Our new Disruption by Blockchain series aims to highlight companies that are leveraging the incredible potential of blockchain technology to disrupt and revolutionize their industry. Through one on one interviews, we'll speak directly with industry leaders to cut beyond the hype and get directly to the heart of practical use cases and examples of how it will change the world, one industry at a time.
The following is an interview we recently had with Alex Kozlov, Founder of Dogezer.
1. What’s the history of Dogezer? How and where did you begin?
AK: Our core team knows each other for a lifetime, and have been working on some projects together time after time from early 2000. In 2014 we finally get together and gathered in one office, working as a software development consulting company and providing services to multiple startups around the world, and some of a pretty well-respected Fortune 500 companies. While this was a wonderful experience overall, we noticed a huge number of inefficiencies on how project owners are trying to make their software projects to be done – and that made us invent Dogezer. We started first brainstorms in April 2016, and the first code has been written in October of 2016.
Since then there was a lot of effort put into developing Dogezer platform. The team has significantly grown over the time, with a number of great developers joining us. Sometime around July of 2017, we understood that all of the key features of the product are in, and while it may require a bit of additional polishing – Dogezer is ready to be shown to people. That is a moment when we decided that doing an ICO for a product like ours may be a wonderful idea – not only because of the funds which we need to raise but also because we strongly believe that our approach of decentralizing software development may resonate with crypto community.
2. Who are the founders and key team members?
Alex is an entrepreneur, software architect and software engineering manager with the experience of building effective software engineering teams from scratch. Alex’s career includes providing services for such companies as Motorola, Kyocera, Sony Ericsson, Ford, Hyundai & Jaguar Land Rover.
With over 15 years in software development, Nikita is a genuine full stack developer who has mastered a huge set of technologies.
Nikita is a fast learner who concentrates on quality, strongly believes in a “KISS” concept and always comes out with elegant and effective solutions.
A former design team member of the largest Russian Outdoors Advertising Agency, NewsOutdoor (a part of News Corp), Sergey is a guru of visual design with the mind of a software engineer. The blend produces logically organized visual solutions which are a pleasure to implement. Sergey is fond of math and can express almost everything with a few “inhumane” mathematical expressions.
Natalya concentrates on organizing our community and support teams, ensuring for example that Dogezer bounty is constantly being called one of the best on market. Always full of ideas, Natalya can quickly grasp the problem and offer multiple, sometimes unexpected, solutions.
An experienced backend developer, Dmitry can craft a high quality and reliable code faster than a blink of an eye. Dmitry once managed a 70+ people development team responsible for biweekly releases of a mission-critical software for a Fortune-500 company but opted instead to work in the profession he loves, the profession of a software engineer. Dmitry is a member of the “Presidential Managerial Human Resources Pool” program of the Government of the Russian Federation.
The team also includes Mike Sorokin (Project Management), Renat Zakirov (Frontend Developer), Alexey Pavlyukov (Backend Developer), 7 Community Managers and Support Specialists (Daniel Savinov, Elizabeth Lebedeva, Dmitry Mokhov, Nikita Kozlov, Kate Mudarisova, Arthur Matevosyan, Artem Bolotov) and Arina Karpova (Graphic Designer). We are actively utilizing freelancer community and often outsource many development tasks – with a total count of freelancers which we hired over last few years exceeding 100 persons.
3. What problem are you solving? Who are you solving it for?
AK: We do solve a number of real-life challenges for idea authors, individual contributors and project itself:
For idea authors/project owners:
Project owners spend too much time and effort on raising funds to have their product done. Often these efforts are significantly larger than efforts project owner is able to spend on inventing and creating his product, and often these efforts end in failure.
For some projects raising capital through existing methods of financing is just not possible. Market size may be wrong for ICO or VC (too big or too small), or blockchain may not be applicable to the product for which funds are being raised.
