In this episode we sit down with Addo, one of the co-founders of Source – a new venture based at StartWell who are using Blockchain technologies for their interoperable data platform that lets developers create innovative ways to distribute access to information.
One of the example use cases for their platform we discuss here briefly – being able to sync data between disparate MS Word files using what Source calls ‘Cards’ that act like a central repository of information which can exist as a living chunk of data in multiple documents.
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Qasim Virjee 0:07
All right back once again for another installment of the several podcast. This struggles founder and CEO Qasim Virjee coming at you live and direct. Probably you’re probably listening to this on demand. So sorry, live to do live in the moment. And yeah, this is the first time maybe you’re hearing this. So in a way, it’s live. I’m alive. This is not artificial intelligence at work. But yeah, basically coming to you from start well on King Street West in Toronto, Canada, a hub, global hub city have all sorts of cool innovation. Yeah. Got some gesticulation going on in the studio. I’m joined today by Otto, who is the founder, I guess, CEO of a company called Source, co founder, co founder. So who’s missing from the room today? who’s not here?
Addo Smajic 0:57
There’s four of us. So me, Alex, Dave, and John.
Qasim Virjee 1:02
So this is really interesting. I like this, because very rarely do we come across these teams as a sort of assumed hierarchy corporate hierarchy out of their, like 80s IBM days, or something that people assume startups should subscribe to, which is founder or co founder. And then everyone else, you know, might get a C suite title until you actually have employees, but they don’t have a vested interest in the success of the company, because there’s some hierarchy. So are you all equal partners in the company?
Addo Smajic 1:28
I mean, equity splits, you know, differently right now. Like, I mean, that’s private to us, for sure, like the way we had to split. But essentially, for us, it was important from the get go to kind of, as you said, the way we viewed things just to have kind of like the heads of different key departments, or, you know, verticals, for the for the company, for the startup and have everyone have a vested interest and feel like they’re, you know, owning that part of the company in that part of the business. So they can ensure the growth in the future and kind of be vested in.
Qasim Virjee 2:03
And so I guess, it’s must be a very interesting story about how we’re like, let’s first talk about what source is doing. Like, at the moment, what is source? Yep. And then let’s dig back into the a little bit of the backstory around how you guys came together and what the journey so far has been. Is that cool?
Addo Smajic 2:21
Yeah, sure. Ah, so, I mean, we kind of we started with one idea, which was, as freelancers and people, you know, we worked with, we had dev shops, we have freelancers, we worked with different people across different verticals, different industries, different sizes of companies, but from, you know, other freelancers to large enterprises. And the thing that always you know, there was always friction points around different productivity applications that everyone would use. And so we thought, what if we could make it that different people could work in different applications, and we could collaborate without having to, you know, if one person isn’t, you know, Word, you know, save it as Word file, and then I’m using Google Docs, I have to open it as Google Docs, right? What if there was a way of connecting Google Docs and work and making us you know, making two people collaborate without having to go through file systems. And so essentially, that’s where we started, we we built, you know, we kind of wanted to build it that just for ourselves, yep. And other freelancers to allow us to collaborate. And, you know, the vision was to kind of go beyond, you know, and start integrating into other applications that freelancers were using. But then we soon enough realized that really what we were building, it was this unique platform that enabled this interoperability between applications that humans use to create content and information. And so we, you know, through a lot of interest from other developers, because we developers, were asking us, can I integrate this with WordPress? Can I use this for my research science papers? Can I do this for health, you know, my record management company where doctors just want to edit things in Word. And, you know, we want this in our software. So we realized that the platform is probably the, you know, we decided to shift to that. Still, having office in G Suite does like our proof of concepts or the the market, you know, kind of the showing of what the potential of this platform is, and are like apps on your car. But the platform, the backend is what you know, source is and what enables. So everyone connects to you know, every developer out there that wants to develop on top of source, you know, just use SDK will use SDKs API’s to connect build applications integrated with source and those now all that information they that they store to source becomes interoperable with all the all the other applications that are connected source.
Qasim Virjee 4:49
I have to throw out these two words. Decentralization and the blockchain.
Addo Smajic 4:55
Yeah. We often like I mean, I personally like don’t talk to me Much better. But yeah, this whole thing is also built on distributed technology. So we use this difference, we use a stack of our stack is Cosmos IPFS. And I don’t want to get too, you know, too many to get to tackle. But essentially, the the other part for us that was critical is to enable what we call trustless collaboration. And that is to, you know, turn from, you know, the blockchain trust less, but trustless Yeah, trustless, meaning that you don’t have to know necessarily other person. So
Qasim Virjee 5:35
that is trust less. Yeah. Okay. Yeah. I was thinking, architecturally, you know, that there’s nothing supporting,
Addo Smajic 5:44
it’s trust less, okay. And meaning that you don’t have to necessarily know the other person to in order to collaborate with them. So and you don’t have to necessarily also know, you know, what other applications they’re using? Because there’s no, you know, file format, necessarily. Yeah, you know, system. And so that’s what a lot of the premise behind distributed technologies is, is is that trustless, you know, Bitcoin, it’s trustless exchange. And very interesting,
Qasim Virjee 6:09
though, when you look at like, you know, permissions layer stuff that’s built into even these first apps that you’re mentioned, yeah, the G Suite, the whole thing, I’m always confused with my G Suite, trying to figure out who on my organization or otherwise has access to what, you know, once it’s assigned to, there’s no easy way to quickly tell that, you know, yeah, so it’s kind of a pain in the butt anyway, to keep track of
Addo Smajic 6:30
Yeah. And so for us, it was critical, you know, to give the ownership of the user information to the users. So we can, you know, blockchain and distributed technologies enabled that to, you know, to provide to users, we can ever see what anyone’s storing in the system in the platform. It’s always, you know, everyone private keys, you know, that it’s locked fully to them. And that’s all part of the, you know, that trustless, kind of, you know, a collaboration side of things where you know, they have the control access, the users are the only ones that control access to the content that they store information in the store, they have, you know, they’re the ones that give out the keys, we can’t do anything, because it’s all hashed and securely stored, for each user, and they can store it and permission it on on the layers of the information that they want to share. So they can share one snippet of information in one paragraph, or they can share it or one table, or you can share the entire document, it’s up to them. But that’s how it’s kind of like structured in our, in our system, it’s a little bit like Lego blocks, you can like, piece them together. And
Qasim Virjee 7:35
it because like from what I’ve seen from what you showed me a few weeks ago, or months ago now maybe yeah, of the kind of like proof of concept app of I think it was, it was Microsoft Office was the example I think offers the G Suite. Right. That was like, which I thought was brilliant. I mean, that that the problem that you were solving initially, that ended up, you know, having to build that platform to solve the problem was really interesting, this idea of kind of like, okay, well, the two of us, let’s say plus maybe the 50 people in our organization, or whatever, are all having, you know, different versions of similar documents together. And using assets in those that don’t necessarily get updated when they update the doc automatically, which means so much wasted time just trying to figure out what’s the latest version of a local, or whatever that is, or table of information. So yeah, sources first app being the solve for that is really brilliant, that idea of kind of like have a dynamic chunk of information that can be embedded into these things.
Addo Smajic 8:34
Yeah, it’s, it’s a little bit of a flip in the mentality of thinking the files are the master, right? You know, and making the information the master and through source, that’s kind of like, what we do is that that table, that paragraph becomes the master and you know, all these different apps, all these different client endpoints connect to it, and they can access it at the same time, and collaborate in push and pull from it kind of reducing the need to have, you know, all the different versioning of you know, files and who’s has what file where? Because it’s one place for that one piece of content. Yeah, everyone care, the data
Qasim Virjee 9:11
in the file is actually that dynamic and unified? Kind of, yeah, it’s really interesting because I think on the meta for me, what I connect with on that story is the fact that like, you know, it’s funny not not a lot of people talk about it these days, but I think it’s still I guess this is the the whole antithesis of the decentralization movement, but vendor lock in. And you know, the idea of people are buying into organizationally or individually or buying into platforms, because they feel that there’s either brand equity to them, or some vested benefit to using a legacy software platform. Whether it’s Microsoft Office, or whether it’s something that’s like, you know, natively cloud like G Suites, collaboration suite, or you’re using Open Office or some distribution of that open for met odf or whatever document format. It’s really funny because I think this is where we’re going is that like all of those encasements for even files are becoming less relevant as people are building tools to make them relate to each other. The thing like the open open document formats are really brilliant. And, and this will solve the next bit of the problem, which is, you know, as the systems become legacy systems for managing documents and documents become hopefully irrelevant as we move into this cloud focused, you know, live updated world. Yeah, I think this is a real big deal. The
Addo Smajic 10:37
way I see some of this is is like, files are legacy of like the the centralized world. Yeah, that information that the companies are using to create a moat and build stickiness around their, you know, platforms. So Office, you know, you can’t open it in anything but office and Adobe and all that kind of stuff. Right. Yeah. And, and that, it’s kind of like I read an interesting article recently, where they were comparing, like, monarchies to then democracy, and how that’s sorted capitalism, and then how that spurred, you know, innovation and companies that grew? Well, I look at like Office file formats, because I think I read recently, that’s like, 88% of the market is office in America? Yes. Like windows, you know, yeah. And so that’s kind of like a monarchy, where it’s like, you know, you have to play nice with them. Otherwise, you know, you can’t really develop every anyone that wants to develop anything has to, like, play nice with whatever you decide to do. Well, you know, what we’re trying to kind of do is democratize and open up the market with information, allowing any developer to build any kind of new application and not have to worry about, oh, how do I make sure that it plays nice with Microsoft Office file formats, or Google file formats? We’ve spoken to a lot of companies, I mean, I don’t want to name them. Where, you know, they told us like, they want to be, you know, kind of like BYOD, but they call it BYOD is like bringing a software course, and allowing their employees to use like Office G Suite quip. Zoho. And then when we ask them, How do you allow people because G Suite quip doesn’t understand G Suite file formats? How do you get those people to collaborate? If a team from one, you know has to use a file from another or anything like that? They said that they standardize it by making every team export everything to Office file format,
Qasim Virjee 12:27
oh, my god, so then you’re just, yeah, it’s there. It’s doing the opposite.
