you all the explanation you deserve after supporting this project for so long. If I can make any excuse, life has become quite busy in recent weeks, what with me moving to a new state and a few important family events, such that I didn’t have the physical or mental bandwidth to write to you well.

Anyway, without further ado, here’s what’s up:

What’s up:

As you may have heard, everyone that is not a developer was let go from the Incognito Project to align with the current refocus on development and preparing the network for release.

I joined Incognito because of my belief in the mission of privacy and I stayed out of immense love for the project and the people I worked with. I don’t need the job, and no part of me is concerned for my future, in fact I’m relieved to not have to work so I can focus on pursuing other interests. So, I feel I can write without bias on this situation and hopefully clarify some mixed feelings floating around.

First, I just want to note how incredible the growth team is. @ducky, @ning, @andrey, @chucky, @elena, @peter, and others especially made my time with Incognito the greatest work environment I’ve ever been a part of. I’m grateful to them beyond my ability to communicate it.

While I can understand the rationale for the firing, I disagree with this decision for multiple reasons. Every team needs specialists. Devs can not and should not be expected to do everything, especially communication and community engagement. I personally feel this is not only a betrayal of you, the community, but of the devs themselves, as they are now expected to fill roles they are not prepared for and should not fill. Additionally, I was told that the growth team did “far too good a job” and grew a product that wasn’t ready for such growth, allowing the devs to slack off and coast on our success. Not only is that a slap in the face to the growth team, it’s a slap in the face to the devs and the work they were doing, as well as to their ability to improve.

However

HOWEVER,
I still firmly believe in the imminent success of this project. Privacy is necessary, and the devs are capable of building it. So please, support them in that if you still believe in the mission. Communication is already suffering, because they can’t handle it. But they can handle project development, and I have no doubts about the success of the platform itself. This lack of effective communication will be quite a speed bump, but it’s not the end of the road. I will continue following this project. I no longer have a direct line of communication with the devs, or I would be updating you all voluntarily, but I still have full confidence in their abilities.

For your part, if you feel inclined to stick with this project, have grace for the poor communication, and know that it’s not dead in the water. Privacy is still being built. But, let’s push for better comms, maybe even hiring a new growth team (as I stated earlier, I am not interested in working for Incognito again, because of my new focus on creative pursuits, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t hire more people).

To be clear, this is not @duc’s fault, or any of the devs. This recent decision rests with the founding team, and Duc is doing a great job of staying afloat and pushing forward.

Incognito fork

A few people in this community are pushing for a fork of Incognito.

I respect them, and their desire to look out for themselves and to further privacy, but I personally don’t believe in their ability to succeed. I don’t want to accuse it of being a cash grab, so I won’t, but based on what I’ve seen of the Incognito project, they are unprepared to handle a fork as it stands now. Make your own judgements, and know that as long as privacy succeeds, no matter who is behind it, we all win. I wish them success.

Farewell

Honestly, as much as this isn’t goodbye, it’s goodbye. I’ll be around, and you can reach out to me here or on Twitter if you want to talk, I’m always happy to.

But, I’ll be taking some time to write a book, learn piano, take some full-stack dev courses, etc. I’m going to be busy enjoying myself, so I won’t be as vocal as I used to be. Thank you for your warm engagement with me and this project over the last year and a half. You’ve been wonderful.

Have a love-what-you-do kind of life,
-Aaron

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This here is really important. I run a business, and from what I learned, developers are no business specialists. If they were, they wouldn’t be hired for their development, they would be hiring others to help them develop their own project. Communication and Transparency has been something that Incognito has been struggling with for a while now. Without anyone in charge of fixing that, it will be difficult for the community to want to stick around.

We will miss you and the Growth Team.

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Well said, Hope these April showers bring May Flowers.

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Thanks for the letter bro. Pity you are leaving, you did a great job. I wanna trust the founding team they know what they doing.

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It would be cool if we got a better understanding of who the Founding Team is, and what their intentions are moving forward.

