Getting massive number of users is the easier part



  • Often when we look at the massive amount of coins, lets say on a site such as coinmarketcap.com, there's hardly a coin that has a significant amount of real users maybe other than the top 5.

    One of the people in my close group I introduced Sia to asked me whether there were any real users of Sia. That got me thinking.

    The focus of everybodies attention is the coin price but lets focus on the real usefulness. If it happens, the price rise will most likely follow. What can we do to make it really useful?

    • Get the coin actually working. I mean, get it actually profitable to rent your extra space. Currently, while the coin works, but due to downtime it is not easy to rent your extra space. It is also not easy to buy the space. Usefulness is key to growing the user base of this coin. At the moment, usefulness is close to zero, lets be honest about it. Due to strict uptime requirements, a non nerd can't use this, nor can a non nerd ever figure out how to use Sia.

    An easy test should be this: My 45 years old uncle who likes using social media but is not at all nerdy sees a sponsored tweet about renting out his unused hard disk space and within minutes he should be able to get going, just like you can start using your dropbox within minutes.

    When comparing usability we should be comparing this with Dropbox and Google Drive, not with StorJ or MaidSafe because all the coins are going to fail if usability issues are not addressed.

    If you want the network to grow, make Siacoin idiot proof first. Otherwise, it will be just a nerd coin at best.

    Once the coin is actually useful (with the February roadmap completely implemented) and usability issues addressed (making it as easy as Dropbox), then we can actually get to acquiring leads.

    I would suggest running Twitter and reddit ad campaigns because this is where slightly higher tech aware people tend to be active. From there on, if there are funds available, we can move to Facebook advertising. Initially I feel the developers must get paid well for their promotions and work, so I think the concept of Siafund is really useful and well planned for Siacoin.

    Just my 2 cents. Best wishes to the devs for making Sia network actually useful.



  • @halpmon Great point hal, I agree 100%


  • Global Moderator

    @halpmon said:

    When comparing usability we should be comparing this with Dropbox and Google Drive, not with StorJ or MaidSafe because all the coins are going to fail if usability issues are not addressed.

    If you want the network to grow, make Siacoin idiot proof first. Otherwise, it will be just a nerd coin at best.

    The stated intent of Sia has been to become a competitor to services like Amazon S3, and less with Dropbox and Google Drive. The developers primary focus will for some time be to fine-tune the Sia network itself, rather than the user-experience. Only when you have a robust, scaleable and efficient decentralized storage network does it make sense to start appeasing the end-user.

    Now, consider for a moment the fact that Dropbox in fact stores its data on Amazon S3 rather than its own network. Interesting, huh?

    Now, imagine that the Sia developers pull of a not-so-magic trick by creating a decentralized storage network that is as fast, as scaleable and cheaper than Amazon S3? What do you think Dropbox, and service providers like it, will do? The storage service industry is all about margins, so the simple answer is that they will all migrate to Sia, or loose out to competitors that do.

    The future of Sia is with the enterprise user. These will be companies that want to use Sia as a back-end for storing their own data. Sia will, for all intents and purposes, become invisible to the end-user.

    Every storage contract ever negotiated on the Sia network is recorded in the Sia blockchain. Thus, the blockchain may eventually grow so large that running a Sia node may no longer be practical with personal computers. The Sia network of peers and hosts will eventually be composed of miners, large storage providers and enterprises, research networks etc that use the Sia for storage of massive data sets. These users will only be appeased by a network that is flawless, fast, efficient and scaleable to any number of files and any amount of storage. These users further do not care about nice graphical wallets, but rather about flexible programmatic interfaces (APIs).

    Appeasing the "Dropbox-like" end-user will become the domain of 3rd party "Dropbox-like" service providers, which will build "Dropbox-like" services on top of Sia. These service providers will arrive to Sia like bees to the flower as soon as the Sia network is ready. In fact, I think we're already starting to see a few early arrivals this spring.

    Time will tell if Sia will truly be successful. Proof-of-principle designs suggests that it will be. But, I do not think it will not be successful due to massive adoption by mom-and-pop users. Rather, it is the adoption by enterprise users that will define Sia's success (or not).

    Edit: I realize my post may be interpreted as Sia not being for end-users. I think it is, at least for the time being. I think Sia will be practical for end-users to upload and store files on the network for a while longer. So, work into making a beautiful and useful idiot-proof graphical wallet should continue. Eventually, though, it may not be practical running a Sia node on a laptop for personal backups while synchronizing an ever growing blockchain that consists of every storage contracts ever made on the network. I think end-users will inevitably find that impractical.