Addo Smajic 12:31
So that’s stifling, you know, that’s like one roadblock that we see this, like, you know, web 3.0, blocked, you know, distributed web that’s coming is that information is, as much as the web is, you know, we’re trying to, you know, make it open information, partly is still kind of, held on to by, and kind of in locked and held prison by these file formats from these previous operating, like applications. Yeah. And we are, like, the way we see our system is that information should be yours, you should have control access to it, be at a company, individual, whoever it is. And also, it should be free to move. So if one day you prefer word, and then the other day, you, you know, you’re like, you know what, I’m tired of Microsoft Office Word, I want to try some new application that a developer has developed, it should be as easy as just saying login to this new word, a word processor, and start, you know, pull in this paragraph and start editing, right? It should not be Oh, I have to convert this I have to you know, all that’s
Qasim Virjee 13:35
interesting, because in that whole, like, you know, dichotomy people will draw between early stage ventures, agile companies, startups, whatever you want to call them versus, you know, the big behemoth enterprise on the other end of the spectrum, and looking at kind of like these two cultures of that, I guess, would take the values that they hold for context of information very differently, you know, top down hierarchies in larger organizations, which typically, you know, want to own information and say that it’s the intellectual property of the organization. And so they need to protect that. And then, you know, agile companies will say, maybe that’s true for them. But they want to liberate their team to be able to recontextualize information that’s representative of a brand or product position, or whatever, to run with, you know, innovation at 25 different levels in the organization. So I definitely think this is the wave or a, you guys are at the cusp of something that’s been long time coming. Yeah. And it’s really interesting. What other examples are you guys either internally working on or seeing if you have developer partners, working on for your platform, asides from this kind of file structure thing?
Addo Smajic 14:48
Well, I mean, the other the other one, you mentioned large enterprises. I wanted to touch a little bit on that. Even we have conversations like fortune, like 10 Four and 50 companies, and even they, the they’re cognizant that what they’re human like what the human capital they have creates as information within the company. They don’t know pretty much anything about it. Like, they know that there’s these things that aren’t done all over the place. It’s stored in files, but they have no knowledge of who’s creating what, who’s, you know, like, there’s no business intelligence layer on top of it, because it’s almost impossible hitters and stuff. Yeah, it’s all almost impossible to build a business intelligence layer on top of file format, you know, trying to figure out what’s happening. So the thing that came out of those conversations with larger companies, just we went in there just trying to, you know, kind of tell them, This is what we’re planning on building. What do you guys think? How does this play with with large enterprises? And it was a little surprising to us is that, you know, most of them told us like, majority of their information that they’re, you know, that their employees create, they have no idea, you know, what, you know, it’s unstructured, they have no idea what the heck is there. So it’s like, they’re just buying more and more storage, just because their employees are creating, creating more and more information. Yeah. And only 1% of it is ever used in any decision making process. Yeah. And so you have this unstructured information sitting, you know, on servers that no one ever uses. So
Qasim Virjee 16:17
exactly. And whether it’s servers or whether it’s the actual PCs, that people are young, typically PCs, but like my personal experience at some of these, like monolith companies has been in seeing this lovely old school IT policy saying, you know, it’s a very anti bring your own device, it’s like we will give your devices and that’s a plus of the job. Yeah, but we own them, and all of your work should be done on them. And there’s some sort of half thought, culture saying, if you ever leave the organization, we can recall our devices and the data that’s stored on them. But what happens with those devices, typically, when they get recalled, most of these companies don’t have a means of even extracting data out of those devices. They either get if they’re a certain age of device, like someone I believe, earlier on our podcast a few episodes ago was was was telling us about the story that like talking about voting machines, and these voting machines, you know, there’s all this kerfuffle, in the States about authenticity of data with the voting machines that have been used over the last couple cycles of elections. Federal elections is, is really interesting that like that kind of equipment, typically supposed to go to a third party vendor to be wiped if it’s going to be reused. Or even if it’s going to be resold. But apparently, on eBay, even today, you can go and buy a voting machine that we was used in the last part, not parliamentary, I’m sort of being Canadian here, but the last federal election, and it will have voter record data on it on eBay, you can buy that machine, because the company wasn’t subject that that was, you know, recycling these machines, quote, unquote, was not subject to any regulations or enforced regulations on how that data should be dealt with. And that same thing happens internally in companies where, you know, private sensitive data can be, you know, sold very easily by mistake, or recycled to a different employee, or just trashed. And then that information is lost forever from the organization.
Addo Smajic 18:21
When I worked in banking. Quite a few times it’s happened where, you know, the banker on the other side would send me an Excel file is like, Oh, my bad, I sent you the wrong thing. Private, don’t I? Sometimes it’s like, I don’t even notice it. Yeah, till they sent me an email saying can you please delete my previous email? Because sent you something that wasn’t wasn’t supposed to? And then you know, it kind of piques your curiosity, like, what’s in there? Yeah.
Qasim Virjee 18:46
Oh, oh, yeah. No, that happens every day. It happens all the time. And also, it’s about security, as well as that, you know, these enclosed document formats are not necessarily secure, because they can be, you know, pirated out of the operating systems or email servers, and so on. So if the chunks of data that they comprise are secured through a blockchain technology, it’s quite interesting, right? Because you could potentially, like lock down access to snippets
Addo Smajic 19:21
or whatever. Yeah. And so that’s for us. I mean, when you compare, you know, to files versus what we’re building is that information lives in, would you call them snippets, snippets. And so you can decide, so we’re in a file and folder kind of formats you have, you can lock the entire file and then that causes friction, because if you lock it to yourself, you didn’t have to share passwords with everyone else that wants to access that file. I didn’t I just want like one table out of or anything like that. And so with with the way we’re making management information rather than files, you can, you know, decide to have one table shared, and, you know, out of your entire, you know, sheet that has, you know, 20, other tables, or whatever else it is you can decide to share just that one piece that one snippet of information with, you know, whoever wants to access them. And if you revoke the access it, you know, they can’t see it afterwards. So you know, you have that full layer of permissioning, around information and not around files and folders, it’s around information. So who can edit who can view who can? You know, like, consume? Or, you know, whatever it is that information you don’t, that’s stored, they stored in your account? Yeah, that’s powerful. That’s really interesting. So that’s how we kind of view it,
Qasim Virjee 20:43
what other what other apps are on your radar for this kind of platform, whether the you’re developing or someone else could be or is,
Addo Smajic 20:52
so we’ve had discussions, you know, with different developers. For us, we’re going to focus on the platform. And then we will see how the ecosystem evolves. From, you know, what developers are developing, but we’ve had developers, you know, asked to integrate with WordPress. You know, so you can edit people hate WordPress text editor is, you know,
Qasim Virjee 21:19
they’ve just this week released the new was it called? There’s a whole WordPress, the actual organization automatic, I guess, yeah, pushed out a new editor that is backwards compatible, but typically to be used for WordPress 15. Onwards. But yeah, it replaces the old text editor. So CK editor, and all these alternatives are redundant compared to this. And it’s called the Gutenberg editor. And it’s essentially a copycat of mediums editing format. So now you’re talking about these snippets, almost it treats things as I think it calls them blocks. But yeah, you have like a block, that could be an image gallery, a block, that could be one image, a block, that could be text, it could be a headline. And then you can reorder those things without having to rewrite the HTML yourself, essentially. But again, it is all it is doing is writing HTML. Yeah. And then, you know, encasing those and getting really good at encasing those chunks of data in tags that can be parsed. You know, you probably using CSS and ordered accordingly, I haven’t dug too deeply into it. But
Addo Smajic 22:25
yeah, it’s interesting. But yeah, so we’ve had, you know, developers that develop a lot of websites for like large corporations that are entirely wet with WordPress based, that they are like the organization, the people that are supposed to, you know, take ownership of this webs website and update the content. And they still keep, you know, sometimes emailing us and saying, Can you please upload this, you know, and so, you know, they started charging them, but that’s just an annoyance. And so, you know, the value prop would be to tell that organization, here it is in Word, you can pull it into Word like that piece of copy, find that in inside source, pull it into Word, make all the edits you want, store back, and your WordPress website updates.
