Zcash Media 2023

Hi all,

We met with ZCG last Thursday to update them on our project. We want to provide the same update to you all too.

We currently estimate we will complete Milestone 1 in January. For Milestone 1, we have the following deliverables: 6 full-length videos and 18 60-second shorts. The 6 full-length videos have the following temporary titles.

  1. The Three Dilemmas We Have to Overcome for Privacy Progress
  2. The World is Going Cashless. It’s a Problem.
  3. The Real Problem with the Web (and who’s trying to fix it). [Web 3 and 3.0 explainer.]
  4. There’s a Hole in the Constitution
  5. Privacy Regulation Theory | A solution to our overwhelming digital world
  6. The Internet is Experimenting on You. Is it ethical?

The 18 shorts have a variety of topics mostly relating to things that couldn’t fit in the 6 full-length videos.

I don’t want to give away too much more of the story of each video, although I can say they all explore different aspects of privacy, whether it’s the legal history, the state of digital privacy, the psychology of privacy, etc. We showed the first part of video 1 to ZCG at our meeting and got positive reviews - so I think we went in the right direction. We’ve filmed all the videos and are in the editing stage. So while there’s still a lot to do, the end is in sight!

We also relayed to ZCG why we think this phase of our project has taken longer than we estimated. (Instead of taking 6 months and finishing in September, it will take ~10 months and finish in January.) I think the three main areas that slowed us down were:

  1. Cold Start. To make the types of educational videos we wanted, about the big picture problems we think audiences will be interested in, required a lot of research. While we knew a lot about Zcash and its story from our first videos, expanding into different privacy issues required a lot of time. Then, turning that information into understandable videos took a lot of time. We hope that the next round of videos will take less time because we have already done a lot of research that we can use to write the next videos.

  2. Format. We had a lot of discussions around the video format. Our first two videos we collected interviews and stitched them together to make the stories. But we knew we would have a lot more flexibility if we switched to a hosted format. However, discussing and ultimately changing the format took some time. Plus it took time to practice hosting (performing). However, now we have a really great setup for recording that we think looks good and is easy to repeat and iterate on. That will hopefully add up to extra time savings in the future.

  3. Comprehensiveness. We had a strong tendency to make the “ultimate video” for each topic we chose. The one video you’d need to understand pretty much everything about a given topic. However, most of these topics are just too big to do that, especially if you are trying to make many of them at once. We found ourselves writing 20-30 min. long videos that would take too long to produce and eat up all our resources. We eventually learned the hard way how to limit ourselves and get in and out of a story. We now know much better now the length of video we can make. This should also help us be more efficient in the future.

Ultimately, while things took longer than desired, I think we spent a lot of time wrestling with the right questions, and I think by taking that time, we steered ourselves towards the right answers. So while we’ll never stop learning, we tucked a lot of valuable lessons under our belt during this process.

Right now, we are focused on finishing our Milestone 1 deliverables. We’ve tabled discussions about distribution until after these deliverables are delivered and we kick off phase two. We’ll circle back to the discussion of distribution in the New Year.

While having to “hurry up and wait” is never fun to hear - I can assure you it’s not our favorite thing either. Everyone on our team are “Zcashers”. We want these videos to be released ASAP, and if we could have finished and released them sooner, we would have. We want privacy, and Zcash’s importance to the privacy mission, to be more widely understood and valued. That’s always been our motivation. But we also have to balance our desire to get the message out ASAP with our responsibility to ensure we deliver the best videos we can. And that just takes time, no matter how efficient one is.

Finally, we’re grateful for the investment the community made in this work, even though doing so during a bear market was not easy. We don’t take the privilege we’ve been given to use our skills and our minds on something as meaningful as this for granted. And we’ve been working hard, almost every day during the past year, to make sure the seeds of the community’s investment bear fruit.