    That's my 2 cents....



  • Thanks for the honest answer. I had it wrong then, but I don't see big cloud companies relying on decentralized storage for important data such as the stuff you can't afford to lose at all. It might however be useful for no so important data of other kinds. Maybe the smaller enterprise users will be attracted.

    You know the Mega / Rapidfire type users maybe? That's the market I think Sia might capture.

    What I got from this conversation, what I can truly suggest to a friend as proof that Sia is going in the right direction, is examples of few enterprise users using Sia successively and profitably. That's what I'm looking forward to now.



  • @halpmon said:

    Thanks for the honest answer. I had it wrong then, but I don't see big cloud companies relying on decentralized storage for important data such as the stuff you can't afford to lose at all. It might however be useful for no so important data of other kinds. Maybe the smaller enterprise users will be attracted.

    In fact, its the opposite.

    Sia features erasure coding and built-in redundancy to make sure that even if a large portion of the network becomes inaccessible, your files are still retrievable. Storing files on Sia is, in principle, far safer than storing them on your own computer, in terms of the probability of data loss.

    Enterprises concerned about data loss, server vulnerabilities and intrusions may in fact be attracted to Sia as it solves many of the problems of setting up a secure storage facility.

    Still, your data on the Sia network is only as safe as your .sia files: If you loose your .sia files, or have them stolen, your data goes with them. This is a concern which the Sia developers have yet to solve I think.

    You know the Mega / Rapidfire type users maybe? That's the market I think Sia might capture.

    Agreed that Sia will work very well for filesharing too.



  • @in-cred-u-lous said:

    @halpmon said:

    Thanks for the honest answer. I had it wrong then, but I don't see big cloud companies relying on decentralized storage for important data such as the stuff you can't afford to lose at all. It might however be useful for no so important data of other kinds. Maybe the smaller enterprise users will be attracted.

    In fact, its the opposite.

    Sia features erasure coding and built-in redundancy to make sure that even if a large portion of the network becomes inaccessible, your files are still retrievable. Storing files on Sia is, in principle, far safer than storing them on your own computer, in terms of the probability of data loss.

    Enterprises concerned about data loss, server vulnerabilities and intrusions may in fact be attracted to Sia as it solves many of the problems of setting up a secure storage facility.

    Still, your data on the Sia network is only as safe as your .sia files: If you loose your .sia files, or have them stolen, your data goes with them. This is a concern which the Sia developers have yet to solve I think.

    You know the Mega / Rapidfire type users maybe? That's the market I think Sia might capture.

    Agreed that Sia will work very well for filesharing too.

    Sounds good. Thanks for the response.



  • Well said, and I agree with pretty much everything you say. Though I do think we should be comparing SC to SJCX and MAID, at least in the short term. If we're not careful the hype could overshadow anything SC can come up with if its not quick enough. It seems like more often then not its the first person who comes up with a useable / useful coin that dominates the space. We want to be the ETH to cryptocurrencies BTC and not something in between IMO.

    Usability is an issue, and the client isn't as polished as I would like to have seen it. Though it seems like where on track I wish there was more of a visually appealing website/forum and client/wallet etc. Farming with HDD would be great if contracts were filled, and im not sure if I trust uploading anything mission critical at the moment.

    Again I think this all kind of ties into the coins usefulness and how many people are currently using the network. If we were more visually appealing (I know how stupid that sounds) I think this would help increase the numbers of people drawn into SC. The usefulness of the coin should somewhat speak for itself I think.

    I had no idea of some of the other issues brought up with the developers but it seems like they are getting some solid feedback that is critical to the success of SC and have acknowledged it publicly which I think is great for SC's credibility.

    Lastley as touched on before, not many people are actually using SC making it redundant to do anything more then day trade with at the moment. I personally would like to see more usage. Im not sure if the cost per GB is turning people off to it, or the fact that people might not want to even use their SC at the moment fearing how undervalued it could be at the moment. All I know is when I try to rent out any space I have the contracts are never filled so I've been kind of wondering what to do with it until the recent spike in its price.

    Im glad the coin seems to have been getting some attention though, like @halpmon and I have said the technology speaks for its self I think (for us nerds) now we just need some more adoption. Social media campaigns are a great idea IMO, maybe even a referral system (I hate referral systems).

    I think what Im trying to get at is we just need a bit more polish, but Im glad to see that's not the main focus. Which it shouldn't be.

    Hopefully this all makes sense. I think this is a great coin, great technology and I hope to see it take the #1 spot for its type.