Qasim Virjee 23:06
Well, yeah, that makes sense. Absolutely. Isn’t that because there’s, again, this almost a reiteration of conventional file structuring that has been replicated in the let’s call it web 1.0? And web two point, early web 2.0? CMS is? Yeah, I mean, it’s something from my experience, Drupal was very good at disassociating was that culture of saying, This encasement is a post, you know, WordPress speak is like event posting, you got pages, you can create custom content types, it’s a new thing. arduous without a plugin, but it wasn’t like, kind of baked into the platform with a GUI, whereas Drupal was like, you can create anything to be anything and it’s all relational. Yeah, you know, a really interesting concept where anything’s a quote unquote, entity. And, and I think that’s where things need to go. Yeah. Yeah.
Addo Smajic 23:59
I mean, and yeah, for us, it’s some, you know, it’s all about that, bringing that information to all those applications. That but allowing the users you know, the, to the average person to use the tools that they’re familiar with, right, they should not have a learning curve, a learning period to try to like, you know, just because, you know, a company decided to have some new CMS or some new software or anything like that. That learning curve, you know, because I forget that also, it was an article where someone was talking about the you know, the this spur and in and fragmentation, productivity apps, you know, from quip to coda to you know, a bunch of other ones that are coming out like a pitch for trying to play replace PowerPoint, okay. But he was saying that in his in his findings, like what what most people have said is that they’ll try them out. They’ll use them here and there, play with them, right, but when, you know, push comes to shove instantly gets critical. They move back and go back to like, what they’re comfortable. Well,
Qasim Virjee 25:05
yeah, it’s like people. I’ve seen this in so many shops that I’ve worked with, where people are like, using envision for prototyping of app interfaces. Yeah. And then they’ve got a deadline. And they’re like, Screw it. I’m gonna use Photoshop. Yeah, no, that’s not even a vector, you know, like, but it’s whatever works for you is what is what you should be able to use. And I guess this idea of like, supporting, quote, unquote, legacy, you know, software. Yeah. Is only facilitated with a solution like yours.
Addo Smajic 25:36
Yep. And yeah, it’s not just, yeah, it’s supporting and then trying to bring them in bridge right? into the new world. Right. So allowing someone to store something from legacy software, and then easily switch over to the new salt, you know? Yeah. face for the Yeah, for us. It’s like a different browser. It’s like, essentially, that’s what we, you know, like to think about it, the new crop of apps, as they’re built on top of source, like, saps
Qasim Virjee 26:03
is that we call them instead of daps.
Addo Smajic 26:08
Yeah, I mean, I think I mean, we still call them daps. Just because, you know, that’s the standard term. Yeah. But the daps that that will be built using Source and other distributed tech, will, you know, we’ll be able to kind of take full advantage of what we provide. And, you know, right now, there’s obviously some struggle with legacy software, where their API’s don’t allow us to do everything that we would like to, and we don’t know where, you know, that legacy software is going to go with their API’s, they might think that, you know, what we’re doing is too disruptive to the business of, you know, plans, and they might, you know, prevent some of these integrations or some of these axes. But on the other side, if we can, you know, if we’re spurring innovation, and making, you know, content, you know, accessible across any kind of platform, and, you know, we turn word processors spreadsheets into kind of browser of browsers of sorts, then, you know, I think, you know, the legacy software providers, like the, you know, office, and we’ll have to kind of adapt to that.
Qasim Virjee 27:11
No, no, I think it’s super interesting. It’s also this idea of kind of being able to push data around to devices that otherwise are parts of the world, or whatever that wouldn’t otherwise have access to them. You know, there’s, there’s lots of lots of meta implications of this stuff. Take a step back. And, and I’d love to hear the story of the company.
