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Announcing Vzero. Removing Volatility from Crypto-Currency

In 2014 I was working heavily on multi-signature escrow solutions around Bitcoin specifically targeted at high priced transactions. The idea being that escrow is generally expensive and multi-signature Bitcoin transactions could speed that process up along with cutting cost. The problem we quickly ran into was the Bitcoin price volatility.

Bitcoin Price History (winkdex.com)

Bitcoin Has Continued to be Extremely Volatile

Likewise, so have other cryptocurrencies like Ethereum. In 2017, the discussion around cryptocurrency is much more focused on smart contracts. More than escrow, smart contracts are the place this problem rears its head again. A simple example: Say I want to lock away money in a trust fund for my kids. I can do it with an extremely simple smart contract. Those Bitcoins however, will almost certainly hold a very different value in 10 years. In other words, any smart contract gives me access to programmable money in a new way, but requires me to bet on that cryptocurrency as well.

This in general strikes me as a place where cryptocurrency fails at mainstream adoption. Speeding up escrow for a real estate purchase is an extremely beneficial advance that cryptocurrency can provide. In order to do this, the parties in the transaction also need to accept the volatile value of the cryptocurrency. There is a large risk and gamble involved which is completely opposite to how someone feels when using US Dollars for escrow.

Announcing Vzero Framework

Vzero Framework is a whitepaper concept around how we eliminate this cryptocurrency volatility issue long term so we can remove this barrier to adoption. Please note, this is not an ICO precursor. I’m not soliciting funds in any way. I’m simply releasing this information into the world to share and gain valuable feedback so we can all find the best road forward.

>>>>>Get the Whitepaper Here<<<<<

September 19, 2017
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Offshore Development: Why?

We’re all on the same page: Software development is priced differently all around the world. With a vast ocean of global talent to choose from, why do companies choose the developers they do? What are the results? We recently ran a poll and asked users what their main reason for working offshore developers was.

It seems the number one reason people chose to work with offshore developers was because of their price by a landslide. According to TechCrunch, developers in the U.S. easily earn above $100k-$150k USD, while a developer in Paris earns about $98k USD. Then there’s developers in India who earn about $39K USD. Why wouldn’t you hire the developer that is a fraction of the cost? As it turns out, there are a few reasons.

Price isn’t everything

In a previous poll, we asked users what was their experience actually working with an offshore development team.  61% of users said their experience did not go well. Working with offshore developers is a skill that not everybody possesses when they first make their hire. For someone who starts their developer search on a website like Upwork, it can be tempting to choose the freelance developer offshore with a rate of $21USD/hr over the American developer for $85USD/hr++. It is possible that despite having a lower hourly cost, the offshore developer’s tasks may be more easily miscommunicated. This could result in time-consuming errors, prolonging the development of your software project and driving up the cost.

 

While we all desire and hope our development team delivers reliable results, reliable is relative term when it comes to offshore development. Depending on which region you choose your team from, you are going to receive different results based on the culture from that region.

Development Culture Around the World

According to Ornsoft, the following countries have their own distinct web design trends:

  •      United States – Whether it is correlation or causation, Americans desire instant gratification and this is especially true when it comes to internet experience. U.S. web design focuses easily visible action for the user. Website design puts high focus on individualizing the user’s experience with self-photos and unique success stories.
  •      China – Chinese websites will typically have a busier feel, which is a result on their users’ consummation of content ideally on one screen. Internet is similar to Chinese television containing vertical “tickers” on the sides of televisions for local or national news. This density of information is a result of the overall Chinese media culture.
  •      Europe – UK websites usually aim for minimalism during design. Details such as prices are typically hidden unless a specific action is performed as to not bombard the user. Meanwhile in countries similar to Sweden, the emphasis is on user empowerment. These websites cater to functional communication and access for all.

It’s not that offshore developers are necessarily less capable, it is the standards within their own culture. Their perception of your culture may have an unwanted effect on your project. In addition there could be language barriers that complicate matters further. This can result in a product that differs from what you originally had in mind. Communication is essential if you choose to work with offshore teams. More specific communication and guidance may be required depending on the developer you select.

 

My experience with Offshore teams

Earlier in my career, I hired an offshore team to help me build a website. On one of the pages we needed a stock photo that looked like a business meeting in progress. I did not have a stock photo in mind, so I asked the development team to select one for me. They chose a picture of a meeting that was clearly taken inside of a church. It showed religious imagery in the background, and a priest was sitting at the head of the table.

Culturally in the US, religious symbols are generally separated from business settings and imagery, but the offshore team did not know this. In fact, the offshore team’s view of the US through TV and other media may have led to the belief that a religious symbol was the most appropriate choice! Not only did I need to tell them to change it, but I needed to find the proper stock photo myself which ended up taking me hours.

A US-based team probably would have selected a reasonable stock photo the first time. If I asked for a different one, I would have trusted a description of what I was looking for would have given enough info for them to find something appropriate or even a few selections for me to choose from.

Planning for Offshore teams

We prior asked users if their companies were planning to use offshore developers for their future software projects. 24% said yes, 44% said no, and 32% were undecided. Whether this decision is based on price, quality of work, or time differences, I highly recommended you think about what you want out of the project before hiring someone. This will help guide you to the right team.

September 12, 2017
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