For individual contributors:
Software developers and designers are generally “work for hire” jobs, and it is pretty hard to build a great fortune working in these professions. As a result, some skilled contributors are either switch to entrepreneur or management fields, where maximum income is not so capped. But a significant part of these people just doesn’t have skills of passion for such shift, or can’t afford it due to obligations they have. As a result, these people are doing their job without a lot of chances of a disruptive growth in personal income.
The last, but not least, we often notice that motivations of people in a team are not really aligned. The ultimate task of project owner is to make his business to be profitable, while the motivation of developers and designers, cynically speaking, is to earn as much money as possible for themselves. These goals often don’t match.
4. What is your solution to this problem?
AK: The gist of our solution is very simple – we want project owners to pay to his team members using project-specific coins for the job they do on our integrated platform. These project-specific coins are free to generate, and they represent the ownership of a common intellectual property people are creating together. These coins are also mapped to some future income/revenue or ownership of a company, so in case of success, they can be converted into significant monetary compensation.
With that approach, project owner just defines how his project will bring revenue, and how much of that revenue he is going to share with his team members, defining the future valuation of his coin. Our platform will generate these coins for project owners, and now he magically has a budget to have this product to be done. He then can go and hire people from our talent marketplace and pay for the job done on the platform with these coins. The platform provides the whole set of tools required in software development all available and setup in a few clicks. These tools include things like Issue tracker (like Jira), Version control system (like Github), Cloud storage (like Dropbox), Collaborative documents editor (like Google Docs), Integrated messaging (like Slack) and others.
When the project is completed, project revenue is used to reward coin holders, proportionally to the number of coins they own.
As a result:
– Project owner doesn’t need to spend any time raising any finances. He literally pays with promises of a future revenue/company share.
– Because there are no investors, and because developers have to accept some risk that project will fail, payment to developers exceed their regular pay rate 5x-10x, allowing developers to earn much more than they normally do in case if project is successful
– And because payments are happening in project coins, motivation for each and every on a team becomes very much aligned. There is no reason for developers and designers to do the work which doesn’t make project to be successful – because if they will do this, they will never be able to convert their coins into a real payment.
This is just a high level description on what actually we do to ensure that it is easy to start and run a software startup. Please refer to our whitepaper to find out more details.
5. Why is your industry ripe for disruption?
AK: We are disrupting the way how people work together, so on a larger scale – this is sort of disrupting the whole economy. Of course, this wouldn’t happen overnight, and we are targeting software development at the start, growing to other industries in a matter of a few years. Software development on its own is a huge market, around $500B a year (thus, not each part of this whole market would be disrupted from the start). In the future, a significant amount of revenues from that market would go towards people who have created their projects through Dogezer.
From another perspective, we are disrupting the way how money is being raised for startups. According to http://about.crunchbase.com/news/inside-global-q1-2017-27-vc-market/, this industry is around $180B a year, with seed and early-stage investments accounting for $64B per year. Dogezer would replace a significant part of these.
6. What’s the future of your industry?
AK: We believe that in a matter of just a few years from now, tectonic changes which have already started to happen will completely reshape the current world economy and the way people are doing business. We firmly believe that the following decentralization tendencies will only get stronger:
Prediction #1: More and more independent workers – people who prefer to choose an independent career as opposed to a traditional career with an established company. “Gig economy” will flourish.
Prediction #2: More and more jobs will become remote jobs crossing the borders of countries and continents. Outsourcing will be even less limited with more and more means of communications and easy cross-border payments with the help of crypto.
Prediction #3: More and more companies will become “no office” companies or will be completely virtual companies operating with the help of cryptocurrencies separately from the regular economy. We do expect the next big things coming from these companies – rather from traditional giants. Exactly how it happened already with Bitcoin and Ethereum.
While not really short in a list of things to happen, but an introduction of a “basic income”, if and when it will happen, will completely change the way people think about the work. People would be much more interested in disruptive growth in their income by accepting the additional risk and solutions like Dogezer one will get a huge amount of attention..
Dogezer will contribute to that future by providing a tool for virtual companies and individual contributors to work together in a complete, secure and effective ecosystem which welcomes the use of cryptocurrencies.