Addo Smajic 27:30
Well, the story of company was essentially, we had a previous startup, where we were trying to solve some of some similar problems, but
Qasim Virjee 27:41
so the we is the same team is currently
Addo Smajic 27:44
there was a different team, but you know, like, one or two members have different books. And we were trying to solve problem, but it was specific to, you know, financial teams and how they worked. So it was project management and those type of things from your experience working and yeah, like, it was actually, as a friend of mine, who was a co founder of that company. He, he was an accountant, he was like, you know, look, we I work with, you know, creating financial reports, in the in all the time, and whatnot. And so we essentially, it was built around, how do you make it easier for, you know, financial teams to create reports, and what they need. But the one thing that kept, you know, we came across, I mean, financial people, they all use Office, and it was all, you know, Microsoft technologies and all that kind of stuff. But it also limited a lot of the things that we could do. And ultimately, we realized, you know, a couple of, like, we realized that, you know, that just, it’s not feasible, like it could be, we always wanted to just build these, you know, like, at least me, like, always wanted to solve big problems and big pains. And that just, I mean, we I kind of lost interest, lost passion for it. And it was just something that we decided to kind of move on from, but it was around that time that I met John, and we started talking about distributed tech, and, you know, decentralized technologies, blockchain and also kind of stuff. This was like, January
Qasim Virjee 29:24
ish, of 2018. Yeah, so this year, yes. has been the year of source.
Addo Smajic 29:29
Yeah. Like we incorporated like, couple months, like not too far back. So
Qasim Virjee 29:35
you don’t have to tell us? I don’t know where it was incorporated a bit late.
Addo Smajic 29:41
But, uh, what’s it called? Yeah. And so that’s where kind of like our, you know, me, Alex and Dave, thinking about how we can just enable this interoperable information merged with his knowledge and thinking of distributed systems. And then that’s where we kind of had that mind meld of sorts of, we were like, well, if we take that information is, you know, interoperable and we merge it with, you know, distributed technologies, that could be something really, really powerful, allow the entire world essentially to, you know, collaborate without having, like you mentioned earlier, like, you know, people that live in other countries, like we think of office, our G Suite, or it’s cheap, it’s $5 a month, $5 a month is expensive to most of the world. Yeah. And so, you know, but what happens is, you have this these almost elitist kind of views of like, well, I want you to send me something in, in the file format that I care about in America, right. And, but that person over there is working on Open Office, and, you know, and so to them, $5, you know, is, you know, a lot of money. And so that also kind of like, forms our thinking, and our and how we, you know, view, what we’re building is that is to allow kind of like a, a flat kind of, I don’t even know what analogy to use, but like a flat kind of Oregon, like world essentially of information where if someone is in Africa, and produces the content, they should not be, they should be valued for the content that they produce, and the information like that, that they create for you, because you hired them to produce an article, you hire them to produce some analysis, whatever it is, yeah. If it’s a top notch, and that, like, you know, report, why does it matter that they’re in Africa? Or why should you pay them less, and you should just be like, Oh, I’ll pay you $5 For that, but someone in America is, you know, it should be based on, you know, your liberating
Qasim Virjee 31:41
content, your platform will liberate content from the constraints of, you know, dogmatic, you know, I guess structure is of all types, right? Yeah, there’s all sorts of like ownership structures, whether it’s the encasement, tech, technical encasement of content in file structures, or the means of distributing content itself, which is also kind of interesting.
Addo Smajic 32:07
So those are all like, concepts are evolving. And we’re just heads down focused on building the platform. And we will see where, you know, it evolves. And
Qasim Virjee 32:16
to that end, what does 2019 look like for you guys? What’s coming up in the next few months that for the platform for its rollout,
Addo Smajic 32:23
so right now, we’re focused on closing around, we’re raising around a and so that the goal is to close it in the next q1 of 2019. And then it’s just
Qasim Virjee 32:35
gonna be like a private round for angels or angels, the funds. If there’s anyone listening to this, that’s interested in what we’ve been talking about once to participate in this around, you want to just throw out a little how to contact you information.
Addo Smajic 32:50
Oh, I mean, I thought you would have that somewhere on your podcast information. So yeah, but yeah, you can, they can contact me an arrow at source app.io Is my email, add, oh, source and an app.io. And, of
Qasim Virjee 33:05
course, reach out to us at stairwell and we can connect you with Adam and his team whenever you’d like if you’d like, get sit down for a cappuccino here. Yep. Atrium Cafe.
Addo Smajic 33:16
Yeah. And then beyond that, we want to release the initial integrations that we built for Office dine will also coincide sometimes in q1 q2, early q2, with to, you know, kind of showcase to the world to developers out there, what is possible with the interoperable platform that we’re building, and have them, you know, start kind of, you know, understanding it. And, you know, get users on board and test the limitations of the platform. And, you know, see how much, you know, we can handle. And the other part is to release our test net of the platform. That we don’t have an exact date yet. But it will coincide with the plans of having a token, because we plan to, you know, have also we need a utility token, because it’s a it’s a blockchain system. So
Qasim Virjee 34:10
But there’ll be so people buying the token to use the software,
Addo Smajic 34:13
like people bind, so people won’t necessarily have to buy the token directly. If we’ve made it, we’re making a soda, people that have, you know, existing email accounts, they can just create an email account, and tokens are assigned to their account. Okay. If they’re paying, if they want to pay for them, if they know about the token, like, that’s the other thing for us. It’s not like it’s not about it’s about bringing blockchain to the masses. It’s not about you know, you know, it’s super techie thing, and we want it to make it that if you’ve never know I’ve heard of distributed technologies and blockchain and everything IPFS and all that stuff. You never have to even like you’ll never even come in contact with it. There’s a wallet in the system, but it In the Admin panels, you can go there if you want to, you know, deposit tokens or take, you know, move tokens out. But if you’re just an average person, you can just give us a credit card, and we’ll, you know, provision tokens into your account into your wallet. And that’s what we use to then know if you’re paying for, you know, premium, or whatever it is, it’s based on the number of tokens that you have in there, and that kind of stuff. So the average person, they can literally come with their Gmail account and say, I want to create an account, that’s it, right? Or Office account, or whatever token
Qasim Virjee 35:31
becomes your internal means of accounting for products. Yeah.
Addo Smajic 35:35
And later, we have other plans from like marketplaces, and stuff like that, where the tokens will act as the exchange medium, between developers developing on top of the platform, or marketplace where, you know, people exchanging the information, you know, buying and selling content and all that kind of stuff or sharing it, tokens will come into play there as well.
Qasim Virjee 35:55
Interesting. That’s really interesting, actually, because it’s a whole different thing. Yeah. People marketing content.
Addo Smajic 36:01
Well, I mean, it’s, it’s, it’s a lot of the distributed technologies, it’s about enabling, you know, the freelance economy, and, you know, to kind of, not Get Gouged by like, these 20 30% fees that that decentralized marketplaces charge. Yeah, you know, that everyone knows who they are. And for us, it’s just, you know, it’s just an add on, it’s like, you know, if you have, if you have your account, and you have a paragraph or an article you’ve written, you can easily just say, post it on this marketplace. And if someone says, I want to buy, you can say it’s free, you know, like an example of given to people like, let’s say, in the startup space, we have Y Combinator, you know, Y Combinator safes, Y Combinator can, you know, post the safe in source, every startup around the world can download into Google Docs, office quip, whatever they want? If Why can’t you know and it’s free. So you know, if Y Combinator makes updates, you’ll always have everyone will have, we will have updates to those, you know, to the updates, and they’ll be notified, the Y Combinator has made updates you can say yeah, you know, save this as a new version, or you know, overwrite the current version, all that kind of stuff. But, you know, there’ll be a layer on top of that allowing, you know, for Y Combinator is of the world or so no Y Combinator, but like companies that want to charge for that type of Con for their content. Yeah. To also, you know, charge for it.
Qasim Virjee 37:36
Oh, yeah. That’s an interesting example. Because that’s one of those documents that like, every I mean, it changed the industry in many ways. Just
Addo Smajic 37:43
Yeah, well, like just yesterday, I was on the phone. The reason I thought of that example is because as we’re going through phrasing around, yesterday, I was on the phone with our lawyers. And he was like, Oh, by the way, be careful, because Y Combinator has made some changes to their safes, that makes it post money rather than pre money. But, yeah, and I was like, Well, same as you. I was like, I don’t know, I’ve changed. So he’s like, Yeah, but be careful, because the investors might send it to you, which is, I mean, like, you as a founder, you just worry about raising capital, you might not even notice it in there. Sure. And if our lawyers than if my lawyer didn’t tell me, I would have never noticed it. And but the investor might have, you know, given us the new safes that essentially say that, you know, it’s post money cap rather than pre money cap.
