just_work = true

One of my former coworkers, Rob Marianski, and I used to get a running joke — we’d be constructing and debugging something, and he would finally say,”Oh, so you want me to place just_work = true?” . (as an aside, I have always believed justworkequalstrue.com would make a fantastic blog title, and actually purchased the domain name for Rob a couple of years ago — still awaiting that first article, Rob…).

I mention it because of where we are now at the crypto/blockchain space. 99% of the focus lately has been on ICO hype and the fiscal use instances of crypto (trading, finance, payments, tokenized resources, etc) — but I think we are going to turn the corner and find a taste of what sorts of new online user experiences will become possible due to this technology. This is where it is going to have fun.

Just_work = true are the foundational element of the experience. Here’s What I mean, by means of a few examples:

1) Browsers with individuality and cash built-in: the browsing experience will be directly tied to identity and obligations, and any program will have the ability to frictionlessly, tap to both. Because all cryptonetworks are made around public key cryptography, and the private key is both your identity and your wallet, whenever you’ve got a public/private keypair built into the browser, you can do plenty of things be”logged in” anyplace, control & supply your personal data, create seamless and flexible payments and payment agreements (e.g., subscriptions). Imagine the whole web working as seamlessly as Amazon and Apple do now.

2) Mobile digital assets: I wrote about this previously, but the interoperability of blockchain-based electronic assets will be a huge thing. Since assets on blockchains are public, open and accessible, they could exist across many sites and applications. The suit of armor that you construct in wow could be utilized as collateral for obtaining a blockchain-based mortgage — perhaps that is a ridiculous example, but the idea is that these resources are available, interoperable, and portable — that means things will”just work”, across the net, in ways that are not possible today.

3) Automatic dev / deploy surroundings: my colleague Albert explained a story recently where his son engaged in a Solidity hackathon — the time from installation to deploy was vanishingly brief, since each the deployment infrastructure is part of the open Ethereum network. It’s not necessary to set up accounts at amazon, heroku, stripe, etc to get started — just write a contract, purchase some ether for gasoline, and print it, and you are online. We have never had a development / deployment environment this fall dead easy, and as blockchain dev tools mature farther, it is going to get even easier.

I mention all the above just as a thought exercise. It’s easy for people in this area to concentrate on issues like privacy and”liberty” — and while these things do matter to some users (especially technically-minded power users), I do not feel this technology will unlock mainstream possibility until we start to surface the magic capabilities which produce regular users feel like”wow, it just works”.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *