Zcash User Research & Engagement (ZURE), Phase 1

Is it just me, or does this post have especially dystopian vibes? Maybe because it’s addressed to a user called, @peacemonger … not a rip on @ZcashFoundation for making the post. j/s

Check the video, if you’re curious why i gave the cancellation of @peacemonger’s grant a :-1:

Normal user-tracking metrics don’t work, with users like us. This research is invaluable, in order to understand what we mean when we talk with words like, “community”, “sentiment” and “adoption”.

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It is truly disheartening when a $35k ask for a clearly outlined project with timelines and outreach components to users that might not normally participate in the other existing Zcash channels and has produced informative data about what they want and don’t want.

Too many relationships that are too close together and hurting Zcash’s potential.

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I agree. @peacemonger’s research is invaluable. It was instrumental in driving discussion at Zeboot in support of our thinking about our roadmap. The Zure version of Zeboot (two day online) felt not only like Zcash family but illuminated key use cases, drove ideas about Zcash community collaboration, and elevated users around the world who are not regulars on this forum. This work is unique and invaluable. We need more, not less.

This is disappointing.

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For the record @aquietinvestor and I voted to approve this grant, I hope ECC can find a way to fund this work :heart:.

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Great idea!

Hey Amber, I’m curious about why you didn’t support it. Are you able to share?

It wasn’t an easy decision. I hate saying no to projects from valued, committed, community members like Tatyana. I saw Tatyana’s presentation at Reboot, of course, and the impactful session there for wallet development.

I felt proud that we funded phase I, so that developers could benefit from the completion of work ECC stopped funding for midstream. I know that those cuts were made under the duress of low ZEC price.

With price at under $25, this duress has not abated, and ZCG has also had to say no to many projects, especially in light of the fierce competition and opportunity cost.

My main criterion when evaluating is predicted impact on new user adoption. I think studying early adopters is valuable for some things but doesn’t directly help new adoption, because early adopters are a very different breed. So that was part of my calculus.

Speaking personally, and not necessarily on behalf of the whole committee here:
Since the layoffs, ZCG has been in an awkward position of trying to decide whether to use grants specifically to pick up former ECC employees and projects. On the one hand, I feel strongly that the three funding bodies should be working together with smart division of labour, and in that way, picking up these projects can make sense. On the other hand, ZCG already has its own vision of ways to direct funding and our purpose isn’t a buffer for ECC and ZF vision.

This sensation is what prompted what I alluded to in my comment above. If ECC has had a change of heart about the importance of this work internally, then maybe ECC should consider rehiring.

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Thanks Amber. I appreciate the color. I also appreciate that I’m just one voice and completely respect your and ZCG’s independent role and voice in the community.

I hear you. But I hope you see these as efforts by Zcashers for Zcash and judge them on their own merits rather than associating them to ECC or ZF simply because the leaders once worked at one of these places. The charter for ZCG was to fund projects that have the potential to be major contributors in the Zcash ecosystem over a long period of time. Though embryonic, that is what I saw happening with this effort and the ZURE community, and what I also see with others like Zechub, which was also birthed by a former ECC employee. It’s a good thing. That’s part of why I’m disappointed. It’s something new with high upside, driven by a passionate Zcasher, doing unique and necessary work that benefits Zcash.

I respectfully disagree. Early adopters are the key to crossing the chasm. They represent up to about 15% of the total population on a normal distribution curve and are the committed ones who will onboard the early majority. Their use cases and social connections are the catalyst for onboarding the early majority. Driving success with this group has been at the center of my career in driving high growth companies and technology adoption.

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What exactly is ZCG’s purpose then? Lately I’ve been a bit confused so lets spell it out.

Why does it feel like ECC, ZF and ZCG are going in three separate directions? Yet another reason why it is time to consider a different model from the current.

they appear to be going in 3 different directions to me as well. likely It’s because there are at least three critical development areas and they each only care about their own area. Now they should care about their areas so nothing wrong with that, but the money is tight. and the vision has not found a market large enough to generate sufficient funding…so getting ahold of another’s orgs resources is at issue. It looks like “org warfare”.

i think if you asked qedit, what’s more important polls or stablecoins/zsa they would have a different view than the ECC or media people. everyone talks they own vision. yet so far none of them are connecting with a customer base capable of paying mining and development costs or fixing the very real problem of slow transactions speeds/sync times. and no real blockchain utility. zcash appears to be targeting the “goldbug” community more than the DeFi community.

@joshs made an analogy to race cars. now race car tracks have very complex rules. The cars need to meet very strict guidelines. and counties have their own rules when it comes to money. Zcash isn’t going to win when it comes to trying to build products that don’t meet the strict rules of a country. That doesn’t mean you can’t try to change them. but if you want to get in the race, you need to build a car that meets the rules of the track you want to race on.

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100% agree here. There is an unfortunate theme here with some who feel that catering/ deriving next steps from the tiny pool of early adopters today; as the happy path toward impactfully growing new users in the future. It is getting the cart before the horse as far as I can see. Zcash is going to grow most rapidly only after ZEC wakes up. Until the ZEC stops punishing everyone who ever touches it, we’re in trouble. I’m glad that Amber, and others at the ZCG, have begun looking at the project/ ZEC economics most holistically.

All of these organizations haven’t got the luxury of selling ZEC constantly, while sitting on a 3.5 million dollar BTC position that keeps running to new highs. Without a virtuous ZEC, there will never be a mainstreaming cycle… regardless of how scientifically we’ve studied our small early adopters base.

All of that aside, in and of itself, I’ll add that ZURE projects are an important activity and in the right situations should be funded. It just seems that this isn’t the right time. Is it possible to have the next ZURE project funded via Zcash Foundation’s minor grants? (am I misunderstanding the history here? was it ZF or ZCG or both, who rejected the Phase 2 grant request?)

ZF has no role in approving or rejecting grants submitted to ZCG. It was solely ZCG’s independent decision to reject this grant.

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Thanks, I understand the separation of powers. My question was for @peacemonger - had this grant been submitted to Zcash Foundation and ZCG? (or only to ZCG)

At a glance, there would be a case that it could be changed a bit to fit in the context of a ZF Minor Grant.

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