Qasim Virjee 38:30
Yeah, prime example of how, you know, the legal industry would love what sources working on for, you know, boilerplate, and boilerplate, boilerplate? versioning, which everyone does, yep. Right, your base kind of services, like, Oh, you want to incorporate a company? Okay, let’s pull from our templates as XYZ,
Addo Smajic 38:49
yeah, we we plan to work with our legal, like our lawyer at atrium, as well as our bankers at SVP to kind of figure out how we can make that work in the banking and the legal world better. Because, you know, there because of the regulations, and all that kind of stuff that exists in those industries, they’re forced to use Office. Yeah. But all of their clients pretty much exclusively use something else. Yeah. So, you know, and for them, it’s that frustration. And so once we are ready, you know, if it’s as simple as just allowing the lawyers to share something, and then the startup can open in Google Docs, you know, they’ll be happy. But then beyond that, allowing the lawyers to edit stuff, and then the startup just sees it update on their end without having to, you know, go find it an email also kind of stuff that, you know, that’s like beyond it, right. So it’s interesting,
Qasim Virjee 39:42
because I don’t know enough about the talk matter for to explore deeply. It’ll be another podcast, because you and I can talk all day about this whole thing of smart contracts. And the relevance for this technology, right? Yeah. It’s very interesting. If you could kind of automate segments of this content. In a document, yep. You could be you could have a smart XYZ instead of a contract, it could be any type of document.
Addo Smajic 40:08
That’s, you know, that’s yet to be seen what where this takes us? Right? So
Qasim Virjee 40:12
cool. Very exciting, man. Any last shout outs in terms of what organizationally you guys are looking for you looking for any partnerships, anyone who might be listening jobs, or you’re hiring anything?
Addo Smajic 40:24
We’ll be hiring, once we close the round. And, you know, so developers is all you know, all the people that will be hiring primarily. Dot, you know, they can I mean, we haven’t really posted any any any job wise, like that partnership wise, like we’re, we’re kind of we mean, we’re kind of, okay, for now. Just because stealth mode. Yeah. It’s not Yeah, it’s not just that it’s just that like, we’re, we kind of early on, like, first half of the year, we went heavy on trying to talk to a lot of people. And we realized we’re getting pulled in so many different directions. Yeah, from legal wanting this account, like so. I mean, and platform is kind of unifies it all, because, you know, and informs, you know, what we are building, and obviously, it’s always good to like, but we weren’t, we needed to focus, you know, a little bit more on ourselves and stuff, like listening to all the different opinions that you should have this, you have that blah, blah. And so we kind of for now, or, you know, we have the ones that we’ve had conversations with, I mentioned, some of them, and, you know, we’re gonna kind of keep just to those for now. But, you know, partnership wise, we’re always looking for, you know, other, like, we’ll be looking, you know, in the near future to kind of start expanding on the album, a lot of the partnerships that if, you know, we were to go down, like, bring on any, any other kind of work is that, for us, we’re trying to like we’re working on building a community around this interoperable idea. Yeah. And so a lot of the, on that side, we have Brett, who’s our, you know, Chief Strategy, strategy officer, and he he, you know, part of the what he’s, you know, what we’re trying to do with growth, it’s kind of like what HubSpot did with like inbound.com, we’re trying to build a community of are interoperable, and what that means at the different light layers of software, information, blockchains, and people. And so you know, if anyone’s interested in kind of collaborating, we were working with a couple of firms, or organizations out of the bay area that will contribute to it and those type of things. So we’re looking to build just this massive community, where anything and everything, interoperable goes. So whatever it is, because that’s what we are all about right to allow a creative to work in Photoshop. While the marketers working Google Docs and the marketer make can edit the copy of what the creative is designing in Photoshop, and all those type of things is what we’re all about. And we, you know, so anyone that’s interested in being part of that kind of community, you’ll help us build it,
Qasim Virjee 43:06
I will follow up this episode with something new that I’m going to be launching. I haven’t really told anyone about it yet. But as of January, through next year, start we’ll be doing these kind of like live demos. And we’ll have a call a number and it’s just a video conference session that will host in one of our meeting rooms here in 4k, and just streamed online, people can tune in to watch and to interact with us. So maybe a good community development tool too. So we could put a call out ahead of it. Maybe do another session once you guys are ready to talk more and show your stuff off q1 q2. And and we’ll for anyone listening that’s interested, you know, stay in touch, we’ll push something out through our newsletter and on the website, just letting people know when that session comes up, and definitely join us and, you know, that might be a jumping off point for some people.
Addo Smajic 43:56
Yeah, looking forward to to that and showing what we’ve been cooking wicked in the kitchen.
Qasim Virjee 44:04
Very excited. Oh, well, as always, it was a pleasure to sit down and chat. Likewise. And again, your emails in this we’ll put it in the link and we’ll put some links to your website and some places for people to sign up for the wicked, you know, interoperability newsletter that they get the new title
Addo Smajic 44:21