  • @in-cred-u-lous very, very, well said. I second your statement. Interesting way to think about things too. Mind blown, specially if there's any truth to this becoming a reality. Though I agree with them not caring about the way the client looks, more of the useability, or API, I still think good visual design however redundant still goes a long way.



  • @in-cred-u-lous As an end-user, I would be very underwhelmed with any third-party services that merely use Sia, like Dropbox uses S3, but without exposing Sia's guarantees of client-side encryption, redundancy and distributedness directly to me.
    It'd be just another cloud service and I would honestly feel no incentive to use it compared to established ones just because it uses Sia in the background.

    Since I'd much, much rather be able to keep using Sia or a tweaked front-end to Sia directly (though maybe not a "full" client), I have a question: is it really necessary to download the (whole) blockchain, if all you're going to do is rent and make payments, but never receive payments or mine?
    You seemed to point to blockchain download as the major obstacle to direct end-user adoption in the long term.



  • @halpmon said:

    If you want the network to grow, make Siacoin idiot proof first. Otherwise, it will be just a nerd coin at best.

    This is an extremely vital part of making the technology successful and should be treated as a high priority in my opinion. The early adopters are your biggest allies.

    Yes, I understand that one of the biggest targets of this technology is enterprise, but early adopters are vital to marketing efforts and getting a functioning economy in place. It's much easier to go for the little people first than it is to go for selling a solution to DropBox. A company like DropBox is not going to use your service, even if it's cheaper than S3, unless it's well tested with a suitable proof of concept. The early adopters are the proof of concept, and the testing, they are the pitch to the big investors, "look, we have all of these people using the network already, we have a functioning economy in place, this actually works."

    So I do agree, it should be as simple to use as DropBox, and your biggest appeal will be to users who can make money for free by running an application on their computer and doing nothing with it. People with decent internet connections and a decent hard drive, but no income, can leave this software running on their computer and generate money out of seemingly thin air. That's your initial target market. Not enterprise, they need to trust Sia first, and that comes with time and a functioning, proven and stable system. These big companies are much more risk averse than little companies and individuals looking to make a few dollars on the side. You need to build your way up, you can't reach the roof without a ladder.

    Since I'd much, much rather be able to keep using Sia or a tweaked front-end to Sia directly (though maybe not a "full" client), I have a question: is it really necessary to download the (whole) blockchain, if all you're going to do is rent and make payments, but never receive payments or mine?
    You seemed to point to blockchain download as the major obstacle to direct end-user adoption in the long term.

    I agree with this sentiment, and I'm curious to know the answer to this question as well. Is there no SPV type system for Sia? Because ideally an end user will be able to use a dedicated client (like the DropBox software) that interfaces with Sia directly but has all of the functionality of DropBox.



  • @TheLast said:

    Is there no SPV type system for Sia?

    Not currently, but my understanding is that there is no technical reason why there can't be one, although @Taek mentioned that it might be easier to start with pruning nodes instead of SPV nodes.



  • I have real life example about why is dropbox so good (I don't compare it with sia).

    There is public directory in dropbox which is not public but let me right click on any file and copy public link to that file. This way I can link to my 50MB file in email in just 5 sec. All competitors think that If they give me more free GB it will solve these small practical things.

    There are tons of competitors thinking this wrong way. I will never open web interface to do the same in over complicated way taking me minutes to do.

    If sia developers find time for such small but useful things it would help adoption alot.



  • You can obtain a .sia file through siac (or, I assume, Sia-UI, but I don't use that) and share it with others; then they can use it with their own Sia client to download the file.
    That's the way sharing works in Sia.



  • It was only small example how simple but highly efficient feature can change everything.

    Maybe for Sia is not the goal be able to share one file with one click. It could be virtual hard drive or something else.

    Now I think developers have enough work with the core functionality. But later would be great not forget about simple users and small features that can make sia #1.



  • I think it's important to make the core both solid and flexible in a way that will allow all sorts of "convenience features" to be implemented. Those will come with time, but they need good foundations. So far, I like Sia's foundations.



  • If you want corporate clients you are going to have to be ready for penetration testing, not losing the files is almost unimportant, compared to having a clients files released in a wikileaks style expose.

    In fact I think this is where Sia may have distinct advantage over the other efforts in this area, a corporate client is going to want a contractual agreement with someone, underwriting the risks, somone who will provide warranties and indemnities, SLAs and KPIs. If I was procuring this service, thats what I would want. I cant imagine an executive going to the company board with a proposal and not have this buttoned down.



  • Corporate clients? Who is first? Please list of possible candidates.

    Ethereum & Microsoft
    Sia & ?
    :smiley:


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