I know we have a road map, but I am currently more concerned with the logistics and who controls that.

EDIT
I had to dig really deep to find this one…

The Founding Team

Since Andrey was apart of the founding team, and he was essentially let go, who controls the salary, and who can decide to fire people? A clear understanding of the current structure is very much needed.

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The founder I guess. Unknown to the new guys, well-known to the ones who were here from the start.

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@aaron my friend you were the voice that spoke for Incognito…it is sad you are departing and will be much missed…I thank you for your friendship and support that you extended to this project while you were part of the growth team…please now that you have departed do not be a ghost and check up on us from time to time…happy trails to youuuuuuu…lol…good luck bro on your personal endeavors…Tempestblack… :sunglasses:

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This is terrible news and a huge disappointment. I might be new to the community, as Jaime will endlessly point out, both derisively and ironically, but I had high hopes… However, this mindset explains a lot of the path this project has taken over the last 6months…

Needless to say, the dev work seems to be top notch but without accountability, clarity, or transparency. All of which were already poor, and will no doubt get worse, and the likelihood of success goes down significantly with your and the growth teams departure.

Best wishes, @aaron. You seemed a voice of reason in an otherwise clusterf*&k of a project, communication- and management-wise.

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I appreciate the more formal communication because I somehow missed the memo for quite some time. I imagine this was a difficult decision and although I don’t think the devs should be focusing on community management, I also don’t think incognito in the current state is ready for mass adoption. There is simply too many patched-together fixes, which is natural as software develops. A focus on first-principles development is very exciting!

As far as I know, there is nothing that I can use that can replace incognito, so I will continue to use it. Cheers to everyone and let me know if or how I can help.

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what MR. Autonomous?
Wish Incognito was better at communication tbh.

This statement is designed to be obscure and not provide information. What is the point of that?

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Yes! In Duy Incognito trusts

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Really honest, sincere, and fair post. We’ll miss you @aaron :cry:

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“everyone that is not a developer was let go from the Incognito Project to align with the current refocus on development and preparing the network for release.”

Wait what?? Wasn’t the network released yet? If not where is all my money locked up??:grimacing:

Who is/are the founders??
Who is accountable?

I’m sorry to see everyone go,
I love this app,
I hope one day the backend will be as nice as the front end and we will have transparency, trustless, communicative team…

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The next version of the network is what is being referred to.

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These are some good questions. I would love to see an answer.

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Nothing changed, no matter how hard people are trying to fud “things are tumbling down”.

Who’s responsible, accountable, hasn’t changed. Those are the same people who were responsible, accountable, last week, and the week before that, and even the same people as 6 months back.

As already stated above, the network release relates to the next version of the network. Incognito is a project in progress. It is great to see effort is put in moving forward.

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No it’s just been revealed to the community that their concerns don’t matter, and they don’t have a say. At least that’s what it currently looks like to me. I just want some answers and I don’t see any forthcoming.

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Thanks for the candid update @aaron and all the best to you. I will miss the growth team and the monthly video calls with @andrey @duc and others.

I found the growth team to be quite active on this community forum. I’ll miss being able to “@” mention them on ideas and questions etc.

I hope the Node Tree doesn’t get shelved as I think that would be key to the growth of the incognito network. I really enjoyed seeing photos posted on it’s progress.

I just wonder whether the developers will read anything that this community posts on these forum pages.

Hello Developers, If an Incognito developer reads this message, can you please reply and provide the community on how we can engage with the developers moving forward?

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Hey @Linnovations, I’ve read your message (and others’ as well) for sure. As you may know, the whole core devs team is now focusing on development in order to make the project better in terms of platform and product first since a better platform/product will be the best answer to the concerns. (for the fud, sorry I have to ignore in order to avoid wasting time)
For the engagement, we will keep the community updated about development progress, there will be a few important releases this week and next week. The posts for those will be published soon, it’s better if we can discuss these real and valuable things instead of fud/complaints, thanks.

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You’re an awesome example of the quality of this team and the expected level of discourse to be had

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